The Fallacy of White Privilege

It’s time to expose a pervasive fallacy of the virtue-signaling left known as white privilege. White privilege is another offshoot of identity politics that we get from the neo-Marxist activists who make everything about race, sex, and gender. According to the dictionary, White Privilege is the unearned, mostly unacknowledged social advantage white people have over other racial groups simply because they are white. While no one argues that white people have had an unfair advantage in America in our history, but is it still true today?

What’s interesting is that the main proponents of this theory are from white acedemics in the social sciences departments writing papers and books from their ivory tower universities. And more recently, we have white academia elites like Robin DiAngelo writing best-selling novels like “White Fragility” to dismiss any pushback on their fallacious claims.

To properly understand what we’re up against, we must dig into its origins.

Origins of “White Privilege”

The term “white privilege” was popularized by Peggy McIntosh, feminist activist and women’s studies scholar. In 1988, McIntosh wrote a paper called “White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences Through Work in Women’s Studies.” How McIntosh fits in my series about the evils of socialism can be summed up with the following quote from an article in The Federalist:

“McIntosh advocates for a “taxonomy of privilege” and sees many of her examples as indicative of “conferred dominance.” When she says she sees “unearned advantages” as a type of “oppression,” she’s employing the language of neo-Marxism.” (From “How the Theory of White Privilege Leads to Socialism“)

Now that we understand where the term came from, here’s a video from PragerU explaining why “white privilege” is not only not an issue, it’s actually racist.

The notion of “white privilege” is an association fallacy. What makes it a dangerous fallacy is that it’s actually racist and prejudicial in nature. As Jordan Peterson said on the video:

“There’s nothing more racist than targeting an entire ethnic group with a collective crime regardless of the innocence or guilt of its individuals.”

Let’s look at this more closely. First, of course, there’s such thing as privilege! And we live in a culture that’s still predominately white. But if you lived in China, you would have Asian privilege. I used to live in Chicago. Politically speaking, you have “Democrat privilege” in Chicago (a Republican or Conservative has no chance of winning anything in Chicago).

Rav Arora (he’s not white, btw) wrote an op-ed piece in the NY Post: “The Fallacy of White Privilege and How It’s Corroding Society.” You can watch a video interview with him here.

Arora says there are two main points on white privilege. One, white people are immune to racism, therefore, they have white privilege. The other, every time a white person might push back on such nonsense it just makes him or her a “white supremicist!” They trap you with their clever language construct. It’s like saying, “When did you stop beating your wife?” They presuppose white immunity, but are actually creating another fallacy called begging the question. Ironicly, they disprove their own premise by making these reprehensible anti-white racist statements.

However, as Arora points out, there are other types of privilege that are far more predictive than just lumping all white people together and condemning them for their skin color. There’s privilege due to intelligence, age, health, wealth, education…and many of these are more important than anything that “whiteness” can get you.

Arora further debunks white privilege in the follow quote from the NY Post Article:

“And the concept of white privilege can’t explain why several historically marginalized groups out-perform whites today. Take Japanese Americans, for example: For nearly four decades in the 20th century (1913 – 1952), this group was legally prevented from owning land and property in over a dozen American states. Moreover, 120,000 Japanese Americans were interned during World War II. But by 1959, the income disparity between Japanese Americans and white Americans nearly vanished. Today, Japanese Americans outperform whites by large margins in income statistics, education outcomes, test scores and incarceration rates.”

Interestingly, several black immigrant groups such as Nigerians, Barbadians, Ghanaians and Trinidadians & Tobagonians have a median household income well above the American average. Ghanian Americans, to take one example, earn more than several specific white groups such as Dutch Americans, French Americans, Polish Americans, British Americans and Russian Americans. Do Ghanaians have some kind of sub-Saharan African privilege?”

I grew up in a small town in the Midwest in the 1960’s. My doctor was black. He was a great doctor and one of the wealthiest in our town. My single mom was a school teacher and we were lower middle-class. My black doctor had privilege that my family didn’t have because of his social status and wealth. But it never dawned on anyone that this was bad, or that he had “Black privilege.” He was a professional and well-loved by our community.

Most “privilege” is not racist, it’s simply MAJORITY privilege, which is true for any culture. But it doesn’t follow that majority privilege constitutes systemic racism. That’s why the charge of “white privilege” is utter nonsense. Of course, if you dig deeper you find that all of this is just a pretext to push a neo-Marxist agenda from the radical left.

Finally, there’s the general problem that those who advocate “woke” ideologies like white privilege have, which is that they must ignore the positive steps taken to mitigate against actual prejudice and unfair privilege over the last century. This kind of refusal to acknowledge the positive progression (called “progressophobia” by Dr. Steven Pinker) only perpetuates division and hateful rhetoric.

Of course, I’m not implying that there’s no actual racism or unfair privilege. I’m simply stating that you cannot simply reduce it all to white skin color (which actually is racist, by definition). This isn’t the Jim Crow South anymore.

About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 40 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
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9 Responses to The Fallacy of White Privilege

  1. Oh, amen Mel! Well done.

    In our faith, we are just basking in,“unearned advantages,” privilege and favor. That is the goal, to just immerse ourselves in His goodness and bask in His unmerited grace. Along comes CRT trying to tell people of all races that “unearned advantages” are something shameful? No, we are all privileged and you can be, too!

    Me, I think all this crt, marxist stuff, is really about trying to create a diversion from a class confrontation that is building. It kind of scares me, because there are several economic disasters looming. As long as people are fighting among ourselves over privilege, maybe we won’t notice that the covid chaos just made the rich even richer and the poor even poorer? Throw in a few corrupt BLM and politicians and it’s just a potential train wreck.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Good point, IB. We really do have the ultimate “unearned privilege” as followers of Christ! And, yes, everyone is invited to be privileged this way! 🙂

      As far as the neo-Marxist stuff, like CRT, they won’t stop until they are stopped. These ideologues have been working on this for decades. Now, whether they succeed or not is another story. Their strength is that they’ve been indoctrinating our young people in universities for decades. Their biggest enemy is reality. The naked truth is, their ideology is reprehensible. It’s repressive, hateful, divisive, and, ironically, racist. Anyone who actually takes the time to study the bloody and repressive history of Marxism would be repulsed. Just ask people who’ve lived under Socialist/Communist regimes who’ve managed to escape its hell on earth.

      • Anonymous says:

        InsanityBytes argues we, as Christians and God’s children, have unearned privilege through being God’s children, which I think is absolutely correct. There are Christians who argue that the “losers” in life are that way because God wants them to be in such circumstances and the “winners” in life are where they are because God wants them there, too, and thus we shouldn’t care much for the sufferings of others since if God wanted it to be otherwise for them, He’d make it so.

        Is this a good argument and mindset? I’ve read people argue such before. And in the Old Testament you see God favoring His people and punishing others for worshiping false gods. People starved and died back then, too, due to famine. So in today’s famine, is that God’s Will? I’m curious as to what your view is, although it may be too time-consuming to write up.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Thanks for your comments and question. I will give a brief answer to my view here. What you’re describing with those who believe God pre-determines the “winners” and “losers” would be called fatalism, akin to Hinduism, not Christianity. I know there are some who believe in this hard form of determinism who consider themselves Christians, but it violates Scripture and the nature of God’s love and grace on several fronts. In fact, you cannot even express love without free will to do so. God’s love is agape, which means benevolence, or to use your will for the benefit of others. This other-centered love is impossible in a fatalistic environment.

          The “unearned privilege” we are talking about is what we experience when we accept God’s invitation into His life. And this open invitation was always available to all people from the beginning. Those non-Jews who accepted it in the Old Testament also experienced blessings (i.e., Rahab, Ruth, etc.). God is no respector of persons nor does He show partiality, and He tells us to do the same. This is clear in Scripture. You could also argue that even those who hate God benefit from His grace, since “He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matt.5:45)

        • Anonymous says:

          Thank you for your reply. It was kind of unrelated to your blog post but InsanityBytes’ comment got me thinking about it.

          Yes, God’s common grace.
          And agape love. Benevolence.

        • Mel Wild says:

          You’re welcome. It is an important clarification about God’s character. If we think God just arbitrarily picks who’s in and who’s out, we make Him into a capricious god instead of a good Father who is love. So, thanks for asking the question.

  2. SLIMJIM says:

    So much information here!

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