The idea of white privilege has been around for a while, but it has been used as an explanation for black behavior more recently because of the shooting deaths of Michael Brown and Freddie Gray, among others. In essence, white privilege is sort of an excuse for bad behavior by blacks. Bad behavior is really nothing new.
What is new is the penchant for explaining it away because of the current president. With his message of hope and change, blacks were supposed to have a better chance of getting out of their desperate situation, a situation that includes hundreds of shootings and killings - essentially black on black crime.
But that hasn’t happened. So Pres. Obama, liberals, progressives and naive Christians look for some kind of explanation, for surely it cannot be the president’s fault. This is where white privilege comes in as an easy scapegoat. Black problems are so vast that it would be too difficult a task to identify and fix the problem.
For in doing so, black politicians, including Obama, would be unable to escape getting some of the blame. It’s far easier to blame someone or something that has nothing to do with the problem. This means that for blacks suffering the loss of their loved ones, at the hands of a black man, there will be no hope or change - at least not from the current president or most black Democratic legislators.
The recent tragedy of Michael Brown being shot and killed by a white police officer gives people an easy opportunity to trumpet the white privilege falsehood. This just means more of the status quo, where things remain the same. There will not be a decrease in the number of black homicides at the hands of other blacks.
Because the focus is taken off the true perpetrators of the conditions that cause the suffering. In a sense, it’s easier to blame white police officers; it feels better to blame the white man and stir up feelings of racial injustice. Never mind that many young blacks listening to rap music would probably rather kill a police officer than become one. Let’s face it: The areas where suffering is taking place are controlled by Democrats, and they have been for decades.
But Obama is reluctant to blame black congressman and women because these are the people who support him.
These areas are rife with corruption and killing, and often there is very little that blacks living in these areas can do about it. There are actually many examples of black representatives exhibiting the same white privilege characteristics that they claim is the cause of black suffering. In St. Louis, in particular, the Clays have been in office for decades, representing North St. Louis and sections of the wealthier suburbs.
But since he is black, he is not held to account for the suffering of blacks, nor has he in general suggested any solutions to the problems. Should he not take at least some responsibility for what happens in his district, where blacks are killing other blacks? Instead, Clay recently lectured the City of Ferguson for what the Obama Justice Department deems unfair policing tactics.
At the same time, black mayors in his district filed suit against the State of Missouri for limiting the amount of revenue they can collect through warrants and traffics fines and penalties, which often involve taking another black person into custody and sending them to jail.
These black mayor are trading their privilege for the freedoms of people in their cities. Blacks in Clays district are, in general, unable to run for election opposing Clay, or outwardly voice any significant opposition to him for fear of retribution. It’s a similar situation in virtually all districts where black men and women are incumbents: they lord it over the people in their district, even more so because they are black.
Overall, the white privilege concept is one that is proposed and popularized by liberal, progressive whites to make them feel better about black suffering and hope that blacks think that since they empathize with their suffering, they will in turn not blame them for their condition.
But empathizing with someone is not necessarily demonstrating true compassion for someone. If someone is shot on a street and one stands by and grieves with the victim, is it really compassionate if one does not call for an ambulance so that they do not die? One can say that someone has empathy, but does empathy alone improve their condition?
Yet, this is largely what blacks receive from liberal and progressive whites: I feel your situation, I feel your pain. Your pain probably won’t change, but I feel it.
There is another president, the former Pres. Clinton, who was famous for his empathy. He rarely did anything to improve the condition of suffering for blacks, but he made them feel that he was one of them, even though he lived in the comfort of the White House. The idea of white privilege contradicts what Jesus taught about sin and suffering.
He taught that if one does not address the whole person or the whole situation, what good is the assistance? It’s really quite useless. Another problem with the concept of white privilege is that it invariably means that whites do not want to get involved in whatever problem is plaguing blacks, no matter what it is.
And there are many problems that are plaguing blacks. (One previously mentioned is blacks killing other blacks). This is what makes improving the situation of blacks so difficult. Improving one factor that is causing suffering is really not enough.
