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"Whitey" Asks NYT Advice Column: "How Can I Cure My White Guilt?"
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From the NYT advice column:

THE SWEET SPOT

How Can I Cure My White Guilt?
The thing about privilege is that it can be used for good.

Advice by by Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond

Cheryl Strayed, author of the backpacking memoir Wild, was played by Reese Witherspoon in the 2014 movie adaptation. Steve Almond has published ten books.

Aug. 14, 2018

Dear Sugars,

I’m riddled with shame. White shame. This isn’t helpful to me or to anyone, especially people of color. I feel like there is no “me” outside of my white/upper middle class/cisgender identity. I feel like my literal existence hurts people, like I’m always taking up space that should belong to someone else.

I consider myself an ally. I research proper etiquette, read writers of color, vote in a way that will not harm P.O.C. (and other vulnerable people). I engage in conversations about privilege with other white people. I take courses that will further educate me. I donated to Black Lives Matter. Yet I fear that nothing is enough. Part of my fear comes from the fact that privilege is invisible to itself. What if I’m doing or saying insensitive things without realizing it?

Another part of it is that I’m currently immersed in the whitest environment I’ve ever been in. My family has lived in the same apartment in East Harlem for four generations. Every school I attended, elementary through high school, was minority white, but I’m now attending an elite private college that is 75 percent white. I know who I am, but I realize how people perceive me and this perception feels unfair.

I don’t talk about my feelings because it’s hard to justify doing so while people of color are dying due to systemic racism and making this conversation about me would be again centering whiteness. Yet bottling it up makes me feel an existential anger that I have a hard time channeling since I don’t know my place. Instead of harnessing my privilege for greater good, I’m curled up in a ball of shame. How can I be more than my heritage?

Whitey

Personally, I find “Whitey” a little uninspired as a nom de plume for this otherwise quite accomplished missive. I think something like Yale Trollmaster (or, for short, Y.T.) would have been more imaginative.

Steve Almond: Shame and anger are powerful emotions, Whitey. And yet your central struggle is around identity. You write that you don’t know your place. In fact, your letter describes your place as a kind of prison cell of privilege. What you really feel is trapped within an identity that marks you, inescapably, as an oppressor. This feeling is especially acute right now, I suspect, because you’re suddenly immersed in a milieu that reflects your privilege back to you. We do live in a culture steeped in white supremacy and class bigotry, as well as patriarchal values. But the solution to this injustice isn’t to wallow in self-hatred. Instead, heed the words of the writer bell hooks. “Privilege is not in and of itself bad; what matters is what we do with privilege,” she writes. “We have to share our resources and take direction about how to use our privilege in ways that empower those who lack it.” You’re not going to empower others by disempowering yourself.

Cheryl Strayed: I think Steve’s onto something when he notes that your anxiety is acute now because the racial mix at your college is reflecting your privilege back to you, but I’ll go even further: My hunch is that you’re truly seeing it for the first time. You grew up in a neighborhood and attended schools where you were one of the relatively few whites. It’s possible your status as a situational racial minority gave you the illusion that you didn’t have much in the way of racial privilege. Now that you’re living in a community that, at 75 percent white, roughly mirrors that of the American population, you’re feeling the full force of what it means to be white in a white supremacist culture and it makes you feel uncomfortable because up until now, in some unconscious way, you’d exonerated yourself from it. You were the “good white person” because you grew up among people of color. Now you’re another white face in the crowd at your elite college, and ashamed of it.

Cheryl and Steve go on in this sententious vein quite a bit longer, without the slightest indication that they have any doubts about Whitey’s sincerity.

SA: As a straight white male … The rise of political actors and demagogues who promote white supremacy, misogyny and racism is, in part, an effort by the privileged to reject these truths. They’ve created an ecstatic cult of victimization and recast the pursuit of justice as an assault on their selfhood. But a nation founded on the ideal of equal opportunity will never fulfill its destiny unless those with power confront their privilege. Embrace that mission and it may become easier to accept yourself as flawed but sacred. You can’t change the story you were born into, Whitey. But you can be what bell hooks calls a “radical visionary” …

CS: You ask us how you can be more than your heritage, Whitey, but what Steve and I are suggesting is that you need to own it first. As you seem well aware, your race granted you privileges that were and are denied to people who are not white. This is true for all white people in America, no matter how racially diverse their childhood neighborhoods were or were not, no matter how much money their families had or didn’t have, no matter how difficult or easy their lives have been. Every white person should be ashamed of that injustice. Which is different than being ashamed of being white. You don’t have to relinquish your heritage to be an ally to people of color, Whitey. You have to relinquish your privilege. And part of learning how to do that is accepting that feelings of shame, anger and the sense that people are perceiving you in ways that you believe aren’t accurate or fair are part of the process that you and I and all white people must endure in order to dismantle a toxic system that has perpetuated white supremacy for centuries. …

When I was a kid, advice columnist Ann Landers would often get these letters of increasing absurdity from smartalec Yale trolls. It was such a tradition at Yale that letters to Ann Landers about actual problems would sometimes start, “I am not a Yale student and this is no joke.” (I don’t think the word “troll” had its current meaning back then; instead they were called pranksters or hoaxsters.)

Here’s one to Ann Landers in 1975 from a 52 year old girl named Esther who wants to be Ralph:

Dear Ann Landers: When I read your advice regarding the five-year-old boy whose mother put ribbons on his blonde curls and gave him a tea set for Christmas, I decided that maybe you could help me. too.

I am a girl. 52 years of age. My problems started when my father knitted me a pair of argyle sox for my fifth birthday Those sox did something to my life. Ann. From then on I wanted a crew cut. I refused to wear silk underwear like the other girls in my gym class and insisted on green jockey shorts. Now I hate dresses and I go everywhere in jeans and boots.

Lately I’ve been thinking of changing my name from Esther to Ralph But deep in my heart I want to be straight Is it too late for me?

