White Privilege: A Brief Inspection

My Dear Readers,

The following is a brief inspection of the theory of white privilege. I was forced by a terrible professor of mine to write a piece on white privilege as a way of making amends for offending her fragile, liberal sensibilities after submitting a document that suggested my University is guilty of white-discrimination. Sure, there’s more nuance to be had in the telling of this story, but I am tired, I need more whiskey, and frankly, I just don’t feel like rehashing all of the minutiae of such a pathetic encounter with a hyper-liberal pedant. The crux of the matter is this:

In her smug, self-righteous, and propagandized little mind she surely expected me to read up on white privilege, and like Saul on the road to Damascus, witness the error of my ways, and write a dripping, apologetic suck piece about the evils of “whitey.” Or, if she is slightly more intelligent than I give her credit for, then she must have expected that she had sufficiently intimidated me into reversing course on my original position while holding a 2-point markdown above my head.

Fuck that, and fuck her. I don’t capitulate to the whims of another person. I am not the puppet of another moral agent. I will not be a party to the continued diminution of academic and intellectual integrity that I see day in and day out, especially not for something as cheap as a letter grade from a second-rate hack like her. I submit the following in the spirit of bold, and manly resilience in the face of the oppressive tactics of the sanctimonious, and honesty impoverished indoctrinators that try to pass themselves off as educators.

Yours in Contemplation,

Kierkegaard

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A BRIEF INSPECTION OF THE THEORY OF WHITE PRIVILEGE

SUMMARY

White privilege is defined by anti-racism authors such as Kendall Clark as a “social relation” enjoyed by white people. The phenomena is said to be a worldwide injustice that subjects non-whites to subordinate positions compared to white their counterparts. Specifically, Kendall Clark defines white privilege as A special advantage or benefit of white persons; with reference to divine dispensations, natural advantages, gifts of fortune, genetic endowments, social relations, etc.”[1] Peggy McIntosh, a popular author on the subject of white privilege, contends that this set of purported advantages turns basic human rights into a set of special “gifts” enjoyed by white people, and more importantly, denied to non-whites. She claims that, “White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools and blank checks.”[2] Given this unfair advantage the world over, white privilege “awareness” advocates like Ms. McIntosh, Mr. Clark, Tim Wise, Theodore Allen, W.E.B. DuBois, and others, aver that the perceived disproportionate success of white people is due singly to inequity in both social and institutional structures perpetually controlled by white people. Such privilege-based successes are said to be apparent, and self-evident by examining the race of high-level executives at leading firms around the world, asset possession and net worth distribution, home ownership, education, access to quality health care, personal integrity (safety from physical and other harms), and access to opportunities for advancement in professional, social, and academic situations.

EVALUATION

Based on initial readings from proponents of the white privilege theory (WPT), white privilege appears to be a continuation of racist practices that were common before the era of the Civil Rights movement, and the general dismantling of acceptable racism in society. The authors aver that whereas racism and prejudice were actual pieces of legislation, or societal conventions that protected the superiority of whites, that racism has gone “underground” since such systems are now universally decried as immoral, and wholly abhorrent. These proponents of WPT argue that the white supremacists of prior generations are the architects and instigators of a system that unfairly oppress the life prospects of non-whites.

Whereas no one can deny that there are certainly inequalities between socioeconomic classes, I have not seen a single sound argument provided by the advocates of the WPT. The totality of their position appears based upon impressions, intuitions, and inferences from perplexing, complicated, and obscure empirical observations. I suggest that some of the inferences made by these authors may be valid, but I further suggest that accusing vast numbers of people of being complicit in de facto racism is academically irresponsible, misguided, and by a large measure, does more to perpetuate racial tension in what should be a post-racial world. Advocates of the WPT cast two egregious aspersions on non-whites, and whites, at the same time. First, they defame non-whites by arguing that they are insufficiently intelligent, capable, or powerful to accurately define, repudiate, and overcome such practices, and so it is the responsibility of the state to enforce legislation that gives those non-white individuals special advantages through “affirmative action,” and other purportedly remediating instruments. Second, they defame white people by insisting that the accomplishments enjoyed by white people are the nothing more than the product of unfair institutions and social practices, as opposed to dedication, perseverance, hard work, sacrifice, and the like. Surely past generations of non-white people have suffered at the hands of unfair systems, but to say that those systems are wholly responsible for current demographically disproportionate distributions of socioeconomic benefits is to support a position based on fallacious, if not disingenuous, reasoning.

All people are perfectly equal moral agents with the free will to choose how to execute their lives. The choice of our worthwhile life projects are wholly within our individual control, but what things we recognize as worthwhile projects to pursue remains a factor toward those ends that cannot be ignored. Different cultures value different things, and it is apparent in the manner of dress, music, cultural identification, literature, etc. Indeed, all aspects of our behavior reflect what we value in life, and what we value is significantly influenced by our upbringing. However, independent and sincere evaluation of the world around us is the salient motivating factor in our choosing what life we want to live, and how we will achieve those ends. I wholly reject that anyone of a different race than mine is being artificially held back by a system that tries to oppress them; I wholly reject the idea that non-white people need artificial stimulation, coddling, or assistance to accomplish what demonstrated capability can suitably accomplish; and I wholly reject the notion that the only reason that I have come as far in life as I have has been a result of some benevolent cabal of white people trying to see fit that I get ahead in life. Such notions are the logical consequences of adherence to a WPT, and they should all be summarily rejected due to their lack of soundness.[3]

 

 


[3] For further evidence of such ridiculous conclusions advanced by white privilege theorists, observe the “White Privilege Checklist” by Peggy McIntosh found here: http://ted.coe.wayne.edu/ele3600/mcintosh.html

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About facedownphilosophy

Proud recipient of the "Award for Outstanding Excellence in the Field of Unrivaled Superiority"
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