The Real White Privilege and My Radio Race War

Selwyn Duke, American Thinker, February 5, 2015

If you look for the worst in a group, you’re sure to find it. Using a twist on an Abraham Lincoln line, I made that statement on the Mildred Gaddis Show (Radio One Detroit WCHB AM) last Wednesday during a debate on “White Privilege: Myth or Reality.” Finding myself pitted against the other guest, whose name isn’t important, and the black callers, it was a spirited discussion, to say the least.

It was also, unfortunately, a good example of how hatred is like darkness: the more there is, the less you can see.

To the other guest and the black callers, white privilege’s reality was simply a “fact” everyone was obligated to acknowledge, and the only legitimate question was the extent to which it has affected our lives. My debate opponent was flabbergasted that I denied this.

Of course, the general explanation for “deniers” such as me–and this is the white man’s plight, the dogma goes–is that we’re so immersed in our privilege we just can’t help ourselves and see beyond it. Thus is our opinion on the subject irrelevant.

This demonization is a bit like what befell the Jews in Nazi Germany. It mattered not if they didn’t have two pfennigs to rub together; by virtue of being Jewish they were automatically deemed privileged and guilty of taking advantage of that status. This justifies all manner and form of discrimination against the target group to “balance the scales.” Of course, those scales never do get balanced. For instance, even though South African whites are politically powerless today and subject to great discrimination and violence, they’re still blamed for their country’s woes.

But accepting white privilege as supposition is prejudice itself. If someone wishes to claim this phenomenon exists, the burden is on him to prove it; it is not on those who would have to prove a negative.

This proof is never forthcoming. The only argument offered is that whites are more prosperous and healthier socially than are blacks, which proves white privilege as much as blacks’ numerical dominance in the NBA proves black privilege. After all, Hindus (exclusively non-white) are the highest-earning religious group in the U.S., and Jews are number two, yet no one today takes this as proof of Hindu or Jewish privilege. In fact, in a radio debate some years ago I challenged a different guest–who cited whites’ higher incomes as proof of privilege–to be true to his rationale and speak of Jewish privilege (which he wouldn’t dare do). His response?

Jewish people can’t be privileged because we know they’ve suffered discrimination.

Of course, this is circular reasoning. Higher incomes were proof of his ideology–except when his ideology said that higher incomes weren’t.

But that’s the left-reason Left for you. They don’t need facts or logic. They know white privilege exists. They know whites discriminate. It’s just a matter of accepting the terms of surrender and your place in the re-education camp. Because they know. Yet the guest on that second show, a Ph.D., didn’t even know that whites (non-Hispanic) were only 63 percent of our population; he thought they constituted 80 percent. It was especially striking that he didn’t know the country’s racial and ethnic make-up–his Ph.D. was in ethnic studies.

But, hey, don’t you know? Educators today teach students “how to think”–as opposed to just teaching memorization and “facts.”

So it’s no wonder many don’t have enough facts to lend perspective to the few facts they do know. On the Mildred Gaddis Show I heard the usual refrains: whites had slaves, whites violated blacks’ civil rights, white men in America didn’t allow anyone else to vote. The other guest even bellowed, as if relating an unpardonable sin, that our country was founded only by white men. Is this shocking in a primarily white civilization? China was founded by Chinese, and ancient Egypt was founded by Egyptians.

French philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville noted, “The most dangerous moment for a bad regime is when it begins to reform itself.” Being a rough-hewn lot, all of man is a “bad regime.” But whites started to reform themselves.

And now they’re endangered.

That is to say, it’s true that whites engaged in slavery, violated human rights and suppressed voting. But is this notable? All groups did those things. Slavery has been practiced since time immemorial and still is not unusual in places such as Africa. What’s notable is that while it’s unlikely whites were the first ones to engage in slavery, they were the first ones to outlaw it. Europeans led the way there, followed by the U.S. a bit later.

Human-rights violations are also the historical norm. What’s notable is that whites were the group that originated our modern concept of human rights.

And for virtually all of history women and blacks couldn’t vote–anywhere–because no one could vote.

Until whites invented democracy.

It was born in Athens, Greece 2500 years ago. And modern constitutional republics were originated by whites as well.

Having said all this, I’ll now admit I’ve been wrong in denying the reality of white privilege. It certainly exists.

