When I read the Wall Street Journal op-ed written by graduating high school senior Suzy Lee Weiss, I was immediately floored by her intelligence, fearlessness and sheer commitment to exposing the discriminatory inequities inherent in the college admission process.
Many students rejected by their dream universities — in her case, Princeton, Yale, Vanderbilt and the University of Pennsylvania — would have accepted that they may not have met the needed admissions requirements; they may have even acknowledged that someone, somewhere may have been more qualified.
But not “sassy” Suzy, oh no.
— Bari Weiss (@bariweiss) March 31, 2013
Suzy did what any self-respecting privileged, young, white woman would do — she used her familial connections with the WSJ to pave the way for her brilliant op-ed, which otherwise may have languished in darkness, never to be seen by human eyes. This literary phenomenon, which places the blame squarely on the shoulders of those pesky black and brown people who don’t deserve to go to college because, well, they’re black and brown, has exposed the world’s best-kept secret: “If it ain’t white, it ain’t right.”
Read one of her most riveting passages below:
For starters, had I known two years ago what I know now, I would have gladly worn a headdress to school. Show me to any closet, and I would’ve happily come out of it. “Diversity!” I offer about as much diversity as a saltine *******. If it were up to me, I would’ve been any of the diversities: Navajo, Pacific Islander, anything. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, I salute you and your 1/32 Cherokee heritage.
It is past time that someone said this…again. Affirmative action advocates may whine about her cavalier dismissal of Muslim students who are discriminated against and harassed in institutions of learning across the nation, particularly if they are wearing traditional Muslim attire, but I applaud her laser-sharp focus on what really matters. Middle-class, white students are not being shown the respect they deserve and universities are black-balling them out of their God-given birthrights –an Ivy League education.
One would think that because President Obama has a white mother he would be more invested in the cause; but we all know how much of a militant he is — all black power, all the time. If not for tenacious, white students like Suzy, people might actually focus on the fact that black and Latino students in major cities are disproportionately receiving sub-par educations in comparison to their white counterparts. If we’re not careful, instead of Suzy being invited to the ‘Today’ show to discuss how hard it is out here for educated, middle-class white girls to get into Ivy League schools, what with the Muslims and minorities and all, black students might be invited on to discuss how they are closing 54 Chicago Public Schools in a city already riddled with gun violence.
And don’t we talk about the inner-city enough?
In the fall of 2011, the undergraduate enrollment at Princeton was 6.5 percent Latino, 5.1 percent black, 11.8 percent Asian, and 36.4 percent white (the remaining 40 percent count as multiracial, Native American, foreign students, or unknown).
The Ivy schools generally fall short in mirroring the national minority population, which 16.7 percent Latino, 13.1 percent black, 5.6 percent Asian, and 1.7 percent Native American, according to government data.
What else do these system-suckers want — a gold-medal in suffering?
Speaking with Savannah Guthrie, Weiss confidently explained that the WSJ op-ed was “satire.”
“It’s a satire. That’s the point. Just like ’30 Rock’ is a satire, which pokes fun at things that are politically correct. That’s what I was trying to do,” she said.
Now, I’m no academic; after all, I only graduated from an HBCU. But it’s my understanding that a satire by definition sheds light on problematic elements in society with a subtle, sophisticated sarcasm that allows the perpetrators to take note of their short-comings without taking offense.
Since discrimination, starvation in Africa and Islamophobia are actual things that need to be addressed, not discounted in favor of a whiny tirade about privilege and entitlement, I examined Weiss’ appearance closely in hopes that this brilliant satire would be revealed to me — and I finally got it.
Weiss, in her budding wisdom, exposed the mantle of white privilege for what it should be: Proud, unapologetic and unconcerned with anyone not blessed to posses it. She offered herself up as the scape-goat to be ridiculed. Though she did receive job and internship offers for her take-down of reverse racial discrimination, that was never the point.
The point was to reveal the face of the forthcoming post-racial state of America. A place where white students are rewarded for mocking the tenuous foundation of equality on which this country is built and education remains a coveted club to which only middle-class white students are entitled.
Well done, Suzy. Well done.
Follow Kirsten West Savali on Twitter at @KWestSavali.