White Privilege is a White Elephant

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White Privilege is a White Elephant

All across this coun­try col­lege stu­dents are being indoc­tri­nated into believ­ing a phi­los­o­phy called “white priv­i­lege.” The term seems rather innocu­ous but the phi­los­o­phy is not. This indoc­tri­na­tion has begun to spread down to the high school and grade schoo lev­ell. Like all race based philoso­phies, white priv­i­lege is a cre­ation of the polit­i­cal left. Like most cre­ations of the polit­i­cal left, white priv­i­lege is based on fun­da­men­tal mistruths.

Here is how white priv­i­lege is defined from this Wikipedia arti­cle.

White priv­i­lege (or white skin priv­i­lege) is a term for soci­etal priv­i­leges that ben­e­fit peo­ple whom soci­ety iden­ti­fies as white in some coun­tries, beyond what is com­monly expe­ri­enced by non-​white peo­ple under the same social, polit­i­cal, or eco­nomic cir­cum­stances. Aca­d­e­mic per­spec­tives such as crit­i­cal race the­ory and white­ness stud­ies use the con­cept of “white priv­i­lege” to ana­lyze how racism and racial­ized soci­eties affect the lives of white or white-​skinned people.

The Wikipedia arti­cles offers many other def­i­n­i­tions, here is one, which was quoted from this source: Pulido, L. (2000). “Rethink­ing Envi­ron­men­tal Racism: White Priv­i­lege and Urban Devel­op­ment in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia”. Annals of the Asso­ci­a­tion of Amer­i­can Geographers

White priv­i­lege is a form of racism that both under­lies and is dis­tinct from insti­tu­tional and overt racism. It under­lies them in that both are pred­i­cated on pre­serv­ing the priv­i­leges of white peo­ple (regard­less of whether agents rec­og­nize this or not). But it is also dis­tinct in terms of inten­tion­al­ity. It refers to the hege­monic struc­tures, prac­tices, and ide­olo­gies that repro­duce whites’ priv­i­leged sta­tus. In this sce­nario, whites do not nec­es­sar­ily intend to hurt peo­ple of color, but because they are unaware of their white-​skin priv­i­lege, and because they accrue social and eco­nomic ben­e­fits by main­tain­ing the sta­tus quo, they inevitably do.

Here is one exam­ple of what con­sti­tutes white priv­i­lege from the same Wikipedia article:

Williams and Rivers (1972b) showed that test instruc­tions in Stan­dard Eng­lish dis­ad­van­taged the black child and that if the lan­guage of the test is put in famil­iar labels with­out train­ing or coach­ing, the child’s per­for­mances on the tests increase sig­nif­i­cantly. Accord­ing to Cadzen a child’s lan­guage devel­op­ment should be eval­u­ated in terms of his progress toward the norms for his par­tic­u­lar speech com­mu­nity. Cadzen, C.B. (1966)

To me, this exam­ple is racist because it is imply­ing that non­whites are less capa­ble of learn­ing Stan­dard Eng­lish than whites. Other sub­jects such as math have been declared exam­ples of white priv­i­lege yet the irony escapes those mak­ing the declarations.

Here is another def­i­n­i­tion of white priv­i­lege from the arti­cle called “On Racism and White Priv­i­lege” located on the web­site Teach­ing Tol­er­ance. This was the most pop­u­lar Google search result. I encoun­tered many dif­fer­ent arti­cles with sim­i­lar definitions.

White skin priv­i­lege is not some­thing that white peo­ple nec­es­sar­ily do, cre­ate or enjoy on pur­pose. Unlike the more overt indi­vid­ual and insti­tu­tional man­i­fes­ta­tions of racism described above, white skin priv­i­lege is a trans­par­ent pref­er­ence for white­ness that sat­u­rates our soci­ety. White skin priv­i­lege serves sev­eral func­tions. First, it pro­vides white peo­ple with “perks” that we do not earn and that peo­ple of color do not enjoy. Sec­ond, it cre­ates real advan­tages for us. White peo­ple are immune to a lot of chal­lenges. Finally, white priv­i­lege shapes the world in which we live — the way that we nav­i­gate and inter­act with one another and with the world.

The­ses def­i­n­i­tion illus­trate one of the fun­da­men­tal lies of the phi­los­o­phy of white priv­i­lege, that white peo­ple are inher­ently racist. Accord­ing to this phi­los­o­phy, we have built this all encom­pass­ing struc­ture that keeps every­one with non­white skin down because we dis­like peo­ple with skin that is darker than our skin. Under­ly­ing this phi­los­o­phy are the mis­taken beliefs that the United States is still a deeply racist nation and that racism is at the root cause of all of the prob­lems non­whites face.

