"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Little White Boy–The Story Of A Life Under Suspicion

Lauren Potter grew up in a small town in New England.  Born of privileged parents and from a long line of storied American ancestors who had come over on the Mayflower, who were among the first settlers of Virginia and North Carolina, and who were among the first and best families of Beacon Hill, Rittenhouse Square, and Park Avenue.

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He adored and admired his father who had assumed the legacy seat of his father and grandfather on the New York Stock Exchange, and who had reserved it for his son on his birth day. The family had lived on Washington Square for generations, and had built one of the first grand manors there – a grand townhouse in the Federalist style, with ample gardens, varied walkways, and a Georgian portico.  Lauren had been brought up by an English nanny and by the time he was ready for boarding school, he felt even more attached to her than to his own mother.

Mrs. Potter, although a woman of leisure by tradition and bank account, had not been one to rest on her very impressive family credentials.  She believed in giving back in a woman’s way – never the grand noblesse oblige of her husband who supported many social causes in the city, but in small measure.  She was on the board of the Lexington Community Hospital, the Manhattan Institute for Girls, and the New York branch of the Society of the Cincinnati, a club whose membership required lineage not just to those men who had fought in the Revolutionary War, but its officers.

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Mr. Potter, a graduate of Yale, and a senior partner in the Wall Street firm of Potter, Longworth, Hendri,ks, & Bolton, specialized in corporate law; and was instrumental in assuring, via perfectly legal means, the permanent status and charter of the countries most important corporations,  While these companies had arrived at the very pinnacle of New York financial wealth thanks to the business acumen and enterprise of their officers, they would have never had such a secure and envied position if it hadn’t been for Lucius Potter and his colleagues at PLH&B

Lauren had always been a beautiful boy.  “So pure”, the friends of his mother always said.  “So like a Renaissance alabaster, a putti, a glorious infant of Bernini”.  Of course they exaggerated.  Lauren was no pure colorless child.  His face had color, warm red highlights and cream undertones.  His hair was light blond, fair, straight, and silky.  His eyes were cerulean blue, his lips that of a Greek god.  He was as near physical perfection as anyone could imagine.

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As he grew older, his cherubic features strengthened, and by the time he was a young boy, he was more reminiscent of Apollo, Hercules, Mercury, or Poseidon than any baby.  His beauty was unparalleled, and everyone admired him. All parents prayed for a child like him; all boys wanted to look like him; and all girls were desperately in love with him.  While there were other attractive boys in the town – dark, curly-headed, Romans and Greeks with long, straight noses, strong foreheads, and sensuous mouths – they were never a match for Lauren who, because of the felicity of his genetic configuration, was everyone’s ideal. 

The sons of the Anglo-Saxon elite that ran the small city of New Brighton, already handsomely virile, of symmetrical features and perfectly sculpted bodies, dreamt of being like him.  The new immigrants to the town, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, and sons of former Southern slaves, could only watch and wish from a distance.  Their genetic cards had been dealt in a very different hand; and even if they knew nothing of Greek mythology and classic painting and sculpture, they realized that he was the ideal of physical beauty.

The history of art is no less unequivocal in their admiration of the human golden mean.  Sculptures from ancient Greece and Rome, iconic images from Pompeii, paintings by Botticelli, Michelangelo, Titian, and Tiepolo, and drawings done by artists in every empire to the modern era all acknowledged the same phenomenon – standards of human beauty are universal and permanent.
Tuba Büyüküstün is a Turkish actress of remarkable beauty.
Image result for images tuba buyukustun

Her beauty, with predictable cultural variations over time, is reflective of those characteristics which have always made women attractive. Symmetrical features, luminescent eyes, full lips, and luxuriant hair all express health, wealth, and well-being as well as being pleasing to a natural sense of geometrical order (the golden mean is universally appealing), and sexual appeal.  There is little difference between the women painted by Leonardo and Tuba Büyüküstün.

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Asian women are no different and film and television actresses have the same classic beauty as their European counterparts.

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While internationalization must be factored in – an appeal to the mean rather than respect for more insular, traditional cultural beauty - the same rules apply.

Not only did Lauren fall into this same category of perfect physical beauty, he was blonde and blue-eyed, a genetic anomaly in the 21st century and all the more appreciated because of it.  The immediate, complete admiration for the boy was something metaphorically pure and unsullied.  Literature is filled with allusions to such purity as ‘diamondlike…like snow crystals, created out of ice and moonlight’.  The classic photograph of Diana, Princess of Wale’s cousin is iconic.

Image result for images princess diana's cousin

Lauren was ingenuous about his beauty.  He had no idea why he was preferred over the many other boys of his class who were as attractive as Persian warriors, Mexican gods, Krishna, or Siva – why such primordial preference for the pure and the perfectly-fashioned.

There is indeed something wrong if not perverse about skin whiteners.  Not only black women but Asian women as well drive the demand for products to make them look more white.  Most critics have concluded that this is simply a result of racism and the capitalist nature of beauty; but such skin color preference has been the rule ever since the Aryans, a population whose women looked nothing like the Nordic, Russian, Ukrainian, and other Slavic beauties of today; but who were lighter in tone than the Dravidians they encountered in the subcontinent.  That early and persistent standard of high-toned, universal beauty gave Lauren an unmistakable advantage.  And the more that such unique, simple beauty disappeared, the more it was valued.

By the time Lauren was a young adult, he had become self-conscious about his whiteness and his white beauty.  It was not only something to be ashamed of, he was told, but the very symbol of oppression, hate, and misanthropy.  Short of going about in blackface, he was told that he had a particular obligation to his non-white brethren – to preach the fallacy of white privilege. 

A graduate of the most woke Eastern universities, and living for so many years in the progressive enclaves of the East Coast, he readily agreed; but rather than see him as the best symbol of white capitulation to minority rule, activists could still, despite themselves, only admire his Arctic beauty. 

A symbol of white oppression had to be fat, ugly, redneck, and ignorant  - not Adonis.  So no matter how he tried, and no matter how seriously he took to heart the claims of white privilege and supremacy, no one took him seriously.  No one who looked like that – the very image of classic, revered beauty that had reigned and persisted for over 3000 years – could possibly take the black man seriously, his co-workers claimed.

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And that, of course, is the moral of the story.  What goes around comes around; and those groups who promote identity politics will soon realize the superficiality of their claims.  Lauren Potter was no racist and in fact had not a racist bone in his body.  He did not tout his whiteness – his historic, classical whiteness – nor claim any privilege from it.  He only represented something which was nothing of his own doing, but a natural endowment – a very important, but still superficial quality of a unique beauty which would soon cease to exist – no better or worse than any other human physical configuration but Nature’s fait accompli. 

Like the most beautiful movie stars of similar perfect blonde, blue-eyed beauty – the Leo Di Caprios and Brad Pitts of Hollywood – his beauty faded; and before long he was no longer an idyll but just a middle-aged man, and ironically more suitable for inclusion in The Movement, an inclusion which he readily embraced.

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