Patterico's Pontifications

5/1/2014

White Male Student “Checks His Privilege”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:36 am

This speaks for itself. It is written by a 20-year-old white male freshman at Princeton:

There is a phrase that floats around college campuses, Princeton being no exception, that threatens to strike down opinions without regard for their merits, but rather solely on the basis of the person that voiced them. “Check your privilege,” the saying goes, and I have been reprimanded by it several times this year. The phrase, handed down by my moral superiors, descends recklessly, like an Obama-sanctioned drone, and aims laser-like at my pinkish-peach complexion, my maleness, and the nerve I displayed in offering an opinion rooted in a personal Weltanschauung. “Check your privilege,” they tell me in a command that teeters between an imposition to actually explore how I got where I am, and a reminder that I ought to feel personally apologetic because white males seem to pull most of the strings in the world.

I do not accuse those who “check” me and my perspective of overt racism, although the phrase, which assumes that simply because I belong to a certain ethnic group I should be judged collectively with it, toes that line. But I do condemn them for diminishing everything I have personally accomplished, all the hard work I have done in my life, and for ascribing all the fruit I reap not to the seeds I sow but to some invisible patron saint of white maleness who places it out for me before I even arrive. Furthermore, I condemn them for casting the equal protection clause, indeed the very idea of a meritocracy, as a myth, and for declaring that we are all governed by invisible forces (some would call them “stigmas” or “societal norms”), that our nation runs on racist and sexist conspiracies. Forget “you didn’t build that;” check your privilege and realize that nothing you have accomplished is real.Talinside

But they can’t be telling me that everything I’ve done with my life can be credited to the racist patriarchy holding my hand throughout my years of education and eventually guiding me into Princeton. Even that is too extreme. So to find out what they are saying, I decided to take their advice. I actually went and checked the origins of my privileged existence, to empathize with those whose underdog stories I can’t possibly comprehend. I have unearthed some examples of the privilege with which my family was blessed, and now I think I better understand those who assure me that skin color allowed my family and I to flourish today.

Perhaps it’s the privilege my grandfather and his brother had to flee their home as teenagers when the Nazis invaded Poland, leaving their mother and five younger siblings behind, running and running until they reached a Displaced Persons camp in Siberia, where they would do years of hard labor in the bitter cold until World War II ended. Maybe it was the privilege my grandfather had of taking on the local Rabbi’s work in that DP camp, telling him that the spiritual leader shouldn’t do hard work, but should save his energy to pass Jewish tradition along to those who might survive. Perhaps it was the privilege my great-grandmother and those five great-aunts and uncles I never knew had of being shot into an open grave outside their hometown. Maybe that’s my privilege.

It goes on like that. Read it all. Truly, it is worth clicking through to read in its entirety.

118 Responses to “White Male Student “Checks His Privilege””

  1. “All those who believe people should be judged by the content of their character and not the colot of their skin, leave. Racists can stay.”

    Adolph Hitler

    Steve57 (525198)

  2. *…not the colotr of their skin…*

    Dammit!

    Steve57 (525198)

  3. There is a phrase that floats around college campuses, Princeton being no exception, that threatens to strike down opinions without regard for their merits, but rather solely on the basis of the person that voiced them. “Check your privilege,” the saying goes, and I have been reprimanded by it several times this year.

    Are there any specific examples of this?

    Michael Ejercito (becea5)

  4. “Check your privilege,” they tell me in a command that teeters between an imposition to actually explore how I got where I am, and a reminder that I ought to feel personally apologetic because white males seem to pull most of the strings in the world.

    If liberalism were a race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, nationality, religion, etc, that would be the only “race,” “ethnicity,” “sexuality, etc, that most of those into the ethos of “check your privilege” would give a damn about.

    Simply put, consider the way that the “check your privilege” crowd perceives, judges and treats conservative (or even centrist) blacks, women, GLBTers, non-Americans (eg, the woman who spoke out against Islamism at Brandeis), Jews, etc.

    Mark (59e5be)

  5. the whole craziness is delineated here;

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Victims-Revolution-Identity-Studies/dp/0061807370

    narciso (3fec35)

  6. I’ve decided that use of the word racist is the missing link.

    The link is evolutionarily bidirectional.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  7. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has entered rehab on a leave of absence. Canadians are clearly evolved.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  8. Steve57, I know how you feel. I tell people that if I could type, I would be earning an honest living.

    Bar Sinister (b48c12)

  9. 4. “Check your privilege,” they tell me in a command that teeters between an imposition to actually explore how I got where I am, and a reminder that I ought to feel personally apologetic because white males seem to pull most of the strings in the world.

    If liberalism were a race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, nationality, religion, etc, that would be the only “race,” “ethnicity,” “sexuality, etc, that most of those into the ethos of “check your privilege” would give a damn about.

