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White Privilege Is Real, but Well-Meaning White Liberals Are Helping to Perpetuate It

After hosting African-American writer Ta-Nehisi Coates on his television show, Jon Stewart asked Coates whether America’s changing demographics could finally upend the anti-black society portrayed in Coates’s autobiographical Between the World and Me. Coates was doubtful, but Stewart, speaking for many white liberals, replied, “I hope you’re wrong.” Stewart’s presumption is that America’s ethnic transformation will relegate whites, and their prejudice, to the sidelines, ending racial inequality.

Regardless of whether Coates is correct to portray American society as tilted against African-Americans, his skeptical response was closer to reality than Stewart’s. The stereotypes, worldviews and institutional practices that advantage native-born whites over other groupsin America and Europearise as the result of a complex interaction between individuals and collective representations. Stereotypes about African-Americans are passed on from parents and peers, encoded in cultural products, and internalized by blacks themselves, who may come to cherish them and condemn other African-Americans for failing to act black,i.e. comply with those stereotypes. To imagine this thinking is limited to white people is naïve and belied by the research literature. In fact, stereotypes about AfricanAmericans are easily acquired by Asians, Latinos and even African immigrants. Meanwhile, stereotypes about Hispanics and Muslims may be adopted by African-Americans. What distinguishes whites is not that they are uniquely susceptible to embracing stereotypes about other races and ethnicities. It’s that stereotypes about whites are, for the most part, positive rather than negative.

At one time, whites were more susceptible to this thinking because stereotypes about blacks or indigenous peoples helped justify slavery, settlement and colonialism. But that argument is difficult to sustain today. With 1960s social reforms and broad-based attitude changes, the link between white group consciousness and anti-black discrimination is tenuous. Some whites remain prejudiced, but they no longer shape the norms and narratives of the media, government and corporations in their group’s interests. None of which means white privilege has fully disappeared. Indeed, field experiments show that while discrimination has declined, those with distinctively black or Muslim names suffer a penalty in the labor and housing markets. Yet these experiments do not show that whites discriminate against blacks and Muslims more than other racial groups do.

Rather than whites being responsible for the perpetuation of these stereotypesand, by extension, white privilegethey are maintained by all groups as they interact with each other. If, as the evidence shows, black policemen shoot black suspects at similar or higher rates than white policemen; if Asian or Hispanic recruiters are as likely as whites to discriminate against African-Americans; if those of all races push white candidates toward leadership roles in unions, progressive organizations or left-wing parties; then white people alone cannot be blamed for white privilege. It’s inception, perhaps, but not its continuing existence.

If actual whites were using their influence to enhance white privilege, we would expect the wage gap between blacks and whites in a region to get progressively higher in direct proportion to the percentage of white people in that region. Yet as figure 1 shows, there is no state-level relationship between white population share and white privilege. Whites earn far more than blacks in largely white Minnesota, but earn just as more in diverse Washington, D.C. and Louisiana. African-Americans are relatively equal to whites in homogeneous Vermont, but also do quite well in largely non-white Hawaii.

Figure 1.

Source: US Census 2010. American Community Survey 2015

Okay, so there is no direct relationship between population share and black-white income inequality at the level of U.S. states. What about countries? As figure 2 shows, the same pattern appliesor, rather, absence of a pattern. The income gap is high in majority-white Uruguay, as you’d expect if whites are responsible for maintaining white privilege. But it’s also high in Latin American nations where whites are scarce, such as the Dominican Republic. Income equality, by contrast, is high in both Costa Rica, which is mostly white, and Panama, where whites form a small fraction of the total. The same pattern holds for British Local Authority districts and American ZIP codes. All of which suggests a conscious effort on the part of white people, utilizing their social and economic power, is not the main cause of their continuing advantages.

Figure 2.

Source: Adapted from Bailey, S., et al. (2014). “Race, color, and income inequality across the Americas.” Demographic Research 31, p. 739. Racial composition by country provided by data from Vanhanen, T. (1999). Ethnic Conflicts Explained by Ethnic Nepotism. Stamford, CT, Jai Press

But if white privilege stems from a system in which inequality emerges from complex interactions between groups, which is what the research suggests, why do people on the Left insist on attaching a white male face to it? The answer lies in evolution, which produces human brains that respond best to vivid mental images. Religions anthropomorphise complex natural phenomena like thunder and lightning, whose laws are deaf to human longings, into a morality play involving benevolent gods and evil demons. Scott Atran and Ara Norenzayan argue that religions produce incongruous images like men in the sky to open up a direct line to our emotions. So too with progressive ideology. A system that disadvantages blacks, immigrants, Hispanics or Muslims comes to be imagined as a machine operated by an omnipotent white god.

Why is this a problem? When student activists, radical professors and human resources departments assign blame to flesh-and-blood white men this becomes a meme which circulates in the right-wing media, stoking white resentment. The perception among white populations is that society discriminates against whitesthat they’re being unfairly blamed for other people’s problemsand that becomes tinder for the populist fire. In polls conducted after the 2017 Charlottesville riots, 70 percent of white Trump voters agreed that “white people are currently under attack in this country.” Fifty-five percent of White Americans say whites are discriminated against. In the 2016 American National Election Study (ANES), the share of white Trump voters expressing this opinion is three times higher than among white Clinton voters. After party identification and views on immigration, this is the strongest predictor of a Trump vote. The instrumental role white grievance played in securing Trump’s victory is the theme of recent work by University of Pennsylvania political scientist Diana Mutz.

Some whites believe that their group is responsible for a system which disadvantages minorities, but they are overwhelmingly Democrats. The 2016 ANES pilot survey shows that only around 10% of pro-Trump whites feel some guilt for being white compared to 50% of anti-Trump whites.

Because whites are (wrongly) believed to be responsible for perpetuating white privilege, liberal gatekeepers are constantly on the look out for evidence of racismwhenever someone expresses a pro-white sentiment. Other ethnicities and races are permitted to promote the interests of their group, but not whites. Even moderate expressions of white communal identity are discouraged, associated with the sins of the past and de-legitimized as beyond the pale. Duke University political scientist Ashley Jardina shows that the share of white Americans who identify with their race roughly doubled between the 1990s and 2010sinto the 45-65% rangeas the country became more diverse. Importantly, those with stronger white identities did not express more antipathy to minority groups than other white Americans. On the contrary, the reverse was true. Meanwhile, according to Zach Goldberg, a Ph.D. student in political science at Georgia State University, 2016 marked the first year on record that “white liberals rated ethnic and racial minorities more positive than they did other whites.”  

As white group consciousness rises, the divide between whites who believe their group controls a system of white privilege and those who don’t is emerging as a political fault line. Liberals tend to believe in a kind of reverse white exceptionalism: that whites, in contrast to every other ethnic and racial group, should suppress their communal identity because it’s linked to a system of racial inequality. They seek to deconstruct white identity as an ideological construct designed to maintain power. Cultural conservatives, by contrast, consider whites a group like any otherattached to particular myths, symbols and memorieswhich should be able to express its identity and interests without fear of censure.

Nowhere is this fault line more stark than when it comes to attitudes towards immigration. This was laid bare by a question I fielded in a YouGov-Policy Exchange survey in the U.S. and Britain in February 2017 which asked whether whites who wished to reduce immigration to help maintain their group share were being racist or “racially self-interested, which is not racist.” Seventy-three percent of white Hillary voters think it is racist for a white person to want less immigration to help maintain group share compared to 11 percent of white Trump voters. By contrast, just 18 percent of white Hillary voters believe it’s racist for Latinos to want more Latin American immigrants to boost their group’s share of the population, compared to 39 percent of white Trump supporters.

This gap is considerably larger among American whites than among white British people, fewer of whom think expressions of white self-interest are racist. In follow-up surveys where people were asked to explain their reasoning, it became clear that white Hillary voters who supported Hispanic or Asian, but not white, group interests believe whites are different from other groups because they are motivated by a desire to maintain their political and economic advantage over other groups.

However, if these white liberals believe that suppressing expressions of white interest will erode white privilege, they’re mistaken. The system of privilege, to the extent that it still exists, is not contingent on the continuing support of white people, whether they’re allowed to express that support or not. Moreover, labelling policy preferences you disapprove of as racistincreases support for these policies among some whites and chastising their supporters for being politically incorrect makes them more likely to vote for Trump, not less. The message that whites are conspiring with each other to maintain their unfair advantages is at odds with reality and alienates an important tranche of voters. This makes it difficult to build a voter coalition that might elect candidates willing to address the real causes of white privilege. Rather than imagining a world of conflicting groups in which whites oppress non-whites, we should think of white privilege as a complex structure which all people of all races and ethnicities bear some responsibility for. Instead of adopting a simple minded narrative which demonises white identity and casts white people as the villains, we should encourage the whole of society to work collaboratively to reduce system bias.

Feature photo of Eric Kaufmann by Andy Ngo.

 

Eric Kaufmann is Professor of politics at Birkbeck, University of London. His book, Whiteshift: Populism, Immigration and the Future of White Majorities (Penguin), was published in the U.K. on Oct. 25. Follow him on Twitter @epkaufm.

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117 Comments

  1. dellingdog says

    “Labelling policy preferences you disapprove of as ‘racist’ increases support for these policies among some whites and chastising their supporters for being politically incorrect makes them more likely to vote for Trump, not less. The message that whites are conspiring with each other to maintain their unfair advantages is at odds with reality and alienates an important tranche of voters.” I think this is exactly right. The accusation of racism (along with references to “white supremacy”) should be reserved for white nationalists and neo-Nazis. Liberals who are concerned about inequality should promote colorblind policies that focus on class, not race. As Mark Lilla has argued, that’s the only way to build coalitions which can actually win elections. The “common-enemy” version of identity politics insists on ideological purity and castigates all white men; it’s deeply divisive and inevitably generates backlash. Instead, progressives should follow what Jonathan Haidt calls the “common-humanity” version of identity politics (along the lines of the Civil Rights Movement). We need to move beyond race, recognizing that we’re all individuals with inherited characteristics that resemble certain populations of people more than others.

    • jolly swag, man says

      “The accusation of racism (along with references to “white supremacy”) should be reserved for white nationalists and neo-Nazis”

      the term ‘racist’ should be reserved for describing actual racists, whatever their colour or ethnicity. I reckon there a many more non-white racists than there are white racists in this world.

      • The word racist is used today by people who clearly don’t know the meaning of the word. If someone calls me a racist for having views on immigration or positive discrimination i take no notice it is either meaningless or is a positive indication that you have won the argument and they have nothing to say.

    • Jon McNulty (@McNutty) says

      White privilege my black ass. What a soaring piece of mediocrity.

      I know I’m supposed just to be grateful he’s not declaiming identity politics insanity, but that was 10 minutes of my life I won’t get back. I’ve pretty much had it with Quillette. Their choices be hurtin’ me sense more and more.

      Using these utterly undefinable terms already concedes the field to the postmodern shriekers and fuels the victimhood narrative, even if you aren’t flogging it yourself. How are we even still using terms like “black” and “white”? White privilege is our phlogiston.

      Ta-Nehisi Coates is a waste of space. What bullshit artist. All I can think of is comedian Ron White’s observation:

      “Isn’t it a funny thing about life that the people you think should drop dead never do?”

      I just saw the stats. Want to know what “whites” are doing to improve race relations in America? They are buying firearms. Like crazy. Sales have skyrocketed in the last year, as have concealed carry permits. I’ll say this for the Americans: they “take the bull by the horns.” Good for them.

  2. Defenstrator says

    Sorry but while I agree with a number of things in the article the overall sentiment is clueless. White Privilege existed in Aparthaid South Africa. The whites there truly had a “private law”that was separate from the rest of the citizens. What you are describing is majority bias, where the largest group, no matter what the society, determines the norms. To be blunt, white privilege is a term used by racists to justify and rationalize their desire to hate others.

    • dellingdog says

      “White privilege is a term used by racists to justify and rationalize their desire to hate others.” Could you explain what you mean by this? As a traditional liberal, I oppose discrimination based on race. I think there’s compelling evidence that blacks in the U.S. experience some degree of discrimination in employment, education and the criminal justice system. This accounts for part — but not all — of the socio-economic disparity between blacks and whites. (Pathological and self-destructive cultural patterns are also partly to blame; genetics may play a role as well.) On average, then, a white person like me is privileged (advantaged) compared to a black person who’s similarly situated. I’m opposed to race-based affirmative action, but I do support other policies that expand opportunity for people who are disadvantaged like the “top 10%” program in Texas. Do you think your analysis applies to people like me?

      • Certainly. I am also a traditional liberal, and as far as I can tell the only groups that erroneously split the world into white people and everyone else are neo-nazis and the regressive left. The former do it at the urge of group superiority, the latter in order make an oppressor class they can blame to replace the bourgeoisie. Both make the fundamental mistake of seeing groups of incredibly diverse people through a simplistic lens of group identity based on melanin production.

        There are several obvious problems with this. As your article points out, there is no group racial consensus amongst whites. Neither is there any amongst other groups. It has been made clear throughout history that larger groups are happy to split themselves up into smaller and smaller groups and actively fight with each other. So to assign identity in these large groups is historically ignorant.

        It is also culturally ignorant. It assumes that people of different skin tones have less in common with each other even if they grew up together than with strangers with the same skin tones from completely different places. Take a white kid and Asian kid that grew up in Vancouver. Both share the same language and culture. They went to the same school, speak the same language, and did the same things. Under the idea of White Priviledge an immigrant from Poland is magically part of the white kids group, while another immigrant from Korea is part of the Asian kids group, even though neither of these people has anything in common with either of the kids in culture or language.

        Then there is the problem that the societies of White Privilege are, by any objective measurement, the most egalitarian societies that have ever existed, either historically or compared to the rest of the planet. This is the best it has ever been when it comes to genuine equality. So much so that white peoples aren’t generally at the top in many ways. It is Asian’s that seem to do best overall. So much so that these overachievers are somehow getting magically lumped into the category of having white privilege, which makes it clear the criteria is based on resentment for the successful. Plus having a diverse group of people from a variety of different countries doing better in school and getting higher paying jobs should be impossible if there were genuine institutional oppression. Instead we see Harvard in the awkward position of having to take less blacks and because the Asian’s want the spot’s they earned.

        No, when I see the term white privilege I see it in its historical context. Just another ignorant term to blame a group and justify hate and action against them in the purported name of justice. Hitler blames the Jews. The Communists blame the Kulaks. The Hutus blame the Tutsis. Etc. Etc.

        • dellingdog says

          Thanks for the response! Just to clarify, I’m not the author of the article. You’re right, the success of some (but not all) Asian ethnic groups clearly complicates the idea of “white privilege.” Do you agree that racism against black and Hispanics still exists in North America and oppose the use of the term “white privilege” to describe the comparative advantage that whites (and some Asians) possess, or do you think that all claims of racial prejudice are fallacious? If the former, is there a term besides “white privilege” which you find less problematic?

          I’m still not sure how you get from “liberals are concerned about perceived racial inequities” to hatred, concentration camps and genocide. That seems like an awfully slippery slope to me.

          • There doesn’t appear to be any statistically significant comparative advantage that whites or Asians have due to discrimination or structural factors. Differences in outcomes can be explained mostly by genetics. There is nothing left to “fix” that is:

            1) Fixable
            2) Statistically Significant
            3) In accordance with basic conceptions of Justice
            4) Remotely Pragmatic

            “White Privilege” is mainly an organizing cultural/political meme around which a subclass of whites (who are generally privileged compared to an average white person) can mobilize themselves and ethnic minorities to achieve certain ends. Most of those ends are not justifiable in the absence of the “white privilege” meme, hence why the meme was invented. Otherwise this coalition and its actions would be regarded along the lines of “naked self interest spoils system coalition building” or “grabbing what you can when you can by whatever means you can.” People need ideological cover and rationalizations for their believes and actions. Both to sell it to themselves and to sell it to others.

        • E. Olson says

          Defenstrator wrote: “Then there is the problem that the societies of White Privilege are, by any objective measurement, the most egalitarian societies that have ever existed, either historically or compared to the rest of the planet. This is the best it has ever been when it comes to genuine equality. So much so that white peoples aren’t generally at the top in many ways. It is Asian’s that seem to do best overall. So much so that these overachievers are somehow getting magically lumped into the category of having white privilege, which makes it clear the criteria is based on resentment for the successful.”

          Awesome comment – if white privilege presents such an obstacle to the rise of other racial groups, then it seems very strange that the only countries that have crushing loads of “people of color” trying to get in legally and illegally are white majority or white run countries (something that Amy Wax got demoted for saying). Rhodesia and S. Africa attracted hordes of blacks from neighboring countries when they were run by oppressive white minority governments, but such movement has been severely curtailed under the recent/current majority run governments.

      • Peter from Oz says

        Advantaged and privileged are two different things. Privliege is granted by law, advantage is just something that occurs.

        • dellingdog says

          I define privilege differently, as any “unearned advantage.” But this is a semantic question which is probably not worth pursuing.

          • Peter from Oz says

            Privileges can be and often are earned or paid for. They are not necessarily wrong or unfair.
            Advantages are not usually earned but arise by dint of nature or happenstance.

      • @dellingdog – The key is that bias is entirely human, and thus natural and something not easily shaken away, like those who become drug addicts or social media addicts, etc. In group bias is natural and occurs among all groups.
        Western values have improved, giving ever more people legal equal rights (aside from the corrupt politicians who serve special interests over the common good while not even taxing enough to cover their “free services”).
        If you attack whites as racists, then don’t be surprised that many whites who never thought themselves to be racists, are in fact the target of racism.

      • No, you are obviously a moderate left winger who doesnt hate anybody, like me who is a moderate right winger. Unfortunately we are practically irrelevant as it is the extremists on both sides who hate and get the most attention for that hatred. Using ‘White privilege” as a weapon for extremist left progressives to beat the whole white male patriarchy about the head and try and bring down traditional Western civilisation is what conservatives object to.

    • Not only in South Africa, but everywhere in the world upto, say, 1900. Citizens were only the ones on top, the rulers from oversea, or the north, or from certain families. Even the very first law book of Hammurabi made strict differences between the ruling class, and the ordinary lower classes. Without privileges maybe even no civilisation at all! No art, no science, no progress!

      • ga gamba says

        One needs only delve into the rule of the Qing Dynasty’s rule to find they reserved to themselves many privileges, be they codified in law or left to customary practice.

        It is interesting to observe, though not usually mentioned, often privileges limit the acts and freedoms of the privileged as they do to the unprivileged. For example, the Qing prohibition of Manchu marriage to Hans and other non-Bannerman limited the freedoms of both. The reserve of certain jobs in the bureaucracy and military to Manchus provided them a living, albeit usually not a high one, yet they couldn’t venture into other domains such as commerce. It was under the noses of the Qing that a Han Chinese merchant named Wu Bingjian, known to the West as Howqua, became China’s, and perhaps the world’s, wealthiest man.

  3. Daniel says

    Thank you Eric Kaufman. You closed with: “we should encourage the whole of society to work collaboratively to reduce system bias.” This is a good goal, but let’s clarify the actual problem. We should work together to reduce deceit, false narratives and propaganda. System bias, whether racist, anti-religion, or leftist is a manifestation, or a symptom of the problem of deceit. Too many people believing lies.

    • Yes, the notion that somehow humans will stop being emotional animals, driven by power, greed, hunger, anger, joy, love, tribalism, etc. is utopian, and therein lies its false promise and premise.
      The human mind will change slowly over time based on governments actually implementing liberty and equal protection; when they fail to do so, suggesting that a few have authority over others, that some racial groups need preferences, then you will continue to see factionalism at play…it’s fully human and natural.

  4. Peter from Oz says

    The word and concept that I think the author should investigate is ”oikophobia”. It is the disgust one has with one’s own people and culture. It is the phobia from which many silly white liberals suffer. It is blended with distorted notions of noblesse oblige and chivalry which require bending over backwards to help ”the other” without actually having to do anything personally.

    • Well said sir! Professor Scruton would surely agree with you.

  5. augustine says

    The main point here seems to be that the relevant antagonism and conflict is between polarized factions of whites. This divide is where most of the cultural deformation and heated rhetoric is generated, not between whites and non-whites explicitly. I can’t help but suspect that minorities view the self-loathing of many liberal whites as some sort of bizarre collective cognitive disfunction.

    Somehow we must get back to “normal” where politics is about ideas and we are able and willing to keep personalized forms of identity mainly relegated to the social sphere.

    • dellingdog says

      The “Hidden Tribes” survey, which was recently conducted and published by the More in Common organization, supports your view. The ideological extremes in the American population (which are labeled “Progressive Activists” and “Devoted Conservatives”) are overwhelmingly likely to be white.

      https://hiddentribes.us/profiles

      • augustine says

        I’ll check out the link but “Devoted Conservatives” as an “ideological extreme” category sounds dodgy at best. Likewise, classifying “Progressive Activists” as extreme does not allow for benefit of the doubt.

        • dellingdog says

          I think the authors were attempting to use relatively neutral descriptors. They assigned people to different categories using cluster analysis techniques, so individuals with the most extreme views were placed in categories at either end of the bell curve of opinions. In addition to the link I posted, I recommend reading the entire report — it’s very interesting.

          • augustine says

            The cookies notice spooked me so I cheated and found this write-up on Vox:

            https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/10/22/17991928/hidden-tribes-more-in-common-david-brooks

            Their treatment of the report was a little snarky, and some of the premises were loaded or simply false. However, this passage I felt was very much on the mark:

            “The key takeaway from Drutman’s analysis is that polarization is a process of conscious identification: You link being a Democrat with other core parts of your identity, like being a feminist or an atheist. It’s this tying of politics to your sense of self that makes political defeat seem like a threat to you or your group, which is in turn what makes you unwilling to even consider voting for a member of the other party.”

            This is a key insight and I think it explains in large measure why we are facing such intractable polarization now. In spite of all the talk of “compromise”, no one can be expected to actually compromise on matters of personal belief– matters that have no productive place in the public square. Unfortunately, the writer seemed not to notice that the logical solution would be to remove ethnic, gender and religious identities from politics as much as possible. Given that our politics were far less divisive in living memory than at present, it is clearly achievable.

            The author of the Vox article also makes the error of “non-assignment” as to the cause of identity politics making an appearance in the first place. Apparently it just “happened” to the country by some mysterious evolutionary process. But the process is not a mystery at all. It is the result of deliberate, exhaustive effort by progressive liberals over fifty years or more to ensure that identity politics takes hold within the American political consciousness. Why such a toxic scheme was anyone’s desire is a question worth asking.

            What did Margaret Thatcher say? When they are out of ideas, they attack you personally. Identity politics is a way to attack everyone personally, all at once, if there is any open resistance to the current agenda.

          • dellingdog says

            I agree with most of your post but take issue with this claim: “It is the result of deliberate, exhaustive effort by progressive liberals over fifty years or more to ensure that identity politics takes hold within the American political consciousness. Why such a toxic scheme was anyone’s desire is a question worth asking.”

            As I wrote above, I think it’s necessary to distinguish between the “common-enemy” version of identity politics and the “common-humanity” version. The civil rights movement, second-wave feminism, the gay rights movement and the disability rights movement are examples of the former. They were justified and necessary. Unfortunately, these identity-based movements for equal rights have metastacized into the divisive and repressive “identity politics” of today. It’s worth remembering that personal attacks are commonplace on the extreme right as well — the repressive left fuels the reactionary right, and vice versa.

            https://www.reddit.com/r/IntellectualDarkWeb/comments/9q5tqa/visualisation_of_haidts_approach_to_identity/

          • Peter from Oz says

            Dellingdog
            Re your response to Augustine below. Although you may be right that good movements for social change metastasised into identity politics, you cannot deny that this happened by the deliberate activism of people in those groups. It didn’t just spring out of nowhere. The problem was that the activists couldn’t retire. They have a vested interest in continuing with this idea that somehow the world is unfairly stacked against their constituents. After all if they couldn’t find more things about which to complain they’d be on the dole or in some low rent civil service job.

          • E. Olson says

            dellingdog – I agree the civil rights movement, early feminism and gay rights movements did some good things. In fact, those wars are over and the victory of equality is built into the law and human interaction – nobody says “we don’t hire your kind” or “women belong in the kitchen” anymore. As proof, women get 60% of college degrees, a woman runs General Motors, an openly gay man runs Apple, LeBron James makes more money per game than most white people make in a lifetime, and the US elected a black president (twice), and yet leftists continue to act like it is still 1957 Little Rock or 1960s Mad Men.

        • Jan Shaw says

          I looked at the Vox story you linked below. It was interesting except for one of the author’s comments that made me think the author a bit naive or a bit on the rose-colored glasses side: “This suggests that, far from being a neo-Stalinist dystopia, the contemporary United States is a place where lots of people care about offending others and take care to avoid it.” That shouldn’t read “care.” It should read “fear about about offending others and take care to avoid it.” Look at Google after that guy was fired for his opinions.

    • I do think non-whites find self deprecating whites pretty pathetic, but it doesn’t stop them from voting overwhelmingly for them. Non-whites are OK with less ideological and more nakedly self interested political and cultural solidarity.

      The Chinese in Malaysia are not self hating. But they are a minority and the less successful Malay majority can impose on them anything they want. The result is similar to majority non-white polities within the USA (Detroit, Baltimore).

      • asdf,

        You are correct. I am Hispanic and it amuses me when white liberals “apologize” for being so awful, once they realize I don’t agree with them in considering minorities as victims and oppressed they get quite vicious.

      • D.B. Cooper says

        @asdf

        “Self deprecating whites” there’s a euphemism. If either of you are interested, ‘Rahim Taghizadegan: Why Are Western Europeans So Naïve’ (YouTube) posits, what I thought was a plausible explanation this self-deprecation.

        While Taghizadegan’s (points for anyone who can phonetically spell that out) hypothesis is likely to provide a degree of explanatory power, I can’t help but wonder if white males’ capitulation to the needs/wants/desires of white females hasn’t, in some meaningful way, played an outsized role for the decidedly confused state of Western societies. Of course, this is a bit of question-begging on my part, since it creates chicken vs. egg dilemma.

        Faulty logic notwithstanding, I’ve generally held to the view that those (peoples) who can be ruled/conquered will be ruled/conquered. This seems obvious enough, whether defended on evolutionary grounds or appeals to a universal ‘conquest ethic’ that has defined nearly every, if not every, society in recorded history. It’s worth noting that Yeezy (Kanye), the intellectual zeitgeist of our time, advanced a similar critique when dropped some profound knowledge on the TMZ headquarters, saying: “When you hear about slavery for 400 years … For 400 years? That sounds like a choice.” Of course, Yeezy was later coerced into soft-pedaling those distasteful facts back, but it was nevertheless comforting to know my views were confirmed – if only temporary – by someone with the intellectual bandwidth of Yeezy.

        As I was saying, faulty logic and intellectual servile rappers notwithstanding, the ideological sophistries that most accurately define self-flagellating whites are not, I think, terribly dissimilar from the recklessly prodigal acts of your average Western female. It has been my experience that – at least, more often than not – women have a perennial problem with critical thinking skills. They never have any. It must be born in the mind that logic and female gendered thinking cannot exist in the same conversation without encountering a heat-to-light ratio that rivals the singularity. I don’t mean to suggest that every woman – or even women at all – exhibits, necessarily, a type of first principle reasoning that resembles a Rorschach test. What I mean, specifically, is that this type of Rorschach reasoning – for lack of a better descriptor – is most often, BUT NOT NECESSARILY, exhibited by the fairer sex; but more specifically by the progressive Left. So as to not belabor the point, consider for example, Europe’s naively optimistic immigration policies and the misfeasance of the far Left.

        But, then again, maybe I’m being unfair. Admittedly, there’s something ironic, if not self-sabotaging, about advancing one’s logical primacy (yes, I’m a man) by way of a fallacious argument. Poor form… Poor form, indeed.

  6. What does the author mean by “White”? clearly he has an idea in his head but he fails to define it and therefore, as with so many of this discussions, the analysis is doomed to failure before it starts. You cannot have a debate on anything without defining terms.

    “White’ used to mean “caucasian.” Indeed when I was in school in the 1970s, it was taught that there were three races; these depended less on skin color than on features. So Indians, Arabs, Europeans, and Ethiopians were all caucasian. Asian included Slavic in part, and far Eastern. And then there was “Negroid” i think it was called.

    This is no longer the case but what has replaced it? I get the feeling that “white” started out as taking the place of what used to be called “wasp,” for White Anglo Saxon Protestant, a shorthand for upper class white people of Northern European heritage.

    But now it seems to be this vague umbrella term that sometimes encompasses a group, and sometimes not, depending on intent.

    For instance, I am a Jew who looks semitic. I have literally never felt I am White with all the ‘privileges’ supposedly accruing to it (and my view is more rational, as the recent shooting shows yet again). What am I? Am I included in the author’s ruminations? If not, why not?

    What about Hispanic? Sometimes they are included as nonWhite, but when they are perpetrators, as with the recent mail bombings, they are invariably included as White.

    What is NonWhite exactly? Up until a very short time ago, Arab Muslims were considered white. now they are ‘Brown.” What is Brown? Sicilian Italians have very dark skin and strong features, but they are “white”; a fair skinned upper class Muslim though is Brown.

    And we’re not even touching class. When we talk about “privilege” what do we mean exactly? Every time I see that questionaire, I am definitely NOT privileged according to its own definition. The ‘privilege’ of “whites’ presumes wealth and insularity. To use a liberal term, I find it very offensive.

    Yet the discussion never separates class from race. Indeed this hyper focus on an ill-defined group of “Whites” actively allows the upper class to discriminate against the lower classes, say the most vile classist things, take jobs via cronyism, and still pat themselves on the back for being righteous people because, what exactly, they beat their breasts?

    So what is White?

    When this can be defined clearly and consistently, and consistently applied, I’ll believe this actually has something to do with what it claims (race). I actually think it has little to do with race, and more to do with power and class. But what does this nonwhite Jewish plebe know.

    • Greg Maxwell says

      Exactly. “White” is bs from the get-go. It is vague and I don’t know anyone with white skin. This is more desperate nonsense from people who don’t have enough to do. Race was a construct used to justify enslavement of African tribes. People come from different cultures and ethnicities.

      • tim s says

        “Race was a construct used to justify enslavement of African tribes”

        That does not explain the enslavement of whites (Irish) in the early Americas, nor does it explain the slavery of Africans by other Africans on their own continent, or in the Americas, to give just two examples of many. Slavery is specifically about power of the stronger over the weaker, be it in mind or body.

      • Blacks were enslaved because they wouldn’t die in the kind of hot wet environments that were amenable to cash crop planation systems. They tried to use poor whites as indentured servants, which would have been a lot easier than a permanently hostile low skill race from another continent, but whites had this habit of dying every time summer would come around. Concentration and intensity of slavery track very well with environment.

        Immunity to tropical diseases is the qualatative advantage blacks were selected for (by both nature and whites). Once whites invented antibiotics blacks ceased to have any qualitative advantage (outside some athletics and music).

    • dellingdog says

      Most scholars I’ve read acknowledge that race and class interact in complicated ways. For example, you’re *much* better off being a wealthy black man (unless you’re Bill Cosby!) than a white high school dropout who can’t find a job. Likewise, you’re probably better off being an able-bodied black man than a severely disabled white man. Properly understood, claims of “white privilege” do NOT imply that all whites are better off than all non-whites. Instead, they suggest that a white person is, on average, advantaged over a comparably situated black person in our society. (Unless you’re applying for a job or a university spot at an institution which practices race-based affirmative action, I think this is probably true.) Unfortunately, many activists employ the concept of “white privilege” carelessly, resulting in widespread misunderstanding. I think it’s probably time for non-SJW liberals like me to abandon the term altogether — it’s obviously become toxic.

    • Yes, where went that caucasian? We never used it in the EU, but know that it was in your passport and criminal archive in the US.
      On European universities and institutes (and not only the anthropology studies) we just have abandoned the whole category of different races, but in ethnological musea, you sometimes still encounter statues of the 3 main races, those of mongoloid and negroid naked, the whites dressed (saw that in Madrid).

    • James Scott says

      Jews push the white privilege myth because jew privilege is a thing. Jews control the West’s money from debt scam and have loaned their in group billions out of thin air. They have used these billions to buy up everything that matters. They use the control of the money supply and media to control politics and flood the West with non whites. If jews had not done this the whole fake white privilege conversation would not be happening.

      Jews are not white. They only pretend to be white when they play the “my fellow whites” game where they admonish whites for racism. (google the phrase “my fellow whites”) Jews are also white if they break the law. If they do something good they are extolled as jews.

      This is causing the West to be ripped apart.

      White people have a right to be in charge of their own political destinies in their own homogeneous nations. This is a legitimate political position.Your tribe leads the charge in demonizing anyone who takes this position. That is a dangerous thing to do. White people built the nations of the West for white people. These nations are the birthright of white children bequeathed to them by their ancestors. No one generation has the right to give it away because a bunch of jews and other non whites call them racists.

      Nations are not land. Nations are what people build on the land and the culture they make. White people built the West and formed the cultures. No one has a right to tell us that we have to forsake it or we are some kind of evil demon.

      Answer this question for me. why do white people have to become minorities in every nation we built?

      Emotional answers mean nothing to me. Also I know for sure that everywhere white people went on this planet the quality of life went up for the stone age people whites encountered. Their life expectancy went up and their lives became less brutal. It might not have been all sunshine and roses but they lived way more brutal shorter lives before whites showed up. Claiming stone age people had their land stolen and whites need to allow non whites in because of it just stupid. Stone age people were displaced all over this planet by all ethnic groups. Whites gave them places to keep their cultures alive while non whites simply killed the man and assimilated the women and children flushing the culture down the memory hole.

      What gives anyone the right to demand whites have to go along with being pushed aside in every nation we built? Who do these people think they are?

      • A little raw there, neighbor.

        There is a better way to look at this. It is all about economic class not culture, race or religion.

        Beginning about 1970 the economic and intellectual elite that gained firm control of US politics in the Nixon Administration instituted a series of programs designed to favor their interests at the expense of what used to be called the American middle and working classes; now we’re just “the deporables.”

        In the secondary schools vocational programs were eliminated and the college preparatory programs were vastly expanded. At the same time, the ruling class began selling off our domestic machine shops and factories to China and Korea and in doing so reduced the employment opportunities and wages of the majority of Americans. At the time more than 80% of Americans were white.

        They also engaged in ruthless wage arbitrage by off-shoring work into the global economy and importing large numbers of unskilled and illiterate in English laborers from quite alien cultures to compete for the remaining jobs and welfare benefits in the domestic economy.

        In evolutionary terms, people with IQs greater than 120 placed an enormous selection pressure on the people with IQs less than 110; this latter group did not thrive.

        After 1990, the ruling class became quite arrogant and started attacking what used to be our common culture by calling the losers in their rigged system racists as they continued import still more unskilled labor in the name of “humanity” while transferring all of the social and most of the economic cost of this dependent population with alien cultures onto the backs of the losers in the game that the ruling had rigged for itself.

        • James Scott says

          It is about race. If we do what you say at look at it as a class problem white people become hated minorities. The non whites fundamentally don’t like white people. No its not about class its about race for sure,

          • Our own ruling class has behaived exactly as the English/British ruling class has since 1660, or maybe even 1066; that is to say with utter contempt towards the native born working class. They were the ones who made it all about race.

    • European gentiles are “white”. Hispanic is a pretty wide term ranging from pretty dark to mostly European (typically Iberian). Like all mixed race people except for the brownest that are impossible to deny, they are considered white if they do something bad and colored if they do something good.

    • Ray Andrews says

      Simple, if your identity group are successful then you are white. If you are demanding more money and more affirmative actions from the government you are a Victim, and not white — except for white feminists who manage to be white and Victims at the same time.

  7. Misidentification of White Talk Show Hosts Is Real, but Well-Meaning White Liberals Are Helping to Perpetuate It

  8. Ken Smithmier says

    You know, I started to read this and understand it, like I usually do with things, and then I decided I just don’t care. I was born what I was (low socioeconomic white male) and became what I am (high socioeconomic older white male.) I make no apologies to anyone for anything about my life. I am responsible for mistakes, failures, and successes, and I recognize those who helped me with the latter.. I have no idea what difference my color made in my history and don’t intend to study it. I’ve never looked at myself as a member of an identity group and try not to look at others that way. Don’t try to stick me into any damn box.

    • @Ken Smithmier
      I was going post a reply, but then I see someone took the words right from my keyboard. Literally could not have said it better. Good on you for using your real name too…

  9. I feel very privileged to have been born in a well to do European white ambience and home, and realise very well (especially because of my work) that I could have been born as well in a slum in Ouagadougou, or Nepal. Thnx to God, it was on the right place, and the right time (because, 2 centuries ago there might not even have been such a large difference).

    • tim s says

      That works fine if one assumes that spirits float around the ether waiting for the next available body to be born into. That’s an alien belief system to the West and has no recognizable basis other than myth, AFIAK. For those who think of themselves as another branch of a branch on a tree, being born is what it is, and luck has not much to do with it. Fate/destiny are better understandings.

      • @tim s – Yes, we know that trite expression, but we were born precisely where our mother was at the time she gave birth, generally from her egg and the sperm of some male that was in very close proximity to the mother. The location and social status, wealth, etc. is set by the parents, not random or luck-based.

  10. james Scott says

    White privilege is simply demonizing white people so non whites can take what we built. Because of Winter white people had more of their low IQ people culled. if you could not provide for a family in the North you did not pass on your genes. It is hard to provide in winter so the smarter people reproduced.

    The same cannot be said in warmer regions where life is easier. White people are smarter and more innovative because we had to be. This is the explanation for why whites do better than non whites. Also whites build high function societies and people from low function societies expecting to do well in cultures devised by high function people is just not realistic.

    Whites do more for people who are not like us than every other group combined times 10. This is a simple fact. Whites are now and have always been the most egalitarian people on this planet. What is now called racism was whites protecting themselves from non white predators.

    The author used the word stereotype in the article as a way to discount ideas. All stereotypes are true.

    • While I agree that winter is a selective force, I don’t see anyone arguing that the Inuit or any other native group that lives in harsh winter conditions are super smart. I this find the assertion that it made white peoples so to be on thin ice at best.

      • James Scott says

        The Northern indians were much more advanced than the Southern ones. They were never able to get past tribalism for some reason and did not advance very far though.

        • But the only ones that had a civilisation, equal to that of their conquerors (the conquistadores were very amazed to see there cities of 100.000, with temples, zoos and beautiful parks) were the Aztecs, very southwarts (though elevated above 2000 mts sealevel).

    • Ray Andrews says

      @ james Scott
      The brain generates a great deal of heat and uses up a lot of energy. Where heat keeps you alive, we might thus expect bigger and hotter brains. Where heat kills you, the converse. Where vigor likewise keeps you alive we can expect vigor, and the converse.

  11. D.B. Cooper says

    This makes it difficult to build a voter coalition that might elect candidates willing to address the real causes of white privilege.

    Fine, but what are the real causes of white privilege? The author says that, according to research “white privilege stems from a system in which inequality emerges from complex interactions between groups.” But, inequalities are outcomes, not explanations.

    Kaufman’s statement raises a number of unanswered questions. What system is he referring to? What complex interactions, specifically, create(s) this inequality? Is the system, itself, inherently illegitimate, so as to produce inequalities from these complex interactions, e.g., South African apartheid?

    Unfortunately, Kaufman disinclined to define any of this, much less what, in his estimation, is/are the real cause(s) of white privilege, other than to say it (white privilege) stems from a system of complex interactions; which is about as ambiguous a statement as one could make on the subject. And, of course, Kaufman knows this sort of “explanation” (scare quotes intentional) isn’t within a mile of satisfactory. He is a professor, by the way.

    But the Professor’s decision to punt, here, is not what concerns me. Well, it’s not the only thing that concerns me. What concerns me – and there are so many – is the specific reason(s) why he decided to punt at all. The Professor is quite obviously an intelligent man. I would think, he’s more than capable of adducing the factors that explain, or have the potential to explain, the manifestation of such systems. Though, in fairness to Kaufman, it can be difficult to say what you think, when your salary depends on you not saying what you think – even if it’s an empirical question. Maybe, especially, when it’s an empirical question.

    Seeing as how mine does not (at present moment), I figured I would round out the article with a few of the leading candidates.

    (1) Inherently Illegitimate Systems

    These systems would include group interactions as morally profane as those defined by slavery and S.A. apartheid, to societies with less overt forms of institutional anti-minority prejudice as a means to support/enhance white privilege, such as those incredulously advanced by white progressives.

    While no one believes – at least, I hope no one believes – that white privilege stems from systems characterized by the former (slavery & apartheid), claims that support the latter as a causative factor appear, at best, unsupported by the data. Kaufman says, “All of which suggests a conscious effort on the part of white people, utilizing their social and economic power, is not the main cause of their continuing advantages.

    (2) Cultural Differences

    Kaufman exemplifies the sort of claim(s) that posit(s) cultural differences as a causative agent of white privilege. He says, “Stereotypes about African-Americans are passed on from parents and peers, encoded in cultural products, and internalized by blacks themselves, who may come to cherish them and condemn other African-Americans for failing to “act black,” i.e. comply with those stereotypes.”

    It should be noted that progressives rarely if ever make appeals to cultural differences as an explanation for white privilege. To the extent that differences – in cultural values & norms – are discussed, the conversation is almost always framed as being a pernicious residual effect of one or another historical grievance perpetrated by white supremacy. For progressives, autonomy (of minorities) and destructive cultural norms cannot exist in the same mental construct – one has to go. In either case, the problem is always white supremacy, full stop.

    (3) Genetic Differences

    This would include cognitive and behavioral differences. Despite a plethora of data on the subject, appealing to genetic differences as a causative agent of racial (of gender) disparities is anathema to most every channel of communication in polite society; which may explain its conspicuous absence in this article.

    (4) Some Combination thereof

    Self-explanatory.

    • @DB Cooper – some good arguments there.

      I take my car to a mechanic who is a spry, Southern man, very hayseed, with a strong accent. He
      looks and sounds like someone who just stepped out of a NASCAR pit station. People hear that accent and think “this guy must know a lot about cars”. Possibly the accent is why I am content to leave my car with him. It is an advantage in that sense. However, I would probably not be quite so happy to be treated by a surgeon, say, with the same accent. His accent is both a contingent advantage and a contingent disadvantage.

      The guy who works the door at my apartment building is a big Black guy with a booming, sonorous voice. He is the sort of chap who is very good at demonstrating a presence. After all, he hasn’t had to throw a punch in all the time that he’s been there. He has a very piercing, hard stare. I don’t think he’d be nearly as successful in the job if he were a Chinese guy, put it that way. But again, he probably wouldn’t be your first choice as an early childcare worker.

      I suppose what I am saying is that the very trenchant nature of these cultural differences, which to some extent do stem from innate (although not cognitive) differences – eg Black men are taller and broader than Asians, on average – is because they confer advantages as well as disadvantages, and people are generally unwilling to give up the good with the bad – and so they remain with us. And so being a Black male confers stigma but it also confers swag (the two are inextricably linked) – even Ta-Nehisi Coates has admitted that it is difficult to not have recourse to the old street swagger when it suits him:-

      https://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/05/opinion/sunday/coates-beyond-the-code-of-the-streets.html

      • D.B. Cooper says

        @Bab

        Your mechanic sounds like just my sort. In fact, he is my sort. He’s accent, is my accent, and I can confirm most all of the stereotypes are true. We (Southerners) are a unique breed, to be sure. Which brings me to the through line of your rejoinder: Stereotypes have predictive power.

        Well, of course they do. Admittedly, good Bayesians are hard to come by, but perfection notwithstanding; our intuitions – often gleaned from priors (prior inferences) – are more likely to be accurate than inaccurate; and if they’re more likely to be accurate than not, then they’re more likely to be useful than not. Rational discrimination, or stereotyping, has a fairly high utility, precisely, because stereotypes correspond to truth, i.e., the reality that is.

        For example, when I hire someone to baby sit my 4-year-old daughter, I discriminate against males, i.e., I only hire females. My reasons are obvious – I know statistically, females are less likely to harm (sexually or otherwise) my daughter. It’s rational to do so, no?

        When car insurance companies place higher premiums rates on male teenage drivers than they do female teenage drivers, they do so rationally. But maybe, that’s just blind actuarial fairness at work. Okay, sounds reasonable.

