New York Times 'White Guilt' Advice Column Must Be Seen to Be Believed

A satirical website has written an hilarious parody about a Social Justice Warrior advice column for liberals suffering from white guilt. 

Just kidding! There is no such parody. Why? Because there is no need to be due to the fact that the real life New York Times "Sweet Spot" advice column provided more comedy than any parody of it could ever yield.

In fact if you read the August 14 "How Can I Cure My White Guilt?" advice column without knowing it was not a parody, you would probably think it was. What provides the humor is not only the guilt provided by "Whitey" who is overly obsessed with "white privilege" but also the SJW earnestness of those dispensing advice to him chock full of liberal platitudes.

Just so you won't think your humble correspondent is only highlighting select quotes for the humor, I provide in full "Whitey's" desperate plea for white guilt advice:

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

Um, I have to break it to you, Whitey, but nothing says liberal white privilege more than seeking advice from an SJW column to help overcome your navel-gazing obsession about your perceived guilt.

Additional humor is provided by the SJW dispensers of advice to Whitey. One is Steve Almond whose liberal credentials are fully verified by the fact that he resigned an adjunct professorship at Boston College because that school picked Condoleeza Rice as a commencement speaker as well as asking "Is It Immoral to Watch the Super Bowl?" The other advice dispenser is Cheryl Strayed who described her 2016 election meltdown when after the snowflake was confined to bed due to the shock she walked around in a manic zombie/teary/rager dream state.

First up with advice for the desperate Whitey is Steve Almond who seems completely unaware of the hilariousness of his earnest advice from deep within the liberal bubble:

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.

Next up to dispense advice is Cheryl Strayed whom we are happy to see is able to perform SJW functions again following her 2016 election meltdown:

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.

Cheryl Strayed concludes with an SJW primal scream:

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.

Exit question: Should future "Sweet Spot" advice columns in the Times be labeled "Not A Parody" even though they come off that way?


Please support NewsBusters today! (a 501c3 non-profit production of the Media Research Center)

DONATE
New York Times Journalistic Issues Steve Almond Cheryl Strayed