The Pain of Middle-aged Whiteness in the Pundit World

(June 3, 2010 Re-post)

So, it’s been three, no, four days since I put down a blog.  This is no way for a pundit in training to behave.  Everyone knows that you have to pump out the volume so that people think you’re deep and substantial.  But, of course, you also have to set yourself apart from the crowd.  So how is a  middle-aged white guy going to stand out in the conservative ranks with the likes of Hannety, Beck, O’Reilly, Limbaugh et al.  It’s a given that I’m just another privileged, racially biased white supremacist out to keep for me and my kind what my white forefathers bequeathed me.

OK, I have to admit that I’ve lived a life of privilege.  But, of course, that depends on how you understand that term (what’s the definition of “is”?).  I consider that my loving parents raised me by the best standards they could and got me the best education they could afford.  Thankfully, I went to a very, very exclusive liberal arts college, ranked in the top three for its size, and receive a well-rounded education.  Knowledge is really power, but not always the type of power that people seek today.  The power that my education gave me was the freedom of my mind.  For, as has been said, even if they enslave the rest of me, they will not enslave my mind.  Since I personally believe that the soul lives forever and that my mind will also live on in the next life, this means that I am free forever.  Consequently, I have not the fear of the future, and this is a great privilege indeed.

If one were to hear me talk and not know of my upbringing, perhaps they would think that I went to an Ivy League school and now have a cushy executive job.  Fact is, I was born a poor white child.  Thing is, I never really knew I was poor.  I didn’t really understand what a poverty line was, or that my family fell below it.  It never saw a food stamp, because my parents didn’t believe they should take assistance they didn’t really need.  In my childhood years I remember the joy of buying two new family cars–the stripped-down economy version, but new all the same.  And I never knew that I was missing air conditioning, because I loved rolling down the window anyway.

Now that I have such a fine education, with a Masters to boot, it’s quite surprising that I
still can’t manage to make enough money to owe income tax.  But I’m happy to say I still have to pay social security from my negative income, so I can’t be too bad off.  Actually,  I had the luck of investing healvily in real estate just before the bottom fell out.  Seems all the education in the world doesn’t protect one from the whims of government stupidity (can you say Fanny Mae?).  So, alas, I have no white-mans’ fortune to protect.  I do, however, still have the property, and it would surely be nice for the bank if I could keep paying the mortgages on my money pits so that I wouldn’t have to add to the burden on the American taxpayer via more senseless bailouts.  For, you see, I’m at fault for my own demise, just as the bank is at fault for risking their money on me.  It would have been easy to walk away and leave the bank holding the bag.  But easy is not always, in fact, not even usually right.

So, who are my peers.   I suppose I still identify with my rich white friends.  But I’ve come to identify with the not-so-rich as well.  As far as what colors I call my friends, I really don’t want to talk about it.  Because, as soon as I trot out my token friends of color, I become a racist, don’t I?  As soon as I make a distinction between the accomplishments of people as it pertains to their race (I.E. “first black man to coach a Superbowl champion”), then I say that race matters and I am judging a man by the color of his skin and not the content of his character.  That makes me a racist, doesn’t it?  And as soon as someone decides to discredit me as just another rich, middle-aged whitey racist because of the color of my skin or the color of my suit,  that makes him or her a racist, doesn’t it?  Now, I would like to believe that I can be a unique voice in the debate without labels.  I’m sure I can count on the liberals, at least, to not put a label on me.  Because, after all, it’s not about labels, it’s about RESULTS!

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