        But, I wonder what would happen if a bank instituted an official policy proscribing different interest rates for various “well-defined” group populations based on prior knowledge of conditions that describe the probability that the different groups will/can satisfy the loan in full. Would the bank’s propositional logic warrant the same, or similar, social concessions we indifferently cede to gender dependent car insurance premiums?

        Obviously, not. But why? The very trenchant nature of these cultural differences, is as you say, to some extent do stem from innate (although not cognitive) differences. This, in itself, is a curious proposition. Are you suggesting that evolution only occurred from the-neck-down? But, that’s an entirely different discussion, I think.

        In any regard, it seems to me, what is most needed, what is lacking, is a sober critique of the situation. I have no plans of providing it, but I do feel much of the discourse is taking place at the periphery of the issue(s). Everyone seems to be frozen by the idea that some white guy, in some backwater town (probably my neighbor), might discriminate in some way to one or another POC; which is a euphemism for black person.

    • If you ask the typical person who believes in white privilege why they believe they have superior outcomes to poor white people, they will gladly provide a long list of things that make them superior to other whites. Better educated, harder working, intact families, read more, better parenting, superior diets, don’t smoke, more exercise, more tolerant, community involvement, etc.

      What is odd here is that these exact same traits also produce better outcomes for all people, not just whites. Blacks who have these traits have superior outcomes to other blacks. Is it not possible to at least frame it this way? These race independent traits should be encouraged. When they don’t actively encourage these traits for everyone it is counterproductive.

  12. Farris says

    The term “white privilege” has an Asian problem. In the segregated South, Asians were restricted to the same schools and establishments as blacks. For this reason the term “colored” was used to identify segregated persons. This term has now seen a reincarnation as “people of color”.
    Prior to the Brown v. Bd of Education and the enactment of civil and voting rights acts, Asians faced similar obstacles as blacks. Yet today Asians have excelled to the point, that they now face exclusion from elite universities for fear of over representation. How did this come to pass?
    Did whites suddenly embrace Asians to the detriment of blacks?
    One seldom discussed possibility is that black leadership embraced a more Marxist viewpoint than the leadership of other minorities, redistribution and reparations vs. economic and educational participation. Blacks, especially East Africa immigrants, who have embraced education and economic advancement now have many of the same opportunities as whites. Asians were able to amass wealth within a generation, as were Cuban exiles. Subsistence on government assistance programs dose not produce generational wealth. Playing the blame game has proven an impediment to economic success.

    • And how bad are whites at their supposed supremacy and prejudice that they “allowed” Jews and Asians to outperform them in terms of education and income?

    • Ray Andrews says

      Victimhood isn’t good for Victims, but it is very good for professional Victimologists.

  13. Michael George says

    When I try to understand whether we have “white privilege” in America, I like to consider the following hypothetical scenario:

    Presumably we can all agree that people living in Finland or Denmark don’t have white privilege, because nearly 100% of the population is white.

    Yet in America, we hypothetically do have white privilege, because the whites are surrounded by hypothetically less advantaged blacks.

    My question, then, is this: if white privilege exists in America but not in Denmark and Finland, wouldn’t we expect significantly greater per capita immigration (or attempted immigration) from those countries, since the immigrants would experience an immediate and permanent increase in their privilege from the moment they stepped off the plane?

    And if the above hypothetical immigration is not borne out by the evidence (to be honest, I haven’t checked, but I have lived in New York CIty for 20+ and have yet to meet a Dane or a Finn residing here), might we then conclude that “privilege” can and perhaps should be understood to incorporate not only group demographic disparities in certain outcomes, but all of the various social consequences that may emerge from the historical processes that produced the demographic disparities, such as, say, the inner city crime and increased welfare state costs that might only be expected to be the long-term result of importing slaves?

    • The problem with that argument is that the people of Iceland immediately acquired white privilege the moment the first Black person stepped off the plane.

      Nevertheless, your comment touches on an inconsistency that bears repeating. The two precepts of woke liberalism are as follows:-

      1) The US is a white supremacist, totalitarian state and a hellish dystopia for all the people of colour living within who have to struggle against racism on a daily basis. The US should abandon its white, western cultural axis and instead emulate the much more benign and peaceful practices and creeds of other, non-Western cultures.

      2) It is an essential and fundamental human right that all people of colour throughout the world are afforded the right to migrate to said white supremacist hellhole, since this is their only real prospect of a better life. It is unreasonable to expect anyone to live out their life in a non-Western country when this is not their preference.

      One of the above statements might be true, but I cannot see how both can be true at the same time.

  14. c young says

    > The stereotypes, worldviews and institutional practices that advantage native-born whites over other groups—in America and *Europe* —arise as the result of a complex interaction between individuals and collective representations

    Enough with the lazy generalisations.

    Like many of your readers, I live in Europe, specifically the UK. Are whites economically dominant in the UK ?

    No, the top performing demographic is Chinese. Second place is owed to Indians of African origin. Native whites come near the bottom of the table. The very last ethnicity is Bangladeshi.

    Bangladeshi’s are indistinguishable from Indian of African origin (to racists at least). If there is significant racism in the UK, it has no perceivable effect on the relative economic performance of these ethnicities.

    So what distinguishes Indians of African origin, and Bangladeshis? Culture.

    The former once staffed the commercial sector of Uganda and Kenya. Bangladeshis were mostly illiterate farmers before they came to the UK.

      • That’s what he meant of course Benita. In Uganda, all (African?) Indians were thrown out by Amin, and the country imploded. In Kenya, allmost all big shops and hotels and workshops are owned by Indians. They still have their own temples there.

  15. This article is the sort of bias-blind foolishness that social scientists produce.

    1. The average black IQ in the U.S. is 85.
    2. Western Civilization was mostly created by dead white men. Whites can be expected to have a certain standing in their own civiization, just as the Chinese, for example, have a certain standing in their own civilization.
    3. Groups that behave better are usually treated better. The back murder rate, for example, is seven or eight times the white murder rate.
    4. The white privilege campaign is an attempt to prevent whites from forming an identity group in response to hostile non-white identity groups by characterizing white identification as identification with white supremacy.
    5. I thought that it was pretty well known by now that many stereotypes are pretty close to correct. A lesson in Baysian inference would eliminate a lot of foolishness from socia scientists.
    6. Etc.

    • IIRC:
      Western Civilization is a mongrel mixture rooted mostly in the brown skinned peoples of the Eastern Mediterranean cultures.

        • First of all, the founders of Western culture were a mixture of people who had many different skin colors, ranging from pale Greeks to dark skinned Persians and Hebrews.

          The Romans and Greeks viewed Christianity the same way some Americans view Islam; That is, as strange and hostile foreign cult that was practiced by barbarians.

          Western Culture was overrun by this foreign cult and was forever changed. The religion and culture of the Levantine Semitic people was eventually the official religion of the southern Europeans, and then eventually all of Europe surrendered their indigenous gods and culture to the god of Abraham and the culture of the Hebrews.

          After the barbarian tribes overrun the western half of the Roman Empire, Western culture was centered in Byzantium, where it continued to absorb elements of Near Eastern culture from its thriving trade and contacts.

          As Christianity continued its relentless advance across Northern Europe, like th Borg it picked up pagan infulences, and local cultural affectations (like Christmas).

          The point here is that what we today call “Western” culture is actually a long and complex mongrel admixture of dozens of cultures, ranging from brown skinned Levantines to the pale skinned Britons.

          • Ray Andrews says

            @Chip
            Certainly. But wherever it came from, those who can see that it is the best and most egalitarian society ever produced can be forgiven for wanting to hang on to it, rather than handing it over to those who want to destroy it — whatever their color.

      • Peter from Oz says

        ”Western Civilization is a mongrel mixture rooted mostly in the brown skinned peoples of the Eastern Mediterranean cultures.”
        Thus spake the oikophobe

  16. Girshin says

    If Jews and Asian outperform whites on every metric for whites privilege, then how is it an appropriate analysis?

    Let’s call it Jewish privilege instead ….. oh wait, that was tried in the 40s

  17. I would be curious to hear some extrapolation on the idea that white stereotypes are almost entirely positive, and I don’t ask rhetorically. But let’s look at one recent example: the Apu problem with The Simpsons. Who DON’T we have a problem with? Homer, Bart, Nelson, Mr. Burns, Snake Jailbird, Moe, Barney, Ralph, Chief Wiggum, Krusty, Comic Book Guy, Mayor Quimby, etc. All white men whose only redeeming qualities are their scripted wit and fictional existence.
    It’s been noted that humility is one of the strongest preconditions for learning, personally as well as culturally I would suspect. This is the main problem with those who endorse the privilege narrative (the simple racism interpretation, not so much this author’s take, which is a more admirable proposition), and how they manage to stifle or worsen measurable divisions of success among different demographics. Humility is the answer, not pride.

    • Defenstrator says

      Nobody had a problem with Apu. He was a successful independent business owner with a loving wife, who was repeatedly shown to be more clever than Homer. Everyone liked him.

      The trouble with Apu is that he was voiced by a white man, and SJWs being both intolerant and stupid could not grasp that acting is when you pretend to be something different that yourself. Nobody had a problem with the character. Left wing racists had a problem with the skin colour of the person portraying him. If it were live action I could understand, but as a cartoon the complaint is imbecilic.

