White Privilege: An Insidious Virus That’s Eating America from Within

Andrew O'Hehir, Salon, August 23, 2014

In one of the most famous passages of the New Testament, the apostle Paul writes to the Christians of Corinth, employing a complicated series of metaphors on the theme of transformation: from childhood to adulthood, from ignorance to knowledge, from sinfulness to a state of grace. “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child,” the epistle runs, in the memorable rhythms of the King James Version. “But when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”

I’m not a believer, in the ordinary sense of that word, and I’m aware that Paul is a problematic figure in theological history, to put it mildly. But those words have resonated with me over the last two weeks. Painful recent events on the ground in Ferguson, and the strongly divided national response to those events–offer us a chance to become aware of the ways we see race in America “through a glass, darkly,” and perhaps also the beginnings of a chance to see each other face to face, to know as we are known. Let me be clear that when I say “we” I am primarily addressing America’s white majority, to which I belong. We are the ones whose vision is occluded by the darkened glass of white privilege, and it’s up to us to do something about it. Black people can see white privilege pretty clearly, but from a different perspective, and it’s beyond their power to change it.

White privilege is a term that sometimes gets thrown around too cavalierly, especially when people are having a fight on the Internet and want to shut each other up. (I find myself echoing here many of the things I wrote about masculinity and male privilege in the wake of the Elliot Rodger case in May. It’s been a tough summer in America.) Recognizing white privilege does not mean that white people don’t get to express our views on controversial racial topics, or that we have to defer to whatever a person of color may say. It does mean, however, that we have a responsibility to be alert to advantages we may possess, whether as ordinary citizens on the street, economic agents or wielders of rhetoric that appears neutral rather than “racial.” By definition, it means that some of those advantages are things we don’t notice, or take entirely for granted.


But the most insidious power of white privilege, the albatross effect that makes it so oppressive to white people themselves, is the way it renders itself invisible and clouds the collective mind. It’s like a virus that adapts in order to ensure its own survival and perpetuation, in this case by convincing its host it isn’t there. So we see polls suggesting that large percentages of white Americans believe that racism is not a significant factor in Ferguson or law enforcement in general, that cops are just doing their jobs, and that whatever bad things may have happened once upon a time in our beloved country, they’ve been locked away in the dusty cabinet of history and don’t matter anymore. {snip}

Among the “childish things” we need to put aside, white people, is the idea that America’s tormented racial legacy belongs to the past. You know exactly the attitude I mean: We have twice elected a biracial president and LeBron James and Jay Z are zillionaires, so no more talk of racism, please. In the more paranoid formulation prevalent in the Fox News demographic (but not limited to it), this becomes the idea that the federal government has spent the last 50 years giving away money, housing, education and other “free stuff” to black people who don’t work or pay taxes, while vigorously grinding down the white man. So either the vision of healing and reconciliation conjured up so eloquently by Martin Luther King, Jr. more than 50 years ago has now been fulfilled (and black people need to stop complaining), or America is being not so slowly turned into a gay-Muslim-socialist totalitarian state where every day is Kwanzaa. Both scenarios come up against the nettlesome fact that African-Americans stubbornly persist in being poor, living in disadvantaged circumstances, getting shot by the police for no particular reason and going to prison in large numbers.

This kind of white privilege is a willful blindness, along with a passionate embrace of exactly the kind of aggrievement and victimhood that white people often claim to resent in others. {snip} There is a much larger population of white Americans, I believe, who feel troubled by what they saw in Ferguson but are unable or unwilling to face the fact that it reflects a recurring historical pattern that has obviously not been exorcised, a pattern of power, privilege and domination in which they are complicit.

Any white person who is being honest can understand this reluctance, and probably any other kind of person too. It’s a lot more comfortable to believe that equal opportunity has been pretty much afforded to all, allowing for some bumps in the road–or to believe that you yourself belong to the unfairly downtrodden and stigmatized group–than to consider the alternatives. {snip}

William Faulkner’s famous remark that the past is not dead, and isn’t even past, could not be more vividly illustrated than by the images from Ferguson: A black man shot dead in the street; angry African-American protesters facing impassive and heavily armed white police officers; tear gas, broken glass and the National Guard. But how to deal with these events that seem like nightmarish echoes of too many previous events? One way, the path of survival pursued by the virus of white privilege, is to detach each of these cases from history. Each of these inexplicably dead black men becomes an isolated phenomenon, with no reference to any discernible pattern. History is bunk, as Henry Ford and then the Gang of Four told us; there are no lessons in the past.

This urgent agenda of historical decoupling offers one reason why the specific details of each case become so fraught with meaning, and why the elaborate character assassination of every victim is so important to TV talking heads and Internet trolls. If Michael Brown was a thieving thug who made Darren Wilson fear for his life, if Trayvon Martin was a drug-dealing ne’er-do-well who was casing out potential burglaries (and probably high on “Purple Drank”), if Eric Garner was a bruising gangster who resisted arrest and stopped breathing because of asthma and cardiac arrest rather than an illegal chokehold, then their deaths were regrettable (or maybe non-regrettable) consequences of the system working as it should. Race was not a factor, the police and/or random armed citizens acted reasonably, the protesters are mobs of looters and law-breakers, and the liberal pantywaists crying about it on TV are the real racists.

That pathway remains highly seductive for white America, because it avoids any notion of collective or social responsibility and accesses the Calvinist myth of individualism that lies at the core of white American identity. A man makes his own fate or is elected by Providence–it comes to the same thing in the end–and if those young men and a distressing number of others met death in the street under unsettling circumstances, that can only have been their just deserts. Considering the possibility that they died because of a system of justice and law enforcement that skews heavily toward arresting, imprisoning and otherwise suppressing black and brown people, and that that system is itself embedded within much larger cultural and historical patterns, raises a lot of painful questions. What are we supposed to do about it, for one thing?

For starters, we can be honest with ourselves about white privilege, when we’re able to see it. {snip} Resisting white privilege is not about “liberal guilt,” or donning sackcloth and ashes, or whatever Bill O’Reilly thinks happens in graduate seminars at elite universities. It’s about finding material ways to pay down that debt, and also about recognizing how much the debt has weighed us down–all of us, white and black and brown and all other shades.

As I said earlier, the virus of white privilege survives by convincing its host organism that it does not exist. That’s because the more clearly we see it the more likely we are to notice that its purported benefits have faded almost to nothing. Whites of the working and middle classes correctly perceive that their economic fortunes have deteriorated over the past half-century, even if the average white household is still 20 times wealthier than the average black household (an especially deleterious consequence of white privilege). An entire right-wing ideological empire remains devoted to convincing white people that benefit-sucking African-Americans and job-stealing Latino immigrants are somehow to blame for their downward trajectory. White privilege is the solvent used, throughout American history, to dissolve multiracial coalitions of working people, and the drug used to brainwash whites into making common cause with the class of CEOs, financiers and landlords. Kicking that drug habit is the only way white America can ever set itself free from the past.

