Brown U's Editorial Board 'Deeply Troubled' by Politician's Denial of 'White Privilege'

What about Indian privilege, Chinese privilege or Japanese privilege?  They all do better in the USA on average than whites do.  So do whites have any privilege at all?  If so it must be rather low down the pecking order.  Compared to some they do have the privilege of working harder, I guess

But the whole idea of privilege is just a leftist slur.  It asserts that some people or classes of people were/are given certain things unfairly rather than working for them, earning them or deserving them

If a high IQ person makes a scientific breakthrough, is that privilege?  I can't see it.  He may be amply rewarded for his breakthrough but that reward is a reward for his work, not privilege.

Being born bright could be seen as a privilege but that is conferred by genetics not society -- and being bright of itself may mean little.  I knew a very high IQ man who could only find work supervising garbage bins.  It's the work you do using your brain that matters and which gives you any rewards. And the results of work are not "privilege".  They are justly earned  rewards

And a rejection of a job application by a black is also a justly earned reward, though the individual black himself might not have earned it. If Leftist privilege-critics can talk in terms of such broad categories as "whites", why can employers not think in terms of such broad categories as "blacks"?  And the well-known poor performance of blacks in many ways will often give rise to a reasonable fear that any given black may perform poorly in tasks relevant to the job in question. If the task involved singing and dancing or running fast, an application from a black could well be given priority.  Who would be "privileged" then?

Any attempt at answering that question shows immediately that the whole idea of anchoring your analysis of wellbeing or success in such  broad and diverse categories as "whites" or "blacks" is near brain-dead.  It indicates an inability at detailed thought or a lack of fine-grained perception.  It is just a typical Leftist overgeneralization. There all sorts of whites, rich, poor and in-between.  Are they all equally "privileged" by being white?  Only a Leftist would think so

An intelligent appraisal of various forms of success in society would require much, much more than such childish categories as "whites".  Pre-schoolers can tell whites from blacks and Leftists  would appear not to have got beyond that infantile stage in their thinking.  Leftist politicians do talk of 'nuance' but they rarely display any of it

But nothing in Leftist "privilege" discourse is remotely intellectual. It is just an attempt at stirring up racial antagonisms. It is racism pure and simple

The Speaker of the R.I. House, Rep. Nicholas Mattiello (D-Cranston), has drawn the wrath of The Brown Daily Herald for saying he doesn't think "white privilege" exists.

As noted in a Nov. 11 editorial, Mattiello told The Providence Journal on Oct. 31: "I'm not sure I've ever thought of the phrase 'white privilege.' I don't think there is a white privilege."

(The newspaper called it ironic that Mattiello made the comment while advocating passage of legislation banning racial profiling.)

Mattiello also told the newspaper, “I absolutely disagree with that phrase. I don’t think anybody in society views any particular nationality as having any privilege over any other. I certainly don’t.”

The Daily Herald editorial board responded: "We are deeply troubled by one of the most powerful politicians in the state government denying a reality that affects his constituents and Rhode Islanders more broadly, including students here at Brown. To argue that white Americans do not have unfair advantages over people of color ignores both the voiced experiences of people of color and the corroborating data."

The editorial points to a survey released by the Associated Press showing that more than half of black millennials know a victim of police brutality, while less than one third of white millennials do -- "a poignant reminder of how white privilege inheres in our own generation," the editorial says.

"Further data — like that demonstrating that white job applicants are more likely to receive a callback after submitting job applications than people of color, or that of the 46,235 New Yorkers stopped by police last year, 55 percent were black, and only 12 percent were white -- illustrate how entrenched white privilege remains in our society and how misguided Mattiello’s statement is."


Completely unrelated to the Brown newspaper editorial, The Los Angeles Times on Thursday published an article explaining that on many college campuses, "microaggressions" are seen as "the new face of racism."

Microaggressions include "everyday slights and snubs, sometimes unintentional,"  rather than "blatant acts of bias."

According to the newspaper, the phenomenon "is drawing widespread attention across college campuses and kicking up a debate about social justice and free speech rights."

Students are sharing their experiences with microaggression on websites and Facebook pages at -- you guessed it -- Brown, as well as Harvard, Oberlin,  Dartmouth, Swarthmore, Columbia, Willamette and other universities."


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