I remember a few months ago, shortly after Trump’s election victory, a girl on my Facebook “Friends” list, posted some pathetic self-flagellating article about white privilege. The gist of the article she posted, was this. The writer (a black woman) was lecturing white liberals who were upset that Trump won, that they had no right to talk about how upset they were, because they all had white privilege, and so only minorities had the right to talk about how upset they felt. My “friend” (a white liberal herself), didn’t dispute this. Instead, she agreed with it and posted it to virtue signal and to pontificate to the rest of us, probably with the expectation of a bunch of comments praising her for being so enlightened, and plenty of “likes”.
Instead of this happening, myself and one other guy questioned why she was posting such a condescending article and asked her why she thought it was alright for this person to generalise and attack people (people who ideologically agree with her no less), on the basis of their skin colour? We also questioned the validity of the existence of white privilege, and asked her to explain how it exists. Rather than respond to our questions in her own words, she just posted some really long articles that talked about white privilege, and tried to let the articles do the talking for her, rather than talking herself, and using the article as a source to confirm her own points. Very quickly, she stopped responding, both to me, and to the other guy who was questioning her. About a week or so later, she quietly unfriended me, possibly because I had offended her by daring to question her. I don’t think I was particularly offensive or aggressive btw. In fact, I can post the whole debate we had, right here, minus the links to the articles she posted (which I never bothered to save).
So here was my first comment:
“But what about the Hispanics, Black people, and members of other minority groups that chose to vote for Trump? How can it be assumed that it was racism that won out, in that regard? If anything, I think it’s attitudes like that of this author that helped cause the Trump victory. Instead of having civil and open dialogues with Trump supporters (of all demographics), trying to understand why they supported him, and listening to their concerns, there’s been nothing but insults, bullying, and shaming tactics against them and all this did was push them further towards him. Even now, instead of looking at the victory and trying to really understand why he won, there is still nothing but insults and tarring every person who voted for him with the same brush. Yes, I’m well aware of the KKK and Neo-Nazi support he received, but acting as if all his support was from people like that, isn’t constructive at all.”
She then replied:
“The value in the article is about evaluating privilege and bringing awareness to systemic racism in America. However you can clearly see in the election statistics that Trump won due to voter turnout in rural counties with overwhelmingly white populations.”
Along with the above comment, she posted a bunch of links to articles talking about how white privilege is totally a real thing, and not just some racist conspiracy theory designed to demonise white people as a whole.
So I replied:
“Of course, I’m well aware that the majority of Trump’s voters were white, but the point I’m making by bringing up the non-white Trump voters is that they do in fact exist. The media keeps focusing on the “whitelash” as I’ve heard it referred to, while ignoring the minorities who supported him at a roughly similar percentage as they supported Romney in 2012. I think instead of automatically jumping to conclusions about racism, it might make more sense to actually engage with the voters (including these minorities who clearly didn’t have a problem with any of his “racist” remarks) and listen to their reasons for voting for him. For example, beyond the minorities who voted for Trump, many white people who had voted for Obama in previous elections, voted for Trump in this one. While I know that there obviously are many genuine racists who voted for him, it would be unfair to assume that racism was the primary motivator when taking those minorities and former Obama supporters into account.
As for the “privilege” argument, I don’t buy into that stuff for a second. All “privilege” is, is an excuse to disregard the viewpoints and opinions of, and tear down members of certain demographics, just because of the group they were born into. Privilege theory is just a redirection of Marx’s theories from economics (ie, the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’) to identity politics (the oppressed and oppressors), further causing division and resentment between groups. If white people are such a privileged group for example, then why is it that they’re the only group that aren’t allowed to vote as a bloc for their group interests without being considered racist for doing so, when it’s perfectly acceptable for a politician to go after “the black or Hispanic vote”? Why is it that other groups can make insulting, derogatory and sweeping generalisations about white people as a whole (like this author is doing with her white liberal allies), when if a white person did the same thing about any other group, they would be crucified?
And as for “systematic racism”, this is a legit question, because obviously you would have a much better insight into the American situation than I would, but how exactly is there still systematic racism? Where does it come from, and how does it work? I don’t understand how in a country where the majority of white people are terrified of the social stigma of being considered a racist, and where in the past 50 years at least, there has been a lot of time, effort, and money spent on racial integration, affirmative action, “no child left behind” in schools etc, how it exists, who is behind it, and examples of it in action.
I’m not trying to be a smartass or anything as I genuinely am interested in learning things that I may been ignorant of, because I do acknowledge that I’m only a distant observer, and you’re right there living it, but at the same time, I’ve read so many articles from, and seen so many videos on youtube from people who seem more interested in hating, blaming, and shaming white people as a whole, rather than just opposing racism, that I’m always very skeptical when I read articles like this one.”
I don’t think anything I said was particularly unreasonable here. I even acknowledged the fact that she, being an American, would obviously know more about the American situation than I would, and I legitimately asked her for evidence of systematic racism in action in her country.
“[Name redacted], I think there is too much for me to cover regarding your post. There are smarter people than me who better articulate why privilege is very real and what is happening in this country right now and the historical context so I will point you to some reading. Posted below.”
And again, she posted a few long winded articles, rather than actually making the arguments in her own words. Just for the record, I have no issue with posting links in a debate, but I think they should be posted as support material for an argument being put forward, not as the argument itself.
