‘White privilege’: Break glass and use in case of ideological emergency

Food Stamp FraudMultiple Facebook friends of mine have shared an article titled “30 People Arrested For Food Stamp Fraud; Guess How Many Were Black.” In each case I pointed out that the piece’s key statistic makes the headline laughable — “Approximately 99.83% of the population is white.” If a county’s population is 99.83 percent green, then it stands to reason that any 30 arrests in that area are likely to produce a lot of green people. It’s a meaningless statistic in a debate that requires data on a national level. Objective people can see this. However, when it comes to those with leftist ideological blinders on, even pointing out basic statistical truths becomes an occasion to use “white privilege” to end the debate.

The following exchange occurred between me and a friend I’ve known for roughly a decade:

Convo1In case of emergency, break the glass on the “white privilege” tool box and then go to work extinguishing any legitimate challenges to your worldview.

Convo2Question: Would my friend respond to the Daily Kos’s Ms. Shona — a liberal black woman who makes the exact same statistical case as Douglas “white privilege” Ernst — with “I think you view [this article] as discrimination while unlike most people being white comes with white privilege,”?

Answer: Of course not.

The reason why turning to “white privilege” is popular in any racial debate is that it’s the perfect intellectual crutch for the individual whose argument can’t withstand the weight of serious rebuttal.

Question: Would my friend tell Ms. Shona — a liberal black woman who makes the exact same statistical case as Douglas “white privilege” Ernst — “I recommend you watch ‘White Like Me’. Maybe you would think differently,”?

Answer: Of course not.

Using “white privilege” in an argument is like turning on a racial force field when your ideological bubble is about to burst.

Think about it this way: Tumblr CEO David Karp had his bubble burst on national television when he was discussing Net Neutrality. He couldn’t find a way to turn Net Neutrality into a race issue (e.g.,  “AT&T would think differently if its board of directors just watched ‘White Like Me’.”), and so he crumbled. When discussing race, white privilege will always be there for you — just like an old episode of (ironically, liberal white) “Friends.”

So no one told you life was gonna be this way. Your job’s a joke, you’re broke, your love life’s D.O.A. It’s like you’re always stuck in second gear. When it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month, or even your year — but white privilege will be there for you (when the rain starts to pour). White privilege will be there for you (like I’ve been there before). White privilege will be there for you (’cause you’re there for me too)…

The bottom line is this: It’s a good bet that people who know how to use statistics and think objectively also know how to acquire wealth and influence. That has nothing to do with “white privilege” and everything to do with being a responsible individual in a complex civil society. My advice to the race-goggles wearing crowd is to take them off when you’re in your bedroom at night and read more books on basic statistics.

Related: ‘White Privilege’ artist: Does it exist, or do I simply lack critical thinking skills?

Related: Quintessential feminist Suey Park blames ‘structural whiteness’ for her personal problems

Related: Peggy McIntosh: Reading for race-baiting losers who write on their own face