Gay in Connecticut

By 1975, Ann Landers had wised up, replying:

Dear Gay: My spies have located you “In Connecticut” and would you believe they traced your letter to New Haven?

Look. kids. Yale is a very tough

Eventually, Ann Landers figured out that anything postmarked New Haven was likely a put-on.

It would be interesting to resend old Yale troll letters to Ann Landers to modern advice columnists and see how many get the joke. I would imagine that the 52-year-old girl who wants to be crew-cut Ralph would be treated with vast deference today.

 
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  1. Boethiuss says:

    Personally, I find “Whitey” a little uninspired as a nom de plume for this otherwise quite accomplished missive. I think something like Yale Trollmaster (or, for short, Y.T.) would have been more imaginative.

    I dunno Steve, if they are trolls they got me too. I can promise you there are white people out there, usually but not always youngish women 15-30, who think exactly how this letter reads, even if “Whitey” isn’t one of them.

  2. Why can’t Esther live her life openly as the Ralph she was born to be?

  3. I think something like Yale Trollmaster (or, for short, Y.T.) would have been more imaginative.

    Was it Abby or Ann who kept getting letters from Yale baiting her to endorse the writer’s relationship with a 14-year-old?

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  4. I don’t even think it’s a troll letter. I’ve known more than a couple “Whitey’s”. This is precisely the self-conception our universities are trying to instill in white kids, with a fair degree of success. It’s sick.

  5. 22pp22 says:

    White guilt, the new anorexia.

    • Agree: Desiderius
    • Replies: @Rosie
    , @International Jew
  6. Dear Whitey: Sounds like you may suffer from Acute Viral Perceptive Albinitis?

  7. I would imagine that the 52-year-old girl who wants to be crew-cut Ralph would be treated with vast deference today.

    Of course he would, Steve. He’s who we are.

  8. Dave Pinsen says: • Website

    A couple of tweets in response to this:

    (The other image here is from Game of Thrones, Steve and others without HBO).

    • Replies: @Anon
  9. @Reg Cæsar

    Oops. Should read the entire post first, but I was already thinking “Yale, Ann…” a few lines into Whitey.

    Eventually, Ann Landers figured out that anything postmarked New Haven was likely a put-on.

    Still is.

    You have to relinquish your privilege.

    Fight the power! Free Coz!!

  10. Rosie says:
    @22pp22

    White guilt, the new anorexia.

    I tortured myself with prayer, fasting, vigils and freezing; the frost alone might have killed me…

    -Martin Luther

  11. Brian W says:

    If genuine, this is a religious impulse, just with updated vocabulary. The writer is conscious of being a sinner and wants some sort of absolution.

    • Replies: @ThreeCranes
  12. Impolitic says:

    “I think something like Yale Trollmaster (or, for short, Y.T.) would have been more imaginative.”

    These offhand, unexpected bits of genius are my favorite thing about reading iSteve.

  13. Is Godfrey Elfwick back?

    • Agree: NickG
    • Replies: @istevefan
  14. I am white and I don’t have any white guilt.

    I know that white people have done so many great things for people of color and if they don’t appreciate them, then screw them!

    See also:

  15. syonredux says:

    White supremacists and neo-Nazis are infiltrating the LARPing community and the professional sword-fighting realm to push an imagined narrative of an all-white Middle Ages utopia.

    He wasn’t kidding. Before Unite the Right, Walsh was an active participant in Dagorhir, a medieval fantasy role-playing game in which players dress as knights or orcs (one of Walsh’s preferred costumes) and bash the hell out of each other with foam swords. Nor was he alone. Since the 19th Century, white supremacists have bought into a fictionalized vision of medieval Europe, which they interpret—incorrectly, according to medieval scholars—as an all-white world. Now, with white supremacist extremism on the rise, those medievalist influences are leaking into the real world, from allegations of neo-Nazism in the LARPing community and the professional sword-fighting realm, to Renaissance Faire-loving bombers and fascist cults who encourage recruits to read Lord of the Rings.

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-alt-right-is-taking-over-renaissance-fairs

  16. Daniel H says:

    >> My family has lived in the same apartment in East Harlem for four generations.

    No.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @Forbes
  17. Anonymous[337] • Disclaimer says:
    @Gnome Sayin

    This is precisely the self-conception our universities are trying to instill in white kids

    I’ve got news for you. It starts in Elementary School. In Nursery School. And on television even before that.

    “you’re feeling the full force of what it means to be white in a white supremacist culture”

    That, alas, remains nothing more than a fevered dream of our adversaries.

  18. anonymous[909] • Disclaimer says:
    • Replies: @Anon
  19. @Daniel H

    I presume that’s a joke but I don’t know what it is exactly.

  20. anon[389] • Disclaimer says:
    @Gnome Sayin

    I’m going to go with a 3rd alternative: the columnists wrote the question themselves (or had a confederate do so).

    How many four-generations-in-the-same-apartment white families are there in all of East Harlem, anyway? And who(m?) attend minority schools K-12, but go on to an elite college….

  21. kiismerhe says:

    If you are in the bottom 90% of the population (that is with an IQ of less than 120) and keep hearing that those poor black people are oppressed by whites, those poor black people are oppressed by whites, those poor black people are oppressed by whites, then you will be favorite to believe it. You will hear once in a while that they are down because they are stoopid but that will be immediately followed by cries of racism which you were told is bad.

    There are plenty of fake memes out there similar to this, and probably the easiest way to get rid of them is by keep repeating the opposite like blacks are stupid, backs are stupid etc.

  22. …treated with vast deference today.

    Urethrink that’s funny?

    • LOL: Autochthon
  23. I would imagine that the 52-year-old girl who wants to be crew-cut Ralph would be treated with vast deference today.

    But first she would be treated with vas deferens, amirite? Ba-dum-tss.

    • Replies: @Saint Louis
  24. njguy73 says:

    This is what “Whitey” needs to assuage his guilt:

  25. @Saint Louis

    Looks like Reg beat me to it.

