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Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

I Was Mugged, and I Understand Why

Last weekend, my housemate and I were mugged at gunpoint while walking home from Dupont Circle. The entire incident lasted under a minute, as I was forced to the floor, handed over my phone and was patted down.

And yet, when a reporter asked whether I was surprised that this happened in Georgetown, I immediately answered: “Not at all.” It was so clear to me that we live in the most privileged neighborhood within a city that has historically been, and continues to be, harshly unequal. While we aren’t often confronted by this stark reality west of Rock Creek Park, the economic inequality is very real.

Year after year, Washington, D.C., is ranked among the most unequal cities in the country, with the wealthiest 5 percent earning an estimated 54 times more than the poorest 20 percent. According to the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute, just under 20 percent of D.C. residents live below the poverty line.

What has been most startling to me, even more so than the incident itself, have been the reactions I’ve gotten. I kept hearing “thugs,” “criminals” and “bad people.” While I understand why one might jump to that conclusion, I don’t think this is fair.

Not once did I consider our attackers to be “bad people.” I trust that they weren’t trying to hurt me. In fact, if they knew me, I bet they’d think I was okay. They wanted my stuff, not me. While I don’t know what exactly they needed the money for, I do know that I’ve never once had to think about going out on a Saturday night to mug people. I had never before seen a gun, let alone known where to get one. The fact that these two kids, who appeared younger than I, have even had to entertain these questions suggests their universes are light years away from mine.

I come from a solidly middle-class family, and, with relatives in Mexico City, certainly don’t consider myself entirely shielded from poverty. And yet I’d venture to guess that our attackers have had to experience things I’ve never dreamed of. When I struggled in school, I had parents who willingly sat down with me and helped me work through it. When I have a problem, I have countless people who I can turn to for solid advice.

When I walk around at 2 a.m., nobody looks at me suspiciously, and police don’t ask me any questions. I wonder if our attackers could say the same.

Who am I to stand from my perch of privilege, surrounded by million-dollar homes and paying for a $60,000 education, to condemn these young men as “thugs?” It’s precisely this kind of “otherization” that fuels the problem.

Young people who willingly or unwillingly go down this road have been dealt a bad hand. While speaking with a D.C. police officer after the incident, he explained that he too had come from difficult circumstances, and yet had made the decision not to get involved in crime. This is a very fair point — we all make decisions. Yet I’ve never had to decide whether or not to steal from people. We’re all capable of good and bad, but it’s a whole lot easier for me to choose good than it may be for them to.

If we ever want opportunistic crime to end, we should look at ourselves first. Simply amplifying police presence will not solve the issue. Police protect us by keeping those “bad people” out of our neighborhood, and I’m grateful for it. And yet, I realize it’s self-serving and doesn’t actually fix anything.

When we play along with a system that fuels this kind of desperation, we can’t be surprised when we’re touched by it. Maybe these two kids are caught, and this recent crime wave dies down, but it will return because the demand is still there, and the supply is still here. We have a lot, and plenty of opportunities to make even more. They have very little, and few opportunities to make ends meet.

The millennial generation is taking over the reins of the world, and thus we are presented with a wonderful opportunity to right some of the wrongs of the past. As young people, we need to devote real energy to solving what are collective challenges. Until we do so, we should get comfortable with sporadic muggings and break-ins. I can hardly blame them. The cards are all in our hands, and we’re not playing them.

Oliver Friedfeld is a senior in the School of Foreign Service.

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  • T

    testAug 24, 2022 at 7:48 am

    test

    Reply
  • P

    PamJul 17, 2021 at 3:27 am

    dr kola kolawole of hamilton, male psychiatrist had been convicted of second degree felony forcible sexual abuse and third degree felony forcible sodomy molestation of three juvenile patients at the ontario facility where he worked and sexual assault of a highschool girl in a park.

    Reply
  • M

    MichaelJun 3, 2020 at 2:22 pm

    So, the Millennial generation is taking over the reins of the world and will set things right? Spare me the naivete. I thought self-righteous Baby Boomers already did that in the 1970s.

    Reply
    • C

      CatherineJun 7, 2020 at 3:53 pm

      The reasoned and sensible logic here is very much relevant to the current “protests” and riots.

      Our current climate equates rogue compassion and empathy as compatible with the cross-cultural ethics and morality. Agapic love (in a philosophical sense) does NOT mean unrelenting acceptance for bad behavior. It is willing the best for the potential of the other, and taking them as yourself. It is easier to make the justification that a tenderness for the reason behind a violent aggressive act to take belongings is “love”. A mugging is a mugging, whatever the background context. This post-modern relativist morality is just liberal narcissistic masturbation that denies the historical patterns of human nature and the path we must take to curb base appetites. This is not contingent – and never has been – on the skin color, despite a history of evil on all peoples- nor has been the sole construct of white patriarchy.

      I am a female and a “minority” and I have never identified with these labels for identity politics. I actually feel horribly disconcerted to bring it up. I merely use it as an example to show how easy it would be use these an excuse for any suffering or resentment I may feel. I’m a relatively happy person. Life doesn’t owe me anything, but I make myself useful and empowered to master skills that better those around me. I never thought to reduce my personhood, nor those of others, to labels. Isn’t that the opposite of the tribalism we seek to change? Why would I forfeit my self-efficacy and agency as person? My inner world is far richer and stronger than these outside “systems” that are supposedly out to get me. I act forthrightly and my path is smoother in this world. This is not a hard conclusion to get to.

      I went to a Jesuit college more than a decade ago, and real life experience has matured the theories I was educated in. I find this 2014 article sadly naive. In theory, this student claims he benefitted from the encounter, but if there was bodily harm or intense violative psychological trauma that affected his well-being down the road, he would be singing a different tune. Champagne liberals aim to empathize with the downtrodden and marginalized by a black square as symbol of compunction and solidarity. Of course they capitalize on low-hanging fruit for virtue signaling. Quite easy and quite cowardly to not walk the walk. I do not see them choosing to let their kids school with inner city communities, nor do they integrate into the ghetto culture to assuage their white guilt. They choose not to, because these choices are inherently lacking excellence- not because they are simply associated with the black community. And yes, it is and sad to say the black community choses this lack of cultural excellence. Address the real issues of lack of industriousness, lack of moral code, lack of secure family structure, and lack of wit. Please stop using the rationalization that it is zero sum game that someone else’s success takes away from your own, so you must take it back from them.

      Many people don’t use their frontal lobes most of the time. It takes a lot of glucose and ATP. By assuming this in 2020, I’ve spared myself a lot of frustration.

      It is very obvious by the BLM movement that “Love friendship, [and] respect do not unite people as much as common hatred for something”. I find it hypocritical in the deepest sense. I have no sympathy for violent delights finding violent ends. I dare not judge harshly, but consequence are consequences.

      Stay courageous in virtue everyone though it may be unpopular to use stern ethic. Please take care of dearest and closest to you. Integrity is needed more than ever. This is the truer noble cause.

      (Sorry for the long rant.)

      Reply
  • I

    Israel IdowuMay 18, 2020 at 4:26 pm

    I was mugged years ago I wasn’t rich or middle I was broke and poor the people dont give a rant a if you’re poor greedy will make a man into a killer. I was hold at gun point people can be corrupted man’s hearts can be evil too. Robbing poor why not Ron the rich they had money. I don’t know why the f they rob the poor this s don’t make any muthafn sense.

    Reply
  • R

    Ronnie AlvarezMar 15, 2020 at 10:32 am

    I was mugged years ago I wasn’t rich or middle I was broke and poor the people dont give a rant a if you’re poor greedy will make a man into a killer. I was hold at gun point people can be corrupted man’s hearts can be evil too. Robbing poor why not Ron the rich they had money. I don’t know why the f they rob the poor this s don’t make any muthafn sense.

    Reply
  • L

    LarryJul 14, 2019 at 6:17 am

    Cops now a days have it really ruff when dealing with people who don’t care about themselves or anyone else they come in contact with. This earth and all who are alive, need JESUS to make his second coming sooner than later and all who have hurt anybody on this earth other than someone who is protecting someone else from death wether a man woman or child and even during war, but that can’t happen, otherwise we wouldn’t have a free country!!! I really think GOD orJesus need to intervene by causing all who kill who are not doing it to keep from dieing, GOD should just have their heart stop. Or have them called up, body and all to pay for their sins in Hell!!!!!!!!!

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  • G

    GuessSep 5, 2018 at 6:45 am

    Oliver Friedfeld you are a complete liberal moron !

    Reply
  • R

    RobMay 12, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    You do realize that they’re not robbing people so that little sis can have that operation she needs, 95+% of this money goes to alcohol, drugs, partying, and avoiding work. And also that the majority of their victims are people in the same economic boat as they are. I’m guessing that majority has a different view of these criminals than you do. That’s your real privilege.

    Reply
  • I

    I Was Mugged, and I Have a Different OpinionMay 1, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    I *was* mugged and I have a different opinion.

    The man who mugged me is, by definition, a thug, a bad person, and a criminal. I was naive. I had never actually encountered a bad person before. They are real, they are out there, and they target the weak.

    I wasn’t alert. I was heads down on my phone and oblivious to my surroundings. I was a completely innocent person minding my own business when a criminal saw my obvious disadvantage and he attacked me. As the saying goes, “Fool me once, shame on me; fool me twice, shame on you”.

    Unlike Oliver, I have no sympathy for my attacker. Quite the opposite, actually. If I read about a man attempting to mug someone and getting shot by his would be victim, I will smile.

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  • M

    Mike FlynnMar 8, 2017 at 8:55 pm

    Liberal guilt at it’s best! DC at night is a war zone plain and simple. Even in broad daylight you had better have your head on a swivel and know where your at! “It’s my fault I got mugged”!? It amazes me how especially young people have no sense of danger and wonder why they get robbed or killed?

    Reply
  • S

    Scott fishmanDec 16, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    I believe you have a misunderstanding of the situation. To have such evil in your heart to hold another human being at gunpoint, is beyond my comprehension. I don’t care how desperate you become, there is a line a human being should not cross. You are not cut from the same thread my friend. I didn’t come from money. I worked on cars for 20+ years while creating an IT company on the side. I can finally reap the benefits after working day and night. I put my time in and made something for myself. I would never consider putting another human being in harms way.

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  • S

    SeanPFeb 2, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    Oliver…..tsk tsk. Show me proof of what reporter interviewed you and show me proof of the iPhone you had shut off (which makes sense after it’s been stolen) and I will donate 5000 to the charity of your choice.

    Reply
  • U

    UVA '15Jan 7, 2015 at 11:29 pm

    I was in Dupont Circle earlier today, and I was talking with my dad about the possibility of moving to DC itself after graduation (I’m looking at several jobs in the District). I kinda decided that I’m actually going to get an apartment in Arlington so I don’t have to pay exorbitant taxes and am still able to own and carry a gun. I go to UVA, a school very similar to Gtown, but because muggings against UVA students are pretty commonplace, students seem to have little sympathy for the muggers. The main student neighborhood is located next to the poorest and most crime ridden part of Charlottesville. If something like this ever showed up in the Cavalier Daily, I’d be the first to bring it up at my weekly student council meeting and set everyone straight. I am a proud Glock 19 owner, and I carry whenever necessary (as long as I’m not going through grounds as it is an idiotic “gun free zone”).

    Reply
  • S

    sbourgJan 1, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    I bet Oliver’s Sociology prof would give him an ‘A’ for his brilliant display of empathy for the gun-wielding felons. But isn’t it odd that there’s not even a hint that Oliver understands what might be the cause and therefore the solution to inner-city crime ? Well Oliver, here it goes: The cause is lifelong unemployment of too many residents and the cradle-to-grave welfare benefits that provide food, health-care, rent-subsidies, cell phones, etc, etc, even free-deliveries of babies for unmarried unemployed mothers. The open-borders and illegals taking jobs is one HUGE cause of the unemployment, and the welfare state that absolutely enables (if not outright encouraging) single-parenting and dropping out of school is another HUGE cause of unemployment and dependence on a willing govt. So Oliver, if you would EVER understand these to be causes…….then what type of solutions would you propose?

    Reply
  • L

    LeroyDec 11, 2014 at 6:28 am

    I was homeless at times as a child and grew up poor. I am a minority. I was raised by a single mother. Not once did it cross anyone in my family’s mind to put someone else in danger because of the hand we were dealt. You were mugged by bad people. When life deals you a bad hand you should just suck it up and hope for the best. I consider myself liberal and very anti-conservative. Wrong choices don’t happen to us. We make them. You might not understand the world that I come from but I hope you realize that a hard life is no reason to harm others. For a lot of us life is and has been hard. Yet the majority of us carry the weight of it and push on. Understanding that we may live and die a whole life in poverty. I believe the mind set of a young man that enables him to wield a tool of war and death is the same mind set that allows some police and many soldiers to dehumanize the criminal or the enemy. It is the desire to have power over those you perceive to be weaker than you that is wrong. It is bad. It is unethical. From the elite politician to the poverty stricken mugger, it is bad. Wrong. Man will never get far if he continues to fear that he does not have enough. If he is angry that others have more. I am not wealthy. I never was. And very likely I never will be. Next year I could lose my job and be forced to sell what belongings I have. But I will never harm or frighten others to eat. Not because I fear god or the law. But because I will want to fall asleep knowing that I am not a bad man.

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  • B

    Bill CastellaniDec 9, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    I live in Logan Shaw area of Washington, DC.
    I am a total liberal here living in a economically-income mixed neighborhood.
    You were robbed by very bad people: not economic Socialists seeking
    social-economic equality.
    These would-be murders have no connection to those who work for
    social justice: their actions foil that.

    Reply
  • B

    BeatboxDec 8, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    “I trust that they weren’t trying to hurt me.”

    Give me a break. Any lawyer, cop, judge will tell you that people who commit crimes like this do not operate on the same moral/logical plane as the rest of us. Would you risk years in jail for armed robbery conviction for $100?

    When that person pulled a gun on your, your life was in the hands of person who had already made some very poor life decisions.

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  • P

    Pete Bignotti Sr., (MPDC Det. Retired)Dec 5, 2014 at 8:53 am

    Mr. Friedfeld, you should pray and thank God, that you’re still alive.
    As a retired 30 year veteran of the DC Police Department, I was involved in the arrests of hundreds of the types of “Thugs” that robbed you. I worked the majority of my career in the Second District ( Georgetown & Dupont Circle areas included).
    Liberals like you, have the “Ostrich Syndrome”. Pull your head out of the sand and see what is happening. These young Robbers, know that young college kids like you, party on Friday and Saturday nights. Then, between 2 & 3 AM. they walk home highly intoxicated. Easy prey for these predators.
    I have investigated Rapes, Armed Robberies and Murders in the GTown area. The last three Murders I worked, were the senseless murders of the three young kids in Starbucks on Wisc. Ave, NW. Through my experience some of the most vicious criminals are usually young, 16-20 yrs old. Here is an example of just how vicious a couple of 16-17 year old DC High School Students can be:
    Two 16 year old young men from DC, drove a stolen car to Danville, Va. They observed an elderly woman (65 ), park her car. They robbed, kidnapped, raped, shot her in the head and left her on a logging road. Several days later I arrested the same boys in the area of Wilson High school after they had pointed a gun at a student. After the arrests, their criminal activities in Va. were discovered. They are both serving life sentences in Va. I find it hard to drive through DC without remembering a criminal act that occurred in every block. What the liberals fail to understand, is that there will always be vicious criminal predators. The cops are the thin “blue line” separating the predators from the decent people. The liberals are causing that line to get thinner by the day.
    I wish you well Mr. Friedfeld. Keep you head up, always on a swivel and be constantly aware of whats going on around you at all times. Be Safe !!

    Reply
  • N

    neversagDec 4, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    Liberalism (as we in the U.S. understand it today) really is a mental illness.

    Reply
  • T

    the devil is in the detailsDec 4, 2014 at 10:28 am

    “Last weekend, my housemate and I were mugged at gunpoint while walking home from Dupont Circle. The entire incident lasted under a minute, as I was forced to the floor, handed over my phone and was patted down.”

    You say that you were “forced to the floor”? I would have expected that you might have been forced to the ground, but “the floor”?

    Could you explain?

    Reply
  • A

    A.K.Dec 4, 2014 at 9:06 am

    Since when is the middle-class, to which the writer claims to belong, a “privileged” class?

    Reply
  • L

    LaurenDec 4, 2014 at 6:25 am

    “Rather, I plead with you to see a mode of life in our midst, a mode of life stunted and distorted, but possessing its own laws and claims, an existence of men growing out of the soil prepared by the collective but blind will of a hundred million people. I beg you to recognize human life draped in a form and guise alien to ours, but springing from a soil plowed and sown by our own hands. I ask you to recognize laws and processes flowing from such a condition, understand them, seek to change them. If we do none of these, then we should not pretend horror or surprise when thwarted life expresses itself in fear and hate and crime.”
    ― Richard Wright, Native Son

    Reply
    • J

      JasonJan 5, 2015 at 3:12 pm

      That’s really great Lauren. You post a quote by someone else, but you’ve failed at the message it expresses. Other than a blind quote, what have YOU done to change humanity, stunted, distorted and thwarted lives? Or is it that you really don’t want to get “your hands dirty”?

      Reply
  • C

    Capital_TruckDec 3, 2014 at 11:46 pm

    My feeling is that the author will probably feel different about this sort of thing when he is gainfully employed having to work his own way through the world. Does this statement make me guilty of generalizing (that he is a student who is not having to work his way through school)? Perhaps. I guess at the end of the day I sense a great deal of naivety.
    About his stickup boys: As has been mentioned above, to suggest that they were practically forced into this behavior removes their agency. I think they deserve to be credited with being able to make decisions. Otherwise they’re just robots. However, I will say from first hand knowledge that youngsters between 12-16 can’t make a good decision to save their lives. I guess I have trouble getting past the naivety…

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  • N

    nDec 3, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    I’ve been mugged myself, twice as a matter of fact. I am about the author’s age, white and middle-class. I was empathetic towards both muggers, as it is obviously an act of desperation and I was aware that a lot had to do with their circumstance. Yet, it’s one thing to put yourself in that person’s shoes and understand what they must be going through and another to push the blame onto yourself. Everyone has a reason and most make sense within the confines of ones own head. But, as I believe, and as they should be teaching at Georgetown, morality is not relative based on your circumstances and views. And I’m sure many of the mugger’s childhood peers have upheld moral truths and not done as he had done. The muggers are thugs. You can feel sorry for their background and what they have had to go through, but it is wrong to blame circumstances for reprehensible behavior.

    Reply
  • P

    PairDec 3, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    Quite possibly the dumbest article I’ve read in a while. I thought Georgetown students were supposed to be smart…

    Reply
  • B

    bunk bonkersonDec 3, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Not saying dude is not “solidly middle class”, but considering his $60k tuition is about $16k what the average middle class household makes in a year, I doubt his middle class bona fides. Generally someone from the actually middle class would be irate that some criminal took that which they had worked so hard to earn.

    Reply
  • A

    ASKDec 3, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    during the 2008 election I was walking through Old Town looking at the multi-million dollar townhomes. I am a white woman – first in my family to attend college (local public) and I worked my way through and finished in 4 years with no debt and high grades. I have faced financial challenges – and have been the victim of assault (2 cases one by blacks, other by whites). I have always been fiscally responsible and learned you live within your means.

    i wanted to go up to the doors on the houses with Obama signs. “Hey since you are for “Share the Wealth” , I expect you to give ME a week rent free, once a month. How dare you (hypocritically) claim to want to “share the wealth” but be unwilling to let me live in YOUR house, after all I only was asking for one week a month!”

    Reply
  • T

    TimDec 3, 2014 at 9:25 am

    What a pajama boy! Don’t apologize for being better off than someone else! You’re justifying a criminal act that happened to you. Don’t justify criminal behavior…period! Get comfortable with sporadic muggings and break-ins??? Are you kidding me??? So if they’re, caught, what will you do? Drop charges and send them along with cash gift cards?

    Reply
  • C

    CooperDec 2, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    This is a joke, right? This has to be a joke.

    If I may reference Poe’s Law: “Any sufficiently advanced troll is indistinguishable from a genuine kook.”

    Reply
  • C

    cherdashDec 2, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    This just has to be satire.

    Reply
  • S

    SanePhysicistDec 2, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    “When I walk around at 2 a.m., nobody looks at me suspiciously, and police don’t ask me any questions. I wonder if our attackers could say the same.”

    Maybe its because you aren’t a mugger?

    Seriously, and maybe its because I am a physics major at a totally different school, this post is nuttier than squirrel crap; it reminds me why I don’t take non-stem majors seriously.

    Reply
  • I

    Ivar IvarsonDec 2, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    Surely Oliver Friedfeld will not continue in “the Man’s” corrupt system by taking a degree that others paid for (doubtless out of ill-gotten gains sweated out of the poor and disadvantaged) when so many have no access to an education at Georgetown. Instead of simply justifying a mugging as an attack on white privilege, Ollie needs to rid himself and his life of all such privilege forthwith.

    Reply
  • J

    John SmytheDec 2, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    This is racism of the worst kind. Though the author doesn’t say it, we all know the attackers were black. If they were not, he would never mention the whole “privilege” thing. The author is, to put it bluntly, essentially saying that poor blacks are all so stupid that they cannot be expected to obey “white laws”.

    I’m sorry, kiddo, but I refuse to accept that just because someone has darker skin than me, they should not be held to the same standards as everyone else.

    Reply
  • V

    Vivian Pettyjohn AndersonDec 2, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Oliver, thank you. You give me hope. If I die tomorrow, I will be easy in my soul because I’ll know that there are people like you whose eyes and heart are not jaded enough to distort the truth of another’s spirit. What a blessed contrast you have provided to our current environment of hate and fear. For me, you epitomize the quote “Earth’s cramm’d with heaven, And every common bush afire with God; But only he who sees, takes off his shoes,. The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries”. Thank you for taking the time to see.

