This kid at Yale says rich people with Canada Goose coats deserve your sympathy too
He’s sick of being made to feel different for his enormous wealth
Is your Canada Goose jacket weighing you down? Is your membership to an exclusive private club causing you social friction? Do you feel that your MacBook marks you as an elitist? Well great news! There is at least one other brazenly insensitive, hopelessly out of touch, weak-willed snob out there and he just so happens to be a guest columnist for The Yale Daily News.
Kathan Roberts describes the pain he feels as a fabulously wealthy junior at Yale, saying students like him "must sanitize discussions about their everyday lives of any mention of wealth and incur the ire of their peers whenever they slip up" and that they too need empathy and support.
One such case is recounted in lurid detail. Roberts writes:
"Last summer, two friends of mine found themselves in New York City. One day, one texted the other asking where she was, and the other responded that she was at such-and-such private club. It was a purely utilitarian statement, meant only to communicate a location, but the first friend got mad, thinking the other was bragging. The privileged among us experience an unrelenting, hidden struggle."
If those who can afford to spend their nights in “such and such private clubs" are entitled to empathy then I can only assume that the other 99 percent of students across the country are entitled to a free car.
He also writes: "Surprisingly, despite the vitriol aimed at the privileged, our discussions of the underprivileged are remarkably empathetic." Surely this has to be satire.
When you think that this article couldn’t get any worse, Roberts goes onto suggest that a degree from Yale automatically catapults you into the one percent and that if his fellow Yalies lift up the proverbial hood of their Canada Goose jackets, they will find themselves.
He has given himself the authority to lump every Yale student into the same indistinguishable blob of humanity. It seems as if he genuinely believes that generations of actual oppression and disadvantage are rendered null and void by an Ivy League degree. In one last glorious melodramatic outbreak Roberts claims that "we are now the privileged few, and their lifestyles will soon be ours."
Unluckily for Roberts, there are quite a number of students who don’t have access to private clubs or sport thousand-dollars coats. To take us home, I leave you with the words of one of the comments on Roberts' extremely bad article:
"Wow, I really wish the extent of my struggles as a poor kid at Yale were the 'social friction' that occurs when I can't get Junzi night lunch with my friends, instead of the appointments I have to make with my professors when I can't finish my homework because I'm working as many hours as my two jobs will allow so I can pay my tuition this semester, or the food stamps my parents will have to stretch over six mouths to feed instead of five when I go home (on a relative's airline miles, because we couldn't afford it otherwise) for break, or the constant terror that something will happen to the Medicaid that's the only insurance my family can afford.
"It would be so nice if the potential for class mobility that my eventual Yale degree will doubtlessly afford me upon graduation were magically conferred upon me now, as you seem to think it is. It would be so nice if being at a rich institution fixed my social status and made it so I've never wanted for money at all. It would be so nice if Yale weren't a skewed but workable microcosm of society at large, where poor students continue to have to bump elbows with the grotesque privilege and ignorance of the rich and are — apparently — expected to soothe the troubled feelings that arise when the rich are forced to confront the advantages they enjoy.
"But that's not how anything works. You can make a good and valuable and important point about the inherent benefits we all receive by attending an Ivy League, regardless of class. You can talk about the structures of wealth and reputation that enable Ivy League schools to give us those benefits. You can also do so without being insensitive and willfully obtuse. I would suggest you do."