I LEARNED SOMETHING NEW the other day: the word shrapnel, as in exploded bits of metal from bullet casings, derives from a guy’s name. Way back in 1794, one Henry Shrapnel, a British soldier, invented, or got credit for inventing, what came to be known as the “shrapnel shell.” (This sounds so much like the SNL skit about Lord and Lady Douchebag that I still have trouble believing it, but I assure you it’s true).
In memory of Henry Shrapnel, and in homage to the GOP frontrunner for president(!), I move that we coin a new word:
trump, n (2015): white privilege
To understand how it would be used, here are some quotes culled from various sources, with trump replacing white privilege:
“As a white person, I realized I had been taught about racism as something that puts others at a disadvantage, but had been taught not to see one of its corollary aspects, trump, which puts me at an advantage.” (Peggy McIntosh, “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack“)
“It is often easier to deplore racism and its effects than to take responsibility for the privileges some of us receive as a result of it… once we understand how trump operates, we can begin addressing it on an individual and institutional basis.” (Paula Rothenberg, White Privilege)
“When white people attempt to debunk the theory of trump they have been met with claims of racism and of being ill informed.” (Francis X. Ryan, “The Lies of White Privilege“)
I like this neologism for three reasons. First, the primary definition of trump concerns a suit of playing cards that, by dint of its color, holds power over the rest of the deck. So it’s not that far off base.
Second, Donald Trump is a walking billboard of white privilege. (White male privilege, actually, as his kerfuffle with Megyn Kelly made clear, but let’s not mince words). He’s put his name on everything else; why not something that actually deserves it?
Third, and most deliciously, it works both ways. Just as we can change white privilege to trump, so we can do the inverse:
Trump Tower → White Privilege Tower
Trump Luxury Real Estate → White Privilege Luxury Real Estate
Trump Golf → White Privilege Golf
Trump Palace → White Privilege Palace
It puts a whole new spin on his presidential campaign: A vote for Trump is a vote for white privilege.
Not that we didn’t know that already. But since The Donald, like so many beneficiaries of trump, has such disdain for “political correctness,” I don’t think he’d object to telling it like it is…unless, of course, he was nothing but a bloated sack of santorum.