It’s the privilege from which anyone who resides in a primarily white nation benefits. People who live in Western lands enjoy a lifestyle unparalleled in history or anywhere in the rest of the world. As Thomas Sowell wrote recently addressing Barack Obama’s classless impugning of our country while in India, “[W]hat Obama called ‘terrible poverty’ in America would be called prosperity in India.”

This brings us to the fact that there is black privilege as well. It’s not enjoyed by most black people, who live in Africa often in misery and under despotism. But in the U.S. it means benefiting from quotas, affirmative-action, set-asides, immunity from many kinds of criticism, and the latitude to make racial remarks and jokes that would destroy whites’ careers.

Some may now fault me for framing all this in racial terms. But how else can one address a race-based claim such as white privilege? Don’t write the check if you don’t want it cashed.

It could also seem as if I’m engaging in white triumphalism. But while the causes of civilizations’ varying degrees of success constitute an interesting topic too complex to explore here, know that I don’t consider cultural and technological advancement a purely white domain. Egypt and China were once dominant powers, and China may become so again. But I am trying to balance the scales.

This returns us to my opening Lincoln line. If you focus on a person’s sins to the exclusion of his good deeds, you can make him appear the Devil incarnate. It’s fashionable today to look for the worst in whites, and because of this people are sure to find it. And the result is that we will hear things such as, to quote the late leftist writer Susan Sontag, “The white race is the cancer of human history.”

But, of course, whites do have certain crimes for which to answer. For example and in an interesting irony, it seems it was a white man who disgorged the concept of white privilege.

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  • This article gives me a good hook to say something here which I have said in other places in the last few days.

    I now think that the phrase “speak truth to power” is linguistic linguine, and that saying it or thinking you’re doing it is a waste of time.


    Go ahead, speak all the truth to power that you want. You’ll eventually realize that power owns guns and megaphones, and therefore, power can create its own truth.

    What got my mind thinking in that direction?


    • David Ashton

      Mao Zedong: “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.”

      Time to start a prairie fire of ideas from Alaska to Australia and from Ulster to Ukraine?

      • American private citizens have more guns than all the world’s standing armies combined. There are tens of millions of us, and those are just the ones the government knows about.

        If political power grows out of the barrel of a gun, then every armed American is a garden of power. We have only to harvest it.

    • dukem1

      I have thought about that phrase as well, and come to the conclusion that what would be truly courageous would be to “speak truth to the powerless.”
      That truth would be explaining why they are powerless.
      I’ll be dead and buried before any pol tries that.

    • HE2

      Our very own Pugg commented on the above linked countenance article. No photo, though.
      At least we know he has not been taken to the pound.

      • Puggg

        Not taken to the pound as such. Just new responsibilities at the job. Since the trouble up in Ferguson wound down, I’m back to normal shifts but now I’ve been promoted from jail guard (pound guard) to patrol.

        • HE2

          Sweet Pugggster, am glad you are doing well, back to normal shifts, and neither incarcerated in nor guarding the pound.
          I hear the food there is terrible.
          Get your rest; you deserve it.

  • MekongDelta69

    If I post here, does that mean I have ‘AmRen privilege’?!

    Hey – jes’ axin’

    • dukem1

      you keepin’ it real, homie

      (punctuation disregarded cuz i be keepin’ it real 2)

  • Conrad

    I got my white privilege the old fashioned way – I worked for it!

    • Sick of it

      I work like a slave as a free man. Lazy blacks claim to be slaves while taking money from my pocket courtesy of the federal government. Not much privilege here.

  • David Ashton

    Privileged but grateful. Willing to pass on values to the less privileged, but not to let them destroy these values.

    • Samuel Hathaway

      Yes, how much better we would be if blacks adopted the values and mores of the white middle class. Separate but equal with parity would be the ideal arrangement. Blacks with a thriving private economy among themselves without white help, and without following white people around demanding everything.

      • TomIron361

        Blacks can’t run anything successfully beyond maybe a very small store, but even then they won’t be able to sustain it over a long period of time.

        • Ron Cheaters

          If it was successful, the jealous one’s would destroy it.

        • dmxinc

          In one insane country I know, they run the presidency, dept of justice, dept of agriculture and the country’s space program, amongst many other departments.

          • Silly Frog

            “Run” must mean something very different in your part of the world. I guess I run my car, although i have no skill in its design or mechanics and could not build it on my own. I am able to sit down in a nice seat in that car (for a price) and listen to the radio as I turn the wheel. I can “run” it into the ground and walk away leaving it a mess and blame it on the engineering. I guess they do run those departments.

        • superlloyd

          Blacks can’t run anything successfully beyond track events.

        • Sick of it

          Pretty much, as their children will almost certainly destroy what they have built.

        • Dr.Bazzi

          Your observation is correct, taken further look at the African Continent and observe how prosperous and successful the blacks are.

      • David Ashton

        Weren’t Booker Washington and Marcus Garvey sympathetic to such ideas? Both incidentally very “negroid” in appearance.

      • winn sutanto

        I don’t know if you notice or not, actually the East Asian immigrants (Korean, Chinese, Japanese) as well as immigrants from India are doing just that.
        They work hard to be successful, ask nothing from government for public assistance. These immigrants might live in their own enclave, but nevertheless they are the productive members of American (and other Western) Societies.

        • Spaniard in LA

          But let’s not forget that most immigrate with a college degree, which gives them an advantage. What if the U.S was geographically located on the other side of the world? I doubt every immigrant who happen to cross the border would turn out to be a success. Illiterate peasants would overwhelm us.

  • Chip Carver

    I wish they would quit trying to tie the treatment of certain groups to what whites are undergoing today. Whites really are facing a program of extermination aimed straight in their pale faces.

  • superlloyd

    White privilege is as ludicrous concept as disparate impact. Both these specious concepts are palliatives for black failure and black failure alone. The fact that no one can define White privilege in a scientific or even logical way shows that it is a meaningless. It is a propagandist mantra given to the libtard and black sheeple by their sophist enablers and which has rendered too many whites, by its constant repetition in the media, guilty and confused. Unfortunately, criticism of the dominant social constructs is inadmissible in the MSM.

    Whereas, as the author rightly points out, black privilege is mensurate, definable and open discrimination against whites primarily. Kudos to him for taking the fight to the enemy.

    • Samuel Hathaway

      Add to that Hispanic privilege. Don’t forget the “becas gratuitas” free scholarships for being Hispanic, promoted by the Hispanic press.

  • Uninvited Guest

    “This demonization is a bit like what befell the Jews in Nazi Germany.”

    I am so sick of this kind of trash. Did they build Germany or just exploit it after WW1?

    I have often wondered WHY the Germans were willing to do what they did. I don’t think it was for absolutely no reason. We need to cut them loose and make our own future. They will always be “victims” and there is nothing we can do about that.

    • We aren’t allowed to talk about that here, but rest assured the issue is well-known and oft-discussed among realists of all stripes. Visit Radix Journal, if you haven’t already.

    • Bo_Sears

      In support of Guest’s interest in some German people’s attitude from WWI to WWII, one thought that needs to be emphasized in answering his question is that the dominant media & academic cultures practice something called “clock starting.” That is, any historical discussion according to them begins with a point in time that favors their version of history.

      But resentment by some (not all) Germans had been brewing since 1868 when Heinrich Graetz began a mean-spirited defamatory legacy of literally “scourging” and “flogging” the Germans and conducting a parallel campaign “to shatter Christianity.” That’s exactly the same campaign of defamation by the late Howard Zinn, Noel Ignatiev, and the late Susan Sontag against white Americans and Christianity since WW II.

      You can read about this in our online syllabus (Resisting Defamation) and at pages 91 and 141 in Alfred Lindemann’s 1997 book, “Esau’s Tears,” and there is lots of documentation in large pubic libraries about this anti-German and anti-Christian campaign conducted by Heinrich Graetz and his disciples from 1868 to 1933.

    • Garrett Brown

      OY Vey!!!! Shhhhh!!!!! Don’t you know you’re on Amren man? Muh 6 million is simply a fact that will NOT be questioned.

    • Publius Pompilius Quietus

      I’m glad someone picked up on that. Conservative inc. won’t say anything politically incorrect if not also licking the boot of their own preferred victim groups.

  • TomIron361

    Actually, the time for engaging minorities in “debate” is long passed. We should all prepare ourselves for the fight to the death that is coming to us.

  • JohnEngelman

    My white privilege consists of the fact that someone who sees me walking behind him on an empty sidewalk after dark does not cross the street, because he knows I am not going to rob him. It consists of the fact that when I walk into a store, store clerks do not scrutinize my behavior, because they know I am not going to shoplift anything. It consists of the fact that when I get on a bus women do not hold their purses more tightly, and men do not put their briefcases on their laps because they know I am not going to grab something that belongs to them and run off the bus.

    My white privilege has been earned. White men are nearly always safe to be around. Black men frequently are not.

    • LHathaway

      haha, you make me wonder if you were robbed by whites . . .

  • Zimriel

    He loses points when he says Hindus are “exclusively non-white”. The Brahmins’ entire existence was predicated on being – literally – Aryan: incomers from what’s now Iran.

    The Hindus in America aren’t all in this caste. I’ve certainly met and worked with enough Tamils and other Dravids to see that. But… I’ve also met others, who wouldn’t be out of place in a Sasanian palace.

  • dd121

    Liberals and blacks think they’re still oppressed by whites and they’re all slaves. When you think about it, it’s really a bizarre world view.

    • Bartholomew_1

      A few extremists might think that. I think most just notice the natural privileges of being the majority and/or being smart and confuse those things with the ill-gotten gains of conspiracy. Not unlike the way some commenters here get confused when the JQ comes up…

      • Sick of it

        There should be no point of contention. America was not founded by Jews or for Jews, therefore why should it be a Jewish homeland?

        • Bartholomew_1

          Huh? I said and/*or*. No, the Jews don’t have, and I hope never will have, majority privilege in America. They do have the privileges of being smart, and why shouldn’t they? They *are* smart. Good for them.

  • connorhus

    There is really only one Sin the White Race has committed on the world and that was convincing them they could achieve anything the White’s had achieved. Build their own civilizations and maintain them, create a representative government of equal opportunity and reach for the stars on their own. In fact we Whites jumped ahead of ourselves and began to think we could play God and uplift all the other creatures of the Earth. We should have known better if a race is meant to achieve those things they should do it on their own or you just create jealousy and hatred.

    • dukem1

      100k up-votes.

    • Nancy

      Funny thing is, our race DID accept those things as “common sense” as recently as the 19th century. Our troubles began once we let the Negro step foot on our soil. By the time Lincoln came along, there was already a nefarious movement within our country that began pushing the idea of “equality” as they know it today.

      I frequently refer back to my copy of Negroes in Negroland, to remind myself that once upon a time, there were white men who not only saw and accepted Negroes for what they were (inherently unequal), but were also willing to spread the truth, in books, speeches, and legislation. They pushed back hard against the “equality” movement. I wish they’d pushed harder.

  • American Sulla

    My invisible knapsack, my privilege, the accumulated benefits I get from being a white man in a country built by white men, are other terms for my civilization. I I understand I am to be disgorged of my civilization so that uncivilized people residing here and elsewhere can feel better about themselves and boss me about. This is called “social justice”. No thanks, I’d rather keep my civilization and let those without one build their own.

    • Silly Frog

      Its like the common core of cultural achievement is being pushed to replace western civilization. I find when I come across DWL’s its like speaking to a foreigner or alien. Evil itself assaults our culture.

    • Chasmania

      And you strike upon an important point, that others MUST build their own societies. Help in the form of handouts and gifts only bring about degeneracy and sloth. If giving wealth to a people to help them up actually worked, then why is most of Africa the 3rd world hell hole that it is today ?

    • Dr.Bazzi

      Read about how the Bolsheviks transformed Russia in 1920 buy persecuting those who were successful under the Tsar; those who ran businesses, owned property or had hired servants the, “privileged” as it were.
      The Bolsheviks created “social justice” in Russia and it became a paradise for one and all.
      White Privilege is as real a Obama’s Birth Certificate, its another Bolshevik created saying that the feed the empty minds of white fools and Black idiots.
      Remember Orwell’s book , 1984? Change words, create new meanings, called news speak.

  • Bartholomew_1

    The author is spot-on, of course.

    In a larger sense, the article makes me wonder if the “white privilege” theory might end up doing a lot of good after all. Re-read what the author says here:

    “Some may now fault me for framing all this in racial terms. But how else can one address a race-based claim such as white privilege?”

    Would the guys over at American Thinker ever have ventured to say anything true about race unless the white privilege meme had forced them to? The author is essentially saying here, No, he wouldn’t have. And to the horror of most everyone on this comments board, he and the rest of America would have happily gone the way of Latin America, unconcerned with the reality of racial differences.

    Ironically, “white privilege” theories end up forcing those who would prefer to be color-blind, not to be. Combine this racial awareness with the instinctive defensiveness this theory causes in even those whites who would like to be color-blind (e.g. American Thinker), and it looks like the Left might have a problem on its hands.

