“Everyone hates me.”
“The world is out to get me.”
“I just have bad luck.”
“But you can make it up to me by giving me everything I want...”
Sometimes people embrace victimhood when they don’t want to take responsibility for what’s wrong with their lives - for the choices they’ve made, for the things they did or didn’t do (or don’t want to do), for the failures they would rather not analyze or own.
That’s pretty much the mentality at the root of the “white privilege” canard. It’s a term invented for the purpose of giving an entire race justification for self-pity, for wallowing in resentment and for never facing the truth about the self-destructive norms that have become entrenched in much of its community over the past 50 years (thanks to a lot of help from meddling liberals). And for those who are a bit more calculating, “white privilege” is the natural segue into talk of reparations, i.e. taking money from people who never had slaves and giving it to people who never were slaves.
There’s a very long list of successful black Americans. Barack and Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, Michael Jordan, Will Smith, Clarence Thomas, Tiger Woods, Ben Carson, Loretta Lynch, Tony Dungy, Herman Cain, Colin Powell and Thomas Sowell, just off the top of my head, are proof that today Americans are happy to reward talent and skill irrespective of race (and gender, for that matter), and this list doesn’t include the millions of black Americans who may not be celebrities but who are just as successful as any middle class white American. Are we supposed to believe that the children of the Obamas or Will Smith or Tiger Woods are less “privileged” than millions of other children in this country born to parents without fame or fortune? How is it possible that all of these people have achieved success when they aren’t “privileged” by virtue of their skin color? And here’s another good question: how is it that the “privilege” of being white hasn’t spared millions of Caucasians from the clutches of poverty, the misery of drug abuse or the despair of a prison cell?
Now that we’ve established that “privilege” isn’t necessarily tied to race, how else can we explain the reality that whites, on average, fare better economically than blacks even though the playing field has been evened out legally for more than half a century now? Everyone knows the answer to that question, but few are honest enough to say it out loud. You see, my dear Virginia, “privilege” doesn’t come from race. In most cases it comes from the manner of our upbringing, which – by and large – is defined by the norms of our culture: our attitudes towards sex, family, education, work, respect for the law, etc., etc., etc. Children tend to have the best shot at success when they grow up with two loving, involved parents who are good role models, economic stability, a safe and strong community, commitment to education, belief in personal responsibility and the goal of economic security by learning a trade or profession. This type of upbringing does not guarantee success. Nothing can do that. But, it sure helps.
Generally speaking white children are more likely than black children to grow up in something resembling this environment, but expressing this out loud is considered blasphemy to those for whom the truth is, well…, inconvenient to other agendas. Better to blame “white privilege” than to risk the backlash of the black community and liberal politicians who don’t want their own culpability to come into question. If there is “white privilege” no one will look to the black community to fix itself. “White privilege” is easy and potentially lucrative. Self-examination is uncomfortable and requires patience and honesty.
Does this mean that there’s absolutely no such thing as “white privilege?” Actually, yes, because the term “white privilege” suggests a benefit that is universal to the white race, and yet I just easily demonstrated to you that, based upon easily observable realities, there is no such thing as universal race-based “privilege.” Ever wonder how we went from talking about “racial discrimination” to talking about “white privilege (kind of like how we went from talking about “global warming” to “climate change”)?” If you think that was an accident, then you’re very naïve. Nothing is accidental when it involves the “woke” agendas of leftists and race agitators. Nothing. “Racial discrimination” put the target on the act of discriminating. It was more objective and easier to quantify. That was problematic because discrimination can be (and was) outlawed. But “white privilege” assigns a blanket of guilt to an entire race. You can stop discriminating. You can’t stop being white. So the problem can never be resolved, which makes it a very valuable political weapon that can be wielded in perpetuity. Are you beginning to understand yet?
“But!” you object, “I’m a middle-class white person and I believe in white privilege. How does that fit your theory when I have nothing to gain from reparations?”
Oh, that’s easy. If you’re white and you still buy into the “white privilege” canard despite the logic I cited above, then this means you’re a liberal or a leftist, and what you gain from jumping on the “white privilege” bandwagon is gratification of your liberal/leftist ego. You’re now in the “woke” club, chastising the sins of your own kind (smugly knowing, of course, that the sin does not apply to you) and feeling self-righteous about your own superiority. Oh yes, that kind of gratification is better than gold to a liberal or leftist.
Racism exists, as does sexism and ageism and a lot of other isms. It will never be eradicated because it is natural to humans – in a wide range of varying degrees – to feel more comfortable around those who look like us, generally speaking. White people tend to have white friends. Black people tend to have black friends. We gravitate towards those we can relate to because of shared experiences. I’m not excusing real racism but never will I join the throngs of white apologists who so desperately want to be lauded as “woke” that they are eagerly becoming part of The Great Lie. Broad, systemic attitudes towards other races are based on stereotypes, and stereotypes are often rooted in some truth. In the U.S., blacks commit murder at nearly eight times the rate of whites. That’s a fact according to the FBI. Every week or so there’s a news report about the number of people shot and/or killed on the streets of Chicago. Almost always the victims are black. Almost always the shooters are black. It is UNREASONABLE to require the world to pretend not to see the reality (never mind that so many do), but that is what is demanded of us. And yet on the other side, a small fraction of our nation’s cops do detestable things, and not only are all cops under indictment but our entire nation is condemned as inherently racist. Pot, meet kettle….
Sorry, I won’t go along with that.
We are living in dangerous times. I’ve done this long enough to know that when I find myself stating the obvious, I’m wasting my time with people who are either deceitfully disingenuous or willfully blind to the truth, and that happens when people have motives that are not best served by the truth. Maybe you’d like to take a moment to ponder what those motives are…