Let Us Have A Fisking!

To start: See this bit at Not-The-Bee. Click the link you lazy good-for-nothings!

That list makes more assumptions about middle class folk than cops allegedly do about Drivers of Color. Among them, that we’re all actually rich. There’s little wiggling for different paths in life.

“Check off all the statements that apply to you.” Lets annotate that list while we’re at it, eh?

1. I am white.  Check.  According to my DNA, it’s not possible to be whiter than I am.  But my people were still enslaved, if you go back far enough.  I’m mostly Irish with a lot of English, and the odd Viking or two who shagged the pretty girls in the village they were sacking.

2. I have never been discriminated against because of my skin color.   Heh.  Don’t be in the middle of the pack in an Army Promotion list before it gets “normed.”

3. I have never been the only person of my race in a room.  Snerk.  Go to Korea.  Or Japan.  Or go to a downtown Arthur Bryants or a taqueria in the Argentine in KC. In Korea and Japan, not only are you the lone hairy barbarian, you’re effectively illiterate if you can’t read the language. That’s a humbling experience.

4. I have never been mocked for my accent.   Except by Germans and French folk.

5. I have never been told I am attractive “for my race.”   Nope. Rarely get told I’m attractive, period. Possibly because of the intimidating scowl.

6. I have never been a victim of violence because of my race.  No, I have.  I was attacked because I was white. And been attacked because of my perceived class, too.

7. I have never been called a racial slur.  Do “white boy” and “cracker” count?

8. I have never been told I “sound white.”  Yes, that’s happened because I’ve been told I have the “perfect announcer voice.” Which frankly is an insult to James Earl Jones, Morgan Freeman, and the Allstate guy. But I have been bitched at for my vocabulary.  By white people.

9. A stranger has never asked to touch my hair, or asked if it is real.  Never been to Africa, eh?

10. I am heterosexual.  Yep.

11. I have never lied about my sexuality.  Nope.  Though now, with all the social perks of being LGBQWERTY, I’m tempted to.

12. I never had to “come out.”   Heh.  You’ve never been the lone conservative in a very blue crowd, have you? And when you do come out, things change subtly.

13. I never doubted my parents’ acceptance of my sexuality.  Nope. Never a topic of discussion, either. We’re Protestants.

14. I have never been called “fag.”   Well, yeah, I have but not because I was one, but for the pejorative usage, so that’s a check minus.

15. I have never been called “dyke.”   Nope. Wrong gender mask for that one.

16. I have never been called a “fairy,” or any other derogatory slur for homosexuals.  See number 14, above.

17. I have never tried to hide my sexuality.  Nope. Repress it, as a polite social convention, yes. Oh, and did I mention, we’re Protestant!

18. I am always comfortable with P.D.A. with my partner in public.  Not really.  Because I’m not comfortable with PDA in general, not because of how my partner is plumbed or pigmented, so, check. Remember, we’re Protestant! Annoys the Catholic wife to no end, too.

19. I have never pretended to be “just friends” with my significant other.  Ya mean like that nice little african-american girl that I crushed on in junior high?  We both pretended. It was junior high and our parents would have killed us. But not for the reasons you think.

20. I have never been ostracized by my religion for my sexual orientation.  No, but not for the reason you think.

21. I have never been told I would “burn in hell” for my sexual orientation.  No, but I don’t care for churches which go that route, so I’ve never been a member.

22. I have never been told that my sexuality is “just a phase.”   Well, puberty…

23. I have never been violently threatened because of my sexuality.   I was 5’11” and 220lbs of all-state football and state champion wrestler.  I rarely got violently threatened for anything.  I did stand up for those who *were* however.

24. I am a man.  Am I allowed to assert it that baldly now?  Aren’t I supposed to say cis-normative male sperm donor non-birthing person or somesuch?

25. I feel comfortable in the gender I was born as.  Yep.

26. I still identify as the gender I was born in.  Yep.

27. I have never tried to change my gender.  Nope.

28. I have never been denied an opportunity because of my gender.   See above, “norming” promotion lists.

29. I make more money than my professional counterparts of a different gender.  Nope.  Military pay grades are military pay grades.

30. I have never felt unsafe because of my gender.  See #23 above.

31. I have never been catcalled.  Hah!  I had a cute butt, once upon a time.  Gurls noticed. The difference is I never felt threatened by it, and I do get the difference.

32. I have never been sexually harassed or assaulted.  No, because I’m an introvert who is scary looking.  And so socially dense I wouldn’t have recognized it anyway.

33. I have never been raped.  Nope.

34. I work in a salaried job.  Not any more, but yeah.  I also worked hourly and for tips-only.

35. My family and I have never lived below the poverty line.  Very very early, yes.  Army pay wasn’t that good in the 50s.

36. I don’t have any student loans.  I don’t.  But I did.  We paid them off. And I had them because the CG at Fort Sill cut officers off from any tuition assistance in order to redirect that money to the NCOs. A form of very legal discrimination with very real impacts, good and bad. Of course, TA was reinstated after I completed that graduate degree. This occured in the interregnum (there’s that vocabulary thing I was on about) between iterations of the GI Bill.

