Ben Shapiro has taken his show on a live tour. This week, he performed in Dallas before a huge and appreciative crowd. During one segment of the show, he addressed a letter which was recently sent to the New York Times which clouded the line between parody and reality.

The letter, which was written by someone using the name “Whitey” is excerpted below:

How Can I Cure My White Guilt?

Dear Sugars,

I’m riddled with shame. White shame. This isn’t helpful to me or to anyone, especially people of color. I feel like there is no “me” outside of my white/upper middle class/cisgender identity. I feel like my literal existence hurts people, like I’m always taking up space that should belong to someone else.

I consider myself an ally. I research proper etiquette, read writers of color, vote in a way that will not harm P.O.C. (and other vulnerable people). I engage in conversations about privilege with other white people. I take courses that will further educate me. I donated to Black Lives Matter. Yet I fear that nothing is enough. Part of my fear comes from the fact that privilege is invisible to itself. What if I’m doing or saying insensitive things without realizing it?

Another part of it is that I’m currently immersed in the whitest environment I’ve ever been in. My family has lived in the same apartment in East Harlem for four generations. Every school I attended, elementary through high school, was minority white, but I’m now attending an elite private college that is 75 percent white. I know who I am, but I realize how people perceive me and this perception feels unfair.

Here is part of the response to Whitey’s letter:

Whitey

Steve Almond: Shame and anger are powerful emotions, Whitey. And yet your central struggle is around identity. You write that you don’t know your place. In fact, your letter describes your place as a kind of prison cell of privilege. What you really feel is trapped within an identity that marks you, inescapably, as an oppressor. This feeling is especially acute right now, I suspect, because you’re suddenly immersed in a milieu that reflects your privilege back to you. We do live in a culture steeped in white supremacy and class bigotry, as well as patriarchal values. But the solution to this injustice isn’t to wallow in self-hatred.

Watch Ben’s dramatic reading of the letter. He indicates early on that this letter was likely written to troll the Times.

A Twitter user who goes by the name Titania McGrath is taking credit for the letter:

The brilliance of the letter is that it’s not hard to imagine some progressive college student actually writing it. We’ve reached the point where it’s difficult to tell what’s parody.

Featured image via YouTube.