The White Guilt-White Privilege Shakedown
Posturing is a basic element in conflict, at least at the primitive level. Many animals and even fish can make themselves look bigger and more dangerous than they actually are, and, as stated by chess grandmaster Aron Nimzowitsch, "the threat is stronger than the execution." Lt. Colonel David Grossman adds in Killology, "In the territorial and mating battles of every species the individual who puffs itself up the biggest or makes the loudest noise is most likely to win; this process is referred to as 'posturing.'"
Posturing is the foundation of politically correct shakedowns by, for example, Al Sharpton. "For more than a decade, corporations have shelled out thousands of dollars in donations and consulting fees to Sharpton's National Action Network. What they get in return is the reverend's supposed sway in the black community or, more often, his silence." Posturing without substance is similarly the foundation of the white guilt and white privilege shakedown scam.
Posturing was effective when combatants could see one another face to face. Ardant du Picq wrote, "Each nation in Europe says 'No one stands his ground before a bayonet charge made by us.' And all are right." The menace of a bayonet charge was often enough to get the other side to turn and run, whereupon it could be massacred, but the industrialization of warfare changed this. Belligerents learned the hard way during the First World War that you cannot browbeat or intimidate a machine gun, but that lesson goes back even farther to the Russo-Japanese War. Mikhail Dragomirov was fond of quoting Aleksandr Suvorov's maxim that the bullet is stupid while the bayonet is a fine fellow, but the bullet had learned during the century after Suvorov's death how to be fired from a magazine rifle rather than a muzzle-loading musket.
Alternatively, as stated in Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, "[s]omehow, every time the magic of folderol tried conclusions with the magic of science, the magic of folderol got left." This, ladies and gentlemen, is where the magic of political correctness gets left.
The White Guilt/White Privilege Racket
A Google search on these topics led me to the White Privilege Conference University. This organization offers academic credit along with a "Graduate Certificate in Diversity, Social Justice, and Inclusion." Cornell University similarly offers a "Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program" as well as an Africana Studies program. Notre Dame offers a course entitled "White Privilege Seminar: An Introduction to the Intersections of Privilege in Preparation for the White Privilege Conference." All these courses and programs seem to qualify the student to do exactly two things: (1) teach similar material to other students, and (2) take customer orders at Starbucks or McDonald's. When we consider the fact that there are not enough teaching positions for all the graduates of these programs, and that restaurant order-taking is being automated, this looks like a losing proposition.
The inconvenient truth is that most of the people who promote coursework and seminars in white privilege, gay studies, women's studies, womyn's studies, Africana studies, and so on have few genuine work skills that qualify them to (1) manufacture a product or (2) deliver a genuine service such as medicine, accounting, law, or education in a value-adding trade or profession. This is why they must posture, and foment feelings of white guilt and white privilege to sell their meaningless and worthless "services."
This is not to say that African, Native American, Latin American, and other cultures have nothing to teach us. If seemingly primitive witch doctors or medicine men use a plant for medicinal purposes, there is probably a reason, and it may even do things that Western medicine cannot. Jesuit's Bark, a remedy for malaria, was discovered not by Spaniards, but by Peruvian natives. The phrase "ethnopharmacological" also is important, noting the effectiveness of Mauritanian native remedies against diabetes and its complications.
This kind of knowledge is extremely useful, but it is factual knowledge and not ideology. The problem with academia involves "academicians" who peddle ideology, and often expensive ideology given today's tuition rates. Here, for example, is the kind of drivel for which University of Wisconsin students are wasting their tuition money: "I believe the most qualified person should get the job" is defined as "racial microaggression," and so is "There is only one race, the human race."
If the writer thinks that is microagression, try mine: "Affirmative action means hiring or appointing somebody for the color of his or her skin rather than the content of his character," which is 100 percent accurate. In fairness to the publication, however, it calls out some genuinely offensive expressions such as "welsh" and "gyp" as verbs. The combination of some useful information with pure unmitigated ideological swill, however, does not result in a useful educational product. Now, here is where the magic of political correct folderol meets the magic of facts and science.
America's History Was Not "Cowboys Versus Indians"
The peddlers of white guilt and white privilege want us to believe that evil Europeans, as led originally by Christopher Columbus, invaded the New World to wage a racist war on the peaceful and innocent Native Americans. The truth is substantially different.
- The Europeans did not do anything to the Native Americans that they did not do to each other in both Europe and the New World. Settlers and colonists were as ready to slaughter each other as they were to slaughter natives. Skin color or ethnicity was far less a factor in making somebody a target for aggression as was possession of land, livestock, or wealth that the aggressor wanted.
