Twenty-three-year-old Canadian alt-right celebrity (now that’s something) Lauren Southern has arrived in Australia wearing an “It’s ok to be white” t-shirt.
Yes, it is. It’s also ok to be black. Or any other colour. It’s ok to be a man. It’s ok to be a woman. It’s ok to be straight. It’s ok to be gay.
It’s ok to be just about anything. But it’s not ok to be a paedophile and a few other things, but these are minor exceptions.
But just because it’s ok to be it doesn’t mean that you can be proud of it. This is not a moral judgment, merely a matter of logic.
To say that you are proud to be white – or proud to be black – makes as much sense as saying that you’re proud to be tall or proud of your green eyes. All these things are accidents of birth and genetics. They are given to you in their final form; you don’t cultivate them or work on them or develop and shape them.
Pride is a response to achievement, to doing rather than being. You can be proud of (and this again is not a moral judgment but a matter of logic) the good that you have done, or the money you’ve made. You can be proud of the song you wrote or how tidy you keep your home. You can be proud of the children you’ve raised. But the further away the achievement is from you as a person and an individual and the more it is of other members of a group or a category you belong to, the less sense it makes. You can be a proud American or Australian because in your everyday life and work you try to embody the values and contribute to the greater good. But just sitting on the couch and drinking beer arguably makes zero contribution to the success of the sports team you cheer for.
I’m proud of what I just wrote. And it’s ok to like it.
Arthur Chrenkoff blogs at The Daily Chrenk where this piece also appears.
Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.