There are multiple problems, multiple factors that are causing suffering. It’s similar to the complexities that doctors must deal with in diagnosing patients with diseases or conditions that may be difficult to diagnose: taking care of one part of the problem is really not enough. The idea is to get all of the person better so that they can function.
Many whites, including white Christians, are simply uncomfortable with addressing problems in all black areas of inner cities. This is unfortunate, because without addressing systemic problems, the people who are receiving care are going to be no better off. And this is not what Jesus taught his disciples; it's not what they saw him do.
He was not afraid of addressing problems that cause sin and suffering, no matter the people group. He was not afraid of talking to a Samaritan woman about her life and the factors that led to her suffering. But modern day Christians who espouse white privilege would say it's not her fault.
It's Jewish privilege; now it's Christian privilege. There are Christian ministries that focus on areas of inner cities, and attempt to help poor blacks who are in need. More often than not, it is whites who actually move to these areas and personally get involved in people’s lives, and and mentor them.
But it is often the case that black females in these areas of the inner city become pregnant by multiple men, and become dependent on the federal government for their income. If they have a relationship with one of the father’s of their children, it is usually not a relationship that ends in marriage.
The result is that the boys born to the mothers in these situations, where there is no marriage involved, grow up without fathers in the home. The obvious solution would be to tell the mother than she - and her children - should stop this behavior of separating the children from the father of the children. But without exception, this rarely happens.
It's doubtful that any Christian pastors, even those who want to serve blacks in the inner city, share this with people they want to help. Without permanent relationships with a father, or a father figure, the boys are left to fend for themselves, and often look to gangs for their support. Without jobs or success in life, they get respect by killing someone with a gun.
In black gangs, it is a sing of respect to kill a police officer. In St. Louis, the public has seen seemingly senseless gun-violence against police officers. In the Central West End of the city, black men in a car stopped their car by a police officer sitting in his parked car, and attempted to assassinate him.
He happened to be black. Fortunately,, he survived. Black politicians claim to speak for their constituents, and help them in their suffering. Many even claim to carry the mantle of the late Martin Luther King, Jr. But more often than not, the opposite is really the case. In districts where blacks are elected, there is no incentive for change.
The thinking goes like this: if I am getting elected and re-elected handily. Any attempt to fix the problem could point the finger of blame at me. The result is that black legislators become complicit in the suffering of blacks in their district. But there are other problems associated with the culture of blacks.
Another is that black culture punishes blacks for wanting to improve themselves in education, and become someone who excels in areas like math or science. It’s simply not a popular concept for blacks. Black rappers, whether they spew hate and profanity, are far more popular than black scientists or researchers. It’s often just a true for females as for males.
Females want to be known for how mean and bad they are; often they become bullies in school punishing their classmate for insignificant transgressions. With these kinds of pressures in the black social framework, it's simply too difficult for blacks to succeed in school.
The result is that there are few leading black medical doctors who are leading researchers in their field. A necessary element of doing well enough to become a doctor is being disciplined enough to do well in chemistry and biology, two fields of study that require a concentrated amount of uninterrupted study.
Dr. Ben Carson is an exception to this rule: but Carbon’s mother provided no excuses for her son; there were no excuses for not wanting to study. She did not believe in the white privilege credo. This is rare.
It is far more likely that a black student will become a lawyer than a doctor, or get a job in education, rather than at a research department at a major university. All of the major universities have research labs where college students train to become researchers in any number of fields related to the life sciences.
But it is difficult for blacks to arrive at a state where they are qualified to be a member of a faculty member’s lab, for the simple reason that many or most blacks arrive at school behind other classmates who are white or Asian. They do not have the same education work ethic that the majority of Asian or white families have.
It is often the case that black families look down on people who do not dress or act with style more than those who do not take an interest in scholastic activities.
If one does not dress sharply or provocatively, one cold be seen to be social stupid and be made fun of. It’s also acceptable to blacks to talk in their own vernacular slang, even though it invokes memories of slavery, when they did not know any better. Now, it’s not that they don’t know better; they just don’t seem to care. If a young black student ignores education and studying, it’s often not a big deal.
