Asian Programmer Denounces Asian “Programmer Privilege”

The old trophies of success for an immigrant group used to be a home in the suburbs, two cars in the garage and children in the Ivy League. Now it’s writing an article denouncing your own privilege.

Finally Asians have been allowed to join the community of stupid white people checking their own privilege and denouncing their own entitlement for not being complete failures… only because of their race. That’s the theme of Philip Guo’s ridiculous article claiming that he only succeeded as a computer programmer because of his Asian “programmer privilege”.

How did this unfair technical privilege affect him?

Even though I didn’t grow up in a tech-savvy household and couldn’t code my way out of a paper bag, I had one big thing going for me: I looked like I was good at programming.

So how did Guo’s Asian technical privilege lead him to unfairly succeed? Was he given a special affirmative action program for Asian programmers that allowed him to get a job despite his lack of ability or skill?

Although I started off as a complete novice (like everyone once was), I never faced any micro-inequities that impeded my intellectual growth. Throughout college and grad school, I gradually learned more and more via classes, research, and internships, incrementally taking on harder and harder projects, and getting better and better at programming while falling deeper and deeper in love with it.

So he attended college and learned computer programming… how discriminatory.

This kind of privilege that I and other people who looked like me possessed was silent, manifested not in what people said to us, but rather in what they didn’t say.

For all those people who say that liberalism is a mental disorder, this scans a lot like neurotic behavior.

We had the privilege to spend enormous amounts of time developing technical expertise without anyone’s interference or implicit discouragement. Sure, we worked really hard, but our efforts directly translated into skill improvements without much loss due to interpersonal friction. Because we looked the part.

Philip Guo learned how to be a better programmer… because no one stopped him… because he was Asian. Somewhere his parents, grandparents and dead ancestors just face palmed at the same time.

What used to be considered work is now privilege and what used to be considered learning is now entitlement.

This is your brain on liberalism.

  • Yulia Demkin

    Yikes! White Guilt Envy.

    • Daniel Greenfield


    • laura r

      hes just repeating like a little parrot. hes saying the trendy thing. its a status symbol to sound that way. hes not capable of critical thinking. few people are.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      You haven’t made it in California until you cut your stomach open and denounce your privilege.

      Maybe it’s just a PC way to brag?

  • cxt

    “Micro-inequities that impeded my intellectual growth”
    I’d LOVE to hear hear him try and quantify that statement… hard terms.
    It, like much of what passes for Leftist “thought,” is really little more than psycho-bable passing itself off as thinking.
    Maybe he had better study habits, maybe he was just a little more friendly, maybe could pick things a little faster than some of his peers, maybe his class was later in the day so he was wide awake instead of half-asleep, maybe his boss was just laid back enough to let him work through his learning curve, maybe he was never faced with a siutation where his lack of skill at any given time was never put on display…..a whole lot of potential “maybes” here without jumpin gto nebulous claims of “privilage.”
    And as far as “looking the part”–there is a reason why people wear lab coats and business suits. Looking the part is PART of the job.
    Another thing that leaps out is just how supine Gou was about the whole thing—I read the linked article and at NO point did he stand up for anyone else. NEVER said “whoa–I think you should give her a chance” NEVER turned down a job even though he thinks he got it largely through what HE states is unfair “privilege.”
    Lefties love to lecture eveyone else and the nation in general how “we” fail to live up to THEIR POV’s—but they never seem to actually act like they tell “us” we should.
    If Gou REALLY belives what he wrote then he should quit job his in favor of someone that does not have his “asian privilege.”
    And he should do it today.
    “If” he really means it ;).

    • Daniel Greenfield

      Instead he’s expanding laterally to compete with other minorities in the field of professional political correctness.

      Coates, watch your back

      • cxt

        “professional political correctness”
        Good phrase! Which would be much more funny if it were not so true.
        Mores the pity.

  • glpage

    Me thinks Phillip Guo doesn’t understand that in the world of high tech hard work and being productive makes one successful. I work in the field and have several black friends who do also; I’ll let them know that the success they thought was due to their hard work and productivity was really just a matter of some form of undeserved privilege.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      To the left, work = privilege

      • glpage

        Given the way I was brought up by a dad who was a Marine sergeant and a mom who grew up dirt poor on a farm in Texas, I can’t wrap my head around that kind of warped thinking. Very dysfunctional thought processes generate that kind of crap.

        • Daniel Greenfield

          It’s very “You didn’t build that” stuff. It’s a mentality.

          “No one succeeds on their own, Elizabeth Warren and Obama insisted. They succeed only through the grace of state institutions. It’s not family or culture that matters; only the state.

          The left does not want to deal with the question of why some people succeed and others fail since its entire ideological infrastructure is built around the argument of unequal access.

          Individuals don’t fail, progressives from Obama to Bill de Blasio insist, social institutions fail them.”

  • Derelictus

    What is the end of goal of leftists who publish these silly screeds? A totalitarian state a la Vonnegut’s Harrison Bergeron?

