the new york times is enlightened but not really

The New York Times published an article called Please Don’t Thank Me For My Service.  It made me feel like society might be getting better, if we can talk about this:

Mike Freedman, a Green Beret, calls it the “thank you for your service phenomenon.” To some recent vets — by no stretch all of them — the thanks comes across as shallow, disconnected, a reflexive offering from people who, while meaning well, have no clue what soldiers did over there or what motivated them to go, and who would never have gone themselves nor sent their own sons and daughters.

To these vets, thanking soldiers for their service symbolizes the ease of sending a volunteer army to wage war at great distance — physically, spiritually, economically. It raises questions of the meaning of patriotism, shared purpose and, pointedly, what you’re supposed to say to those who put their lives on the line and are uncomfortable about being thanked for it.

Mr. Garth, 26, said that when he gets thanked it can feel self-serving for the thankers, suggesting that he did it for them, and that they somehow understand the sacrifice, night terrors, feelings of loss and bewilderment. Or don’t think about it at all.

More than likely, enough people have just come home damaged that the phenomenon can’t be denied indefinitely.  It’s been a long time since 9/11, now.

We probably haven’t learned anything.  The author speaks for normals:

For most of us, I suspect, offering thanks reflects genuine appreciation — even if ill-defined. It was a dirty job and someone had to do it. If not these men and women, then us or our children.

This guy has a Pulizter Prize and for him it goes without saying that “someone had to do it.”  Had to do what, exactly?  On the same list of most emailed articles is Straight Talk for White Men by Nicholas Kristof (also a Pulitzer Prize winner).  He was very brave and looked inside himself and read a little bit about implicit bias.  Of course he’s not accomplishing much other than riling up white people upset about affirmative action.  This is the same person who also writes articles in favor of sweatshops, titled In Praise of the Maligned Sweatshop.

Brown people know these journalists and the normals they speak for think that murdering and enslaving brown people is an unfortunate “dirty job,” worthy of “genuine appreciation — even if ill-defined”.  It’s actually just the advocacy of racist and awful things.  Nothing implicit about it.  White privilege is the ability to starve black people over their inability to meet the reporting requirements of modern banking in a war zone without a central government.

“The money I send back to Somalia helps my siblings go to school,” tweeted Ifrah Ahmed. “They are not terrorists.”

Some 40 percent of Somalis rely on remittances for daily needs, such as food, medicines and school fees, Adeso said.

Blind and white-haired, Hassan Hussein Bulale’s only source of income is $50 a month from a relative in the United States.

“If that money stops, it will be devastation,” the elderly man, who lives in the city of Hargeisa, told Oxfam.

While most transactions are a few hundred dollars sent to needy family members, it is Somali business people and traders, trying to transfer thousands of dollars, who have started feeling the impact of the Merchants Bank account closures…

Britain has been working with the World Bank on a “Safer Corridor” initiative to tighten the scrutiny of Somali money transfers through measures such as biometric identity cards for recipients in Somalia…

Somalia endured famine in 2011, during which more than 250,000 people died. Malnutrition rates remain at emergency levels in several parts of the country as fighting continues between the Western-backed government and Islamist militants.

White privilege is the fact that all of this is OK since the Africans could just take a break from struggling in a war zone and get biometric identity cards, thereby earning the right to eat food and receive medical treatment.  The people of Somalia had an election and decided it was up to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency of the United States.