  26. JA says:

    How times have changed.

    Today’s Yalies would never admit to reading anything as middle-brow as Ann Landers.

  27. Dan Hayes says:
    @anon

    Anon[389]:

    At one time in East Harlem there was a sizable Italian ghetto around 116th Street with now only a very small remaining remnant. But I agree that the business about catapulting from minority schools K-12 to elite college is suspicious!

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @Umberto
  28. Alfa158 says:
    @anon

    I’m going with the 3rd alternative as well. The message is simply too pitch perfect to be some amateur kid, no matter how indoctrinated. It was most likely written by someone who thinks and talks like this full time, as a profession.
    In addition these are the thoughts of someone who grew up safe and brainwashed in a White liberal enclave. What are the odds that a kid who spent twelve years in East Harlem schools would think like this after what they would have seen and experienced?

  29. @anon

    @anon[389]

    I agree, I thought it was obvious that “Whitey” was a creation of the columnists.

    Did Pravda have advice columns? “Dear comrade, I am a fourth-generation descendant of a land-owning family. I went to school with children from the peasant and worker classes, I was an enthusiastic Young Pioneer and member of Komsomol, but in university I am once more surrounded by scions of the upper middle class. I often feel like I am just getting in the way of the Revolution. How can I best play my role in building socialism? Yours, Bourgie”

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    , @Forbes
  30. Corvinus says:

    “How Can I Cure My White Guilt? The thing about privilege is that it can be used for good. Advice by by Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond”

    Here’s how normies, aka the mushy middle responds–You do not have white guilt. That is race hustlin’ talk. Be who you want to be, and avoid getting virtue-signaled to death by the Coalition of the Fringes Right and Left, who are desperate to control the narrative.

  31. @Dan Hayes

    I think the part about my family has been in the same East Harlem (Spanish Harlem) apartment for 4 generations is a joke.

  32. Corvinus says:
    @Anonymous

    “I’ve got news for you. It starts in Elementary School. In Nursery School. And on television even before that.”

    White schoolchildren primarily do not fall for the white guilt trip because there is little reason for their non-white peers to set them up that way.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
  33. TGGP says: • Website

    Back when Slate was a more interesting publication, they had Emily Yoffe running their “Dear Prudence” advice section, and she aimed to prune out letters that seemed bogus while giving good advice from lived experience to those she thought genuine. Mallory (now “Daniel Mallory”) Ortberg runs it now with very different priorities.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  34. Tyrion 2 says:

    After witnessing an FtM individual get shamed in conversation for daring to assert that it is ok for (biological) men to identify as men, I thought that I’d never again be able to differentiate satire from earnest opinion.

    Thankfully, the satire is now plainly the more moderate in content so I can go back to enjoying the joke.

  35. Anonymous[170] • Disclaimer says:

    OT

    BBC hard at work debasing “nation”:

    https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-europe-45182043/mesut-ozil-racism-row-germany-s-minorities-speak-out-with-metwo

    ‘You can have two nationalities and one team’

    Mesut Ozil racism row: Germany’s minorities speak out with #MeTwo

    A new debate on racism has started in Germany since footballer Mesut Ozil quit his national team because of “racism and disrespect” over his Turkish roots.

    (“The 29-year-old was criticised after being photographed with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a London event in May. [...] Many German politicians questioned Ozil and Gundogan’s loyalty to German democratic values. Germany has previously criticised the Turkish leader’s crackdown on political dissent following a failed coup.”)

    Germans with immigrant backgrounds are speaking out with their discrimination stories using the hashtag #MeTwo.

    • Replies: @Pericles
  36. “Hey Whitey, hey Whitey, you have no complaint.
    You are what you are, and you ain’t what you ain’t.
    So listen up buster, and listen up good.
    Stop wishing for bad luck and knockin’ on wood.

    Signed, Dear Abby.

    John Prine in his prime.

  37. J.Ross says: • Website

    OT InfoWars went down earlier today due to an attack but it looks like it’s back up. Alex Jones himself is banned from Twitter for seven days because he talked about being censored on social media.

  38. Rod1963 says:
    @anon

    I go with the 3rd option as well.

    It just fits too damn well into the narrative to be anything than some concoction.

    Still the way to cure white guilt is easy.

    Every morning stand in the mirror and say:

    “I am awesome!!!, I’m white and I won the cosmic lottery!”

    “My people invented modern civilization and human rights and even went to the Moon, discovered DNA and split the atom”.

    “Damn it’s nice to be part of that legacy”.

    “we created a country that every 3rd world peasant and savage wants to come here and live”

    “I have every reason to hang my head up high in this world and be proud of my people”

    Print a version of this and distribute on every college campus and watch heads explode and people curling up like they’ve been kicked in the nut sack.

  39. Daniel H says:
    @Steve Sailer

    But, like Muslims, are left Americans even capable of joking, humour? Snark, ridicule? Yes. Real humour, funny? No.

    To paraphrase Ayatollah Khomeini, There are no jokes in leftism . There is no humor in anti-racism. There is no fun in cis-genderism (I hate that prefix, cis). There can be no fun and joy in whatever is against cis-whitey (again).”

    • Replies: @Daniel H
  40. J.Ross says: • Website
    @Mitchell Porter

    There was a Soviet rough equivalent to “Life” or “Look,” published in English and aimed at an international audience, and it had a pretty Penthousey letters section about how great it was to work on a farm over the summer.

    Have not checked link but it looks like a copy of Soviet Life at an academic site:
    https://www.amherst.edu/system/files/%2527Soviet%2520Union%2527%2520ToC%25201955.pdf

    • LOL: utu
  41. Let the records show, dear White people, you started this madness!

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  42. Anonymous[337] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    What part do you think isn’t a joke?