    Reply
  • V

    VinnyDec 2, 2014 at 12:17 am

    Probably one of the DUMBEST articles I’ve ever read. Your leftist white guilt is nauseating.

    Reply
  • J

    JedDec 1, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    This has to be a satire, right? Kind of like the Duffel Bag? Right?? Either way, you have your idealism solely because at the end of the day you can retreat back to your ivory tower of smug, holier than thou attitude… Frankly, the vast majority of human beings would be extremely pissed if they were mugged, including me.

    A simple thought to ponder from an alumni from the University of Hard Knocks… Who in this world has the inalienable right to take what is not theirs?

    Reply
  • B

    Bob StenDec 1, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    Friedfeld is the poster child for what is wrong with higher education in the western world. The far left wing has completely taken over the “soft sciences” and there is no balance.

    How this came about is perfectly explained in the novel “The Rape of Alma Mater”.

    Because so many areas in the soft “sciences” are contentious (history, racial and ethnic studies courses, sociology, etc etc), universities need to make sure to balance out their professors in those areas. They need one left wing professor for every one right wing professor.

    That way, these naive, impressionable students won’t lack the balance like they do now.

    Friedfeld is a victim in my book. A victim of indoctrination, a victim of one sided “study”, and a victim of an ideology that sacrifices truth, fairness, and justice because they think they know how to make the world “a perfect place”.

    They don’t. They are going to end up getting kids like Friedfeld hurt or killed.

    Friedman should be forced to take 5 classes in sociobiology. This way, he would finally see how foolish and deceived he is. Sociobiology shows human truth. He should also be forced to read the book “1984” by Orwell.

    “That rifle hanging on the wall
    of the working-class flat or labourer’s cottage
    is the symbol of democracy.
    It is our job to see that it stays there.” – George Orwell

    Reply
  • X

    xilebatDec 1, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    What sophistry. You were mugged and you THINK you know why.

    ‘Getting comfortable with violence’ sounds too much like ‘shh…just let it happen’ for mayhem. No. We have a right to our bodies, the property we own, and the goods and services we legally paid for.

    You were mugged because you were easy prey, and your predators didn’t think twice about you while or after they did it.

    Reply
  • K

    KarynDec 1, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    To the author:

    How dare you. How dare you sympathize with criminals. As an African-American, there are plenty of us who work damn hard and whose ends still don’t meet who would never be reduced to mugging people at gunpoint.

    How dare you be so condescending from your ‘priveleged’ perch to equate poverty with criminality and lawlessness. You Sir are the worst kind of condescending liberal and you are doing a major disservice to the people you claim you want to help.

    Reply
    • M

      MoDec 1, 2014 at 4:24 pm

      @ Karyn

      “To the author:
      How dare you. How dare you sympathize with criminals. As an African-American, there are plenty of us who work damn hard and whose ends still don’t meet who would never be reduced to mugging people at gunpoint.
      How dare you be so condescending from your ‘priveleged’ perch to equate poverty with criminality and lawlessness. You Sir are the worst kind of condescending liberal and you are doing a major disservice to the people you claim you want to help.”

      Bravo, Karyn! Well said. I wish this author would see it.

      This article was such an insulting slap in the face to decent, law abiding citizens.

      Reply
    • J

      John SmytheDec 2, 2014 at 2:30 pm

      Hammer meet nail head. You are right on target here.

      Reply
  • D

    D.B. LeChatDec 1, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    Hi there… I’m an outsider, not attached to Georgetown university in any way.
    I’ve been trying to find any evidence that the incident described by Mr. Friedfeld ever actually happened.
    Can anybody show me any evidence, other that this Op-Ed, that the “robbery” ever happened?
    If it didn’t happen, and the story is false, then Mr. Friedfeld has accused 2 African-Americans of committing an armed felony. It’s my understanding that DC cops take gun crimes VERY seriously.
    If this is a hoax or satire, then this may not bode well for Ollie.

    Reply
    • J

      JimDec 2, 2014 at 2:35 am

      Not sure why you would think it was false, but yes, all signs suggest that it did in fact happen. We students got a public safety email from the campus police about a mugging off-campus at around the time that the author says he was mugged and (if I remember correctly) the suspects were described as black men. There’s also no real reason to think he would lie about getting mugged just to write an article in the student paper.

      Reply
  • 2

    2 parentsDec 1, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    “When I struggled in school, I had parents who willingly sat down with me and helped me work through it.”

    i think it’s great you stereotyped them as not having two parents. WHY? were they black? I think we just uncovered a little bit of your own racism. Own it.

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    Robert L GossDec 1, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    It amazes me that you try to justify their use of illegal firearms to assault you for money. You also have no idea what they were thinking, you think they intended not to harm you, but you don’t know. You don’t know what those guys did or didn’t do to prior to robbing you. You have no idea what other crimes they have committed or whether they even tried to learn and graduate school. Giving them money and free stuff isn’t going to fix the gap in equality. We need to focus on school and the importance of an education and getting a job and on family values. Kids turn to gangs because they are seeking support. Stop justifying crimes and start fixing the root of the problem.

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  • S

    SandyDec 1, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    Oliver,

    If mugging is morally excusable given the right set of economic circumstances, would it be fair to say poverty is a kind of privilege?

    Feel free to sit down and put your head between your knees. No sense in passing out.

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    mjkDec 1, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    Wow! Mr. FriedFeld, as evidence by this rather poorly written piece, represents a textbook case of “Stockholm” syndrome.

    Given the quality of this purely emotive piece, it is clear that Georgetown is truly resting on its laurels; granted, it has long since severed its roots and connection to its once great Roman Catholic identity and continues to accommodate the moral bankruptcy of today’s zeigeist…sad, just sad!!!

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    SMHDec 1, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    This is idiotic.

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    Dominick AhrensDec 1, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    This sad example is less of a justification for “wealth redistribution” than it is a precautionary tale as to why your children should be exposed to the example of work and the value of that work, as well as social and/or religious values, including the prohibition on theft, which has been repeated in the Code of Hammurabi, the Ten Commandments and scores of other documents across a wide variety of societies and eras.

    Only someone who grew up completely isolated from those could have such an attitude that would not only justify the actions of criminals, but in fact place the blame on the victim.

    Enjoy America while she still exists… with future leaders like this we have less time than we think.

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    John Q. HoyaDec 1, 2014 at 10:44 am

    By the author’s logic, ugly people should be allow to rape cause of their lack of privilege in the looks department. Just another example of liberal complete lack of logic wrapped in a warm collectivist mindset. Thanks for confirming why I am withholding my contributions to the Georgetown Fund this year.

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  • K

    kjatexasDec 1, 2014 at 10:35 am

    So next time, if the perps put a bullet in the back of your head, that would be OK also, because of DCs income inequality? Here is a perfect example of the results from leftist institutions of higher (?) education, turning young brains into mush.
    Interesting how DC is doing everything possible to deny issuing concealed carry permits to law abiding residents, but the DC criminals seem to have no problem obtaining firearms, and carrying them. Maybe the DC police are only issuing permits to gang bangers.

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    Holly ChrisDec 1, 2014 at 10:29 am

    Dude, you are insane, and have allowed the liberal elitists to brainwash you. You are not inherently bad because you are white. You are a little stupid, but the color of your skin does not make you a bad person. Your parents need to get a refund for all of that college tuition they put out, because neither you, nor the rest of the world has been served by you getting an education.

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    ToothyDec 1, 2014 at 10:05 am

    The author is pathetic. Man card revoked.

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    ChadDec 1, 2014 at 8:22 am

    Oliver is a special kind of stupid. I deserved to be mugged?! WOW..

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    Brett DavisDec 1, 2014 at 5:39 am

    Is this is the kind of namby-pamby wimp our colleges and universities are producing with their politically-correct agendas and racial/gender/class/economic warfare rhetoric spewed forth by professors? For excusing his attackers’ behavior and blaming himself for being the victim of a crime, I declare the author of this piece pathetic. He should turn in his man card post-haste.

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  • I

    IpsophaktoDec 1, 2014 at 2:40 am

    You represent peak-moron.

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  • J

    John SmithDec 1, 2014 at 2:10 am

    You can certainly feel comfortable letting yourself be victimized. I, and the rest of the rational world, will continue to do what we can to stop that kind of nonsense-via self defense classes, non-lethal methods, and, in states which observe a citizen’s right to protect themselves with a firearm, with guns as well. I have no intent to allow myself or my wife to become a statistic.

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  • M

    Mister BNov 30, 2014 at 11:41 pm

    The degree of White Privilege conveyed by the author of this article is almost beyond measure. His moral superiority in assigning victim status on his attackers – and in recognizing the inherent flaws of his own class stature – could only have been achieved by someone who was advantaged enough to be educated in the finest of liberal academia. The rest of us poor schmos would have instantly assumed that we were being mugged for nefarious reasons unrelated to social inequality.

    Bravo, sir. A shining example to those of us too dull to understand how to use whatever privileges we may have been afforded.

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  • M

    MoNov 30, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    My God, this is horrifying. I often hear about “white guilt” and the self loathing that liberals have, but to actually see a real, current day example of it…

    I am left speechless.

    “What has been most startling to me, even more so than the incident itself, have been the reactions I’ve gotten. I kept hearing “thugs,” “criminals” and “bad people.” While I understand why one might jump to that conclusion, I don’t think this is fair.

    Not once did I consider our attackers to be “bad people.”

    I’ve heard that liberals have a death wish, and I guess it’s true. Even when violently attacked at gunpoint, where you could have easily been murdered, you cannot bear to call these attackers what they are.

    I couldn’t even finish reading this nonsense.

    You’re insane. Do you know that? That’s what you are.

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    Ralph GizzipNov 30, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    Wow! The Stupid is strong in this one.

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    nonaNov 30, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    Hey Moron, College is not for you!!!! You’re to stupid to make the grades…. why don’t you just look your BUDDIES up, and give them ALL of your stuff, and go home!!! After all, your parents didn’t have to work for , and buy those things for you anyway……..right???

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    SanManNov 30, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    The left says forgive them because they started off with a “bad hand”, what about all the poor people who werent scum of the earth. The left says oh if these poor folks only had a different life then they wouldnt be doing such wile acts, but unless you have a world simulator you will never know if these idiots would make the same choices wether or not they had the “good hand” or not.

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  • Z

    Zachary DidioNov 30, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    You have the privilege of being oh-so-understanding and “fair” to your mugger because you are wealthy. (I do not care if you consider yourself “solidly middle-class” when you are on your “perch of privilege, surrounded by million-dollar homes and paying for a $60,000 education.” When what you’ve got in your pockets is all that’s carrying you over to payday and one call to your dad won’t make everything right, then you will have been tested. When they come to your home and take everything you have, then you will have been tested. Basically, you have to live like common people. But you probably never will.

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    Bret RickertNov 30, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    $60,000 for an education…better get your parents money back

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      Yankme LaterDec 3, 2014 at 11:08 am

      The indoctrination has taken hold firmly with this one.

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    Sam MeyersonNov 30, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    Similarly, we should all be understanding and not consider the attacker to be a “bad person” when a woman is raped, right?

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      Michael EjercitoDec 2, 2014 at 9:37 am

      I suspect he would agree.

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    Matthew America HippleNov 30, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    This isn’t what we’re taught – it’s just click-bait intellectual laziness. The founder of the Walsh School of Foreign Service was an ardent anti-communist who wanted to build strong minds for a diplomat corps ready to counter the threat. This kind of relativistic nonsense likely makes Fr.Walsh roll in his grave, and embarrasses the hell out of alumni who take seriously the professional academic charge of the SFS.

    Also, these are the people who got the cigarette in Fr.Healy’s portrait whited out and the whole painting hidden off in a side-room.

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  • S

    stefanNov 30, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    Peace. (I’m white, middle of europe. Stupid to mention) Be proud of your distance, I’m sure you are. People like to point their fingers are never brave and wise enough to get aware they are also part of the human problem fucking around since the times from when we try to pretend understanding anything ‘caus we’re digged it out the dirt from. No matter who graved it. How can people grow up in a world everything is there ‘caus thousand of years “history” (which we only know from the perspective of the “winners”),and pretend they make anything earned of theyr “own”. And blame the “losers”. End of it. They won’t stop.

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    Gunny GNov 30, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    What a pansy!

    I’m surprised the simpering light-in-the-loafers clown did not offer to host a gay rape party at his house as well, eats and treats supplied! haha. And this “thing” is going to represent America one day to a foreign nation? Good God, the sissy in the White House ALREADY encourages our enemies, this crybaby Leftist will get them to attack us! White Privilege. KISS MY A S S! I’m white, damn proud of it, and I’ve EARNED everything I’ve got and if some mugger or robber tries to take it, they’ll get enough .45 caliber holes in them to remind them that it was a bad idea.

    God Help the Republic if this “thing” represents today’s “manhood.”

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  • S

    Say WhatNov 30, 2014 at 11:03 am

    Ramzpaul did a video on yourWhite Privilege mugging. It makes a few observations about the inconsistencies of your story and your pathetic story.

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    • L

      Lester DentNov 30, 2014 at 12:41 pm

      The Ramzpaul video is a little loose and hyperbolic.

      He assumed that the incident took place the prior weekend, but given lag time normal in publication for editing and space, I checked the online stats for the Georgetown Police Dept. (Oliver states the incident took place in Georgetown, para. 2) for September, October and November. There is no incident report for Oliver Freidfeld. Perhaps the names have been changed to protect the innocent. https://pdrecords.georgetown.org/Summary.aspx.

      However, a careful reading of the article does not indicate that Oliver claims to have made a police report. Ramzpaul infers he does because how else would a reporter know to interview him, but Oliver could have gone to The Hoya with his story and have been interviewed then. It would be de rigueur for a Leftist to go to the press rather than to the police.

      Oliver mentions talking to a D.C. police office after the incident, but it is unclear whether this was just a passing conversation after the fact or related to an investigation.

      I suspect that Oliver, being the good little progressive he is and motivated by white guilt, never reported to the police that the incident happened. He is the perfect prey, allowing the predator to hunt unmolested. If he reads in tomorrow’s paper that a co-ed is found dead from a gunshot wound in the same area with her purse and cell phone missing he will not give it a second thought.

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  • C

    chrisNov 30, 2014 at 10:24 am

    There is no police report or any report of it on campus. I think he made the entire story up. Besides that, if he was forced to the “floor”, then how is that outside? Last time I checked, the “floor” is inside. So, which is it?

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    Mark PugnerNov 30, 2014 at 9:39 am

    Congratulations. Your conditioning is complete.

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    Charles DarwinNov 30, 2014 at 9:29 am

    Please don’t reproduce.

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    Dennis DeeNov 30, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Unbelievable. Did the authors ancestors who were send to the Nazi concentration camps blame themselves?

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    My nameNov 30, 2014 at 9:26 am

    Looks like 19th Century European Imperialism is alive and well. This “White Man’s Burden” garbage is every bit as judgemental as calling his attackers “thugs,” it’s just painfully condescending instead of hateful. Bravo, Georgetown.

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    PappyNov 30, 2014 at 9:25 am

    Oliver is right. It is his fault. And he’ll probably do a lot more damage in his lifetime. We are going on 50 plus years now of the progressive agenda in cities across this country. And it has failed pretty much across the board. I’m not saying it’s failed everybody, just those progressive say it was/is going to help the most. And Oliver actually points out its biggest failure. Oliver grew up with an intact family for support and guidence. The odds say his thug brothers did not. The progressive agenda has decimated the family unit in urban areas. Isn’t it time we tried something different.

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  • G

    GregNov 30, 2014 at 9:00 am

    Obviously, getting robbed make people feel violated, and you are no exception to that fact. The only reason you blame yourself (except for getting cool point from your liberal professors and friends) is because he doesn’t want others to view him as weak. If anyone is guilty of ‘otherization’, it’s him otherizing himself. He wants to make it seem as if he is special and has learned some kind of lesson from being robbed. Like he states, he is above it all on his perch of privilege.

    Dude, you’re only fooling yourself and the people who are nonsensical enough to believe your explanation. YOU GOT ROBBED AT GUN POINT.

    Too bad they didn’t steal your rose-colored wayfarer glasses.

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  • J

    jr565Nov 30, 2014 at 8:58 am

    “When I walk around at 2 a.m., nobody looks at me suspiciously, and police don’t ask me any questions. I wonder if our attackers could say the same.”
    Are you attacking people like them? Why then would cops not view them suspiciously, since they’ve done something to warrant that suspicion. Namely, rob you. and here’s the obvious point. if black men weren’t commiting so much crime, would cops be out viewing them with suspicion? what you view as racism is them simply going to where the crime is. Thanks for,proving their point.
    And what a way to stand up for victims. You actually think you deserved it? so, maybe they can meet up with you once a week and take more of your stuff. Or you can give them the address of your house and they bring a van over and get all the expensive stuff.
    if you feel guilty about being wealthy then give your money away to charity. Don’t justify criminality because you think you somehow deserve it. Is that what your 60,000 dollar education taught you? That you’re the worlds punching bag because of your skin tone and parents money? Maybe you need to be going to a different college.

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  • O

    Oliver Friedfeld Is An IdiotNov 30, 2014 at 8:53 am

    This is the single most idiotic thing I’ve ever read. I just don’t care enough to itemize all the moronic statements and ideas in this article, but feel compelled to express how completely ridiculous this editorial is. From the first paragraph to the last. I’m glad these animals didn’t shoot you. You’d probably nominate them for mayor and deputy mayor of DC.

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    GordonNov 30, 2014 at 8:42 am

    It blows me away that Liberals are also atheists. Dude, if we evolved, you could not have possibly survived.

    Kill the mammoth? No way, what about it’s special part in the ecosystem?

    The Assyrian army only want what anyone else does, open the gates!

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  • A

    AErcenNov 30, 2014 at 8:26 am

    Seeing how getting mugged makes you feel good about yourself and allows you to realize the injustices around you, I can only wish you more muggings and more robberies that will further allow into the full immersion of self righteous assessment of the world we live in. As you do your part, parting with your worldly goods in the hands of “misunderstood youths” please allow me to remain insensitive and uncaring because I choose to hang on to my cell phone and my jacket and my Nike’s when I am walking alone in the middle of the night. I am funny that way. I show hardly any compassion to those who want my stuff but don’t want to pay for them.
    Different than you, I KNOW what a gun looks like,and know where to get one. You could do the same if you like. All you have to do is to get out of that bad neighborhood and move to America.

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  • S

    statsNov 30, 2014 at 6:35 am

    This little worm is a lying attention whore. There is no record with Georgetown police or University police of an Oliver Friedfeld being attacked, assaulted or robbed.

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    YOHAMINov 30, 2014 at 6:18 am

    so victim blaming is fashionable now?

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    CedricNov 30, 2014 at 3:05 am

    As an African American I have to say that this feels like the first time I have read something from a white person that scratches beyond the surface. Hopefully, we shall see more of this more enlightened and holistically grounded analysis from white people or anyone in the future.

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    • L

      Lester DentNov 30, 2014 at 1:22 pm

      Cedric –

      Unfortunately, it is pretty clear that you have not read much of what has been written by conservative thinkers on race and culture in the last 60 years (or going back over 200 years, including de Tocqueville).

      Daniel Patrick Moynihan helped define the problem with the disintegration of the Black nuclear family back in 1965. He has been largely ignored, even though he was a Democrat. We must remember that the Democrat party has long been the party of racism – the party of the KKK, the party of Jim Crow laws, the party of the Confederacy, the party of separate but equal, the party of segregation, the party that attempted to filibuster and block the civil rights acts of the 1960s.

      People forget that it was Richard Nixon who instituted affirmative action, not a Democrat (although it was not a quota system as originally implemented, but an affirmative duty for businesses to reach out to minorities to make sure qualified job applicants had the opportunity to apply and compete for positions).

      When you look at places where minorities have the worst outcomes, have the worst crime, have the worst unemployment, have the worst drug use, have the worst illegitimacy rates, have the greatest loss of hope, you will find that Democrats have run these cities for decades – Detroit, Chicago, DC. The great progressive ideas to “help” have increased the misery index and increased the gap between the haves and have nots since the 1960s in a well-intentioned but failed attempt to help. I would argue that these efforts were based upon a paternalistic view by these white elites that minorities are inferior and cannot take care of themselves, so need charity, hand outs instead of a hand up or partnership.

      Conservative thinkers and writers for decades have warned of the dangers of creating a permanent underclass through dependency. They have warned of the disintegration of the nuclear family, with the corresponding and undeniable related lowering of income, increase in incarceration and drug use and early death and disease.

      Just a few authors to consider reading: Victor Davis Hanson, Mark Steyn, George Will, Thomas Sowell (OK, he’s a Black conservative, so in most progressive minds that makes him white), Friedrich Hayeck, Mark Levin, Jonah Goldberg, Michael Medved. I’d throw in Dinesh D’Souza’s “Illiberal Education” and “The End of Racism” – he’s Indian, but that’s almost white, right? And William McGowan’s “Coloring the News” for another perspective on media and race (along with Bernard Goldberg’s “Bias” which touches on the subject).

      This will give you a start. I think if you spend a little time you will find that Oliver’s sophomoric (actually, 10th grade-level) ideas are so simplistic that they simply don’t belong in the room with adult thinking.

      If you just have time for one book, I’d start with D’Souza’s “End of Racism.” I spent some time with Dinesh years ago; I am the first one to acknowledge that he has at times gone off the deep end, and let fame and fortune lead him astray, but his earlier work was solid and academically rigorous. He’s a smart guy, and as an immigrant from India has some interesting perspectives on the US and race.

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  • D

    DavidNov 30, 2014 at 2:37 am

    There is no police report matching this story. It’s a hoax.