    Simply put, consider the way that the “check your privilege” crowd perceives, judges and treats conservative (or even centrist) blacks, women, GLBTers, non-Americans (eg, the woman who spoke out against Islamism at Brandeis), Jews, etc.

    Comment by Mark (59e5be) — 5/1/2014 @ 7:51 am

    …There I was, thinking deep thoughts about Scarlett Johansson…

    Steve57 (525198)

  10. Hey, kidz! lets start a “how I overcame my white privilege” thread. How fun is that!

    Steve57 (525198)

  11. That was exceptional. Thanks for linking to it today.

    Last year I re-read my grandmother’s immigration story, and every time it is so humbling.

    carlitos (e7c734)

  12. This is a way to let people know exactly how bizarre college campuses have become. I enjoy hearing non-academics reply, “So speak up!” Guess what happens when you do.

    The lunatics are running the asylum, but I refuse to give up quite yet.

    Check out http://www.thefire.org for great examples of what takes place.

    Just remember Sturgeon’s Law: 90% of everything is crap. By which I mean—despite PC stories (which are very true)—there are many, many thoughtful, fair-minded young men and women on campuses. Every single time there is an anonymous poll, we learn that even the self-identified “progressive” students are worried about the intellectual lockstep and exclusion of other ideas on most campuses.

    So there is hope.

    It was a fine essay linked above, and a true one.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  13. “Check your privilege” is one of those phrases I have only ever seen on the internet. I can’t imagine being told this in real life.

    carlitos (e7c734)

  14. Um, Mr. Carlitos?

    Students hear it here often, whenever there is any kind of “diversity-related” discussion or event.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  15. Want to know what’s humbling, carlito? My great uncle’s discharge certificate from WWI.

    Steve57 (525198)

  16. I’m not entirely sure, but I think they did things differently back in 1919.

    Steve57 (525198)

  17. There is a check and then there is a check. There is a hat check. This is hockey check, hard into the boards.

    David Lentz (be9e6c)

  18. “Check your privilege” is the word of the day on many college campuses due to the influence of Cultural Studies. My response is usually [expletive redacted].

    Nathaniel Wright (223924)

  19. A rugby analogy would be more useful to me. Not that I’m saying I don’t appreciate the hockey analogy.

    Steve57 (525198)

  20. My response is usually [expletive redacted].

    Yup. I’m not going to take those people seriously. It would be an insult to my grandfather who fought the Turks, to my uncles and great uncles who fought the Nazis, Fascists, and Communists, and to my parents who uprooted their lives at age 40 to give us a better life in Chicago. “Don’t complain to me, poormouth. Find out who your father is and go complain to him.”

    nk (9faaca)

  21. nk, you take great pride in your Spartan roots. As well you should. Did we uproot ourselves to put up with this? I think not.

    I trace my roots back to the Battle of Leyte. They go back further, but know what?

    Steve57 (525198)

  22. This Princeton freshman is 20? I’m going to have to try to live long enough to vote him for President in 2040.

    JVW (9946b6)

  23. Displaced Persons camp in Siberia ???

    Sammy Finkelman (0f2215)

  24. I thought Stalin ran slave labor camps, and indeed he describes them as doing hard labor.

    His grandfather and his grandfather’s brother were probably arrested (which saved their lives) -most likely just a few days before the June 22, 1941 invasion, although it could have bene later, maybe.

    If they were simply (free) refugees, they probably would have been in Kazakhstan.

    Sammy Finkelman (0f2215)

  25. 22. Ok, I’m confused about from where relative to Attic times, nk might claim to hail. I don’t always pay attention, I’m sorry, but could we remedially revisit this?

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  26. Stalin’s camps, which were known about, although vigorously denied by the Communist, were what the Nazis pretended Auschwitz was like.

    Sammy Finkelman (0f2215)

  27. At least there’s one freshman at Princeton who doesn’t have to take Remedial English.

    ropelight (fe7af2)

  28. Maybe it was the privilege my grandfather had of taking on the local Rabbi’s work in that DP camp, telling him that the spiritual leader shouldn’t do hard work, but should save his energy to pass Jewish tradition along to those who might survive.

    They might have been arrested for practicing religion, or some thing that stemmed from it.

    Why is he calling it a DP camp??

    DP camps were in the American, British and French zones after the war.

    These slave labor campos had people arrested for all kinds of reasons. His grandfather and his grandfather’s brother were in the Gulag.

    If they stayed Polish citizens, which they might not have, they would have the opportunity to be released in about 1943 to fight in the war in a Polish Army outside of the Soviet Union. That’s how Menachem Begin got freed.