  43. Daniel H says:
    @Daniel H

    I’m confused. I didn’t know that Strayed and Almond were responding to a missive that they thought was sincere. I didn’t read the text closely. I thought they were reformulating the thoughts of an acquaintance, the response to which they could smudge into our faces. Did they get pranked? There have been so many signs, recently, that the Times has been become unhinged, really knocked off its perch. That they could be pranked, so gamely indicates that they are really losing control.

  44. anon[389] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    I see it as slipping in “I’m not a Gentrifier” bona fides– prank or not.

  45. Anon[311] • Disclaimer says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    there should be a site where everyone who feels like him can volunteer to be a POC’s butler

    LOL!

  46. Anon[311] • Disclaimer says:
    @anonymous

    Are “white allies” White people who are allies to POCs, or POCs who are allies to White people?

    • Replies: @Rosie
  47. J.Ross says: • Website
    @anon

    A while back Heartiste or somebody in the game thing remarked on a black blogger who made up a cartoon white person, nominally a half-cousin by marriage, who was always looking ridiculous and coming to him for advice. The takeaway was that this cousin did not exist but the essential game lesson (chicks dig confidence and emotional self-control) was legitimate.
    I saw a few episodes of a black sitcom, I think it might have been Steve Harvey’s, waiting at a doctor’s office a long time ago. The white kid is painfully stupid. But nobody on this show plays go. So he’s like really really dumb for real you-got-to-understand.

  48. “They’ve created an ecstatic cult of victimization and recast the pursuit of justice as an assault on their selfhood.”

    That’s what Steve Almond says about whites! Talk about projection. Obliviousness. Truly, when you push your point of view to extremes, you come out on the other side.

  49. @Boethiuss

    For some reason,this reminds me of an old George Carlin line:” Dj’ever notice there’s not many Chinese guys named Rusty?”

  50. @Brian W

    “If genuine, this is a religious impulse, just with updated vocabulary. The writer is conscious of being a sinner and wants some sort of absolution.”

    Yes.

    A while ago, while arguing with some guy under Fred’s look at Intelligent Design in Evolution he brought up Paul Tillich’s book The Courage To Be, recommending that I read it (which I had 40 years ago). Casting back, this is what I recall it as saying (roughly).

    For Tillich, anxiety is existential, that is, part and parcel to the human condition. And one of the three main types of anxiety is Anxiety of Condemnation. Now anxiety has no concrete source or object, it is a general feeling that arises out of our uniquely human consciousness of our mortality. What’s the purpose of life? What happens to me when I die? and Have I done anything so wrong that I will be condemned for eternity?

    Being just a general sense of Dread, anxiety is intolerable. For example (not Tillich’s) research has shown that soldiers facing bombardment in battle suffer acute, intolerable feelings of dread because of the completely random nature of the likelihood of being under a falling shell. Helpless to alter fate, they will invent anything to impose some measure of control over the situation. In just the same way, humans attempt to clothe anxiety in some particular garb, so that it can be addressed and dealt with. So each of the three main anxieties has an accompanying fear, which is of something specific. Anxiety of Meaninglessness/fear of doubt. Anxiety of Death/fear of pain. Anxiety of Condemnation/fear of guilt.

    Now, finally back to what you’ve said about this being some type of religious impulse cast in an updated language.

    In Tillich’s terms, the person suffering from “white guilt” is putting their existential dread into some coherent form so that he can expiate it, assuage it and massage it. And for Tillich, this is sin. This turning away from directly facing the inexorable bare truth of human existence and instead engaging in busy work, concretizing the ineffable, is, in a sense, cowardice. The Courage To Be then is to turn and face the crushing indifference of the Universe and learn to accept our condition with a sort of Stoic calm. Courage in this case then resists casting the anxiety of condemnation into the form of fear of guilt. So the whole white guilt thing is a form of bad faith.

    But he does offer up a sort of hope and redemption. He tells us that we are accepted by the very Ground of Being. The Ground of Being is not a personified God, but something deeper, more fundamental than a projection of a human face and will onto the Cosmos. That our mere existence proves that we were and are vital to the cosmos.

    But for most people this isn’t enough. They want a more personal God. “Show us your face!” they cry. They feel uncomfortable going through life without the presence of a caring Creator upon whom they project their human attributes. God, now thoroughly humanized, then demands conformance with certain rituals of absolution, purification and exorcism which concretizes the anxieties of his followers into fears which can be dealt with and this brings us right back to where we started–this whole white guilt thing as a means of giving shape to our general sense of existential anxiety and as such, a fleeing from the Courage to face life in its awesome incomprehensibility.

    They are driven by a sense of panic. Which is why these people are so relentless in their claims upon us.

    • Replies: @El Dato
    , @Rosie
  51. The letter is parody.

    White guilt is absurd to begin with. So a parody of it requires an over-the-top treatment like the letter.

    But since white guilt is the politically correct narrative, it doesn’t matter that it is parody. Remember what Orwell showed us in 1984. It isn’t that the government wants us to believe all propaganda is true.

    One important aspect of propaganda is that they can say anything, anything at all no matter how absurd and stupid, contrary to all experience and common sense, and we are to not only tolerate but even embellish and extend it to prove what a New Soviet Man you were.

  52. Anonymous[337] • Disclaimer says:
    @Nigerian Nationalist

    Another of your righteous heroes

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6060941/Mom-hosted-elaborate-25k-prom-send-accused-fraud.html

    The only African I feel sorry for is the panther. There oughta be a law.

    • Replies: @ThreeCranes
  53. Llcoolj says:

    Cheryl has had a popular advice blog for years. I suspect she always writes the letters

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  54. Anonymous[393] • Disclaimer says:

    At the (still) much fabled Great Exhibition of 1851 held in Hyde Park, London, Queen Victoria complained to the then Prime Minister, the Duke of Wellington about the numerous songbirds trapped within the hastily constructed ‘Crystal Palace’.

    ‘Try Sparrowhawks Ma’am’ was his terse reply.

    ‘Try Shinola shoe polish ma’am’ is the deserved reply to this particular bullshit.

