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Did Your Mom Put Coffee-Mate in Your Baby Bottle? No? Then You Are Privileged August 26, 2009

Posted by FCM in health, liberal dickwads, pop culture, race.
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people love to talk about how great they are, even so-called liberal progressives do it.

how hard they work, and how they did it all “on their own,” whether it’s putting themselves through school, or starting their own business. so many people have “made it” from ostensibly “nothing”, that one wonders why there aren’t both more poor people, and more rich people? if its so easy to go from poor to rich, and if so many people “doing well” today were ever really as poor as they say they were. but lets pretend that the numbers work out.

i know this kind of talk always happens, and that it’s the “American Dream” to pull oneself up by their own bootstraps (i saw someone do that once in cirque du soliel. it was magical!)* but perhaps its the current economy that seems to be magnifying the repulsiveness of it all: either its making people gloat even more, or its just making the whole thing seem just that much more disgusting, when nearly 10% of the working public is “officially” unemployed. either way, i have had enough.

if you have gotten anywhere in this life, and managed somehow to keep it in the face of this economic disaster, then you are one of the “lucky” ones. there are so few people that actually make it “on their own” that statistically speaking, you should just assume that you aren’t one of them. and get over yourself, while you are at it.

are you white? are you male? thats a good start, right there. have you been consistently healthy? did the adults in your life take care of you to any degree, rather than your having to take care of them? if so, you are lucky. that had nothing to do with you, and how great you are. you should go home and thank your parents.  now.

were you born with fetal alcohol syndrome? were you a crack baby? was your mother so uneducated about nutrition, or so completely without the resources, that she didn’t eat well while she was pregnant with you, and then fed you coffee-mate and water in your baby bottle, and called it “milk?” no? then you are fortunate. you came into this world with a wonderful advantage, and this had nothing to do with you. did you even know that some people begin their physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development with nothing in their stomachs but non-dairy creamer and water? they do. you should go home and thank your mother, if she fed you actual food. and count yourself lucky, because you are.

if you “put yourself through” college while working full time, then you went to school at a time when tuitions were low, and wages were relatively high, by definition. if it were otherwise, your little plan wouldn’t have worked. if you “put yourself through” school working 2-3 or more part-time jobs, you were lucky. there are no part-time jobs out there now, let alone 2-3 for everyone who wants them. again, you have your parents to thank, because this was an accident of birth. you were born at the right time. so stop gloating.

sometimes privileges and luck are negative-privileges, and non-events. if you are healthy enough to support yourself by working, then good for you! but your good health is not exactly a virtue, is it? its not because of anything you did. if you have worked your ass off your whole life to build up what you have, then you were fortunate: not only were you healthy enough to work, but you also didnt have to take care of elderly parents or sick or disabled siblings from the beginning of your working life, and watch your earnings dissipate like a fart in the wind.

if you are sitting in a comfortable chair browsing around online, and are literate enough to read these words, go home and thank your parents. seriously. and start acknowledging that luck and privilege had as much to do with where you are today than anything else. in point of fact, you can bet it had more to do with where you ended up, than did your big brain and hard work, combined.

*Quoting Stephen Colbert, White House Correspondents’ Dinner, 2005.

Comments

1. Sam - December 10, 2009

Excellent post, thank you for this.

Not to digress too far from your point, but here in the UK, I find myself constantly battling this attitude in immigration/asylum debates (“But *they* have no right to be here, blah blah”), as if being fortunate enough to be born white in a wealthy country with free healthcare, excellent welfare provisions and free education (and subsequently not have to flee for your life) is some sort of personal achievement, not just luck.

factcheckme - December 11, 2009

sam, you arent derailing by bringing up immigration. thats partly why i wrote the article in the first place, because we are having these discussion here too (US) and the ignorance and privilege displayed by americans who are vocally and sometimes violently opposed to immigration and immigrants (and non-english speaking and poor american citizens too, which is telling of thier true motive and feelings!) is fucking disgusiting. we dont even have free health care here…and undocumented immigrants arent even eligible for medicaid or most welfare programs either.

the shorter version of my article would say: if you are lucky enough to come of age and be healthy and able-bodied, then go to work, pay your taxes, BE THANKFUL you have the opportunity and ability to do so, and STFU. but i thought the coffee-mate example was really stunning, and most people dont thnk of proper childhood nutrition is one of the main reasons they grew up able-bodied and emotionally and mentally developed in the first place. but its a HUGE factor, and we can all thank our moms (or other primary caretaker) if we were lucky enough to receive something so basic as proper nutrition during our formative years. thanks for posting.


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