    I think he still hasn’t really gotten the story straight, and it is kind of sad he didn’t really investigate the story until the age of 20.

    Sammy Finkelman (0f2215)

  29. 28. Comment by ropelight (fe7af2) — 5/1/2014 @ 9:58 am

    At least there’s one freshman at Princeton who doesn’t have to take Remedial English.

    But he does need remedial history of totalitarianism, except there’s probably nobpdy at Princeton to teach it.

    Sammy Finkelman (0f2215)

  30. Perhaps it was the privilege my great-grandmother and those five great-aunts and uncles I never knew had of being shot into an open grave outside their hometown

    That probably means they were in the Soviet occupied portion of Poland, now part of Ukrane or Belorus. (This could also have been Lithuania, or even Latvia or Estonia, and a portion of Poland, including Vilna, was annexed to Lithuania.)

    Sammy Finkelman (0f2215)

  31. “I think he still hasn’t really gotten the story straight, and it is kind of sad he didn’t really investigate the story until the age of 20.”

    Sammy – I don’t understand why you believe his story has to be wrong.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  32. Feeling a little inadequate there Sammy, afraid you don’t measure up?

    ropelight (fe7af2)

  33. Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 5/1/2014 @ 10:11 am

    Sammy – I don’t understand why you believe his story has to be wrong.

    His story isn’t wrong – details are wrong.

    His grandfather was not in a “Displaced Persons camp in Siberia” – he was in the Gulag, as seems pretty obvious from the mention of “years of hard labor in the bitter cold.”

    I’m saying he is not really informed about the story, and it is only half, or three-quarters, right.

    Sammy Finkelman (0f2215)

  34. The ignorance he displays is a little disturbing, even granted he was born in or around 1993 or early 1994.

    Sammy Finkelman (0f2215)

  35. The types of errors he makes actually tell you it’s approximately the truth. I can even spot some errors.

    Sammy Finkelman (0f2215)

  36. Sammy, have you ever thought about trying out for Jeopardy?

    elissa (712a2c)

  37. Sammy, if we judge competence and veracity by the quality of the prose presentation, he’s got you beat by a country mile. Check your assumed privilege.

    ropelight (fe7af2)

  38. Sammy, I wish I had your omniscience. To know with such certainty there were no Displaced Persons Camps in Siberia in 1943. Pretty amazing what you know.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  39. grandfather and his brother had to flee their home as teenagers when the Nazis invaded Poland,

    AND

    those five great-aunts and uncles I never knew had of being shot into an open grave outside their hometown.

    Doesn’t work well together.

    If they were shot outside their home town, most likely theie home town was in the Soviet zone and they wouldn’t then have had to flee. Or, if they fled, maybe the whole family fled, and where they were shot wasn’t really their home town, but where they had moved, although maybe there was some family living on that side of the new border before.

    Many Jews also were killed right after the Nazi invasion of Poland, from about september 1939 to November, 1939, but mostly by being ordered to assemble in the local synagogue, which was then locked, and set on fire, with armed men standing outside to shoot anyone who tried to leave. This mostly happened in less urbanized areas near the new border.

    Shooting into mass graves, as he says happened, mostly happened in the area controlled by the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, and began right at the time of the invasion. About 1,500,000 to 1,750,000 Jews were killed that way.

    Sammy Finkelman (0f2215)

  40. 39. Comment by Kevin M (b357ee) — 5/1/2014 @ 10:28 am

    Sammy, I wish I had your omniscience. To know with such certainty there were no Displaced Persons Camps in Siberia in 1943. Pretty amazing what you know.

    There could be something I don’t know, bit this sounds wrong.

    It’s much more likely that, while the story is accurate in broad outline, he’s confused, and he may not have even correctly understood what he wass told.

    Sammy Finkelman (0f2215)

  41. I’m chagrined by all this talk of privilege. Being Irish, I think back fondly of all those moments of Irish privilege throughout history. Not only the fine life of yeoman farmers in old British-ruled Ireland, with the occasional dieting opportunities, but also the first-class accommodations we got on our way to America, where we were so graciously welcomed with Affirmative Action and such, and where out Catholic faith was a welcomed addition to American diversity.

    Pretty sure that there are Poles, Italians, Chinese, Vietnamese and other immigrant groups who also look back happily on their homeland, why they left, and their reception here in the US.

    And those that say that, after merely 6 or 7 generations of struggle and sacrifice and service, that they deserve some respect? Pfui! Not like someone who just slipped over the border from old Mexico does.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  42. I trace my roots back to the Battle of Leyte

    Or Bastogne. Or Verdun. Or Antietam.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  43. Comment by ropelight (fe7af2) — 5/1/2014 @ 10:24 am

    if we judge competence and veracity by the quality of the prose presentation, he’s got you beat by a country mile.