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  • MekongDelta69

    Any ‘privilege’ we have is because we’ve earned it pal.
    Without US, there would be no YOU.

    Andrew O’Hehir is the virus (among many), not the so-called, invented leftist phrase, ‘White privilege.’

    • Pro_Whitey

      “White privilege” is just white capital, built by whites. Anything slaves can lay claim to has passed, much of it destroyed.
      Re Henry Ford, History is bunk when it’s written by the likes of O’Hehir. Does he not acknowledge that George Zimmerman was getting his skull smashed into the ground when he shot Trayvon Martin? Or that Darren Wilson has a fractured eye socket and who knows what other injuries thanks to Michael Brown? What a fraud.

      • indoctrination_FAIL

        Well said.

        Whenever I hear “white privilege”, I think white birthright.

        • Kate M. Johnson


          ✔✔✔ ✔✔✔ ✔✔✔ �✔✔✔ ✔✔✔

    • Roger Smith

      I don’t agree. White privilege isn’t earned, it’s a fact of nature. We can’t have it both ways. We can’t say Blacks are to blame for their own misfortune AND claim they are innately incapable of competing for a proportional share of scarce resources. Life is a game of poker, and some individuals and some races are simply dealt a better hand than others.

      • bilderbuster

        We are blessed with that 20 IQ point advantage but it’s not the luck of the draw that we weren’t born Black.
        We were born White because that’s the only way we could have been born. A White child can only be created by White parents.

        • Rick O’Shea

          Exactly right. I used to talk and think in a way that would indicate we’re all sort sort of interchangeable souls who land in various bodies by chance.

          Not so. We are fundamentally what we are, and could be nothing else. Any deviation and it would no longer be you.

          We are not interchangeable. From the very bedrock, everything about our personalities, inclinations, temperaments, intelligence, cognitive patterns… etc. are all established by and within the framework of our inherited genetic structure, and the cultural context that genetic structure has created over time.

      • I think you’re confusing “white privilege” with white superiority. The “better hand” we were dealt makes us superior to many, in many ways. That is not what is acknowledged and bandied about as white privilege. White privilege is the “natural selection” within a white country for people who are in fact, white. It’s preferring people who look like you as spouses, business partners, coworkers, teachers, students, etc.

        It is, more it less, the natural order of things. In my time living in other countries, I experienced, expected, and did not bemoan “Korean privilege” or “Japanese privilege” or “German privilege” etc. A people will, NATURALLY favor their own. I have no problem at all with, and in fact strongly encourage “white privilege” in white countries.

        The problem though, is that it isn’t allowed to exist in white countries. “White privilege” and only white privilege is actively and aggressively resisted and opposed through Affirmative action and quotas in education, employment, and even geographic location and business ownership, through section 8, housing vouchers, and reduced or no interest “minority business initiatives”

        That last one is a real doozy, as a black “business owner” has no motivation, much less the threat of the EOC / federal government stepping in, to not utilize his “black privilege” and hire other blacks.

        To use your analogy, we were indeed dealt a better hand, racially, genetically. The problem is, we keep folding at the flop, and we’re quickly running out of chips.

        • Diversity Fatigue

          Exactly. If we were to travel to an African country we would find black privilege. This whole thing is nothing more than a new spin on whitey owing special treatment ($) to blacks. Its another way of getting into whitey’s wallet.

          • Cid Campeador

            Black privilege indeed! Tyranny. Butchery, Inter tribal massacres and mutilations of children, mass rapes and mutilations and restaurants that have human flesh on their menus.

          • brior

            Or to an Asian country who openly disparage the round eye. On the up side, In Japan they don’t tolerate blacks to well (Not allowed in the bath houses and some bars)

          • When China hosted the Olympics, the Beijing government ordered the bars there to not serve blacks.

            At the time, I was hoping Je$$e Jack$on and Al $harpton would go there, raise a big stink, and find themselves in a Chinese labor camp. It’d have been the first honest work either had done in his life.

      • Diversity Fatigue

        That doesn’t excuse black misbehavior nor does it mean whites owe blacks special treatment.

    • Even if “white privilege” exists, it does so because American society and institutions were created by whites. In Japan, Japanese enjoy “Japanese privilege”, and ethnic Koreans do not. In China, the majority ethnic group enjoy “Han privilege”, and Uyghurs do not. Any civilization will naturally develop to benefit its creators and their descendants.

      • ViktorNN

        I agree. To the extent that white privilege exists at all, it is really just a “majority privilege.”

        Anti-white left wing academics don’t call it that of course, because the term “white privilege” itself is intended to put white people on the defensive, and in particular, to make young college age white kids experience self-doubt and self-hate (and thus be more willing to voluntarily give up power).

      • Franklin_Ryckaert

        Exactly, any “ethnic privilege” is natural for the majority population that created its own society, but for leftists such a natural phenomenon is a “virus”. Marxism is a jihad against nature.

    • LHathaway

      White homeless veterans? Whites living within large cities, likely closer to non-whites who hate them, and are told that’s OK and enlightenment to hate them, where is there white privilege? White orphans. . . what exact white privilege have they earned?

  • D.B. Cooper

    My comments appeared on the original a few days ago. I am VERY appalled at the high number of white, brain dead, clueless, eunuchs who bought into this article without any question whatsoever. They believed every word of it.

    • David Ashton

      If I may say so to an inveterate Anglophobe, this is an excellent picture.

      • Just don’t forget who and what he is. A broken clock, despite occasionally telling correct time, is still faulty, so don’t rely on it when you have to be somewhere on time.

  • Publius Pompilius Quietus

    “Among the “childish things” we need to put aside, white people, is the idea that America’s tormented racial legacy belongs to the past. … white privilege is a willful blindness.”
    According to this antiracist, all Whites have privilege and therefore are ignorant about racial issues, which ironically is a very racist thing to believe. This is very similar to how mainstream conservatives talk about American Exceptionalism, which is a way to explain all of their incoherence. “But America is different—we’re a proposition nation” is what they
    usually say rather than logically explain why Israel but no European nation should be able restrict immigration on a ethnic basis, or why we should continue bringing in a million low-skill foreigners if our native-born can’t find jobs. Likewise, White Privilege is a way for the left to explain all its inaccuracies. The reason white people shouldn’t be able to organize for their interests or indeed have an opinion about racial issues is they have privilege—or so the cant goes.

  • AmericanCitizen

    White libs are the death of western civilization.

    • Ralph Monzo

      libs of any hue, methinks. 😉

  • serious123

    Whites do not have a priviledge, but an advantage. That advantage is intelligence and less impulsiveness. That is our nature and we couldn’t give it up to blacks even if we wanted to do so.

    • Franklin_Ryckaert

      White privilege is genetic, not social, but try to explain that to a liberal. Same with black “under-privilege”, but a liberal would reject that even more.

  • authorizedversion .

