Tag: Heather Mac Donald

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Today I’m launching a new podcast, Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten, and I’d like to ask for some help from the Ricochet community in making it as successful as possible.   Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten features compelling long-form conversations with exceptional thinkers and doers — primarily though not exclusively of a conservative/libertarian bent — on the most critical […]

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The Privilege Is Nothing; It’s the Entitlement That Counts


heathermacIf you haven’t already, take a few minutes to listen to Jay Nordlinger’s Q & A interview with Heather Mac Donald regarding the sad state of affairs at Yale University and on the importance of humanities, when taught properly. Mac Donald also made a potent — and much-overlooked — point that having the opportunity and the means to study for four years at a residential college under the tutelage of dedicated scholars and teachers is the height of privilege. To make academic demands on such professors regarding matters of which you are (almost by definition) ignorant of is arrogance of the worst kind.

The irony of the matter is that it’s hard to imagine a group of people more obsessed with hunting-down privilege and more blind to their sense of entitlement than modern college students. Privilege has no moral content: It’s neither good nor bad, but simply something people have to varying degrees, and in varying ways. If one realizes that one is privileged, the proper response is to be grateful and humble and (ideally) see it as an obligation toward others. In contrast, entitlement — the belief that one is owed something (perhaps, a privilege) — is almost always toxic and the only valid response is to drop it immediately.

That the world is filled with injustice, suffering, and despair is nothing new (a fact that great literature can reinforce). That so many of us are so relatively free of such things should be seen as a privilege that — depending on your teleology — we’re either blessed or fortunate enough to have. None of us are entitled to it and we should act accordingly.

Where’s the GOP Law-and-Order Candidate?

Where's the GOP's law-and-order candidate?

Where’s the GOP law-and-order candidate?

Is there a GOP law-and-order candidate? Murders in Atlanta are up 32% since mid-May. Murders in Chicago are up 17%, and shootings 24%. In St. Louis, in the aftermath of Ferguson, shootings are up 39%, robberies 43%, and murders 25%. In Baltimore, scene of the worst urban riots in two generations, law and order is in extended meltdown, with 32 shootings over the Memorial Day weekend alone. As Heather Mac Donald’s disturbing column in last weekend’s Wall Street Journal makes clear: