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.
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.