    I’m still not entirely sure what white privilege is. If it gives white folks an advantage in life, then I’m all for it. I want my children and future grand children to continue to benefit from being born with white privilege. That is why I told my four blue eyed children at the dinner table a while back to marry only white.

    • bilderbuster

      My brothers and I didn’t need to be told that but that didn’t stop our parents from doing it anyways.

  • JohnEngelman

    What about the black privilege of living in a civilization vastly superior to anything blacks have ever created or maintained on their own?

    • journey

      Can’t allow that truth to seep into the black and some white brains otherwise the massive black handouts by whites might just have to stop.

      • a multiracial individual

        Why would such information make people want to cease welfare payments? If anything widespread knowledge of IQ differences would INCREASE generosity and compassion.

        • journey

          So, the more able are to be slaves of the least able, as currently. You got it reversed. AND what did it buy for this country? More Fergusons and endless demands for MORE handouts.

        • Fighting_Northern_Spirit

          Knowledge of IQ differences leads me to thoughts of eugenics as the only real compassion.

          • journey

            Exactly, wave of the future. Thanks for voicing it. The lower IQers breed too quickly and too much. Africa will become even more of a hotspot soon.

        • Usually Much Calmer

          I am pretty compassionate (though you do not know me).

          I think welfare is fraught with unintended consequences and both wasteful AND cruel.

        • markinla

          IQ differences mean the end of throwing money at “education” which is usually just a form of government paid babysitting and handing extra money to minorities.

        • I think the flaw in your logic is that in order for the realities of the IQ and, for lack of a better word “savagery” disparity between the races to be acknowledged would basically mean a massive elimination of liberal “feel good” compassionate behaviours and beliefs, as they are the only thing keeping the charade going. So the same imbecilic morons willing to send monthly checks to little D’ar’qwan in Africa instead of caring for homeless children in their own country would be the ones who would have to renounce the idiocy of their belief system.

          I highly doubt after a “conversion” of this sort, they would be rushing to keep wasting their money by funding lazy, shiftless thugs and baby factories degeneracy with even more handouts. Why in the world would you think otherwise? With the acknowledgement that little Tray’tavious will never be capable of anything beyond McDonald’s fry cook, we can stop pretending that one day he’ll be a rokkit surgeon, if only we keep paying him till he “turns his life around”.

  • journey

    This long article is basically about nothing. This white privilege delusion is now an industry with seminars and believers, even with a knapsack full of propaganda that one can take out and beat oneself with. But where is the privilege? The whites are being forced to pay for the massive generational black handouts that the black race is now expecting to continue onto perpetuity. This is shown by using the thug brown’s funeral to keep pumping the pump.

    Brown’s funeral was just another opportunity to keep grabbing for the tax dollars and social programs as like in the last 60+ years by using the black victim myth. If they are allowed, they will keep hollering about “We shall overcome” into eternity to keep the massive handouts coming. Nothing but a huge shakedown on the public. This was even dignified by the black community organizer in the WH to ensure their votes.

  • shmo123

    “White privilege is the solvent used, throughout American history, to dissolve multiracial coalitions of working people…”
    You cannot dissolve what has never existed. I get so tired of these fools who blame whites for crushing their dreams and utopian delusions. Why don’t they exist elsewhere? Are Asians or South Americans or Africans building multicultural societies? Of course not. They couldn’t care less.
    The older I get the more I’m convinced that all talk of creating workable multiracial and/or multicultural societies are nothing but pipe dreams; none has successfully existed and the ones that have been tried were all created from the barrel of a gun. I fear that our country has already crossed the rubicon on that issue.

    • AmericanCitizen

      If we haven’t crossed yet I can definitely hear the water running.

      • adplatt126

        We’ve crossed it. We’re within Rome’s walls. Just waiting for it all to burn.

  • AmericanCitizen

    There is no historical example of a nation filled with different races and peoples achieving stability or greatness.

    We live in a Tower of Babel, with more and more different groups that don’t get along or want to, more groups and people who want to keep their language and identity as something other than American. It’s sheer madness to expect this mess to somehow end up working out for good.

    • Spikeygrrl

      The Roman Empire lasted 500 years, using the most parsimonious definition. So I guess it comes down to how you quantify “stable,” and where you draw the line between “stable” and “stagnant.”

    • The Austrian Empire did pretty well for a while, but that multiethnic mixture was white. Even then, it was too fragile to survive World War One. Multiethnic Yugoslavia – on almost the same land area – was white, and it was too fragile to survive the end of the Cold War. The Czech Republic and Slovakia also split up then, though peacefully. Norway became independent from Sweden in 1905. In Spain, many white Basques and Catalans want independence from Madrid. In Belgium, the Protestant, Dutch-speaking Flemish want to break off from the Catholic, French-speaking Walloons.

      Adding race to this matter makes things worse, not better.

  • Give us this day our daily clickbait.

    • Robb

      ..and forgive us our trolls….

  • Tim_in_Indiana

    As I said earlier, the virus of white privilege survives by convincing its host organism that it does not exist.

    the virus of “diversity” survives by convincing its host organism that racial differences do not exist.

    Fixed it.

  • The Negro is the virus eating away at Amurkistan. The symptoms of the Negro virus include a trail of white dead bodies, raped white women, and white impoverishment to pay for the Negro gibsmedat, including affirmative action.

    The antidote to the virus is separation. When the Negro is on his own, let his genius blossom, free of the oppressive condition of “white privilege.”

    • anton drexler

      Whites should say, “In solidarity with our little brown brothers, we have decided to remove ourselves from the multicultural paradise and live in our own homeland, where our privilege can do no harm to the wonderful tapestry of diversity. See ya later.”

    • Jack Burton

      The main virus is Judeo-white liberal. Jews and whites libs are like HIV/AIDS, they weaken the natural white immune system so whites are open to contracting other forms of illness that we would normally be able to fight off, like Negroes, Third World immigration, homosexuality and other degeneracy.

      https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=TERKermWgIg

    • bilderbuster

      This virus would be easily cured if the host could first be rid of the parasite people.

  • IstvanIN

    There are too many Andrew O’Hehirs in this world.

  • Andy 0’Hehir avoids black neighborhoods like a Klansman.
    He can’t possibly believe the bilge he is spewing.

  • disqus_Xz3UA6obwj

    Do blacks feel shame for the “black privilege” that allows them to hold 80 percent of the ultra lucrative multi million dollar annual salaries found in the NBA? Should I be ashamed because I am white and I have a brain that I am wiling to use in order to make a good life for myself? Why is it the white man’s burden to even care about racial equality?

    Whites do indeed have an advantage and they should be no more ashamed of their advantage than blacks are for dominating the NBA due to their advantage. If competition for jobs is your enemy then you are nothing but a communist.

  • Luca

    I have to give you guys credit. I couldn’t waste my time or stomach on reading past the first paragraph. I am immune to all this liberal propaganda and won’t give it the time of day.

