Home My Weekly Column

My Weekly Column

#Charlottesville & "White Privilege"

August 13, 2017

Editor's note: This is not a defense of any group. It is an attempt to understand from where the anger, resentment and violence arose.

Life does not occur in a vacuum.  Neither the riots in Charlottesville, VA on August 12th nor the overall increase of white nationalist views are random events.  Both are the unavoidable and logical outcomes of the last 50 years of American politics.

For two generations, politicians and other cultural elites, including Hollywood and academia, have divided our population along every possible line as a means to attain and hold political power and to perpetuate personal advancement. These people have turned ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and religion, among others, into fractured classes of victims.  According to their defenders, all of these groups share one commonality - they are all victims of straight, white men. It is these straight white men, you see, who hold all the 'privilege' in our society and have attained their position on the backs of everyone else.

So fevered are the minds of the victim groups that it is becoming culturally acceptable to advocate for the elimination of "whiteness". Some headlines just from the last week:

Google Fires Engineer Who Questioned Diversity Efforts

College Offers Course on Abolition of Whiteness

Stanford University Course to Study "Abolishing Whiteness"

NY Mag: Blonde Hair a 'Dog-Whistle' of Whiteness

Lack of Diversity Leads to Cancellation of Minneapolis Writing Conference

These are from a single week. It goes without saying what would happen if one suggested eliminating "blackness" or "hispanicness" or even "gayness"; the person who suggested such a thing would be called racist and "homo/genderphobe", kicked off social media and the forces of tolerance would demand the loss of the person's job and likely threaten their family.  It is all growing so tiresome. The advocates will of course argue that eliminating "whiteness" does not mean eliminating white people - as if destroying a group's culture without actually killing them is totally fine.

The problem, however, comes in treating all Caucasian people as a single monolithic block whose lives are indistinguishable from each other - a practice we are constantly lectured not to do to other races. Are the 11 million Caucasians on welfare 'privileged'? Is an expanding suicide rate among whites "privileged"? How about increasing heroin and opioid addiction? Was James Damore experiencing "privilege" when he was fired from Google? Is a random white guy blathering on the internet more privileged than Oprah or Barack Obomba or Luis Gutierrez? How about millionaire minority athletes? Are their lives worse than the white guy working at a central Wisconsin paper mill?

To understand Charlottesville is to understand the fundamental flaw in viewing people as groups rather than individuals.  Suggesting that a black or hispanic college graduate is less privileged than an unemployed white high school graduate, particularly in large cities, simply because of skin color is intellectually lazy. Such simple-minded thinking inevitably leads to resentment among the "privileged" members of the dominant group who are in reality living more difficult lives than the "underprivileged" members of the victim class.

The events in Charlottesville and the increase in white pride groups are the natural and logical end of identity politics. When a society reaches a point that calling for the elimination of the cultural identity of a group, any group, is promulgated without controversy, then that society is at the point that pushback becomes unavoidable. Is it realistic to expect the targeted group to not fight back? Are they to simply accept the narrative and their fate?

White nationalists. The Nation of Islam. UnidosUS. Antifa. There is a single difference between these groups - only one gets negative media coverage.  I'll leave it to you to guess which one.