- The Europeans did not do anything to the Native Americans that the Native Americans did not do to each other.
- The Europeans did not do anything to the Native Americans that the Native Americans were unwilling to do to Europeans. Different native tribes sided with the French and British during the French and Indian Wars (part of a genuine world war that also involved Europe and India), and with the Americans and British during the War of Independence. They sought to gain from the wars just as the other belligerents did.
While Hernán Cortez's conquest of Mexico was certainly an act of aggression, we need to remember that the Aztecs were not exactly peaceful flower children who lived in a previously unsullied Garden of Eden. It also did not involve a hopeless conflict between poorly armed natives and Spaniards with advanced technology. Spanish armor was better, and the Spaniards also had cavalry that was totally unfamiliar to the natives. The Spanish projectile weapons were, however, inferior to those of the Aztecs. Spaniards used slow-loading crossbows and matchlock muskets, which were not effective beyond much more than the length of a football field. The Aztec bow and sling could deliver more shots per man per minute, and quite probably to a greater range. The Aztecs also had the atlatl, a throwing stick that could propel a javelin with incredible force. It couldn't pierce armor, but it was devastating to any unprotected part of a man's body. The Aztecs almost wiped the Spaniards off the face of the Earth in La Noche Triste (the Night of Sorrows) and would probably have won the war had they pursued the fugitives to the death.
The History of Slavery Was Not Whites Versus Blacks
Europeans enslaved Africans not because they were black, but because Africa was where slaves were available. The slaves were primarily enslaved by other Africans and sold by other Africans or by Arab slave traders. Whites were, however, equally willing to enslave other Caucasians. "Ireland quickly became the biggest source of human livestock for English merchants. The majority of the early slaves to the New World were actually white." This means not that two wrongs (enslaving black people and enslaving Caucasians) make a right, but rather that the evil of slavery was equal-opportunity evil, with perpetrators and victims of all races.
The Civil War Was Not about Slavery
I grew up to believe (as a child) that the First World War was started by evil proto-Nazis who wanted to conquer the world, which was pretty much what Triple Entente propagandists wanted the world to believe in 1914. Only later did I learn that the war was started by a Serbian terrorist, and that all the participants were more or less equally guilty of allowing the murder of Archduke Francis Ferdinand to draw them into a world war. This underscores the danger of historical revisionism, or, as stated by George Orwell in 1984, "[t]hose who control the present, control the past and those who control the past control the future."
The same historical revisionists who want to get rid of not only the Confederate Flag, but also statues and place names that involve Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee want us to believe that the Civil War was between emancipating Northern angels on one side and whip-cracking Simon Legree devils on the other. The inconvenient truth is that Union states like Maryland, West Virginia, and Missouri also had slaves who were not freed by the Emancipation Proclamation, and that Maryland's Yankee clipper ships played a major role in the slave trade. In addition, while Abraham Lincoln did not believe in slavery, he was no friend of the African-American, either.
Now, if the revisionists want to get rid of street names and statues that involve Robert E. Lee, they also need to get Robert Byrd (D-KKK) off all those streets and buildings in West Virginia. Here is, for example, one of Byrd's comments.
I shall never fight in the armed forces with a Negro by my side ... Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds.
This allows, in turn, a wide variety of Robert Byrd jokes, such as "Why didn't Democrat Robert Byrd like Lord of the Rings? The White Wizard never became the Grand Wizard." "Why didn't Democrat Robert Byrd like the Knight Rider TV series? There wasn't a single night rider in any episode!" "Why did Democrat Robert Byrd stop reading The Hobbit? He realized that his friend and mentor (Theodore) Bilbo was not going on a trip to see a (Grand) Dragon." Byrd's political affiliation should always be mentioned when telling these jokes, and especially when race hustlers of that affiliation demand the removal of memorials to Confederate generals and statesmen.
The bottom line is threefold. (1) Race hustlers like Al Sharpton, as well as "academicians" who peddle "education" in white privilege, have little or nothing of genuine value to offer to society, so they must fabricate reasons to justify their existences. (2) Race hustling and the "white privilege" scam rely entirely on posturing with no substance behind it. (3) Posturing shatters like an eggshell against a hammer when it is confronted with the facts, the same way the bayonet charges of the First World War went down before machine guns. The proper thing to do with race hustlers and politically correct charlatans is to confront them head on, and expose them for the worthless parasites they are.
William A. Levinson is the author of several books on business management including content on organizational psychology, as well as manufacturing productivity and quality.