    As I have said many times, the true enemy are the liberals in power. Once they are under control, all the other problems are solvable.

    • Jack Burton

      Completely agree, people need to understand that this is just verbal violence against whites. It’s poisonous propaganda, degeneracy, corruption. Has no more value than the most sadistic snuff film or vilest pornography.

    • Ralph Monzo

      The ‘liberals in power’ are only the front men, the shills, of a firmly established,clandestine group of rich, powerful people who form a shadow government that already is governing the world de facto. The globalist agenda transcends mere Democrat/ Republican party lines, in fact,even communist/capitalist economic approaches are swallowed up in the vastness of the One World conspiracy. There remains only one stumbling block: America’s Constitutional sovereignty. Marxist concepts like liberalism, socialism, and communism, have become irrelevant. except as foundational concepts for the biggest, baddest, “Ism” of them all: GLOBALISM.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    I didn’t read past the title.

    Didn’t have to.

    I knew immediately that the rest of the article was yet another anti-White screed accusing White Americans of “racism” with calls for further suppression of Whites by the federal government.

    What about 50 years of legally forced racism against White Americans known as Affirmative Action?

    How’s that for White privilege?

    Accusations of “racism” is a political weapon and how the communists and socialists keep their position of power over White Americas.

  • JSS

    If Mr Hehir were truly concerned about the toxic effects of White privilege on non Whites he would recommend separation so that our privilege couldn’t hurt them anymore. Of course the real truth is that the racial characteristics or “White privilege” that we possess benefits everybody who lives around us. That’s why every other race on the planet attempts to do just that.

    “As I said earlier, the virus of white privilege survives by convincing its host organism that it does not exist”. As I’ve said before, when it comes to blaming us for the liberal multiracial Utopias continuing failure then who is and isn’t White is plain as day.

  • Michigan Patriot

    When you create the quality society that in contrast to any other races’ societies; everyone wants to be part of that is not a privilege, it is a moral ” right ” ! To exempt Whites from equal protection under the best human laws ( Magna Carta ) ever written and by Whitey is the racism / envious hate crimes that most minorities demonstrate gleefully!

  • Bergeron

    “White Privilege” is like phlogiston. I’m sure we can come up with a more accurate theory.

  • kjh64

    “An entire right-wing ideological empire remains devoted to convincing white people that benefit-sucking African-Americans and job-stealing Latino immigrants are somehow to blame for their downward trajectory.”

    It has nothing to do with any “right-wing ideological empire”. African-American do suck up a lot of benefits at the expense of Whites and Latino illegal aliens do steal jobs from the American working poor and working class with American Blacks being the hardest hit by this. Of course, Latino illegal aliens are not solely at fault, greedy White Americans who hire them for slave wages are also at fault. As to the “downward trajectory”, the above factors are not solely responsible for it but definitely contribute to it.

  • Usually Much Calmer

    I hope you do go out with that sign.

    There is someone who posts here (FallenAngelofDoom) who has made it a strategy to say the most outlandishly anti-white things imaginable on popular sights, just to get people thinking.

    • Ralph Monzo

      Yeah. Thinking, “whatta douchebag.” 😉

      • Usually Much Calmer

        What did you do today?

        • Ralph Monzo

          I meant Fallen Angel of Doom is a douchebag, not you. Because of the “outlandishly anti-white things he says on popular sights (sic). just to get people to think.” Outlandish tomfoolery and wild hi-jinx of that sort is something I find highly objectionable.

          • Usually Much Calmer

            Fixed the error, thanks. I find the oddest mistakes in my AR posts.

            I don’t know if Fallen Angel of Doom is a douchebag in general, but I was championing that particular campaign. The crazies (a libertarian friend calls them the totalitarian left- in contract to the earnest left, I guess) don’t think. They are caught up in some mind meld, or so it seems to me. Any way that you can jar them out of it is a good effort, IMO. Absurdity is challenging. So Nick’s sign might make inroads. That was my thinking. You apparently think there is more downside risk to such things than I do, yes?

  • Borachio

    “The federal government has spent the last 50 years giving away money, housing, education and other ‘free stuff’ to black people who don’t work or pay taxes, while vigorously grinding down the white man.”

    That sounds like a pretty fair summary to me.

    Are we sure that O’Hehir isn’t just trying to sneak the truth past Salon’s censors?

  • Robb

    articles like these used to show up yearly, then bi-anually, then monthly. 2 years ago or so these articles would show up weekly, but now it seems we get them a few times per week. the “privilege” is now a twice-daily headline. our cup must be overflowing!!

  • adplatt126

    One white police officer with a stellar, unblemished record probably shoots a black man in self-defense, who had just committed a crime and was high on god knows what. Thousands of nignogs descend on Ferguson for a race riot, pillaging and destroying everything in their path, while denigrating whites at every turn. Yet whites are the ones with “privilege” who should feel “collective guilt”. Could the racism and prejudicial asymmetry of treatment be any more obvious? Nogs are never, ever guilty. Whites, even when they’ve done nothing at all, are always guilty. Remember that when you try to analyze the philosophizing of the Judeo-Bolshevik oligarchic overclass, because that’s maxim A1. All other maxims and conclusions are derived from this silly anti-gentile lie or make sure not to controvert it. History isn’t bunk, but this article is.

    • IstvanIN

      Judea-Bolshevik is right. They murdered the Romanovs. They murdered the nobiltiy. They murdered the kulaks. They murdered the peasants. Don;t think they won’t do it here.

  • Robb

    pretty much jibes with the ~ 20% far-liberal quotient

  • Robb

    no no no. it means you can save for a rainy day. unlike our “spend it like you stole it” brethren.

  • Dave West

    White privilege is said to cause blacks to perform more poorly in school, make less income, cause crime at higher rates, etc. It is the new trendy excuse that blacks and libtards use for poor black performance in a number of areas.

    I, like many Amren readers, think that low black iq has resulted in the data (jobs, crime, etc.) that many libs hold up as evidence of white privilege.

    My argument is this:
    Black iq: 85
    Hispanic iq: 90
    White iq: 100
    Asain iq: 105

    Whenever some report comes out regarding various academic test scores notice how the data falls in line with iq scores. Blacks at the bottom, hispanics a little above blacks, whites far above hispanics and blacks, and Asians slightly above whites. The same is also true of income and crime. This correlation cannot be ignored or explained away by “institutional racism.”

  • Roger Smith

    The real “White privilege,” is found in genetics and not culture. That’s why it’s so hard to breed it out, but that won’t keep the racial Marxists (which is ideologically what they are) from trying. They want the U.S. to be the I.Q. equivalent of Cuba. Funny, no one talks of “Asian privilege” yet they enjoy the same advantages in the U.S. as Whites do, and even to a greater extent in some places.

  • 4321realist

    White privilege is synonymous with white intelligence and success, which is what whites have earned on their own and why blacks despise them for it.

