Undergirding the rioting and burning of American cities is the concept of white privilege, which apparently is so insidious that most white people don’t recognize they have, but has been responsible for trampling black people up to this moment. The so-called and unsupportable “systemic racism” case relies on a white privilege foundation so that white people who do not feel racist or commit racist acts must nonetheless relent to being part of the problem keeping black people down.
So the question to be put is: Is there white privilege? Or is there choice privilege? Stay with me on this, because it’s awesomely easy.
It indeed looks like white privilege on the surface, considering disparities from income and wealth to education and incarceration. Anyone can see that much. But is that the whole story or are there underlying factors that drive the differences because of individual choices that are cumulative in groups of people?
Without going into the underlying choices involved in each category, all of which is spelled out in the statistics, I’ll jump to what seems like the obvious death knell of this postmodernist theory of white privilege: Asians.
In every measurable category, Asians do better than whites. Income, education, crime rate. Asians outperform whites across the board. By dint of the argument for white privilege, then there must be even more Asian privilege than white privilege. That would be news to the descendants of Chinese immigrants who were virtual slave laborers building railroads in the 19th century, or Japanese Americans rounded up and interned for the duration of WWII — two groups that now exceed whites in America.
But the proponents of white privilege — white and black progressives — refuse to even respond to this.
So let’s go further. Hispanics outperform blacks in those categories. Not by as much, but statistically significant still. So is there Hispanic privilege compared to blacks? That sounds sort of absurd. And finally, blacks who immigrated here in recent years do better than blacks who have lived here for generations. In all the categories. New blacks privilege? It starts to sound nonsensical, because at root it is.
In all these groups, different choices are made by members of the groups. If you look at Asians, the marriage rate is higher (choice,) family strength is stronger (choice,) the graduation rate is higher (choice,) and crime rate is lower (choice.)
I’ll give one fundamental statistic from the U.S. Department of Education: In 2016, the percentage of children living with married parents was highest for Asian children (84 percent), followed by white children (73 percent); then Hispanic children (57 percent each); and finally for black children (33 percent). Blacks who immigrated here in recent years also have higher family cohesiveness. This statistic alone tracks directly with outcomes in the above areas used to support white privilege.
But nobody, and I mean nobody, is willing to have this conversation about root causes. Instead, somehow, people jump to blaming cops and burning down cities, to reparations and kneeling, to tearing down the country.
I get it, slavery and Jim Crow. But we’re 165 years removed from slavery and generations from Jim Crow, allowing time for good choices to take hold. And some have. Dr. Ben Carson. Thomas Sowell. Sen. Tim Scott. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Former President Barack Obama. They and thousands of others from impoverished broken homes have made different choices and changed the cycle. Because of that Maya and Sasha Obama will have enormous privileges. More than virtually every white person.
But again, no one wants that conversation.
It seems to me that if you created a privilege ladder based on the way the white privilege purveyors measure such privilege, it would go:
But the choice privilege ladder would also look the exact same. Doesn’t it seem obvious which privilege really drives outcomes?
Rod Thomson is an author, former journalist, past Salem radio host, ABC TV commentator and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Like Rod on Facebook.
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