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    j dubyaNov 30, 2014 at 1:33 am

    $60,000 a year for a sociology major. I hope your parents are paying for this out of their own pockets. Because it’s just another thing we need here: an angry progressive coffee barista with a student loan debt that we the people will probably have to bear.
    I do not blame you for your stupidity, I blame your parents.
    Stay in your bubble, sounds like you tear easily.

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  • B

    BenNov 30, 2014 at 1:29 am

    Guys let’s leave the kid be, the points of rejection have been made ad nauseam. Granted the piece isn’t great and in parts downright misinformed, but it’s obvious that he was merely endeavoring to share a different perspective on the situation and trying to address this in a more holistic sense rather than a single experience.

    I disagree unilaterally with most of what’s been said, but regardless of execution, at the very least I think we can all respect his original interest and goal for the article.

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    • L

      Lester DentNov 30, 2014 at 1:37 pm

      Ben –

      Why do you think we can all respect his original goal?

      His goal is to say that whites are responsible for decisions criminals make because of disparities in income. He is saying that individuals have no responsibility for making moral or ethical choices, parents have no duty to overcome obstacles to raise their kids or remove them from harsh environments because of the cards they have been dealt.

      He is saying that the affluent should expect to be robbed unless and until they sacrifice enough wealth through taxation to enable government redistribution to equalize outcomes in such a way as to eliminate poverty and remove the need for robbery.

      This begs the question – at what level of shared wealth does the lack of coveting a neighbor’s possession end? If I have a 60′ flat screen and the potential robber only has a 50′, doesn’t that still pose a problem if the moral issue is not addressed?

      The end result would have to be total equality of outcomes – everyone drives the same car, wears the same clothes, has the same amount of possessions, lives in the same houses. Everyone looks the same, else you covet my wife and she covets another’s husband (or she covets another’s wife, to be PC).

      “Imagine there’s no heaven…”

      No, I – and I suspect most of the posters here – cannot respect his original goal because it is silly and facile and superficial. It betrays an ignorance of reality and a trite theoretical application of wishful thinking that, if applied to a job in the real world (say, in the Foreign Service) could lead to disastrous real-world consequences.

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  • T

    ThorOdinson (@Thor_Odinson)Nov 29, 2014 at 11:42 pm

    “Who am I to stand from my perch of privilege, surrounded by million-dollar homes and paying for a $60,000 education”

    Is this what your parents are paying for your education? Well, they should demand their money back, because your school has obviously turned you into an imbecile.

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    Nota LibtardNov 29, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    Wow…That’s one of the most pathetic, self-blaming stories I’ve ever read in my life.

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    DarrellNov 29, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    Oliver and Rachel, I suggest you read up on the Christian-Newsome murders.

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    annjo1Nov 29, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    Isn’t it presumptuous of you to claim that you “understand” why you were mugged? Did you know the people who did it, or do you honestly believe you can just profile them on the basis of their appearance, behavior, perhaps gun caliber and KNOW what their motivations, backgrounds, and value systems are?

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    Sukie TawdryNov 29, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    Oh perfect, he’s in the School of Foreign Service. One day he’ll be making these same arguments on behalf of ISIS and the Taliban.

    Oliver, you dunderhead, whether you condemn your muggers as “thugs” is largely beside the point. They condemned themselves as thugs by robbing you at gunpoint. Thugs who, no doubt, saw you for an easy mark.

    By the way, what floor where you forced to as you walked home?

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  • H

    HarveyNextmanNov 29, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    Dude, this opinion piece is a crime. At what point does someone taking something from someone else, end in your scenario? What’s the cutoff point? Are you expecting others to agree with your opinion? And if they don’t, is that a crime? Should people that steal from you be allowed to vote for sheriff, governor, senator, president? Should they be able to run for office? Your opinion legitimizes the crime of theft from the so-called “privileged”…some of whom put long hard hours into their careers to achieve this “status”. Some people weren’t born into wealth the way you were, and still achieved…are those “privileged”? Would you mind someone cheating off your tests if they weren’t privileged enough to know the answers? Are only some human beings excused from poor behavior in your opinion? Which ones? Why didn’t you give up your spot at Georgetown for someone less privileged and go to a community college?

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  • T

    Tank BilsonNov 29, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    Wow…. Just, wow. Truly, honestly, sad. That $60,000 education has overcome even basic human dignity and the will to survive. If you would’ve decided to NOT turn over your iPhone and they would’ve shot you, would you still have thought “I deserved it?”

    Disgusting and pathetic and disturbing.

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    Jeb HowellNov 29, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Its reassuring to read the many responses to this misguided man child. Wonder if he has the guts to re-examine his infantile babbling?

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    Paula LNov 29, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    Eeyore gets mugged in Georgetown.

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    JasonnNov 29, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    No offense dude, but you’re a world class knucklehead.

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    RogerDMNov 29, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    This is what happens when children get indoctrinated into this liberal mindset that actually being successful is some kind of “sin”. They justify the actions of a CRIMINAL and somehow feel guilty for what they themselves have. Oh wait, THEY don’t have it, they are being given it by someone who WORKED HARD for what they’re being given and therefore simply take it for granted anyway. Typical left wing propaganda.
    His parents WORKED for and EARNED what they have and they’re paying for a, supposedly, good education for him.
    And all he’s worried about is his “privilege” and thinks that someone that has robbed him is apparently some kind of “victim”.
    Listen idiot, he robbed you because it’s easier to rob you than it is to WORK. He robbed you because it’s easier than it is to get an education. He robbed you because he knew you’re too cowardly to do anything about it.
    He robbed you because people like YOU keep minorities and those in poverty ENSLAVED to welfare, food stamps, and every other “entitlement” out there and claim that they are “victims” and are “owed” something.
    He robbed you because you’re too damn dumb to even care that a criminal with a gun is running the streets.

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  • O

    OaklandishNov 29, 2014 at 11:39 am

    As an African American school teacher, I have always taught my students that the ultimate form of racism is not what people call you, but to have such low expectations for yourself that society assumes that Blacks and Minorities “don’t know any better,” and therefore, the must be given a pass, whenever social ills take place in society.

    I am very saddened that White Liberal Guilt is now a religious crusade – not to impart any knowledge or skill to encourage inner city youth to escape their surroundings and make a contribution to society, but rather, to keep us down, keep us dependent, and wade in the mire of bigotry of low expectations.

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    • A

      A.Nov 29, 2014 at 3:58 pm

      As a white (well, Jewish) first-generation American, I am deeply sorry for the racist White Liberal Guilt masquerading as social justice to which people of your ethnic group are subjected. I am also, however, thankful to you for speaking out about the true face of this epidemic – one of utter condescension and forced dependance.

      These people always claim to be fighting to “give people of color a voice” – a noble goal if it were actually true, when it’s really “to give them a voice as long as they say what we agree with and tell them to and that keeps us in power”. Well, let them fulfill their true goal, and let your voice be heard. Please keep speaking out about how such an attitude of “this black guy committed a crime but that’s okay because he’s underprivileged and is black” is demeaning, because they won’t listen to any of us, and will shut us down as racists even if we gently try to point this out.

      I take my hat off to you for speaking out, and for genuinely leading by example and likely encouraging inner city youth to truly escape and thrive. People like you contribute far more good to society and cause more real change than kids such as the author of this article likely ever will.

      Best of luck to you.

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    • M

      MarcNov 30, 2014 at 10:10 am

      Bravo. This story is not only callous toward victims of crime, but incredibly patronizing toward minorities and the poor, most of whom are not violent muggers.

      I’m a liberal but this is the kind of piece that gives liberalism a bad name.

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  • H

    HenryNov 29, 2014 at 8:29 am

    It usually takes four years of study at an Ivy League institution to write the twaddle that Oliver has written, but Georgetown no doubt has its share of prodegies. Despite the silliness of Oliver’s piece, there is always hope and change, to borrow a hackneyed cliche. In this case there is hope for a change in Oliver, and what I see is the potential for yet another confirmation of the validity of the American dream. As things now stand, Oliver’s piece indicates a level of thinking (if that is the right word) that reflects an imbecilic mind at work. But if Oliver works very hard and applies himself diligently (as would Horatio Alger), he may someday reach the moronic level, and this would be a cause worthy of celebration. Hope and change; hope for change, indeed!

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    HelmsmanNov 29, 2014 at 7:28 am

    My God you are aspiring to be a diplomat. With this attitude you would say Bravo! to Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden for 9/11 just because of the inequality between the poor states of the Gulf and the West. I respect your opinion, however i pray that you will never be employed in the Foreign Service because you will act in an unpatriotic and unamerican way.

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    BakerNov 29, 2014 at 2:23 am

    Perhaps ugly people (with less privileged looks) should be allowed to rape. Let’s take the idiocy to it’s logical conclusion.

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    Diversity ChronicleNov 28, 2014 at 11:10 pm

    I have a satirical website and I write stories like this. This is either a great peice of fiction, or the true story of a self-loathing liberal lunatic. We should get “comfortable with sporadic muggings and break-ins”, you say? I say, you spent $ 60,000.00 to be rendered unfit to survive in the real world. I would ask for my money back!

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    ChrisNov 28, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    1) Armed robbery is a violent crime, not a property crime. That’s what Eric Holder’s FBI classifies it as, so if you want to call the DOJ a racist bastion of privilege then feel free, but you’ll make your idiocy plain.

    2) You failed the Victim Selection Process. You were clearly disarmed (you live in DC and aren’t a wealthy politician), you are obviously oblivious about reality (see your article), and you knew you were in a crime-ridden area. Criminals don’t select their victims at random. Most actually use a screening process to maximize payoff and minimize risk, and you came up as a vulnerable omega male.

    3) While you make the PC socially acceptable bleating noises about Privilege and play your race card, at the end of the day, you called the cops. That is, you wanted a man with a gun to come and solve your problem for you. That tells me that this incident really did bother you. If this really was just a property crime, and the perpetrator’s violence was justified due to your micro-aggression privilege White Guilt, why the heck did you call a cop — a professional public bounty-hunter of felons? If this was really no big deal, I’d expect you to turn the other cheek, donate even more of your possessions to charity, and let the incident lie. So that just tells me that your character is weak — deep down, you know this attackers were morally wrong, but you’ll ask other men to take on the unpleasant duty of cleaning up the mess while still bleating the correct noises about Privilege to try and make yourself feel superior.

    There’s nothing superior about being an idiotic, vulnerable, morally confused beta. In an ivory tower, such a lifestyle may be ok, but in the real world, betas get threatened with deadly force and someone stronger take their shit.

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    HermanNov 28, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    OMG, What an oxygen thief! Plus this Axx Clown will end up working for the State Department. No wonder we have become the laughing stock of the world.

    This person is exactly the “stupid voter” Herr Gruber was talking about. Another “Gruberite”!

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    ArielNov 28, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Also, if this were about rape, imagine the reaction everyone (myself included) would have if he made excuses such as, “I understand why – I came from circumstances where I’m in control of my life, whereas those poor people came from a background where they don’t have control of their lives, so they’re simply seeking control in whatever ways they can”. Can you imagine the outrage?

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      Michael EjercitoDec 2, 2014 at 9:23 am

      We do not have to imagine; we see the outrage in the comments here.

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    Free Minds and Free MarketsNov 28, 2014 at 3:43 am

    D.C. is a city full of muggers and looters who force people at gunpoint to turnover their earnings. This incident does not surprise me at all.

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    Pat MackenNov 27, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    This is ridiculous. When you steal, mug people or otherwise commit crimes you are a thing called a low life. The relative income of you or your victim doesn’t matter. These are people perfectly capable of finishing school, getting jobs and working hard. The fact is they choose not to/. But you sir are worse. You excuse and enable their behavior. Get yourself a handgun, a concealed carry permit (they have those now in Washington D.C.) and don’t allow this behavior in the future.

    Got news for you as well. Don’t give me crap over poverty and race. If you fail to finish school, commit crimes or have children out of wedlock you and your children will end up poor. Those are all choices you can make regardless of your income or race. Period.

    Get you head out of your rear.

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    Canadian FriendNov 27, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    Following the “logic” of the person who wrote the article, if because there are inequalities, it is understandable people do bad things, then it is also understandable that men who are not good lucking will rape beautiful women, because good looks are not distributed equally.

    So the author of the above article must agree that ugly men are justified to rape women…or he must admit he just wrote one of the stupidest articles in the history of the world.

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    John J. DunphyNov 27, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    I’ll go out on a limb and suggest that this column describes an event that didn’t occur and was published to acquire passionate, indignant responses from conservatives for the author to incorporate into a paper he’s writing for a sociology class. If he’s half as smart as I think he is, Mr. Friedfeld (real name?) will also use this date as the basis of an article for a magazine or newspaper. I hope this paper receives an A, Oliver.

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      Lester DentNov 28, 2014 at 2:06 pm

      Problem with this theory is – what is the topic of such a paper?

      If he was trying to expose conservatives as racists (the way the activists tried a while back at a NASCAR event by dressing as Muslims but it backfired when they were treated with respect), he would have had to draft a more focused paper allowing commenters to react solely to the racial component of the crime and his sympathetic response, not his stupidity in general.

      If his purpose was to elicit comments on conservative/libertarian responses to sophomoric (sic.) Leftist moral equivalency, naiveté and stupidity, his problem is that he makes no defensible case within the paper for his positions. His piece is without substance other than platitudes, the solve-the-world’s-problems that all freshmen do in dorm hallways drinking beer and playing cards at night thinking they are so wise. To show how wrong the replies are, you have to have a defensible argument laid out in the main piece to which you can contrast the troglodyte responses.

      No, this is merely a silly young man, going to school in an echo chamber of like-minded students and professors, vetted by an editor who subscribes to the same empty-headed platitudes that only work in he vacuum of academia.

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      OaklandishNov 29, 2014 at 11:46 am

      John, I’m an African American and you are foolish to presume that only conservatives are the ones that are scratching their heads on this one. What’s more sad than his soliloquy is that this young man will eventually make some contribution to society (hopefully not by becoming a school teacher in some inner city [We already have enough white liberal guilt school teachers who pretend to care about minorities, but instead do the opposite]).

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        John J. DunphyNov 29, 2014 at 2:47 pm

        Oaklandish, you seem to be assuming that “African American” and “conservative” are mutually exclusive. There are some black conservatives, all of whom are prominently displayed by white conservatives as supposedly comprising proof that they’re movement isn’t racist. Of course we’re on the same page regarding this young man: he’s a complete and utterly train wreck. It’s astonishing that someone
        intelligent enough to gain admission to this university and last long enough to become a senior can be so simple-minded.

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    DavidNov 27, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    You are an idiot. Part of a league of morons.

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    asm826Nov 27, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    This whole thing is impossible. Civilians don’t have guns in Washington D.C., there’s laws prohibiting it.

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    bobbyNov 27, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    Why is it that the author and people of “such integrity and progressive mindset” always want the world to change in some sort of spontaneous, cathartic fashion, and yet themselves never think about doing it alone? Get rid of your privilege, you don’t need the masses to do that. Just have your mommy and daddy, who are paying for $60K education, write that check over to the very people you so empathize with. Have your mom and dad sell their house, take a vow of poverty, and give away everything they will earn for the rest of their lives to charity. Oh, and while they take that vow, make sure that they don’t just stop working their privileged jobs, but will work till death and distribute their ill-gotten gains to the very people you see to “understand”. After reading this article, I am starting to think that abortion is not such a bad idea after all, I wish your mom shared my newly-found enlightenment 18 years ago.

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    MarcNov 27, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    God save us from the feminine mindset, While I did not take the time to read every response, most of the defensive comments I saw came from females. Women will be the destruction of America through their process of being controlled by emotion rather than logic.

    As for the author,…….he has my sympathies, for he must be one pathetic excuse for a man.

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      annjo1Nov 30, 2014 at 12:25 pm

      Marc, Oliver’s is NOT a feminine mind-set, it’s a LIBERAL mindset. No need to insult women by comparing us with Oliver; he’s one of yours, fella.

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        Canadian FriendNov 30, 2014 at 1:52 pm

        I do not mean to insult women but liberalism/leftism as it is today is very much a female ideology.

        If you know about evolutionary-psychology, then you will understand why I am saying this.

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    Thomas SmithNov 27, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    should have pistol whipped him too. put him in the ICU stupid white boy

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    Unapologetic AmericanNov 27, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    The effeminate little Hoya “male” victim ought to be castrated before he can pass along his genetically inferior DNA, this nation doesn’t need anymore weaklings like the downlow buck in The White House. The reason feralpavement apes rob, rape, and kill counter-culture Liberal do-gooders is they, the thugs, know they’re “immune” from prosecution thanks to the anti-White colored president and his radical Atty Gen. Eric “Red Menace” Holder who made it policy to protect THEIR “peeps”.

    The savage inner city refuse prowling the streets of our nation see non-minority citizens as EASY prey and know they WON’T or CAN’T fight back because of the fear of being labeled a “racist” (term coined by Marxist queer Leon Trotsky) or unconstitutional restrictions on the 2nd Amendment enacted in many locales by bleeding heart Democrats. Now just let one of these violent Son’s or Daughter’s of Obama try “jacking” a conservative college student in a Free State like Texas or Florida and the coroner NOT the ambulance will be called for the perpetrator and his ghetto dwelling accomplices.

    The solution to violent crime is for law-abiding Americans of ALL races to purchase efficient, rapid firing semi-auto handguns with large (15 round) magazines loaded with hollow point bullets and carry either Openly or Concealed then when confronted by a violence prone Mike Brown/Trayvon Martin-type just put “five in the ten ring”.

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      fizziksNov 30, 2014 at 10:48 pm

      Really, “pavement apes”? Are you trying to make me reconsider that this idiotic article might actually have some merit?

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    CMSNov 27, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    From the ‘study’:

    “Some caveats: The Census data that the analysis relies on is a statistical survey based on replies to questionnaires sent to American households. Its findings are subject to a margin of error making it less precise than the decennial census. Also, the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute is a liberal think tank that also advocates for particular policies.”

    Based on standard statistical analysis, the GENI Index, which is widely used, DC doesn’t even make the cut going back to 2011.

    2011
    https://www.businessinsider.com/the-most-unequal-cities-in-america-2011-10

    2014
    https://www.businessinsider.com/most-unequal-cities-2014-11

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    Lester DentNov 27, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    Oliver –

    Sadly, you are so indoctrinated that you have proven resistant to Irving Kristol’s adage that a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged by reality. You were mugged *in reality*, and you manage to alibi the criminal actions of your assailants.

    On a practical level, this means you should immediately abandon your field of endeavor. As John Belushi said in “Animal House,” “Seven years of college down the drain.” Foreign Service means coming up with solutions to existential situations in the here and now, not solving systemic root-cause social issues in other countries. A diplomatic officer in a foreign country does not solve poverty or corruption in that country, they work on conflicts and trade issues and real-world right-now problems that may flow from centuries-old social and political and cultural causes. Your job will not be to sympathize with the “muggers” but to keep American citizens from being mugged.

    The thorough-going failures of President Obama’s foreign policy initiatives show how the “understanding and sympathy” approach only emboldens those around the world who would take your cell phone and cash on a broader world scale. The president has been visibly irritated and surprised after his apology tour that peace did not break out all over the world. After all, he was not that evil warmonger George W. Bush. We were leading from behind. We understood that we had been bullying the world. He acknowledged and disavowed White privilege, er, American privilege writ large. We reset those relationships, pulled out our troops.

    After all, we fail at nation building after wars. I mean, look how we failed with Japan and Germany after World War Two, and with South Korea after the Korean conflict – these countries are social and economic disaster areas compared to powerhouses like Thailand and North Korea and Belgium. And when that Berlin Wall came down, those in West Germany rushed into East Germany for food and … no, wait, I guess that didn’t happen. We were pretty good at nation building when we stuck with it, come to think of it.

    If you change any element of your story, your narrative becomes a tragedy and your feel-good self-congratulatory “I’m better that those who condemn criminals” piece falls apart.

    Suppose you had worked hard for six months to earn the money for that phone. Now it’s gone and you cannot replace it. Feeling charitable towards these muggers?

    Suppose you had important information on that phone, private information, personal information, and that information was used to steal your identity. You spend the next year trying to get your life back from ruined credit, stolen money, and drained bank accounts. You can’t buy the house you were shopping for. Still feeling charitable?

    Suppose you hadn’t complied quickly enough and you had been shot. Maybe not killed, just turned into a quadriplegic in a wheelchair. Still understanding? The same factors would apply to the muggers, only your loss is greater. I’m just tipping the scales against what you are sacrificing.

    You see, you are betraying short-sightedness and naiveté because for you the loss was minimal. Just a few dollars, an easily-replaced cell phone that you had backed up, and an exciting story to tell your friends and write about and gain minor notoriety. In your circle of friends you were undoubtedly encouraged to write this piece because of your bravery and insight. You had no idea of the firestorm of criticism you would run into because you live in a liberal echo chamber where your sentiments were cheered, but the web is worldwide (or so I hear).

    White liberals who claim to “understand” and “empathize” with minorities fail to recognize that they are demonstrating classic racism, i.e., making judgments based upon race alone and over-generalizing. They may be doing so out of some sense of doing good, but their underlying motivation is a belief that other races are inherently different (and thus all the same and monolithic in some aspects) because of their race.

    Conservatives believe as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. preached, that people are unique individuals with unique character and abilities, that they should be judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin, and that to lump people together because of race, color or creed is wrong.

    Conservatives understand that there is a difference between race and subculture, and that many people confuse the two. Differences in outcomes that have a strong racial identification can be traced to subcultural factors (predominantly the breakdown of the nuclear family, leading to poverty, the use of drugs, crime, etc.) where race is a correlated, not determinative, factor. Studies of the success rates of Black immigrants from Africa and Haiti, among other locations, show that race is not the controlling factor.

