This is a follow-up with further reflections based on feedback from my previous post. I decided to not use the term in the title of this post because it was made clear to me from a number of wonderful white friends that it is patently offensive to them, and it has become patently offensive to me as well. I have to ask why anyone who seeks social or racial justice would come up with a pejorative, derogatory term such as this, which says more about them than the very people they criticize. Not once do I recall Martin Luther King, Jr. making up epithets out of whole cloth to describe people who were still brutalizing and actively denying blacks basic civil rights (which thankfully we don’t have today despite those who spin this false narrative). Those who come up with terms such as “white privilege” would be wise to do the same if they wish to have a social justice movement worthy of his ideals.

I think the best place to start is the current state of black America. There is a lot of success, but far too many still who are not participating in the American dream. A number of whites in the dialogue pointed out rightfully how America affords blacks today the greatest opportunities in the world to achieve great success.  America has provided a wealth of grants, loans, scholarships and other educational programs designed to make up for the inequities of past slavery and segregation. The problem is not enough blacks are taking advantage of these wonderful opportunities that we will not find in abundance anywhere else in the world. It must be noted that unfortunately, Democrats in virtually every major urban area have trapped large numbers of blacks in failing schools, poverty, and lack of upward mobility in what seems like a never-ending cycle. Yet it is blacks who continue to vote for the very people who oppress them, and you can’t blame that on “white privilege.”

A number of whites noted how they come from poor families that struggled greatly to make ends meet.  One person’s father was a ditch digger, just like Sydney Poitier who went on to acting fame. Another had an alcoholic father on skid row. So even though during those times in the past their parents, or their grandparents, did not necessarily have to compete against blacks who were lower in the social hierarchy, they were still not what one would call people of any sort of privilege. They were basically people struggling to make a life for themselves and their families without any thought as to whether they were better than or more entitled than blacks. I will quote one person as stating the following: “When anyone says white privilege to a poor disadvantaged white person it breeds contempt for the known misery and poverty they experienced. It’s like saying to someone who is in prison in America how lucky they are because Mexico’s prisons are ten times worse. They are not feeling it even though it may be true.”

Now it is true there were indeed the privileged few, including those in government, who shaped attitudes and policies towards blacks. And prejudice against blacks ran across all social classes, so it is not necessarily the case that because someone was poor and struggling that they didn’t harbor prejudicial views against blacks. The whole idea of the “powers that be” during pre-civil rights was to cast blacks in the worst light possible so they would not be accepted as equal human beings. We were presented as only a little better than animals, which permeated all of culture. Still, there were a good number of whites who could see this was nothing more than propaganda to continue the status quo, and thankfully there were a good number of whites that sought to end racial injustice and inequality. Had it not been for these people, the status quo as it existed in 1950 might still exist.

So the notion of “white privilege”, I am convinced, is nothing more than a product of academia and other far-left progressive warriors, both black and white, to divide the races through false narratives and sow distrust in our society so they can inculcate secular Socialist/Communist/Marxist thought and ideals into the psyche of the American people, particularly targeted towards unsuspecting and poorly educated minorities. Advancing “white privilege” in our society is nothing more than an insidious, cancerous meme not from those who wish to uplift and help to advance the human condition of blacks and other minorities, but whose sole purpose is to make blacks ever more dependent on government through wealth redistribution instead of economic empowerment, and to cause blacks to think with a socialist herd mentality instead of thinking independently for themselves.

I believe the way forward for blacks and other minorities in America is to not only reject the counterproductive cry of “white privilege” advocates in America, but to also reject the belief that only government can lift us out of the cycle of poverty and despair in major urban areas. “White privilege” is nothing more than a distraction asking that blacks look backward instead of forward. Looking backward has never helped anyone but those who are profiting from the suggestion that others do likewise. Black communities have the power to demand better education for their children, to substantially reduce out-of-wedlock births that lead to high poverty, and to reject drugs that lead to high crime into their neighborhoods. And the awesome power to vote for change. Any time spent considering the words of “white privilege” advocates is time not spent being productive and moving forward in life. Racism continues to exist and will continue to exist as part of the human condition in toto, but it is now powerless to stop our forward progress.

