Letter to the editor: ‘Privilege isn’t a zero-sum commodity’


To the editor:

I just finished reading Mr. Christopher Acker’s letter of Feb. 24 (“Everything you are against”), and I have to say that he makes his dislike of President Obama quite clear. Certainly, there are others who agree with his criticisms of how the president utilizes his time and energy in office, but I must admit that Mr. Acker’s litany of Mr. Obama’s perceived offenses included so many dog whistles that I was unsure of what rational arguments he was offering.

Key words and phrases that Mr. Acker inserted into his epistle included references to the war with Islamic terrorists, Black Lives Matter, Ferguson, Baltimore, Al Sharpton, Elisa Cummings, immigration laws, illegal drugs (I’m assuming pot), the communist leader of Cuba and, of course, “wonderful constitutionalist … Antonin Scalia.”

While I probably wouldn’t agree with Mr. Acker on most (or probably any) of his opinions as reflected in his phrasing, I still would not question whether or not he is really an American, as he did President Obama, nor would I ever make claims that Mr. Acker’s “priorities are vacuous of common sense, decency and patriotism” simply because I find his expressed attitudes devoid of reason.

Yes, I can surely hear the anger in Mr. Acker’s letter, but I heard little else. And while I am no longer surprised when any possible valid criticism of a policy or policies by the Obama administration gets boiled down to a siren song of extreme right-wing hoopla, it always strikes me as ironic when the charge of anti-Americanism is leveled by those who apparently think this country should exist only for those who think about and/or see the world the way they do.

The white-heterosexual-male-privilege paradigm is steadily declining (thank God!). But those who insist that something is being lost because our culture is becoming more inclusive will continue to bemoan an America where they had it all (or thought they did). I hope that sooner, rather than later, they will come to the understanding that privilege isn’t a zero-sum commodity — that the more widely distributed it is, the more secure we all become.

Tony Marconi



No posts to display