Yes, you read that right. White privilege, the (alleged) extra rights enjoyed by white people in virtue of their being white in a racist society, is not a thing that exists in the United States. I know that, according to some parts of society, I’m not really supposed to challenge the idea of white privilege because I’m (very) white. I’m going to do it anyway, because the idea of white privilege is wrong, and distracts from actual problems.
To begin, we need to define what privilege actually is. A privilege is, according to Webster, “a right or immunity granted as a peculiar benefit, advantage, or favor.” Privilege is not some kind of ephemeral force, or state of being, but rather a distinct, quantifiable benefit granted to someone. A privilege also isn’t an advantage that is earned, but rather an advantage granted by another as a favor. If I am hiking with my friends, and I pick up a walking stick, while no one else has a walking stick, I do not have ‘stick privilege’; I just have a stick. I earned that stick by going through the, admittedly minuscule, effort of picking the stick up off the ground and making sure there were no spiders on it. (Very important; spiders are the worst.) Driving my car on public roads, on the other hand, is a privilege; granted by the government to those it deems capable of operating a motor vehicle on public roads. No amount of effort can earn a blind person the privilege of driving on a public road, so long as they remain unable to see (because that’s super dangerous). The use of the public roads is a special benefit bestowed only upon certain individuals.
Thus, any advantages attributed to ‘white privilege’ must not have been earned by the person who possesses them, otherwise they are not privileges but achievements. Furthermore, the attributed advantages must have been granted primarily upon grounds of skin color. It cannot be assumed without evidence that privileges are granted based primarily upon the color of the recipient’s skin; such an assumption violates Occam’s razor, meaning that it is, in all likelihood, false. In order for the claim that a privilege is granted based upon skin color to be considered by any intellectually competent person, evidence must be presented; otherwise the claim has no merit. Just because you call something racist, doesn’t mean that it is, any more than calling a hot dog a pickup truck means that a floppy meat tube is, in reality, an automobile.
Furthermore, for white privilege to exist and have an effect on society, as is claimed, discrimination based upon skin color must be socially acceptable. If privileging people based on the color of their skin is deemed unacceptable by society then it follows naturally that the majority of people within society will reject both those who grant said privilege, as well as those who are known to benefit from it. This would cause the practice to collapse in short order, as its proponents would lose influence in society, and thus have no means by which to grant privileges to others.
In summation, it would have to be proved that it is a wide-spread and broadly accepted practice to give special, unearned advantages to white people based solely on the color of their skin.
The simple fact is that, outside of a few whackos who are shunned by other white people, nobody is okay with giving white people perks based solely on their skin color. Race-based discrimination is illegal in the United States, which, in a representative republic (which we are) is a strong indicator of the attitudes of the citizenry. Likewise, the election of Barack Obama (remember that guy?) shows that Americans, by and large, do not prefer white people over others. Even those who opposed Obama did not do so based on his skin color, but because they thought his policies were dumb. There’s a big difference. A third piece of evidence is that the accusation of racism is one of the worst epithets that can be hurled at one’s opponent. If charges of racism can be made to stick, it is the surest way to tank a politician’s career. This is why we hear accusations of racism slung around by politicians so often; it is toxic to someone’s career, especially if the media piles on to push the narrative that a politician is racist. Democrats and the main-stream media (but I repeat myself) would not lob accusations of racism at Republicans if they thought is wouldn’t influence people against them.
That’s why a majority white country outlawed race-based discrimination and elected a black president. The vast majority of white Americans (and Americans of other backgrounds as well) aren’t racist.
To what, then, do proponents of the white privilege hypothesis point as evidence? They point to the disparity in wealth between black people and white people, then claim that white people are the most successful racial group in the U.S. While it is true that black Americans have the highest poverty rate, it is false that whites are the wealthiest, when measuring household income. The ethnic group with the highest household income is actually Indians, followed by East Asians (which are not colors), and then white people. If white privilege were real, we would expect to see whites on top, wouldn’t we? Yeah, kinda. How was this mistake made? Those pushing the hypothesis of white privilege don’t care primarily about the disparity between white and non-white peopl, but rather only the disparity between white and black people. Mostly, it’s a cynical move by the Left to exploit the plight of those in poverty to gain power for themselves. To do this, they drag up the specter of the antebellum South and claim that their opponents are continuing in that ignoble tradition by perpetuating ‘white privilege’. While the narrative of poor black people being denied opportunities by uncaring white people is very emotionally stirring (which is why it is pushed by the Left), it is simply not true.
Although white privilege is a myth, it is true that black people have the highest poverty rate. If we are going to address this, and we certainly should (because helping the poor is a good thing, no matter their skin tone), we need to look at the actual causes of the disparity, rather than just making up feel-good excuses. It must first be understood that disparity does not necessarily result from discrimination, as Dr. Thomas Sowell explains, but rather can result from any number of factors. Quality of education is a factor, as is being the first-born out of the family, along with culture and a plethora of other factors. If you are interested, I would encourage you to check out some of Dr. Sowell’s work on the subject. While discrimination certainly can be a cause of economic disparity it is not, in fact, the primary cause of disparity between black and white Americans today. Professor Walter E. Williams argues that extremely high rates of fatherlessness, rather than race-based discrimination, is the chief cause of economic disparity between black and white people. Fatherlessness, enabled by the welfare state, causes further catastrophe for impoverished black families, as it contributes to poor educational performance, higher crime rates, and even more out-of-wedlock births. The same effects, it should be noted, are observed in fatherless white families. The reason for this is simple; God designed humans so that children need a mother and a father, and instituted marriage to, among other reasons, ensure that children were raised by both parents. When you try to do things in a way other than God intended, bad things happen. When you take fathers out of the home, the children are more likely to commit crimes, fornicate, do drugs, and any number of other harmful behaviors. The longer that goes on, the worse it gets.
So, to wrap it all up with a nice bow, what many claim as ‘white privilege’ is really just achievement, done by white people. By pointing to this disparity, the thought leaders on the Left intentionally distract from the actual problems facing impoverished black people, and the fact that their policies have failed the people they were intended to help, so that people will keep voting Democrat. That’s the real purpose of the white privilege myth; to keep black people voting for Democrats and perpetuate a culture of victimhood, so that Left-wing politicians can present themselves as saviors, to get votes. It’s important that we get past this myth so that, rather than tearing people down based on their skin color, we can help to lift hurting people out of poverty, which is a noble goal. I know this isn’t a popular message, but I stand by it. My goal isn’t to minimize the problems of impoverished people, but to dispel an unhelpful myth so that we can focus on real solutions that actually work for people in need. If people want to get mad about that, that’s their problem.
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