    Oliver, there is no way as a self-professed entitled White liberal you could possibly know what two Black individuals think. You cannot possibly know their background. You don’t know whether you were robbed for drug money or kicks, to punk a college kid. You don’t know what the life story of these kids were, whether they had good homes or bad, whether they had opportunities they had rejected or had never gotten any breaks. You assume everything from your cozy ivory tower, safe and secure after your little adventure where everything turned out okay rather than with you and your friend on steel tables in an antiseptic morgue with your parents weeping and railing to a stoic police officer asking why those animals had not been caught yet.

    Facts are inconvenient obstacles to pseudo-sociological posturing, but here are a few for you to consider. The FBI’s 2013 crime statistics show that in 2012 28.1% of reported race of offenders by victims and 28.1% of arrests were for Blacks across all kinds of crimes. Since I cannot embed links I invite you to search for FBI crime stats if you so desire. That’s pretty impressive correlation and belies the false narrative of police targeting Blacks unfairly.

    In 2013, Blacks murdered 2,412 out of 2,648 Blacks murdered that year. Whites murdered 193 Blacks. Whites murdered 2,614 out of 3,128 Whites murdered in 2013. No way of knowing how many of these were gang killings, prison killings, crimes of passion, etc.

    Blacks comprised about 14% of the US population in 2013. Whites comprised about 63% of the population according to the Census Bureau (discounting the George Zimmerman “White Hispanics”). Thus Blacks murdered Blacks at 4 ½ times the rate that Whites murdered Whites.

    Think about that, Oliver. What does that do to your, “if they knew me, I bet they’d think I was okay”? Do you really think that enters into their equation? Who people are, how likable they are, has nothing to do with whether they make a good victim or not. Three factors are primary – opportunity, valuables, vulnerability. You presented all three. Your sparkling personality and Kumbaya perspective would have made no difference to these guys, except possibly have given them a good laugh.

    This also speaks to your being totally unsuited for Foreign Service – you have no concept of the dynamics of power. Robbery (and diplomacy, which Secretary Kerry demonstrates he fails to understand on a daily basis) is about the exercise of power. They use the weapon as a lever and fulcrum to overwhelm any advantage or objection you might raise to relinquishing what they want. They do not care about your property rights, the rule of law, the consensus of the international community, what the UN will say, or any strongly worded note they will get from State. These criminals do not care that the police will be looking for them. They will have your possessions (Crimea?) and you will not. They will risk being caught. If you have telegraphed that you want to “understand” them and “reach out to them” and such nonsense, they know you will not take direct action and thus they can sell your phone and spend your cash and move on to their next victim with impunity.

    And the next victim may end up in that morgue because they don’t give in so easily, or they reach for their wallet too quickly and a nervous trigger finger twitches.

    Will you then be willing to speak to the grieving family and explain to them that they need to understand that their White privilege and historical inequities forced these youths to kill their daughter? That would be diplomatic.

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      Thomas SmithNov 27, 2014 at 4:33 pm

      you are pathetic.

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        annjo1Nov 30, 2014 at 12:18 pm

        Ultra-strong reasoning skills there, Thomas.

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        cultural suicideNov 30, 2014 at 12:26 pm

        wow… that refuted his numerous excellent points.

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    JohnNov 27, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    This was the funniest thing I’ve ever read. The Onion meets reality.

    Are you trolling? I feel like I’ve been trolled.

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    PhilNov 27, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    Tell me something Oliver. Being the genius you are. Wither you know it or not there are a lot of people more privileged and richer than you, in all the races. So does that give you the right to mug them ?, and do you think they will say ‘I can hardly blame Oliver,after all he doesn’t have the wealth that I have.

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    Jason Edward PratherNov 27, 2014 at 11:44 am

    What no photo? Someone is giving away free money!

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    BobbylonNov 27, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Hey it’s OK. If your scared say your scared.

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    Paul TalaricoNov 27, 2014 at 10:59 am

    And stupid has been brought to a new level- Thankful for being mugged – wow

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    warren murphyNov 27, 2014 at 8:49 am

    one of he rare occasions i am left speechless, by the lunacy of this buttered-bun yahoo, but god bless the vox populi which speaks eloquently above.

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    JoCo Stormtrooper (@wollefs)Nov 27, 2014 at 7:38 am

    This is why I carry a concealed carry handgun on my person at all times. This article has convinced me to continue carrying my concealed handgun forever into the future. If these two idiots who like to mug liberal slopheads from Georgetown ever run into me, they are going to get 8 rounds in the chest each. And no, I will not be writing some pathetic article justifying the actions of potential murderers and thugs.

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    pcisbsNov 27, 2014 at 6:50 am

    What’s wrong, having a hard time locating the Marxist candidates already on the ballot? Throughout history, there have been numerous “educated” men of the author’s ilk – Karl Marx, Mao, Castro, Pol Pot etc. Wise up.

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    Lester DentNov 26, 2014 at 11:47 pm

    The proper answer, which I did not see, is that you initiate a dialog on the root causes of terrorism.

    Or rather, Bang Bang Bang. Because as Dad always said, anyone worth shooting once is worth a triple tap.

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    RonBNov 26, 2014 at 11:34 pm

    Totally unbelievable! As others have stated here, this is a prime example of the mental disease of progressive liberalism! This guy can’t even differentiate between good and evil…right and wrong. And what troubles me the most, is that with a degree in Foreign Service (whatever in the world that is), this guy most probably will obtain employment within government! This is exactly why our left-wing government today is so corrupted from within. This guy reinforces what I have said over and over again…”I’m glad I’m not young”! And I mean it. What a jerk!

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    CarlNov 26, 2014 at 11:33 pm

    I have been mugged twice. Both by dangerous crack or meth heads. Once my bride was with me. I felt really safe as they jabbed a .357 in my side and made my wife and I give out my wallet and her purse. If I could change anything, it would be that these two low-life thugs and thieves did this in Saudi Arabia and lost their hands or heads…

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    DC nativeNov 26, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    what an idiot. Let’s hope you never actually join the Foreign Service.

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    David SigmonNov 26, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    There is no hope for the future of this country.

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    MikeNov 26, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    Who is John Galt?

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    Ricardo de LeonNov 26, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    How embarrassing! You say, ” if they knew me, I bet they’d think I was okay.” Here is another hypothetical. If they knew you, they would indeed think you are a pretty good guy because they can keep robbing you and expect no consequences. What a gift!
    I was mugged when I was 10 years old and I vowed that it would never happen again. I am familiar with guns, martial arts, batons, arnis, escrima, etc. Guess what, not once have I had to hurt anyone. And, in my four years at G’town, did I face a to-be mugger. Why? Because I am not a victim. The muggers can smell a victim a mile away.
    Good luck serving in “unequal” areas.

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    Patricia McCarthyNov 26, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    Only a senior in college could be to dumb, be such a moral relativist. You are the perfect example of a mind-numbed liberal; you think you are so superior in your thinking when in fact you are a complete moron. Here’s a newflash: There is right and there is wrong! There are millions of poor people WHO DO NOT MUG, ROB, BURGLE, etc. Crime is about values, not economics. To forgive criminals only undermines civil society and we get events like those in Ferguson. Your parents are either responsible or devastated by who you have become.

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    Jason DaultonNov 26, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    Anybody that agrees with the premise of this article needs to get themselves on a plane and go see some REAL POVERTY in Africa, S.W. & S.E. Asia, ( I have been in these regions since ’04) and you can see for yourself REAL inequality, Government Corruptions, Racism, Etc… and speak to those persons that would die trying to obtain the opportunities that ALL Americans have. Successful Americans have come from ALL walks of life. This is the one true place on the planet that no matter what your current station in life is, if you have dreams and you are willing to work hard for them, you have a damn good chance of seeing those dreams come true!

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    stanely21Nov 26, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    The carefully constructed narrative on the Left is becoming more and more concerning. it seems the modern Liberal knows nothing about the Liberal founding principles of Western society, like rule of law, secularism, freedom of speech and democracy. Piece by piece the fascism of our enemies is infecting the minds of our so-called “academic Left”. Scary people indeed.

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    Daniel McClainNov 26, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    Two lines to discuss.
    First, “If we ever want opportunistic crime to end, we should look at ourselves first.”
    That is what the criminals did. They looked at you and racially profiled you. They saw you and knew that you were an easy target. Just as some are pulled over for driving while black, you were mugged for walking while white and weak. If someone is driving while black and happen to have a little pot on them and get arrested it doesn’t excuse the fact they were profiled. Just as your assumption that they needed the money doesn’t excuse the fact that they profiled you. Are you going to walk up to the next poor looking African-American you see and hand them your wallet? If so, please record it and post it on youtube. I would love to see the reaction.

    Second “The millennial generation is taking over the reins of the world, and thus we are presented with a wonderful opportunity to right some of the wrongs of the past.” Well, let’s start now. Let’s start by not letting double standards exist, especially, when it comes to race. You can’t complain about racism or discrimination for one group, and excuse it when it happens the other way around. That is what is going on in Ferguson. African-Americans only come out to protest when one of their own is the victim, and the other races could care less until it happens to their family. Making everything about race, discrimination, or ‘white-privilege’ is counter productive and takes the focus off the real issue. The protesters who make this about race are missing the point that police brutality is colorblind and has to stop. To bring it back home, the media is missing the point in Ferguson just as you as a media member missed the point in your situation. It is never okay to take something that belongs to somebody else. No matter how much you need it and someone else doesn’t it is never okay to steal. There are way too many people who are willing to help those who ask to justify that kind of behavior in this country.

    You are young man, don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for having a blessed upbringing that allows you to attend a prestigious school. Just know that the kool-aid they give you at your liberal institution doesn’t have to be drunk.

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    ZNov 26, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    Mr. Friedfeld, you are a wholly emasculated wussy and completely clueless about the ways of the world. As such, you’ll make a fine addition to the State Dept. someday. Bra-vo, pajama boy.

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    frankNov 26, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    HOIYA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    mykraniliNov 26, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    The author’s viewpoint is so absurd I hope other potential criminals don’t catch wind of it so they can use it to justify criminal behavior. Can you imagine the next act of violence being excused “just because the criminal was dealt a bad hand?” Or how about a man who rapes a woman because “he was dealt a bad hand by being short and ugly?” This “over-compassion” for people who choose to do the WRONG thing is dangerous. It’s as if we want to take personal accountability and moral decision making and thought processes away from the individual and just toss the blame onto the world and everyone else around them. NO ONE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR ACTIONS OTHER THAN YOU. NO ONE FORCES YOU TO BE A GOOD CITIZEN OR A CRIMINAL. THE PATH YOU CHOOSE IS ENTIRELY UP TO YOU…….and you should readily face the outcome of whatever decision you make and not blame anyone but yourself…

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      Lester DentNov 27, 2014 at 2:18 pm

      Mykranili –

      Good point I hadn’t thought of. Oliver has just painted a big target on his fellow students. If the criminal element in DC follows The Hoya or any of the other sites that caught up his silliness (probably not a common pastime among street thugs, but you never know, I ain’t one to prejudge here), it is like putting a “rob me” sign on Georgetown students. Although I suspect the thugs and thugesses (must not be chauvinistic here) already have the students and professors pegged.

      Fortunately for these students (and unfortunately for the innocent victims), crime statistics indicate that criminals tend to perpetrate their crimes within their own neighborhoods, preying on those within their own race and subcultures. This is something Oliver would never understand, as it goes against his narrative and vast sociological assumptive understanding of the universe.

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    RaltarNov 26, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    Oliver, I don’t know what the “School of Foreign Service” is teaching these days, but I can safely say from your editorial that neither criminology nor criminal justice studies are part of their curriculum.

    Firstly, you seem deeply confused about the purpose and function of the police. The police are not there to control access to your neighborhood, nor would they even have any such constitutional authority to do so if they were to make any such attempt to do so. Law-abiding citizens have the right to travel freely through any public area without restriction. Trespassing on private property is a crime, but that applies regardless of wealth, income, social status, race or other factors. The police do not restrict any particular portion of society from entering your neighborhood nor would they be able to if they wanted.

    The police merely enforce laws. And even this is done primarily after a crime has already taken place by apprehending suspected offenders and turning them over to the criminal justice system for appropriate judgement. Rarely do police have the opportunity to intervene during a crime which is in progress. Although extensive community policing methods, law enforcement intelligence techniques and numerous other approaches are used to try to prevent crime before it happens, there still remains a great debate over how effective these approaches are and the degree to which they are successful. So ultimately, the only job the police can reliably do is investigate crimes after they have happened and hopefully identify the guilty party.

    Secondly, criminals do not commit crimes because they feel that you personally “hold all the cards” or for any other such reason. Criminals are not modern day Robin Hoods who steal from the rich exclusively. In fact, a very large portion of crime is directed at people who are also in poverty in the same poverty stricken communities where crime takes place most frequently. It is exceptionally rare for a Beverly Hills mansion to experience a break-in and have the worlds largest diamond stolen by some arbitrary street criminal who merely happened to be wandering by.

    Look up “Rational Choice” theory. In criminology, the theory states that criminals commit crimes based on what appears to be the most rational course of action at that given moment. What a criminal considers to be “rational” may not seem as such to the rest of us, because criminals often operate with limited information, misconceptions and a lack of education, causing poor decisions. But regardless, their choices are still rational from their own viewpoint. When considering a crime to commit, the criminal will analyze his chances of success, the potential profit to be made, the chances of being caught and the potential consequences if he is caught. If the criminal finds all of those factors to be favorable, he will attempt to commit the crime. If one or more factors is sufficiently negative enough to give him pause, he will likely seek an easier target.

    So why were you mugged? Because you were an easy target.

    And those muggers didn’t take your money to buy a better life for themselves. They probably spent the money on drugs. Their their drug dealer probably invested the profit to expand his criminal enterprise. All of this activity feeds into larger organized criminal acts, such as drug trafficking, illegal immigration, conspiracy and fraud. These people don’t care about you or your privilege. You were just a convenient mark.

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    bobNov 26, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    I’m truly curious. What do you look like?

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      Paul VerlaineNov 30, 2014 at 8:01 pm

      Google his images…

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    The RiddlerNov 26, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    I’m convinced that this has to be a massive troll or some sociology experiment. Otherwise such flimsy logic and self aggrandizing arrogance are not rationally explained. Well done. To so thoroughly satirize the progressive liberal leftist viewpoint is a Swiftian achievement. You are only missing a photograph of yourself clad in pajamas, nestling a warm cup of cocoa in your effete, bone white fingers. Bravo. It is to be hoped that other progressives attending colleges across America, bound for the state department, will read this Rosetta Stone of while liberal self hate and come to their senses before it is too late. Well done, indeed, sir.

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    bobNov 26, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    They apparently did not know you. Are you attributing what happened to your appearance and why?

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    Dan GebhartNov 26, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    Waiting for Part 2: “Pearl Harbor was attacked: I understand why”

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    bobNov 26, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    HA HA HA! YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

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    HenryNov 26, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    I was a little surprised to see such a breathtakingly stupid opinion from a Georgetown student. It usually takes a full four years at an Ivy League institution to sink to this level of twaddle. Yet I believe in hope and change, to borrow a famously mindless slogan. There is real potential here for the realization of the American dream. Right now, Mr. Friedfeld clearly is an imbecile. But if he works very hard and applies himself diligently, and does not get mugged by someone more vicious (which would be justifiable of course), he might just advance to become a moron someday; an achievement worthy of our praise. Keep at it, Mr. Friedfeld; I have no doubt you’re the little engine that can.

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    SixToedPete (@SixToedPete)Nov 26, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    The naivete of Georgetown student Oliver Friedfeld. Four years at Georgetown produced reasoning like this? Ollie is ill prepared for life and certainly not ready for foreign service. He is a wide-eyed, gullible wimp…the poster child for the millennial generation.

    Remember the Georgetown Starbucks triple murder in 1997? That began as an armed robbery by Carl D. Cooper. Carl then shot three innocent Starbucks employees to death. No matter because as Ollie preaches, “…who are we to condemn this young man as a thug or multiple murderer? It’s precisely this kind of “otherization” that fuels the problem.” Sure Ollie.

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    Jim TurnerNov 26, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    First Sandra Fluke and now this guy. Georgetown should be ashamed.

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    Tom SlickNov 26, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    I think you were mugged because you are a liberal pussy.

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    FrankNov 26, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    What liberals call privilege is hard work. People who have a lot have it because they or someone in their family worked hard, took risks, made relationships. It’s easy to see the end result and think “I want that” or “I deserve that”. But those who think that way don’t think about what it took to get that.

    If this kid is so concerned about having so much, then he can give up what he has. Give it all to the poor people. Then they don’t have to rob him to get it.

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    FrankyNov 26, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    Ship the white liberals to Africa.

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    Sam GompersNov 26, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    if they’re robbing you, they’re bad people. If they have a gun pointed at you, and don’t value life (since they would quickly take yours if you resist), they’re bad people. You are privileged, though; to the point of mushy-brained-ness.

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    Fred JosephNov 26, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    Way to go, Oliver! You certainly understand the plight of the down-and-out victims of our society. It is important that we take time to support folks, like this mugger, who view themselves as victims in our plenary society. They need to realize that they can never be as good as you. They could never work hard enough to reach the riches offered by our society like you. They need to be supported in their vocation of taking from others…others who worked, sacrificed, planned, succeeded. How dare we not lay down and be bullied by these poor, ignorant folks. They have met the expectations of their parents, friends, church, community, nation…right? After all, we need people like this to keep their own children down with them. We need them to instruct the next generation of takers and users. Without them, who will be the clients of our justice system, jails, prisons, cyber-protectors. Without them, how will my children – future educator, doctor, nurse, military member – know that they are superior morally, ideologically, academically. You kind words to your muggers help them to rationalize their actions; keeps them focussed on the low-life existence they were destined for. After all, we don’t want them to find a vocation in support of good, right? I assume that you and your ilk at GT spend many hours a week cleaning up your community, feeding the poor, giving money to homeless, volunteering in shelters, teaching street professionals, like your mugger, how to read and better themselves. Instead of providing another reason for this lost sole to step even lower in life, why don’t you actually try to rehabilitate him and those like him. Don’t “UNDERSTAND” the deviance. Actually show him a way out. The next mugging could result in the death of another black innocence.

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    nomenNov 26, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha. Yeaaaaaaaaaa. I can’t help but wonder what someone who’d write a piece like this looks like. Wow I must be horribly flawed. My apologies.

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    SteveNov 26, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    Most people cannot afford all they would want, but yet, only a tiny minority of us resort to criminal behavior to meet those wants. With this view, an individual who earns $1,000,000/year, but steals so that he can afford to change his car each year is no different from the two individuals who robbed Mr. Friedfeld and his friend, but I doubt if Mr. Friedfeld would defend the millionaire robber as he did the “poor” robbers.

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    Wadsworth Bodsworth IIINov 26, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    Oliver – Perhaps the next time you meet these poor chaps to give them your belongings they will be kind enough to remove you from the gene pool.
    ~Wadsworth Bodsworth III

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      Speedy SteveNov 27, 2014 at 12:28 pm

      LOL

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    MDNov 26, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    As a member of the School of Foreign Service, one would assume the author has some knowledge of Thucydides. His lesson regarding power may be instructional, both personally and in terms of international relations —

    “Right … is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they will and the weak suffer what they must.” — from the Melian dialogue (Strassler 352/5.89).

    When you are lying prone on the ground, you are no longer “equal in power”. An unpleasant reality worth considering, especially for a potential foreign service officer.

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      RachelNov 30, 2014 at 8:20 am

      Nice! Well said.

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    RachelNov 26, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    This is kind hearted but sophomoric opinion. Status in life does not give you a right to rob someone. The people who mugged you DID want to harm you. Taking your stuff, that they did not pay for or earn, is harming you.

    There are people who choose to do evil. Even rich, privileged people do bad things.

    There is law and the rule of law matters. Justice is to be color blind. And with no regard to social status.

    Please, think. Be more wise. I know it’s scary to think there’s a world where people want to harm you but there is. Your kind of thinking will get us all killed.

    The only thing your privilege upbringing has done for you is make you a bit naive.

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    GeorgeNov 26, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    You have my pity Oliver. One day you will not be just mugged; you might be beaten, or worse. Let me know how those feelings work for you.

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    Baron KazaNov 26, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    When I read pathetic tripe like this, I pray for the day that white liberals are rounded up en mass from every college, government bureau, media outlet etc and sent to camps for immediately elimination. White Liberalism is a blight on the nation and the human race

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      fizziksNov 30, 2014 at 10:38 pm

      Whew, I was waiting for the comment that would remind me that as idiotic as leftists can be (as demonstrated by this article) the right wing is more immediately dangerous.

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    Thomas JeffersonNov 26, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    Sounds like he was out and about and looking for some ‘rough trade’ and he’s disappointed that he ‘only’ got mugged for his wallet

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    Craig NelsonNov 26, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    Mr. Oliver Friedfield. With respect, you sir are a complete moron. It is now November 26, 2014 at 1:17 PM EST. I and millions of others just found out about this column on the Rush Limbaugh show in the past 30 minutes. This is that key moment in your life where your path is permanently set with limited opportunities due to your idiocy. Good luck with your future job searches in Foreign Services. I sure hope to hell that you do not end up in the State Department or in the Pentagon. I also hop that you do not end up running for political office in any way, shape, or form. You are likely to work in academia, left wing think tanks, left wing policy institutes, MSNBC, or the Obama Presidential library. Only in Washington D.C………….

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    Nick DennyNov 26, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    So if a female student wrote an article saying “I was raped, and I understand why…….Who am I to stand from my perch of privilege, surrounded by million-dollar homes and paying for a $60,000 education, to condemn these young men as “thugs?” It’s precisely this kind of “otherization” that fuels the problem.”

    somehow I think the reaction would be a little different.

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      Michael EjercitoDec 2, 2014 at 9:32 am

      Actually, ity would be the same.