    Well, you shouldn’t judge competence and veracity by the quality of the prose presentation.

    His veracity is pretty good here, but his accuracy is not. I don’t think he knows the story, or the history of the Holocaust, very, very well.

    He says:

    I actually went and checked the origins of my privileged existence…I have unearthed some examples of the privilege with which my family was blessed,

    which means he didn’t know any of this before.

    And he still doesn’t the story straight. He attempts to obscure his ignorance with

    running and running until they reached a Displaced Persons camp in Siberia which means that they went through a whole series of vicissitudes which he was not able to understand and absorb.

    He has no idea how they wound up in that “Displaced persons camp” – in fact, as I say, he doesn’t understand what it really was.

    This is not his fault, if he asked a question, the person telling him something didn’t understand that some of it was over his head – he lacked the requisite background to understand what was being said.

    He investigated I think too casually, and not diligently, maybe because also he had given himself a deadline. The chances of getting this right so fast, with no background, are not very good.

    And maybe even his source, may not have understood, or known, the story entirely.

    Sammy Finkelman (0f2215)

  44. “Sammy, have you ever thought about trying out for Jeopardy?”

    elissa – On Jeopardy you are only allowed to give one question per answer, not three, which might be a problem for our Sammy.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  45. Comment by Kevin M (b357ee) — 5/1/2014 @ 10:44 am

    Or Bastogne. Or Verdun. Or Antietam

    You might not be able to get all the basic facts right, if the first time you asked someone about it was when you were twenty, and you knew no details about the war before, and you only spent an hour or two asking a few questions.

    There would be a lot of pre-suppositions or assumptions you’d have that wouldn’t be corrected.

    Sammy Finkelman (0f2215)

  46. they’re going to crucify him

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  47. 45. @ Jeopardy. Also there are certain categories I would know nothing about.

    And it also depends on how fast you hit the buzzer – after the question has been fully read by Alex Trebek. You need good reflexes. Hitting the buzzer too early disables the ability to hit the buzzer.

    That’s for starters.

    Sammy Finkelman (0f2215)

  48. “Displaced persons” is a completely western, and post-war, term. It means

    While you could anachronistically say maybe that some people in the soviet Union were “displaced persons” and some location that existed in the Soviet Union was a displaced person “camp” you wouldn’t have had to perform slave labor there.

    Certainly nothing like doing somebody else’s work. Free people can give money. They don’t have to do somebody else’s “work” like his grandfather did. He’s confused.

    I wish he’d realize it and get the story corrected. Which might take some time and be difficult to do.

    Sammy Finkelman (0f2215)

  49. It means people living outside the country in which they are citizens, or stateless people not living where they used to be. It’s a western legal term.

    Sammy Finkelman (0f2215)

  50. Sammy – Didn’t the Russians deport around 1,500,000 Poles, including Jews, into Russia, including Siberia after the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and prior to your June 1941 date?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  51. “It’s a western legal term.”

    Sammy – It can be used as a legal term, but it does not always have to be.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  52. Sammy – Why not go over to Real Clear Politics and tell the author directly that you believe he has his family history wrong?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  53. I honestly don’t think SF knows when he is being offensive. So daley, I think that is a good idea, so that the fellow SF is insulting can tell him so.

    He is kind of predictable. I’m told he isn’t a bad person, and means well. I cannot imagine that people haven’t given him quite a bad time.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  54. Who comes up with these phrases? “Check Your Privilege” “Micro-agressions” “Cultural Appropriation”. These educated idiots known as professors are the inmates in charge of the asylum. Their little parrots are going to be in for one rude shock when employers quickly let them know that spouting this nonsense in the workplace will get their special little snowflake a** fired. Anyone hiring an applicant who majored or minored in the of the “Grievance Studies” ought to have his head examined

    Funeral Guy (be5cfb)

  55. Simon – That, plus ending another pointless Sammy threadjack.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  56. Back to the point of the thread, I do want to remind people that:

    1. There ARE some bizarre antics on pretty much every campus that can make your blood boil.

    2. THere are ALSO some truly great students, who usually don’t catch the public eye.

    The loudest people get all the attention, maybe. I just want to be sure that, when people get angry about colleges, they also know there are many great ones there…working hard and trying their best.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  57. Sammy. Stop. This is the kind of drill-down digression that everyone hates.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  58. White privilege:
    Never the victim of hate crimes. Even when treated with unspeakable brutality–see the Knoxville Horror–they are not hated.
    Don’t have to say anything about anything because everybody already knows what they’re going to say.
    Middle-aged men greeting at Walmart.
    Subject to undue process wrt fake sexual crimes on campuses.
    What’s not to like?