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Thoughts on “White Privilege”

by walterm on September 28, 2017

Yesterday, in a discussion about racism with some Facebook friends, the subject came up regarding “white privilege.” The term has been bandied about the past year or so by radical far-left progressives as a pejorative to shut down any discussion about race by white people. The sense in which the term is used is that whites enjoy a special advantage that non-whites do not enjoy. It is the ability to move about the world in a “normal” way of inherited, elevated status, not having to worry if someone is being prejudiced against them, which extends to every aspect of life whether personal/social, professional, or educational. Black Americans (from hereon “blacks”), in this context, have never, even to this day, felt like race distinctions are something that have been completely overcome. Blacks sense we will, at least for the foreseeable future, be seen as black first, and then as persons second, in that we have yet to be seen as just normal, everyday people where there won’t be any reservations in social, professional, or educational contexts.

While I have never truly thought about white privilege until now, I do believe it has merit, but with some reservations. First, as a black man who moves almost exclusively in “white” circles here in Southern California, I am constantly aware I am different from most everyone here. I have not experienced any overt prejudice, and very little covert prejudice, but indeed I sense I’m a bit of an oddity because there aren’t many other blacks here. I don’t feel most of the professional white people I come in contact with are more privileged than me, as I have been quite successful in my career and have consistently been in the top 5% of earners for some time now. Perhaps when you earn a certain degree of success, other successful people tend to look at you as one of them and color tends to fade away, though not entirely.

Second, the charge of white privilege tends to be used by the younger, progressive set who feel their future prospects are not as good as they should be, or those who may be older and are bitter about the past. It really seems to be coming mostly from academia and is stirred up by various progressive groups such as Black Lives Matter and other far-left social media groups. It is quite surprising because blacks in America have simply had no period of greater opportunity than now. Yet there are still huge inequities as blacks continue to lag behind whites by every economic measure, particularly in urban areas. There is also the narrative, which is provably false, that police are killing black men at higher rates and are regularly brutalizing black men. So clearly there is discontent within the black community and the notion of white privilege and police brutality are clearly present in their conscience.

In the discussion, I encountered a few whites who pushed back on the notion of white privilege, citing how they came from very humble beginnings and never had anything handed to them that they didn’t work hard for. They cited how their parents had low-level jobs and constantly struggled to make ends meet, so there was no “privilege” in being white. Yet I found this pushback to be a bit disingenuous. Their parents did have some degree of privilege by virtue of being white. I noted how if you look at all of the wealth in Newport Beach and Corona del Mar, virtually none of that wealth is shared by blacks. Within any population where you have competition you will always have inequality with those of great wealth, those of very little wealth, and those in between. The key here is that the parents of my interlocutors here did not have to compete against blacks because blacks were almost completely excluded from the opportunity to build wealth up until the 1960s. And whereas their parents did not have property to bequeath to them in Newport Beach or Corona del Mar, other whites did bequeath their wealth, experience, and business acumen to many of those now calling those two cities home.

Now there are some notable exceptions of black success in the 1900s prior to the landmark Civil Rights legislation of 1964, such as Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne, Marian Anderson, and Nat King Cole, to name a few. But again, they were exceptions. And they could never move about America in the same way as whites. There were simply places where, with all of their wealth, they were not allowed. They were never “equal” to whites even with their great success, and their wealth was always to some degree controlled and managed by whites (who often cheated successful blacks who knew little about money).

So on the hand, we have those asserting the notion of white privilege, which still exists, but only to a degree. These are people who have all the freedom to write about their thoughts and present them in the public square with no fear of reprisal. These are people who can be (and some already are) doctors, lawyers, tech entrepreneurs, or anything they put their minds to. Yet they still have that queasy sense of white privilege even when they have achieved success for themselves. And then you have the whites who counter this assertion by noting how hard they and their parents have had to work to achieve success without feeling any sense of privilege. So they don’t understand why anyone would make blanket statements about whites, in general, having some sort of elevated status.

