Friday, January 19, 2018

'White Privilege' and the Great Stink of 1858 - By James Lewis

Among the roster of white privileges is the ability not to step in other people's poop too often in public, or to ingest it with our food and drink and pass it on to our children and friends, who could actually sicken and die from some strains ofE. coli.  Public sanitation as we know it today was invented in Great Britain and France shortly before 1900, with the United States quickly following suit to separate fresh water from disease-carrying offal in places like New York City, where you can still see the first sanitation plant built about a century ago. 
The Great London Stink of 1858 was a landmark event in public health, and the science and engineering of bio-sanitation has now doubled our average lifespan, for white folks and people of color alike.  More than any medicine ever discovered, it is clean water and toilet piping that have improved human health.  This is something the rest of the world knows well, but our college students (who take it for granted) still have to kiss butt for being white at Harvard and the rest.
Now that college students are kept in dark ignorance of the past, they will certainly not remember the name of Bazalgette, one of the most beneficent engineers in human history, who pioneered public sanitation in the stinky streets of London after the Big One.  
According to the BBC, "[a]s chief engineer to London's metropolitan board of works in the mid-19th century, Bazalgette had a significant impact both on London's appearance and, through his design of an efficient sewage system, on the health of its inhabitants. ... He saw to it that the flow of foul water from old sewers and underground rivers was intercepted, and diverted along new, low-level sewers, built behind embankments on the riverfront and taken to new treatment works."
Bazalgette's engineering work was aided immensely by the scientific work of Louis Pasteur in Paris, who made one of the greatest medical breakthroughs in history: he discovered that infectious diseases are spread by certain microbes.  (Viruses and prions were discovered later.)  But Pasteur was a white guy, and we can forget all that. 
Since students of color now have to be so anti-racist that they are in fact racist against white folks, they might actually learn something here about the infectious past.  In sophisticated Roman vacation spots like Pompeii, you can still walk on the double-raised sidewalk as long as you hop over the open excrement channel in the middle.  In India, the Untouchables come from native Indian tribes who were kept for centuries out of the governing caste system, because their job was to collect and somehow dispose of mountains of poop that collected in cities like Calcutta.  In Arabia, it is still taboo to touch someone's left hand, because that was the hand used to wipe one's bottom before toilet paper was imported from the West. 
It was only in Europe and America, and soon other places, where great engineering systems were constructed over the 20th century that allow college students and other snowflakes to take all that for granted. 
College students now being told to apologize for the color of their politically incorrect skin should celebrate the Great London Stink of 1858, because that event changed the world for the better.
In the absence of white privilege, the world simply had endless Great Stink years whenever the population of Carthage or Rome pooped more than the local river system could handle.  In 1858 London, either the population pooped more than usual or maybe the Thames finally got clogged.  Great wooden sailing ships were infamous for collecting human and rat droppings until they could be smelled downwind. 
Back in 1858, whatever the cause, even hardened Londoners, who could normally tune out the effluvia of horse and human droppings, slaughterhouses, and the rest for centuries, thought the fug was becoming a trifle excessive.  Even holding a perfumed silk handkerchief to your nose didn't really help. 
Endemic Great Stinks don't matter as much as the lessons we learn from them. 
Today, in much of the stinkier parts of the world, infectious diseases are still passed along from one human digestive tract to another, with the aid of insects and other small disease-carriers.  The results are not good.  We know that fresh water is a desperate need in many places, but we tend to forget that sanitation engineering is part of that – because you can't keep your fresh water clean without large plants that separate drinking water from body wastes, adding chlorine for swimming pools and all the rest.  You've got to separate one from the other to keep people healthy.  That scientific and engineering feat was accomplished by whiteys like Louis Pasteur.
Donald Trump probably learned that lesson in the international hotel business, where building enormous modern hotels is useless if you don't install sanitary engineering.  This is why Trump hotels are where they are. 
Not bad for white privilege, eh?  And white engineering, like white aerodynamics and white space science, is now spreading around the world. 
But sanitation has to come first, or all the tenured Marxists and feminists on campus would be dead, and would be adding their own personal collection of fecal microbes to the general welfare.