- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Award-winning author Joyce Carol Oates waded into political waters this week and wound up linking a black woman’s opinions with “white privilege.”

The writer behind 2006’s “Black Girl/White Girl” left observers bewildered on Tuesday during an interaction with conservative commentator Kira Davis. At issue was the idea that President Trump’s supporters would cheer the killing of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“Ok JCO … calm yourself. Jeez. #DramaMuch,” Ms. Davis tweeted the author. “This is politics. Politics is not life. The day after whomever is elected we’ll all get up & go to work like the day before.”

“Do you seriously think T***p’s supporters would not cheer? Perhaps you are too calm/ comatose,” Ms. Oates replied. “Hope you are correct but this sounds like (pardon the expression) ‘white privilege.’ complacency not for non-whites.”

Readers questioned how a simple disagreement over the commander in chief’s supporters could be indicative of “white privilege.”

SEE ALSO: Joyce Carol Oates on ISIS: ‘Is there nothing celebratory & joyous?’

“.@JoyceCarolOates I’m sure @RealKiraDavis appreciates you explaining to her how black people feel,” replied one reader.

“Kira is black,” deadpanned the Daily Wire’s Emily Zanotti.

Ms. Davis took to the conservative website Red State on Wednesday to chronicle her experience, which also dovetailed with a theory by Ms. Oates regarding conservative speakers.

“It is a serious & complex issue when ‘controversial’ rightwing speakers force universities to pay exorbitant amounts of money for security to protect them while they are on campus,” the liberal author tweeted Wednesday. “UC-Berkeley is much in need of funds for student aid, faculty & staff salaries, libraries … no one, including free-speech advocates, can blame students for their exasperation at the diverting of limited funds to protect right-wing speakers whose stated intention is to bankrupt the university.”

Ms. Davis said it was absurd to imply that conservatives have a Machiavellian plan to drain colleges of funding by exploiting the existence of violent left-wing activists.

“If college students are so insane that they would tear apart their own campus and physically attack old men and professors over speech they don’t like then administrations are obligated to provide security for those speakers,” Ms. Davis replied. “JCO’s ridiculous statement that conservative speakers have declared their desire to ‘bankrupt’ public colleges is based on no more than her fantasy of what conservative speakers like the ones mentioned here might say about such things. … She is a writer who is not at all unfamiliar with ascribing fictitious characteristics to others to suit her needs.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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