  • Roninf9

    White privilege = high IQ, future time orientation, temperate manner, ability to organize and cooperate

    People with White privilege build 1st World civilization. People without White privilege created 3rd World cesspits. People with White privilege naturally want to associate with others with White privilege and enjoy the fruits of their privilege. People without White privilege want to enjoy those fruits too (without creating them) but are usually insanely jealous of and consequently violent toward those with the privilege.

    Embrace your White privilege and be wary of and ready to fight those who don’t possess them.

  • OhWow

    Whenever I hear white guilt liberals say “white privilege”, I say “White privilege? More like hard work”. White people did not get here because we were “privileged”. We succeeded because of our hard work and strong values.

    When my great grandparents were on a month-long journey from Italy to NYC on a boat with people packed in like sardines, where was their white privilege? When people were dying of disease around them during the voyage, where was their privilege? When they arrived in NYC and moved to inner-city Brooklyn with pennies in their pockets, where was their privilege? There was none.

    What these liberals don’t understand is that our earlier relatives helped lay the ground work so that generations ahead of them could enjoy a better life. They worked hard and sacrificed so that their great grand kids wouldn’t have to live in the inner-city and barely survive. Reaping the rewards or fruits of that sacrifice is not privilege. It’s called hard work and commitment paying off. It’s like saying my MS degree is a privilege. No, I worked for it and I will now enjoy the benefits of that hard work.

    Saying there is white privilege is a direct, racist slap in the face to all white Americans. It says “you did not earn anything and you had an easy life where everything was given to you”. It says “you are spoiled rotten”. Imagine saying the same to blacks as a white man? Imagine implying that they never earned anything and just had everything given to them?

    It’s 2014. If there is any privilege that truly exists, it’s black privilege. Affirmative action is literally legalized racism. The black kid with the 3.0 will get in the college over a white kid with a 4.0. That is direct privilege. Nothing was earned. All was granted due to skin color. Blacks are also not allowed to ever be questioned or criticized or you become a “racist”. That’s another privilege blacks have.

    • Tim_in_Indiana

      Now post this over at the original article…if they will let you.

  • TonyWestfield

    Every time I read (or hear) the phrase “White Privilege”…in the distance I can sense the pain, the screaming in horror, the blood and the desperate moaning, the mute cries from the fatal injury, etc., of a White person who is right now, at this very moment, being beaten or robbed or raped or murdered by a black/brown aggressor who believes that he is “just getting even.”

    • LHathaway

      I was thinking something similar. It’s as if the author of this piece has just arrived in a spaceship from another universe and is completely oblivious to the true nature of black/white relations. On second thought, even a visitor from another world couldn’t be fooled this much.

      When they are harassing, defaming, slandering, belittling, intimidating, threatening, hitting, robbing, beating, raping or even murdering whites, often it seems as though they are having fun.

    • Exactly. These Cultural Marxists need to ask poor Channon Christian and Christopher Newsome how their alleged “white privilege” worked out. A little less of that “privilege” and Channon would have finished college and the two might be married today.

      • TonyWestfield

        Channon Christian and Chris Newsome were victims of true racism, not the “racism” that takes the form of rational generalizations and abstractions that live in the minds of intelligent people. “Pattern recognition” isn’t just something that intelligence does; it is the very basis and beginning of the human mind–akin to causality. or causation, which is science itself. None of this is news to you, Michael, but I’m eager to reinforce the debunking of so-called white privilege. Whites are the most maligned group–and let me add that Whites hardly think of ourselves as “a group” (this goes for me and just about everybody I’ve known) except in response to an accusation against “us”–in contemporary America, the prevailing cultural dialogue turns Whites into a group, and then the dialogue sees to it that Whites are more maligned than anyone, even Muslims–which really rings the Absurdity bell, doesn’t it? Real racism is violence driven by a fantasy in the head of the aggressor, and that’s what happened to Channon and Chris, and to Julie Love and the Wichita Massacre and countless others. These atrocities bear no resemblance to a fat slob, high on dope, who just muscled his way through robbing a box of cigars and now embarks on the very dangerous enterprise to harass a police officer, shove the officer and punch him, then go for his gun…fat slob winds up dead on the pavement, no great loss. Channon and Chris, et al: yes, a truly great loss.

  • KevinPhillipsBong

    If I had a dream, it would be to pack a White Priv Conference with like minds and drown out every speaker with laughter. Libs cannot abide to have their sacred pronouncements mocked.

  • Eddie Lutz

    It’s not privilege, it’s good parenting.

  • Anglo

    “In a press release, Brinkley said the attack “does not appear to be a hate crime.”

    Not a hate crime? Who do they think they’re kidding. I certainly hope Ralph Weems is able to recover.

  • Jack Burton

    Whiteness, it’s a privilege, and an honor.

    Anyone who drones on and on about white privilege nonsense deserves the knockout game.

    Just like if someone is insulting you, and they get really vicious and cross lines, there comes a point where words are no longer useful and it’s time to raise the black flag as Mencken said.

  • Malgus

    I couldn’t finish reading this bilge… as it was, the bit I did read made me throw up in my mouth a little bit..

  • KevinPhillipsBong

    White Privilege is the Grand Unified Theory of antiracist madness.

    • Emblematic

      And ‘Hate’ is the Discrimination Singularity formed from the multiple sub-discriminations that exist across the Prejudice Spectrum.

      The demonstration that all varieties of opposition to liberal progress are in fact simply different manifestations of a single underlying Hate is one of the greatest discoveries made by the progressive Left’s social science community.

  • TonyWestfield

    Golf Cart One!!! Can’t help but wonder if other “decoy” carts are scattered throughout the golf course, Golf Cart Two, Golf Cart Three…populated by look-alikes…you know, to protect the real pretender, Obama. Would that such a job of “look-alike” were the most dangerous job in America.

  • david dorian

    White people don;t own you or anyone living.

    White privilege is ENVY and hatred of whites.

  • Jack Burton

    ““racial slurs being yelled from the crowd.” When he got outside, he said Weems was on the ground being kicked by a group of attackers.”

    Clearly mob violence and a hate crime which the anti-white media and our government are liable for. They have created a hostile living environment for whites, including assholes like O’Hehir.

    Too bad he didn’t have a gun and do what Darren Wilson did.

    • Ralph Monzo

      Wow, The Night of the Drama Queens” is on the innernetz…

      • Jack Burton

        Try and troll a little more coherently, moron.

        • Ralph Monzo

          Try and make your point a little less dramatically, pompous ass. 🙂

          • World_War_Me

            I’m curious: you write a statement containing a serious, grownup insult, but you close it with a girly, childish smiley. Why?

            Does it mean, “I’m just kidding!” or “I’m so cute when I’m being a total b*tch, tee hee.”

            Let’s imagine for a moment that I am you and am suffering from whatever form of autism you have. Pretend, like you, I lack the ability to pick up on normal social cues and am incapable of determining what is appropriate in a written exchange among adults.