  • milothefierce

    What so many leftists call “white privilege” actually has nothing to do with race…. It’s really socioeconomic privilege. If a white man is successful then it’s automatically labeled white privilege, and if a black man is successful then he’s labeled an uncle tom. This is the lower income majority’s attempt to push guilt and shame on anyone that has overcome hardships to build a better life for themselves.

  • LHathaway

    “What’s notable is that while it’s unlikely whites were the first ones to engage in slavery, they were the first ones to outlaw it. Europeans led the way there, followed by the U.S. a bit later”.

    This is a pretty good article. In my opinion, the point above shouldn’t be stressed too much. I read it on the pages of the AmRen posts and it often doesn’t sound quite so effective. Self-congratulating ourselves over slavery is . . . well, I don’t know but it can sound a bit uncouth.

    If we believe the mainstream view of white privilege (which is certainly what educators want us to believe) we must believe that white orphans, whose parents were murdered by people of color and who live in poverty raised by abusive foster parents: they are all privileged, over and above the middle class children of people of color whose grandparents benefited from cradle to the grave affirmative action (and they do too).

    • bubo

      If we believe the mainstream view of white privilege (which is certainly what educators want us to believe) we must believe that white orphans, whose parents were murdered by people of color and who live in poverty raised by abusive foster parents: they are all privileged,

      Yes, because they would have it much better than non-whites whose parents were murdered by blacks and raised in poverty by abusive foster parents./s

      They really believe this stuff. Chris Rock used to say no white man in America would change places with any black man, not even homeless bums.

  • WoodyBBad

    I took my White Privilege to the store, but I couldn’t buy food with it.

  • BillMiller66

    My white privilege?

  • Vito Powers

    Golly, I thought that having a Negro president would lead to racial healing, at least that’s what the Mainstream Media said.

    I just may never trust them again.

  • Capn Dad

    If we would just stop trying to help the less privileged they would all eventually fade away. Sounds like a plan to me.

  • david dorian

    No privilege. Its accomplishment. Those throwing around the accusations are envious parasites wanting to take advantage of whites.

  • GovSlacker

    My grandmother grew up in the slums of Boston. Out of six siblings she was the only one that lived beyond the age of 5. When she reached the 14 she got a job at a candy factory working six days a week. They got off early on Saturday – at 5 o-clock. Her pay check came to $2.38. We call that “white privilege.”

  • realgone222

    I reject the white privilege theory because I think it attempts to devalue and de-legitimzie the success of white people to make excuses for the utter failure of blacks in professional society. Lets face it, whites make their own ‘privilege’ by just ‘acting white’ i.e responsible, hard working, organized, intelligent. These are traits of both white culture and white genetics. At work I am admired for my skills, my command of the English language, ability to analyze complex business concepts and I am able to deftly navigate a political environment. This is all a product of my upbringing, education and genetic predispositions. The blacks will never understand this and view it as ‘privilege’ as if I was just handed these things from thin air. in a way they are right, I was handed these things by the efforts and struggles of my forefathers, genetics and my own self determination within my soul and this has propelled me further. White privilege to me is the epitome of racism in this country perpetrated by the Left and the perpetual underclass.

  • Alan Martin

    so called “white priviledge” is the purest form of racist hate… its a racist ideology that looks to dismiss and DEHUMANIZE white people so that one does not have to apply humanity to them… white privilege, critical race theory, so called racial social justice… all these ideologies look to take white people, societies and cultures and REDUCE them into being nothing more than “racist systems”…

    the utopias that cutlural marxists theorize and desire, is what they speak of white societies as actually having once been.. as if they were originally these multi racial and “international spaces” that white people “took’ from others, and want to keep for themselves.

    they are just “fixing” this problem of white people… this is how they immunize themsleves from being the perpetrators they are, and criminalizing any dissent by the victims of their ideology… after all, they are actually just returning things to how they “should be”.

    white people are NOT racial and cultural groups like everyone else…they are not even human beings. anyone who thinks they are white who dares claim the same rights that real human beings demand…is actually just a racist trying to keep their racist system.

    the sick and twisted logic thats in play today is such that anyone white who refuses to acknowledge your “privilege”, who dissents to racial hate against themselves, who is unwilling to act in the racial interests of other racial groups… actually becomes “proof” of your racism.

    If you are white in a white society.. you are the CRIME.