  55. @Llcoolj

    I looked for anything that acknowledges whether she and her partner are making up the letters. I don’t have anything against that, but I didn’t see anything in the NYT that admits to that. The NYT is pretty stodgy about injecting overt postmodernism into their columns.

    I found one piece by the public radio station that co-produces this product with the NYT and it specifically says the letters are from readers.

    • Replies: @Daniel H
  56. Anonymous[142] • Disclaimer says:

    We do live in a culture steeped in white supremacy and class bigotry, as well as patriarchal values. But the solution to this injustice isn’t to wallow in self-hatred. Instead, heed the words of the writer bell hooks. “Privilege is not in and of itself bad; what matters is what we do with privilege,”

    > Drops into a sub-saharan country as paratrooper wearing fascist camo on a “protect, serve, clean-up” mission.

  57. @Steve Sailer

    My family has lived in the same apartment in East Harlem for four generations.

    Rent control ad absurdum joke

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  58. SnakeEyes says:

    The letter seems to be an obvious but well crafted parody. These kinds of prank letters went out of style some time ago. The Henry Root letters were probably the peak moment. He would write letters to the likes of General Zia of Pakistan asking for advice on making his son more of a man or other such stuff. The letters were generally. ridiculous but he received a surprising number of serious, considered responses. This was pre email. Anyway, these spoof letters could make a come back because these PC types are so earnest and lacking in self-awareness.

  59. @SnakeEyes

    I’ve got one of the Letters From a Nut books by Jerry Seinfeld’s friend Ted L. Nancy. It’s pretty good.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  60. @JudyBlumeSussman

    Perhaps.

    Also maybe there has been so much ethnic succession in Spanish Harlem that no single family has been there for 4 generations.

  61. @TGGP

    One of the reasons I stopped reading Slate was the deterioration of the Dear Prudence column. I wondered how a fat lesbian had the life experience to write a general advice column and it turns out she couldn’t. Of course now she is a he, making him even MORE out of the mainstream.

    FunFact: the original Prudence was Margo Howard, the daughter of Ann Landers and the ex-wife of Ken Howard. Now there is someone with life experience.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    , @Fred Boynton
  62. @Steve Sailer

    As I have previously mentioned, Ted L. Nancy is really Barry Marder. Marder was interviewed by Jerry Seinfeld for his new TV show currently airing on Netflix. They are best friends.

  63. Hail says: • Website
    @Gnome Sayin

    I don’t even think it’s a troll letter.

    Much of it seems authentic, but who would write “I’m always taking up space that should belong to someone else” in good faith?

    That sentence seems to me to be a long-form version of the term Ethnomasochism. If Steve is right that the letter is a troll, the writer may even be aware of the term/concept of ethnomasochism, and be consciously or semi-consciously channeling it in the letter and that lone in particular. On the other hand, if you actually are a full-on ethnomasochist, you may believe the words I bolded above, but would simply not write them. It’s too clownish to put to words.

  64. Hail says: • Website

    I’m currently immersed in the whitest environment I’ve ever been in…an elite private college that is 75 percent white

    75% White is, of course, not all that White.

    Not by historical standards in the USA, and not in the fantasy world created by anti-White activists of a vast White conspiracy-repression machine manned by all-White elites.

    That the writer would specify the figure “75% White” points, IMO, to it being a troll. If even the supposed bastion of elitist White supremacy is only 75% White, they’re not doing too good a job at it, are they?

  65. There’s a reason those of us who lived up or down the road referred to it as Drug Haven.

    • Replies: @Anon
  66. Daniel H says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Absolutely. The times does not do parody. The Times does not do satire (OK, maybe way back in the 1920s, during the era of jazz, flappers, and swells, but not since.) The Times is exceeeeedingly earnest, has been throughout our lifetimes. They got pranked. Even I was half pranked, because I never would have thought that the Times could let this by their editorial gatekeepers. Oh, Tom Wolfe could have so much fun with this erratic crashing of the Times.

    Carlos Slim is not willing to spend the money necessary to save the Times from itself. It is doomed.

  67. Cortes says:

    Cheryl Strayed reminds me of a song on the pre-King Crimson album by Giles, Giles and Fripp which includes the lyrics

    “Judy, the vicar’s daughter, is going to have a baby, maybe,
    If it’s true what people say, she’s gone astray,
    And fallen by the wayside.”

    Memory is a curse.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giles,_Giles_and_Fripp

  68. @Gnome Sayin

    I agree, it is standard group think, the kind that our “illustrious” universities invest enormous amounts of resources to enforce.

    Example from https://www.amren.com/news/2018/06/the-diversity-staff-at-the-university-of-michigan-is-nearly-100-full-time-employees/

    “The University of Michigan currently employs a diversity staff of nearly 100 (93) full-time diversity administrators, officers, directors, vice-provosts, deans, consultants, specialists, investigators, managers, executive assistants, administrative assistants, analysts, and coordinators.
    More than one-quarter (26) of these “diversicrats” earn annual salaries of more than $100,000, and the total payroll for this small army is $8.4 million. When you add to cash salaries an estimated 32.45% for UM’s very generous fringe benefit package for the average employee in this group (retirement, health care, dental insurance, life insurance, long-term disability, paid leave, paid vacation, social security, unemployment insurance, Medicare, etc.) the total employee compensation for this group tops $11 million per year. And of course that doesn’t count the cost of office space, telephones, computers and printers, printing, postage, programs, training, or travel expenses.”

  69. “I’m riddled with shame. White shame. This isn’t helpful to me or to anyone, especially people of color. I feel like there is no “me” outside of my white/upper middle class/cisgender identity. I feel like my literal existence hurts people, like I’m always taking up space that should belong to someone else”

    Come on…..this is fake, right? There is no way this can not be parody or not written by “the onion” I simply refuse to believe anyone can be this foolish and can’t even finish reading the rest.

    • Replies: @Prester John
  70. Hodag says:

    If I may be so bold as to point out a recurring theme of our host is pointing out interesting things that no one talks about.