Acting like education is more important than being stylish is like becoming a Christian if one is Jewish for blacks. It results in being disowned or worse, persecuted. One is the nail that sticks up; one is hammered down, beaten into submission. Blacks boys and girls use Facebook to enforce their social rule, threatening those who dare to transgress.
This results in young black boys and girls doing stupid things, like killing others for trivial reasons. Often it happens because of popularity. Does this happen with whites? Yes. Do the degree of killing someone? Not nearly as often.
But in combination with fatherlessness, it becomes a lethal combination that results in loss of
life and unnecessary suffering. In this culture, social status, what one looks like or how one dresses is more important than education or helping others succeed in education.
This results in black dropping out of universities because they are faced with a different reality: white professors don’t care how they dress or how they act; they care if they are going to study hard enough to pass or get a good grade.
This places liberals and progressives in an interesting predicament, because equality in the races and equal opportunity dictates that when given the opportunity scholastically, one should take advantage of it. When this does not happen, they need a cause or something to blame. They can't blame blacks. The obvious solution again, is white privilege: “It’s our fault that college is so difficult for you.”
One could associate this behavior, poor academic performance, with poverty, but this presents a problem. Black were impoverished during systemic discrimination in the South under Jim Crow laws. But they idid not have the same behavior issues that are present today. Blacks living among themselves, in their own communities did not commit violent acts against each other. They had far fewer opportunities than they do today.
One could then theorize that it is because of what happened in the 60s that has caused black to act poorly and perform poorly in school. But the 60s' witnessed forced desegregation and more opportunities for blacks, something that has only increased in each succeeding decade. The white privilege sentiment allows someone to completely ignore all of this, and simply blame bad behavior on white behavior.
In essence, the white privilege argument says: “It’s not your fault that you are having so much trouble adapting to Western Civilization, where people are valued for their achievements in every area, not just athletics. It’s really our fault. It’s the fault of whites.”
This, of course, is a flawed argument, because it assumes that blacks are innately inferior, and cannot improve themselves. It’s treating people like little children who don’t know enough to keep from walking out into the street in broad daylight and getting killed.
It’s similar to not associating the shaken baby syndrome with behavior and environment. The
result is that we assume that some people, often living in poverty, are so inferior or stupid that they are unable to understand the effects of shaking a baby can have on the baby. So these people must be taught. It’s not their fault that they are stupid and inferior people.
It’s never occurs to people, experts responding to this that it might have something to do with family dynamics. Success or failure in Western Civilization does not play favorites. People living in the United States, in general, have the same opportunity to value or devalue education and learning.
But with the white privilege argument, we have in effect reintroduced what is essentially a racist theory: that some races are simply unable to accept responsibility for their lives; they can’t make good decisions for themselves because they are inherently inferior; they can’t value education or study hard because their inherited genes don’t allow them to.
Blacks, those who make bad decisions, are not really responsible for what they do; they are like little children; they can’t help it. We should really just feel sorry for them, because it’s really our fault.
So in essence, the white privilege theory is really the meanest form of racism, because it is hidden racism. Racism in the South was very overt and obvious; racism today among white liberals is covert, hidden from view. But it's still there. One example might be a coach who takes responsibility for a loss without every offering any constructive criticism or making an effort to win a game.
The coach who wants to win, likes the players do, puts in the best players. Professional sports work like this; college and high school sports do as well. But what if the coach accepted responsibility for every loss and did not play the best players or make any changes that allowed the team to win?
What if the coach thought the team was inferior and would never amount to much? This is really what white privilege is all about. By blaming whites or themselves for problems that are mostly caused by blacks, those proposing and implementing white privilege are just as bad as people who were considered racist in the South.
Racists in the South overtly killed blacks because they thought nobody would care.Today, white privilege adherents see tragedy, blacks killing each other and look on unconcerned.
They think blacks can't do anything to make it stop. It is privilege in a sadistic or masochistic sort of way; by ignoring methods of improving people's lives, one in a sense participates in their suffering.
It's just that white privilege adherents get to view it from a safe distance.
© 2016 Larry Ingram
Based in St Louis,
Larry Ingram writes about the news media, movies and culture, as well as on topics like race, privilege, Christianity, religious expression and tolerance.
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