Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Check your privilege

Do I, as a white man, enjoy "white privilege"? Let's begin with some definitions. Surfing the net, the definition of "privilege" in "white privilege" denotes any unearned advantage, opportunity, benefit, or head start.

Hence, "white privilege" would denote any unearned advantage, opportunity, benefit, or head start by virtue of being caucasian.

Now, I'll be the first to admit that I'm the beneficiary of various unearned advantages, opportunities, &c. When, however, I think about the major unearned advantages that I've enjoyed, none of them are white distinctives. 

i) I was raised in a stable two-parent home. That's a "privilege," (according to the definition), yet it's not a white distinctive. Many Jews, Asians, and Latinos were raised in stable two-parent homes. Moreover, many blacks of my generation were raised in stable, two-parent homes. 

ii) I had two college-educated parents. That's a "privilege" from a socioeconomic standpoint. But it's not a white distinctive. And I expect college education is more highly represented among Jews and Asians than caucasians. 

The current value of a college education is debated. But to the extent that a college education is less beneficial than it used to be, that's not a white distinctive one way or the other. 

iii) I'm a babyboomer. That was economically advantageous. But that's not a white distinctive. Rather, that's a generational distinctive. 

iv) I'm American. That's advantageous compared to many other countries. But that's not a white distinctive.

v) I was born into a middle-class home. Whether that's "privileged" is debatable, but in any case, that's not a white distinctive. 

vi) Some of my close older relatives were devout Christians. That was spiritually beneficial to me. But that's not a white distinctive. 

vii) I'm the beneficiary of vaccination, antibiotics, electrification, transportation, telecommunications, &c. But those aren't white distinctives.

viii) Suppose I have above-average intelligence. That's an unearned advantage, but that's not a white distinctive. 

None of the most important "privileges" I enjoy are by virtue of my caucasian ancestry.

I'd also add that even though I didn't earn these benefits or advantages, white scientists and businessmen have done a great deal to create the privileges from which both white other ethnic groups benefit. It's not as if caucasians are just on the receiving end of these privileges. If you're going to turn this into a racial comparison, consider how caucasians pioneered many breakthroughs in medical science, and technology.  


  1. Also, wasn't the US far less diverse, if not in fact predominantly Caucasian, around the 1950s-1960s in comparison to today? Or at least weren't Caucasians mainly the ones deciding immigration laws and policies back then? If so, then it presumably would've been mainly Caucasians deciding to take in scores of Asian and Hispanic immigrants.

  2. Hello, I am a frequent reader but seldom post. I am an atheist and don't wish to stir up a debate here. I simply read the articles and enjoy them for what they are and move on. This post of yours however is something I must speak to. I to have waged intellectual warfare on the modern day cult of professional victim-hood and it has gotten me nowhere. You can forget it, you are using logic and reason. The snake oil salesman of feminism ensure both. They go straight for the emotional appeal dressed up in Marxist identity politics. That being said I enjoyed and loved your deconstruction of "white privilege" Happy trails and may you have good fortune.

  3. erg, I said ensure, I meant ensue! As in disregard both.

  4. I completely agree with the list. There are two areas where I think some would point out that you didn't cover, one that has merit and the other doesn't:

    a) Hiring: there is a misperception that blacks don't get hired when they should. In my experience with corporate America, people hire whoever they think will do the job. There are plenty of white people I have seen not get the job because it was determined that they wouldn't benefit the company. There are plenty of minorities I have seen get hired precisely because they demonstrated an ability to get the job done. So I don't think the hiring has merit.

    b) Police encounters. This is the one area I think where there is something to be said. Blacks seem to be profiled as being more likely to be suspect than whites. The reason for this is because there is a strong criminal element among blacks. Unfortunately it means that plenty of innocent blacks get unduly scrutinized. Voddie Baucham recently wrote on this and gave account of his experience with police stops. So I think this may have some merit.

    1. Not only a strong criminal element, but imitation of gang dress, manners, slang, and violent music. Dress like a thug, talk like a thug, walk like a thug, ink-up like a thug, blast thug music from car, get treated like a thug

    2. At my university I must say I do see a higher proportion of blacks dressing that way. That said there are far more whites in general who dress thuggish I have noticed. Why in the world any one, especially whites would want to imitate that dress is beyond me.

    3. Nostalgie de la boue, as "wog chic" went out with the 60's.

  5. This is a good article, thanks for touching on this point. I was wondering what your thoughts are on this article:


    Stewart is a clown, of course, but to the degree that lefties agree with him, he may be worth addressing.

  6. A good post, Steve. I have a quick question, though. You seem to imply that Jews are not caucasians, but Jews of european descent are most definitely caucasian, are they not?

    1. I agree with you. However, in identity politics, Jews, Latinos, and caucasians are typically put into three separate categories or "ethnic groups." That's arbitrary, but necessary to identity politics. So I'm responding to the ideology on its own terms.

    2. OK, thanks for the clarification.

    3. "Jews, Latinos, and caucasians are typically put into three separate categories or "ethnic groups." That's arbitrary, but necessary to identity politics."

      Don't fall for the bogus "white hispanic" category. Latinos (as do other ethnicities) have their own distinct physical features that differ from caucasians.

    4. Hispanics are a diverse conglomerate group made up of any combination of ethnicities, particularly American indigenous peoples, Europeans, and Africans. It's more accurate to refer to them from the standpoint of their culture than it is their ethnicity.