The White Privilege Lie

Of all the invectives launched against the United States by the resurgent American Left, the charge that in America, White Privilege reigns supreme is the most insidious and culturally ruinous.  

Its intent is unambiguous: leftists perpetuate the White Privilege lie to smear America and its institutions as inherently racist, and therefore unworthy of adulation and in need of fundamental socioeconomic transformation.

The ultimate power of the White Privilege calumny lies in its capacity to impugn the virtue of American patriotism and the idea of American exceptionalism. The Radical Left’s aversion to America is well documented. Rooted in a perverse contempt for capitalism and Western culture, leftists perennially seek to discredit the view that America is exceptional or even good. Engraining in our culture the White Privilege lie is an effective means to achieving that destructive end.     

After all, how can a racist nation be noble and moral, never mind exceptional? What kind of a morally and intellectually bankrupt person could be a patriot of a racist nation? 

While the anti-capitalist Occupy Wall Street message continues to be a prominent weapon in the Left’s arsenal of anti-American rhetoric, left-wing economics alone cannot sustain the anti-American crusade. Most Americans still believe that if they work hard and make prudent financial decisions, they can live comfortably, the plethora of roadblocks to success (primarily set up the federal government in the form of onerous taxes and regulations) notwithstanding. The American Dream may have drifted further away, but it’s by no means out of reach.  

Consequently, it’s an uphill battle for leftists to persuade Americans that capitalism has failed and that wealth redistribution and state-control of private enterprise are the sensible solutions. Industry, optimism, and entrepreneurism are in the American DNA (unlike racism, Mr. President.) Persuading Americans that White Privilege exists, and using White Privilege to justify left-wing socioeconomic policy proposals, is the path of least resistance to dividing and transforming America.

Today, most white Americans probably recoil at the notion that they’re privileged by virtue of their race, but the white privilege lie is a fledgling propaganda campaign. Once confined to niche left-wing publications, fringe political movements, and ultra-liberal university faculty lounges, it’s only in recent years that radical leftist dogma has been embedded in the liberal media establishment. Leftist websites like Gawker, The Daily Beast, and the Huffington Post have mainstreamed this destructive doctrine, while less radical, more mainstream news outlets like CNN and the New York Times condone it. White Privilege is no longer considered a fringe or controversial idea on the left. And anyone who dares question its merit, including, strangely enough, people of color, is vilified as a benefactor and purveyor of white privilege. So give it time to penetrate the American mind.

If the White Privilege lie is not forcefully rebutted, Americans, particularly the youngest and most impressionable of us, will be indoctrinated by teachers, celebrities, and various popular cultural outlets into believing that African Americans and other people of color are at a genetic disadvantage. Once the White Privilege lie is firmly established as the prevailing cultural paradigm taught in schools and relayed in movies and television, an unmendable schism between those of us who believe in American exceptionalism and those who believe in American nefariousness will materialize. The American exceptionalism camp will be vilified as bigoted and reactionary, while the once fringe leftist worldview will be the new norm, accepted and promoted by our political leaders and celebrities as the unassailable truth.                  

To illustrate just how absurd the notion of White Privilege is, consider the case of the President of the United States. Barack Obama was a child of a negligent Kenyan immigrant and a negligent white mother. Raised by his grandmother, he attended an elite private school in Hawaii and received degrees from two Ivy League universities. After receiving his Harvard Law degree, Obama lectured at the University of Chicago and did something called community organizing, before winning a seat in the Illinois state senate. A gifted orator, he became a national celebrity after delivering the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention and that November won a landslide election for U.S. Senate.

Just four years later, he was elected President of the United States with 53% of the popular vote.   

Clearly, being African American did not impede Obama’s meteoric rise to power. Despite being the least qualified and least experienced president in our nation’s history, he didn’t require White Privilege to succeed in life. The inverse argument, that is, had Obama not been African American he would never have risen to power so quickly, is far more compelling and logical.

We cannot dismiss the case of Barack Obama as an anomaly, as many left-wing racialists do when pointing to rappers like Jay-Z and his rags to riches story. An African American becoming the most powerful man in the world cannot be deemed a fluke. Obama’s rise to power is invariably a devastating repudiation of White Privilege.     

But of course, it’s not just President Obama. There are millions of successful African Americans--indeed, the leftists who perpetuate the White Privilege lie on the pages of The Atlantic and the Huffington Post and across academia, are all successful, and many of them extremely wealthy. And there are millions of unsuccessful white people, who apparently didn’t get the memo about activating White Privilege to gain a decisive advantage in life.

Leftists will point to the disproportionate incarceration and poverty rates or the lower graduation rates and median incomes among African Americans to prove White Privilege. This “proof” is instantaneously refuted by the fact Asian Americans have lower poverty rates and incarceration rates than white Americans, but boast higher median incomes and graduation rates than whites. Asian Privilege, anyone?

Moreover, if you look at the incarceration rates, poverty rates, and median incomes among new African and Caribbean immigrants, who do statistically better across virtually all socioeconomic metrics than native blacks, it is clear that the race variable is insignificant.  

It’s ironic that a land in which White Privilege reigns supreme has been a sought-after destination for millions of Africans, Latinos, Asians, and Arabs throughout its history. Why do men and women flee countries in which they’re in the ethnic majority to immigrate to a country where they’re in the so-called ethnic minority, and where their race puts them at a disadvantage? The short answer is that no rational person would immigrate to a country where his race was a barrier to a happy life.              

If the American Left succeeds in establishing the White Privilege lie as the accepted cultural norm, it will have devastating long-term implications for society. Americans who celebrate America as the land of the free, as man kind’s best hope, will be stigmatized and marginalized by political and cultural elites. The mainstream cultural paradigm will hold America as an unjust racist land. If that happens, leftist socioeconomic policies that ostensible seek to rectify White Privilege will gain traction and the Balkanization of our culture along racial lines will be complete.        

Eugene Slaven is a marketing and development writer at the Media Research Center and the author of the comedy thriller, A Life of Misery and Triumph. Follow Eugene @eslaven.  Email him at

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