I then replied with this:
“I don’t buy into the reality of white privilege for a second [Name redacted]. What they refer to as “privilege” is simply an excuse to attack and belittle white people as a whole simply for being born white in a predominately white country. It would be like saying “Asian privilege” to a Chinese person in China, “Black Privilege” to a black person in Nigeria, Arab privilege to an Arab person in Saudi Arabia etc. It’s just an anti-white slur, based on Frankfurt school theories from the 1960s. Do the white people who are suffering severe racial discrimination in Zimbabwe and South Africa right now also benefit from white privilege?
For that matter, if white privilege and structural racism really does exist in America then why is that it’s Asians and Jews (many of the latter don’t consider themselves white and instead consider Jewishness a racial category) who are the most highly educated and wealthy demographics on average, moreso than white people? In theory, in a white privileged, structural racism based society, wouldn’t those groups be held back as well?
I think the problem is the use of what I’ve heard referred to as the “apex fallacy”. People see that most of the most powerful people in a country are white (which just makes sense based on the fact that most people in general are white in the West so demographics alone would cause this) and therefore assume that all white people have the same benefits as that small group of powerful people. It would be like me citing people like Obama, Loretta Lynch, Jesse Jackson, and various top black figures in entertainment and sport, and claiming that their success was representative of the experience of all black people, something which would obviously be quite rightfully dismissed as inaccurate.
As for the list on white privilege, it’s about as offensive and unfair as this meme.
I’m just getting tired of the moaning and accusations against white people as a whole, as if we all need to feel bad for being born white in a mostly white country. If there are real problems then by all means, they should be explained so that they can be worked on. But attacking us as a whole solves nothing, and only causes would be allies to lose sympathy after a while.”
And she never responded to this, and I heard nothing from her again until the notification a week or so later, telling me that she had unfriended me.
Anyway, I kind of went off on a tangent there. I was just reminded of this little debate we had, when I read this article below. I wonder if my former “friend” would still believe that it’s white people who are the privileged ones in America, after reading this.
NORTH HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES (KABC) —
Outrage has grown at Walter Reed Middle School in North Hollywood, as the school faces layoffs and increased class sizes due to a law limiting funds for schools with a higher white student body.
If a school has too many white kids, it gets less funding from the taxpayer (most of whom are white, btw).
The Los Angeles Unified School District provides more funding for schools where the white population is below 30 percent.
But if a school has a very low white population, it gets more funding. Yet, we’re supposed to believe that white people are the privileged ones. In a country that is predominately white, was built by white people, and has mostly white taxpayers, it’s the racial minorities who get more financial support. How does this make sense?
In a letter to parents, the district noted the highly regarded middle school had been above the percentage for the past couple years.
The racial formula was a condition imposed by court decisions dealing with desegregation in the 1970s.
And yet when it suits them, they’ll always claim that race doesn’t matter, and that we’re all exactly the same, apart from the colour of our skin.
Parents, however, remain frustrated with what the cuts might mean for their children.
And really, why shouldn’t they be? Their children’s education will potentially suffer, just because of the colour of their skin. Meanwhile, the taxes they’re paying, will be redistributed to schools with a higher proportion of black and hispanic students instead. This is not fair, plain and simple.
“When your class sizes are getting larger and you’re taking resources away from students, I mean ss parents, you do want your kid to go out to college,” one parent, Rosemary Estrada, said.
In an attempt to lessen the budget cuts, the district changed the school’s spending formula to one based on the number of students.
“Thankfully we’re going to keep our librarian. We’re going to keep our nurse, but we may lose a few teachers, but not as many as we once thought,” said Sheila Edmiston, one student’s parent.
Several jobs will still be lost and class sizes could grow. For many parents, the race-based reason of “too many white students” has made the cuts more difficult to swallow.
Meanwhile, if you want to understand why schools with a higher proportion of black and hispanic students, typically fare much worse than those with a higher proportion of white students, here’s a good possibility as to why.
It has nothing to do with white privilege or systematic racism. It’s entirely because of problems within the minority communities themselves. The reason we aren’t seeing an equal outcome, isn’t because they aren’t being treated equally. It’s because they aren’t behaving equally. I’m not saying every single individual student of a minority background, behaves like those in the videos above, nor am I suggesting that every single white student is a perfect angel, who would never behave like this. However, for the most part, this sort of behaviour seems to occur mainly within the black and hispanic student populations.
When I read this article, it reminded me a lot of the situation that I discussed recently, regarding a literacy test for prospective teachers being scrapped, because too many blacks and hispanics couldn’t pass it. There is this insane obsession with achieving equality. The problem is, as the Aristotle quote at the beginning of this article says, you can’t make unequal things equal, at least not at the higher level. For example, lets say I have four apples, and you have two, and there are no other apples around. We can’t make it so that each of us can have an equal number of apples, and at the same time, allow me to keep my four. All we can do is take an apple from me, and give it to you, and make us equal that way. Therefore, rather than simply raising the person with less up, they drag the person with more down.
When the Soviet Union first came into existence, there had been a lot of poor peasants, and a few rich aristocrats. They couldn’t bring the peasants up to the level of wealth of the aristocrats, so what they did, was take away the wealth of the aristocrats, so everybody was equally poor. It’s the same kind of logic happening in the American education system now. They’ve tried for decades now to achieve equality in racial education standards, and they’ve gotten nowhere. With equal funding, they can’t seem to bring the black and hispanic students, up to the level of the white (and Asian) students, so their plan instead is to cripple the white students’ education, and drag them down to the level of the black and hispanic students. Then, when every racial group is equally uneducated, they’ll finally achieve “equality” and all live happily ever after.