Thursday, November 19, 2009

* "Over-privileged lefty white guy" : Are you kidding?!

Display in Pequot Museum Lobby

Some of the Pequot Tribe

Their descendant with dog.

Poverty Pedigree

(It is an odd twist in our world of Political Correctness that I must present my Credentials of Poverty in order to be taken seriously in a debate.)

My Grandmother's ghetto apartment building two blocks from the palaces of Yale at Elm and State streets, circa 1950.

My Grandmother, Alice Nugent Ward, in her Rebekah gown.

My grandmother lived in a slumlord's third floor walk-up with no hot water at Elm and State Streets, two blocks from the palaces of Yale, from 1940-1962. She refused to apply for welfare because she thought she should earn her own living which she did until she retired at age 72 as a receptionist for the doctors' building on the site of the current Shubert Theatre.

Over-privileged, lefty white guy as Sgt. Pepper.

My Great Grandparents, Charley and Christina Nugent (50th Anniversary photo circa 1940).

Dirt poor, they owned and ran Nugent's Turkey Farm in Guilford, Connecticut. Christina Nugent's great grandmother, I am told by my mother, was a Pequot squaw.

My mother (pictured here with my brother in 1946) tells me that she was so poor as a child during the Depression that one Sunday all the family could afford for Sunday dinner was a serving platter full of stuffing.

Like Wilson in The Great Gatsby my father was so poor that he had to borrow this suit for his wedding day, 1933.

Still over-privileged, lefty, white guy, right?

In post responses to Mr.Hirst's Yale Daily News 11/19/09 article "We've got to fight," poster # 5 refers to my post (#1) and calls me an "over-privileged lefty white guy".

I'm ashamed to admit it but in 1968 I voted for Richard Nixon for president. I think that disgraceful mistake forever and always disqualifies me for the tag "lefty".

And "overprivileged ... white guy" floors me: I come from shanty-Irish/ German-washerwoman/Pequot Native American stock, and was even on "hardship" status with Yale because my income was so small.

I have been VERY privileged however in my friends and intellectual associations.
But brains and moxy are far different from privileged lineage and Old Blue blood.

I claim some of the former and none of the latter.

Yale Daily News Updated: Thursday, November 19, 2009 4:57 p.m.
We’ve got to fight
By Adam Lior Hirst
Published Wednesday, November 18, 2009

America has a storied history of fighting for right and freedom “from the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli.” We have shed blood and spent treasure to ensure that people around the world could be free. As a nation, we are especially concerned with ensuring the safety and prosperity of those who have been oppressed by their governments.
Today, the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are in need of this protection. These efforts will require an America active on the world stage, and even an America willing to use force.
The Ugandan government is poised...

#1 By Candide 5:20a.m. on November 18, 2009
Moral evolution takes time. It took America 200 years to stop selling human beings for money. It took until the 1960's to guarantee equal rights and then another 20 years to extend that guarantee to women and people with same gender magnetism.

Why would you think you could wave a magic political or military wand and expedite evolution in countries and religions which are slogging along in primitive stages of the process? Isn't that what "democratizing" Iraq amounts to?

Il faut cultiver notre jardin says Candide: Cultivate your own garden.

#2 By FailBoat 9:16a.m. on November 18, 2009
It's ok - Levin will invite the offending leaders for a special visit to campus.

#3 By '10 1:40p.m. on November 18, 2009
Not to be a dick about this, but what freedom were we fighting for in the halls of Montezuma?

#4 By factchecker 4:29p.m. on November 18, 2009

"The Halls of Montezuma" refers to the Battle of Chapultepec, during the Mexican-American War, where a force of Marines stormed Chapultepec Castle.

#5 By ? 4:41p.m. on November 18, 2009
Did Keanie Weanie just refer to a certain religion as "primitive??????"

Let's look: "Why [do something for] religions which are slogging along in primitive stages of the process?"

My goodness! To what religion, pray tell, could an over-privileged lefty white guy be referring to in such derogatory terms? Did the mask covering deep-seated and implicit bigotry and arrogance just slip a bit? Oh my...

BTW: One can infer at least one good point from KW's hit bit: why don't we work to end global SLAVERY before focusing on more esoteric topics? In the hierarchy of oppression, ending the "selling [of] human beings for money" I think should rank first.

America ended slavery nearly 150 years ago: when can we expect KW's "primitives"--e.g., Sudan, Saudi, Malaysia, etc.--to abandon the
peculiar institution?

#6 By Recent Alum 7:31p.m. on November 18, 2009

I don't understand this column. Adam Hirst is a liberal Democrat, shouldn't he be attacking Christians like Sarah Palin and George Bush rather than complaining about autocratic Muslim regimes? What is going on here?

#7 By Paul Keane 11:43a.m. on November 19, 2009

Overly privileged lefty white guy? Impudent puppy: My grandmother lived in a slum lord's third floor walk-up with no hot water, two blocks from the palaces of Yale at Elm and State Streets.

Read my stuff before you judge this book by its cover.

Lefty? Try
and read the paper I submitted on the topic for Outka's Religious Ethics and Modern Moral issues class in 1976.

Otherwise stuff your opinions back in the sack of flesh from which they were vomitted.

White? My great great great grandmother was a native American squaw.

BTW: it is my contention (if you read my stuff) that ALL religions evolve and that SOME religions are further along in the process (and process is not necessarily progress, unless you consider the materialistic christianity of America "progress".)

NB: We could feed every starving child in the world for a DECADE with the money spent on fuel for one MONTH to heat the huge hollow sanctuaries christians use for worship every Sunday in America.

Of course I am speaking about religion in derogatory terms. Are you deaf?

I have been doing so for forty years beginning with Holy Smoke, my student authored publication at Yale Divinity School (which I attended BTW while serving as an apartment superintendent for an 88 unit low income housing project on Elm Street--hardly a privileged lefty white guy position (glorified janitor).

I guarantee I have compacted more garbage than #5 has ever come near, unless we count what issues forth from his mouth (and I make the "his" inference with dubious certainty)

Primitive? The women at the time of the Salem witch trials were treated in the same manner as some women in current Middle Eastern and African religions: their bodies were considered sinful and it was mandated that they be covered from head to foot except for the face and hands so that the poor helpless males would not be reduced to trembling blobs of erotic protoplasm in the presence of sinful female flesh.

This custom still prevails in the US
in some sects today.

Now the question is: is evolution progress or is it merely a process.

"Primitive" seems to have irritated

It was used in the sense of "in the beginning stages of". However if evolution is simply a process and not progress, the beginning stages have no more inherent value than any other stage.

In fact, all of Judaism and Christianity worship through interpretation of a "primitive" text: Old and New Testament to which has been ascribed magical value by countless generations of the superstitious.

It is interesting that #5 like so many of the posters hides his invective behind the veil of anonymity.

Rather primitive on the courage-continuum, don't you think?

Decidedly unprivileged,un-white and un-left