On Monday, a 2016 Huffington Post article titled “North Korea Proves Your White Male Privilege Is Not Universal” was updated following the death of its subject, Otto Warmbier. Although some bold wording is no longer seen in the article, the article has kept all of the controversial parts that led many to blast its insensitivity when it was first published.
The current version of the article, which as of now is still up on Huffpost, has writer La Sha beginning with saying how shocked she was by the sentencing, but quickly turning to victim blaming. She questioned his actions, saying:
"That kind of reckless gall is an unfortunate side effect of being socialized first as a white boy, and then as a white man in this country. Every economic, academic, legal and social system in this country has for more than three centuries functioned with the implicit purpose of ensuring that white men are the primary benefactors of all privilege. The kind of arrogance bred by that kind of conditioning is pathogenic, causing its host to develop a subconscious yet no less obnoxious perception that the rules do not apply to him, or at least that their application is negotiable."
She later goes on to compare Warmbier to the Aurora and Charleston shooters, writing:
"When you can watch a white man who entered a theater and killed a dozen people come out unscathed, you start to believe you’re invincible. When you see a white man taken to Burger King in a bulletproof vest after he killed nine people in a church, you learn that the world will always protect you."
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In her final paragraph, she goes as far as to compare the U.S. justice system with that of Communist North Korea, stating:
"I’m a black woman though. The hopeless fear Warmbier is now experiencing is my daily reality living in a country where white men like him are willfully oblivious to my suffering even as they are complicit in maintaining the power structures which ensure their supremacy at my expense. He is now an outsider at the mercy of a government unfazed by his cries for help. I get it."
The writer La Sha claims she uses her writing to “deconstruct oppressive ideologies and systems”, but she seems to be perfectly okay with constructing hurtful and offensive attitudes.