The blame game
If you've every done any social work, or tried to actually help with the root issues of poverty, you already know: there is certainly some racism (by all groups). But the ideas of institutional racism being the cause of most income disparity completely ignores many more stronger factors.
Blacks kids raised by white parents do statistically better. Immigrant blacks that come here with less (money, education, language skills, etc), do better, than those born to black privilege here. Why is that? What should we learn from that?
The reason black immigrants outperform the black average (and many whites), despite language and cultural barriers, isn't because of skin color: it's about education and family values. So if you want to help people of any color, you need to stop judging people by the color of their skin, and only by the content of their character.
Ignoring the problem doesn't fix it (time does). But focusing on it, seems to make it worse.
The progressive choice is looking at everyone else with more than you, and resenting it, and trying to get government to fix it. It doesn't lead to happiness, just despair.
You choice is:
(a) You can live the life of angry progressives -- always looking at people that have more than you, and resenting them for their color, money, etc., and always conspiring how to take what's someone else's, to make things "more fair". They want to punish success or who others are, and control the world -- and since they will never succeed, they're unhappy and bitter. But that just makes you a bitter and unhappy person, that's likely to die a bitter and unhappy person. (No matter what you get, it'll never be enough -- because the problem is your perception).
(b) Or you can learn the life of a happy anything else (libertarian, conservative, Christian, agnostic, etc). You look around and see that there's people that make less, have less, had it much rougher than you did (or had more misfortunes hit them), and yet they're more successful (as in happy with what they have) than you are. They're not sweating that your pay-check or house is bigger, they're living life like it matters, and trying to help others up (instead of holding others down). They're not living their lives trying to punish, and control -- but to help and serve.
I think more people like (b), the better society is. The more like (a), the worse. So I'd rather doom people to a realistic optimism of (b), than the cynical pessimism of (a).
Life sucks and is hard for most people. But the green-eyed monster of envy or trying to force fairness on an unjust world, is dooming people to failure and a bitter existence. While teaching them to cherish what they have, will make life better for them, and most who interact with them. That's one of the most major flaws of progressivism. more...
More than that, the solution is not blaming the system: that just teaches people to accept their fate and a blame someone else for every setback (be victims). The solution is teaching people that they can overcome the adversity we all have (take responsibility = be empowered) -- and most of that adversity is caused by self, family, sub-cultural (in descending order), and certainly not national/institutional racism (which is like 59th on the list of things holding anyone back).
The only thing we know for sure, is that all the progressives cures, haven't made things better and appear to have made things worse. Blacks had more opportunities and mobility, less single-parenthood, and so on, before we created the welfare state to hold them down. And the people screaming about the inequalities are holding the blacks down, do more to hold those kids down than the ones telling them that it doesn't matter and they can do more if they ignore color than if they wallow in it. So which is better?
Blacks have more opportunities here, than anywhere else in the world (just like whites, asians, latino's, etc). We should be reminding everyone of that. Instead of telling black kids they're destined to fail because of their skin color. Or that they're handicapped because of it. Maybe a little -- but the fact that they're a black kid in AMERICA instead of arab kid in Somalia (or latino kid in the favela of brazil) of gives them a HUGE advantages in life that most of the world should be envious of. So the handicap of being brown is dwarfed by the opportunities of being in America. And if they focus on the advantages instead of the disadvantages they have, they'll go much further than the other way around.
White guilt is dogma (and often used as part of white privilege).
If we're trying to hold things against people stuff that happened 150 - 500 years ago, then I don't think there's anyone that's guilt free. And if you're holding the negatives against them, then you also need to hold the positives, like maybe fighting to free the slaves, or working on the underground railroad (something no other culture has done).
What is white?
There's also a fuzziness on what is a white? Italians, Mexicans, Irish were not considered "white" at certain points in time in history. For others they are. So which is it? Are they privileged or not?
There can be no "white privilege" since "whites" don't think of themselves as a group, an Italian doesn't look at a Swede and say, "Hey my Brotha from another Motha", or "we melatonin deficients have to stick together".
I've never met an Asian, Latino, Scandanavian, Italian, Russian, etc., and thought, "whew there's someone more like me than that black guy: I'd like to hire him". Though I've met a few blacks that did that to other blacks... while Brits or Germans I knew, tended to resent the French for past wrongs (and vise versa), or Castilians or Basks that weren't too happy with the rest of Spain, and so on, ad infinitum.
As Anthony Petrosino pointed out,
What was the reaction of our country's leaders to these lynchings?
I'm sure all of the victims had the last thought, "at least I'm not black".
You could tell similar stories of Irish, or I grew up as a "Sand Nigger" (Iranian kid).
- When I worked in Watts, getting called "spook" and "casper" ("you so white yous' scary"). Was that part of my privilege? Or are you going to regurgitate the liberal dogma that blacks can't be racist because it requires power (ignoring that they have power in their communities).
- When an Italian or Russian mob guy is shaking me down, do you think they say, "let's give him the white discount?".
- When the IRS is fucking me over too much, because of my income, is there a white benefit?
- When an Asian kid is having a harder time getting in college because he's not the right color (black), does he think that's yellow privilege?
And so on.
Does an equally qualified/healthy/experience/personalitied/etc white person have some advantage (in America), in a few more cases? OK. Sure. I can buy that color doesn't hurt, in at least a few ways. No one is denying there's racism/culturalism -- just the idea that there's institutional racism, and that government will somehow make it better. Color may matter a little, it just matters less than other things.
So racial biases (and old thinking) exists. It sucks. But "White Privilege" is vapid philosophy because there are so many stronger injustices in life. When the Jews were being sent to the ovens, or the cambodians were being shot and thrown into trenches, they weren’t thinking, “well thank God I’m not black”. That’s not to demean the injustices of being black, but just to keep them in perspective. And I don’t think privilege theory does that.
Who do you think has it more advantanges, a white kid with lymphoma or a healthy black kid? A black son of a millionaire, or a Vietnamese boat-kid that was smuggled here and whose parents worked in a sweat shop to put him through school? So color may matter, but it probably matters a lot less than culture, experience, effort, personality, hobbies, etc, and pure luck of birth (diseases/heredity/genetics/etc). We're all a complex recipe of ingredients, and singling a minor one out, and saying "sea salt makes all the difference in this recipe over kosher salt", is ignoring all the other ingredients and preparation steps in the meal.
The reason people perpetuate the myth, is because there's money (or votes) in dividing us, and pretending racism is at the root of every problem. The reason follow this myths are too numerous to name: gullibility, guilt, hate, and so on.
So to me "White Privilege" is dumb. Humans are individuals and multi-dimensionally. Racism like "white privilege" is pretending that color matters more than all those other things -- or that correcting that one thing, will change all the other. So we shouldn't be focused on the micro, and instead look at the macro.