White (dis)privilege


What is the advantage, to anyone, of bringing up specific group numbers showing that certain people, in certain “defined” groups have privilege over other people?

The correlation of numbers is just as good as the correlation between the stock market and the price of butter in Bangladesh (follow the price of butter in Bangladesh and you can predict the stock market — now prove to me how those are related!). Unless we know why, we cannot know whether there is a problem, or whether it is a side effect of something legitimate. And trying to force a correction from the outside of the system, even if there is a problem, without addressing the root issue, will simply skew the system and create other inequities. The system will simply reshape itself to respond to the new factor, and the symptom will continue in a new shape, since its cause still remains.

Moreover, the only way to truly create change, unless it is an institutional issue, is to reshape societal views at an individual level, individual to individual. We need to remove group labels and ideas, not create more of them. That is just reinforcing the type of reaction that is the real problem. And leads to the sort of erroneous memes like the example below:

(Warning: profanity at the end of strip.)











( From: http://everydayfeminism.com/2014/09/white-privilege-explained/)

The other problem with the talk of privilege is that it steals legitimate achievement from those who do achieve it, by saying that it wasn’t theirs. This is the same sort of argument “you didn’t build that” which engendered such vehement response in the political area.  Sure, we all achieve what we do based on the resources and social structures around us — but we also achieve based on what we do WITH them, rather than complaining ABOUT them.

So let’s be careful about curing one “wrong” by creating others. Visiting the sins of the fathers on the children was decried years ago. Let us not do the same thing in a different format.


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