White Privilege: Myth Or Reality?

Selwyn Duke writes: If you look for the worst in a group, you’re sure to find it. Using a twist on an Abraham Lincoln line, I made that statement on the Mildred Gaddis Show (Radio One Detroit WCHB AM) last Wednesday during a debate on “White Privilege: Myth or Reality.” Finding myself pitted against the other guest, whose name isn’t important, and the black callers, it was a spirited discussion, to say the least.

It was also, unfortunately, a good example of how hatred is like darkness: the more there is, the less you can see.

To the other guest and the black callers, white privilege’s reality was simply a “fact” everyone was obligated to acknowledge, and the only legitimate question was the extent to which it has affected our lives. My debate opponent was flabbergasted that I denied this.

Of course, the general explanation for “deniers” such as me–and this is the white man’s plight, the dogma goes–is that we’re so immersed in our privilege we just can’t help ourselves and see beyond it. Thus is our opinion on the subject irrelevant.

This demonization is a bit like what befell the Jews in Nazi Germany. It mattered not if they didn’t have two pfennigs to rub together; by virtue of being Jewish they were automatically deemed privileged and guilty of taking advantage of that status. This justifies all manner and form of discrimination against the target group to “balance the scales.” Of course, those scales never do get balanced. For instance, even though South African whites are politically powerless today and subject to great discrimination and violence, they’re still blamed for their country’s woes.

But accepting white privilege as supposition is prejudice itself. If someone wishes to claim this phenomenon exists, the burden is on him to prove it; it is not on those who would have to prove a negative.

This proof is never forthcoming. The only argument offered is that whites are more prosperous and healthier socially than are blacks, which proves white privilege as much as blacks’ numerical dominance in the NBA proves black privilege. After all, Hindus (exclusively non-white) are the highest-earning religious group in the U.S., and Jews are number two, yet no one today takes this as proof of Hindu or Jewish privilege. In fact, in a radio debate some years ago I challenged a different guest–who cited whites’ higher incomes as proof of privilege–to be true to his rationale and speak of Jewish privilege (which he wouldn’t dare do). His response?

Jewish people can’t be privileged because we know they’ve suffered discrimination.

Of course, this is circular reasoning. Higher incomes were proof of his ideology–except when his ideology said that higher incomes weren’t.

But that’s the left-reason Left for you. They don’t need facts or logic. They know white privilege exists. They know whites discriminate. It’s just a matter of accepting the terms of surrender and your place in the re-education camp. Because they know. Yet the guest on that second show, a Ph.D., didn’t even know that whites (non-Hispanic) were only 63 percent of our population; he thought they constituted 80 percent. It was especially striking that he didn’t know the country’s racial and ethnic make-up–his Ph.D. was in ethnic studies.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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