Crime sta­tis­tics are one pop­u­lar proof of white priv­i­lege. Here is an exam­ple I found in this article

While peo­ple of color make up about 30 per­cent of the United States’ pop­u­la­tion, they account for 60 per­cent of those impris­oned. The prison pop­u­la­tion grew by 700 per­cent from 1970 to 2005, a rate that is out­pac­ing crime and pop­u­la­tion rates. The incar­cer­a­tion rates dis­pro­por­tion­ately impact men of color: 1 in every 15 African Amer­i­can men and 1 in every 36 His­panic men are incar­cer­ated in com­par­i­son to 1 in every 106 white men…we are left with only one con­clu­sion: White, Euro­pean Amer­i­cans enjoy a wide range of priv­i­leges that are denied to per­sons of color in our society.

Are higher incar­cer­a­tion rates the prod­uct of sys­tem­atic racism or some­thing else? The answer is found in this Daily Sig­nal arti­cle.

More black babies are born out of wed­lock today (72 per­cent) than into mar­ried homes. That’s dra­mat­i­cally worse than when Moyni­han ini­tially raised the issue (when it was 23 per­cent) — thanks to fifty years of encour­age­ment by the Demo­c­rat Party.

The Moyni­han Report men­tioned in that arti­cle was the jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for Pres­i­dent Lyn­don Johnson’s Great Soci­ety. This Front Page Mag­a­zine arti­cle doc­u­ments the car­nage caused by those deeply flawed pro­grams. Here is one quote:

The most dev­as­tat­ing by-​product of the mush­room­ing wel­fare state was the cor­ro­sive effect it had on Amer­i­can fam­ily life, par­tic­u­larly in the black com­mu­nity. As pro­vi­sions in wel­fare laws offered ever-​increasing eco­nomic incen­tives for shun­ning mar­riage and avoid­ing the for­ma­tion of two-​parent fam­i­lies, ille­git­i­macy rates rose dramatically.

Thomas Sow­ell, an African Amer­i­can econ­o­mist and philo­soph­i­cal rock star among con­ser­v­a­tives, echoes these con­clu­sions in this arti­cle called The Legacy of Lib­er­al­ism.

The results of wel­fare poli­cies dis­cour­ag­ing mar­riage and fam­ily were dra­matic, as out-​of-​wedlock birthrates sky­rock­eted among all demo­graphic groups in the U.S., but most notably African Americans…The dev­as­tat­ing soci­etal con­se­quences of fam­ily break­down can­not be over­stated. Father-​absent fam­i­lies — black and white alike — gen­er­ally occupy the bot­tom rung of America’s eco­nomic ladder.

Thomas Sow­ell also doc­u­ments the car­nage in this arti­cle A Painful Anniver­sary. Here is a quote:

The War on Poverty rep­re­sented the crown­ing tri­umph of the lib­eral vision of soci­ety — and of gov­ern­ment pro­grams as the solu­tion to social prob­lems. The dis­as­trous con­se­quences that fol­lowed have made the word “lib­eral” so much of a polit­i­cal lia­bil­ity that today even can­di­dates with long left-​wing track records have evaded or denied that designation.

White Priv­i­lege has a close cousin called White Guilt which is also being crammed down the throats of impres­sion­able col­lege and high school stu­dents; here is how Wikipedia defines the topic.

White guilt is the indi­vid­ual or col­lec­tive guilt felt by some white peo­ple for harm result­ing from racist treat­ment of eth­nic minori­ties by other white peo­ple both his­tor­i­cally and cur­rently in the United States

It is fine if indi­vid­u­als want to feel guilty based on their own con­duct; how­ever we are only respon­si­ble for our own actions. Col­lec­tive guilt is an alien con­cept in the United States where our entire con­sti­tu­tional and legal sys­tem is based on indi­vid­ual rights and guilt.

All across this country college students are being indoctrinated into believing a philosophy called “white privilege.”  The term seems rather innocuous but the philosophy is not.  This indoctrination has begun to spread down to the high school and grade schoo levell.  Like all race based philosophies, white privilege is a creation of the political left.  Like most creations of the political left, white privilege is based on fundamental mistruths.

Here is how white privilege is defined from this Wikipedia article.

White privilege (or white skin privilege) is a term for societal privileges that benefit people whom society identifies as white in some countries, beyond what is commonly experienced by non-white people under the same social, political, or economic circumstances. Academic perspectives such as critical race theory and whiteness studies use the concept of “white privilege” to analyze how racism and racialized societies affect the lives of white or white-skinned people.