The issue, I think, is those who assert white privilege look at the historical context and feel after almost 400 years of slavery, followed by the systematic discrimination of Jim Crow, that blacks can’t simply turn it off, and lingering racism in mostly covert forms continues. The plight of blacks in urban areas with high murder rates, high crime, high prison rates, and the narrative of police abuse contribute greatly to this perception. Whites tend to see this as not a problem they have directly caused as of current, though they acknowledge some racism still lingers beneath the surface. Nonetheless, they feel blacks should be able, as a people, to overcome these inequities through persistence and determination, and to cognitively grasp that there are no true barriers preventing them from succeeding other than those they place for themselves. And certainly bitterness, anger, or jealousy over what has happened in the past will more than likely not propel them to success as these sentiments only drag people down.

So we find a number of blacks, who have more opportunities than ever before in history, are finding it hard to throw off the past, believing white privilege continues to haunt them and keep them from moving forward. Whites, on the other hand, feel they have done everything possible to make a more fair and equitable society, and for the most part have little guilt about white privilege as a current day factor. I think whites are largely correct that though blacks may still feel a sense of whites being entitled, there are many blacks today that are better off than many whites. I think whites, instead of being reactive towards the charge of white privilege, should exhibit sensitivity and empathy towards blacks because blacks have been through much as a people, and that will not simply pass away in the span of fifty years of civil rights. Yet while I also think blacks are correct there are remnants of white privilege, I would argue it is not a significant barrier to black success. What is needed in the black community is to accept that the world is fallen and will never be perfect, even if slavery never existed. We are among the fallen also. This would mean finally putting away the excuse of white privilege and moving forward without the steady drag of resentment that will only continue to hold us back.

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Protests in St. Louis Over White Police Officer Acquittal of Killing Black Man

September 16, 2017

Here we go again. Violence and destruction of property over a white police officer acquitted of killing a black man. There are certainly those cases where a white officer murdered a black man, such as with Philando Castile, where the murdering officer was acquitted but was fired by the police force as he should have […]

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Words from the Wise, and Happy July 4th!

July 4, 2017

From Calvin Coolidge, an answer to everyone who wants a different nation than what we have. The liberal progressives of today simply do not understand that the America they wish for is regressive, not progressive. Their views will not usher in progress, but destruction. As the Bible says, there is nothing new under the sun. […]

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Biblical Interpretation on Homosexuality and Same-Sex Marriage: Should Biblical Interpretation Change as Culture Changes?

July 2, 2017

The other day I was on Facebook discussing a recent poll showing Republicans becoming more approving of same-sex marriage, and how this related to religious liberty. I was in general agreement with the author, who is a stalwart conservative representing the LGBT community, that there is a balance to be had where homosexuals can live out […]

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Congressman Steve Scalise: Must His Security Detail Share His Political Views?

June 19, 2017

Crystal Griner, described unfortunately as a black, lesbian law enforcement officer in a same-sex marriage, was one of two Capitol Police officers last week that bravely saved the lives of Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise and a number of other Republican lawmakers practicing for a charity baseball game against congressional Democrats. And now liberal progressives are making […]

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The Illogic of Moral Relativism

June 17, 2017

Moral relativism, I think, is one of the most illogical and dishonest positions a person could have. Indeed, moral relativists do moralize, but the question is why do they? If morality is relative, there isn’t much of a basis for moralizing at all. What any given moral relativist may have is a particular opinion on […]

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Liberals Suddenly Discover Federalism

June 1, 2017

I was listening to Senator Mike Lee on the Andrew Wilkow show this morning (SiriusXM), which prompted me to write a little note to my liberal friends about the simplicity of federalism. Note that suddenly, since Donald Trump has come into power as president of the United States, you have now become fans of federalism, […]

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Morgan Freeman’s “Through the Wormhole” and Gun Control

May 27, 2017

I have watched every season of Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, of which this is the last. As much as I admire Freeman, I sincerely disdain his politics and the manner in which he uses his celebrity to advocate for far left-wing causes under the guise of “science” to influence an unsuspecting public. In a recent episode, titled “Is Gun […]

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The Constitution is not a Plaything

April 2, 2017

I have written quite a bit about how liberal progressives view the Constitution as a living, breathing document. Indeed, the Constitution is a living, breathing document, but not in the way liberals want it to live and breathe. To wit, recently U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (regrettably, my senator from California), criticized U.S. Supreme Court nominee […]

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