August 16, 2003

GOSPLAC Silliness

You'd think after all the time I spent there that I'd be used to kneejerk nitpicks that have nothing to do with the subject at hand yet have to be thrown out there to soothe an uneasy subconscious. Last weekend, there was an event in the "DUMBO" section of Brooklyn. The master of a site I really like stumbled upon it and wrote about it, then wrote another piece as he thought about the whole thing some more. Then today in my boredom, I was browsing his site when I saw the editorial someone had sent in as feedback to his last post.

I just read your article. You put a lot of thought into it. However this bothered me a great deal:

“But mostly white GOSPLACs showed up to throw food. What does that mean?”

Listen, I know you will say “most were GOSPLACs.”

Me and my friends are hardly that. I grew up in Union City/Jersey City, NJ, which is very far from an upper middle class neighborhood. I work for a living and support myself, in fact i live pay check to pay check, like my 3 friends who went. dont you think that comment was a little inappropriate? i could understand your a little ticked there was a mess, but i think being middle to upper class has nothing to do with the condiment war.

Oh dear, I love selected reading! The exchange with the organizer woman that bothered him so read:

“And I noticed the demographic—”

“White.”

“Yet at least half women. There were some people of color, but very few.”

“Definitely true.”

“My instinct is that about 80% of the people there were middle-class or upper middle-class GOSPLACs.”

“Hmm?” she asked.

“Graduates of small private liberal arts colleges.”

“At least.”

“Does that bother you?”

“We invited everyone we could,” she said. “Anyone who wanted to fight could fight.”

“But mostly white GOSPLACs showed up to throw food. What does that mean?”

She shrugged. I did't have an answer, either. It was something we just understood about being Americans.

Now personally, I would've taken offense at the "being American" part. What does being American have to do with having a fake war with condiments in the middle of the streets? Apparently a lot more than getting mistaken for middle to upper middle class. Haven't you heard that the best privilege is the unacknowledged one?

Posted by Candicissima at August 16, 2003 08:16 PM