  18. It is true that I’ve never felt a greater need to fight for western values than now, with this never-ending assault on liberty, equal protection, capitalism and “white” people. Divide people, and divisions will result.

    • Ray Andrews says

      You’ve heard the expression: “Divide and conquer” ?

  19. vaino says

    “Muslim names suffer a penalty in the labor and housing markets. ” I am highly doubtful of these name studies. How do you know if your name is abdullad-bullahd-dullah gaerhatäag that it’s because of your religion or because you have a really weird name that I am not interested in hiring you?
    If your name is that I feel pity for you but I would change it to guarantee maximum chances to get a job. I would change my name too if I moved to Japan for example.

  20. This sjw idea of privilege is essentially pc nonsense. “privilege” is spread across so many groups: the wealthy, the tall, the beautiful, the smart, the healthy, …

  21. V 2.0 says

    I don’t know about this white privilege thing (being of European ancestry I guess I have it) but as someone lacking male privilege (being a woman), my only concerns are: 1) How did the privileged get this supposed power? and 2) How can I get me some? The answer to the second question appears to be develop skills that people want to pay a ton of money for and learn how to present them to prospective employers/customers. Privilege problem solved.

  22. Pierre Pendre says

    Any discussion of racism ends up focusing on Blacks, even in the United States with its large Latino population. White privilege is always seen through the prism of a comparison with the situation of Blacks because of slavery which Hispanics did not experience in the US. There cannot be a useful comparison either between white privilege in the US and the UK since black slavery did not exist in the metropolitan UK although the UK was a slaving nation and used slaves in its colonies. Blacks did not come to the UK in large numbers until the 1950s.

    We talk about black emancipation but white emancipation was itself a 20 century phenomenon in the UK. During WW1 scores of thousands of urban working class white military conscripts were found to be under-sized and under-nourished, the products of the endemic slum life of the industrial revolution. It is only since WW2 that working class prosperity has been generalised in the UK as a result of economic improvement, the welfare state and the NHS. Asking this demographic to recognise that it is privileged vis-a-vis Blacks and other even more recent immigrants is a stretch.

    Never having lived in the United States, I have no idea how ordinary Americans really think about race – as opposed to what I read in the MSM – and the privilege of being white which it is essentially for the better off who have always been privileged and can afford to indulge their compassion.

    Most British people alive today were born into a white country which had always been white. Immigration is something that was brought to them by the ruling elite without consultation and all the power of the same elite is now focused on persuading them that their natural physiological state is a privilege that they have over incomers. Within two or three decades, the UK has been transformed into a multiracial country at least as far as its cities are concerned. This has perhaps happened rather faster than was wise for seamless organic acceptance of a new concept like white privilege.

    • Peter from Oz says

      @pierre Prendre

      A very prescient comment. I get the impression that once America became the greatest world power, the leaders and chatterati in other western countries noticed that the US was a country of immigrants. They also noticed that as white people in Europe became more prosperous and healthy they had less children. Added to this was guilt over colonialism. So immigration was found to be the answer.
      Of course the people in favour of immigration didn’t think about the fact that the UK, unlike the US, had an ancient culture. They also didn’t stop to think about integrating immigrants into that culture. I suspect that’s because most of us in the upper middle classes from birth are used to a high level of cosmopolitanism. When we think og immigrants we think of our fellow professionals, entertainers, writers, business people, etc; all with perfect English and all steeped in culture of the West.

      • The root culture of the US is directly derived from the political and religious culture of the English Independent separatists that emerged between 1600 and 1630.

        The Petition of Right was last constitutional document common to both the US and the UK.

  23. “This makes it difficult to build a voter coalition that might elect candidates willing to address the real causes of white privilege.”

    Perhaps we can start by addressing the real causes of what leads to so much success for people of West African ancestry in sprinting.

    But on a serious note–this article assumes “white privilege” is a “thing”, where the only evidence of this “thing” is persistent racial inequality.

    However, one could make similar observations in population structures in Malaysia between Chinese and Malays, or in Nigeria among Igbo and other ethnic groups. You can travel the world over, and what you will find in multiethnic societies is that some ethnic groups do persistently better than other ethnic groups.

    Heck, if you break down “whites” in American, Gregory Clark does a nice job of noting persistent inequalities between French Canadians and Ashkenazi Jews. Are we going to frame that issue as “Jewish privilege”? Are we going to suppress its discussion?

    The problem with talking about group inequalities in terms of group “privilege” is that it is a politically loaded term in the when did you stop beating your wife sense. It brings heat not light, and anger not answers.

  24. I read today a very insightful piece on white privilege of the wife of the Dutch director of Princeton, living in US and partly in the NL, her kids grow up in the US. She is flabbbergasted by what these kids pick up on tribalism and white guilt in school and classes. And she notes a tremendous controversy between what is said by politicians and blog commenters on the one hand (rude, sexist, racist language, macro agression) and the microagression of socalled incorrect speak in schools and among youngsters now, in their intercourse with minorities, for example, to call somebody you think is latino, by Louisa! or Mariana!, her daughter was shocked, “Mom, you can’t say that, you think all latinos are the same?? “.And never ask somebody with an Asian look ” Where are you (or your parents) from”. To dress up like an Indian on Halloween, because by that, you insult a group!

    The US is in midlife crisis, she thinks of all this. Those elder bloggers of the macroagression behave like outgrown pubers, the kids and youngsters are hyper sensitive and rather hypocrite.

  25. BrannigansLaw says

    White Privilege is simply the (exaggerated) advantages one obtains when one is part of the largest (or dominant) racial or ethnic majority. It is no different to the advantages that the Han Chinese have over foreigners and internal ethnic groups in China or the advantages that the Hausa and Fulani have over other ethnic groups and foreigners in Nigeria, etc… It ought to be called something that’s race neutral.

    The root cause of this privilege is the simple fact that all humans have preferences for people who are similar to ourselves in interests, values, looks and hobbies.

    • That certainly plays an important role Bran, but isn’t the whole truth. The fact is: the whole world has adopted standards, techniques, science, political systems of the European (later US) white culture and technology. So, one would expect, the others would be thankful for that, the agriculture, hospitals, modern transport, electricity, democracy, all that, many thanks, we owe you a lot of. But…..one of those white legacies is the Human Rights Bill, where it is said that all people all equal, have the same right to pursue happiness, and so on. But obviously, look at Africa, Brasil, Haiti, social classes in the US, there is not in the least such a thing. Only those rights! So, what is the logical result??

  26. “White privilege” is a fraudulent bogus concept, which has very little empirical evidence to support it. Rather its an ideological device used to demonize and slander white people of european descent.

  27. A C Harper says

    “White Privilege Is Real…”

    Maybe, maybe not. How are you going to define White Privilege, measure it, and distinguish it from other confounding factors? Because until you can do that all you are parading is opinion. There may some truth in that opinion but it is almost certainly incomplete and proposed ‘solutions’ are likely to be inadequate too.

  28. Gregory T. Bogosian says

    1. Is privilege really just people holding positive views of your group? Because Americans hold positive views of Jews. By that logic, Jewish privilege is real. At least in the U.S. http://time.com/2992611/study-jews-most-popular-religious-group-in-the-u-s/
    2. If white privilege isn’t perpetuated by whites having a simple numerical majority, or by the conscious efforts of whites themselves, then what is perpetuating it?

  29. There is no such thing as White privilege. The author means “privilege of those whose culture is predominant” but the reason he doesn’t define it that way is that it immediately clarifies the nonsense. For instance, I work in a mostly African American urban district. As a non-Black, I am not privileged there; I am discriminated against for the color of my skin, etc. This is because the primary culture there is African American urban–it is the ‘privilege’ there. If I were to go to Japan, I would likewise not be ‘privileged;’ Japanese people are privileged, and I’d face discrimination there as well.

    There are many mind-boggling things about the author’s well meaning but very weak essay. The main ones are his assumptions – there is “white privilege” there is “white” race – that he utterly fails to rigorously define. But the other main one that I find sad and hilarious is that this notion of white privilege stems from privilege. As any of us knows who live in a blended working class area, “white culture” (meaning European western) is not predominant at all. The only people who can reliably look around and expect power for their race are upper class white people who segregate themselves with likeminded upper class white people–eg in universities, in areas of New York and SF and so on. Otherwise, the concept falls apart. They don’t notice because they’re so busy enjoying their ‘privilege’ aka cronyism, back scratching, and yelling louder to drown out any other voices that threaten their power….

  30. Not so very long ago, privilege in Europe was seen as something positive. Certain families were proud to have the privilege for such and such heraldry, weapon, title or right to hunt on deer and other wild. What happened in the meantime?? Of course, French revolution! Now, hunting is no longer a privilege, every French farmer is allowed to hunt down all kind of stuff in his neighbourhood. No more “chasse interdite”! Everybody his own hare. Privileges ever since became something negative (in the West).
    But what about the caste system in India? I wonder whether Indians also see privilege as something negative!

