The Myth of White Privilege
The term “white privilege” stands for a perceived societal benefit that people with white (Caucasian) skin enjoy in Western countries as compared to people with non-white skin. Under the premise of this theory, white skinned people are supposed to have an invisible package of unearned assets which gives them an economic, social, and cultural advantage above all other skin colors. Some of these assets used by the theorists are the freedom to move freely, to work anywhere they choose, to buy without predisposition, a presumed higher social status, and freedom from many of the prejudices non-whites experience. Another presumption about white privilege is based on a larger societal viewpoint and is in regards to how the country celebrates holidays, views religion, cultural practices, and overall living experiences.
Affirmative Action and Politics
In reality White Privilege is the equivalent to a modern day Affirmative Action program. Affirmative action dates back to 1961 in America, specifically to an Executive Order signed by then President John F. Kennedy which stated that groups take affirmative action to insure that people are employed and treated fairly in employment with no bias based on race, skin color, creed, or national origin. Yet, despite over fifty years of being in place, the entire premise did not produce the results that were expected. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a bi-partisan bill passed with strong support by both parties and truly defined equal rights. Many attach affirmative action to this landmark piece of legislation to prop it up as a success, but when we look at the Executive Order and how it’s been used over time, the shortcomings are numerous. The program morphed into imposing racial preferences and quotas in hiring and America saw policies being inserted into federal bureaucracy that gave preference to non-whites. Soon this practice became the norm for any organization which received Federal funding and culminated with President Nixon signing an Executive Order which called for “affirmative action” in all government agencies. Black Americans prospered under Nixon and they fell in love with the quota system that many white Americans were beginning to label as discriminatory.
Many political opponents of President Nixon assumed he was simply “playing ball” to capture the black American voting block and to avoid the race riots American had seen in past years. Yet behind the scenes the cracks were emerging as quotas and mandates were circumvented and employees shifted around to meet actual requirements. In other words, now that employers knew the targets for minority hires they could game the system. Corporate America added blacks to their staffs, in the form of low skill workers or in areas that didn’t make any impact on their real businesses. It was simply an illusion to meet the mandate and the costs were passed on to the consumers. Blacks were unwittingly duped into thinking they had reached an equality with white workers, earning more money, improving their standards of living, and offering them upward mobility, when in fact it was nothing more than sidelining their anger and neutralizing them from actual fulfillment. The irony of the period is that black Americans who stood arm in arm to demand civil rights and overthrow “the system” were now firmly entrenched in it.
Race Riots in America 1960's
White America, the so-called privileged people, saw affirmative action for exactly what it was; a way to control blacks and keep them off the streets so white people could go about the business of running the nation. Yet, when the recession of the 1970’s hit coupled with the OPEC oil embargoes, white America began to push back and the term “reverse racism” became more common among the unemployed. Once again politics came into the picture and the serve went back to the Democrats as the champions of race-based rights. Because of their strong union backing, Liberals didn’t approve of the quotas which Nixon made so popular. Yet, their leadership desired to control over blacks and more importantly their voting block and as Republican politicians fielded more and more complaints from unemployed whites, they started abandoning their strong ties with the black community which the Liberal Democrats thankfully swooped in to claim as their own. President Ronald Reagan immediately stated dismantling race based policies, much to the dismay of black Americans. Scholars say that Affirmative Action was created by Republicans to control blacks and once they were under control, it was safe to dismantle those programs. The hopes and dreams of black America were met with the startling reality that the past decades had only been a smokescreen. America wasn’t going to continue to offer them favorable treatment.
The Failures of Affirmative Action
Since affirmative action never defined where workers needed to be placed, very few blacks were ever employed in any jobs which mattered. The technology sector, research and development, finance, and other disciplines which required many years of education such as engineering or medicine were not infused with black workers because they were not qualified. This fact gave weight to the use of affirmative action in college admissions. Yet despite the admission into college, blacks underperformed or migrated into liberal arts courses instead of the more difficult areas of study. Some theorists believe that the idea of giving weighted college admissions is too little too late as many young blacks have already been influenced by enough factors in their formative years that cannot be changed. Once again, the premise of white privilege becomes part of the discussion, with blacks crying foul that they weren’t given enough opportunity in high school to build a successful foundation, or for that matter in elementary school or earlier.
Yet supporters of affirmative action and similar programs refuse to see the programs for what they were and make repeated excuses for the fact that it was a failed social experiment. They cherry pick the statistics for the few gems in the rough and tout them heavily. Yes, a handful of people benefitted from affirmative action and went on to lead solid careers, yet the masses have not seen any real sustainable benefits. Black unemployment figures are consistently twice that of whites. Many colleges are bringing in students who are unsuited for college, just to make their student body seem diverse. Politicians, horse trading in Washington, are allowing these failed race based programs to continue, but for how long and at what cost to America.
White Privilege on Display
The problems that have existed for over fifty years are still there, despite the shroud they are hidden under. And now that we understand the history of events, we can resume looking at the current version of implied social justice called white privilege. Although historians can cite incidents of white privilege dating back to the 18th century, it really hasn’t been a huge topic in America until around 2012. This concept of white skinned people having a privilege has escalated over the last few years, with major media sources speaking extensively about it, social justice warriors carrying it as a battle cry, and race based groups making demands based on it. With the high media coverage, it’s gained steam and now even delves into the ridiculous topics such as the color of a Band-Aid or pantyhose. The constant coverage of the perceived inequities are making in impact, albeit not to the degree demanded. America has seen many companies and government agencies prepare and start executing training sessions for their employees on white privilege, race privilege, or white male privilege. They use terms like tolerance and multiculturalism to somehow validate their efforts, but the casual observer can see that it’s just more of the same tactics packaged differently.
