White Privilege Doesn’t Exist and Is ‘Fictional,’ Missouri Lawmaker Says. He’s Wrong.

Toriano Porter, Kansas City Star, April 3, 2019

Missouri state Rep. Nicholas Schroer doesn’t believe white privilege exists. The idea that white people have a leg up in society is completely fictional, he says.

{snip}

The Republican lawmaker from suburban St. Louis recently posted on social media his misguided beliefs in response to the recent decision by prosecutors in Chicago to drop charges against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett.

{snip}

“Is there such thing as racial or white privilege?” Schroer tweeted about the case. “No. Class or monetary privilege? Yup.”

{snip}

Studies show white people are mostly not conscious of the fact that cultural, educational, financial and legal institutions cater to them.

White folks have benefited financially from slavery and other atrocities for hundreds of years. The remnants of those gains continue today.

The generational wealth gap between white and black people is well-documented. Average wealth for white families is seven times higher than average wealth for black families.

White privilege is a byproduct of institutionalized racism, discrimination and bias. Those with the most power are often the least likely to acknowledge that it is unearned, said Rhiannon Dickerson, lecturer in communication studies at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

“Whiteness has always been about privilege,” said Dickerson, who is white. “Privilege and power are at the root of the construction of race itself — they’re inextricable. {snip}”

{snip}

It’s partially true that there are people of color who enjoy economic privileges. But to cite a person such as Smollett as proof that white privilege doesn’t exist is foolhearted. And it reeks of insincerity.

{snip}

Diversity trainer and human rights activist Jane Elliott once said most white people fail to recognize their privilege. She wasn’t lying, if Schroer’s take is the norm.

{snip}

“The problem with white people is not white innocence … and it’s not white privilege,” Elliott said in an 2018 interview with television personality Roland Martin. “It’s white ignorance. And until white people get educated to the fact that they are not superior because of a lack of melanin in their skin, that’s how long we will have this problem.”

{snip}

Topics: , ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.