Privilege is defined as the special right, immunity or benefit that a single person or group enjoys over most others in society. Privilege manifest itself in myriad forms depending on the person and/or group and their relation to society at large. In most instances people who enjoy certain privileges prefer (for obvious reasons) not to give them up. And why would they? When a pretty woman is showered with compliments and gifts just for being born with a nice set of features that’s a privilege that she enjoys over women less aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Should she be expected to not accept the less than earned privilege? When the average man has to go to the mechanic and does not get taken to the bank, but is instead given a fair market price tag for the work being done on his vehicle, is that a privilege that he should be expected to forgo? Yes, said no man ever.
Depending on who you are on the proverbial chess board of life you’re going to fall in a pecking order with certain privileges in the balance. You will win some and lose some–some sceanrios have you being a king while pawn is your position in others. It’s one of those facts of life that you just have to deal with. No one should have to apologize for whatever undue perks in life that they were born with or had been bestowed upon them by random or systemic order. Furthermore, in a day and age when wealth inequality is almost an American brand, trying to convince poor and struggling middle class white families that their American Dream turned nightmarish reality includes special privileges represents an exercise in futility. Not to mention it all but kills the much needed and long overdue dialogue on race that this country keeps punting from generation to generation.
There are a lot of well intended people (black and white) that decry the inherent unfairness of ‘White Privilege’. My hope is that they heed this message and re-calibrate theirs to one that is instead anti white supremacy. White privilege is not the impetus, spring board or catalyst to the rich getting insanely richer off of the backs of an ever widening poor and working class. White Supremacy is the culprit for such a collective and communal cognitive dissonance.
Voting to take away your own healthcare, environmental protections, and much needed social safety net can be called a lot of things. A privilege however is not one of them.
It’s white supremacy that has so many white people walking around with cut noses and spited faces. Those very spiteful white voters rushed to the polls to usher in the most republican officeholders in this country since 1920–with the same bankrupting mentality and agenda. The 1920 GOP majority managed to bring the Great Depression to fruition after a decade of total power. This 2014 iteration promises to do the same but since that message was cloaked in a white supremacist codec catering to the white supremacist ethos–it was a winning strategy. They even had an exit poll in South Carolina that actually asked the question ‘are Blacks getting too demanding over equal rights?’.
The South Carolina exit poll question plays off the long ingrained white fear of blacks taking that which belongs to them. It’s a tried, tested and winning way to sway the median middle class electorate to vote in a manner that runs counter to their interest. Basically voting for laws that benefit billionaires.
The nascent black vote
As disappointed as I am about black America staying home from the polls this past mid-term it was and is a completely logical decision (not that I agree) that I find it hard to quibble with.
Here’s a president. The first black president–one that got many of them (white democrats) elected or re-elected in 2008 and 2012.
He averted a second Great Depression, got the unemployment rate from 10 percent to under 6 percent. The stock market is seeing record highs after being in the dumps from the disastrous Bush years. He killed the arch nemesis Osama. He even helped raise money for them to run against his accomplishments. Now I have my own issues with this president but by all mainstream partisan and non-partisan metrics this president has been the most successful of any in our lifetime, but the Democratic Party still ran away from him and his record.
In their defense their running from Obama was not personal and for the most part they ran from him more than his record or actions but what they were running from is something that they should all be embarrassed and a shamed of. They were running from his race because they coveted the anti-Black president/ pro-white supremacist vote much more than they coveted the black vote. Seems that there is some bi-partisanship in Washington. Unfortunately it’s the white supremacist worldview.
From the logical perspective of even the most astute black progressive voter, if they can so easily turn their back on the black man whose coattails they rode to power. A black man that occupies the highest office in the land, a black man that saved the American auto industry and the millions of jobs that depended on it, a black man who’s now the ONLY democratic voice of significance in Washington–How easy is it for them to turn their back on the average black man, woman and child that’s armed merely with single vote that’s at best only relied upon every two years (if at all)?
When black conservatives lament about blacks being used by the Democratic Party it’s almost always devoid of context and for the express purpose of getting more black people to become their partners in Coonery for their GOP puppet masters. However that does not mean that those broken clock minded professional shuckers and jivers are not correct to at least an extent. The relationship between black voters and the Democratic Party is indeed completely one sided and ineffectual. In the Senate Democrats quest to run away from the black guy they wholeheartedly embraced Hillary Clinton and the Clintonian political juggernaut (so they call it). It was widely rejected in large part do to the fact that black and brown folks were not impressed and stayed home. If the DNC has any foresight at all they will see that Mrs. Clinton is not the slam dunk nominee that they and their GOP rivals are hedging on. They too(the DNC) need to re-calibrate their message. They need to extricate the white supremacy from their ranks, stand up to bigotry in their states and come with a more inclusive agenda able to lift the tide for the American middle class. Anything less will lead to further demise of the party along with this nation.
So in summation, by all means white America. Keep all of the privilege you have for however much longer that your numerical majority and historical inaccuracies afford you. We from the black delegation would just prefer that you lose that false sense of superiority. If not for us, do it for your kids and their future because after all that is who your wayward voting patterns hurt the most.