Mark Levin: How Can There Be White Privilege When Obama Doesn't Even Live In The Projects?
Conservatives generally refuse to accept that white privilege exists, which is like architects not believing in buildings. Former Never Trumper turned Trump-tongue kisser Mark Levin decided today to go after Peggy McIntosh's "white privilege checklist." It wasn't long before Levin dismantled McIntosh's serious work with just two words, dreaded by unserious white people everywhere: Barack Obama.
LEVIN: Barack Obama has bought three homes. He bought a home in Palm Springs. He bought a home in a very wealthy neighborhood in Washington, DC [...] and now he's buying a home on Martha's Vineyard. Why does Barack Obama never purchase a home in a black neighborhood? I think that's a good question.
That's not a good question -- unless "good" means "racist." It pains us to admit this, but Barack Obama isn't the president anymore. It's been so long since he was in office Joe Biden struggles to recall his name. Can't racists find a more "today" target for their bigotry? We hear Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez used to be a bartender and Rep. Ilhan Omar's name is "Ilhan Omar." Oh wait, they are using them as targets for their racism too, OUR BAD.
Racists are obsessed with the real estate transactions of black people. This goes back to the 1950s when they'd set fire to our houses if we moved into the "wrong" neighborhood. Barack and Michelle Obama are rich. Rich people live in nice places. That's the whole point. Barack and Michelle Obama are also too black to get involved in that "tiny house" shit. Does Levin expect the Obamas to spend their post-White House days scratchin' and survivin' in the Chicago projects? (Also: the Palm Springs house rumor is bullshit.)
Jimmie Walker as J. J. on GOOD TIMES www.youtube.com
Levin is not the only conservative to object to the Obamas choosing not to live under segregated bridges in the ghetto. Carol Roth wrote an angry op-ed for Fox News about the former first couple's "$15 million house of hypocrisy" in Martha's Vineyard.
Unlike President Trump, who earned his money before taking office, the Obamas have benefited handsomely from their time in the White House. President Obama only earned the standard $400,000 salary when he was in office, but after leaving, he and his wife Michelle acquired a joint book deal worth $65 million, high-priced speaking engagements and a deal with Netflix. Now they are rolling in dough.
This is an absurd argument. Trump's family is actively profiting off his presidency. The Obamas were already successful people on an upper income trajectory before they entered the White House. We don't see Roth complaining that Paul Ryan bailed on the House of Representatives and took a high-paying private sector job.
As a capitalist, I am all in favor of people making as much money as they want and spending it how they please. However, this lavish new abode is quite a statement in hypocrisy from the former president, who spent his presidency demonizing everyone else's success.
Obama simply suggested that wealthy people pay taxes. He is himself a wealthy person who pays taxes. We know this because unlike some people, we've seen his tax returns.
Levin claims Obama enjoys "white privilege," but there's no privilege in mediocre white people looking down their noses at you whenever you spend your hard-earned money. Growing up in 1980s South Carolina, our white neighbors would often react with suspicion whenever we went on vacation or bought a car. There'd be all these presumptuous questions about how our father, who worked two jobs, managed to afford a trip to Disney World or a 1982 Buick Century. Were we dealing drugs? Oh no, they weren't racist! They were just concerned about their property values decreasing because of their proximity to an obvious crack house.
It's also laughable that Levin thinks invoking Obama somehow shatters the concept of "white privilege" when even the first black president can't advance past the first question on McIntosh's checklist: "I can arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time." When you're black and financially successful, you struggle with this conundrum. Living in a "nice" neighborhood sometimes means choosing to live in a less diverse area where white people might call the cops on you because you went jogging without a formal tuxedo hoodie. That's because -- spoiler alert -- America is racist AF and the racial disparity among "good" and "bad" neighborhoods is not because black people suck. We wager that the Obamas don't live next to white people who are all former presidents. To borrow from Chris Rock, some of their white neighbors are probably just random-ass "yank your tooth out" dentists.
The Obamas paid $8.1 million for their DC house. That's serious dough, but John Stamos's Los Angeles home is almost $6 million. Uncle Jesse never had access to the nuclear codes. We've also been lusting after Liv Tyler's West Village brownstone, which is decorated so in line with our personal tastes, we think we're secretly Liv Tyler.
Inside Liv Tyler's Gut-Renovated NYC Brownstone | Open Door | Architectural Digest www.youtube.com
Ferris Bueller and Carrie Bradshaw also live on Tyler's block, where houses go for roughly $30 million. The Obamas are practically working class compared to some white actors who made a decent movie once or twice. That is white privilege, and Barack Obama doesn't come close to having it.
Mark Levin can go fuck himself.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle.