Now that the “War on Women” campaign has gotten somewhat haggard, the Democrats have found a new slogan and are actively campaigning on it. That latest diatribe is “White Privilege.” Presumably this is the reason that minorities (translation black Americans) are at the bottom of the socio-economic pile. It seems only prudent that we should examine the issue and try to separate fact from fiction.
In one respect I have to say that I agree with the premise that it’s easier to make a go of it in America if you’re white. It’s also easier to make it in Hollywood if you fit the stereotype that we have developed that calls a person handsome or beautiful. But the fact that you’re either white or beautiful or both hardly insures a successful and meaningful life. Take a look at all the Hollywood celebrities, replete with success and adulation who have met untimely, early death, often because their success allowed them to develop habits which overwhelmed their ability to cope with their fame.
At the heart of the “White Privilege” scenario is the assumption that America only affords real opportunity to whites – and more specifically male whites. They are the ones who are purportedly in control of the socio-economic structure and their ultimate goal is to maintain their power position on the totem pole of life, subjugating all who are not members of their exclusive club to a life of servitude, or at best, mediocrity if not downright poverty. Well, it’s a theory.
The continuation of that theory is that the world would be a much better place were it not for those white men who have, through their philosophy caused events in history to transpire, which not only negatively have impacted people of color in the United States but worldwide. Were it not for this self-aggrandizing view and execution of life, the world would be a wonderful Utopia. Surely anyone with even the smallest modicum of historical perspective would reject this idea out of hand.
The current movement to sanitize the American conscience, promulgated as part of the ideology of the left by eradicating the NFL team name “Redskins” is an excellent example of how the manifesto of “White Privilege” exerts itself in a practical way. To those enrolled in the movement, the Italian or German, Irish or Bohemian immigrant who came to this country at the turn of the 20th century and never set foot west of the Hudson River is still bound up in the collective “wrongdoings” of those who ventured west and encountered Cochise and Sitting Bull. This narrative also conveniently overlooks the fact that in pre-Columbian America there were numerous conflicts between warring Native American tribes to which the white man simply wasn’t a party. And many of those conflicts continued after the paleface got here and in which he played no part.
It is not altogether surprising that those who view history as beginning with the second Bush administration in 2000 have missed most of what has transpired since man began recording his activities on cave walls and papyrus. And being able to sandwich thousands of years of man’s history into less than two decades serves the purpose well for those who are slow readers and for whom the outstanding literature may appear a bit overwhelming. The interludes into “ancient history” since the founding of America is only something into which they delve in order to try to make their case.
But the real complaint of “White Privilege” has very little to do with the indigenous people who lived here before Europeans set foot on North America. The actual focus is on black people and the circumstances under which they came here and in which they lived and now live. The reason for that is quite simple. They, unlike the descendants of the Cherokee, the Apache and the Zuni’s represent a very significant bloc of voters. Sadly, black Americans do not have casinos to supplement their incomes. And with an unemployment rate twice the national average, many are reliant on government for their subsistence. That, of course, is a theory but one that I believe is plausible.
But let’s play a game of “What If.” I used to amuse myself with this when I was a child and I still play that game today from time to time. So, what if the indigenous tribes in Africa did not war against each other and enslave those whom they conquered; and what if Europeans didn’t buy those who were already enslaved and continue their condition, brining them to the New World or predatorily subjugate additional black Africans to satisfy their manpower needs? Since the theory of “White Privilege” also includes a component known as racism, America would have been an almost exclusively white society and would have had no reason to invite or encourage the immigration of blacks. That a “civilized,” first world society would uniformly hold such a racist view is not surprising and we find an excellent example of a modern, industrialized society with just such an attitude towards exclusivity. It’s name is Japan.
Given our scenario, those who came to the Caribbean, South and North America would have remained in Africa as would their descendants. If we had an “inner city ghetto” it would be composed of people whose skin color was white. So given the racism we’ve postulated, would those who grew up in Africa have had a better life than those whom the left purportedly advocates for in this country? The answer is, probably not.
The quality of life for most blacks in Africa is something that our most despondent black American would immediately reject out of hand. There is absolutely no measure whether in terms of life expectancy, economics or having access to conveniences which we take for granted by which the typical African black can compete with his American black counterpart. The recent outbreak of Ebola in several African nations and their mortality rate is an excellent example of how much anyone in this country, irrespective of color, is advantaged over those blacks on most of the African continent.
While the left goes on about “White Privilege” it ignores one very important point in its railing against racism. That is that, unlike their counterparts in Africa, American blacks have a modern infrastructure, access to education and health care and happen to live in a country where it is less important “what you look like” than it is “what you do with your life.” It may be that some of us have a tougher row to hoe than others. But nothing is impossible and people have overcome great challenges throughout mankind’s history.
Perhaps it’s time for those black Americans to get off the “rhetoric bandwagon,” take stock and then take steps to improve their situation. No one ever said it was going to be easy. But that statement applies to people of all colors.