    Richard Aubrey (0605ef)

  59. Uh, oh–he perhaps was less than dissertation quality accurate on some of the footnoting! RACIST RACIST RACIST!!!! “Check your privilege” is *totally* always justified when directed at straight white guys and not an outgrowth of moonbatism at all!

    [could everyone tell that was my sarcastic voice?]

    M. Scott Eiland (c249e1)

  60. Sammy knows what he’s talking about on the subject of Eastern European WWII refugees. Whether he digressed too much off topic, I’m the last in a position to criticize him for it.

    gary, I’m from the Eastern side of Mt. Taygetus (say a mile up), south of Sparta. My village was the southernmost of Lacedaemon. The area is called Mani, a pretty wild place.

    nk (9faaca)

  61. In parts of Spain, mani means peanuts.

    carlitos (e7c734)

  62. 51. Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 5/1/2014 @ 11:36 am

    Sammy – Didn’t the Russians deport around 1,500,000 Poles, including Jews, into Russia, including Siberia after the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and prior to your June 1941 date?

    I don’t think it was that high a number. There was a massive number of arrests a week before the Nazi invasion (which Stalin didn’t know, or believe, was coming – so soon anyway.)

    It wasn’t deportations, either, but arrests. Mass deportations happened later, in other parts of the Soviet Union, although something like that had also happened before.

    Wikipedia says 500,000 Polish citizens were arrested and imprisoned between the Molotov-Ribbontrop Pact and June 22, 1941.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_repressions_of_Polish_citizens_(1939%E2%80%9346)

    Interesting in terms of territory, the Soviet Union actually got more than 50% of Poland. I had thought it was about one third. (In terms of population it was around 3/8. The further east you went in Eastern Europe, the less dense the population got.)

    There were more arrested from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, although some of those from Lithuania were Polish citizens. (Poland had conquered what should have been the caputal of Lithuania, Vilnius, in the aftermath of World War I, and incorporated it into Poland and between the wars the capital of Lithuania was Kaunas instead.)

    What I think happened to Tal Fortgang’s grandfather, is that he (and one brother) was probably arrested together with the Rabbi – and that’s why they were in the same prison camp, and probably barracks. Maybe he was the only one toogether with the Rabbi and his brother was arrested separately.

    Sammy Finkelman (0f2215)

  63. I see some people are calling the massive arrests “deportations”

    http://latvianhistory.wordpress.com/2012/06/14/soviet-mass-deportations-of-14-june-1941/

    And they dare to call the slave labor camps, death camps? That’s what the Nazi death camps pretended to be.

    Here is another link:

    http://kehilalinks.jewishgen.org/rezekne/shoa.php

    Yad Vashem has gathered eye witness accounts of the persecutions of the Jews of Rezekne. The Soviets occupied Latvia in June 1940 and all private enterprises were nationalized and Jewish community institutions were closed. Some Rezekne Jews were arrested the night of June 14-15, 1941 and exiled to locations deep within the Soviet Union.

    The Germans occupied Rezeken on July 3, 1941 and with the assistance of Latvian collaborators began murdering Jews almost immediately. Watch this brief video of an eyewitness to these murders. Click here

    They thought getting arrested was the worst thing that could have happened to them. Actually, it was almost the best thing that could have happened to Jews in the territories occupied by the Soviet Union after the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. And it happned mostly to people who in one way or another defied the Communists, or were thought to be unreliable by them.

    Note here that it was nine months or more till they began Sovietizing Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

    Sammy Finkelman (0f2215)

  64. In Mani, a spanos is a grown man who still does not need to shave.

    nk (9faaca)

  65. Sammy. He said his grandparents both came from Poland. I don’t see any problem with his details. His grandfather’s side of the family ran from the Nazis, and his grandmother’s side of the family was mostly slaughtered by the Russians. As far as the “gulag v. DP camp” argument goes…………”at this point in time, does it really matter?”

    Russ from Winterset (830aac)

  66. I accuse you of judging people by their skin color by judging you by your skin color.

    CrustyB (69f730)

  67. Without looking it up, the Jews Stalin considered unreliable included his wife’s family, and he had started his pogroms in the late ’20s?

    nk (9faaca)

  68. I tend to think that the reason that Stalin hated Hitler the most was that Hitler’s extermination of Soviet citizens got in the way of *Stalin* doing it. No one likes a genocide poacher.

    [again, my sarcastic voice].

    M. Scott Eiland (0f4188)

  69. i am a victim of white privilege.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  70. Comment by nk (9faaca) — 5/1/2014 @ 1:15 pm

    the Jews Stalin considered unreliable included his wife’s family, and he had started his pogroms in the late ’20s?

    There was a false rumor – actually pst-Stalin disinformation – that Stalin had married a “Roza Kaganovich” (or “Rosa Kaganovich”) but this story is not true.

