Monday, June 25, 2012

white privilege

One of the things we were promised in the 08 elections was the first "post racial" president, and an "honest dialogue" about race. So far we haven't gotten it. So here's my go at it.

It's very hard for a white man such as myself to talk about race. Certain members of our society are all to ready to scream "racism" the instant we do anything other than abase ourselves and apologize profusely for for all of the crimes, real and imagined, our race has perpetrated on.....well, everybody.

So let's be honest. Historically, white people HAVE been horrible to nonwhites.Everything from the genocide and near genocide of the indigenous populations of Australia and the Americas to colonialism and apartheid in Africa and Asia. Hell, the U.S. was "won" with war crimes and continued to give us slavery, and institutionalized racism until the 50s. It happened. It was wrong. I'm sorry that it did happen ... the same way that I am sorry any time bad things happen to innocent people. Does this mean that I am ready to personally apologize? 

Nope, sure don't 

You see, for me to apologize for all of these things would be basically admitting culpability. The fact is, it wasn't me. In fact I hadn't even been born yet. But some would argue that I am in fact guilty, just for the color of my skin. The popular phrase is "White Privilege"  White privilege is the idea that, as a white male, I enjoy certain intangible benefits accorded to me because of the color of my skin.These benefits include better educational opportunities, better jobs with better pay, preferential treatment in the judicial system, etc. Trouble is, it's a deliberate fallacy designed to promote white guilt.
Myth 1: Whites have better educational opportunities. Fact is, minorities get admitted to colleges with lower SAT scores. A sample of 52 applicants to UCLA law school in 1993 showed it plainly: 22 applicants with an undergrad GPA of less than 3 and LSAT scores below the 80th percentile were admitted. 30 applicants with GPAs over 3.5 and LSATs above the 80th rejected. Of the thirty rejected students, 3 were asian and 27 white. The accepted ones? 13 black 6 latino and 3 native american.
Myth 2: Better jobs with better pay. Two words... affirmative action. I have personally witnessed a company I used to work for violate their promotion policy to promote a black person over white candidates. Oh, and try taking a ride through Appalachia. Ask them how they're enjoying their white privilege.
Myth 3: preferential treatment by law enforcement. I will not deny profiling occurs. That would be naive in the extreme. But to suggest that the attitude of some of the police officers out there prove bias throughout the system is false. If you look at some of the recent events in the news it actually suggests the opposite. Of course I have to mention Trayvon Martin here. Did George Zimmerman act in self defense against an attacker? Or did he hunt down and murder an innocent child? I don't know, since I wasn't there that night. I do know that Zimmerman was convicted before he was ever charged. In fact he was charged because of pressure from Washington and from the media and the overtly racist new black panther party. The media even went so far as to doctor 911 tapes to create racial slurs. I will be amazed if he avoids prison, guilty or not. In contrast, have you ever heard the names Allen Coon, or Shane McClellan? I doubt it. Allen coon is a 13 year old white kid from Kansas City boy who was harassed at his mostly black school, even being told by a teacher "What would you know about it, you're not our race" when he raised a hand to answer a question about black history month Then, one day, he was followed home by two older black youths and set on fire. yep, doused with gasoline and set on fire. Luckily he was able to put out the flames and survived the ordeal. Now I generally dislike reblogging what other bloggers write about because much of it is opinion, but unfortunately it's hard to find much info about this. A lot of the articles about this in local papers has been taken down from their websites. However I did read about this from several places and most of them at least jibe with each other. HERE is a link to one of them. Check it out...there's a lot more to the story. Shane McClellan is a Seattle youth who was beaten by two men, one black and one Asian, because he was white. This one is still available on the Seattle Times website. These cases are almost never national news and certainly never prompted Eric Holder to chime in on something that is a local police matter...

It is true that black people do get followed around in stores, and a lot of white people are irrationally afraid of them. Yeah, it's unfair. But to fault all whites for it is no different from white folks assuming that every black man they see is going to steal their purse. It's the same kind of racial stereotyping.

So what do we do about it? Well for starters we stop pointing fingers. We get rid of the racially inflammatory rhetoric from the Al Sharptons and the Jesse Jacksons. Crucifying Zimmerman isn't the answer guys...  We (white people) stop running scared the moment someone cynically shouts racist for personal gain. (BTW, Al and Jesse, you might want to put a stop to that. You know, The Boy Who Cried Wolf and all that) And for God's sake, SHUT THE FUCK UP TIM WISE!!!! For those of you who don't know, Tim Wise is an "anti-racist" speaker and author, and perhaps one of the most self-hating white people I have ever heard of. Tim, you're not helping. The way out of this mess is not to continue blaming the evil white man, and your patronizing speeches about "people of color" just make things worse. If you hate being white so much, you can ease your guilt by making donations to the NAACP or something. We also need to stop THIS idiocy. It's an ad campaign from the educated fools at University of Minnesota-Duluth about how "unfair" it is to be white.
It needs to start at a personal level. That much I will give to Wise. White folk, every single one of you hates to be judged based on external crap that means nothing, so don't do it. Try actually having a conversation with a black person. Chances are really very good he won't stab you and take your wallet. In fact I'd say it's about the same as a white guy shanking you. Judge people on what they show you instead of how they look. Isn't that what you expect from them?Then when you hear someone else start with the racist comments, set them straight. Let other people know that you're tired of this shit.
Black folks, you have a part to play too. What image do you portray to white America? Remember that Black people are still pretty rare in a lot of the country. So what do people there have to go on?  Rap videos? Sit down and watch a few. Is that the way you would choose to advertise? And let's face it, there's a reason why blacks are a disproportionately large part of the prison population.... they're guilty. If you take a young black child and raise him on the belief that no matter what he does the evil white man will never let him succeed, and then he sees black men on BET with a lot of money, fancy cars and clothes and beautiful women he's going to want those things. But by far most of those rich blacks are rapping about guns and killing,about drugs and the "gangsta" lifestyle. Is it any wonder he joins a gang? What those rap songs don't tell him is that most gangbangers end up in jail if they're lucky and dead if they're not. Very few live in mansions. We need to tell them that it's their choice...if they work hard and get an education,they can go far. Make their role models the Colin Powells and not the Snoop Doggs. (don't get me wrong... I love the music, but Snoop is not the best role model)

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