White privilege under scrutiny
Last updated 6/11/2020 at 6:41pm
This is response to Mr. Lawrence Coonradt's nice letter below.
A professor of women’s studies at Wellesley College by the name of Peggy McIntosh, a white woman, came up with the theory and term “white privilege” in the 80s.
It is the opinion of Brandon Tatum, a black man, white privilege is something that “woke” people talk about to make themselves feel better than other people. He believes, “White privilege is an attempt by the left to divide Americans by race.”
In an open letter to his white friends he asks them to please stop apologizing for being white. He writes, “To acknowledge your white privilege is supposed to make you feel bad. Only it doesn’t. It makes you feel good because by acknowledging your white privilege, you’re declaring yourself to be enlightened. And as a virtue-bonus, it also makes you a better person than those whites who don’t acknowledge their privilege.
“White privilege, which is supposed to make you feel bad, ends up making you feel good. Meanwhile, the real damage is to blacks. What makes whites feel good makes blacks angry.
“More than 50 years after the start of the Civil Rights movement, the message is: ‘You’re still oppressed.’ How can this not create a victim mentality? And anyone – of any color – who sees himself as a victim gets angry,” Tatum said.
He continued, saying that we all enjoy privileges in this country as individuals. For instance, a black baby born to educated parents will enjoy privileges over a white baby born to a single mom who is drug addicted. He said, “I’m an American who deals with my fellow Americans one-on-one.”
Ben Carson, U.S. secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and many others believe today there is no institutional racism because we’ve changed laws like Jim Crow laws.
I am influenced by my friends. This includes Mason Weaver, who authored a book “Its OK to Leave the Plantation,” which I published in 1994 while I was producing his radio show on KOGO-AM 600. He is a veteran, Berkeley-educated author and former Black Panther. He said, “I am a 70-year-old black and I have not suffered 400 years of anything. All of you guilty white people should realize you are not helping this situation by accepting responsibility for what happened 400 years ago.” “I am not helpless, weak or discriminated against. I do not see police discriminiation as serious of a problem as the gang warfare going on now.
“We need to arrest the looters, charge the organizers for conspiracy to loot and burn, release America from this Corona House Arrest and lets get everyone back to work.”
Everyone is standing on the shoulders of other people who built this country and made it great. That includes all races, World War II veterans, politicians, teachers, business owners and mothers and fathers.
I had nothing to do with slavery and neither did my ancestors. It’s possible that my ancestors were actually white slaves along the Barbery Coast with a million other white Europeans and also an estimated 700 Americans when Black Muslim pirates kidnapped them and took them to Africa. Am I blaming anyone today for that? No.
According to Wikiledia, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbary_slave_trade, “Pirate raids for the acquisition of slaves occurred in towns and villages on the African Atlantic seaboard, as well as in Europe. Reports of Barbary raids and kidnappings of those in Italy, Spain, France, Portugal, England, Netherlands, Ireland, Scotland and as far north as Iceland exist from between the 16th to the 19th centuries. It is estimated that between 1 million and 1.25 million Europeans were captured by pirates and sold as slaves in Tunis, Algiers and Tripoli during this time period. The slave trade in Europeans in other parts of the Mediterranean is not included in this estimation.”
While I normally would not quote Wikipedia, this entry seems well sourced. Funny, I don’t remember learning about that in school. So, I will continue treating those individuals around me of every color as Americans and as part of the human race standing shoulder to shoulder, undivided, one nation under God, with liberty and justice for all. And when injustices occur, we will fight them together without hurting other innocent people.
Julie Reeder can be reached by email at [email protected]