    Ann Landers was featured in our families newspaper. I thought Dear Abby was a pale imitation, very down-market.

    So imagine my surprise when I found out (probably in my young adulthood) that Ann Landers and Dear Abby were not only sisters but identical twins! And that they had been engaged in a bloodfued since the 1950s because Dear Abby started an advice column a year after her twin. I further believe they were the highest paid newspapermen in the country for decades.

    This would make an interesting period movie – and lo and behold http://collider.com/natalie-portman-ann-landers-dear-abby-movie/

    A few years back they blew the Bobby Riggs/Billie Jean King movie. Made it into a triumph of feminism when the interesting part was how the whole thing was worked by Riggs to get himself out of gambling debt.

    • Replies: @Forbes
  71. Pericles says:
    @Anonymous

    “In fact, we are not mere Nationalists but Dual Nationalists.”

  72. @Anonymous

    “I’ve got news for you. It starts in Elementary School. In Nursery School. And on television even before that.“

    Speaking personally, being multiracial has more drawbacks than benefits. But there’s definitely a benefit here. My grade-school aged son is technically 25% POC, which is more than enough to inoculate him against the White Guilt virus which is spread in schools.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  73. @ScarletNumber

    Ben Stein said that his father Herb Stein wrote Dear Prudence for a while.

  74. @Anonymous

    Great link.

    One thing for sure, there’s one woman’s son who won’t grow up with a sense of grandiose entitlement.

    a year from now after fleeing on foot for being pulled over while driving a stolen Ferrari…..

    “My baby, my baby! He was a goot boy. He wasn’t into drugs. He say he want to be an astronaut when he grow up.”

  75. This proves one of two things (possibly both): 1.) Mike Savage is right about liberalism being a mental disorder or 2.) Cheryl and Steve are simply as dumb as fence posts.

  76. @interesting

    But the fun part about it was that those two douchebags actually took it seriously.

  77. @Boethiuss

    Yeah, the whole thing is pretty parasitical on traditional Christian piety so appeals to those who are looking to lose the Christian but keep the spiritual ecstasy, such as it is.

    Of course nowadays one need not even lose the Christian, but that is a selling point for many SJW true believers.

  78. How can you tell when a culture has run its course?

    Yesterdays parody is today’s reality.

    Adieu liberalism. You won’t be missed.

    • Agree: Cagey Beast, Forbes
  79. Old fogey says:

    This comment is mainly “off topic” but not completely, I think.

    We oldsters are all receiving new Medicare cards because the previous cards used our social security numbers as identifiers – a clear financial security risk.

    The good folks in DC took this opportunity to make two additional changes to the cards: first, they have completely eliminated the designation for the sex of the person covered under Medicare, and secondly, they have translated everything into Spanish. More signs of the times for you to “notice,” Steve.

    • Replies: @El Dato
    , @Forbes
  80. “And of course that doesn’t count the cost of office space, telephones, computers and printers, printing, postage, programs, training, or travel expenses.”

    To that I might add legal expenses, many of which are likely to related to UM’s prospective or actual participation as either defendants or plaintiffs in lawsuits.

    And who knows what alumni donations have been lost on account of all of this.

  81. “Every school I attended, elementary through high school, was minority white, but I’m now attending an elite private college that is 75 percent white.”

    That’s where you know that this is 1000% bullshit. Doesn’t exist.

  82. It’s getting harder and harder to distinguish reality from prank in this country. In Vermont, this https://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/news/politics/2018/08/14/vermont-primary-christine-hallquist-wins-democratic-primary-phil-scott-republican/991259002/ won over this https://apnews.com/24813c30397747a99ee2da3d8a19c026/14-year-old-boy-uses-legal-quirk-to-run-for-Vermont-governor in the dimocrat primary. One can only pray that common sense will decide the general election for governor in November. The center stopped holding (http://www.potw.org/archive/potw351.html) quite a few years back

  83. Who can forget the zany stylings of benny bellhooks?

  84. @22pp22

    Very perceptive. They keep dieting/self-abasing but they still feel fat/wicked.

  85. @Desiderius

    Yeah, the whole thing is pretty parasitical on traditional Christian piety so appeals to those who are looking to lose the Christian but keep the spiritual ecstasy, such as it is.

    Of course nowadays one need not even lose the Christian, but that is a selling point for many SJW true believers.

    It reads like an exchange of missives between Medieval Monastics encouraging scrupulosity and mortification.

  86. keypusher says:

    Now that you’re living in a community that, at 75 percent white, roughly mirrors that of the American population,

    Could the authors be that ignorant?

  87. OT.

    Antisemitism lives! In the belly of the White Beast, St Bernard’s School on the Upper East Side!

    https://pagesix.com/2018/08/13/school-defends-actions-after-jill-kargmans-anti-semitism-claims/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Bernard%27s_School

    Paging Matthew Weiner!

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Forbes
  88. GSR says:

    The War on Caucasians continues to grow ……

  89. @Alfa158

    “What are the odds that a kid who spent twelve years in East Harlem schools would think like this after what they would have seen and experienced?”

    I am a white man who attended an inner city negro high school and can tell you that the odds are about 1,000,000 to 1.

    • Replies: @Marty
  90. The PiltdownGirls dragged me off to see the new prequel to Mamma Mia, the ABBA musical movie.

    Except for a few waiters in a scene in a Parisian restaurant, it was unapologetically white.

    Unusual in a movie these days.

  91. @PiltdownMan

    The PiltdownGirls dragged me off to see the new prequel to Mamma Mia, the ABBA musical movie.

    Except for a few waiters in a scene in a Parisian restaurant, it was unapologetically white.

    A child with three possible biological fathers is the most white thing these days.

  92. @Steve Sailer

    I’ve always understood “East Harlem” as a funny/trollish way of saying “Upper East Side”.

  93. Rosie says:
    @Anon

    Are “white allies” White people who are allies to POCs, or POCs who are allies to White people?