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    Gary GNov 26, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    Oliver, Would you be kind enough to let me know when you get another phone and where you will be located at certain times of the day? You see, my son is wanting a new phone for Christmas. I have considered working some overtime, going without (not eating at restaurants, etc), saving a few extra bucks during the year, etc. to pay for it. But your commentary just got me thinking.

    You see, I’m a white male who is over 50. I’ve worked since I was 14 years old, served in the military, gone to college, and have been almost continually employed the entire time. But your observations such as “Year after year, Washington, D.C., is ranked among the most unequal cities in the country, with the wealthiest 5 percent earning an estimated 54 times more than the poorest 20 percent.” got me to thinking about how wrong thinking I have been for all of these years. Instead of using the “golden rule” or “love your neighbor….” as a moral guidepost, I am realizing how not having what others have isn’t “fair”. And I guess “fair” is what it’s all about now. It’s not fair that I’m older, I didn’t have a choice being born white and being stigmatized for any possible connection to an ancestor, real or imagined, who might have owned a slave (my grandmother was white, poor and picked cotton). And being employed the entire time doesn’t help me understand those who aren’t. I’m not in the 1% in the US or probably in the top 10% either and that’s not fair. As a side note, isn’t basically everyone in the US in the top 1% economically if you look at the world population?

    So back to where I was before….. Where are you planning on spending your time between now and Christmas? I need that phone for my sons Christmas present. You have one and I don’t and it’s not fair. It would be much easier if you could mail it to me. That way, I wouldn’t have to be out the cost of gas and a pistol.

    BTW, I have a daughter in college and my boys will be heading there soon. Could you carry a lot of cash with you when I come by to pick up the phone? I think that would be fair.

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    RicardoNov 26, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Dude, you are the most PATHETIC EXCUSE FOR A HUMAN. Are you joking? This article has to be a joke. How far the left will go to keep the victim narrative alive and loath themselves for being white. Absolutely disgustingly pathetic. How about people take freaking personal responsibility for their actions in life? How about stop playing the victim card or the race card? How about realizing that equal outcome will never happen, but equal opportunity is 100% there. How about understanding that not everyone in life is dealt the best hand, but some of those who have refused to live the victimhood lifestyle have actually pulled themselves out of the hood and made something of themselves? You should keep writing pieces like this so everyone in America can understand how absolutely ridiculous the left is.

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    JohnNov 26, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Your prose is insufferable and your opinion could not be more utterly backwards. I’m sure no one thinks you’re a pretty good guy, and least of all your attackers – they mugged you after all. Your perspective is utterly offensive and destructive to everything decent society stands – or used to stand – for.

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    JimNov 26, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    To think that my wife and I were actually pleased when our son got accepted at Georgetown. Is this kind of shoddy thinking so prevalent there that it warrants publication? So glad he chose another university.

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    JoeNov 26, 2014 at 10:57 am

    What we have here is natural selection at work. For thousands of years the homo sapiens evolved and improved because the more feeble minded members of the species who wanted to pet a saber toothed cat or dance with bears didn’t get a chance to breed. With the advent of modern sensibilities and technologies we have enable degradation of the gene pool by protecting those with mental capacity not quiet up to survival. We should all celebrate Oliver Friedfeld in his quest for mortality, as the nature finally reasserts itself over soulless modernity.

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    John BurkeNov 26, 2014 at 10:30 am

    I can only say one thing to such a pathetic excuse for a man as Oliver: I hope they mug you again.

    Oh, one other thing. I desperately hope that someone as clueless as you is ever employed anywhere in the foreign service of the United States where you’ll doubtless make excuses for enemies who aren’t as privileged and just want to take our stuff.

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    Doug OlenickNov 26, 2014 at 9:57 am

    Oliver, if you are so worried about your position in life feel free to give up you education, and hand over all your money to the next homeless person you meet in the street. Perhaps that will relieve you of the tremendous amount of white guilt of which you are burdened. And your parents should ask for their money back, GU is not teaching you anything and in fact could be making you dumber by the moment.

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    Tyler Giles (@tggiles)Nov 26, 2014 at 9:31 am

    From my perch of privilege, who am I to condemn sexual predators, and otherize them? If we ever want opportunistic sexual assault to end, we must start with ourselves, and consider our own privilege, and how much we probably deserve it. Until we do so, we should get comfortable with sporadic rape.

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    OmarNov 26, 2014 at 9:10 am

    I’m beginning to think that the new meme about “white privilege” is a preemptive effort to avert much needed affirmative action reform.

    Right around the time this term appeared, I also started to see articles indicating that, if one really wanted to offset life imbalances and disparities in opportunity, economic deprivation was probably a more useful measure of who was and wasn’t deserving. Does anyone really believe that the highly privileged children of successful blacks are more deserving of preferences than, let say, a white kid with a single mom, working two jobs to pay for a singlewide in rural Virginia? Or the kid of first generation Vietnamese immigrants? This whole “white privilege” thing gives the race hustlers an air tight lock on race based preferences exclusively and, and as an added benefit – purely unintentional I’m sure – it keeps out the poor white kid from the trailer park and all those sneaky, first gen orientals and Indians from the subcontinent.

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      The RiddlerNov 26, 2014 at 5:16 pm

      You are probably more right about that than anyone knows. Progressive liberal leftism depends on convincing others to feel guilt for things they aren’t guilty of. And so called white privilege is perhaps the ultimate expression of trying to poison the well. It is no accident that such rhetoric is found on all campuses, TV movies, news, blogs, web pages, and papers everywhere. They’re pushing it full bore. Thank goodness it seems most people reject it as simplistic, sophistic idiocy. Still it is sad to see that there are some poor fools like the author who buy into the lie.

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    • L

      Lester DentNov 27, 2014 at 3:01 pm

      Omar –

      I believe that “white privilege” remains a Leftist meme because “institutional racism” failed to gain traction. Both are the kind of theories the Left loves – invisible, impossible to prove explanations that divert attention from real causal relationships and put the blame on the fallback bad guys, White males (for the most part).

      “Institutional racism” was short-lived because it was overcome by history. In my lifetime I have seen the argument go from Blacks (and we have generally always been talking about Blacks rather than other minorities) fighting for the right to freely vote to the number of Black senators to a Black president. We went from Blacks being allowed to go to public schools to Blacks being allowed to go to prestigious law schools to Blacks being on the Supreme Court. So-called Black leaders want to ignore the enormous progress made in the last 50 years; their limousines and five-star hotels and $5000 suits and Rolex watches depend upon portraying Blacks as having no upward path to prosperity. Sickening, isn’t it?

      There were simply too many successful Black men and women for “institutional racism” (racism built into the very fabric of every institution, government agency, and social structure in America) to be holding them back, so the race grievance industry needed another scapegoat to explain differences in outcomes. They had to explain the higher incidence of poverty, drug use, out-of-wedlock births, unemployment, and crime among Blacks (but strangely not among Asians and Indians – but they are “good” minorities for whom “institutional racism” and “White privilege” somehow don’t apply or something). Leftists could not face the hard answer (the breakdown of the nuclear black family, at lower levels today than in the 1950s and 1960s during the pre-civil rights era or even following the Civil War) or the clear cause of that breakdown (the Great Society plans and War on Poverty actions designed to assist minorities).

      Rather than acknowledge that their well-intentioned plans to assist Blacks had backfired, Leftists ignored reality, refused to look at real problems, and instead created a straw man argument that would leave them with no blame but also could not possibly lead to any solutions. Once again, they could be intellectually satisfied in their academic echo chamber discussions and feel-good self-congratulatory “We’re so much more enlightened than other Whites who just don’t care or understand” camaraderie, but not do anything to actually help those they claimed to care so much about.

      By definition, “white privilege” even if acknowledged and accepted, leads to no solutions. It changes nothing. The theory helps not a single person out of poverty, leads not a single man to marry his baby mama and stay around to raise his child. It keeps not a single person off drugs, nor keeps a single Black teen out of jail.

      It does allow lazy White academics to promote their careers doing no rigorous academic research, and allows students to do no critical thinking or learning. It allows minorities to excuse failure and not make the effort to succeed, believing that the system is stacked against them when it is not. It inflames racial animus, facilitating those who want to take advantage of the politics of racial divide. And it allows race hustlers to continue to make millions acting as “community leaders” without making a bit of difference in the lives of people who could use real leadership.

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    ChipNov 26, 2014 at 9:01 am

    Billions of people in Asia and Africa are successfully lifting themselves out of dire poverty without having to rob people at gunpoint.

    Yet in America, the 1% – and the poorest Americans are the world’s richest 1% – with their free education, food, shelter, sanitation and freedom to do anything they choose – are expected to be violent and stupid.

    Because privilege.

    A poor Indian with no running water can and often ends up in Silicon Valley through hard work. But a thug in the wealthiest nation in history – who has the wherewithal to get a gun – is not expected to know how to study or work.

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    • F

      fizziksNov 30, 2014 at 10:32 pm

      Americans are approximately 4% of the world’s population so the poorest 1% of Americans cannot be in the world’s richest 1%. It is a mathematical impossibility.

      Also very few Silicon Valley workers grew up poor by Indian standards. Poor by American standards, sure.

      Agree with the rest of your post.

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      • L

        Lester DentDec 1, 2014 at 10:11 am

        The math may be off but the sentiments are sound to a degree.

        Cannot remember who did the piece years ago, but someone did a thought experiment on an Egyptian pharaoh in a 7-11 comparing the wealth of the pharaohs to what we have available to the poorest today, starting with the glass windows, front door, lights, air conditioning, refrigeration, through the food items, etc.

        Of course there are also the work of James Q. Wilson, cited by the Heritage Foundation:

        “The poorest Americans today live a better life than all but the richest persons a hundred years ago.” In 2005, the typical household defined as poor by the government had a car and air conditioning. For entertainment, the household had two color televisions, cable or satellite TV, a DVD player, and a VCR. If there were children, especially boys, in the home, the family had a game system, such as an Xbox or a PlayStation. In the kitchen, the household had a refrigerator, an oven and stove, and a microwave. Other household conveniences included a clothes washer, clothes dryer, ceiling fans, a cordless phone, and a coffee maker.” https://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/07/what-is-poverty

        One quote I have always liked was from the early Dinesh D’Souza (before fame and fortune went to his head and he was actually doing good research and writing). He had a cousin (if I recall correctly) in India who wanted to come to America, because he wanted to live in a place where the poor people were fat.

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    Seat of Mars (@seatofmars)Nov 26, 2014 at 9:00 am

    Dear white liberal student, I know it feels good to hate yourself and your culture. I used to be a liberal too. And I know the serotonin filled joy of self-flagellation. Of despising your civilisation, your background, the hard work of your parents and their parents before them, stretching back generations. There is nothing that feels better than taking the moral righteous high ground at the expense of yourself and those closest to you. It is the ultimate in self sacrifice. With the influence of Christian culture taking the blame is written into our very cultural DNA. There is no-one more admirable than the guy who takes the fall for the sins of others.

    But here’s the thing. It’s wrong. It’s completely and utterly wrong and wrong-headed. As a liberal you must defend the principles of liberalism. The rule of law, the social contract, the social capital that is built up through generations of people working together in harmony for common goals. Criminals break all bonds of social behaviour. They neither know of, nor care about, the hard won principles of civilisation. Who are you to condemn it? Well, who are you NOT to condemn it? Who do you think you are to give away the principles of civilisation so cheaply? Who are you to normalize muggings and violence and to shrug your shoulders as if they are nothing? The social contract relies on both supporting its principles and on the censoring of those who break them.

    Civilisation is not a “privilege” that has arrived by magic. It is not a cheap and tawdry gift that brings only embarrassment to its holders. When the West falls it will be you and your kind who enable it to happen because you treated something so precious with such disdain.

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      SC Math TeacherNov 26, 2014 at 12:09 pm

      Brilliant, friend. Brilliant. One of those responses that I wish I had come up with.

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      Baron KazaNov 26, 2014 at 1:28 pm

      Dear SOM…perfect, just perfect

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      Amy in HinckleyNov 26, 2014 at 5:07 pm

      Bravo sir. Eloquently said.

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    KeviNov 26, 2014 at 8:51 am

    If I were your parents, I’d pull your dumb ass out of school. They are pissing your tuition dollars away. Good luck in your future career as a sympathetic barista. Putz.

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    VeritasNov 26, 2014 at 8:43 am

    John Wayne said it best… “Life is hard… But it’s harder if you’re stupid”

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    deja1vu1boyNov 26, 2014 at 8:36 am

    You want to help poor communities that breed crime; go volunteer in a soup kitchen or a homeless shelter. Donate clothing to your local Salvation Army or a church. Participate in projects like Habitat for Humanity to build up a home and help a family in need. That’s what a REAL liberal minded person would do, not this “woe is me, I’m privileged” crap that passes as liberalism these days.

    Get a clue and step out into the real world Oliver.

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    GeorgeNov 26, 2014 at 8:33 am

    Folks, this guy is training to be a U.S. diplomat.

    Scary, on so many levels.

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    Harry GrueneNov 26, 2014 at 5:14 am

    “if only the area you were robbed at were a gun free zone those poor underprivileged roobers wouldn’t have had a 500 dollar gun pointing at you!”

    I am being sarcastic.

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    BibbiNov 26, 2014 at 3:19 am

    You’re white guilt personified. I’m sorry, but it seems to me your attitude denigrates underprivileged people who don’t become criminals.

    In your case, education seems to breed stupidity.

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    SC Math TeacherNov 26, 2014 at 3:07 am

    I am 45 years old and I, like the author, went to an elite university. Unlike the author, I have the advantage of maturity and real-world experience. Son, I hope that you grow up and realize how utterly ridiculous you sound now.

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      Jason DaultonNov 26, 2014 at 7:16 pm

      AMEN to that…I have been in Africa and Asia for the last 10 years, I have seen REAL poverty, inequality, Gov’t Corruption, Racism. Almost NO opportunity to improve your station in life in a lot of these countries. It’s not luck that All Americans have opportunities to improve their station in life, its our Political (Constitution, Bill of Rights, strong military) and Economic System (Free Market) that does it. Unfortunate that those institutions are being torn down

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    JeffNov 26, 2014 at 12:52 am

    When I was at Northwestern, someone wrote a similarly reviled op ed piece for our paper. It was about how auditioning and turning down a callback for the “girl of the Big 10” edition of Playboy was super empowering to her. This is weirdly similar in terms of the tonedeafness only reserved for 20 year olds totally oblivious to the fact that they’re highlighting their privilege by trying to say how they’re better than it.

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    stevengreggNov 26, 2014 at 12:26 am

    This very silly column assumes that only rich people can afford moral agency, while poor people are but robots who can only do what their circumstances dictate. It is the sort of cocooned liberal condescension one might see Thurston Howell III spout on Gilligan’s Island, in his parody of the effete rich. It is far funnier when delivered with such earnesty.

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    • E

      ertdfgNov 30, 2014 at 5:38 am

      Hang on, are you claiming minorities have free will and the ability to take independent action like a white person?
      How RACIST are you? Every good non-racist knows minorities don’t have free will, and can only react and never have an independent thought or action.
      Only white people have free will. You’re racist to think otherwise.

      ** Yes that’s a stupid argument, but oddly it explains the undefined premises of many liberal arguments quite accurately **

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  • E

    ertdfgNov 25, 2014 at 11:31 pm

    Well you’re right, but not for the right reasons.

    Anyone this stupid shouldn’t own a phone, or money, or do anything but sign up for a program where someone else takes care of them because they’re clearly never going to survive on their own.

    So taking your money and phone and letting you clarify you’re incapable of being a rational human is good; at least you learn this now, and not after you decide you can fly and jump out a window… or wander in traffic looking for a clue.

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    Reality CheckNov 25, 2014 at 11:27 pm

    If you have paid tuition, you have good standing to ask for a refund. What you have written is wrong on so many levels it is frankly disturbing.

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    proudcapitalistinfidelNov 25, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    Everyone who actually believe this guy got mugged raise your hand………….no one?…………..I didn’t think so. Oliver Friedfeld gives Jayson Blair and Stephen Glass a run for their money. There’s a reason used care salesmen are trusted more than journalists.

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    jessieNov 25, 2014 at 10:57 pm

    Ok, well thanks for this gratuitous self congratulatory pat on your own back. I’m not going to call you any names or say you’re a bad person or anything because I don’t believe in internet trolls, and I’m sure you’re a good person but seriously, think dude? I’m a liberal and this article is barf worthy. I was attacked twice, once by two guys who grabbed me and held me down, and though I will never know what they actually wanted because some witnesses came by, I believed they wanted to do something sexually to me in some way, and another time, a man held a knife to my stomach. There is NOTHING fucking funny or ok with this. It is unacceptableable. I think you need to refocus whatever it is you were trying to get at with this article getting back to the Mike Brown case and redirecting the attention from your misguided self. Btw, since I don’t believe in internet trolls, my name is Jessie Richardson and you’re welcome to email me any time if you have a response. [email protected].

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    HunterNov 25, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    Oliver, if the logic of your argument were applied to the issue of rape, then we would say that rape culture can be used to justify individual rapes and that “until we [change rape culture], we should get comfortable with sporadic [rapes] and [sexual assaults].”

    And I’m assuming you wouldn’t agree with the logical conclusion of your argument as it is applied to the issue of rape.

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    RobbyNov 25, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    THEE most INSANE thing I have EVER read!!

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    ScottNov 25, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    You should ask Georgetown for a refund for failed education. After reading this, it is easy to see that you qualify.

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    RobinNov 25, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    Oliver, you’re a racist tool and your expensive education has been entirely wasted. You were mugged because you were in the wrong place at the wrong time and ran into the wrong people…thugs with no conscience who CHOSE to rob you because they are bad people. Good people don’t hold up people at gunpoint. Bad people do. It’s really that simple, and your attitude that it’s not the robbers’ fault is condescending at best and racist at worse, and a PERFECT example of limousine liberalism.

    You (and everyone else on the planet) has ALWAYS had to choose whether or not to steal. Every time you go to a store and choose to pay for your items, you’re choosing not to steal.

    “Otherization” is not a word.

    Between you and the ridiculous Sandra Fluke, Georgetown students are really not looking too intelligent these days.

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      mo shmoNov 26, 2014 at 5:25 pm

      I smell a white male who has found “G”od!

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        Lester DentNov 27, 2014 at 3:20 pm

        Mo, my friend –

        “I smell a white male who has found “G”od!” Why would you say that?

        You make three assumptions because a writer expresses moral values that apparently differ from yours.

        You evidently make these assumptions in a way that indicates you think that they negate Robin’s opinions (I make no assumptions about Robin’s sex). Do they?

        Are you White? If so, does that negate your opinions? Does that negate Oliver Friedfeld’s opinions expressed above?

        Are you a male? Does that negate your opinion? Does being male automatically negate all opinions? Does that negate Oliver Friedfeld’s opinions expressed above?

        Do you believe in G_d? Does that negate your opinion? Does believing in G_d automatically negate all opinions? If Oliver Friedfeld’s believes in G_d does that negate his opinions expressed above?

        If your answer to any of these questions is “Yes,” then you should really stop smirking and realize you are not nearly as clever as you think you are.

        Right?

        Happy Thanksgiving? Or is that some barbarous, chauvinistic, imperialistic ritual that you do not participate in? Have some tofurkey!

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    JoeNov 25, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    How in the world did they know you had “white privilege”? Did they interview you or something? My white privilege came in the form of living in my car for a few months, then joining the military, then engaging in some lovely combat actions, then getting honorably discharged, going to college, and applying and getting a job, where I still make less than $100k a year in the DC area (not poor, but not wealthy either).

    I love how you play out that the thugs are victims and somehow justified in their actions, because of some BS of “white privilege”, when in fact these thugs broke the law, and sorry to tell you, there are many white people who are rather poor and/or work their ass off to get where they at and making money now.

    So what,these thugs instead of getting a job and getting a phone, you think we should just accept they still one? Only in your delusional mind is this ever acceptable. Those thugs should be locked away for a few years, as to never put anyone in danger.

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    • M

      Mo ShmoNov 26, 2014 at 1:49 am

      Everyone who is white-skinned has white privilege. That’s why it’s called white privilege…

      Believe it or not, even in your suffering, your experience of homelessness, your poverty, you had (and, might I add, continue to have) white privilege.

      People of color don’t have that privilege. That’s how it works. That is how the system was built. It is called “systematic racism” (new term for you!).

      How do you think you got that “less than 100K, more than not poor” job, by the way?

      Here is a fun little article about white privilege. Hopefully it can put some things in perspective for you.

      https://www.cirtl.net/files/PartI_CreatingAwareness_WhitePrivilegeUnpackingtheInvisibleKnapsack.pdf

      It’s funny – there’s a lot wrong with Oliver’s article… but you managed to zero in on the one of the few things that was actually right! Congratulations!

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      • H

        Holly@ClubThriftyNov 26, 2014 at 8:52 am

        “How do you think you got that “less than 100K, more than not poor” job, by the way?”

        Why on Earth would you assume that he only got his job due to white privilege? You don’t believe that white people get hired due to their own merit?

        If that’s not racism, I don’t know what is. Wow.

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        • L

          Lester DentNov 26, 2014 at 1:19 pm

          I love how folks like Mo keep trotting out the long-discredited “Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” piece; I first came across it years ago on a university faculty “diversity commission” (many, many “Arghs!” were involved in that endeavor). I advise people with any interest in the subject to read it to understand how flimsy and unscientific the whole notion of “white priviledge (er, sorry Mo, “privilege”) is. It’s not terribly long or intellectually rigorous.

          I actually did unpublished research to rebut it in 2007 for some committee work. It simply was not worth time publishing as serious work, although I did publish something on a site (Chronwatch.com) that is now defunct.

