Less Law in a Lawyer's Blog
High Five to Norm Pattis

Frank Ricci and Me and My White Privilege

Frank Ricci was a firefighter with dyslexia.  He wanted a promotion. He was willing to work for it.  He worked several hours a day to prepare for a promotional exam.  Since his reading wasn't very good, he hired someone to read firefighter's manuals onto audiotapes.  He passed the exam.  He should have gotten a promotion.  He did not.

Because he was white.  That's it

The United States Supreme Court is going to decide whether it should be lawful to discriminate against people like Frank Ricci.  Let me give some facts to highlight why the discrimination should not be tolerated.

Decades ago my dad worked a factory job making trailers.  He was fat.  He wanted to do something better with his life.  He applied for a job with the state police.  White Privilege

He had several months to prepare for the test.  The test included a 1.5 mile run, push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups.  It also included a written exam.

My dad got his fat ass into shape.  He lost 40 pounds.  He worked out every day after leaving his factory job.  He studied for the written exam using materials from the public library.  He got the job.

Wrong.  But he should have.

My dad was passed over from the job.  A friend within the force told him that a lower-qualified black applicant got the job.  Here is what happened:

A black applicant for the state police was automatically given a 5 point boost in his score.  Simply for being black.  The lower-scoring blacks got the job over my dad.  This is far from a conspiracy theory.

Years later my dad received a letter from the state police.  He was told that he did not get a job due to unlawful employment discrimination.  As part of the class action settlement, the state police was required to allow him to reapply.  

My dad worked hard to get that job.  That wasn't enough.  Some elites decided that a police force should have more blacks on it - even if those blacks weren't willing to study as hard as my dad did.

Someone decided that my family should have lived a shitty life.  I suppose that some black family lived a better life because of the social engineering.  Only one person can get the job.  But why should a black family have lived that better life?

Because of what some other white guys did?  Or because I have white privilege.  Yes, white privilege is the answer every social theorist moron gives.  Let me tell you about my white privilege.

Six of us lived in a 3-bedroom, 1-bath home.  Our carpets had holes.  I didn't want friends to come over because my house was so trashy. 

As a kid, I got a whole two pairs of jeans for an entire school year.  Rustler - 16 husky.

Every car we had might or might not start.  We never took a trip farther that an hour away.  You just couldn't depend on our family car to make it that far.  That our car would break down was taken for granted.  To this day, I cringe when I turn the ignition.  "Will my car start?"

We bought groceries once a week.  All food was allotted for some meal.  I couldn't just come home and grab a snack.  That food was already eating in the future.  I thought people who has Fruit Roll-ups were rich.

If I dropped a jar of peanut butter, it was a huge deal.  The glass jar would break.  There would be a large slice of glass inside the peanut butter.  Smaller fragments of glass would stick to it like glitter.  It had to be thrown out.  There went our peanut butter for the week.  I was clumsy.

Want to know a childhood highlight?  It was the day peanut butter came in plastic jars.  To this day I remember that feeling of relief:  "I can't break the peanut butter now."

I remember when we got new pillows.  We kids all walked out from Wal-Mart hugging the pillows.  That was a big deal to us.

When we weren't on welfare, my dad made $10,000 (I saw his pay stubs) a year.  In the photo you can see the kinds of working conditions that pay 10 G's.

Financially, things picked up in high school, I was still culturally ignorant. When I learned that someone in my graduating high school class got accepted into the University of Chicago, I was supposed to be impressed.  "Um, Chicago is a big city," I suppose, "Congrats!" 

Although I had a high IQ, I never planned on going to college.  When you grow up low-prole, you think of joining the Army; or becoming a police officer; or a firefighter.  I didn't even take "college prep" courses.  Who in my social class goes to college?

So fuck you and you Harvard-attending ass lecturing me about white privilege.  No, really: Fuck. You.  You make my life much more difficult than it should have been.  You punished me for no reason.  So, again: Fuck. You.

As for my white privilege, you can have it.

Let's travel back in time.  You get my whiteness in all of its alabaster glory.  I can't even tan, so that privilege must be worth double! 

You also get the holes in the carpet.  And the rusted-out car that was so loud and looked so shitty that I didn't want to be dropped off in front of school.  And the peanut butter and shattered glass. 

I'll take whatever family you had that could afford $30,000 a year in tuition to Harvard, or Princeton, or Yale, or whatever college you went to.  I'll take the prep schools, and lack of shame over being poor.  Deal?  That's what I thought, posers.

Social theorists  morons don't know shit about how 25% of white people in this country live.  If you went to Harvard on anything but a need-based scholarship, shut up and listen. 

We poor whites didn't do shit to oppress blacks.  And we didn't get any benefits from the oppression. We lived lives as shitty as poor blacks do.  So let us have an equal chance at a better life.

If you really care so much about blacks, donate 25% of your six-figure salaries to the NAACP Scholarship Fund.  But of course you won't do that.  Because then you wouldn't be a pathetic poser.