Monday, November 12, 2007

Jena's Story: A Journey of Privilege

Dear Texas Monthly,

I do declare a thousand commendations for Skip Hollandsworth’s recent profile of First Daughter Jenna Bush. It was an insightful and intricate examination of a complex young girl who has been persecuted for far too long by the liberal media elite and its contemptuous ilk. Thank you for setting the story straight once, for all and always.

The defense of young Miss Bush’s collegiate shenanigans was exemplary. Of course we all know that the genetic product of politicians, especially Texas politicians, should be given automatic and unquestioned carte blanche when it comes to matters of legal infringement, be it a minuscule “minor in possession of alcohol” charge, releasing a friend who is being held at the Tarrant County jail for underage drinking or simply trying to purchase a margarita with a fake ID at an overrated Mexican chain restaurant. As for the latter incident, the deft portrait of restaurant manager Mia Lawrence as a vile and despicable suspected Democrat was enough to make my bowels tighten with immeasurable rage despite being completely rooted in hearsay and unidentified rumor. How dare the Austin Police Department carry on with their “charges” and “citations” of actual violations of the law! Don’t they have brown people or economically restricted families they should be picking on instead? Me thinks they do.

And kudos to you, Mr. Hollandsworth, for having the ten ton wang-stones to actually refer to a fellow Texas Monthly writer (English professor Don Graham, who taught Miss Bush at University of Texas) for an unbiased aside so completely and obviously free from your magazine’s orbit of influence. That must have involved a pretty lengthy game of phone tag. You are a true grit journalist of the highest order!

I was also deeply moved when I read the passage about Miss Bush teaching a summer writing workshop to, as you describe, “eleven Hispanic and African American fourth- and fifth- graders.” I applaud your decision to define the total number of students as two separate and distinct “minority” groups, yet with one sum number. Why bother meddling with the succinct, if it was four Hispanics and seven Blacks or eight Hispanics and three Blacks? What’s important is what you so expertly emphasized: that the privileged white lady is taking time out of her otherwise fabulously privileged white existence to teach children less white than her. What bravery! And when Miss Bush defines apartheid as “what happens whenever white people treat black people, or people of color, like trash” and advised her students that citizens have the right to protest during such inhumane suppression, a single tear trailed down my powdered cheek. It was a valiant decision for her not to complete that trail of logic and explain that when you protest inequity administrations like her father’s will no doubt use the power they bought with their endless oceans of capital to disrupt and sideline such protests. Better the children learn these things on their own.

But the cockles of my heart were forever inflamed by the article’s true inspirational focus: Miss Bush’s book about a Peruvian teenage mother with AIDS. It was a daring choice to laud the book purely based on its subject matter, as anyone who has actually read Ana’s Story: A Journey of Hope by “Jenna Bush: Based On Her Work With UNICEF” could attest that it is feebly written, if vacuously well intended. Personally, I find it morally repugnant when an author actively researches a topic beyond their own interest and then infuses what they’ve compiled into artfully blended words and engaging sentence structures that connect with readers on myriad levels. Who has the time for that sort of malarkey? Not I, Texas Monthly.

Alibaster Abthernabther