    There was a real Lazar Kaganovich, whose brother was purged, and he never said a word about it..

    http://www.revolutionarydemocracy.org/rdv1n2/kaganfam.htm

    The fall of the USSR has revealed that a number of ‘authoritative’ works on the Soviet Union published in the West are in actual fact forgeries. In 1987 the United States publisher, Morrow, published a book by one Stuart Kahan under the title ‘Wolf of the Kremlin: First Biography of L.M. Kaganovich, the Soviet Union’s Architect of Fear”. The volume was published in 1989 in the UK by the British publishing house, Hale. In 1991 a Russian translation, ‘Kremlyovskii volk’, was published in Moscow by Progress Publishers, and a chapter of this volume appeared in the ‘Nedyelya’ weekly magazine. This statement was sent in the form of a letter of protest to the Director of Progress Publishers and the Chief Editor of ‘Nedyelya’. No reply was ever received. The statement is published for the first time in this journal. We are grateful to the grandson of L.M. Kaganovich for having translated this text into English. Citations from the book are given in backward translation from the Russian. The pagination is that of the Russian edition.

    We, the close relatives of the late Lazar Moiseyevich Kaganovich, are full of indignation due to the publication of the Russian translation of the book “The Wolf in the Kremlin” by the American journalist Stuart Kahan. The translation was published by Progress Publishers, and one chapter of the book also appeared in the weekly magazine “Nedyelya” No. 5, 1991….

    ….The author claims that LMK supposedly placed his sister by Stalin’s side as a home doctor and at the same time, according to the author’s expression, as the “dictator’s wife”, and with her assistance to several Politburo members the step-by-step poisoning of Stalin was carried out.

    All this is a wicked calumny.

    The absurdity and falsity of this version is proved by the fact that LMK’s only sister, by mistake named in the book as Rosa (her name was Rachel), died in 1926 and was buried in Kiev at the Baykov Cemetery. She was married, and she brought up five children. She had never been a doctor, she never went either to Arzamas, or to Nizhny Novgorod or Moscow, so she could not have taken part in the actions so zealously ascribed to her by the author (pp. 238-245). It goes without saying that the dialogue described in the book (pp. 219-223) which supposedly LMK had with his already late sister is fictitious.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  71. “Sammy knows what he’s talking about on the subject of Eastern European WWII refugees.”

    nk – I agree that most of the time he does. In this case he is quibbling over the word choice of the author to dispute his family history and ignoring actual recorded history. The forum to take it up is with the author, not here.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  72. “Wikipedia says 500,000 Polish citizens were arrested and imprisoned between the Molotov-Ribbontrop Pact and June 22, 1941.”

    Sammy – Non-Wikipedia historians claim 1,500,000 Poles were deported to Russia as I previously stated, including to Siberia.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  73. This kind of Orwellian language happens frequently at colleges, newsrooms, left wing group think tanks, and Berkeley coffee houses.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  74. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lazar_Kaganovich

    It seems like that maybe they didn’t just invent (or misdescribe) a sister for him – they invented a son:

    According to Time magazine and some newspapers, Lazar Kaganovich’s son Mikhail (named after Lazar’s late brother) married Svetlana Dzhugashvili, daughter of Joseph Stalin on July 3, 1951.[24] Svetlana in her memoirs denies even the existence of such a son.[25]

    There was somebody else Jewish whom Stalin had forced her to break-up with.

    New York Times obituary of Lazar Kaganovich:

    http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F10614FA355A0C748EDDAE0894D9494D81

    With Stalin having turned against and liquidated so many of his associates, Kaganovich stands out in Bolshevik history for surviving at the dictator’s side longer than anyone. [*] His survival was the more remarkable because he was the only Jew to hold high office in Stalin’s final years in power. Many Jews were being arrested or purged from office, and Stalin was considering a campaign to exterminate Jews when he died in 1953.

    How He Survived

    One explanation may be that Kaganovich’s sister, Rosa, was believed to be intimately involved with Stalin. Some biographers have said she became his third wife, though Stalin’s daughter from his second marriage has denied the reports about the woman.

    [*] Actually, that’s wrong. That would be Molotov.

    All this about “Rosa Kaganovich” is apparently NKVD/KGB disinformation, maybe originally invented to humanize Stalin or to misinform people about the identity of some other woman he was involved with. The story seems to go way back.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  75. I’m only up to #10 – I’ve been too busy in the “matrix”.

    #10 I like the idea! Put SPQR’s cabal on it.

    felipe (098e97)

  76. Oh dear sweet infant baby Allah, yet another Sammylanche

    JD (a6eb12)

  77. 53. Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 5/1/2014 @ 11:44 am

    Sammy – Why not go over to Real Clear Politics and tell the author directly that you believe he has his family history wrong?

