MTV has a new series, the blandly named “White People,” which is apparently designed to record very uncomfortable and frank discussions with white people about race. It is hosted by Jose Antonia Vargas, an illegal immigrant Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist from the Philippines. Here’s the trailer:
It’s hard to say exactly what this show is intended to accomplish. It purportedly focuses on the challenges of defining the white identity, and what it means to be a young white person in the US. In the trailer for the show/documentary, one of the interviewed white people says, “We’ve never had to internalize what white people have done in America, but here, you can’t escape that.” So the show is apparently designed to get white people to realize how “privileged” they are, and what part they have played in the suffering of others here in America.
Excuse me for thinking that’s ridiculous. I’ve never done anything wrong to anyone because of or related to their race. Not once in my whole life. And most of the people on this show are probably similar. Why should young white people, who are generally not racist in the least, pay for the actions of distant fathers, grandfathers, and great grandfathers? It’s as ridiculous as making modern Germans continue to feel guilty for the Holocaust. It’s not just. It’s not reasonable. It’s not sane. And it doesn’t help Jews at all.
I would imagine that some consideration is given in the show to how difficult and unfair it is to be criticized for your skin color and heritage, neither of which you have anything to do with. But judging from the ubiquity of crying white people in the trailer for the show, I’m going to assume white people are not given much of a fair shake here.
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