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Jewish World Review July 3, 2000 /30 Sivan, 5760

Don Feder

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Consumer Reports

Pardon my paleness -- I WISH TO PUBLICLY APOLOGIZE for my whiteness. I realize my pigmentation is a serious transgression, and I am profoundly sorry for it.

This confession is prompted by a story in The Boston Globe (multiculturalism's in-house newsletter) concerning a conference on "whiteness" that took place at Simmons College a week ago.

The gathering of "100 liberal activists, religious leaders and academics" explored ways of "dismantling racism by focusing on white culture and the privileges that come with it." For the left , racism is always unicultural, the exclusive province of Caucasians.

The idea seems to be that if whites can be shown how privileged their pigmentation has made them, they will repent and get behind racial quotas, multicultural brainwashing and reparations for slavery.

The problem, says conference organizer Paul Marcus, is that many whites don't see themselves primarily as such. He's right. Days, even weeks will go by when I don't think about my whiteness, which really should be foremost in my consciousness.

Still, all that I've accomplished I owe to my racial identity. I coasted through high school, college and law school. Teachers took one look at my pale face and said this man deserves a B-plus average -- forget homework, tests and final exams.

And when it came time for my wife and I to buy our first house, we didn't have to scrimp and save for a down payment. I didn't have to pay bills on time to establish a good credit rating. The mortgage loan officer based his decision exclusively on our coloration.

Truth be told, that's how I got a job in journalism. I can still recall the words of the editor who hired me: "Fellow white man, welcome aboard. Would you like your own column?"

Typical white guy?

Besides my own ill-gotten gains, I wish to apologize for the collective wrongdoings of my race -- for all of which I am personally responsible. This loathsome catalog of Caucasian crimes, includes:

1) Democracy -- The Magna Carta, English common law, Declaration of Independence and United States Constitution weren't the work of Eskimos. 2) Industrialism -- It started in Anglo-Saxon England and reached its full flowering in America, courtesy of crackers like Alexander Graham Bell, Cyrus McCormick (inventor of the reaping machine), Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers, Henry Ford and radio/TV pioneer Lee De Forest.

How much better the world was when we were all living in huts and wearing animal skins. Who needs a lifespan of more than 30 years, anyway? And wasn't looking at cave drawings a lot more fun than watching 98-channel cable TV? 3) Science and Medicine -- Albert Einstein, Jonas Salk, Sir Alexander Fleming and Louis Pasteur. The modern world was shaped by the melanin deficient.

The racial crime wave continues. In 1962, Francis Crick and James D. Watson shared a Nobel Prize for modeling the molecular structure of DNA. Francis Collins and J. Craig Venter may share the next for their work on the human genome. Regrettably, there has been no affirmative action in the distribution of Nobel Prizes in chemistry, biology and physics.

4) Western Religion (also that of not a few Africans and Asians) -- Moses, Jesus and Mohammad? Could be a Caucasian conspiracy. If that weren't enough, my racial associates monopolized the philosophy market, from Aristotle to Wittgenstein.

5) Culture -- Yet another way albinos arrogantly foisted their ideals on humanity. Dante, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Mozart, Beethoven, Michelangelo and Rembrandt, collectively they might be mistaken for a meeting of the membership committee of the Gross Pointe Country Club.

6) America -- Europeans discovered and explored our hemisphere. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, et. al secured our independence. How insensitive of the Founding Fathers not to have sought greater racial representation in their deliberations.

Let's face it, over the last 1,000 years, most progress -- material and cultural -- has come from the domains of those who Afrocentrist Leonard Jeffries calls the "ice people."

In light of all we've inflicted on humanity over the course of history (another Caucasian invention), we'll be lucky if they let us sweep the floors in the next millennium.

JWR contributing columnist Don Feder's latest book is Who's Afraid of the Religious Right. Comment on his column by clicking here.


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© 2000, Creators Syndicate