          If you read the 50 points in “Unpacking” you will recognize that most are simply untrue in today’s world (i.e., “1. I can if I wish arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time.”) Yet it is still pointed to as the definitive work on the subject of “white privilege” by the faithful, as we have seen here.

          Common sense reflection shows that the first point, as most if not all, of “Unpacking” is untrue. The majority of Americans live in cities with racially and culturally diverse populations, and virtually every workplace is integrated. Classrooms are integrated. Sporting events are integrated. Streets are integrated. Restaurants are integrated. Mass transit is integrated. It would be very difficult to arrange to be in the company of only people of your race – unless, of course, you are unemployed and living in a subcultural island with little contact with the external society (“ghetto”) or are an invalid/shut-in. As such, this might well apply to other races and subcultures that have created niche societies within neighborhoods and where people have chosen to spend their time cut off from the larger society. This is not unique to America; travelers to other countries are familiar with such subcultural communities there (indeed, the word “ghetto” originated in Italy).

          I divide my time now between our home in Arizona and my practice in the SF Bay Area. I am about as white as you can get, but I am in a racially-mixed marriage and have a racially-mixed child (how I used to love asking in diversity committee meetings, when my whiteness was raised to disqualify my opinion, “How many here are in mixed marriages, raise your hands? Anyone? Just me? Oh.”) My town in Arizona is more white by percent than my home in California, but even if I stay at home I cannot be in the company of people of my race most of the time. Where in America today is this possible? What percentage of the population lives where there is a majority of white folk where you can spend your days surrounded by pale skin?

          You can go through each of the 50 points of “Unpacking” just like this. I actually contacted the publisher of “Highlights” magazine for kids and they sent me copies of all their magazines so I could go through and note the inclusion of minority children in pictures. Off the top of my head, I believe that they had minority kids represented from almost the first issue.

          One of the points in “Unpacking” is particularly interesting given the presidency of Barack Obama: “23. I can criticize our government and talk about how much I fear its policies and behavior without being seen as a cultural outsider.” The president, AG Eric Holder, and many other Democrats and pundits have claimed that any criticisms of the president’s policies were because of his skin color. Ironic that this is considered a indicator of “white privilege” in “Unpacking” yet now is reversed and is seen as racism AGAINST the government because the president is black.

          So I agree with Mo that people should read “Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” to understand how hollow and intellectually vacuous the concept of white privilege is.

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      • W

        williamNov 26, 2014 at 10:24 am

        Mo
        So is there Asian priviledge and Latino priviledge? How is it possible that people move to this country with nothing and a generation later their children are graduating from college and working in jobs making more than $100,000?
        You are just pointing out two types of people and it really it is indifferent to class, race, sex or religion: There are with 1) “motivated personally responsible to get ahead in this world priviledged” and 2) “not motivated to get ahead in this world just depend on others and complain about it priviledge”

        Everyone living in this country has “USA Priviledge” and are part of the top 1% on this planet. The poorest US citizens have cable, cell phones, wide screen tv’s and internet. The average income of the rest of the world is about $1200 a year while the poverty level in the USA is defined as 23,383 for two adults and two children.

        Capitalism and freedom in this country allows anyone with an ounce of motivation and personal responsibility to live a comfortable life even in poverty. If you disagree try living off the dole in Brazil for a while. You’ll book a ticket to the USA happy to check your USA Priviledge to get back in.

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          mo shmoNov 26, 2014 at 5:13 pm

          My dear William!

          I suggest you read some Paolo Freire. You will learn about the American Dream you have so foolishly bought into and projected upon the people around you.

          You have clearly demonstrated that your understanding of economics is rooted in utter horse sh*t. Poverty lines are based upon the amount it costs to live in a particular country. They vary, because it costs different amounts of money to live in different places. Write that down, dear boy, lest you forget.

          Have you every interacted with a poor US citizen? The poorest US citizens are struggling to feed their children. They are not living large, as you seem to believe. Do you know how many grocery stores exist east of the Anacostia River? The poorest US family does not have a car. The poorest US family will pay to take a bus to buy milk at a convenience store, where there is mark-up that you will not experience at your local Safeway. You silly , silly fool.

          Your assertion that living a comfortable life requires “an ounce of motivation and personal responsibility” is the most offensive thing I’ve heard today. Let’s say that you are born in an underserved American neighborhood. Your “ounce” of motivation is chewed up and spat out by systems that consistently fail you.

          I would like you to embark on a bit of a reflective exercise. Who are the people in your life that enabled you to be here right now? What are the structures that enabled you to be here right now? Are there sources of social capital that you possess that you did not earn or work for? In terms of the sources of social capital that you supposedly “earned,” let’s revisit the first two questions. Did you really earn your current position? Do you deserve, more than anyone else, to be present? If you had grown up in an underserved American neighborhood, think about what your “normal” would be, what your fears would be, and what people would expect of you.

          For the sake of my own sanity, I pray that I avoid the distinct displeasure of coming across your person.

          I will not be thankful for your brash, offensive ignorance this holiday season, my dear poor misguided William.

          Best,

          Mo

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      • D

        domoNov 26, 2014 at 11:58 am

        Mo…you are an indoctrinated fool. How dare you label every individual under one flag based solely on the color of their skin! That’s racism. I’m sure you excuse yourself because your idiot professors told you that only those in power can be racist. Newsflash…they made that up to excuse their own racism. As an independent critical thinking individual, you’re free to ignore them. And how dare you demean another’s hard work….”How do you think you got that “less than 100K, more than not poor” job, by the way?” He did it himself, not because of any privilege. You too can succeed if you stop your racism and excusinig your apparent inadequacies on others, and embrace self-determination and hard work. But, I’m sure it’s easier to live in your fantasy land where white people are handed jobs and degrees without earning them, but that’s not reality. Grow up.

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        • M

          mo shmoNov 26, 2014 at 5:17 pm

          Dearest domo,

          Please see my response to William. No one succeeds on their own. Your shamefully ignorant rhetoric (that absolutely reeks of your lack of experience with ANYONE who has less than you) is rhetoric of the oppressor, rhetoric used to justify oppression and maintain an unjust system.

          I demean no one’s hard work, but let me assure you, that success is achieved by hard work combined with social and political structures that enable your success.

          Best,
          Mo

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          • L

            Lester DentNov 26, 2014 at 11:42 pm

            Mo –

            While no one succeeds on their own, the gross societal structures that assist are available to all no matter race, color or creed in America – the cultural, economic and political structure (unfortunately being “fundamentally transformed” by the current president). The social structure is composed of a broader culture shared by all (but capable of being rejected) and subcultures. The basic subcultural subunit is the family. What liberals refuse to recognize when they spout the “you didn’t build this” and “it takes a village” memes is that the liberal “Great Society” and “War on Poverty” have undermined the family unit within certain Black subcultural loci (which Daniel Patrick Moynihan warned about in 1965). Rather than accept that their well-intentioned (and racist, but that is a theme for another day) attempts to help have destroyed the Black nuclear family and removed the support to enable Black youths to succeed. So to excuse lack of results due to this removal of an integral support element, they posit this invisible and unverifiable element of “white privilege.”

            Your “white priviledge” 😉 shtick is tiresome. The intellectually vacuous who still pathetically point to “Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” when each premise is so historically flawed in 2014 (as it was in 2009 when I first encountered it, as it was in 1988 when Peggy McIntosh first penned her tirade against white males) have to have an intellectual disconnect on par with the crowd in “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” It is based, as is so much pseudo-sociology of the Left, on a flawed and incoherent understanding of history and people. It assumes so much, and betrays the bigotry and racism of the white author. Let’s look at this woman, Ms. McIntosh, you evidently hold in such esteem that you have asked people twice that I have seen in this comments thread to read her “seminal” work (is that sexist?).

            Look at her second point. Her “Unpacking” works like a Jeff Foxworthy routine; if you find yourself agreeing with most of these points, you are the recipient of white privilege (and are probably a redneck to boot). But consider the dark racist underbelly of her statement itself, and what it reveals about Ms. McIntosh herself, not about the white privileged class she so despises:

            “2. I can avoid spending time with people whom I was trained to mistrust and who have learned to mistrust my kind or me.”

            “Trained to mistrust?” Gosh, don’t know about you, Peggy, but I wasn’t trained to distrust anyone. OK, that’s a lie. Carnies. Don’t trust carnies. And traveling vacuum salespeople. But that’s about it. What does it say about a person who broadly believes that all whites are trained to mistrust blacks? Where is her empirical data to back that claim? Where is her common sense? Where is the common sense of someone today citing this piece after Barack Obama was elected twice to the presidency? Yeah, whitey sure has been trained to distrust the Black man.

            And what about the double standard here – whites have been “trained” to mistrust the “other”, but Blacks have “learned” to mistrust whites (my kind) – or me? How can Ms. McIntosh possibly know that? What is this associate director of the Wellesley College Center for Research on Women basing this claim on?

            Can we begin to see the intellectual poverty of this “white privilege” foundational document?

            Moving on.

            “3. If I should need to move, I can be pretty sure of renting or purchasing housing in an area which I can afford and in which I would want to live.”

            Now, I hope most people look at that and scratch their heads. Remember, this is from an article originally written in 1988. Not 1958. Not 1968. 1988. And proudly and authoritatively pointed to by Mr. Mo today in 2014.

            This is not a nuanced argument that might leave some room for discussion, regarding possible factors in some markets with some lenders (and loan officers) relating to qualifications for loans and red lining and such. Most studies I am aware of in the area of housing show that when factors such as employment, collateral, job history, credit score, etc. are balanced, race and ethnicity are not a factor in qualification. Ms. McIntosh appears to assume these factors are not in play (I suspect this level of analysis is beyond her).

            No, what she says is that if you have the money (cash or qualified loan) you must be white privileged if you can rent or buy anywhere you can afford. Let’s look at the converse – you cannot be certain you can buy anywhere you want unless you are white.

            Soooo… Georgetown is pretty lily white. A little over 85% white. How did those 14%+ non-whites sneak in? My theory is that they had the money and bought/rented homes and apartments. No one told them they couldn’t in one of the most exclusive places to live in America.

            Beverly Hills, CA. About 89% white. Somehow about 11% of non-whites were allowed to buy or rent homes there without “white privilege.” Mill Valley, CA, where I practice, pretty white place, 89% white, but 11% non-whites are still able to rent or buy if they can afford it.

            Aha! The small numbers prove that not everyone who wants to can move there because of skin color, right? Sorry, I’m playin’ witcha. Notice anything? These are all liberal bastions. Go up the road from Mill Valley to Vacaville one county over and whites drop to 66%. A lot fewer liberals in Vacaville, a lot less money. A lot more minorities. Hmmmm.

            The point is that people with common sense know that a Black orthodontist with good credit and money in the bank can buy any house she or he can afford anywhere they want today. They won’t have any flaming lower-case t’s in their yard (for you South Park fans). It is not white privilege, it is money privilege. It used to be called “the American Dream.” Now it’s called elusive for most everyone.

            “6. I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented.”

            Again, for anyone who as paid attention for the last decade or three, the answer to this is that whether you are Caucasian, African-American, Hispanic or Asian or whatever flavor of the wondrous variety of humanity, you can find yourself in the media. For grins I just flipped through the first fifty channels of the TV. Counting voices on cartoons (with three kids and three grandkids I *know* cartoon voice actors, so don’t play the voice prejudice card on me!), discounting animal documentaries (“behold the wondrous penguin”), and animated soap bubbles, 35 out of 45 had non-white actors in the five seconds I allowed myself to view each channel. See how I sacrifice for you?

            Again, it defies common sense to claim that only whites get to see their race widely represented in the media. OK, the hosts of MSNBC are predominantly white makes, I get that. But in those fifty channels I surfed, three were in Spanish, one was BET, and two had black comedies (not BET). That’s at a random moment I got up and turned the TV on. Hardly scientific, but enough to make my point.

            Advertisers and casting directors want to use people of color. One of my clients was from Iran. He had two beautiful young granddaughters who were sought after by advertisers because their almond skin and exotic features could be taken for a number of races. I dare say that if you pick up any clothing ad you will find a veritable Colors of Benetton potpourri of races and many of those unidentifiable “What race is she?” models who could be any race – handy!.

            For years now each movie or TV group of friends had to have a Black, a Hispanic and a White kid (as did gangs). Bosses had to be Black; judges usually were Black and a woman. In the 1970s, movies and TV shows often used a Black in an authority figure but kept the role as a minor one, in effect saying, “Look, the Captain is Black, see how progressive we are, now let’s focus on the two white cops.” Now we expect that roles are given with a nod to racial diversity as part of the plot structure (in “Psych”, the racial diversity gave plot twists that would not have been there is both friends had been black or white).

            We see an interesting social evolutionary comparison in the re-imagining of the forced racial quotas of Gene Roddenberry’s original “Star Trek” series with the new movies; it no longer is a bold statement (such as Uhura’s kissing Kirk, the first scripted interracial kiss on TV), but simply an organic and natural thing, something we live with and experience in our lives. It’s hard to imagine how daring this was back in 1966.

            This is why Ms. McIntosh’s point is so vacuous. Of course people of different races can see their races in print and TV. Maybe Samoans cannot see Samoans in the papers or on TV often, but do they really expect that? They represent .056% of our population. I suppose every time they see Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson they are getting their percentage worth.

            One of the special super-secret, I’m smirking at you because you don’t get it things about “white privilege” believers is that it is so invidious and invisible and pervasive that you as a white person cannot see it or feel it or understand it. Only the white people who know it is there and point it out to you and lecture you about it can see it. Like the Emperor’s New Clothes, don’t you know. If you argue against it, it is because you are too stupid to see it. There is no science, no empirical data. There is no common sense, because you cannot apply common sense to these statements.

            “Wait, how do you explain that you say Blacks cannot see images of themselves in the media but they can? How do you explain that you say Whites can live their lives only living with other Whites and not seeing other races when that is impossible unless they are shut-ins?”

            Their answer?

            “You’re White and stupid, so you just don’t understand. And you’re a racist. Hands up, don’t shoot!”

          • H

            Holly@ClubThriftyNov 28, 2014 at 8:14 am

            Thank you Lester (below) for breathing common sense into this conversation. The Invisible Knapsack is so outdated that I find it surprising that liberals continue to trot it out as if it still means something.

          • L

            Lester DentNov 28, 2014 at 7:32 pm

            Thanks, Holly. This actually coaxed me out of my lethargy (and too much work in the real world, admittedly) and got me writing a little more in depth on the subject at https://wp.me/p4Q7xq-S.

            One of the things that I find so frightening is that a) Oliver is apparently a senior and b) he is in the School of Foreign Service. People have been applying his logic to rape and murder; in his future vocation, he could be applying this to ISIS.

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        DonNov 26, 2014 at 12:31 pm

        Mo Shmo says: “How do you think you got that ‘less than 100K, more than not poor’ job, by the way?”

        I know plenty of non-white people that have “less than 100k, more than not poor” jobs.

        How do *you* suppose those people got those jobs?

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          mo shmoNov 26, 2014 at 8:02 pm

          Right, and because it’s snowing at my house, the rest of the world isn’t getting warmer. Extrapolating anecdotal evidence to create a generalization–superb reasoning skills, Don.

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        samNov 26, 2014 at 4:39 pm

        You keep pushing this blather. It’s made up garbage that has no real meaning.

        White privilege is a concept used to throw guilt at people to try and get them to give over to your demands.

        Not going to happen.

        When this kind of academic nonsense meets the real world, it becomes clear what a load of grievance-peddling fantasy it is.

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      • Z

        ZNov 26, 2014 at 6:16 pm

        everyone who believes in politically correct schwag like “white privilege” is either suffering from white guilt or an inferiority complex. “white privilege” is just the race industry’s way of saying, “If you’re white, you’re racist, no matter what you do or say.” it’s the stuff of tiny minds who can’t take responsibility for their own lives, just like you schmuck-o.

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      • B

        BoNov 27, 2014 at 10:56 am

        Mo.
        “Everyone who is white, has white privilege”. Well, in the face that circular non-reasoning…

        People of colour do have privilege, especially Asian Americans whose median household income eclipses that of every other group (Pew). That is, if you assume that having lots of money is being privileged (that’s a pretty damn good definition).

        “Systemic racism” – look it up. Ok, it’s a shifting, nebulous term that can be capriciously applied to anything anywhere. “New term for you”. What hubristic, patronizing nonsense.

        “even in your suffering, your experience of homelessness, your poverty, you had (and, might I add, continue to have) white privilege.”

        Please tell that to the next Caucasian homeless person or prostitute you see. I’d like a report back please, in blog form. Thanks.

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      • D

        deja1vu1boyNov 29, 2014 at 11:04 pm

        Yes white privilege exists but there’s no sound excuse for criminals to steal from anyone. Stop blathering on with this overly indoctrinated crap and your condescending links and whatever the heck you learned in some corrupt college classroom USE YOUR BRAIN MO! (whatever’s left of it)

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        • L

          lesterdent2014Nov 30, 2014 at 2:51 am

          Does Asian privilege exist, as statistically measured by outcomes?

          Does Jewish privilege exist?

          For white privilege to be a meaningful concept it must universally apply to all whites in the US equally. Are you prepared to make that argument?

          Or are you saying that under some circumstances it is advantageous to be white in the US?

          I would agree with that. And that under some circumstances it is advantageous to be a black man; if you become president, no one can even make jokes about you for a few years because of fear of being called racist. Now THAT is privilege!

          It is also advantageous in some circumstances to be a pretty girl. In other circumstances that would be a deadly danger.

          As a predictor of success in education and financially in life, being Asian might be seen as advantageous. If you apply to UC Berkeley it can be disadvantageous because of their quotas (too many Asians).

          There are many opportunities open to minorities not open to whites. That is a form of privilege.

          The poor while child in Appalachia who has a poor education, no money, no prospects, surely has no privileges greater than the black senator’s son in Georgetown who goes to Sidwell Friends and Harvard.

          White privilege sounds like it could be a real thing but only if you don’t examine it too closely in the real world.

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      • B

        Beck LomaxDec 2, 2014 at 7:14 pm

        Mo, you speak in absolutes which are not logically applied. If all caucasians have privelege how does that explain the general poverty found in Appalachia, which is 95 percent caucasian? If “people of color” (a nasty racist term), do not have privelege, how does that explain Tiger Woods, Bill Cosby, Spike Lee, Patrice Motsepe, Barak Obama, Charles Rangel, Papa Doc Duvallier, Idi Amin, Robert Mugabe, OJ Simpson, Robert L. Johnson, Herman Cain, and Oprah Winfrey?

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    WowNov 25, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    Another reason to thank whatever God exists that I don’t live in ‘Murica. Things haven’t gotten so ridiculous where I am.

    Yet.

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    ChrisNov 25, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    Oliver wrote,

    “As young people, we need to devote real energy to solving what are collective challenges. Until we do so, we should get comfortable with sporadic muggings and break-ins. I can hardly blame them.”

    Oliver, it’s more symbolism v substance. Please define “real energy” and if you have time “collective challenges.”

    I’m comfortable with you getting mugged as you’re comfortable with it. I’ll still blame the muggers. I’m not comfortable with my family and friends getting mugged.

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    runcibleNov 25, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    Wow. The people who brainwashed you did a hell of a job. Good luck with that.

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    ChrisNov 25, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    Oliver, I wasn’t quite finished.
    You wrote:

    “The millennial generation is taking over the reins of the world, and thus we are presented with a wonderful opportunity to right some of the wrongs of the past.”

    Perhaps you should concentrate on the future and understand leadership and its responsibilities. Good luck in future endeavors, spending loads of time, effort and money righting the past. That has no value. It’s simply symbolism over substance.
    Best,
    Chris

    Reply
  • S

    SteveNov 25, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    In the same vein, he could have decided your girlfriend/spouse/significant other was better looking than his and decided to ‘take’ that as well. This was a simple little process for you to accept when it was of trivial value. What if it was something you deeply cared for?

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    Rick SincereNov 25, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    If someone who commits violence against you isn’t a “thug,” what is he?

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      Mike S.Nov 25, 2014 at 4:31 pm

      In his effort to appear as not a racist, he exposes his racism in the fact that he believes thug and black are synonymous. What’s truly disgusting is that he accuses the rest of us who do NOT see it that way as being the ones with racial bias. It is seriously troubling to me that these are the thoughts of someone who is an educated, rational adult.

      Reply
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        JasonNov 25, 2014 at 7:02 pm

        They aren’t his thoughts. He just wants us to react…

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    JPNov 25, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    Dear God, I live within sight of this institution – I hope this terminal mind rot ins’t catching!

    Reply
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    ChrisNov 25, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    Oliver, I agree with Charlie. You are currently being robbed.

    I’m curious about you being thrown to the “floor.” Were you in a building?

    You say robbed at gunpoint. How odd you can’t legally carry a weapon to protect yourself (read Emily Miller when you have time) but your assailant illegally did. Law not working?

    My father (RIP) taught at Georgetown. I suspect Dad’s tachometer is redlining from your article. (That means spinning in his grave. Thought I’d explain because, well, you need it.)
    Best,
    Chris

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    Matthew ParkeNov 25, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    Can I get your address? I need some money for Christmas presents.

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    Fanfare EndsNov 25, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    You are a naive fool and a Mercedes Marxist in training. Your professors should be fired, an investigation should be started to root out the marxists gasbags running the departments at Georgetown, and you have no business working in any capacity for the people of the United States.

    Clearly, you need further and more serious mugging to clear your kind of the mush you are vomiting out as projected policy.

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    Mike S.Nov 25, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    “othering”. Seriously? They ARE criminals because they commited a crime, you nitwit. And a violent crime at that, hence “thug”.

    Newsflash, he didn’t mug you because of “othering” (most ridiculous term ever, btw), he mugged you because he is poor and decided he had little other options. Instead of sniffing your own farts and “”opening a dialog to examine how “othering” has contributed to this situation”” maybe you aught to look at the real reason why he’s poor with no options. Look at how our social programs keep him poor.

