​An Elegy For The White Male College Student

You passed on long before anyone informed you—
A majority minority, clinging to your faith in the good old order,
Until that Intro to Mass Communications lady spoiled it all!

"Structural racism," "cultural studies," "critical theory" –
This is not why you came to college, to get "critical theories,"
Especially not if they're critical of you.

"Why do we have to talk about this in every class?"
"Yeah, I don't get this either. It's like people are trying to say
That white men are always the villains, the bad guys."

How beautifully you sang it, brother!
You never owned slaves! You never held anyone back,
Or down,
At least no one that never asked for it. Amirite?!

It is absolutely appropriate that you marched down to the office
Of Minneapolis Community and Technical College
(Hail! Alma mater!)
And filed a racial harassment complaint,
Because that is what the rules are there for.
Justice should be blind... but not to the male white's plight.

This was not the way college was supposed to be.
You sought not education or enlightenment, but training
And a job to get your parents off your shamrock-and-cross-tattooed back.

Primarily, you came for the college football pool
And to find your drinking bros.
Who else would support you in your academic isolation?

Where was your scholarship for being a straight unhyphenated dude,
Your student council-approved club?

No bro is an island.
(Unless the government wants to take your guns or shove health care up your butt,
All gay-like, or make your Silverado more fuel-efficient,
In which case you are totally an island,
But full of beaches like from that Corona ad with the "Crushed It" dude.)

When you used "fag" in class ironically
Then blanched after the professor demanded that you define "irony";

When you tried to explain to your final project classmates
That where you come from,
"Riceburner" is a totally valid means
Of referring to foreign sportbikes,

Only your bros were there to salve your deepest wounds.

What killed you?
Was it the crazy chick instructors with their chick theories about words hurting?
Was it that tweedy English prof trashing free enterprise,
Prattling on about "culture industry" and "poststructuralism"?
(I'll show you my superstructure.)

Young white man,
Rest now.
Here is a safe space for your kind.
I know your pain.

I was you,
Until I realized that The Fountainhead was an awful book.

[Photo credit: Jaimie Duplass/Shutterstock]