The protests in Missouri have brought the notion of “Privilege” out in the open with full red-faced screaming anger, and jabbed it straight into our faces.
Oh, sure – “white privilege”. Yep, that too.
In seeing the iconic photo of Professor Click calling in “muscle” to eject a student “journalist” from public space, as he tried to cover a protest about “privilege”, I’m reminded of an episode I had recently with a local “Black Lives Matter” sympathizer/activist.
We were on a neighborhood Facebook page, discussing a BLM rally that’d just happened in my neighborhood.
I asked the woman a simple question; with the stipulation that “white privilege” exists, I asked her “what should we do about it?”
Her answer was the sort of condescension that comes from deep insecurity; “you wouldn’t understand, because of your privilege”.
I bit my tongue and refrained from responding “Ma’am? You’re a professional in one of the soft sciences; you have an advanced degree, a practice, an upper-middle-class income by Twin Cities standards (which means you’re phenomenally wealthy by world standards), and an entree into upper-middle-class society. I’m a freelance IT user experience consultant. Who’s got the “privilege”, here?
It’s like when Nekima Levy-Pounds blows up an interview by pulling the “white privilege” lever; she’s a woman with a PhD in a very soft humanities area, and a tenured, all but unemployment proof job and an upper-middle-class salary and lifestyle, lecturing white roofing and siding contractors, delivery drivers and overnight Target shelf-stockers about their “privilege”.
There is all sorts of “privilege” out there; I was privileged to grow up in a family with married parents that stayed together until I was an adult; I’m privileged that my ancestors came to this country of their own free will, from a society with a history of stabbing and burning anyone who’d tried to enslave them, thus avoiding all the social pathologies that befall people with long histories of brutal persecution (white southern Scots-Irish, Armenians, and yes, even Jews).
And above all, class – a “privilege” that most of the American Left shares. The essential Victor Davis Hanson notes that the left is harping on “white privilege” to draw attention away from the “class privilege” that affects so much more of society – but benefits the left pretty handsomely.