White privilege exists, get used to it

“White privilege is what allowed an Englishman to be “Lawrence of Arabia” and musician Cat Stevens to become an Islamic scholar. Trust me, there will never be a ‘Vijay of Arabia’.”

Toronto Sun comment masthead

October 15, 2014

Tarek Fatah
The Toronto Sun

A decision by Ontario’s largest teachers’ union, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (EFTO), to hold a workshop on “white privilege” at its annual convention, has got many white people’s knickers in a twist.

WhitePrivilegeThe debate spilled over on the opinion pages of this newspaper as well as on the Sun News Network, where I faced off against four white colleagues who argued there was no such thing as white privilege.

It was a raucous affair.

Being a member of a minority group in Canada and having experienced racism as well as the effects of white privilege, let me state emphatically the two are not necessarily the same.

Some of the leading anti-racists I know are white while some immigrants from Pakistan, Iran, the Arab world and China shamelessly practise anti-black racism.

privilegequoteThe problem arises when the term “white privilege” — which is not the fault of the person born white — is used as a slur against white people, or is interpreted by them as an accusation of racism.

The reaction of many whites is thus to deny such privilege exists, despite the evidence.

To be clear, white privilege also comes from white accomplishment. From Socrates to Thomas Paine, the Wright brothers to the Nobel Foundation, our contemporary civilization undoubtedly has a (white) European foundation.

So where is the evidence white privilege exists? Here is an example from south of the border.

Last month a white woman in Ohio filed a lawsuit against a sperm bank that mistakenly impregnated her with sperm from a black donor, when she had wanted a “blond hair, blue-eyed individual” to match her lesbian partner’s looks.

Three years after the girl’s birth, the couple is suing for having suffered “personal injuries, medical expense, pain, suffering, emotional distress and other issues, and will do so in the future …”

The white mother describes raising a black daughter with “fears, anxieties and uncertainty” about her child’s future in their all-white town

As black reporter Derrick Clifton of the web magazine Mic.com observed, “Dealing with blackness has become burdensome and inconvenient for these two white mothers — because the biracial baby completely upended their decades of enjoying the spoils of white privilege.”

White privilege manifests itself in many other ways, especially in our information driven age.

Here are two examples from the current war Islamism has declared on humanity.

  1. First, when ISIS beheaded a white journalist, James Foley, he became a household name the world over. However, when ISIS beheaded an Arab journalist, Raad al-Azzawi, last week, there was barely a murmur.
  2. Second, on Oct. 4, two jihadist terror groups released videos flaunting the beheadings of their hostages. The first was of the Nigerian barbarians of Boko Haram decapitating a black Nigerian pilot. The other was of ISIS beheading a taxi driver from the United Kingdom.

While we all were moved by the story of cab driver Alan Henning, who is white, few newspapers covered the story of the black pilot, not even mentioning his name.

White privilege is what allowed an Englishman to be “Lawrence of Arabia” and musician Cat Stevens to become an Islamic scholar.

Trust me, there will never be a “Vijay of Arabia”.

Personal note: Regarding my own background, my grandmother was French, I have an Italian aunt, my son-in-law is of Greek ancestry and a niece last month introduced the first Newfoundlander into our family.​

4 comments for “White privilege exists, get used to it

  1. Mike
    October 17, 2014 at 4:05 PM

    The lowest and most crude form of collectivism is racism. If your goal is to reduce discrimination based on race or skin colour then this article and the term “White privilege” has the opposite of the intended effect. It serves to justify and rationalize racist, collectivist ideologies such as race based hiring quotas.

    Recently the Canadian Broadcast Company was accepting applications for the host of a new television show aimed at children. The catch was the applicant could be of any racial makeup barring the devil race: Caucasian. Shortly after, the stipulation of having any skin color – with the exception of morbid white – vanished down the memory hole. A spokesman for the network declared the advertisement was a mistake and it would be looked into more thoroughly. Chances of the incident being brought up again are the same as Karl Marx coming back from the afterlife and declaring all the dialectic materialism and talk of communism’s inevitability was a practical joke. The issue will be soon forgotten, and attention will be diverted back to another irrelevant cause for social justice like ensuring transgendered folks are allowed to attend a musical festival for women.

    The progressive mindset is aflame with blatant contradictions; lambasting private persons for racial preference while cheering for government’s hiring quotas topping the list. Somehow it’s neanderthalic to hang a “whites only” sign outside your business but perfectly acceptable, and high brow cosmopolitan, to do so as a state official. The only reasoning I can figure behind a scheme like government affirmative action is to make up for decades of prejudicial treatment. It’s similar to the same train of thought that told Harry Truman to drop the atomic bomb on Nagasaki in the name of peace and saving lives.

    Naturally, state bureaucrats find it reasonable to matter-of-factly discriminate in hiring practices. Canada’s monopoly of force has been utilizing minority “targets” since 2003. Even so, spokespeople for Ottawa agencies assert that no Canadian is prohibited from public sector jobs “based on race or ethnicity.” But how can this be if psychologically malignant administrators are purposefully seeking nonwhites to man help desks at the Department of Motor Vehicles? There is no acceptable retort other than these are, indeed, mutually exclusive goals. The quest for egalitarianism must involve the discrimination of persons. Forming a rainbow workforce means choosing every color from the bunch.

    Conceding for a moment that the state is legitimate, the use of tax dollars to reward anything other than merit should strike a negative chord with the few in society who still possess a functioning inner compass for fairness. Equal opportunity is not the same as special treatment, even if the latter is truly a product of good conviction. Thus far, the bureaucrats in Ottawa have done a miserable job at acclimating the workforce to reflect the demographic picture of Canada. Both the disabled and so-called “visible minorities” are underrepresented in the federal government when compared to overall population. No doubt the champions of the trampled want to replace entitled caucasians with workers of darker melanin. That is the likely culprit behind the “whites need not apply” mentality at the CBC.

    The wish of the Canadian government – along with its kindred force monopolizers around the world – is to create a citizenry with beaming, multi-colored faces similar to the glint of green on newly wetted shrubbery. This vision requires the employment of guns and badges to carry forth the diktat of equality-for-all. Compassion through compulsion is the progressive creed. The logic of “the best man for the job” is cast aside as a stale euphemism for the white superiority of antiquity.

    If state policy is going to require discrimination, the Canadian government should think it best to place someone like Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries in charge of hiring and placement. The recent public castigation over his comments on overweight women indicates a strong will to be prejudice, even in the face of bawling indignation. For admitting he wants only “beautiful” people wearing the Abercrombie label, an expected assemblage of steamed, and likely not-too-courteous to the eye, women declared Jeffries to be the anti-Christ and his store a haunt for the damned. One peeved commenter declared no “full-figured women” should be “judged by this man.” Forget gingerly political appointees trying so hard to not be offensive they end up insulting everyone – Canada needs a man like Jeffries to make tough calls like picking a gimp-legged aboriginal over an able-bodied white man. Regardless of his superficial appearance, Mr. Abercrombie has done more good for the world with his candid illiberality than sobbing defenders of the downtrodden who staff Ottawa’s many federal agencies. It’s just a shame he is white, and thus unhirable.

    James E. Miller is editor-in-chief of Mises Canada.

  2. Julian
    November 29, 2014 at 11:15 AM

    If only the early European immigrants used their white privilege so they wouldn’t have to work 16 hours a day, breaking their backs by laying brick and building this city. Instead of forcing people to ‘live in your shoes’ why don’t you try and live in theirs.

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