Smith college president Kathleen McCartney has learned an important lesson. It's not enough to just be down for the struggle. You must also grovel, as the price for your white privilege.
Smith College has long been known as an outpost of progressive Left wing ideology, and there's no doubt that President McCartney embodies this, holding the position she does. But apparently she made a major error in communicating the dialectic, if you take my meaning.
She sent an e-mail to her entire student body intending to express solidarity with the #Ferguson and Eric Garner protestors. Not that she was exactly going to go and trash business and loot or anything, but she wanted them to know she felt their pain, so to speak. And as she expressed it, “We are united in our insistence that all lives matter,” as she made clear she was strongly behind the
She was literally bombarded by outraged cries of ra-a-aacism from the intended recipients for apparently changing the slogan 'Black Lives Matter' to 'all lives matter.'
She was accused of asserting her white privilege for inferring that whites were entitled to share in the sacred rites of black victimology. How dare she!
The Daily Hampshire Gazette, which first covered the story, quoted one Smith sophomore, Cecelia Lim, as saying, “it felt like she was invalidating the experience of black lives.”
Now, Cecilia is Chinese, but she's obviously has a more direct knowledge of black lives, right? Or at least a better grasp of her place in the universe of victimology. 'Shared rage?' Nah, we own that, whitey. Although we do accept cash, checks and credit cards.
Now, for some educators, this could have been a teachable moment. President McCartney could have risen to the occasion. She could have explained to these self-involved twits that all lives do matter, that no group has a monopoly on morality and to assume so is just another pernicious form of racism. She could have told them that justice and the struggle for justice belong to everyone or it belongs to no one.
But of course, President McCartney didn't do that. She tearfully apologized for her racism and white privilege with all the zeal of an accused bourgeoisie undergoing a 'self-criticism' trial/beat down by Mao's Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution. She claimed she had no idea, no idea at all that the phrase 'all lives matter' would be seen as a co-opting of 'black lives matter' and a dead giveaway of her unconscious racism.And of course she said that she was 'committed to working as a white ally, to learning from the lived experiences of people of color, and to acknowledging mistakes.'
It appears her students aren't the only ones whom need educating. Pity about that.