It's Past Time to Acknowledge Black Privilege

Everybody acknowledges the existence of socioeconomic privilege in which wealthy people have more opportunities than poor ones, but white privilege makes the racist assumption that skin color is a principal factor. As defined in Wikipedia (and there are numerous references on the page), white privilege is "a term for societal privileges that benefit white people in western countries beyond what is commonly experienced by non-white people under the same social, political, or economic circumstances." It is past time to confront the politically correct Left with the issue of Black privilege, as shown by the following public figures.

Al Sharpton

Al Sharpton demanded and obtained the dismissal of radio show personality Don Imus for Imus' reference to black women as "nappy headed hos". While Imus' remark was inexcusable under today's standards of behavior, no black women were killed or injured as a result of his words. Seven employees of Freddy's Fashion Mart in Harlem were not so lucky when Al Sharpton and his National Action Network came to town.

Fred Harari [the store's owner] is called a "cracker" by Mr. [Morris] Powell and a "white interloper" by Rev. Sharpton. It contains threats: Mr. Powell says of Fred Harari, "We gonna see that this cracker suffer."

Morris Powell was head of the "Buy Black Steering Committee of the Mass Action Network" and, if a white person in a similar capacity had said, "We gonna see that this N-word suffer," we would expect a background of sheets, hoods, and burning crosses. Sharpton's explicit words were meanwhile, "I want to make it clear to the radio and audience and to you here that we will not stand by and allow them to move this brother so that some white interloper can expand his business on 125th St." Powell added, "We are not going to stand idly by and let a Jewish person come in black Harlem and methodically drive black people out of business up and down 125th St. If we stand for that, we will stand for anything." The following picture should put Sharpton's and Powell's words in the correct perspective.

This kind of statement is repulsive when it comes from the Ku Klux Klan and, were it not for Black privilege, it would be equally repulsive from Mr. Sharpton and his associates. In addition, no politician in his right mind (except for Ron Paul or the late Robert Byrd, KKK-WV) would associate openly with a Caucasian racist, while Barack Obama, John Edwards, and Hillary Clinton all made public appearances with Al Sharpton.

Now let's return to Don Imus' poor attempt at humor. Black rap artists refer routinely to Black women as "hos", Black people as the N word, women as a five-letter word for a female dog, and gay people as an offensive six-letter word. Snoop Dogg mixes lyrics that involve "hos" and the murder of police officers: "Then I'mma pop two cops or more/ I'm too hot, come through wit two proper whores." The fact that these rap artists throw misogynist and racist trash into the African-American community's front yard does not give white people the right to do the same, but it is easy to see where Imus got the perception that this was acceptable. A yard full of trash can easily be taken for a junkyard or landfill, and the rap artists do far more to promote an image of a violent and criminal Black underclass than the Ku Klux Klan could possibly do.

It is also necessary to recall Mr. Sharpton's role in the Crown Heights riot, in which Sharpton's followers murdered a Jew, and his proven defamation of an innocent person in the Tawana Brawley scandal. Black privilege is the only conceivable explanation for Mr. Sharpton's continued presence on news shows, or indeed in any other mainstream media, along with tolerance of misogynist rap artists. The fact that Barack Obama continues to associate with this prominent racist and anti-Semite brings us to the next examples of black privilege:

Barack and Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama recently proclaimed, "Black girls rock!" So do white girls, if one is a fan of the now-disbanded duet Prussian Blue. (In fairness to the two blonde singers involved, they subsequently renounced their white supremacist views.) Even worse, however, are Barack Obama's own racism and his open association with hate groups.

Obama made clear his view on what white supremacists call "race mixing" in Dreams From My Father. Note how the stereotypical white person listens to country music the way stereotypical African-Americans listen to rap artists.

Tim was not a conscious brother. Tim wore argyle sweaters and pressed jeans and talked like Beaver Cleaver. He planned to major in business. His white girlfriend was probably waiting for him up in his room, listening to country music.

Alternatively, as the Saxon warlord (doubtlessly modeled on today's white supremacists) put it in the movie King Arthur, "We don't mix with these people. What kind of offspring do you think that would yield? Weak people. Half people. I will not have our Saxon blood watered down by mixing with them." Had Obama's parents followed this kind of advice, of course, he would have never existed. The preface to Dreams From My Father adds,

I ceased to advertise my mother's race at the age of twelve or thirteen, when I began to suspect that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites[.]

Obama also accepted an endorsement from "Father" Michael Pfleger, who threatened to "snuff" a licensed gun dealer. Pfleger then claimed that he didn't realize that "snuff" often indicates murder, which would of course constitute a terroristic threat. Obama's pastor, Jeremiah Wright, posted an opinion piece by a Hamas terrorist, and also published blood libels of the United States and Israel.