    The former. White people have”allies of color.”

  94. Forbes says:
    @Daniel H

    My family has lived in the same apartment in East Harlem for four generations.

    And she described herself as upper middle class. Please!

    That’s just pathetic. Master-level trolling the NYT. LOL.

    One of the fascinations about writers at the NYT is that so few of them are from New York (city or state), and most of them know next to nothing about the city, aside from West 43rd St. to West 79th St.

    East Harlem–four generations worth–is Spanish Harlem (east of Central Park, 96th to 125th St.), and predominately Puerto Rican. (Dominicans are in Washington Heights) Though, this (assuredly) female college student would’ve lived through tremendous gentrification and redevelopment of Spanish Harlem. (Which possibly explains her using the realtors now-term “East Harlem,” as contrasted with Central Harlem which is black.) Buildings boarded up along Second and Third Avenues for two decades have been redeveloped in the post-Giuliani, reduced crime era since the turn of the century.

  95. Rosie says:
    @ThreeCranes

    You were on the right track until you got here:

    But for most people this isn’t enough. They want a more personal God. “Show us your face!” they cry. They feel uncomfortable going through life without the presence of a caring Creator upon whom they project their human attributes. God, now thoroughly humanized, then demands conformance with certain rituals of absolution, purification and exorcism which concretizes the anxieties of his followers into fears which can be dealt with and this brings us right back to where we started–this whole white guilt thing as a means of giving shape to our general sense of existential anxiety and as such, a fleeing from the Courage to face life in its awesome incomprehensibility.

    There’s no reason at all why a personal God would necessarily “demand conformance with certain rituals of absolution, purification, and exorcism…”

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  96. Anonymous[142] • Disclaimer says:
    @candid_observer

    OT:

    Old Marxist Corbyn once did a handsign on a Facebook post, someone orders the british press to tell the goyim: Corbyn attacked for Islamist hand-sign, claims it was in solidarity with Cairo massacre victims

  97. Forbes says:
    @anon

    In fairness, there’s only 16% white students in NYC public schools, while only 2 (?) of the test admission HS are majority white. If she went to Stuyvesant, she’s be white minority. I think Bronx Science and Brooklyn Tech are the same.

  98. Anonymous[142] • Disclaimer says:
    @Rosie

    But of course. The personal God is a side-effect of the drive to control inner fears, so it exists exactly to demand “rituals of absolution, purification and exorcism”.

    No inner fears? No personal God needed.

    “Rituals will keep the system in line”

    • Replies: @Rosie
  99. @Corvinus

    The Apple polishers do, and those are the ones the system eventually christens as Elite (sic).

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  100. @SnakeEyes

    Anyway, these spoof letters could make a come back because these PC types are so earnest and lacking in self-awareness.

    There’s something about lefties in that they can’t sincerely understand the views of their adversaries, and because they can’t do so (and can’t convincingly present the non-left case for anything) I think they lack the capacity to understand that someone who is clever but who doesn’t hold their views can nevertheless ape them convincingly. There’s also an advantage for the prankster in that the SJW factions are so heavy into neologisms and jargon that no one really understands, so dropping the popular buzzwords is a bit of useful camouflage to jam the perceptions of the prank’s target such that they can’t understand subtle satirizing.

    When it’s done right it’s a bit like tying an exquisite fly – it has to be convincing enough to fool the fish while sufficiently artistically executed to earn the esteem of the fisherman.

  101. @ScarletNumber

    You make a perhaps unintentionally good point about who is seen as worthy of an advice column. Dear Abby and Ann Landers were Jewish sisters with long-time “competing” syndicated advice columns back when everyone read newspapers. To say they were Jew propaganda to undermine the American family would be a gross understatement. Promoting divorce, adultery, abortion, homosexuality and feminism were the purposes of their advice column and women with more time and money than good sense were their easy targets. Now you’re saying that one of their daughters had an advice column at slate? So we have the celebrity offspring who’s also a celebrity ex-wife getting an advice column? Holy (so to speak) ethnic nepotism! What incredibly useful advice a Jewish celebrity offspring who is the ex-wife of another celebrity must have for the rest of us. Read closely Goy, this advice is what’s best for you.

    • LOL: AndrewR
    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  102. Russ says:
    @CCZ

    Coming soon to campus bulletin boards near me. Courtesy of me.

  103. eah says:

    Meanwhile…

    • Replies: @eah
  104. Cheryl Strayed

    Very appropriately named, given her past.

    • Replies: @Yale Must Fall
  105. Old fogey says:
    @El Dato

    Hard to believe no one better could be found in Vermont. Guess no one with any sense is willing to run for political office at any level in any state nowadays.

  106. ATBOTL says:

    ” My family has lived in the same apartment in East Harlem for four generations. ”

    This part is highly suspicious. There was a small Italian enclave along Pleasant Ave. at the eastern edge of Harlem that held until relatively recently. I’m not sure if any of them still live there.

  107. Corvinus says:
    @Desiderius

    “The Apple polishers do, and those are the ones the system eventually christens as Elite.”

    That’s not how it actually works.

  108. Forbes says:
    @Mitchell Porter

    Kudos Mr. Porter. Well done!

  109. @Random Smartaleck

    Cheryl Strayed

    It’s a pen name, née Nyland.

    • Replies: @Random Smartaleck
  110. Mr. Blank says:
    @Boethiuss

    While it does have the feel of a parody — it’s just a little bit too on the nose — there are real white people who talk and think this way, unfortunately. I deal with them on a daily basis.

    • Replies: @Marat
  111. Anonymous[337] • Disclaimer says:
    @Hapalong Cassidy

    Yep. Blue-eyed, red-headed kids with hispanic surnames also get all the bennies in Calif, including admission to (much) better schools. This is how the game will be played: either you are ‘visibly’ POC or you’d better change your surname. The fun thing is they’re not really permitted to ask any questions, unless your parents give you up like Rachael Dolezal’s did.

