My name is Ferris Bueller and I’d like to issue a formal apology for my behavior as a former teen role model for white privilege. In the past, I blamed my actions on my parents for making me grow up in the suburbs without a car, limiting my musical education by giving me a clarinet without providing lessons, and for their cluelessness that enabled my soulless attitude. For example, when I awoke to find the sun was out, I secretly decided to use my white privilege to take the day off from school. In order to do this, I hacked into an Illinois school system, faked a death, and rallied the student body to raise money for an illness I made up. Yet, they never suspected I was doing anything wrong. I’ve spent decades in therapy understanding how this shaped my formative years, as well as the mindset of the American youth that idolized me.
I’m here to say, my behavior was abhorrent. Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss the fact that you’re teeming with the confidence from a lifetime of entitlement and privilege. Because of this, I didn’t hide when I skipped school. Instead, I shamelessly landed myself on the jumbo screen at a Cubs game. Even though I chose to spend my day off in a culturally diverse city, the only minorities I interacted with were service workers and background dancers when I felt the need to illegally perform on a parade float without knowing what the parade was celebrating. It might have been someone else’s culture, but what did I care? I’d already assumed the identity of a Sausage King to score restaurant reservations for a meal when I never intended to pay the bill. It pains me to look back and realize that when you’re born into my world, nobody takes a second glance at a truant teenager running wild around Chicago.
My sincere apologies to my fellow privileged classmates who selflessly used their power to create a viral Save Ferris campaign for a made up disease. I still marvel at how they worked together and asserted their teenage resources to imprint the slogan on the side of a suburban water tower and gathered enough cash to send a sexually themed singing telegram to my house, which was wasted on my sister. I must issue a personal apology to my sister, Jeanie, who was forced to live in the shadow of male white privilege. My poor sister was analyzed and shamed for wearing eye makeup by a white male arrested for drug possession, when she was brought in for questioning at the police station due to an incident that was solely my fault. Thankfully now, Jeanie and others like her live in a world where like-minded women expose similar injustices in our society.
To date, my biggest regret was stealing a luxury vintage sports car from someone I considered my best friend. I minimized his struggles and made cold remarks about his behavior including he’s “blown a microchip.” When he attempted suicide, I indulged in my narcissistic qualities, a side effect from white privilege, and spent a long time lounging in his hot tub with my girlfriend instead of rushing to save him. To my defense, I had no idea what was wrong with my best friend, because we didn’t recognize mental illness in the 1980s.
Again, I’m sorry to all those who were affected by my abuse of white privilege and want to let you know that the trajectory of these actions have resulted in a recent positive outcome. I have launched a 501c(3) charity, Ferris is Saved, where I raise money to help real people in need. Please consider donating.