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

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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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The Problem With the World

“The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.”

― Charles Bukowski

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Whiskey at 4am

It never seems to matter how much whiskey you drink, there’s never a good enough reason to go to bed… And there’s never, ever a reason to wake up.

I wonder how long things are meant to hurt for…

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My New Life

Most people haven’t yet read what I’m about to post, so I’m posting it here on the primary page of my blog. I didn’t think to post it here until this morning when a beautiful and intelligent writer friend of mine gave me the greatest compliment I’ve had in months: she said that it was beautiful. If she thinks it beautiful then it must have some merit, enough to try to get it more attention. So here it is, a work as yet untitled about my new life by myself.

I also encourage everyone to have a look at her blog. It’s god damn impressive. It’s onethousandsingledays.com

Yours in Contemplation,
Kierkegaard

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Wandering around this empty house again. Sure, it’s full of furniture, and art, and a host of really nice things, but it feels empty as the day I moved into it. It feels cold, and bare, and I wish I didn’t hear the echo of my own voice. Hell, I’m not even saying anything. And why do I pace incessantly? My poor dog knows that something is wrong; she just follows me around for the hours that I walk, stopping behind me and looking up quizzically when I stop in another empty room, look around, and continue my aimless wandering.

I spend most of my time alone. A remarkable portion of the time I’m just laying on my back, staring at the ceiling. Just for a change of pace I’ve started having my staring contests in my study; at least in here it’s appropriate to look aimlessly pensive. Among the dark cherry bookcase of great philosophy texts, classics of world literature, and bittersweet poetry I can try to feign the appearance of contemplating some important this-or-that. The expensive computer and office equipment helps to enhance the façade that some serious work is probably being done, and the furniture is nice enough to look like such work produces rewards. If it wasn’t for the unblinking, million-mile stare I might look like a guy who had his shit together. A thoughtful, industrious mind contemplating a bright and promising future may appear to be at home here… but there isn’t.

The music is always dreary. There’s no more reason to listen to the up-beat and happy-sounding shit I listened to last summer. Everything is tuned in minor these days. The beats are slow and reverberating, heavy-laden with the remorse and anguish of some disembodied voice begging for a second chance, or a reason why, or just pouring out what little emotion is left before their chest caves in and they become, well… empty. Still there are others that tell stories of great loves; loves that told of such immense happiness and flourishing, but that always kept a secret, so the love was sort of bright and dark at the same time. The voices speak of all the promise and beauty of the love, but they all end up lamenting the myriad missteps they made to fuck it all up. I can’t help but think of Icarus and his ecstasy as he experienced the greatest heights of joy that he would ever know, and how his screaming, desperate body fell into the sea where he drown, unnoticed by the world. Poor fuck.

So often I sit with a pen in my hand, focused on putting beautiful sentiments onto the pages in front of me, but too often is the case that the page goes unscratched, and the ink unused. It’s not for a lack of thought; there are too many there to count. It’s not as if my mind is going blank, or that I can’t think of anything to write, in fact it’s just the opposite. I have so much to say about something so beautiful, but my hand refuses to move until it is compelled to write something meaningful enough to pay proper tribute to the face it once touched. Knowing the high praises due, my mind becomes ever more frantic and furious, until finally it concedes defeat. So there I sit, powerfully moved by the might of memory, but utterly motionless. In vain I sing her songs, but with those disembodied voices; with no pen there to clutch, I write her words with different hands.

I remember the message said, “If I answered the phone, what would you have said?” I wish I could have given her the answer that I wanted to give. I wish that I had the mind of a poet. I wish I had the voice of a troubadour. I wish I had the face of an adored actor, and the means of wealthy man. For if I had these things, I know the answer I would have given her. I would have said to her, “Wait for me. I’ll be there soon.” And no more words would be necessary then, or ever again. We would simply be.

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Update on yesterday’s post, and something in the works

I’ve updated my post from yesterday. Actually it’s more like I added something to the end, and fixed some errors. I’m contemplating posting a piece I wrote 8 months ago titled, “A Supplication to the Devil.” It’s a very personal piece and I’m not sure what to do with it- share it, or let it rot in a drawer.

I’m second guessing a lot about myself, and what I do today.

Yours in Contemplation,
Kierkegaard

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On Hope: Wisdom From My Beloved Professor

So I received some correspondence from a professor of mine who is vastly more enlightened than I am, and has powerful insight into very esoteric fields of study in philosophy and religion. The woman is a true master of minds, and although I am a student of hers, I am pleased to call her a friend as well. Someday I hope to have as much to offer her as she has given me.

I wanted to share a response that she proffered to my post on hope and grief. As brief as it was, it offered a fleeting moment of peace in my mind. It made me think that all of the suffering isn’t/wasn’t for not. I don’t have any more well developed thoughts than that at the moment, but if it was able to get through to me on any level, then it should certainly be of great value to others. I sincerely hope that this helps any fellow travelers out there who suffer…

… Or perhaps I’ve missed the point, and I should take my own advice about giving up on hope. This, and more, warrants further discussion that is soon to come. Enjoy.

Yours in Contemplation,
Kierkegaard

“I never responded to this, but I did read it and think about it. I think giving up hope allows us a kind of freedom from the tyranny of desire you describe. It allows us to return to the present and just appreciate the mundane beauty of life. Consciousness is a miracle, life is amazing, even when it is exquisitely painful and sad. While we are busy hoping for the return of our “true love”, supposing that there is some unique person we are meant for, we miss the opportunity to meet the random stranger who, in the spirit of existentialism, we can create meaning.”

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I Still Care for You

Go download this song right the fuck now. Then drink whiskey with me.

– Kierkegaard

“I Still Care For You” by Ray LaMontagne

“Hear me out
Day follows day
Light turns to clay in my hands

How to explain,
So pristine the pain
It was kindness made the cut so clean

I still care for you

Hear me out
You wanted to me to be
Less your love than a mirror

Can’t you see
What you mean to me?
(even promises may bleed)

I still care for you

The hours grow
Heavy,
And hollow,
And cruel as a grave

Open
Me
You’ll find
Only bones burned to glass.

I still care for you”

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