White America Responds
Unless there is political or economic capital to gain, white people are not interested in making black lives better, nor are they interested in capitulating to ludicrous demands made such as releasing all blacks who are in prison. So instead, they create the illusion that they care, just as with affirmative action and so many other showpiece plans of the past. Major companies will do very visible diversity training which the media will be invited to, just to show that they care. Federal agencies, including the US Military will provide slide shows and seminars on Equal Opportunity and the value of diversity. Whites will get virtually slapped just for being born white, only to appease the angry black man. Companies will suddenly start making products that appeal to black citizens, despite the fact that they will be unprofitable. Trendy websites will show people of all races and colors doing collective tasks like holding hands, sports, and even in romantic settings just to demonstrate that everything is working and blacks and whites are moving closer together because whites are “checking” their white privileges. Schools will rewrite history books and highlight the contributions of blacks over time and everyone who is white will see that they’ve always been wrong about their fellow human beings who just happened to be born black. Perhaps more things, cursory things of course, because no one wants real change, do they?
Well, some of those things are already happening across America, but it won’t make a bit of difference to change the stance of black Americans in the long run. Yes, when the level of “payment” is high enough, blacks will quiet down and give up the fight, returning to their everyday lives, and maybe even feeling like they've beaten the system. Whites will finally see the rewards of their charade in being allowed to go back to earning money, building things, and developing the technologies of the future since the angry black man has been placated for the time being. The term white privilege will lose its impact after a while, perhaps a decade or two will pass and the cycle will begin again.
The larger issue is asking why this cycle continues to repeat, with blacks making demands which often are violent and whites placating them with bribes to keep them quiet and in line. In a land of equal opportunity, blacks still feel like they are being persecuted, underserved by society, and looked upon like lower class citizens as compared to white people. Also consider that every program that has been put into place to help minorities succeed has been racist and unfair to the white population, deserving or not. In fact today we are seeing programs that give newly arrived immigrant’s unfair advantages over American citizens. The injustices, suffered by black Americans in the early history of America are often seen as the starting point in where blacks trace the origins of their anger. Yet with decades of social programs, public assistance, education, training, and programs like affirmative action, the black community still flounders at the lower end of the socio-economic scale. Blacks in America experience a higher poverty rate, a much higher level of incarceration, crime, drug abuse, physical abuse, and broken homes within their own communities, none of which are caused by white privilege or white people. Government programs have done nothing but keep the black man in a state of perpetual control. And yes, America is fraught with racism, but it comes from all colors and is directed to all colors. Blacks are just as guilty as whites, again nothing to correlate this with white privilege. In fact, after seeing the data, one could say blacks are more privileged than whites in America and have squandered over fifty years of assistance from a myriad of agencies.
The social advantage of being black is actually bigger than anyone might think. Blacks are free to raise their voices as loudly as they want in any venue about almost any issue. Black Lives Matters protesters routinely invade public spaces and preach hate speech for lengthy periods, most often with no arrests or punishments. Black athletes, black musicians, black comedians, black politicians, black ministers, and black militants alike can continually and constantly spew hate speech about other races with no consequences. They can make death threats on social media about whites, cheer when whites die, and mock whites when they defeat them and no one says a peep. If a white person dared to criticize a black person, the mob mentality would destroy them. Blacks have had multiple Federal and state programs designated just for their benefit, while whites or other minorities sat on the sidelines. Despite the cold hard facts concerning crime and the frequency blacks commit crime, the black community tries to blame it on white officers. More blacks are awarded athletic scholarships than any other race and more professional athletes are black than any other race. Black people regularly intimidate whites with activities such as the knockout game and use the fear of violence to terrorize whites. Yet blacks are more likely to play the victim role. Any black person can decide he or she speaks for the entire race of blacks at any time. These are just some of the privileges that blacks enjoy because of their skin color, yet they remain as non-issues in the larger picture. Academia, politics, and the media are all focused on skin color and that color isn’t white. So where’s the impact of white privilege?
So we are forced to look at the question that no one wants to answer, if not white privilege, what is holding back the black community today? Nothing in history can explain why crime, immorality, and the lack of responsibility are so high in the black community. Slavery, segregation, and racism are horrific and embarrassing parts of America’s history, but they do not define a race in the modern era. The level of black on black crime demonstrates that blacks are not targeting whites as some sort of revenge. Is it easier for blacks to use whites as a scapegoat for everything rather than pull themselves up with old fashioned hard work and determination? Even with a black President, a black Attorney General, and other highly positioned black leaders in America, things have not improved for blacks; in fact they’ve gotten worse. White people are not the problem, nor are white people the solution as it lies within the choices made by black Americans in every aspect of life.
This may be the most controversial thing I've written in a long time and it is by no means meant to pass judgment on anyone. It's a stark and to the point look at an on-going cycle in America that seemingly has no end. Feel free to express yourself as strongly as you wish, but remember that this is simply a presentation of facts. I won't censor any comment on this topic. Don't try to pick a fight with me over what you read, as I'm not making it up.
Hate the issues, not the writer.....