            My problem is, I find it quite cringe-worthy to see a smiley face when I’m witnessing a debate among adults, especially within the context of an insult. I see it often on Twitter, particularly from 12 to 14-year-old girls and/or people with Aspergers, and have always wondered what’s going on.

            I appreciate whatever explanation you are capable of forming.

          • Ralph Monzo

            I write what I want, motherfucker. I feel no impetus to explain myself to a condescending, liberal bitch like you. 🙂

      • World_War_Me

        Like, oh MY gawd, like total Drama Queeeeeeeeeeeens on the innernetz!!!!!1111 LOL!!!1!!!! YOLO!!! AMIRITE? ! ! TEE HEE

  • Truthseeker

    Resisting white privilege is not about “liberal guilt,” or donning
    sackcloth and ashes, or whatever Bill O’Reilly thinks happens in
    graduate seminars at elite universities. It’s about finding material
    ways to pay down that debt, and also about recognizing how much the debt
    has weighed us down–all of us, white and black and brown and all other

    “Debt.” Now that’s rich. As if some accountant is keeping records of who owes whom what. If someone had been keeping track, they’d probably owe us by now, for all the neighborhoods, schools and lives they’ve destroyed with their behavior.

    This nebulous idea of a “debt” is something that can never be repaid, because if it ever were, Blacks wouldn’t have stupid White liberals willingly taking the blame for their failings anymore. Until we are realistic about race, we’ll be stuck in an endless cycle where we start from the false premise of racial equality, see unequal results and attribute it to wrongdoing on the part of the higher race. Let us embrace the truth of racial differences, and choose the sensible solution of separation.

  • ViktorNN

    There aren’t any privileges that white people get that no one else gets, just by virtue of being white. Perhaps we get some by virtue of being a majority – but this is the case in any country where there are majorities and minorities. There is nothing special about “whiteness” in this respect. And whites are fast becoming just one minority among minorities anyway.

    Also, racial discrimination is illegal in this country, and even if there are cases of racial discrimination, the absence of racial discrimination for whites does not equal a “privilege.”

    The idea of “white privilege” is an illogical, unverified myth. It would just be one laughably stupid left wing theory among other stupid left wing theories, except that this conceptual dung gets shoveled out to our white college kids every single school day. Don’t send your kids off to school without warning them about this toxic mind rot.

    • Bill

      I can think of one privilege that Whites get – The privilege of paying taxes so others can benefit.

    • Emblematic

      White privilege is genetic.

  • Gary John 金白龍

    Non-Whites are privileged to live in White majority societies.

  • LHathaway

    “(White privilege is) the drug used to brainwash whites into making common cause with the class of CEOs, financiers and landlords. Kicking that drug habit is the only way white America can ever set itself free”

    They’ve certainly been trying to kick whites of this habit on the pages of AmRen the last 20 years! Oh how we have finally all found common cause.

  • Spikeygrrl

    Too bad such a worthy opinion was written in an offensive, uneducated style which only feeds the popular perception that all White race realists are Maw and Paw Kettle. Until “race realist” conjures up the image of three piece suit, not three front teeth, we’re fighting a losing battle.

    • markinla

      You need the correct language to show you are really sick of hearing this BS. Politeness won’t show that. You don’t have to be a race realist to reject white privilege, just somebody sick of PC and it’s lies.

      • Spikeygrrl

        That’s what I’m calling for: correct language and civilized style. We are men, not beasts. If we do not demonstrate this in everything we do, we are indistinguishable from the beasts from whom we wish to separate. Vile and uneducated writing does not demonstrate sincerity; maintaining the courage of our convictions does.

    • ShermanTMcCoy

      The language is angry, and rightfully so. One should remember Mr. Taylor’s thoughtful and articulate defenses of racial realism, and the violent responses he has experienced at the hands of blacks, browns, and self-hating whites.

  • glennm

    lots of words, but in the end, drivel

  • JohnEngelman

    White privilege is the privilege of others knowing that if you are white, you are almost certainly not a criminal. It is the privilege of being able to walk behind someone on a city street after the sun goes down without the person crossing the street to walk on the other side. It is the privilege of being able to walk into a store without being scrutinized by the store clerks, because they know you are not going to shop lift anything. It is the privilege of being able to get on a bus without having women hold their purses more tightly, and not having men put their briefcases on the laps.

    It is a privilege that has been earned. Whites really do have a much lower crime rate than blacks. People of all races know that we are safe to be around. Blacks who say that they are tired of being treated like criminals should not complain to whites. They should complain to black criminals.

    • TonyWestfield

      Bullseye on every point, John, pitch perfect. A scumbag White could draw down some of the positive social capital that we decent Whites have built up–he could walk into that store or walk onto that bus just the way that you or I do, with bright eyes and the confident, open expression on his face–all of this makes him instantly welcome, and so he can ambush the unsuspecting people around him. But this is the rare exception, which proves your point: the great preponderance of Whites promise goodness and deliver it. We have earned the benefit of the doubt among people, including those we’ve never met. I feel sorry for decent Blacks because their tribe has earned the suspicion that falls upon every member, especially the younger males. And whom to blame for the injustice of misplaced suspicion? Not the people aiming their suspicion at the subject individual…Those to blame are the fraction of Blacks without whose criminality the police would have no reason to report to work most days.

  • Reverend Bacon

    “White Privilege” is a social construct. But it’s a necessary one: it’s the “deux ex machina” to which liberals must resort in order to write themselves out of the corner they’ve painted with their narrative.

    Using all logic in a Cartesian world makes everything apparent: we’ve spent $100 trillion or so on an unwinnable war, and we should stop fighting it. For 50 years, we’ve tried in earnest to close this “achievement gap” or the “intelligence gap” or the “criminality gap” and all of the offshoots of the above. It didn’t take.

    Rather than simply cut our losses and admit defeat, the liberals need a reason to keep us fighting. A reason to get us to keep spending more and more untold trillions of dollars on this quagmire, this squaring of the circle, this Waterloo for white society. “White Privilege” is this vague concept that otherwise logical people must swallow before they can throw out their obvious conclusions and simply say, “yeah, white privilege. We don’t understand it, because we can’t. So we’ll keep on writing them checks, and eventually, they’ll stop robbing, raping, and murdering us, and they’ll become good taxpaying republicans.”

    So, on we went, and waited for the light, and went without the meat, and cursed the bread.

  • Honestly, this is the first time I couldn’t finish reading an article posted here… two paragraphs in and the redundant self hating bullsh*t was so thick I couldn’t bring myself to wade any deeper into it… it’s so hard to comprehend that people are true believers in this tripe.

    What a wonderful world it would be if everyone who hated themselves and their race this much took the logical step and ended their own life… maybe it will get to that point? Where the brainwashing and self hate is so thick and oppressive that there’s a mass “self culling” of the herd… a kind of evolutionarily guided eugenics.

