Friday, April 01, 2016

Black Privilege

The obvious purpose of this CNN article was to convince me that black privilege doesn't exist and that white privilege is "bad"--but I didn't think it refuted the pro-black-privilege arguments at all.  In fact, it's a pretty good article about why white privilege is a farce and we should all just man up and get through life without blaming others for our own issues:
I asked a white retiree if he believed in the existence of white privilege. He said no, but there was another type of privilege he wanted to talk about:

"Black privilege."
Confused by his answer, I asked him to give me an example of a perk that I enjoyed as a black man that he couldn't. His answer: "Black History Month."
"In America you can't even talk about whiteness," said Drew Domalick, who lives in Green Bay, Wisconsin. "If you try to embrace being white, you are portrayed as being a racist. If we had a White History Month, that would be viewed as a racist holiday."
Domalick isn't the only one who believes in black privilege. The term is being deployed in conservative circles as a rhetorical counterattack to the growing use of the term "white privilege." It's part of a larger transformation: White is becoming the new black. 
Google the phrase "black privilege," and one steps into a universe where whites struggle daily against the indignities heaped upon them because of their skin color. In books and articles such as "Black Skin Privilege and the American Dream," and "It's Past Time to Acknowledge Black Privilege," white commentators describe how blackness has become such a "tremendous asset" that some whites are now trying to "pass" as black.
If you're a skeptic, there's even a "Black Privilege Checklist" listing some of the perks blacks enjoy that whites cannot.

 A sample:
Blacks can belong to clubs and organizations that cater specifically to their race, but there's no National Association for the Advancement of White People because such a group would be deemed racist. Blacks can call white people "honky" and "cracker," but whites cannot use the N-word...
David Horowitz, author of the book, "Black Skin Privilege and the American Dream," says blacks are still more privileged, though they lag behind other racial groups in varying categories. It's not white privilege that's preventing them from doing better, he says; it's their behavior, such as their inability to build more intact families.
"The fact that white people are better off is not a privilege; it's earned," says Horowitz, founder of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a think tank in Los Angeles created to combat "the efforts of the radical left and its Islamist allies to destroy American values."
Not all racial disparities are inherently racist, he says.
"If racial disparities prove discrimination, then the National Basketball Association is racist," Horowitz says. "Probably 90 percent of its players are black."
Black privilege is so pervasive that it's hard to miss, he says. College professors practicing "affirmative grading" hold black students to lower standards than others. Corporations offer programs and internships to black workers but not to whites. 
Black privilege even extends to the White House, he says. Barack Obama was an inexperienced presidential candidate who was elected because Americans wanted to experience a post-racial sugar high, he says. "He wouldn't be elected dogcatcher if he wasn't black," Horowitz says of Obama.
Some who invoke "black privilege" also make another argument: Who says all unearned advantages are wrong?
In fact, some are unavoidable, says Benjamin Shapiro, a political commentator and author of an essay titled "Why White People Seek Black Privilege."
"Birth to a two-parent family is an unearned advantage. Birth into wealth is an unearned advantage. Being born smart or tall or athletic is an unearned advantage," Shapiro says. "But being born white in a rural backwater in West Virginia is not an advantage over being born the son of Colin Powell."
Blackness, though, has become a "tremendous asset" in contemporary America, he writes in his column. Despite the "horrific and evil history of racism against black people," being black today gives its recipients privileges ranging from landing coveted college scholarships to becoming activists who can build careers on racial grievances, he says.
There are even whites now who try to pass themselves off as black activists because it's a career booster, Shapiro says. He cites Rachel Dolezal, the former head of an NAACP chapter, who said "I identify as black" but was called white by her family members.
Many of the examples of so-called white privilege harken back to the days before I was in kindergarten.  Come on, I'm an old man now.  Yes, those things happened.  I'm not glad they happened.  They suck, and to my eyes they're un-American because people weren't treated equally before the law or in society.  But they in the distant past.  It's time to realize that we're living in 2016, not 1966.

There was talk about the GI Bill.  I didn't benefit from that, none of my grandparents (from WWII) got GI Bill benefits.  Heck, I don't even get GI Bill benefits, and I'm a veteran!  And World War II ended 20 years before I was born.  It's so far in the past, it's time to let it go and live in the present.

That's asking too much for some people.


Jamie said...

I wish your blog posts had "like" buttons. :)

Anonymous said...

It's a good bet that most of the black kids accepted to elite schools (not Cal Tech)come from two-parent families, likely upper middle class, and likely from strong schools (publics in affluent areas, magnets, charters, private etc) - not poor kids from dysfunctional inner city areas or poor rural southern. I've read that a not-insignificant number are either kids of recent immigrants or foreign students - not from families who ever eperienced slavery or Jim Crow laws here.

Anonymous said...

The problem with "white privilege" is that it includes things that aren't privileges at all. Having supervisors that are your own race and being able to easily associate with people of your own race is supposed to be some big privilege. Why? I'd rather have a black boss who was fair and treated me well than a white boss who is a complete jerk. (And I did have a white boss who was a complete jerk.)

Anonymous said...

This is something you would never hear on the liberal media. If they can have affirmative action for college, why can't whites have affirmitave action in the NBA?