    As much as you feel enlightened and intelligent for your thesis here, YOU are part of his problem for enabling and condoning the forces (outside of his poor decisions) that are responsible for his circumstances.

    Reply
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    Jack C.Nov 25, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    Oliver needs to find a job at McDonald’s; the Foreign Service needs some normal people, not more nitwit loons. By his measure, nearly the entire population of the US was a criminal during the Great Depression. Self-righteous, ignorant and fool are the components of Liberalism, and he has them all.

    Reply
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    DonNov 25, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    This article is disgusting, and here’s why: Oliver’s cheerful application of situational ethics tells me that *he* would be on the other end of that gun and mugging people if he found himself down on his luck. He has rationalized criminal behavior in others, and would engage in the very same behavior himself. The Jesuits must be proud.

    Reply
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      samNov 26, 2014 at 4:36 pm

      Amen!

      Reply
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    Ted DansonNov 25, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    Wonderful. Another Foreign Service Officer who essentially dislikes the country he wants to represent and wants to be paid to live in another country on the taxpayer’s dime while essentially hating those who fund his traitorious, though luxurious, lifestyle. He’ll fit in perfectly with the DoS.

    Reply
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    MattNov 25, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    There’s a lot of betas in this world. The author of this is an omega.

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    JDHastyNov 25, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    Oliver got one thing right. Oliver is a smug self righteous ass who deserved to be mugged.

    Reply
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    blongj1Nov 25, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Oliver, Shame on you. And shame on this publication for permitting such racist thoughts. You are saying that people of color who are criminals — like the ones that mugged you — can’t help themselves because they are different (i.e., “inferior.”) Shame on you.

    Believe it or not, and despite your insistence of inferiority, people of color are completely capable of restraining themselves from criminal conduct.

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    CharlieNov 25, 2014 at 11:26 am

    You should immediately File a police report as Georgetown has clearly robbed you, too.

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    JeffNov 25, 2014 at 10:27 am

    If only there were some sort of federal/state/city program available for these poor youths to take advantage of. Just one. Why has no one in government ever proposed or created one simple program with the intent of ending economic inequality? Is it that hard? We really need our political class to stand up and fight for the creation of government funded programs that will end economic inequality. Oliver, you should run for office on a platform of helping the poor. It hasn’t been done before and you sound like just the right guy to actually get elected fighting for the disadvantaged. It’s hard getting elected promising people things, and the media will surely laugh at you for it. But if we can just get a program funded, just one, we can begin to fight a war on poverty. War on Poverty!! There you go, that could be your campaign theme? Why has no one thought of this before?

    Reply
    • J

      jan whiteNov 27, 2014 at 12:43 am

      Oh my that was great .. kuddos

      Reply
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      Lester DentNov 27, 2014 at 3:49 pm

      Jeff –

      There *are* programs for these youths to take advantage of. They are called public schools and higher institutions of learning.

      They prepare people like Oliver to be targets for these young men.

      I suspect that Oliver will be out on the street soon with a new phone and pocket full of cash, perhaps with several similarly-equipped friends eager for a similar experience, to provide these disadvantaged youths with more opportunities to interact with Oliver and give him insights and experiences into his role in oppressing the masses.

      Reply
  • A

    Adam MarplesNov 25, 2014 at 7:40 am

    “…to condemn these young men as thugs … fuels the problem [muggings]”

    You have a vague notion that muggings are somehow “fueled” by condemnation of muggings? It would be interesting to see you try and connect the dots there. To hand over your money and write an article saying it’s all okay, that actually “fuels” the problem.

    Reply
  • J

    Jimbo the WiseNov 25, 2014 at 3:34 am

    The “author” of this self-loathing, racial hit-piece is pathetic. It’s not the “thug’s fault.” “It’s my fault…because I was born white…and my great-great-grandfather was mean to his great-great-grandfather.” “It’s my fault because these pieces of worthless human debris think that hard work and dedication to bettering one’s self” is for suckas. “I would be happy to lay down my life so that they can steal my money and electronics.”

    Explain to me for one moment…where this sort of stupid comes from? You have to ask yourself…what sort of insipid, moronic asshats teach this sort of mind-numbing BS–and worse yet, who actually believes them? These thugs are just that. They are thugs. Scumbags. Period. They are about as capable of changing themselves as you are of changing your DNA. They believe in preying upon the weak. They believe in handouts from the government. They believe in instant gratification at the expense of others. They don’t respect the rule of law or the law of the land. They expect handouts from this day…until the day that they die.

    This pathetic, hand-wringing example of self-loathing is a clear example of what too much marijuana as an undergrad will do to you. I’m still betting that the author still lives in his parents’ basement and honestly believes that Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown were innocent victims. Simply wow.

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      Mike SpightNov 25, 2014 at 2:09 pm

      Nailed it…

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      AgreedNov 27, 2014 at 6:06 am

      This is disgusting and morally repugnant.

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    a&w rootbeerNov 24, 2014 at 10:40 pm

    My family and I have been profoundly impacted by several violent crimes. My brother’s mother-in-law was murdered in a fatal mugging. The mugger pushed my brother’s mother-in-law backwards while trying to rip the purse from her arm. She fell backwards and hit her head, and died shortly afterwards. As someone who has been profoundly impacted by crime, I find this article beyond insulting. In fact I think this article borders on the obscene, and is a direct and personal insult to crime victims everywhere.

    Reply
  • W

    WyleEHokieNov 24, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    Talk about full on Stockholm Syndrome.

    One word comes to mind when reading Oliver’s editorial. Unfortunately, it is too obscene to print here but it frequently is used in the conjunction with “cat”

    Reply
  • I

    ironycurtainNov 24, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    Indisputable proof that a School of Foreign Service diploma is utterly worthless.

    Reply
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    ironycurtainNov 24, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    What a lovely world this would be if savage animals only preyed upon savage animal enablers. I’d have no problem with imbeciles who believe they have Black Immunity only mugging imbeciles who believe they have White Privilege. Truly made for each other.

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    James Edward SmithNov 24, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    Bahahah, this is like The Onion! However, this is better because it’s real.

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    Greg HowardNov 24, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    funny but this same idiot and his supporters somehow do NOT understand conservatives, lol. how strange.

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    Greg HowardNov 24, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    he’s enabling them to continue, he might was well just wait for them now because he’s a huge ignorant target. Starts with the parents, most poor people aren’t criminals, it’s no excuse.

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    JoeNov 24, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    I find it absolutely hilarious that you say that “otherization” is the problem yet you went on for paragraphs talking about how they are the Other.

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    lawmemesNov 24, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    “I kept hearing “thugs,” “criminals” and “bad people.” While I understand why one might jump to that conclusion, I don’t think this is fair.”

    Criminal (noun): a person who has committed a crime.

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    Beck LomaxNov 24, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    Mr. Friedfeld’s position perpetuates criminal behavior and assures that the criminals he enountered will go on to exact additional crimes against other innocent victims. His lack of awareness for his surroundings and his subsequent capitulation emboldens the criminals. But let’s face the truth here…Mr. Friefeld’s article is his way of coping with his fears and cowardice. It’s his cheap excuse as he wrestles with the fact the he did not fight back and it is his way of coping with his low standing in Darwin’s continuum. Naivete is bliss until reality comes knocking! Marche ou creve, mon vieux.

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  • W

    wonderful just wonderfulNov 24, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    Dear fellow White article writer:

    You are sad and I pity you. Here’s why: being poor does not exempt one from law or basic civility just because they cannot afford whatever it is they desire . No. You are practicing on full display the bigotry of low expectation, you really do not believe they are capable of more than hood rat behavior, and you believe they shouldn’t be held accountable because of that.

    I’m sure in the cushy little well funded world you reside in , this kind of thinking makes you feel all warm and fuzzy. I live in reality, and so do most people. Be the change you want, sir. Give away all YOUR money and belongings. Do it, then come back and write this kind of article. Oh wait, you won’t. Spare us all the vomit inducing moral vanity. Thanks.

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  • J

    Jill ManfreddiNov 24, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    A friend of mine remarks that going to Georgetown U. was kind of depressing since half of the cabdrivers in Georgetown wanted to hear how their favorite professors were still doing.

    Reply
    • J

      JackNov 24, 2014 at 7:08 pm

      Yeah, your friend made that up out of thin air

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    BikerDadNov 24, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    In so many ways, it’s a shame that they didn’t beat the daylights out of this young fool. I say that because, as a student in the School of Foreign Service, he may very well someday bring this astonishing level of foolishness into the service of our nation. If being mugged in reality doesn’t qualify for him as being mugged by reality, then keep him far, far away from any responsibility.

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    pjcostelloNov 24, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    Could you be a bigger idiot??? Is that possible? You’re a perfect representative of Generation Wuss. Unreal. I weep for the future.

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    EdNov 24, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    This is the most obnoxious, sanctimonious loads of crap I’ve ever read. Seriously, if you’re this guilt ridden, dropout of school,
    Go live in the hood, and assuage that mental illness. Or just shoot yourself in the head.

    White liberals are mentally ill.

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  • M

    Marc PelathNov 24, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    And that’s what Ayn Rand called “the sanction of the victim”.

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    Cody BaileyNov 24, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    Holy cra…someone please take Oliver’s keyboard away from him. This kind of idiocy should not be allowed to exist.

    Hyperbole aside, after spending a few years in the real world Mr. Friedfeld will have a radically different outlook. Unless of course he gets himself killed doing something insanely stupid, which is not all that unlikely.

    Reply
  • R

    RJ NAPNov 24, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    Oliver perhaps you can do more to help the disadvantaged youth who really had no choice but to mug you. How about sharing your other possessions which were not available during your encounter. How about your lovers contribution. You can and should do more.

    Reply
  • T

    Tessa (@treesaree)Nov 24, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    I was driving a 1974 Chevy til 1993. That year a bought a used, but looked new, Volvo wagon. It was first decent car I had in my life. I got out of work my first day driving it, one of my two jobs, and the back window had been punched in. I was devastated. The author may have white privilege, myself, I had white work your ass of for everything. Don’t drag working whites into your privilege, call it rich privilege and leave me and my calloused hands out of your guilt.

    Reply
  • K

    Kenneth PortnerNov 24, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    Here’s an idea. Drop of out of Georgetown, go to a state school that costs less than half the $60,000 cost of Georgetown, give the $30,000 saved to the poor kids you feel so badly about so they won’ t have to rob you or others. Win win!

    Reply
  • J

    JasonNov 24, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    Oliver:

    I am much older than you and I have grown up in a different era of time. I see life through a different set of lenses than you do. I suppose that’s why, after reading your article, I do not understand much of what you’ve said. It makes no sense to me. What I do know, however, is had you been shot or beaten into unconsciousness and lived in a wheelchair the rest of your life paralyzed from the waist down, you would not have even attempted to write this article. But, because that didn’t happen, you are now privileged to write and roam about the country. Yes, you are privileged only because a catastrophic event didn’t happen to you. Had one occurred, your mental, emotional and physical well being would have taken a turn that you never would have imagined. I’ve seen tragedy in my lifetime and no one who has ever lived through such an event is ever the same. I dare say that you would not have blamed such a tragedy on something you call “white privilege”.

    It is fascinating indeed that you have made an attempt to ask your readers to see life through the eyes of other people who accosted you. To see them as a victim of society all caused by something I can’t explain and understand, something called “white privilege”. I admit, I don’t really know what it is.

    Oliver, what you have shown me is your lack of understanding. Not only of society in general, but of who you are, what your destiny is, what your purpose in life is. If “white privilege” is such a societal demon as you claim, then it is only fair to ask you what you have done to solve the problem. Your article makes no mention of any life application on your part, it only tries to blame others. I suggest that you be willing to give up your life style and go live with those who suffer from the deadly effects of “white privilege”. Move in with your attackers and reeducate them into your new way of life and enlightenment. Live their life. Stop your privileged education. Be one of them.

    Please don’t think that I don’t know what I’m talking about. I’ve gone to other countries and lived with the poor, the destitute and the hopeless. If you aren’t willing to become like one of them, you’re only empty words. Until you are willing to give up your privileged way of life, Oliver, and demonstrate what you’ve written, you’re just a sounding gong banging in the wind. Don’t demonstrate how to be a hypocrite…show others you know what you’re talking about.

    “….I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand.”

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    CTNov 24, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    So this is what a $60,000 a year education at Georgetown gets you. Sounds like Georgetown has been “mugging” you for years. No wonder a couple of thugs robbing you on the street doesn’t phase you in the least..

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    Chucky77Nov 24, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    I worked hard to get into a good university. I studied, worked to earn spending money, and now I’ve graduated. I have a decent job and I pay taxes. Those thugs have done none of the above. Now tell me again why they are entitled to hurt innocent people. I’m waiting for your reply.

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    lou hodgesNov 24, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    The guy who teaches this “white privilege” stuff, teaches a course at Harvard Online, HarvardX. The guy is a white guy from Pasadena, the most elite white privilege city in Los Angeles, just a few miles from Occidental College, where another White elitist went to college. You can watch the course online for free. I heard a couple of his lectures and burst out laughing. The guy is a communist – the guy who got mugged is also a communist – and doubtful he ever got mugged, because believe me, a mugging usually shakes you up pretty bad. Everytime you are mugged, there is a chance you’re going to die. This guy knows nothing about being mugged or about life on the street. If he really wants to cleanse himself of white privilege, go move into the projects and get to know everybody. I’m sure they’ll be thrilled.

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    rockyjNov 24, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    I would have pulled out my concealed carry firearm and shot them in the face.

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      Mike SpightNov 25, 2014 at 2:06 pm

      Not in DC you wouldn’t. And that is the foundation of the problem…

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      • M

        mo shmoNov 26, 2014 at 5:21 pm

        You’re right! Killing the muggers would definitely solve the problem!!!! What a critical thinker!

        Oh

        Wait….
        …………………

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  • W

    williamNov 24, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    Oliver
    My experience was a little different. I was standing on a Chicago EL platform inebriated after knocking back a few pints with my mates and was confronted by two black thugs in hoodies that were also a bit younger than me. They proceed to beat me almost to death breaking 3 ribs, shattering my left eye socket and rupturing an eardrum. I was only saved from being pushed onto the tracks below when another group of riders came up the platform and started recording the beating on their cell phones. The two thugs who did this were bad people and their problems with life had nothing to do with me. I now have diminished hearing in one ear and permanently blurred vision in one eye. Did I deserve this because I was born to a union steel worker? Do I still have to check the white priviledge box now even after the beating.
    I think you are confused about right and wrong and personal responsibility. Your robbers are completely responsible for their actions. For you to marginalize that is to infantilize your attackers. When you get beaten up like I did will you be saying to yourself “yeah I totally deserve this and these guys arent bad people” while you roll around in pain in your own blood. Good luck with that.

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      Mo ShmoNov 26, 2014 at 1:54 am

      Reminder to you, dear William, and any future commenters that “privilege” does not include the letter “d”.

      I’m just looking out for everyone.

      Also, yes, William, the idea of white privilege is that you have it forever.

      Reply
    • A

      A.Nov 29, 2014 at 4:11 pm

      ^ Way to be compassionate and sympathetic, Mo. Apparently, the only people deserving of sympathy are the underprivileged ones.

      Said it elsewhere on this thread and I’ll say it again – the REAL racism/classism is holding people of certain races/classes to lower moral standards. Understanding that there are cultural elements and underlying causes at play are one thing – but dismissing someone’s downright terrifying and life-threatening experience in the name of social justice is against the very justice you’re trying to fight for.

      William, I am so so sorry for what you’ve experienced.

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  • M

    Mo ShmoNov 24, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    “I come from a solidly middle-class family…” and “Who am I to stand from my perch of privilege… paying for a $60,000 education…”

    Looks like someone is confused by the definition of “middle class”…

    Next time, just use the internet if you need support with terms! Google can clarify most any and all confusion.

    Middle class families MAKE 60,000 dollars a year. Check your class privilege, please and thank you.

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    • W

      WilliamNov 24, 2014 at 3:05 pm

      So being middle class is a class priviledge? Why are you categorizing people by having them check priviledge boxes? Do I have to check my religion, language, intelligence, attractiveness, popularity privilidge now as well? So if anyone is different in any way its a priviledge. Here’s something you all miss, if you are reading this article check your “being in America priviledge in 2014”. 99.9% of all people who have ever lived on this planet have not had as good as you bunch of whiners.

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      • P

        pjcostelloNov 24, 2014 at 5:30 pm

        No, I think you misunderstood… I think Mo agrees with you, and was just being sarcastic. That’s how I read it.

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      • M

        Mo ShmoNov 24, 2014 at 6:01 pm

        You should probably at least check your spelling.

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      AgreedNov 27, 2014 at 5:59 am

      Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’m sympathetic to what Oliver’s saying but let us not be confused about the meaning of middle class.

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  • A

    alum hoyaNov 23, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    It seems like the writer of this piece and a lot of the commenters that support him are making assumptions about the muggers in this example. That they are “structurally oppressed,” that they “had to entertain the thought” of getting a gun to mug people in order to survive. Maybe they were stealing your stuff to buy beer, or drugs, or more guns. Maybe they work during the day and mug at night for electronics and credit cards. You assume this was a crime borne out of inequality and need, but there is nothing to say it wasn’t born out of greed or something else.
    MAYBE a lot of things, but the bottom line is that they are violent criminals and you are lucky you escaped unscathed. People have been killed in the area you were walking in incidents not unlike yours:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/09/AR2006070900215.html

    The people who did rob you are violent and should be arrested because they are a threat to everyone. No crime is OK.

    Reply
  • K

    KimNov 22, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    Verne, I will not respond to the racist, ageist etc assumptions you have made about my life and my experiences. You don’t know me. That aside, your comment illustrates exactly the point I was trying to make. Some people do not understand structural oppression! Oppression does not just affect minorities (Sexism, Apartheid, Slavery in many Latin American countries). Yes, there are, as you said, violent and damaged people but to label their actions as random and unexplainable seems more “intellectually bankrupt” to me. One thing I have learned from being brainwashed by academics is to analyze, look beyond the surface and tackle underlying issues. That is not easy and yes it is controversial but if you would take a look at the literature and the empirical evidence, with an open mind, I am sure you would find it to be relevant and stimulating. This would lead to a far more fruitful discussion, than your unsubstantiated claims, about me, the Black community (whatever that means), minorities (whatever that means), individuals with drug addictions and people with criminal records…

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    • S

      samNov 26, 2014 at 4:27 pm

      Your post hasn’t illustrated anything. you simply claim that you can have a more fruitful discussion by parroting the grievance-based, pseudo-intellectualism that gets you high marks from your professors.

      You have not demonstrated an open mind. You’ve only demonstrated that you’ve swallowed PC culture whole and can repeat ‘check your privilege’ and ‘micro-agression’ on command.

      Humans have free will and choice, no matter what their circumstances. When they break the laws we have agreed upon as a society, the ‘structural oppression’ you pedal is no excuse.

      The reason most people ‘don’t understand’ your concept of structural oppression is that it is a luxury item. A way for you to pose as ‘speaking truth to power’ with no risk of repercussions. You know your imagined ‘patriarchy’ will pat you on the head and say, aww a ‘social justice warrior’, how cute.

      It’s all an imagined construct for you to try and secure unearned power over people who will give it to you if you only inflict enough false guilt on them.

      Which is why we have people like poor Oliver, who has been (re)educated into thinking he owes his attackers something. The only thing his attackers are owed is punishment for their illegal actions.

      You make them out to be some kind of nobel savages that require you to analyze the world for them and win them justice by brining down a bunch of imaginary oppressors.

      You and the writer do them great injustice by treating them as inferiors and expecting so little of them. They deserve, as our equals, to be held responsible for their illegal behavior.

      Georgetown owes Oliver a refund and his self-respect back.

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      • C

        cultural suicideNov 30, 2014 at 9:07 am

        +1000

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  • V

    VerneNov 22, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    “It seems that some Georgetown students do not understand white privilege, classism, racism and other forms of structural oppression.”

    No, Kim, actually, it seems that you don’t understand that some people are just violent or damaged and it has nothing to do with any of the -isms that your professor taught you and you’re currently parroting. Newsflash: There are violent thugs who get their kicks out of mugging people and there are drug addicts looking to rob people to get money to score a hit. Both of these possible explanations for why Oliver got mugged are more likley than the intellectually bankrupt oppressed minority argument used to explain away minority pathologies in general and Oliver’s mugging in particular.

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  • K

    KimNov 21, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    Oliver, look at the lively conversation your piece has started! The comments section has been so eyeopening for me (as I am sure it has been for you). It seems that some Georgetown students do not understand white privilege, classism, racism and other forms of structural oppression. And I do not have the energy (nor is it my job) to unpack all of these concepts. I would encourage all the commenters/readers who question your argument to do some actual RESEARCH rather than making useless remarks about your writing style/word choice. Here are some good reads to get you started:

    ‘White Privilege, Male Privilege” Peggy McIntosh
    “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” McIntosh
    “The New Jim Crow” Michelle Alexander

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    • V

      VerneNov 22, 2014 at 3:03 pm

      “I would encourage all the commenters/readers who question your argument to do some actual RESEARCH rather than making useless remarks about your writing style/word choice.”

      And I’d encourage you to get out in the real world. You sound like you’re currently in college. It may take years of living before you abandon the fairytales that college professors use to foward their worldview. If you’re black you may never let go of some of these fairytales because it would require you to face some uncomfortable truths about the black community. It’s blacks themselves, not white privilege, who are responsible for the pathologies within the black community.

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        Mo ShmoNov 26, 2014 at 1:51 am

        Your racism is showing, dear Verne.

