I recently had what might politely be called an exchange of views on Facebook with a Black female journalist, who I do not know from Adam. Or Eve.
Before it was over, she was calling me a racist and I was calling her a moron.
It began with her firm assertion that I got my job “at the Inquirer” because I was white. She is a Philadelphia journalist and somehow didn’t know that I had spent 44 years at the Daily News before also appearing in the Inquirer, which never “hired” me.
I questioned an intellect that allowed her to supposedly know “how” I was hired — for my race — without knowing “where.” She clearly is a product of the grievance machine who was riding the rocking horse of “white privilege,” while I (in her eyes) was a dullard supremely unaware of the strong, racist wind that was the only thing propelling me forward.
I am not going to use her name as this is not personal with her. Her views on “white privilege” are shared by other Black people, some of whom are my friends. Some white people, too.
The idea of “white privilege” is only a concept that is traced back to Peggy McIntosh, a women’s-studies scholar at Wellesley who started writing about it in the ‘80s. It is her invention, a magic beanstalk, nothing more.
Some facts can be assembled to support it, while arguments can be marshalled to challenge it.
I challenge it here — again — as I have in the past. I suggest you follow the link as I will not repeat my whole argument here, just parts of it. I do so knowing that arguing against “white privilege” is used as proof that you are clothed in it. This is supremely ingenious, because it transforms an accusation of racism into proof of racism. George Orwell would be proud.
I tell my Black friends they have no idea how offensive the concept of “white privilege” is to some whites, maybe most whites. Why? Because it smacks of white people being granted something extra that they did not earn. When he was on “Saturday Night Live,” Eddie Murphy did a hilarious sketch “revealing” how a secret network of whites take care of each other. That satire probably could not be aired today because of Political Correctness. It could kill Murphy’s career, not because it tells a lie, but because it ridicules a lie.
Some guilt-stricken whites have been brow-beaten into Maoist “confessions” of their sin of whiteness. Their next step is to join the self-congratulatory anarchy of antifa, which is largely composed of young white fools.
In reality, what whites get is standard treatment, not “special” treatment. White people get the norm, while some Black people get sub norm treatment. I realize this is a nuance hard for progressives steeped in victimhood to grasp, that most whites don’t benefit when Blacks are wrongly denied.
Put another way, when a cop pulls over a Black driver, it doesn’t mean a white driver does not get stopped. The two actions are not connected.
I previously called this effect “Black disadvantage,” but now I prefer “Black deficit.” It means sometimes Blacks get less, and that’s wrong. But it doesn’t mean whites get more.
Life is not binary. If Blacks don’t get something, it does not automatically default to whites. Life is not a seesaw, with Blacks going up only when whites go down, or vice versa.
There are millions of whites living in poverty who have zero privilege. The children of a Lower Merion African-American surgeon will have a much more privileged life than the kids of a single white mom in Kensington. Isn’t that obvious?
How would you feel as a successful Black person, if I said you got to where you are because you are “an EEOC baby”?
That term is used to suggest that a Black got a job because of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which was created to foster parity, but was suspected of putting a finger on the scale which led to nonwhite, nonqualified candidates being promoted to keep employers out of hot water with the federal government.
Is that true? As true as “white privilege.”
If you believe that you have unjustly benefitted from “white privilege,” you must disavow it. You can’t return your education, but you can quit your job to open it for a minority. You can sell your house well below market value to a minority. You can transfer your savings to nonprofits that service the disadvantaged. If you are not willing to surrender the “loot” your “white privilege” has stolen, then shut up about it.
I find it curious that the same academicians who support “white privilege” would loudly condemn any other form of racial stereotyping.
The “white privilege” coinage makes many whites angry and many Blacks bitter. It is wrong headed, it is divisive, it is harmful. It’s time for it to go away.