Friday, February 27, 2015

“Check Your Privilege” is a White Supremacist Statement

              “Check your privilege”  is a phrase parts of the left use to point out that someone is being arrogant or making assumptions about a minority issue or a minority person’s situation without having considered it fully or without knowing all the details. It is also used object to any white person disagreeing with leftist orthodoxy and disqualify their right to have an opinion. Or in an attempt to silence any white person complaining about their problems in a way that competes with minorities telling their sob story.
           The idea is that a white person will not have scars on their psyche from having experienced discrimination or fear of discriminate at an early age. A white person will develop confidence and resilience from knowing that they fit in and that they will be likely to be given the benefit of the doubt in dicey situations. You can sort of see how a specific background experience applied to a specific situation could give someone an advantage you could call “privilege”
           But the way this “privilege” concept is used it applies globally to the person. In an essay foundational to the topic Peggy McIntosh says “White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools and blank checks.” … “such privilege simply converse dominance because of one’s race or sex” ... “unearned power conferred systematically.”When the concept is applied in actual conversation, it is even treated as attaching to the fact of a racial makeup rather than specific life experiences. It is treated as incommensurate with any other sort of advantage or power so that a minority person could never have something to match that “privilege” no matter how hard they tried. It is treated as ineradicable, as inalienable, so that the white person always automatically has this extra power that gives them an advantage in any project they undertake.
           This usage of “privilege” is often seen in academia and similar areas where the main goal is to evaluate fairly. But they seem to being failing to correctly evaluate how this translates into an arena where what is most important goal is getting things done, including things that may be very hard. In many cases narrative about how hard the department tried is going to be totally ignored in favor of asking “Did you get results or not?” In those cases the doctrine of “privilege” would mean the only rational choice for manager would be to hire white people for all the critical positions while disguising the non-critical responsibilities of minority hires with deceptive job titles and descriptions so they don’t get caught and punished. After all, if their livelihood is on the line, wouldn’t they choose to play on the easy setting as much as possible?
           “Check your privilege” proclaims that if you are white you are elevated by your very birth. It lets a white man show magnanimous humility and willingness to sympathize with the less fortunate while slipping in the assumption that, if results Really matter in situation, then you should put him in charge. It’s basic assumption is that the most fundamental and far reaching thing about someone is the broad racial category into which that were born. It declares that white people will always be better able to handle things, just all around better at getting things accomplished, just based on their race. An this in plain not true. So I reject “check your privilege” utterly.

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