What is white privilege?

The term "white privilege" is thrown around a lot these days.  I never thought much about it until a man wrote to our local paper.  He was a black man from a family of ten who was the first to graduate from college in his family.  He said white privilege exists because the white kids he went to college with had three or four generations of professionals before them who had graduated from college.

I believe that my 66-year-old brother and I at age 64 have the more common white experience.  We are the first generation of our direct families who graduated from college, and we paid for it ourselves, because our parents couldn't afford to.  He is a lawyer, and I am a CPA. 

My great grandfather on my dad's side came over in the late 1800s from Germany and was a barrel-maker.  My grandfather was a baker who never owned his own home.  My dad worked for Western Union for 41 years and died at age 58 in 1981.  He started out as a messenger on a bike and died when he was an office manager.  His last salary, including overtime, was $19,000.

My great grandparents on my mom's side came over from Germany in the late 1800s and worked farms in Illinois.  (They never owned one.)  They had twelve children, two of whom died during infancy.  My grandfather was a door-to-door salesman for Prudential, and my mom went to work when I was 16 for the State of Illinois for $325 per month.

My parents taught us to work at a very young age.  I was a paperboy from age 9 to 14.  I worked 365 days a year for over 10 hours per week, and I made around $7 per week.  At 14, I detassled corn for $1.10 per hour, and I did dishes at the fair and ended up making under $1 per hour.  At 15, I worked at a restaurant doing dishes, making salads, and being a busboy.  When I was a junior and senior, I worked at a drugstore, going from $1 to $1.25 per hour.  Basically, I worked a lot of menial jobs throughout high school and college.  I was happy with whatever job I could get, because I would not have had any money otherwise and would not have been able to attend college.  Those jobs also motivated me to do better.  

"White privilege" is a purely racist term, meant to divide us, not unite us.  (Are we going to someday say "Asian privilege"?).  It is meant to convey that white people got where they are because of the color of their skin, not because they worked hard.  It also conveys the message that people of other races are punished because of their race and that they have an excuse not to succeed.  It is not their fault.  The people who use the term like to pretend they care.  They are also most likely to push for a $15 minimum wage.  They don't seem to care that over 30% of minorities in many cities are unemployed, and the higher you raise the wage, the fewer opportunities those people will have.  Giving people stuff for free and making them dependent on government does not replace the beginning job opportunities that allow young people to move up the economic ladder.  The federal government has spent over $20 trillion on the War on Poverty and Great Society programs, and the only thing it has succeeded at is breaking up families, making more people dependent, and making future generations broke.  Nothing is free, and when you get stuff for free, it is not as rewarding as earning it.

Bono said it best: "Capitalism Takes More People Out of Poverty Than Aid."

We should celebrate successful people instead of denigrating them, as long as they make their money honestly.

If we want to look at a privileged class, we should look at D.C. politicians.  While many worked hard to get there, once in, they treat themselves like royalty.  Taxpayers pay their high salaries (that put them in the top 5%), and they get Cadillac pensions and Cadillac health insurance benefits for life.  Frequently they travel on our money.  They work very few days per year and exempt themselves from laws they require others to follow.  They pass campaign finance laws in violation of the First Amendment to protect their power.

It doesn't matter if D.C. politicians are white, black, Hispanic, Asian, a fake Indian like Elizabeth Warren, or a socialist with three homes like Bernie Sanders.  They are all treated like royalty.

It is time to relegate the term "white privilege" to the trash with other racist terms.

The term "white privilege" is thrown around a lot these days.  I never thought much about it until a man wrote to our local paper.  He was a black man from a family of ten who was the first to graduate from college in his family.  He said white privilege exists because the white kids he went to college with had three or four generations of professionals before them who had graduated from college.

I believe that my 66-year-old brother and I at age 64 have the more common white experience.  We are the first generation of our direct families who graduated from college, and we paid for it ourselves, because our parents couldn't afford to.  He is a lawyer, and I am a CPA. 

My great grandfather on my dad's side came over in the late 1800s from Germany and was a barrel-maker.  My grandfather was a baker who never owned his own home.  My dad worked for Western Union for 41 years and died at age 58 in 1981.  He started out as a messenger on a bike and died when he was an office manager.  His last salary, including overtime, was $19,000.

My great grandparents on my mom's side came over from Germany in the late 1800s and worked farms in Illinois.  (They never owned one.)  They had twelve children, two of whom died during infancy.  My grandfather was a door-to-door salesman for Prudential, and my mom went to work when I was 16 for the State of Illinois for $325 per month.

My parents taught us to work at a very young age.  I was a paperboy from age 9 to 14.  I worked 365 days a year for over 10 hours per week, and I made around $7 per week.  At 14, I detassled corn for $1.10 per hour, and I did dishes at the fair and ended up making under $1 per hour.  At 15, I worked at a restaurant doing dishes, making salads, and being a busboy.  When I was a junior and senior, I worked at a drugstore, going from $1 to $1.25 per hour.  Basically, I worked a lot of menial jobs throughout high school and college.  I was happy with whatever job I could get, because I would not have had any money otherwise and would not have been able to attend college.  Those jobs also motivated me to do better.  

"White privilege" is a purely racist term, meant to divide us, not unite us.  (Are we going to someday say "Asian privilege"?).  It is meant to convey that white people got where they are because of the color of their skin, not because they worked hard.  It also conveys the message that people of other races are punished because of their race and that they have an excuse not to succeed.  It is not their fault.  The people who use the term like to pretend they care.  They are also most likely to push for a $15 minimum wage.  They don't seem to care that over 30% of minorities in many cities are unemployed, and the higher you raise the wage, the fewer opportunities those people will have.  Giving people stuff for free and making them dependent on government does not replace the beginning job opportunities that allow young people to move up the economic ladder.  The federal government has spent over $20 trillion on the War on Poverty and Great Society programs, and the only thing it has succeeded at is breaking up families, making more people dependent, and making future generations broke.  Nothing is free, and when you get stuff for free, it is not as rewarding as earning it.

Bono said it best: "Capitalism Takes More People Out of Poverty Than Aid."

We should celebrate successful people instead of denigrating them, as long as they make their money honestly.

If we want to look at a privileged class, we should look at D.C. politicians.  While many worked hard to get there, once in, they treat themselves like royalty.  Taxpayers pay their high salaries (that put them in the top 5%), and they get Cadillac pensions and Cadillac health insurance benefits for life.  Frequently they travel on our money.  They work very few days per year and exempt themselves from laws they require others to follow.  They pass campaign finance laws in violation of the First Amendment to protect their power.

It doesn't matter if D.C. politicians are white, black, Hispanic, Asian, a fake Indian like Elizabeth Warren, or a socialist with three homes like Bernie Sanders.  They are all treated like royalty.

It is time to relegate the term "white privilege" to the trash with other racist terms.

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