    What’s the link? Here this has only been linked to http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/17230/

    I should. What he has there is maybe all right for a 5th grader, and even then you’d be disappointed.

    Sammy Finkelman (0f2215)

  78. 66. Comment by Russ from Winterset (830aac) — 5/1/2014 @ 1:10 pm

    Sammy. He said his grandparents both came from Poland.

    On either his mother’s or his faher’s side.

    I don’t see any problem with his details. His grandfather’s side of the family ran from the Nazis, and his grandmother’s side of the family was mostly slaughtered by the Russians.

    You can’t read either? That’s not what he says. He says one grandfather and a brother ran from the Nazis (but the details he gives makes it seem likely they didn’t “run” but were arrested) and most of the rest of his family (his great-grandmother and five great-aunts and uncles was slaughtered by the Nazis.

    The woman his grandfather married (his grandmother) was liberated from the concentration camps.

    As far as the “gulag v. DP camp” argument goes…………”at this point in time, does it really matter?”

    What are you, channeling Hillary Clinton?

    Sammy Finkelman (0f2215)

  79. This is like an episode of the Twilight Zone. Sammah makes about 4395786249273602 ASSumptions, then proclaims that he knows more about someone’s family history than they do. All the while missing the significantly larger picture and point.

    JD (a6eb12)

  80. In Mani, a spanos is a grown man who still does not need to shave.

    Comment by nk (9faaca) — 5/1/2014 @ 1:08 pm

    In NorCal, a Spanos is a man who owns teh San Diego Chargers.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  81. I am “white privilege” and there’s more than enough of me to go around.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  82. Time to watch the Bruins check the privileged Canadiens.
    I must be racist.

    mg (31009b)

  83. If you own a pro sports team in southern California and you like it, you can keep it. Period. Or until further notice. Or whatever.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  84. The horse I rode in on isn’t even white. Does this make me a bad Nazi?

    Steve57 (525198)

  85. Back from the matrix again – I am now up to comment #21.

    #21 Find out who your father is and go complain to him.

    This reminds me of what my sister overheard in class at UT many years ago:

    Dude 1: Man, your daddy was a moonshiner!

    Dude 2: At least I know who my daddy is!

    felipe (098e97)

  86. Sammy on Rosa Parks:

    “You know, she didn’t have to sit in the BACK of the bus. She could have sat in the first seat up from the back. Clearly she got her story wrong.”

    Russ from Winterset (830aac)

  87. Seriously, must a white supremacist ride a white horse?

    I missed the meeting because I had to go to church and top up on the homophobias.

    Steve57 (525198)

  88. colonel, I am going to make t-shirts (yet again) that say:

    We are white privilege

    Or maybe hoodies.

    felipe (098e97)

  89. Sammy – you are a tiresome prick. Did anyone ever tell you how much people love being corrected by know-it-alls?

    Jerk

    fugazi (381bb5)

  90. Sammy on Thermopylae:

    “Technically, there were actually 304 Spartans at that battle if you go by the records kept by Xerxes’ commanders. Clearly Leonidas had a problem with simple arithmetic.”

    Russ from Winterset (830aac)

  91. Can a white supremacist pilot an AH-64 Apache? Because that would eliminate a lot of career choices right there.

    Steve57 (525198)

  92. I really like that scene from the movie where the white guy stands up (wearing his stylish “I am White Privlidge” hoodie)and says “I AM WHITE PRIVLIDGE”.

    Then another cracker stands up to say “I AM WHITE PRIVLIDGE”, then another, then another, then another.

    Russ from Winterset (830aac)

  93. privilege. Jokes are so much funnier if you get the spelling correct.

    Russ from Winterset (830aac)

  94. i thought you were just being “urban”… 8-)

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  95. 91. Sammy on Thermopylae:

    “Technically, there were actually 304 Spartans at that battle if you go by the records kept by Xerxes’ commanders. Clearly Leonidas had a problem with simple arithmetic.”

    Comment by Russ from Winterset (830aac) — 5/1/2014 @ 4:32 pm

    There were a hell of a lot of helots, as well. Tons of Thespians, I do believe.

    Spartans always get the best press.

    Steve57 (525198)

  96. All this about “Sammy Finkleman” is apparently NKVD/KGB disinformation…

    FTFY!

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  97. Sammy on jeopardy:

    SF: what is not white privilege?

    AT: sorry, the answer is “what is white privilege”.

    SF: The answer might have been misstated by poor research, a bias, or some thing that stemmed from it.

    Why else would it have been worded that way??

    Similar answers were in the south American, British and French equivalents of jeopardy earlier in the year and my question was correct.

