The concept of White (Male) Privilege is not a new one. It came to rise as a concept in the late 19th and early 20th century at the same time as the expansion of the Socialist philosophy and the adoption of governments created around the ideas of collectivism.
Early 20th century history is full of examples from Communism is Russia, socialism in France and a rise of popularism resulting in any number of South American and Central American dictators. In the US Eugene Debs, a tireless promoter of the Socialist political agenda and labor Union organizations ran for President multiple times between 1908-1924.
However, in recent years, 1980-present, we have seen a marked increase in the use of this language and a broadening of its definition and application
This language is used in attempts to silence speech. The premise is that white people have been in a privileged position long enough to not have a clear and unbiased ability to participate in some discussions.
If the intent is to truely allow persons of color, (PoC) who are intimately aware of these issues due to personal experience a platform, then why are people like Thomas Sowell left out of this narrative?
The opinions from people like Thomas Sowell are not integrated into the narrative that seems to accompany the language of concepts like White Privlige.
It never seems that space is made for a single black mom from a poor neighborhood that is Anti-Abortion. You are more likely to see an opinion of yet another white guy that agrees with the narrative.
My intent in this questioning is not to debate abortion, but rather to better understand why people think Race plays a role in determining the inheirent value of somones opinion, and whether the same deference would be extended to POC that disagree with your own current positions.
In our present day the language of White Privilege, intersectionality and self identified Social Justice Warriors (SJWs) is intimately linked with a specific political ideology encompassing distinctly the left end of our politics.
To consider this premise reasonable, We would need to first adopt a expansive premise that an entire race of people (White) and more specfically a gender (male) ‘currently’ sit in a position of ‘Privlege’ that is ‘still’ only becuase they are white men.
It’s clear that historically in western cultures white people generally and white men specifically have enjoyed a position of privlege, largely becuase of their role in the Western European expansion of an economic culture. But in the US we have already passed civil rights laws and anti-discrimination laws. These laws already serve to set an ideal for America.
However, it would also require an acceptance that the entirety of a racially and gender identified group must be disadvantaged in their ability to engage in public discourse irregardless of individual merit. This is a sweeping generalization. It is no different in intent or mechansm than any other form of racism. This premise would obviously need to be rejected.
The history of America is largely a history of an expanding European culture and therefore there are indeed, a lot of smug white dudes were involved. But the idea of putting the current generation of white men in a disadvataged position simply becuase they’re white, to atone for some concept of ‘Their fathers sins’, is a form of racial descrimination.
While some may attempt to justify this as some idea of furthering some idea of Social or historical justice, it is still openly racist in motivation.
The other bit I find interesting is the Thomas Sowell question above. It seems the idea of white privlege most often must first pass an ideological agreement filter, which is inconsistent with the idea of valuing a PoC opinion about some of these subjects.
The question is why people like Thomas Sowell are left out of the narrative. He is a very accomploshed economist with something like 30 books published after growing up in Harlem and having worked as a government employee.
Perhaps it is simply virtue signaling or a desire to soften a particular position and sure some people probably appreciate it. It just seems to be a bit of preaching to the choir. It is doubtful that their are many people that agree with using language of White Privlege that don’t already agree with the leftist political positions that most often accompany this type of language.
Would anyone disagree that generalizing an opinion for an entire race is in fact an expression of racism?
Is there room within this type of language to acknowledge individual merit?
Should a govt be authoritive in creating privlege for POC to correct for history?
If so, what does success look like for correcting the historical white privilege and what is the measure of this success?
A separate tangent would be the cultural issues that exist within the US poverty culture, but we’ll save that one for later.
Certainly we should acknowledge that white privilege happened systemically in early America, and slavery peeked globally from the 1600’s till the mid 1800’s. That is a matter of settled history.
It is unclear though how using language that is discriminatory on racial lines helps us resolve the cultural issues those systems have left in there wake…