    Ah, such fanciful dreams…

    • Emblematic

      They don’t hate themselves, they love themselves. In their world, affecting this kind of piety gets you approval. They love the approval.

      • It is a never-ending, no-limit game of one-upsmanship in moral posturing. This is why they will never be satisfied by more concessions from the responsible elements in society, i.e. us.

  • Chris R

    A lot of words to say nothing. Stopped reading after the second paragraph. Waste of my time.

  • Jack Burton

    Of course, Bantus are not interested in the land. They never did anything with the land anyway. They want to exploit the white worker and use what whites have developed, they’re squatters.

  • bubo

    Don’t bother reading the article. Just search his image. An aging hipster in gentrified Brooklyn living the life of SWPL dreams “baking decent artisan bread” and writing about indie movies for Salon.

    That’s how he supports his family. If there’s such a thing as “white privilege” it’s safe to say he’s got it in spades.

  • none of your business

    Apparently he hates himself because he is White and male. So why does he not just kill himself?

    • Bill

      He’s probably a narcissist.

    • Sloppo

      I believe he hates his own people, but he’s madly in love with himself.

  • Bill

    I’m not saying he’s right, but if he were, wouldn’t that also apply to the native people of every other country on the planet? Yeah, whites aren’t native to the US.
    This theory is oversimplified. but Chinese Privilege in China…..Indian Privilege in India…..

  • Emblematic

    He may be White but he writes like a Black. You recognize the style immediately.
    Overly wordy. In love with Diversity Jargon. Confected ‘seriousness’. Straining for gravitas. Written as though from a point high above everyone else, looking down and seeing it all. Declarations about a fake history that ‘everybody knows’. Moralizing about something new being needed but then ending with platitudes or a look-at-me self focus. God it’s awful.

  • Diversity Fatigue

    So black circumstances are all about “white privilege” and have nothing to do with the racial characteristics of blacks themselves? The author is a lunatic. If a black criminal murders a white person, this author would be wondering what the white victim did to cause his own death. The mind of a Leftist has a distorted view of reality.

  • ajay

    you want a yuck, go to Salon and see the slavering comments agreeing with this drivel.

  • ANDREW O’HEHIR is just another hack that lives around white people, but keeps writing about disadvantages blacks have. He needs to move in with a black family and give back his white privilege.

  • Alexandra1973

    Rhetorical question: Do I owe my younger sister something because I was in accelerated classes and she was in special ed?

    We’re polar opposites, I might add….

  • brior

    An atheist quoting scripture, The hypocrisy of the moonbats knows no bounds. He has not earned the religious privilege.

    • Douglas Quaid

      I thought that was pretty rich myself, “Let me quote to you from a book whose authority I reject as an appeal to authority.” Just another postmodern moron with his feet firmly planted in midair.

  • gemjunior

    White privilege is nothing more than the result of hard work. It’s idiots like this guy who are the real destroyers of our country.

  • Ralph Monzo

    If only… 🙂

  • Easyrhino

    What a five star load of caca!

    Stay in school
    Study hard.
    Obey the law
    Speak proper English
    Don’t get anyone pregnant you’re not married to

    And you too can experience the wonder of “White Privilege!

  • brior

    “getting shot by the police for no particular reason” HaHaHahaHaHaHaHa What a load.

    • I’ve been arrested several times, but I never resisted, always cooperated, and calmly did what police ordered. Guess what: the cops never shot me. Dealing with a court case can be time-consuming and cost a bit of money, but it is a heck of a lot less trouble and cost than recovering – if one survives – from gunshot wounds. Perhaps the ability to think this far ahead is more of that “white privilege”.

  • White PRIVILEGE = White Guilt Brainwashing.

  • M.

    Best comment of that Salon article:

    “Ridiculous. I’m Black, and I grew up with 2 college educated parents. My kids have the same; we’re not deprived. As was previously stated, “inequality” begins at birth, so I guess God and DNA is actually to blame. Some people are more attractive, stronger, smarter, musically gifted, artistically talented, etc. They receive advantages in life based on those things that others can’t receive. We focus too much on race and not enough on economics. That’s where the real privilege is. About 3 miles from my house is a trailer park mostly full of White kids. Somebody needs to tell them that they’re privileged, because I don’t think they know it yet.”

  • Sloppo

    The best thing we can do regarding white privilege is to share it with many others as Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have done.

  • Augustus3709

    White-Shaming is about discrediting talent and stealing inheritance.

  • English Majority

    Its hard to even know what to say, isn’t it?

    Its like non-stop psychological and physical warfare on Whites.

    We all know, of course, that White Privilege doesn’t exist. Its the exact opposite.

    We’re being oppressed, constantly, just for being normal Whites, in the lands our forefathers built.

  • fatbaby

    I suddenly realized that I am proud of the accomplishments of the white race and our founders.

  • HanzP

    Is this a set of principles that we agree on? It works for me and ties in nicely with Thomas Jefferson/ Adam Smith/ John Adams/ John Locke /Voltaire/ Hobbes

    The Declaration of Independence Annotated
    (I posted an annotated version because it requires a bit parsing and context)?

    by Randy Barnett on July 4, 2012 8:25 am[From the next edition of my casebook, Constitutional Law: Cases in Context:]

    When reading the Declaration, it is worth keeping in mind two very important facts. The Declaration constituted high treason against the Crown and every person who signed it would be executed as traitors should they be caught by the British. Second, the Declaration was considered to be a legal document by which the revolutionaries justified their actions, and explained why they were not truly traitors. It represented, as it were, a literal indictment of the Crown and Parliament, in the very same way that criminals are now publicly indicted for their alleged crimes by grand juries representing “the People.”

    But to justify a revolution, it was not thought to be enough that officials of the government of England, the Parliament, or even the sovereign himself had violated the rights of the people. No government is perfect; all governments violate rights. This was well known. So the Americans had to allege more than mere violations of rights. They had to allege nothing short of a criminal conspiracy to violate their rights systematically. Hence, the famous reference to “a long train of abuses and usurpations” and the list that follows. In some cases, these specific complaints account for provisions eventually included in the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

    The Declaration of Independence used to be read aloud at public gathering every Fourth of July. Today, while all Americans have heard of it, all too few have read more than its second sentence. Yet the Declaration shows the natural rights foundation of the American Revolution, and provides important information about what makes a constitution or government legitimate. It also raises the question of how these fundamental rights are reconciled with the idea of “the consent of the governed” for which the Declaration is also famous.

    Later, the Declaration also assumes increasing importance in the struggle to abolish slavery. It is a foundational document of the Nineteenth Century abolitionists and was much relied upon by Abraham Lincoln. It had to be explained away by the Supreme Court in Dred Scott. Eventually, it was repudiated by some defenders of slavery in the South because of its inconsistency with that institution.

    To appreciate all that is packed into these two paragraphs, it is useful to break down the Declaration into some of its key claims.

