Culture

Professor: Trying to Make Me Like the Beatles Is a Microaggression

Fab Four in 1967 (John Pratt/Keystone/Getty)
Ugh. White people, amirite?

A professor at Notre Dame de Namur University in California wrote a piece published by the Huffington Post claiming that his white friend trying to convince him to like the Beatles was basically a microaggression against him.

Psychology professor Adam J. Rodriguez, who is Puerto Rican, explained that his friend was part of “the dominant culture” that makes people Beatles fans — and the fact that he dared to criticize Rodriguez for not being one was insensitive and meant he just didn’t recognize the “power and privileges” he had as a white dude that Rodriguez did not have.

“All cultures contain within them many subcultures, with one cultural dimension often dominant,” Rodriguez wrote. “When one is a member of the dominant culture, that person enjoys particular power and privileges, including the freedom to not have to consider other perspectives.”

Yep.

According to Rodriguez, his friend was just not culturally literate enough to realize that while he “grew up a white middle-class male in the 70s and 80s, to parents who grew up on the Beatles,” Rodriguez grew up “a Puerto Rican lower-class male in the 80s whose parents played guajira, salsa, and Motown/classic R&B/soul.”

“My friend, caught in his ethnocentric blindness, could not grasp that somebody would have a different experience and values from him,” he continued.

#share#Rodriguez claimed that there are many examples of people in this “dominant culture” acting like jerks because they’re just not enlightened enough to realize that they’re doing so — such as the people at the playground who jokingly ask his three-year-old son if he has “has a girlfriend yet,” when really Rodriguez “truly [does] not know what [his] son’s sexual orientation, or gender identification for that matter, is and will be.”  

#related#Lest you think Rodriguez is just being an oversensitive whiner, he explains that the “dominant group’s perspective” being “vast institutionally reinforced” (sic) can cause people outside of it to feel “excluded, other, or ‘less than.’”

Now, to be honest, I still do kind of feel like Rodriguez is whining — but that could just be because I am white and love the Beatles and have never had to deal with this kind of very serious problem. I guess I’m ignorant too.

— Katherine Timpf is a reporter for National Review Online.  

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