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Saturday, June 16, 2012

"White privilege"

I got the following comment from "jacaranda" about the post a few days ago about what Obama would have to do to lose the black vote:

why do white people spend so much time trying to control, predict and monitor the activity of Black Americans?
most of you don't know what the hell you are talking about.
your white privilege, arrogance and utter tone-deafness leaves you clueless and writing screeds of tiresome drivel about the "blacks".

the homosexual agenda bullshit will cost him PLENTY with Black voters.

from a Black woman and former Dem voter.
I don't give a dam whether this comment is printed---it is for you, anyway

I answered Jacaranda briefly before, but her comment screams out for a longer response.

"White privilege" is a phrase beloved by liberals. There is no question that whites are on average born into more privileged circumstances than blacks or Hispanics. But the people who talk about "white privilege" are for the most part trying to imply that skin color itself conveys some sort of institutional advantage. The only institutional advantage based on skin color these days is affirmative action.

Yet after four decades of affirmative action, whites are still on average more successful than blacks. How much of this is due to the legacy of Jim Crow, and how much is due to the 15 point average IQ gap between the races? This is a question that people who like to talk about "white privilege" sidestep.

(By the way, what happened to the privileges of all the whites who are born into poor families?)

I often ask myself, if I were black, how would I react to someone pointing something like black voting solidarity out? I suppose I might be annoyed, but I think I'd also be willing to admit to something that undeniable.

Likewise, I'd probably resent cops who want to frisk me more than they do whites. But I'd also be annoyed at my criminally-inclined brethren who caused the cops to be more suspicious of me in the first place. This latter response seems completely lacking among spokesmen for blacks.

I congratulate Jacaranda for at least being a free enough thinker to no longer be a Democrat. But characterizing the "homosexual agenda" as "bullshit" sounds like hypocrisy to me. It's true that gays were never slaves, and can "pass" in a way that blacks cannot. But ultimately, they have no more choice about who they are than blacks do. So it's no more fair to discriminate against them than it is to discriminate against blacks.

The larger point that Jacaranda's comment makes -- unintentionally -- is that when liberals cannot argue the facts, they resort to name-calling instead. This is why we hear people accused of being Nazis, racist, homophobes, sexists, so frequently.

I evidently am arrogant, tone deaf, clueless, and tiresome.

Well, at least my wife would agree. But we'll see who is right about black voting solidarity come November.

By the way, I sure wish I could control people from behind this computer screen.


Anonymous said...

Your post reminded me of one of my favorite comedy bits by Louie CK on the bonuses (and disadvantages) of being a white male.

And while it may be just satire, I suppose I do identify with a few of his points. While I'm not sure I agree with the idea of full on "white privilege", I definitely think its a good thing to realize that, for better or for worse, we have got it good.

-Dave J

John Craig said...

Dave --
True, but the question raised by this post is, why?