    • Daniel Greenfield

      With them exempted and in charge


      Yes, that’s part of it. But look at what the Left did in this case: they took a man of ability and got him to denounce himself for his own virtues.
      Ask yourself how long our culture could survive once most people thought like that, and you’ll have your answer.

      Also, compare this to the practice of self-denunciation that was required by various communist movements, particularly in China under Mao, or that we saw here among the Weatherman cult. The purpose was explicit anti-individualism, a purer form of the “you didn’t build that” peddled by second-hand (and second-rate) Marxists like Barry Obama and Elizabeth Warren.

  • blert

    Daniel… you may well be looking at what passes for Asian wit.

    It can be tough to tell with the Chinese… for deadpan delivery is absolutely the style.

    (Ill received wit can mean a prompt bullet festival … or a parting of the neck.)


    A variation of this afflicts the Japanese, whose autocrats adopted many of the very worst Chinese social controls. These live in in Japan, even though they’ve evaporated in China, going back two centuries!

    At the top of the list: “the transgressions of the one are the sins of the five.” What this means in practice: should a boy steal a bicycle, he plus four others are punished — fulsomely — for the same act — and at the same time. It’s collective punishment meted out very locally.

    The linkage of the ‘five’ is made explicit at an early age. It will follow them to their graves. Because of consequences, the crew polices each other, in complete dread, lest any of the five screw up. A single serious foul-up is enough to terminate ones progression through school and into college.

    While common knowledge in Asia, this social reinforcement is almost unknown among the ’round-eye’ — particularly those ‘expert’ in Japanese culture — expatriates.

    Like Islam and Fight Club it is neven discussed openly.

    Such social ticks cause Asian humor to go underground, if not evaporate, entirely.

    Your sarcasm and Larry David’s cutting wit would both go over like lead balloons. Neither Chinese nor Japanese culture is set up to tolerate snide witicisms. Quips to power caused prompt fatalities — right on the spot!

    So, the Asian style is to profer two-faced remarks delivered in a manner that shows fealty in form — while being over-the-top in the context of local culture. Outsiders will absolutely not get what’s happening.

    Some examples:

    Over-the-top politeness. You are actually being insulted, as this is THE classic mechanism of disdain. It usually takes six months to a year after attaining full language fluency for any foreigner to get the social lay of the land. It is only then that insulting manners are comprehended. This is the source of the common Western notion that the Japanese are “always so polite.” The reverse is true: they insult all hicks from the sticks until otherwise informed.

    All of which is a long way to say: you absolutely can’t judge native Japanese or Chinese expositors. For them, trolling the Western man is only one step away from conning the brute with the sword from the big city, something practiced for centuries in those lands. They pick up this tick from an early age.

    This also goes far in explaining why Asian crime stats are so low. They don’t show anger easily. Retaliation will be coming… but later… when it’s entirely to their advantage.

    Centuries of tyranny have left their marks, coded wit and insult are but a piece of that legacy.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      Interesting. Though you see overpoliteness as insult also in Europe and in many parts of the world. Americans tend to be blind to it.

      But we’re talking Asian Americans who aren’t all that discreet especially when it comes to humor. This seems more like a liberal wannabe trying to fit in.

      • Mark

        Maybe it has to do with crowding. In places where there is no elbow room and there have been a history of chiefs, kings and tyrants. It will happen in most places, including America.

        I could see it happening in America as population density increased, people got on each others nerves, & occasionally fought. We could have had no immigration from the time of 1800 a forward with no cultural contact with the old world and I think it might happen.

    • Tim N

      My own experiences in Japan were pleasant enough. I can speak some Japanese and stumble my way along. Everyone I talked to used the neutral politeness level with me, as is usual in any casual conversation. Except for the guards at the plant. They were using a ruder Japanese with us (“ore wa” etc)- a lower politeness level. When we did it back they were sort of surprised and stopped doing it *grins*

  • guest

    I took Visual Basic at a Community College. Out of a class of 15 to 20 people there were two Blacks. One never showed up for class. The other dropped after day one. That was typical of the minority enrollment I saw at the college.

    It was an entry level class. Visual Basic at that level is not hard and is fun. Community colleges are about 25% of the cost of a regular public university. You can live at home and thus save the expense of a dorm room. Thus you can obtain your 1st 2 years of college at about 12 1/2% of a university education. More so, given that the federal government has programs like Upward Bound specifically targeted to help minorities.

    Too many people complain that there are not Blacks in the board room. It takes about 20 years to get there or to grow an executive. The analogy of a pipeline is used. If there is not input at the start of the pipeline you can’t expect a Black executive in the tech industry 20 years later or at any time.

    This is not about IQ. This is about culture and politics. Liberals are bad for Blacks. They are ranching them just like they want to eventually ranch everyone.

    • 1stworlder

      Obviously the one that didn’t show up was because a white guy stood at the door saying “YOU SHALL NOT PASS”