I only had the misfortune to find out what this phrase means in 2016 after hearing it at a BLM rally. It sounded so inferior to me I thought it best to actually check what it is.
Fundamentally its the perfect accusation to levy on anyone and everyone from any background any walk of life because there is no actual defense from it, as long as you satisfy just one single rule…. you have to be white! A racism in itself!
It would be pointless using it as a defense in court for instance, as you do not even know you are doing it, you dont know when you have done it, and, you dont know when you will do it again. In short you are guilty…. whether you believe it or not!
Worse still there is practically no way you can alleviate it, correct it or lose it, which leads the accusers to legitimize that you must therefore pay for it…for as long as you have it!
A rather clever play on words, without scientific basis that negate the ability to PROVE otherwise. More so, your attempts to prove otherwise, only enforce its legitimacy to its subscribers!
According to Wikipedia:-
“White privilege denotes both obvious and less obvious passive advantages that white people may not recognize they have, which distinguishes it from overt bias or prejudice. 1.These include cultural affirmations of one’s own worth; 2. presumed greater social status; 3. and freedom to move, buy, work, play, and speak freely. 4. The effects can be seen in professional, educational, and personal contexts. 5. The concept of white privilege also implies the right to assume the universality of one’s own experiences, marking others as different or exceptional while perceiving oneself as normal”.
This conjures up thoughts of perfect cancerous diseases that exist without an antidote, known or otherwise, and therefore the perfect Contagion.
After giving the issue some thought, I smiled to myself at the nonsensical approach that appeared as a ridiculous statement, and then I started to realize that there is some truth in parts of the Wiki statements.
If we for instance take each of the items in the statement above and analyze them. Lets start at:- 1. Do we have affirmations of ones worth? I think the answer has to be yes, which can be see for instance:-“The classes in modern capitalist society, according to Marx, are the proletariat, those who work but do not own the means of production; and the bourgeoisie, those who invest and live off of the surplus generated by the former”. The affirmation of ones worth can be seen in their affluence or some would say…success.
So says Marx there are two social levels… the worker and the guy that makes off the worker.
2. Presumed Social Status is I am sure all would agree is everywhere around us in one form or another:- Are you wearing jewelry? If so is it costume or ‘social status’ megabucks jewelry? Or perhaps you have a car? Is it a Toyota or a ‘social status’ Rolls Royce, perhaps you have $30 basic phone or an iphone7, a Dell 0r an ipad7.
So social status DOES exist and is pronounced in many ways that can be readily identifiable. You don’t need this years model because it is necessarily better, you need it for social status.
3. Freedom of all things, is prevalent pretty well everywhere within the confines of limitations such as a child is free to speak to other children as a child. No rules no regulation, and say what they actually think without limits…… until he says something which does not fall into line with those that taught him…. in which case he is censored or corrected. The worker who is taking pride in his status of say foreman, or perhaps sergeant who’s word is absolute, until a superior is on parade… and then their superior, and theirs, and so on till we reach the top of the hierarchy.
So its perhaps fair to say that we all have freedom within the hierarchy around us.
4.Seen Effects…. Ok we agree!
5. Universality of ones experience, Is pretty well absolute…. our universe is the sum of our experience. How can it logically be anything else? We only know our hand will burn if we put it in a flame, yet its an experience, where all peoples are are so mystified by flames, almost to the point of being hypnotized, we HAVE to put our hand in it… to confirm our understanding of burning…how else would we know and learn from that experience?
It is therefore only possible to say that the Wiki statements are correct and there is no legitimacy claiming otherwise.
I have not mentioned color in any of the replies…why? because the issue is never white or black,the realization that we have, or have not, to me is based on just two things, proletariat, and the bourgeoisie.
Those that have seeds today and eat so they will be full for a day, and those that are smart enough to take those seeds and plant them so they are full forever. The proletariat will always become submissive to the bourgeoisie.
Those that live for today and those that live for the future!
On this basis the blacks have no right to condemn any….. for their plight, perceived or otherwise. Worse still, no person should accuse on the basis of a well documented theory that is as widely….. disputed, and, created………. by the proletariat!
But that is why the phrase ‘White Privilege’ is so easy for for the proletariat to accept….. and to legitimize it…. even easier, because its so much more short sighted and easier to eat the seeds today, rather than planting them for tomorrow! An excuse for ignorance, that is apparent to all that have ‘White privilege’
It cannot pass the Litmus Test.
We shall examine ‘Black privilege’ next!