Otto Warmbier, 21, was sentenced to 15 years hard labor in North Korea for a minor crime last week. The Huffington Post responded Wednesday with an op-ed titled “North Korea Proves Your White Male Privilege Is Not Universal.”
Warmbier is a student at the University of Virginia and was arrested in North Korea for stealing a propaganda poster. He said he did this for a friend back home who was a member of his church. In return for getting the poster, his friend would give him a used car worth $10,000.
The HuffPo writer, La Sha, began her piece by telling a story from her youth. She described her mother celebrating when American 18-year-old Michael Fay was sentenced to six lashes from a cane for car vandalism charges in Singapore. At the time Bill Clinton said, “I think it was a mistake, as I said before, not only because of the nature of the punishment related to the crime but because of the questions that were raised about whether the young man was in fact guilty and involuntarily confessed.”
Sha wrote, “I was in sixth grade and all I could imagine was how horrible the pain would be. My mother was unmoved at the thought, remarking, ‘He earned that.’ I thought about my mother’s words a few days ago while watching video of 21-year-old Otto Warmbier.”
He added, “Now, my mother’s callous reaction to Micahel Fay’s sentence is my reaction to another young white man who went to an Asian country and violated their laws, and learned that the shield his cis white male identity provides here in America is not teflon abroad.”
Mind you, this Huffington Post article lacks a satire tag.