Since this article will undoubtedly be taken out of context, let me just begin by saying two obvious truths: 1. Racism is wrong and inexcusable. 2. America’s past, just like the past of virtually every society in the history of the world, has had its fair share of racial tragedies and discrimination. Okay? Okay.
Now, on to the article:
Whenever any white conservative brings up the topic of race – especially on a college campus such as Penn – they are quickly shot down and told to “check their privilege.” Whites, according to the left, have “privilege” over people of color. This “privilege” is everywhere – it permeates the air we breath; it exists throughout various institutions; it is inescapable. But what exactly is “white privilege”?
Here’s a recent video from Buzzfeed explaining what “white privilege” is.
According to this video, white people are “naive”, “arrogant”, and “privileged”.
This is not only delusional; it is also racist. It is objectively and morally wrong. If this video were referring to blacks instead of whites, everyone would lose their minds and call it racist. It is incredibly hypocritical and racist. But it perfectly expresses the current narrative popular in the left today.
If you’re white, according to the left, you’re privileged – you have advantages in life solely based on the color of your skin. If you’ve accomplished something great, it is certainly not solely because of your efforts; it is at least partially due to white privilege. And not only do you have “white privilege”, but it is also impossible to be racist against you, since you’re white.
Yes, that is also a popular argument: that it is impossible to be racist against a white person in today’s American society. Why? Because according to the left, you have to have “institutional power” in order to be racist. (If having a black president, a black attorney general, countless black mayors, and other black leaders in positions of power isn’t “institutional power”, then I don’t know what institutional power even is. But that’s beside the point, I guess.) So now, whites are the only individuals who can be racist.
Yeah, sure. Tell that to Christopher Marquez, the Iraq War veteran who was brutally attacked and beaten last week by a group of young black men who asked him if he thought that black lives matter. There was absolutely nothing racist about that; I’m sure of it.
Anyone who makes the argument that minorities cannot be racist is making a fool of themselves. If a word (racism) that has meant something for all of history – namely, prejudice and discrimination against another human being on the basis of race – can now mean something totally and completely different, then to echo the late, great Antonin Scalia, “words no longer have meaning.” No one outside of radical leftist circles in the media and academia believes that whites are the only individuals who can be racist. Most sensible Americans see such a statement as the nonsense that it is. Of course, there are individual racists all throughout American society. But that is very different from saying that America is a generally racist society, or that we have “institutional racism”, or that white privilege exists.
For those who do believe that white privilege and institutional racism are prevalent in America today, the chief argument supporting this notion may be that the black incarceration rate is much higher than the rate for whites because of “white privilege” and racist cops. Spend any amount of time around a leftist, and you will hear about how much higher the black incarceration rate is than the white incarceration rate, but seldom will you hear a leftist bring up the difference between black crime rates and white crime rates. Sure, blacks males are six times more likely to end up in jail than white males. But black males are eight times more likely to commit homicide, and 8.5 times more likely to commit robbery than white males. One cannot have an honest discussion about incarceration rates without discussing crime rates as well.
The most popular reply to this factual statement – that disproportionate black imprisonment rates are primarily due to disproportionate black crime rates – is that blacks are arrested for marijuana at a higher rate than whites, even though both races use the drug at roughly the same rate. But this ignores other very important factors, such as the amount of marijuana possessed, age, the criminal record of the person arrested, and whether the person arrested is selling the drug or simply using it. In fact, the ACLU’s original study on this issue even openly admits this and says that controlling for other factors would need to be done by “a more scholarly analysis.”
Another frequent talking point is that black poverty rates are much higher than white poverty rates, presumably also because of “white privilege” or a generally racist society. But this ignores the evidence – evidence that shows, for example, that among white unmarried couples, the poverty rate is 22 percent, while black married couples have a poverty rate of seven percent. It turns out that marriage – and waiting until marriage to have kids – has a much greater influence on poverty than being white.
If we were serious about determining whether the black poverty rate is primarily due to white privilege and racism or to other factors, we would examine the hard evidence. But to examine the hard evidence would be to deconstruct the narrative that the left holds so dearly – a narrative of racist whites and oppressed minorities.
And no, demanding hard evidence, rather than anecdotal evidence, does not make one uncaring. It simply means that one is unwilling to apply personal anecdotes to an entire country. For such an important issue, only hard evidence will suffice. And that evidence is not on the side of those who deem America a racist country.
If the evidence does not point to a white-privileged society, then what does? Exactly what benefits do whites receive solely because of the color of their skin? For the college students who so often protest white privilege, are there scholarships dedicated specifically to white males? Is there a White Student Union? Could any white person claim “white pride” without being deemed a racist?
Of course, there’s a tremendously dangerous double standard. This ideology is not only inaccurate, but it is also counterproductive. Such an ideology only serves to foster resentment between races. It does nothing to advance a colorblind society.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that in order to be a less racist society, we need to talk about race less, not more. Of course, it makes perfect sense why the left wants to talk about race as much as possible. It is one of their favorite tools for dividing people up and telling them that what they really need is more leftist politicians and Democrats to solve the racial problems at hand.
In reality, nothing has harmed blacks and minorities in America more than leftism. It is the leftist anti-police ideology that has caused murder rates to skyrocket in major inner cities in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests. It is the leftist welfare state that has contributed to the entrapment of many blacks in poverty. The Democratic party was the party of slavery, Jim Crow, and segregation.
The leftist victim mentality also destructively prevents minorities from reaching their full potential. How is one supposed to succeed if one constantly thinks that the system is rigged against them, and that any form of rejection is due to racism? Preaching victimhood does not help people; it harms them, and it is cruel.
Nothing has harmed minorities more than leftism, and nothing can help minorities more than conservatism. Strong (and accountable) police forces, rather than lax law enforcement, are what keeps crime down in poor neighborhoods. Self-sufficiency, rather than dependence on government, is what incentivizes economic growth and prosperity in the long run.
Yet as long as the narrative is controlled by the media and academia, we will forever be deemed a country marred by the stains of racism and white privilege. America’s past isn’t perfect, to be sure. But we should all be cautious about accepting such statements without the slightest shred of evidence.