Friday, August 09, 2013

Is "white privilege" unfair?

Is so-called "white privilege" unfair? An obvious problem with the "white privilege" allegation is that it's a meaningless abstraction. Meaningless because it's a hasty generalization. There are so many exceptions in both directions. The Obama daughters will enjoy many advantages that most whites never will. 

As far as that goes, we could talk about black privilege. Most black Americans are far better off than most black Africans. Is that unfair to black Africans? Should they seek reparations from black Americans?
But let's take a comparison. Rich kids enjoy certain advantages not enjoyed by poor or middle class kids. Is that unfair? Does that need to be redressed?
Well, if poor kids are poor because their parents made lousy lifestyle choices, it's unfair that the kids should have to suffer for the folly of their parents. But that doesn't mean the rich were unfair to the poor. And it doesn't mean I should feel guilty. I'm not their neglectful father or mother. 
Conversely, is it wrong for kids to benefit from the labor of responsible parents? By definition, most kids (especially young kids) are consumers rather than producers. They were born into a situation where they are cared for. They did nothing to earn it or deserve it. Is that unfair? Is that a social injustice? 
If a man is wealthy because he is smart and diligent, is there some reason his wife and kids shouldn't benefit from his hard work? As long as he made his fortune by honest means, isn't he entitled to spend his money however he pleases? It's his money. He made it the hard way. If he spends his own money on his kids, is that unfair? Unfair to whom? 
Maybe his son drives a Porsche to school while I ride a bike. Should I feel wronged? Am I a victim of social injustice? Does his dad owe me a Porsche too? 
I benefit from computer technology I didn't invent. Is that unfair? 


  1. Don't you know logic and reason is the tool of the cis-white-heterosexual-patriarchal oppressive class?

    1. The educational establishment I attend has long since taught me that there is no position so patently ludicrous that the feminist/queer theory/marxist academic establishment in the humanities won't defend it. *sigh*

  2. A quick thought on Christians who join in the righting social injustice crowd is they start to find themselves at odds with the Triune God and His plan. For instance in Job they would been right on with removing some of his wealth, then working against God when He removed too much of it and then against His reinstating Job's wealth after he was tested. I won't even touch their thoughts on God's ordaining the deaths of his family. It was all just too unfair.

  3. Unfair indeed. All of God's blessings are unfair.