37. I have never gone to bed hungry.  Heh.  Yes, but not in the context this means. Several days in a row, too.

38. I have never been homeless.  Again, yes, but not in the context this means.

39. My parents pay some of my bills.  They’re dead.

40. My parents pay all of my bills.  No.  Even when they were alive.

41. I don’t rely on public transportation.  There is no public transportation here.  But yes, I’ve relied on public transportation.  Busses, streetcars, subways.  I commuted to work using public transportation as a kid and an adult. Or walked.

42. I buy new clothes at least once a month.  Snerk.  Only if it’s a funny t-shirt.  I buy a suit/sportcoat once a decade. Maybe.  Depends on if I’ve gained weight again.

43. I have never done my taxes myself.  I’m guessing not too many people qualify here – and based on the free tax prep for poor folk I help support, some people aren’t where you think they are on the spectrum if they say yes.   But I get your point.

44. I have never felt poor.  Nope. Only deprived. Selfishly.

45. I have never had to worry about making rent.  In college, sometimes there was “the week of ramen” in order to make rent.

46. I have never worked as a waiter, barista, bartender, or salesperson.  I have been a waiter and a salesperson, a dishwasher, a cook, a shipping clerk.  And a laborer.

47. I have had an unpaid internship.  Nope. Unless you call what I do now, under the supervision of my wife, as a goat valet an internship.

48. I have had multiple unpaid internships.  Nope.  Never had a paid one, either.

49. I went to summer camp.  Yep.  Boy Scouts, baby!  And if you are a counselor, it’s free!

50. I went to private school.  Nope.  Well, not technically true if we count my graduate program (the one I had student loans for) that was a private university.

51. I graduated high school. Yep.

52. I went to an elite college.  Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!  Admittedly, the *school* fantasizes they qualify, but no, just another Enormous State University, where if you were a resident, breathing, and had a C average, you got admitted.

53. I graduated college.  Twice. With honors the second time. As a part-time student, working full-time.

54. My parents paid (at least some of) my tuition.  Undergrad, yeah, along with the Athletic Department and my jobs.

55. I had a car in high school.  Nope. Nor college. I didn’t have my own car until I was 23. I miss that Mini-Cooper.

56. I’ve never had a roommate.  Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!  Summer camp (under canvas), Army, dude, Army.  And college dorm. And post-dorm run-down trailer in the prone-to-flooding trailer park.

57. I’ve always had cable.  No.  But by choice, not necessity.  And now, by location (a form of choice, I suppose).  Like public transportation, rural don’t got those amenities unless you go to a dish.

58. I have traveled internationally.  Yep. Thank you, US Army, and once Rotary International.  Not always to nice places, however.

59. I travel internationally at least once a year.  Only on the government’s nickel.  I.e., not since 2011 or so.

60. I studied abroad.  Yes!  In DoD schools, but abroad is abroad, amiright?

61. I’ve never skipped a meal to save money.  Yeah, see “the week of ramen” above.

62. I don’t know what “Sallie Mae” is.   I do, and I paid the bitch.

63. I spent Spring Breaks abroad.  Well, not when I was in school.  Those were skiing in Colorado, 6 in a car, six in a room. Roommates again!

64. I have frequent flier miles.  No, they all belonged to the government.  Traveling on my own dime, I prefer to drive, because I like to see stuff.

65. My parents are heterosexual.  I assume so.  I never asked.  It never occurred to me to ask. We’re Protestants!

66. My parents are both alive.  Nope. Not unless it’s World War Z time.

67. My parents are still married.  In a sense, I suppose.  They’re buried in the same casket, along with Meggy, their dog.  Technically, as they didn’t die simultaneously, I suppose “til death do us part” applies, at least for the Auld Soldier.

68. I do not have any physical disabilities.  The VA begs to differ.

69. I do not have any social disabilities.  My friends would argue this point, but not really in the sense you mean it.  Other than not liking being social and being really awkward.

70. I do not have any learning disabilities.  Just the ones I mostly overcame.

71. I have never had an eating disorder.  Not except gluttony. Which is a sin, not a disorder.

72. I have never been depressed.  Heh.  Double-heh.

73. I have never considered suicide.  See above.

74. I have never attempted suicide. Nope.

75. I have never taken medication for my mental health.  Not true. I didn’t like it, however. It made me stupid. Oh, shut up.

76. I can afford medication if/when I need it.  Because I chose to give my adult working years to the Army, and got moderately beat-up doing it, I do actually get all my meds for free from the VA. But, absent some rare affliction that insurance didn’t cover, yes, I can afford my meds. Luckily, of the rather large pharmacopeia I indulge in, only one ‘script is expensive.

77. I have never been told I’m overweight or “too skinny.”  No, the term usually applied is “morbidly obese”.

78. I have never felt overweight or underweight or “too skinny.”   Heh.

79. I have never been shamed for my body type.   Join the Army, they’ll fix that one for you, Fatbody.

80. I consider myself to be physically attractive.  I avoid mirrors.

81. I can afford a therapist.  Don’t have to.  One is provided by the state if I ask.  All you have to do is get that magic 50 or higher VA rating or the proper service connection.