  31. “White privilege” isn’t real. But there *are* racial patterns of advantage and disadvantage which are, to some extent, due to racial discrimination. “White privilege” is a not-terribly-accurate way of speaking that is supposed to replace talk of disadvantage and discrimination…and do so in a way that exaggerates the extent to which whites are guilty for certain allegedly ill-gotten gains. “Privilege theory” also includes a lot of nonsense about it all being a zero-sum game such that any disadvantage to one group yields and advantage to another. So…magically…discrimination against blacks advantages whites. But if black votes are suppressed, and blacks typically vote democratic, and I’m a Democrat, it’s simply not plausible to claim that I gained from that.

    Furthermore, if A is unjustly privileged in comparison to B, the situation can be rectified by taking the unfair advantage away from A. But we can’t solve the problem of black disenfranchisement by disenfranchising an equal percentage of whites. Race-based denial of rights can’t be solved by denying people of other races of *their* rights–so can’t folded into the “privilege” story.

    It’s not that the “privilege” story/tale/framework is *entirely* wrong…just like the “sin” story/tale/framework isn’t *entirely* wrong. If someone speaks that lingo, I can translate into a better, more accurate framework (of discrimination, disadvantage, and injustice in the former case, and moral wrongness in the latter). But to say “white privilege” is real is rather like saying that sin is real. I mean…it’s a little bit true…true-esque…but so inaccurate as to be false-ish, too.

  32. What people are referring to when they speak of “white privilege” is more like “being typical in a white society rather than being unusual (i.e. non-white)”. This is resembles “home ground advantage” in a football game. I don’t see much in the way of “white privilege” in Moldova…

    It is an advantage to look and sound like the majority at work. It is an advantage to fit in socially and culturally. White people in white majority countries have these advantages, as do black people in black majority countries and Asian people in Asian majority countries…

    The real basis of “white privilege” is not colonialism but the business, science, engineering and governance practices that led to the Industrial Revolution in England. That is “white privilege” often refers to the coincidence that people with pale pigment got mechanized (and rich) quick. This mechanization set up Western European dominance over the rest of the world and led to colonialism. There is nothing essentially “white” about colonialism as the Japanese demonstrated when they adopted Western ways, defeated Russia, and colonized China and Korea.

    Colonialism is over and its profits largely destroyed in the two world wars fought between the major (mostly colonial) powers. The formerly colonized have had their independence for decades but retain the habit of blaming everything on their former colonial masters and white pigment. Blaming pigment is racist twaddle. Blaming colonialism is well past its use by date. The current fad of “white privilege” is just the latest yoyo-like craze amongst those unproductive souls who whine in public.

  33. A. D. White says

    The survival an ethnic or racial group over the centuries depended to a large extent on how well they were able to repel invaders. Aboriginals throughout history who cannot defend their homeland lose it to more aggressive aboriginals from other homelands. Ethics and morality had nothing whatsoever to do with it.
    Furthermore, no stigma or credit attaches to the descendants of the successful invaders since they were never in a position to initiate or stop the invasion in the first instance..

  34. Gilles St-Gilles says

    In the US, different groups, different races have different enough outcomes that they are hard to ignore. What explains them? The essay argues that some undefined “white privilege” must be behind it, it HAS to, nothing else can possibly explain it.

    I think that is completely bogus. We can slice and dice the american populations in many different ways. Let’s use income as a proxy for success or privilege. If you look at different races, you can check that, indeed, the average white household income is markedly higher than the black household income. But then the asian household income is markedly higher than the white income. You can also slice it according to religion. And you would find out that Jews are head and shoulder above other religious groups. Hindus are next.

    Now, from time to time I hear and read people expressing hostility to Asians. People expressing hostility to Jews, or people wearing turbans. So we can conclude that such bigoted feelings, no matter how prevalent they are (and I’m not getting into *that* debate), are not enough to keep those subgroups from, not only making more or less as much as white anglo-saxon protestants, but to leave them way behind. To my maybe unimaginative enough self, this PROVES that the white privilege theory is hogwash. How can you reconcile this view of an hegemonic, racist racial group conspiring, scheming to unduly split all the country’s wealth among themselves and keep out all the other, hated groups… with the reality of other minority groups doing so much better than whites? It should be called jewish provilege. But then its similarity to antisemitic bigotry would be plain to see, and would shouw white privilege theory for what it is: the hateful whining of people who can’t or won’t or don’t know how to do what it takes to succeed.

  35. Paolo Pagliaro says

    I’ve been in Japan, where “Japanese privilege” is real.
    I’ve been in China, where “Yellow privilege” is real.
    I’ve been in Iran, where “Iranian privilege” is real.
    I’ve been in Congo, where “Black privilege” is real.

    • Don’t forget Mexico Paolo, “Mexico para los Mexicanos”, even the mighty gringos are not allowed to buy land there (as I remember, maybe changed now). The funny thing is, when working there, I often went on demonstrations with my Mexican friends, and also shouted Mexico para los Mexicanos…… When back in Holland, a Dutch politician explained on TV “Holland for the Dutch”. Of course, I laughed, among my leftist friends. They were in shock! Had I become an alt-right all of a sudden?? Quod licet Jovi, non licet bovi.

    • martti_s says

      As an expat I know exactly what you are talking about.

    • It’s only racist when white people do it. (Progressives really think this and say it openly.)

  36. Aleph from Paris says

    Please use the word privilege for what it means : private + law, that is a exception from the common law. If there is no law at all on a matter, there can be no privilege. One should say advantage instead. Privilege is of course politically charged. Advantages can be faire or unfair, they can be inevitable unless making things worse, but privileges are always unfair and always good to tear apart.

    • And here speaks the right and proper citoyen! Aux armes! Now, I would appreciate the opinion of an Indian, or African (or anyone for whom the International Human Rights Bill is not in his forefront.

  37. martti_s says

    There seems to be a very fundamental misunderstanding among the Colorists.
    In the Real World, there is no universal or global dichotomy between white people and colored people. It is a construct some academics have created to simplify things so that they could understand them. (A lot of people are admitted in the academy who really do not belong there)

    But look around.
    You see white Europeans kill each other, you see Asians putting each other to camps en masse, black people in Africa rooting each other in tribal wars and Latin Americans killing villages of non-conformers.

    If you look closer, you see different motives, from politics to ethnicity to race, to money and even football.

    There are mental underachievers whose mathematical skills do not allow processing of anything where the number of alternatives exceeds four.
    It is sad, even a chicken can count to four.

  38. Jacoby says

    If whiye privilege was real, Elizabeth Warren would have had no need to identify as a native american to nab a position at Harvard Law. That said, she may be onto something. Perhaps all “whites” should apply the Elizabeth Warren standard; i.e. take a DNA test and identify as any non-white ethnicity identified at a level of 0.1% or higher. Just like that we would have almost no white people and, by definition, no more white privilege.

  39. Sneed Urn says

    The general problem I have with the accusation of X-privilege is the expected response seems to be focused on removing whatever the privilege entails rather than on distributing that “privilege” universally. Male privilege centers around asserting ones worth in various ways. Why shouldn’t everyone assert their worth? Why should anyone deny their own worth? If some people don’t have a good sense of their own worth, that might be the problem to fix. When a person denies the worth of someone else, that absolutely is a problem to fix. That is where misogyny and racism become real. But to be clear, valuing oneself is not the same as devaluing someone else. The sense of tearing the “privileged” down rather than lifting everyone up to an equal level of privilege is problematic.

    As a relatively poor white, there are many ways in which I am not privileged vis-a-vis the wealthy of any color. Yet I can readily see and read about subtle and not so subtle ways I have more agency and leeway than dark skinned people. I fear the police inherently because they have guns and more rights to use them than me even if I had one, which I don’t. Not so long ago, police used to beat up hippies, with whom I’ve been sympathetic, for fun, just because they were hippies. These days police seem far more trigger happy, and radically reactive to black males. I would be terrified of police if I were a black man, rather than merely afraid, as I am as a white man. So I would like for Black men to be at least up to my level of privilege as a White man, of being merely afraid of police. (A bit of a joke there of course.Nobody should be afraid of the police. But that’s a different sort of privilege issue.)

  40. Whites have advantages, true. They do not have “privilege”. Privilege means undeserved. Do not let Progressives define the terms of this debate. Is it unjust if the migrants who arrived in Europe in 2015 have a lower average income over their lifetimes in the West than the natives of the host countries, or does it reflect the relatively higher skill level of the natives? Do newcomers have as much right to social housing as the natives, whose families have paid taxes for decades? I think the answers are obvious.

  41. Can I just quickly point out that some of you are automatically assuming that whites are a majority (whatever ‘white’ means) and therefore must have some kind of privelege. Well, that depends where you look. The overall population of the UK, for example, is indeed about 90 per cent white. But if you take London, ‘white British’ are now a minority. Dat’s a fact. So today, when I walk through the streets where I grew up, I am an ‘ethnic minority’ and certainly don’t feel I have any ‘privelege’. On the contrary, because I’m white, I feel vulnerable. So much for white privelege. And that’s to say nothing about many countries I’ve visited where, as a white person, you basically have a sign on your head saying ‘I’m white, I must be rich, come and mug me.’

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