By Luke Buehler
Merry Christmas! Even if you personally don’t celebrate Christmas, it is a federally recognized holiday in the United States and many countries around the world that deserves to be realized and enjoyed as such regardless of if you are Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, or belong to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
Christmas is a important, some would say the most important, cultural holiday celebrated by Christians. If you don’t feel included in American culture, perhaps learning more about this holiday would be a great place to start. It is an interesting fact that Irving Berlin, who was Jewish, wrote the iconic song “White Christmas.” He felt personally invested and appreciated taking part in celebrating the holiday. In fact, about half of the 25 best-selling Christmas carols were written by Jewish composers. That could be one reason many call it “the most wonderful time of year.”
Let’s now discuss an event that scarred me personally regarding cultural bias, discrimination, and racism directed at me and the people like me that built this country by RCTC administration and staff members. I attended the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society on Sept. 30. I wandered up to the second floor of student services to find the conference room among the numerous offices of RCTC administrators. Four people were present for the meeting — a dean of students, a professor, the vice president and myself. The conversation began with me outlining my presentation from Student Success Day in the fall. The RCTC staff members didn’t have much to say regarding my presentation, but from there the conversation took a nosedive deep into a horribly liberal abyss.
The dean of students, one of the most influential people in that room, looked me straight in the eyes and said my life is a privileged story. As a student who works hard at several low-wage jobs to put myself through school, I was shocked and offended at this cultural discrimination that was staring me in the face. It was alleged that, because I am a white male, I have “everything handed to me.” I can assure you nothing could be further from the truth. I work hard and manage my finances conservatively to be able to afford my “college experience.” I am an individual from whom thousands of personal tuition dollars fund the career of the person who throws out the abusive rhetoric of white privilege.
Being a liberal administrator is one thing, but being an iniquitous jerk is another. While this act alone should be enough for me to ask for the resignation of this administrator, what’s even more bothersome is that the rest of the faculty in the room all agreed. No one even had the guts to argue the accusation, and that’s what felt the most sickening. At the end of the meeting, one of them mentioned it was just, “painless.” Wow, painless for whom?
Over Thanksgiving, I anguished with anger and resentment and began telling my conservative grandma this story. Her eyes widened with a painful shock. She said that was pure racism, which it was indeed. As president of Phi Theta Kappa chapter, I don’t get paid to compensate me for the extra work involved in representing student’s interests. But RCTC faculty, especially hypocritical administrators, do. How do they get paid? Oh, tuition dollars, and taxpayer money, right. So, let’s get this straight. Don’t pay the student leaders or even give them a break on tuition, but instead let them pay the salary for administrators who get to call white students white privileged? That’s pretty screwed up.
So, let’s not do anything about student loans, which is of course, stolen taxpayer money burdening students for years after college. But for Pete’s sake, Luke, don’t bash student loans! That’s how the college makes its money! C’mon, Luke, let the financially naïve students go into debt to take classes in the liberal prison, also known as a college campus. Let them realize 5, 10, 15, or 20 years from now that what seemed like a good idea at the time, has now placed a choking noose around their neck as they try to feed a family. And let them wonder why they never have any money.
But what was the meeting really about? Not the agenda of Phi Theta Kappa, but putting forward some liberal delusion about solutions to the important subject of poverty. The problem is, liberals try to go about solving this worldwide challenge with all of their good intentions badly executed. Ever seen a man trying to save himself from drowning by pulling himself up by the hair on his head?
Helping students out of poverty is a complex problem, but it’s not the answer to burden women and minority students with enormous student loan balances to pay off “when they get their good job after graduating” without asking the question if they are training students to get this mythical “good job.” I say women and minorities because of course white males don’t even need college, right, because they can get any job anywhere with all their white male privilege, per RCTC staff.
To truly help students’ lives, the first semester of college should be entirely courses on personal finances and job exploration. Young people need to have the opportunity to honestly examine how they can tailor their college experience to attain a career that they not only want and enjoy and that will also be feasible and pay a surviving wage for them and their eventual family. Students should be taught to approach local businesses, employers, and community members to solicit funds to complete college training, and this would also provide direction on marketplace demand. There is no excuse for so much scholarship money to go unclaimed, and attainment of scholarships should not reduce financial aid awards, as this is a disincentive. Liberals tend to have the opinion that everyone can just get a government job. The problem is, they have no understanding of who pays for these government jobs and benefits. It takes people living and working in the real world to be able to continue the government gravy train.
For people who wonder why we have a budget crisis at this campus, more money is not the answer. Obviously, you haven’t stopped spending money you don’t have. Stop the extras. Stop the waste. Stop leasing vehicles for state use. It’s the most expensive way to operate one. And if you teach math, you should explain to your peers that there is no endless spring of government money. Just stop borrowing money all together. Then guess what. You’ll have actual money and so will the students, You people need to have some decent common sense for crying out loud! Money behaves as you behave. That’s not tough love — it’s just love.
Ask yourself the question — do student loans feel good? Or do they do good? It’s not the first cigarette that kills smokers, but that’s how the habit starts. These loans may be the first of many more that students will take on through their lives. Who said paying interest to anyone was a good idea? Notice how bankers have nicer stuff than the rest of us? Where do you think they got the money to pay for it? I’ve met way too many students and graduates who fear for themselves with mountains of student loan debt. By the way — none of that is bankruptable! Taking advantage of the financially stupid students is not something a hallowed academic institution would allow. But when liberal administrators allow students to go into debt to obtain a liberalized education, which may have very little economic applicable value, then turn around and blame it on “society” and “poverty” is just complete insanity. Don’t you people realize that you as an institution are adding gasoline to a fire of student loan debt? Wake up and smell the smoke!
Don’t manipulate students by calling them privileged. Students will compare themselves to each other. You seriously want that? You think that does good to me and society?
No one is privileged. No one has any right to call anyone that. Skin color makes no difference. We’ve had an African-American president of the United States. If that’s not enough to prove that there are more factors than just race, I don’t know what would be.
So Merry Christmas. Yes, Merry Christmas! The best gift you can give someone this Christmas is not only your time, your presence, a smile, or a hug. But give them the truth.