    The shows writers or perhaps a maternal grandfather and his grandfather’s brother were in those countries, and thus, subconsciously influenced.

    If they were originalr citizens, which they might not have, they would have the opportunity to write for shows released in about 1943 to air at a later date. That’s how Allen Funt got his start.

    AT: We’ll be back after this commercial break.

    SF: I think the writer still hasn’t really gotten the answer straight, and it is kind of sad he didn’t really investigate the term before he checked with me.

    felipe (098e97)

  98. Re: “Jerk”

    Do not call Sammy a jerk, he most certainly is not a jerk. Sorry about that Sammy.

    felipe (098e97)

  99. “What’s the link? Here this has only been linked to http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/17230/

    Sammy – For frack’s sake, go there instead of spamming this thread.

    You do have the capability of looking up a post on Real Clear Politics if you have the inclination. That’s where somebody sent me his letter from yesterday.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  100. Would I be infringing on JD’s rights to use the term “Spammalanche”? has it been used yet?

    felipe (098e97)

  101. Vodka advert:

    There was a time when a man had no need to ask. No need to explain. No need to worry. He enjoyed the company of his equals and drank what only they could drink. That time was last night.

    White privilege: it isn’t for you.

    felipe (098e97)

  102. Do not call Sammy a jerk, he most certainly is not a jerk. Sorry about that Sammy.

    true: why insult jerks by equating them to Sam the Sham?

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  103. There were a hell of a lot of helots, as well. Tons of Thespians, I do believe.

    Spartans always get the best press.

    Comment by Steve57 (525198) — 5/1/2014 @ 4:37 pm

    Weren’t the Thespians where the best Shakespearean actors came from?

    Bill H (f9e4cd)

  104. I should have added :) or /sarc at the end of my post.

    Bill H (f9e4cd)

  105. I like Sammy. Sure, but… Anyway sure.

    Steve57 (525198)

  106. Sammy, have your heard the saying that when you’re out of Crusaders (as in the F’n-8 variety) you’re out of fighters?

    Steve57 (525198)

  107. Do not call Sammy a jerk, he most certainly is not a jerk. Sorry about that Sammy.

    Agreed. That comment was out of line, and, thankfully, a drive-by troll. I find Sammy’s tendency to gnaw a bone in detail more than tiring, but that’s just the way he is.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  108. I’m just trying to find out if there’s nothing he doesn’t know.

    Steve57 (525198)

  109. I could kinda understand this “check your privilege” BS if the target was the scion of a “dynasty” a Clinton, a Kennedy,a Gore, even Bush or Romney…but not a run of the mill white kid.

    BTW Sammy, a lot of what we don’t know about our grandparents and the stories they tell us, is that for some reason they are embarrassed and don’t want us to be.

    My authentic surname is not the one I legally possess; it was changed at Ellis Island in 1917.
    Grandparents, bless their hearts, can be a bit zealous about the narrative, esp if they feel it may distress the kids

    Angelo (959936)

  110. 61. I see, somewhere near Gerolimenas?

    Rough crowd, never subdued by the Romans, autonomous under the Ottomans.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  111. 111. …My authentic surname is not the one I legally possess; it was changed at Ellis Island in 1917.

    Comment by Angelo (959936) — 5/1/2014 @ 7:24 pm

    I suppose I’m one to the lucky ones. The guys at Ellis Island left my heritage intact.

    Steve57 (525198)

  112. 111, 113. Mine surname is just the name of the farm great great granddad was a tenant on outside Oslo.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  113. what I know about my heritage. I’m not really sure about anything except the white privilege and the flathead Ford v8.

    Steve57 (525198)

  114. Dudes: White Jewish privilege is harshing the collective mellow. Stop with the Ellis Island revisionist history. The only correct narrative is oppression by the pink, gender-specific invaders and oppressors.

    Just take it easy, man.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  115. Oh, yeah. And selling speed boats to Coast Guard outfitted with Liberty engines during prohibition.

    And then selling better speed boats to the Rum runners.

    Yeah. That part of my heritage I’m pretty sure about.

    Steve57 (525198)

  116. A young man after my own heart. Reminds me of my college experiences shortly after 9/11 where we had leftists trying to create a forum to protest American aggression. They claimed to have an open forum till people tried to support the USA. Then they said, “shut up.”

    And other experiences in a Race Relations class where the black Muslim professor blamed all ills on white male privilege and racism. I enjoyed all the extra reading I did to counter his biases.

    And again when the student government decided they wanted to dictate to every club that every event needed to be pre approved by them to get student fees or space to have an event/speaker. And anyone who felt that was wrong was racist because the SGA was run by an Indian guy and a couple of black women.

    I still have a copy of the article I got published in the student paper that helped bring down the corrupt student government.

    njrob (1ebab2)


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