The Wikipedia articles offers many other definitions, here is one, which was quoted from this source:  Pulido, L. (2000). “Rethinking Environmental Racism: White Privilege and Urban Development in Southern California”. Annals of the Association of American Geographers

White privilege is a form of racism that both underlies and is distinct from institutional and overt racism. It underlies them in that both are predicated on preserving the privileges of white people (regardless of whether agents recognize this or not). But it is also distinct in terms of intentionality. It refers to the hegemonic structures, practices, and ideologies that reproduce whites’ privileged status. In this scenario, whites do not necessarily intend to hurt people of color, but because they are unaware of their white-skin privilege, and because they accrue social and economic benefits by maintaining the status quo, they inevitably do.

Here is one example of what constitutes white privilege from the same Wikipedia article:

Williams and Rivers (1972b) showed that test instructions in Standard English disadvantaged the black child and that if the language of the test is put in familiar labels without training or coaching, the child’s performances on the tests increase significantly. According to Cadzen a child’s language development should be evaluated in terms of his progress toward the norms for his particular speech community. Cadzen, C.B. (1966)

To me, this example is racist because it is implying that nonwhites are less capable of learning Standard English than whites.  Other subjects such as math have been declared examples of white privilege yet the irony escapes those making the declarations.

Here is another definition of white privilege from the article called “On Racism and White Privilege” located on the website Teaching Tolerance.  This was the most popular Google search result.  I encountered many different articles with similar definitions.

White skin privilege is not something that white people necessarily do, create or enjoy on purpose. Unlike the more overt individual and institutional manifestations of racism described above, white skin privilege is a transparent preference for whiteness that saturates our society. White skin privilege serves several functions. First, it provides white people with “perks” that we do not earn and that people of color do not enjoy. Second, it creates real advantages for us. White people are immune to a lot of challenges. Finally, white privilege shapes the world in which we live — the way that we navigate and interact with one another and with the world.

Theses definition illustrate one of the fundamental lies of the philosophy of white privilege, that white people are inherently racist.  According to this philosophy, we have built this all encompassing structure that keeps everyone with nonwhite skin down because we dislike people with skin that is darker than our skin.  Underlying this philosophy are the mistaken beliefs that the United States is still a deeply racist nation and that racism is at the root cause of all of the problems nonwhites face.

Crime statistics are one popular proof of white privilege.  Here is an example I found in this  article

While people of color make up about 30 percent of the United States’ population, they account for 60 percent of those imprisoned. The prison population grew by 700 percent from 1970 to 2005, a rate that is outpacing crime and population rates. The incarceration rates disproportionately impact men of color: 1 in every 15 African American men and 1 in every 36 Hispanic men are incarcerated in comparison to 1 in every 106 white men…we are left with only one conclusion: White, European Americans enjoy a wide range of privileges that are denied to persons of color in our society.

Are higher incarceration rates the product of systematic racism or something else?  The answer is found in this Daily Signal article.

More black babies are born out of wedlock today (72 percent) than into married homes. That’s dramatically worse than when Moynihan initially raised the issue (when it was 23 percent)—thanks to fifty years of encouragement by the Democrat Party.

The Moynihan Report mentioned in that article was the justification for President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society.  This Front Page Magazine article documents the carnage caused by those deeply flawed programs.  Here is one quote:

The most devastating by-product of the mushrooming welfare state was the corrosive effect it had on American family life, particularly in the black community. As provisions in welfare laws offered ever-increasing economic incentives for shunning marriage and avoiding the formation of two-parent families, illegitimacy rates rose dramatically.

Thomas Sowell, an African American economist and philosophical rock star among conservatives, echoes these conclusions in this article called The Legacy of Liberalism.

The results of welfare policies discouraging marriage and family were dramatic, as out-of-wedlock birthrates skyrocketed among all demographic groups in the U.S., but most notably African Americans…The devastating societal consequences of family breakdown cannot be overstated. Father-absent families—black and white alike—generally occupy the bottom rung of America’s economic ladder.

Thomas Sowell also documents the carnage in this article A Painful Anniversary.  Here is a quote:

The War on Poverty represented the crowning triumph of the liberal vision of society — and of government programs as the solution to social problems. The disastrous consequences that followed have made the word “liberal” so much of a political liability that today even candidates with long left-wing track records have evaded or denied that designation.

White Privilege has a close cousin called White Guilt which is also being crammed down the throats of impressionable college and high school students; here is how Wikipedia defines the topic.

White guilt is the individual or collective guilt felt by some white people for harm resulting from racist treatment of ethnic minorities by other white people both historically and currently in the United States

It is fine if individuals want to feel guilty based on their own conduct; however we are only responsible for our own actions.  Collective guilt is an alien concept in the United States where our entire constitutional and legal system is based on individual rights and guilt.