  112. Anonymous[228] • Disclaimer says:

    Everything old is new again, tragedy/farce-wise– or just neverending in the case of the 1890s Harvard Man debate on jock-vs-nerd supremacy, now refashioned via Civilrights liturgy into some kind of “Introvert Lib” op:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-perspec-shy-asian-americans-college-admissions-discrimination-0815-story.html

  113. Forbes says:
    @Hodag

    I always took Ann/Dear Abby as comedy–well, mildly amusing entertainment. My grandmother (b. 1898) told me their story–twins, etc., and so as a curious 8-year old, I’d now found some diversion worth reading in the newspaper, aside from dreary columnists like Drew Pearson, who later launched Jack Anderson. Muckraking columnists struck me as mostly fictional–now they appear as front page news stories in the NYT and WaPo.

    The Ann/Abby columns seemed a mix of corny, sugary advice a grandmother might give to a young (female) adult (Is he right for me?), or straight up common sense to a wayward youth. Even then I was amused by the cluelessness of their inquiring correspondents.

  114. Forbes says:
    @Old fogey

    In NYC, Comcast has acquired Time Warner Cable under the trade name Spectrum. All emails from Spectrum are in Spanish. Here’s today’s missive: “Disfruta de unas vacaciones en casa con estos exitosos programas y películas disponibles en cualquier momento.”

    Beats me…

    • Replies: @Old fogey
  115. Umberto says:
    @Dan Hayes

    Must be either Vito Marcantonio’s or Burt Lancaster’s great grandson. I’m going with Burt. Because Hajnal.

  116. Forbes says:
    @candid_observer

    People are shocked 10-year olds don’t act like discrete, discerning, and polite adults!

    Or, perhaps it’s the fact that 10-year olds act like the adults around them–who currently act like children…

  117. Forbes says:
    @El Dato

    So Christine is like Caitlyn? A guy pretending to be a woman?

  118. Marat says:

    Ann Landers’s advice was always the same: get therapy.

  119. Marat says:
    @Mr. Blank

    Ditto. It’s tragic in the young, tedious in people ones own age group, but downright bizarre when the elderly start parroting bits of tripe they pick up from CNN and the NYT.

  120. What’s with the stupid picture used with the article. Most white people are not blushing pitiful looking redheads.

  121. Rosie says:
    @Anonymous

    No inner fears? No personal God needed.

    Only if you have no sense of romance

  122. @Yale Must Fall

    It’s a pen name, née Nyland.

    No, it looks like it’s actually her legal name, adopted in a legal name change as an adult.

    I didn’t (and won’t) investigate far enough to discover the reason for it, though I suspect it’s not a flattering one.

  123. “How Can I Cure My White Guilt?”

    Simple:

    Move to a white place and live amongst white people–i.e. live the normal way people were meant to live.

  124. rob says:
    @Jenner Ickham Errican

    What happened to Slate’s comments? Another one bites the dust.

  125. BB753 says:

    Dear Whitey:
    first of all stop donating to violent organizations like Black Lives Matter.
    If you really believe Blacks are oppressed in this country, then you’re probably not one of the oppressors.
    Ask yourself: does appeasement work? Do you feel safer around Blacks in black neighborhoods than around Whites in white ‘hoods?
    Do you date Blacks? Are you a girl or a boy, because you sound like a girl.
    What is it exactly you’re guilty of? Have you ever owned Black slaves or partaken in the slave trade?
    Please explain, Whitey.

  126. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @The Alarmist

    You’ll be glad to know the New Haven Health Department just declared drug over doses New Haven’s number one public health problem.

  127. Marty says:
    @Mis(ter)Anthrope

    I’ve told this story before, but at age 36 I met a friendly black guy my age who’d gone to a rival school, heavily black, in my city. He said to me, “you’re lucky you didn’t go to [my school], man. You wudna lasted a week.”

  128. Old fogey says:
    @Forbes

    How sickening to hear that the company that used to be called Comcast in my beautiful city is now monolingual in Spanish. God help you.

    Drives me crazy to walk into a Home Depot and see all the signs in Spanish as well as English. In my local high school here in Westchester County there are more students who speak Spanish at home than those who speak English. It seems as if no one is even trying anymore.

  129. @Marty

    It was a lot like prison. If you are not willing to fight, you are toast. If try to buddy up to them, you are toast. You have to show you are willing to fight. It is better to lose a fight than to back down.

    The last thing a negro wants is a fair fight. They attack when they see weakness or have a significant size or numerical advantage. The white guys in my school were mostly tough blue collar kids or military kids.

    I was a military kid and a white kid who lived down the street from me on base loved to fight. I saw him beat the crap out of several negroes. He wasn’t very big, but damn he was tough.

  130. @Marty

    I was in a rental-car transfer bus in the town where I went to school, and the chatty black bus driver asked where I went to school, and practically turned white when I named the inner-city school where I was a minority back in the mid -1970s. I told him I survived by telling my fellow “students” that my coarse-curly hair was evidence that I was 1/16th black.

    Lizzy Warren has nothing on me.

  131. @Fred Boynton

    At the risk of giving you an aneurysm, the current Dear Abby is the daughter of the original. The daughter is now 76 herself. Her grandson is running for Congress as a DFL in in MN3, a district that Hillary won 2 years ago.

  132. Drives me crazy to walk into a Home Depot and see all the signs in Spanish as well as English.

    At 7am on a weekday, I’m about the only white guy in my HD. Nothing but Spanish speakers getting ready to work on the yuppies’ houses, because God forbid they would have to hire a Deplorable.

  133. Dan Hayes says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Steve,

    Since Italians have a well-deserved reputation for being the very last to succumb to racial displacement, it is within the realm of possibility that 4 generations could reside in an East Harlem apartment.

  134. MBlanc46 says:
    @Alfa158

    Pitch perfect, that’s the expression. This person has the mindset and the means of expressing it down to a tee.

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