Culture Wars/Current Controversies

The Mistake of Being Born White

I’d argue this case is more a matter of class privilege than race privilege. There are cases of rich white kids getting away with rape or killing multiple people in a DUI, while there was a case of a black kid being left at Rikers’ Island for three years without trial after being accused of stealing a backpack.

By Pedro Gonzalez, Intellectual Takeout

After a fight at Timberview High School, 18-year-old Timothy George Simpkins, who is black, shot another student four times, an English teacher once, just missing his aorta, and left one more student with a bullet graze. A pregnant teacher was also hurt in a fall.

The student shot in the arm, leg, chest, and stomach is currently in an induced coma, the English teacher who nearly died is recovering, and the expectant mother is reportedly alright. Don’t worry about Simpkins, though. He posted bail the day after the incident and strolled home in time for a surprise party that was broadcast over social media. His family even set up a GoFundMe account to raise $25,000 for his “trauma.” Simpkins’ mother claimed he had been the victim of bullying, implying his actions could somehow be considered self-defense, a narrative police have recently countered. “I am just saying that there is so much more to the story and all of the details should be known,” she wrote on the page before it was taken offline.

You can tell who is privileged in a society based on how they are treated—praised, blamed, excused, or condemned—not only by the institutions of law and order, but by the culture as well. In the United States, whites are supposedly perched atop the edifice of entitlement, sheltered by white privilege and white supremacy. But Simpkins’ case shows that’s not really true.

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