WHITE PRIVILEGE?

The concept of “white privilege” is an issue currently in vogue, especially now after the murder of George Floyd.  It means that whites have an advantage in life and society over blacks and other people of color.

For the sake of argument, let’s assume that the “white privilege” reflects reality.  What can and does society and individuals do about it, if anything?  First, I believe, it’s necessary to acknowledge that it’s unfair.  Then, of course, it’s important to determine if there’s anything that can be done to correct the situation.  Here’s my analysis of the “white priviledge” issue:

Life is not fair: some people are tall (an advantage), some people are fat (a disadvantage).  some ugly (a disadvantage), some good-looking (an advantage), etc., etc.  Since skin color cannot be easily changed,  minorities must overcome this inherent disadvantage and everyone needs to be aware of any bias they might have against others.   I know from personal experience that my physical handicaps kept me from achieving my full potential and that my great parents and Ivy League education helped prepare me to somewhat overcome my half-paralyzed face, closed left eye and very poor equilibrium that my first brain tumor left me with.  In addition, I  had to learn that I must work exceptionally hard in order to overcome the stereotype that my particular physical handicaps portrayed of me.

On the other hand, though much less common, being black is sometimes an advantage.  Huh?  President Obama was elected President after serving only two years as a U.S. senator.  This was previously unheard of!  Why?  White guilt!  In addition,  Affirmative Action helps anyone of color, even members of wealthy African-American families. Is that fair to the very poor of any race or nationality?  Therefore, shouldn’t Affirmative Action be revised to help the poor of any race?

I believe that government can only do so much to correct the unfairness of life and that in attempting to do so, it often makes things far worse for the people it is trying to help, through unintended consequences.  Good intentions count for nothing.  Only results matter!

Just one example will prove my point: prior to the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act  (ADA), about 53% of the disabled were employed.  When last I checked a few years ago, about 31% were employed.  Why?  Due to the ADA, it’s nearly impossible to fire someone who is disabled, so employers try not to hire them in order to avoid not being able to fire them if they don’t work out.

Some solace to the unfairness of white privilege, as well as other unfair things that life throws in our paths, is that success is that much sweeter when we overcome and prevail despite unfair inequities.

Leave a Reply

Recent Posts