All racism is bad. All racial hate is bad. All human beings deserve to be treated as human beings. As a society, we have made great strides in eliminating unreasoning hatred for racial, ethnic, and religious minorities. Why is it, then, that not a day goes by that we are not assailed from every corner of popular culture and news media with attacks on white people for being white?
I’m old enough to remember when characterizing all people of a given race as somehow guilty of some original sin was… well, racism. Yet a favored bludgeon of the progressive Left is to marginalize, dismiss, exclude, and otherwise condemn white people for the sin of having been born white.
They cloak this racist sentiment in a variety of Newspeak, but it remains nothing more or less than hatred of a race of people. Rhetoric of this type, were it leveled at any racial minority, would rightly be characterized as hatred. In the West, however, you may always be as viciously hateful as you like, provided your targets are whites, Christians, males, and especially white Christian males.
We saw this fact borne out when the Internet prank campaign that was “It’s Okay to be White” started making itself known across the country. Innocuous sheets of paper bearing those words were immediately condemned as racist. The implication was clear: to progressives, it most certainly is NOT “okay” to be white, because whites are all guilty of a crime. Pressed for an explanation, the progressive Left will tell you that this crime is “white privilege.”
Previously, the Left redefined the definition of racism to mean “power plus prejudice.” This is built on two lies. The first lie is that only whites have power, which is false; a black man was America’s president for eight years, there is a black man on the Supreme Court of the United States, and there are laws and policies in place that both explicitly forbid and punish discrimination in hiring and promotion policies. Our society, by convention and through legislation, openly favors women and persons of color in college admissions, workplace diversity initiatives, grants, scholarships, and more.
It is possible to dismiss all criticism of a politician by claiming that criticism is racial hatred; it is possible to lose your job if you use a racial slur, not as an insult, but merely as a historical reference; there are neighborhoods in the United States where white people cannot go for fear they will be murdered immediately. If these examples, too, are not power, I don’t know what is.
The second lie, where the redefinition of racism is concerned, is the obvious one built on the first lie — that it is not possible to be racist to white people because white people have all the power. Progressives assert, begrudgingly, that a person of color can be prejudiced against a white person, but certainly not racist. Thus, they give themselves license to heap on white people all their hates, their fears, their resentments, and their blame.
Video sharing sites like YouTube, which ban accounts exhibiting even a hint of white supremacist or “alt right” thought, permit to remain countless hundreds of accounts preaching racial hatred against white people. Websites like “The Root” are essentially “Stormfront” for the Black Lives Matter crowd. Were you to exchange any race, any ethnic demographic, any nationality or religion for “white” in the copy on these pages, the sites would quite correctly be condemned as fomenting hate and violence.
Against this backdrop, every white person is told that he or she (but especially he) cannot complain. He or she cannot object. He or she has no business inserting himself or herself or zieself or themselves into the safe spaces of persons of color, because white people are all born with white privilege — and this makes them bad and evil.
Of course, the proponents of White Privilege Theory will be quick to tell you that, no, they don’t want you to feel bad for being white. It’s not your fault that you were born with white privilege; you just have to feel guilty about it every minute of every day. You should therefore step aside for persons of color so that you do not compound your evil race’s historical mistreatment of minorities by somehow insisting that you, too, are a human being.
Inheritors of white privilege supposedly live life on the easiest difficulty setting. Because they have white privilege, they are presumed not to have to contend with obstacles that persons of color must combat. Thus, while they don’t individually have everything easier than every other person who isn’t white, as an aggregate they are better off than everyone else.
This, of course, is nonsense.
More specifically, it is a rhetorical tool, a weapon, used to shout down anyone with white skin by telling them that their efforts don’t matter, their talents don’t matter, their intent doesn’t matter, and their hearts are irrelevant. Simply for being born white, they are presumed to be implicit, unconscious racists if not open, avowed bigots. They are supposed to have faced fewer challenges as white people than every other person on the planet. They possess the original sin of whiteness, which no amount of bowing, scraping, and self-flagellation can make clean. (Think-pieces about this whiteness abound on progressive media pages. Exchange the race for any other and the sites would be shut down for their bigotry.)
White people’s only options are to feel guilty about their privilege now and forever, remaining aware of their sins at all times, doomed to be second-class citizens in the eyes of their innocent fellow human beings. In that progressive world, all human beings are equal, but white human beings must acknowledge that they are slightly less so. Only then will the cosmic ledgers balance, we are told.
The reality is that every single one of us is born into different circumstances. Every single one of us contends with different challenges. Every single one of us occupies a demographic whose other members’ behavior might or might not affect us — directly or indirectly. We can, however, no more judge a person’s challenges and history on the basis of their skin than we can judge the content of their character thereby. There is no white privilege; there is only hard work, or lack thereof.
To forget that is, yes, to be racist… no matter whom you hate.