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        • D

          derpNov 26, 2014 at 8:34 am

          “people are individuals and should be treated liek individuals”
          “haha you’re racism is soooo obvious”

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      AlexNov 22, 2014 at 5:31 pm

      Some of us understand those ideas perfectly well, but we recognize that that’s all they are: ideas. This whole concept of “privilege” (socioeconomic in this case – and despite your assumptions, the author never said that the attackers were black) is an intellectual framework for looking at the world, developed by some professors in recent years. It is NOT some immutable law of the universe that exists in a tangible way and was just discovered by these professors and now must be disseminated across the land. I certainly don’t mean this as a criticism of all non-STEM fields (I’m not even in a STEM field at all), but I do mean to rebuke your suggestion that those of us who disagree with your analysis of an event should “do some actual RESEARCH” (which you followed with a smug list of books with which we should “educate” ourselves), as if the only possible reason for disagreeing with you is not understanding the terms you’re using. Whether or not you buy into the idea of “white privilege” has nothing to do with how “educated” you are on the subject, and, more importantly, even those who recognize the existence of white privilege don’t have to believe that it absolves violent criminals of blame for their actions. In fact, I’d imagine that the majority of people who do buy into the idea of “white privilege” (explicitly or otherwise) would still disagree with the message of this article. I would be among them.

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      samNov 26, 2014 at 11:16 am

      Actually, Oliver strikes me as a raging racist. By not assigning these individuals the same free will and responsibility for their actions he gives himself, he makes them less than him.

      This entire article is a justification of why he is better than his attackers and dehumanizing them.

      At least the commenters that want them justly punished are giving them the credit they deserve.

      Also, by encouraging this attitude you are allowing this behavior to continue.

      Anyone who points a gun at another human is dehumanizing them. The make their fellow humans prey. They need to be punished to learn better.

      If you won’t teach them this, you are failing them.

      All your privilege theory is just another way to hold them down, by excusing behavior that you wouldn’t excuse from those you see as privileged. You are the ones assigning privilege, not those to whom you assign that label.

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        nongmin88Nov 30, 2014 at 9:04 am

        Excellent and devastating response. Of course some sophomore will be along shortly to play the card, or give you a post-Marxian reading list to show you the error of your ways.

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    bennysaunsaunNov 21, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    nice fresh perspective, but condoning violent mugging is entirely inappropriate. I had a couple friends who were mugged on 35th and N street, one had his nose pretty badly messed up; no one will deny these systemic inequalities need to be addressed, but approval of crime and violence is nowhere near conducive to a solution.

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    Niko KostasNov 20, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    And we don’t send violent criminals to prison to “feel manly”. We send violent criminals to prison because it’s a fundamental role of government to punish violent criminals.

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    Kimberly TaNov 20, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    Oliver,

    I want to thank you so very much for writing this insightful and important article. When I was in my sophomore year at Georgetown, I too, was robbed of my cell phone at gunpoint. I reacted very much the same way that you did to the incident afterwards.

    It’s easy to write off those children who had robbed me, only 14, 15 and 16, as “thugs”, menaces to society that deserve to be put away. No, I never thought that about my attackers. It was the first time I really had to take a step back, reflect, and question the kind of world we live in and how the system had failed these young boys.

    Skimming the hateful and ignorant comments that followed this article was something else that made me incredibly saddened by the members of our Georgetown community. So, with the hopes of educating your critics, I want to help address some of the arguments that they’ve brought up:

    (1) This is not victim-blaming. No, you didn’t ask to be mugged. Nobody asks or deserves to be mugged, raped, or assaulted. It is never the personal fault of the victim. And from my reading of the article, I had never gotten the impression that you personally blamed yourself for or even remotely suggested that you deserved to have the crime that was committed against you. It was the robber’s choice to point that gun at you that night, but it is inequality in society that was responsible for those choices. No child is born and thinks “when I grow up, I want to become a criminal”. Their circumstances push them into that state of thinking. Whether they are born into this type of family, grow up in these types of environments where they are not afforded the proper education and are neglected by their community, lack guidance and opportunities to be taught otherwise, or most likely the combination of all of that, this is not their fault. I can bet you that not one of these young men who had mugged you and I were ever told “you are worth it and there is better out there for you, let me help you find a way out”. On the other hand, you did not choose to be born into white-middle-class-male privilege. In an ideal society, whether you are born Black, White, Asian, Latino, Native American, etc., male or female, heterosexual or homosexual, shouldn’t make a difference in the opportunities you are afforded, how you are treated at convenient stores, have people think they can sexually harass you on the street, nor be the target of hate-crimes, but absolutely it does. This is a pervasive issue in society and there is nothing more detrimental to addressing it than thinking that it isn’t an issue but isolated incidents of some “thugs”. They made this choice because everything in their immediate world suggested that it was the best one. When an incident like this happens, it is easy to get angry and place blame. I commend you for being able to recognize that. Just because you are not placing blame on the criminal does not mean you are placing blame on the victim. People can keep saying “these are criminals, throw them in prison”, but crime continues to exist and this solution is reactive and not preventative, crime will continue to exist until we address the root of it. Thank you for recognizing that.

    (2) Attacking your writing or your exposition. I’m not going to take too much time on this elementary logical fallacy (see “ad hominem”). People can have as many opinions as they want about how you presented this argument but at the base of it, it is a very necessary reflection. It is not how you presented it that is impressive, but the fact that you are ABLE to reflect on it this way. Coming from the privilege that you do, it is very easy to be sheltered and ignorant about the complex and uncomfortable conversation of what white-middle-class privilege means in America. For those who have tried to emasculate you for your opinion and not placing blame on the criminals, I would like to see how they would have acted in your situation. Maybe they would have whipped out their powerful boners and slapped some sense into those boys. Maybe they would have used their money and power to put these boys into prison. Maybe that would have made them feel “manly”. It is an embarrassment to our community that Hoyas continue to think like this. I am so incredibly proud to stand by you as a fellow Hoya who can understand what it means to embody “men and women for others”, because now that you understand this, perhaps one day you can bring more awareness to the under-funded conditions of inner city schools, support for more youth programs, and legislature that rehabilitates these children and prevents circumstances where crime is a likely option. Those who are ignorant can continue blaming children for their circumstances, waving around their penises, and making no difference.

    Thank you for being brave enough to share your story and point-of-view. This is the type of conversation that will make a difference for society.

    Cheers and hoya saxa,
    Kimberly

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      Niko KostasNov 20, 2014 at 8:14 pm

      I’m glad that you and the author of the article have the “privilege” of telling everyone else that “we should get comfortable with sporadic muggings and break-ins”. Believe it or not, other victims of crime actually suffer as a result and thus do not have the luxury of telling a violent criminal that ““you are worth it and there is better out there for you, let me help you find a way out””. You’ve already helped them with several hundred dollars’ worth of your personal belongings and you have the audacity to imply that we owe them even more for their troubles.

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      AlexNov 21, 2014 at 5:34 pm

      > Maybe they would have whipped out their powerful boners and slapped some sense into those boys. Maybe they would have used their money and power to put these boys into prison. Maybe that would have made them feel “manly”. It is an embarrassment to our community that Hoyas continue to think like this.

      Are you seriously suggesting that the only justification you can think of for our wanting to punish violent criminals is because we innocent victims want to “feel ‘manly'”?! Do you really think that’s the only basis we have for wanting the police to arrest individuals that are menacing members of our community? It’s certainly not just men that see armed muggings as a problem either (and no, we don’t want to “slap [them] with [our] powerful boners”) – in fact, I would very surprised to hear that women were totally okay with being attacked by a group of violent criminals at night. Muggers are a serious threat to the safety of any person in our community, including yourself and the author. Even if you do acquiesce and give up your property, you are still entirely at the mercy of demonstrably violent strangers who, with even an accidental twitch of the finger, could very easily end your life.

      Aside from all that, the premise of this whole discussion is absurd. Would it still be okay if the muggers had attacked a student who turned out to be lower-class himself? Or would his inherent privilege of being a Georgetown student still make it understandable, even if he himself faced the same challenges as the muggers but chose to work hard and attend a great university with the help of financial aid and scholarships rather than hold up innocent victims on the street? The author also totally dismisses the police officer’s story about his own life and his rise above his unfortunate starting position to become a respectable officer of the law, with a real job helping real people. The officer himself faced the same choice of whether or not to commit violent crimes for drug money, and he made the right decision. Why does the author ignore his choice (and the choices of all of those hardworking students from low-income families) and concentrate on supporting the decisions of the muggers to commit a violent crime? The two of you both seem to be under the impression that socioeconomically-disadvantaged individuals cannot make the choice to rise above their circumstances and make the moral (and legal) choice. You write that “It was the robber’s choice to point that gun at you that night, but it is inequality in society that was responsible for those choices,” saying that while the mugger himself “chose” to commit the crime, he was not responsible for his choice. If you cannot be held responsible for your choices and your actions, then you are not making choices at all – you are simply following a linear path. The police officer and all of the students at Georgetown who have come from socioeconomically-disadvantaged backgrounds, however, prove this theory laughably false. People – even poor people – DO have choices and usually DO make the right ones. It is incredibly patronizing to suggest that muggings are excusable because poor people don’t have the privileged luxury of being moral.

      >So, with the hopes of educating your critics

      Sadly I doubt you’ll allow me to educate you while you wallow in your smug condescension, so I’ll just keep “waving around my penis” (along with the millions of women who agree with me, though that could be difficult for them) instead. If that’s all you get out of this exchange, unfortunately I suppose that’s a choice you have made (or have you?).

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      Greg HowardNov 24, 2014 at 7:18 pm

      by enabling them, they’ll continue. If you correct them, they have a chance. It really comes down to their poor parenting they received. If poor was an excuse why are most poor not criminals? they have CHOICE in their actions.

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      Mike S.Nov 25, 2014 at 4:55 pm

      His circumstances may not be (entirely) his fault, but his poor choices are. You should really consider how your condoning these kinds of poor choices contributes to and reinforces the circustances young people, like the robber in this story, face.

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      Paula LNov 29, 2014 at 3:36 pm

      You should have worn that helmet. Head injuries are serious and can lead to long term problems with cognitive ability. But thanks for alerting everyone else to a serious medical issue.

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      deja1vu1boyNov 29, 2014 at 11:09 pm

      I hate to break your little rose-colored bubble Kimberly, but Oliver crying about his privilege after being robbed isn’t going to stop the under-funded conditions of inner city schools, lead to more support for youth programs, and create legislature that rehabilitates these children and prevents circumstances where crime is the only option.

      It’s only going to make Oliver feel better about his brainwashed views on life.

      Get a clue! No amount of “discussion” or “raising awareness” is going to end the cycle of poverty! It’s self-congratulatory nonsense and YOU KNOW IT! You and Oliver and the rest of your illiberals shouldn’t be patting yourselves on the back for posting these essay long replies like you’re changing the world or some BS; you should hand your heads in shame and shut up – unless you have any REAL solutions to the problem of muggings and other criminal activies.

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        lesterdent2014Nov 30, 2014 at 2:31 am

        Deja –

        Decades of failed Great Society programs like what you propose have had just the opposite effect – why keep proposing more failed programs? After school programs don’t save kids, intact nuclear families do.

        You want results? Try these “illiberal” programs:

        1. Reform welfare to reward two-parent homes, limit time on welfare, require proof of job search.

        2. Re-institute work rules Republicans forced Clinton to adopt that Obama removed.

        3. Break Union stranglehold on schools by instituting voucher systems in all school districts with underperforming schools.

        4. Streamline charter school registration and formation, making available empty government buildings for low rent.

        5. Give principals authority to fire teachers for poor performance and reward teachers for good performance.

        6. Minimize bureaucracy and spend money on creating jobs like CCC or WPA for infrastructure; in places like SF they spend $80-90k a year per homeless person but homeless still eat garbage and live in filth. But plenty of bureaucrats have jobs that pay well.

        7. Reduce crushing regulatory burden (including Obamacare) on businesses allowing them to grow and hire more people, creating more jobs.

        8. Control illegal immigration that lowers wages and floods market with low-skilled workers that take jobs traditionally performed by youth and unskilled and lower-educated people (often the minorities who then resort to crime).

        The problem is that each of these solutions go against strong Democratic political supporters – public sector unions, immigration groups – so will never happen. If you minimize the number of people dependent on the government you also minimize the Democratic voter base who reliably vote for more free stuff.

        So don’t expect real change. You won’t see any “Black leaders” carrying on campaigns against entitlements that destroy the Black family. You see, like here, calls for government “fixes” after the fact to repair what the lack of a strong family causes.

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    John MorganNov 20, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    Too bad your $60,000 a year education has not provided you with any common sense!!!

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    MNov 20, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    “We’re all capable of good and bad, but it’s a whole lot easier for me to choose good than it may be for them to.” This statement is FUNDAMENTALLY wrong. So privilege/wealth/a Georgetown education makes it is easier to choose good?

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      BenNov 21, 2014 at 8:48 pm

      As someone who disagrees with the majority of this speech, I do have to say, yes, absolutely having the opportunities and wealth provided by Georgetown makes it easier to defer from criminal activities than in a case of greater impetus/necessity.

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        EWeatherwaxNov 24, 2014 at 4:13 pm

        That depends upon what the person wants. You are talking about the will to resist temptation. I will grant that if you are literally starving, it will be harder to resist stealing food than if you are not hungry. Apart from that, all else is equal. A rich person with no moral compass can give in to his/her temptations to swindle clients out of money just as a poor person give in to temptation to steal from others to get more stuff.

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    mc6809eNov 20, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    The worst thing about the sentiment expressed by the writer is that it inevitably leads to the conclusion that he’ll accept the victimization of others too if they’re privileged like him.

    Any acquaintance of this person now knows that he can never be trusted. Any damage or injury to his “privileged” friends will be dismissed.

    My advice to any of his friends would be to cut him loose before he sells you out the way he sells himself out.

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    PaulRNov 20, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    Friedfield was indeed born of privilege – and the naiveté and stupidity of his sheltered and propagandized education is showing. His mugging was NOT an “economic issue.” He was very likely mugged by drug addicts, looking for money for their next fix – not by a modern Jean Valjean looking to buy bread for his children. Congratulations Oliver – your money is probably fueling drug-gang executions in Mexico or Guatemala.

    He has swallowed the simplistic, “progressive” proto-marxist pap that somehow, all the world needs is more “redistribution” (guided by enlightened and angelic progressive leaders) and all social ills will disappear. In fact, all this leftist clap-trap, as we know, only brings more maldistribution, more social-ills and more crime.

    Finally, Friedfield doesn’t understand that he is actually slandering “the poor.” In his world – they are not individual moral actors who can freely choose good and evil, but are crime-committing robots, programmed by their physical needs, too stupid and brutal to know the consequences of their choices.

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      Holly@ClubThriftyNov 26, 2014 at 8:34 am

      “Finally, Friedfield doesn’t understand that he is actually slandering “the poor.” In his world – they are not individual moral actors who can freely choose good and evil, but are crime-committing robots, programmed by their physical needs, too stupid and brutal to know the consequences of their choices.The soft bigotry of low expectations.”

      The Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations.

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    PNov 20, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    This article is actually nauseating. MANY instances of violent crime (muggings, or the break ins that you recommend we “learn to live with”) do not end the way yours did (whether in physical injury, sexual assault, or even death). To suggest that Georgetown students, by virtue of being Georgetown students, should somehow accept that they deserve to be victims of crime, is a disgusting form of victim blaming. This logic is no better than the “she was asking for it” narrative that is all to prevalent in our society. Furthermore, you have managed to completely obscure the very real issue of socioeconomic inequality in DC with your completely incoherent train of thought.

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    robertNov 20, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    In your argument, the action is justifiable given that the attackers don’t have what you have and merely want an opportunity to experience it, because the system has kept them down. I don’t have it, but I want it, and since no one is going to just give it to me and it’s someone else’s fault I don’t have it, don’t be surprised or hold it against me if I take it.

    Maybe I can use that same logic in my next rape defense. I don’t have a vagina to use, but I want to experience a vagina, and no one will freely give me a vagina to use, so it should not be a surprise and you can’t hold it against me if I take your vagina and use it.

    Riiiiight… An attack is an attack is an attack. Quit letting others not be responsible for their choices and actions.

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    John GoulandrisNov 19, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    Alright Oliver, you are not only flaccid and irrational, but an embarrassment to our student body. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Every reader of this piece is now dumber.

    And to The Hoya, how could you ever publish anything of this sort. I am disappointed.

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    AnonymousNov 19, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    “Verily I have often laughed at weaklings who thought themselves good because they had no claws.”

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    Wyatt MannNov 19, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    im loling so hard at this article, since when did georgetown go full tumblr-mode? you people who write this drivel are truly lost.

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    TravisNov 19, 2014 at 7:51 am

    Robbing someone at gunpoint is criminal. We have laws in our society that punish people for stealing another person’s property with the threat of lethal force and rightly so. As much as I would love to imagine myself with Bruce Lee abilities to kick ass if I were attacked, I realize I would react similarly to Oliver and his housemate that night – calmly follow directions.

    With that being said, I want to address the general sentiments of the earlier comments. Arguing that the author gives his muggers a free pass and suggests that we get used to occasional break-ins because of our privilege is incorrect and misses the point of this piece. Instead of casting the incident in the traditional light of attacker versus victim, he challenges us, his peers, to consider what happened to him in a greater social context as opposed to seeing it as just a stand-alone occurrence to depict his attackers as stereotypical thugs.

    Yes, his attackers could have chosen a different path as some have pointed out. Yet, they chose to threaten our peers with lethal force. It’s easy to cast them as bad, disruptive people who are wasting their lives, violating our property rights, and causing unrest. But for a moment, what if we were to actually see them as humans? What if we allowed ourselves to step back from our sense of reality to comprehend someone else’s? Would we then see them and ourselves in different light? Possibly and that’s worth a conversation.

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      EWeatherwaxNov 24, 2014 at 4:06 pm

      Despite the implicit claims that people are somehow not viewing these criminals a human beings, I have not seen any evidence that such a state exists. But to go with your argument for the moment, just what are you proposing? That if they have had hardships, then we should excuse their behavior and allow them to rob people at gunpoint?
      If you are proposing that we understand why people chose lives of crime and attempt to fix those problems I am with you. Sadly, though, there seems to be tremendous resistance to addressing the known causes of crime among disadvantaged people, to wit, lack of fathers in the homes, lack of respect for education, lack of a moral code that teaches right from wrong, and lack of taking personal responsibility for one’s choices.

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      JasonNov 24, 2014 at 6:41 pm

      It is precisely because they are human that we condemn their actions. If they were animals, if they acted only on instinct, then they would be blameless. You don’t condemn a scorpion for stinging, you might kill it because it threatened your life, but you wouldn’t condemn it. It’s just doing what comes naturally.

      These are human beings who made a decision to take another human being’s property with the threat of lethal force. One wrong moment and the writer would have been dead.

      It is because they are human that we condemn their actions. It is token liberals, like the writer, who attribute their actions to their socio-economic status, or to their race, that deny them their humanity, who attribute to them the status of animals.

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      MZNov 25, 2014 at 11:23 am

      “But for a moment, what if we were to actually see them as humans? What if we allowed ourselves to step back from our sense of reality to comprehend someone else’s? Would we then see them and ourselves in different light?”

      By all means ‘step back from your sense of reality’ and go spend a few days and nights in the hood with these humans, I’m sure you’ll see them and yourself in a different light.

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      Mike in SeattleDec 1, 2014 at 12:54 pm

      But for a moment, what if we were to actually see them as humans? What if we allowed ourselves to step back from our sense of reality to comprehend someone else’s? Would we then see them and ourselves in different light?

      Well see that’s the problem, isn’t it? The original article and your comment robs the muggers of humanity by declaring them incapable of independent agency because of Politically Correct categorization via Privilege. In short, the article relies on Paternalistic Racism to render the muggers as incapable of anything other than the role they played, and reveling in its condescending ‘understanding’ of the role they have been assigned. They have been declared a blameless prop, with no responsibility for their actions.

      Instead they should be viewed as independent agents, completely capable of choice, thus fully responsible for their acts and as such worthy of nothing more then condemnation.

      The author has a right to be secure from violence regardless of his privilege or economic status. Full stop. The individuals who chose to engage in violence are responsible for their acts, not society. Not Privilege. Not Racism. Not Social Justice.

      The individual – whom is now a criminal by choice and action.

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        lesterdent2014Dec 1, 2014 at 1:27 pm

        Very well said.

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      BriDec 2, 2014 at 4:57 am

      We do see them as human beings, which is why this behavior is unacceptable. Unless they lack capacity by reason of a mental defect, they are rational beings capable of considering options and making choices. They chose the wrong thing. Show me at least one person in this world that hasn’t suffered some sort of hardship? Hardship is often subjective and relative and an excuse to criminal behavior in narrow, carefully defined circumstances which do not seem to be present here.

      Those who would not hold them accountable are those that don’t see them as human because they see them as lacking rationality, like for example when we see a lion attack – we don’t fault him because we don’t give him credit for rational thought since he isn’t human.

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    We live in the 21st centuryNov 19, 2014 at 1:56 am

    People writing about privilege, you are deeply confused. Privilege is not something that can come from “hard work and discipline” or something that you can earn. Rather, it is a status assigned by society based on your race, class, gender, and ability among other factors. The otherization that Oliver highlights in his article, occurs just when people fail to recognize the privilege implicit to their perceptions of others.

    “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack”
    https://amptoons.com/blog/files/mcintosh.html

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      JeroniNov 19, 2014 at 4:34 pm

      Are you mad? Society does not assign ability to anyone.

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      WilliamNov 24, 2014 at 3:19 pm

      Whose job was it to assign me my status based on my race, class, gender and other abilities? What governmental body does that? How can I get a job working to assign priviledge classifications to people in the US? Where can I check my priviledge score as a white-native american Zen Buddist transgender physically challenged former Army veteran? I cant seem to find my priviledge score on my drivers licence. It must be pretty low since I have to wait 6 months to get health care at the VA.

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