Wright’s church printed the "Letter to Oprah", which includes the following blood libel of Israel: "Both [Israel and South Africa] worked on an ethnic bomb that kills Blacks and Arabs." Wright himself blood-libeled the United States by accusing it of developing the AIDS virus -- i.e., of waging biological warfare, and added that "white America got a wake-up call after 9/11/01."

Barack and Michelle Obama attended this "church" for roughly 20 years, and exposed their children to Jeremiah Wright's hateful rhetoric. If a Caucasian had done this, the country would have realized quickly that he or she could not be president for all Americans regardless of their ethnicity.

During the 2008 election campaign, the moderators on Obama's website approved the posting of material that, for example, referred to Jews as "kike filth." This is but one of many selections of racist, anti-Semitic, ageist, and even misogynistic postings that met the moderators' standards for "civil discourse."

Black privilege, however, extends beyond the political sphere to the corporate one, as shown by the Merck Corporation's Kenneth Frazier.

Kenneth Frazier

I am obliged ethically to disclose that my assessment of Mr. Frazier is not impartial. I am one of the many Penn State alumni who are outraged by his handling of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, to the enormous detriment of Penn State's reputation and financial well-being. Frazier's dishonest conduct as a trustee is not, however, what exemplifies his Black privilege, as his Caucasian counterparts on the board were equally guilty of lying to the public and to the Penn State community. When an alumnus challenged the board's handling of the Sandusky crisis at the March 2013 board meeting, however, Mr. Frazier replied (audio) as follows.

“We are not subject to the criminal beyond-a-reasonable-doubt standard, and you’re a lawyer, so you can stop pretending that you think we are. We can take employment actions, we can take corrective actions without any need to resort to the so-called due process, reasonable doubt standard, and I don’t care if they are acquitted. And you know the difference. If you cared about that, you are one of the few people in this country that looks like you who actually believes the O.J. Simpson not guilty verdict was correct.”

Does anybody believe for a single instant that a trustee who looks like me, and who directed these words to an alumnus who looks like Mr. Frazier, with "George Zimmerman" in place of "O.J. Simpson," would still be either a trustee or the CEO of a purportedly equal opportunity corporation?

The bottom line is that our society already acknowledges that socioeconomic privilege exists, as it has existed throughout human history. It is past time to acknowledge, however, that black privilege in the form of lower behavioral standards holds African-Americans back rather than helping them achieve economic equality.

William A. Levinson is the author of several books on business management including content on organizational psychology, as well as manufacturing productivity and quality. 

Everybody acknowledges the existence of socioeconomic privilege in which wealthy people have more opportunities than poor ones, but white privilege makes the racist assumption that skin color is a principal factor. As defined in Wikipedia (and there are numerous references on the page), white privilege is "a term for societal privileges that benefit white people in western countries beyond what is commonly experienced by non-white people under the same social, political, or economic circumstances." It is past time to confront the politically correct Left with the issue of Black privilege, as shown by the following public figures.

Al Sharpton

Al Sharpton demanded and obtained the dismissal of radio show personality Don Imus for Imus' reference to black women as "nappy headed hos". While Imus' remark was inexcusable under today's standards of behavior, no black women were killed or injured as a result of his words. Seven employees of Freddy's Fashion Mart in Harlem were not so lucky when Al Sharpton and his National Action Network came to town.

Fred Harari [the store's owner] is called a "cracker" by Mr. [Morris] Powell and a "white interloper" by Rev. Sharpton. It contains threats: Mr. Powell says of Fred Harari, "We gonna see that this cracker suffer."

Morris Powell was head of the "Buy Black Steering Committee of the Mass Action Network" and, if a white person in a similar capacity had said, "We gonna see that this N-word suffer," we would expect a background of sheets, hoods, and burning crosses. Sharpton's explicit words were meanwhile, "I want to make it clear to the radio and audience and to you here that we will not stand by and allow them to move this brother so that some white interloper can expand his business on 125th St." Powell added, "We are not going to stand idly by and let a Jewish person come in black Harlem and methodically drive black people out of business up and down 125th St. If we stand for that, we will stand for anything." The following picture should put Sharpton's and Powell's words in the correct perspective.

This kind of statement is repulsive when it comes from the Ku Klux Klan and, were it not for Black privilege, it would be equally repulsive from Mr. Sharpton and his associates. In addition, no politician in his right mind (except for Ron Paul or the late Robert Byrd, KKK-WV) would associate openly with a Caucasian racist, while Barack Obama, John Edwards, and Hillary Clinton all made public appearances with Al Sharpton.