82. I’ve used prescription drugs recreationally.  Nope.  Not stupid, and don’t suffer from any predispositions to do so.  Besides I’m a very conformist non-conformist.

83. I have never had an addiction.  Except to Coca-Cola, donuts, fries and meat, nope. Oh, and ridged potato chips and french onion dip.

84. I have never been shamed for my religious beliefs.  Yeah, I have.  And not just by religious folk, but also by very Blue Folk – for the mere fact of having any beliefs.

85. I have never been violently threatened for my religious beliefs.  Never been deployed to the jihadi parts of the planet, have you? I’ve also been bombed (Germany, 70’s) for my perceived politics. Not bad for a pimply teenager.

86. I have never been violently attacked for my religious beliefs.  See 84 above.

87. There is a place of worship for my religion in my town.  Since I don’t have one, I guess so, in that an edifice isn’t needed. Interestingly, we have Muslim prayer rooms on the fort and in town, though I don’t believe a proper mosque, but no synagogues. Just a jewish cemetery. The once robust jewish community moved on to Topeka and Wichita as the state grew.

88. I have never lied about my ethnicity as self-defense.  Nope.

89. I have never lied about my religion as self-defense.  Nope.

90. All my jobs have been accommodating of my religious practices.  Yes, not having any that conflicted helped immensely, though.

91. I am not nervous in airport security lines.  Are you kidding?  You know how many IRA terrorists there are with names like mine?

92. I have never heard this statement: “You have been randomly selected for secondary passport control.”  Why yes, I have. Been extra-special-searched, too.

93. I have never been called a terrorist.  All depends on where you are when it happens.  Like here, in the US, by, oh, Marxists, Code Pink, Antifa…  Overseas by Marxists, jihadis, “woke” euros…

94. Nobody has ever tried to “save” me for my religious beliefs.  Oh yes, people have tried to save me.

95. I have never been cyber-bullied for any of my identities.  No.  But mostly because I understand how the internet and antisocial media work.

96. I was not bullied as a child for any of my identities.  Yes, yes I was – but not for the specialized set you are enshrining.

97. I have never tried to distance myself from any of my identities.  See “Red in a Blue Room” or “D&D Player in the officer corps.” History nerd in the Army (not really appreciated).

98. I have never been self-conscious about any of my identities.  See above.

99. I have never questioned any of my identities.  Not really. I am who I am. I know, I know, “Great Gobs of Privilege, Batman!”

100.I feel privileged because of the identities I was born with.  No.  which, of course, is all because of my privilege.  Nicely circular, that one.

Heh. Even Martin Luther stopped at 95 theses…

No, I’m not claiming anything like the experience of young urban Persons of Color, and I assure you, being LGBQWERTY was a hella lot harder in my youth than it is today, whatever challenges remain. But I tire of the unacknowledged bias inherent in things like this and the hand-wave dismissal of my lived experience.

I have a comfortable life, yes. Because I chose a sometimes uncomfortable path of being a soldier for 25 years, I have some real advantages, many of them one stupid congress away from disappearing, but that’s more and more true of all of us these days.

Published by The Armorer

A grumpy old Cincinnatus who feeds goats, dogs, cats, ducks, peafowl, a horse, and sundry avians, especially in the winter. From time to time you will see guns. Until such time as the Progressives repeal the 2nd Amendment, everything you see is legal, Federal, State, Local, where I live. Your progressive paradise may have different rules. Don't project them onto me. Federalism still exists, even if it is but a shadow of what the Framers intended.

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  1. The individuals who come up with these checklists tend to have been raised in upper-middle-class households, in well-to-do suburbs with relatively little in the way of *actual* diversity, and gone on to expensive educational establishments without ever having to do boring things like earn a living. As a result, they are constitutionally incapable of noticing the bubble of privilege they’ve inhabited all their lives, but have an unmatched ability to spot just how much privilege the flyover poors and middles benefit from. And the megaphone to proclaim their findings without fear of response or reaction … in fact, they confidently expect to be rewarded richly for their “bravery” and “courage”. And are rarely disappointed in that expectation.

  2. Personally we’re going through another War In The Woods up here in Western Canuckistan and I’ll agree with Nick’s assessment of the types of people who protest logging. They’re the same and with a few “pro” cheerleader types all the techniques are handed down from the Soviets and the Cold War. With an emphasis on Rules For Radicals as a prime text book. All the life style coaches and Starbucks baristas and people who think Stanley Park is virgin wilderness believe they know more then professional foresters. 🙂 I think a lot of this is the widening Urban/Rural divide where the concrete dwellers don’t have ANY connection to or even with relative or family friends who work in the primary resource and farming industries. I keep thinking of Kipling’s “Sons Of Martha” and how bloody true it rings especially now. As a side note ‘Stanley Park ” is a real gem actually of a well preserved area right inside the city of Vancouver but it’s as virgin forest as a 45 year old pavement princess.

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