    1. “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.” This first sentence is often forgotten. It asserts that Americans as a whole (and not as members of their respective colonies) are a distinct “people.” To “dissolve the political bands” revokes the “social compact” that existed between the Americans and the rest of “the People” of the British commonwealth, which resumes the “state of nature” between Americans and the government of Great Britain, and “the Laws of Nature” are then the standard by which this dissolution and whatever government is to follow are judged. “Declare the causes” indicates they are publicly stating the reasons and justifying their actions rather than being thieves in the night. The Declaration is like the indictment of a criminal that states the basis of his criminality. But the ultimate judge of the rightness of their cause will be God, which is why the revolutionaries spoke of an “appeal to heaven”—an expression commonly found on revolutionary banners and flags. As British political theorist John Locke wrote: “The people have no other remedy in this, as in all other cases where they have no judge on earth, but to appeal to heaven.”

    2. “Decent respect to the opinions of mankind.” This might be viewed as a kind of an international public opinion test. Or perhaps, the emphasis is on the word “respect.” The obligation to provide the rest of the world with an explanation others can evaluate for themselves. Again, like the presentation to the public of an indictment stating legal and factual grounds for incarcerating an individual.

    3. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” The most famous line of the Declaration. On the one hand, this will become a great embarrassment to a people who permitted slavery. On the other hand making public claims like this has consequences—that’s why people make them publicly. To be held for account. And this promise will provide the heart of the abolitionists case in the Nineteenth Century, which is why late defenders of slavery eventually came to reject the Declaration.

    What are “unalienable,” or more commonly, “inalienable rights”? Inalienable rights are those you cannot give up even if you want to and consent. Unlike other alienable rights that you can consent to transfer or waive. Why inalienable rights? The Founders want to counter England’s claim that by accepting the colonial governance, the colonists had alienated their rights. The Framers claimed that with inalienable rights, you always retain the ability to take back any right that has been given up.

    The standard trilogy throughout this period was “life, liberty, and property.” For example, the Declaration and Resolves of the First Continental Congress (1774) read: “That the inhabitants of the English colonies in North-America, by the immutable laws of nature, the principles of the English constitution, and the several charters or compacts, have the following RIGHTS: Resolved, 1. That they are entitled to life, liberty and property: and they have never ceded to any foreign power whatever, a right to dispose of either without their consent.” Or, as John Locke wrote, “no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions.”

    Perhaps the most commonly repeated formulation was found in the Virginia Declaration of Rights of May 15, 1776 drafted by George Mason: “That all men are by nature equally free and independent and have certain inherent rights, . . . namely the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.” The switch from property to “pursuit of happiness” came at the last minute of the drafting process. The exact reason for change is not clear.

    4. “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men. . . .” Another overlooked line, which is of greatest relevance to our discussion of the first underlying assumption of the Constitution: the assumption of natural rights. Most emphasis today is placed on “the consent of the governed” passage that follows. But both parts of this sentence need to be reconciled. This part identifies the end of governments as securing the natural rights which the previous sentence affirms is the measure against which all government—whether of Great Britain or the U.S.—will be judged.

    5. “. . . deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” Today, there is a tendency to focus entirely on this portion of the sentence to the exclusion of the first part, but we should recognize both parts are there and do not mean the same thing. Although the ultimate criteria of legitimate governance is the protection of natural rights, this affirms that particular governments only gain jurisdiction to protect these rights by the consent of those who are governed. The “consent of governed” is a different idea from protecting rights. It is how to get government up and running. But it is a problematic idea in terms of rights. If you emphasize consent and de-emphasize rights, government gets empowered to do anything in the name of the people, so long as it can claim the “consent of the governed,” which is never going to be the actual consent of each and every person. So there is a tension between the first and second parts of the sentence.

    One way this tension was later resolved was with the concept of presumed consent. The people can only be presumed to have consented to what was actually expressed in the written constitution; conversely, absent a clear statement to the contrary, they cannot be presumed to have consented to surrender any of their natural rights. So to interpret the meaning of what must be an amorphous “popular” consent, we must know what natural rights the people have.

    6. “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” People have the right to take back power from the government. Restates the end—human safety and happiness—and connects the principles and forms of government as means to this ends.

    7. “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.” Affirms at least two propositions: On the one hand, long established government should not be changed for just any reason. The mere fact that rights are violated is not enough to justify revolution All governments on earth will sometimes violate rights. But things have to become very bad before anyone is going to organize a resistance. Therefore, the very existence of this Declaration is evidence that things are very bad indeed.

    8. “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.” Revolution is justified only if there “is a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object.” Evidence of what amounts to an actual criminal conspiracy by the government against the rights of the people. The opposite of “light and transient causes,” that is, the more ordinary violations of rights by government.

    9. “Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain [George III] is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.” What follows is a bill of indictment. Several of these items end up in the Bill of Rights. Others are addressed by form of the government established, first by the Articles of Confederation, and ultimately by the Constitution.

    The assumption of natural rights expressed in the Declaration of Independence can be summed up by the following proposition: “first comes rights, then comes government.” According to this view: (1) the rights of individuals do not originate with any government, but preexist its formation; (2) The protection of these rights is the first duty of government; and (3) Even after government is formed, these rights provide a standard by which its performance is measured and, in extreme cases, its systemic failure to protect rights — or its systematice violation of rights — can justify its alteration or abolition; (4) At least some of these rights are so fundamental that they are “inalienable,” meaning they are so intimately connected to one’s nature as a human being that they cannot be transferred to another even if one consents to do so. This is powerful stuff.

  • scutum

    “White privilege is the solvent used, throughout American history, to dissolve multiracial coalitions of working people,” This should read, to dissolve the collective, as in Marxism. This articles advocacy of collectivization and Marxism is so transparent it’s ridiculous, but what else can you expect from a communist rag like Salon.

  • World_War_Me

    No Mercy, No Quarter for the O’Hehirs of the world.

  • Paleoconn

    I am White and I am not sorry for that. This writer should give his job to a black journo. Then maybe he can kill himself.

  • Annabelle Pettyjohn

    The only privileged whites are JEWS!!!!!! They have created horrible misery in the world while hiding in the white gentile population. Jews have hidden under the cloak of antisemitism while destroying the world. Why are the Jews not being held accountable for their evilness? Why hasn’t white America stood up against the Jews? Why do we not speak of the misery that Jews have perpetrated on the world throughout history? Why do we let Jews control the Catholic Church, the Christian Church, the Media, all media, the Universities, the banking system, all things are controlled by Jews and they spew venom for white Americans.

  • “Resisting white privilege is … about finding material ways to pay down that debt …” Um, what debt do I owe people I’ve never met and never interacted with in any way? The only debt that I can see is the duty to treat every other person on the planet as a human being with all respect that is due. I try to live by that philosophy, the Golden Rule, treating others as I would have them treat me. If everyone else did that as well, the racial divisions in this country would cease to exist and Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton would be unemployed. Wouldn’t that be great?