Now let's return to Don Imus' poor attempt at humor. Black rap artists refer routinely to Black women as "hos", Black people as the N word, women as a five-letter word for a female dog, and gay people as an offensive six-letter word. Snoop Dogg mixes lyrics that involve "hos" and the murder of police officers: "Then I'mma pop two cops or more/ I'm too hot, come through wit two proper whores." The fact that these rap artists throw misogynist and racist trash into the African-American community's front yard does not give white people the right to do the same, but it is easy to see where Imus got the perception that this was acceptable. A yard full of trash can easily be taken for a junkyard or landfill, and the rap artists do far more to promote an image of a violent and criminal Black underclass than the Ku Klux Klan could possibly do.

It is also necessary to recall Mr. Sharpton's role in the Crown Heights riot, in which Sharpton's followers murdered a Jew, and his proven defamation of an innocent person in the Tawana Brawley scandal. Black privilege is the only conceivable explanation for Mr. Sharpton's continued presence on news shows, or indeed in any other mainstream media, along with tolerance of misogynist rap artists. The fact that Barack Obama continues to associate with this prominent racist and anti-Semite brings us to the next examples of black privilege:

Barack and Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama recently proclaimed, "Black girls rock!" So do white girls, if one is a fan of the now-disbanded duet Prussian Blue. (In fairness to the two blonde singers involved, they subsequently renounced their white supremacist views.) Even worse, however, are Barack Obama's own racism and his open association with hate groups.

Obama made clear his view on what white supremacists call "race mixing" in Dreams From My Father. Note how the stereotypical white person listens to country music the way stereotypical African-Americans listen to rap artists.

Tim was not a conscious brother. Tim wore argyle sweaters and pressed jeans and talked like Beaver Cleaver. He planned to major in business. His white girlfriend was probably waiting for him up in his room, listening to country music.

Alternatively, as the Saxon warlord (doubtlessly modeled on today's white supremacists) put it in the movie King Arthur, "We don't mix with these people. What kind of offspring do you think that would yield? Weak people. Half people. I will not have our Saxon blood watered down by mixing with them." Had Obama's parents followed this kind of advice, of course, he would have never existed. The preface to Dreams From My Father adds,

I ceased to advertise my mother's race at the age of twelve or thirteen, when I began to suspect that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites[.]

Obama also accepted an endorsement from "Father" Michael Pfleger, who threatened to "snuff" a licensed gun dealer. Pfleger then claimed that he didn't realize that "snuff" often indicates murder, which would of course constitute a terroristic threat. Obama's pastor, Jeremiah Wright, posted an opinion piece by a Hamas terrorist, and also published blood libels of the United States and Israel.

Wright’s church printed the "Letter to Oprah", which includes the following blood libel of Israel: "Both [Israel and South Africa] worked on an ethnic bomb that kills Blacks and Arabs." Wright himself blood-libeled the United States by accusing it of developing the AIDS virus -- i.e., of waging biological warfare, and added that "white America got a wake-up call after 9/11/01."

Barack and Michelle Obama attended this "church" for roughly 20 years, and exposed their children to Jeremiah Wright's hateful rhetoric. If a Caucasian had done this, the country would have realized quickly that he or she could not be president for all Americans regardless of their ethnicity.

During the 2008 election campaign, the moderators on Obama's website approved the posting of material that, for example, referred to Jews as "kike filth." This is but one of many selections of racist, anti-Semitic, ageist, and even misogynistic postings that met the moderators' standards for "civil discourse."

Black privilege, however, extends beyond the political sphere to the corporate one, as shown by the Merck Corporation's Kenneth Frazier.

Kenneth Frazier

I am obliged ethically to disclose that my assessment of Mr. Frazier is not impartial. I am one of the many Penn State alumni who are outraged by his handling of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, to the enormous detriment of Penn State's reputation and financial well-being. Frazier's dishonest conduct as a trustee is not, however, what exemplifies his Black privilege, as his Caucasian counterparts on the board were equally guilty of lying to the public and to the Penn State community. When an alumnus challenged the board's handling of the Sandusky crisis at the March 2013 board meeting, however, Mr. Frazier replied (audio) as follows.

“We are not subject to the criminal beyond-a-reasonable-doubt standard, and you’re a lawyer, so you can stop pretending that you think we are. We can take employment actions, we can take corrective actions without any need to resort to the so-called due process, reasonable doubt standard, and I don’t care if they are acquitted. And you know the difference. If you cared about that, you are one of the few people in this country that looks like you who actually believes the O.J. Simpson not guilty verdict was correct.”

Does anybody believe for a single instant that a trustee who looks like me, and who directed these words to an alumnus who looks like Mr. Frazier, with "George Zimmerman" in place of "O.J. Simpson," would still be either a trustee or the CEO of a purportedly equal opportunity corporation?

The bottom line is that our society already acknowledges that socioeconomic privilege exists, as it has existed throughout human history. It is past time to acknowledge, however, that black privilege in the form of lower behavioral standards holds African-Americans back rather than helping them achieve economic equality.

William A. Levinson is the author of several books on business management including content on organizational psychology, as well as manufacturing productivity and quality.