White Privilege And Education


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The self hate conditioning goes on...

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The goal is never equality. The goal is control, by any means necessary.

That cannot be stated enough. 

In this case, the means of control is the guilt brought about by some intangible, unverifiable monstrosity known as "privilege". 

To go one step further, the ultimate goal, depending on the person, is either power or free stuff. From experience, free stuff, whether that is money or respect or pity, is the most common goal. 

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I had 'the talk' a long long time ago with my mom. She tried to explain why Grandpa was not a good model to follow in terms of opinions on skin colour and national origin. We were not allowed, for example, to say 'she is another goddamned DP from Manitoba.'  Grandpa Enwright had a lot of lovely qualities, all administrative, but his racism was undeniable. It needed only the goad of six or more beers for him to up the volume and become belligerent. So I heard it all at Xmas and other fambly days, from nickle-nosed sheeny to gook to wop and on down to DP from Manitoba, or the charmless Chink. 

The talk was not about new ways to implement Do Not Be Grandpa, but about the effect of words.. Little did she know how well-acquainted I was with fighting words, hurting words. You have to be gay to know what it feels like to be called a Chink faggot. It is or was or can be almost frightening in some circumstances.

So. the talk was more about the impact of hateful speech. It was a 'think about it'' kind of Talk. There was never a repeat of this particular instruction, extending the general Do Not Be plan.  There was a skin-colour component in the talk in which mom got a bit vociferous and that was on skin colour and Paki-Hindu-Raghead epithets; based on 'what if it was you?' and 'it tells you NOTHING about the person.'   I am paraphrasing and condensing heavily.   The sun was out, a smell of laundry on the line  was coming in the back door  ... we were careful not to name Monsieur X, a suave black man, nor to allude to the affair.

The lesson boiled down to hard candy was that I can and should have dignity as a person, as an individual, on my merits, and that a person's dignity can get damaged, and that people like me can be harmed and hurt, and to  never forget that other human beings have dignity in like measure, some hurting, and that if I wanted to be respected by all races and creeds, I must not allow prejudice to colour my judgment, and by that good sense I would amass respect.

That, that, that and that. 

Earlier lessons had been delivered on the general subject of calling kids Chink and Nigger and so on.  It was the Grandpa Ed Show and not to be performed by us kids.  

-- as pertaining to privilege, she did not use the term, but sketched situations in which a white person is favoured socially and otherwise over non-whites. She said all doors are open wider to whites than to non-whites. This was an era (I am 58, this would then be 42 years ago, 1974) when non-whites were one step down, so to speak, but Mr Trudeau 1 was a lot like my mom in some ways especially in re Do Not Be Like Grandpa on racialism, and the country began to change into my generation of kids raised with non-racialist cautions along the way.

The affair was over, but it might have explained a bit of the vociferousness, if not the sneaking around with Mr X.  When she went on her dates with him, he picked her up down the lane. (I thought at the time it must be our psychotic neighbours. A black man! A black man! with Mrs D!)

-- rambling back to the topic ...

'White privilege' is to my eyes an annoying blob term. What it describes is what mom was trying to get at in the final turn of the talk, that I would have more advantage due to my 'white-ness' and to not forget that, and to look out for others who are one down, whether by being younger, browner, blacker, more retarded, what have you (gay being unspoken, ugly being unsaid). 

There are lots of ways to talk about the advantages of being white, but I am all talked out with family and friends and associates ever since the Talk. Since the day of Grandpa, I knitted together something useful of all the anti-racialist cautions and lessons: prejudice is a kind of handicap, a mental handicap, it prevents you from enjoying things and people and from prospering by interaction.  It cheats you, not the other person. You rip yourself off.


It does irk me that some folks who have yammered on the PC-itude of  the blob term have not applied the Principle of Charity to what the idiots are getting right and what they are getting wrong.

Is there a (perhaps 'invisible') advantage or privilege, or tendency to get more positive reaction, or a slight 'home-team' magic that accrues to you only by accident of birth, skin-tone?  Is there a 'blob' of advantage pre-accrued to white kids? It depends. Think of Russia and you would say indubitably. Scratch an older relative, and you would say yes, indubitably. But not in all cases and times and places, and most importantly, lots of people get The Talk in years preceding this one, and the greatest prejudice of all in this area is assuming that a white person like myself has not Already Thought It Through, Thank You, fuck off.


These kinds of questions I wish we had more Derek. I mean, I can explain the 'hetero' privilege (blob) or the underprivileged nature of being gay back when, but he can give a better perspective on what the blob term fails to convey -- from the other side of the so-called privilege fence.   I mean, Derek does not have 'white privilege' so he would offer a better angle than I. And of course if mom were alive, she would bring us  all up to date. 

One more stab at the dummy:

The endowed capacity to get just a bit farther in life by coasting, all things being equal, because of the endowment of White-itude,  is just one of those things. It even operates in non-white majority places. It is handy, almost like a Canadian passport.

Since I hardly read the preceding posts out of fear of blood pressure spikes, I will just set this sailing. If I have repeated what you have already said, or missed the definition heat of the race to Truth, I apologize. High Family days mean cake and lots of treats, and you know what I am like stuffed with cake and treats.

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