Friday, June 19, 2020

Once again, I prove too stupid to educate

I had another well-meaning progressive (lower-case "p") try to explain my white privilege to me. I must be a poor student, because I still do not understand.

In a nutshell: "Slavery still exists. As a white-person you are immersed in privilege and cannot see it, just like a goldfish cannot see water."

I was taken aback to learn slavery still existed in America. I used the internet to learn that "Slavery still exists" is a key tenant of BLM.

Thinking of all the people-of-colors I know, I could not think of a single one who was unable to move from their current abode because they did not have their "owner's" permission. Nor was I able to think of any who were forced to breed with folks they chose not to because their owner demanded strong children to sell on the open market. Finally, outside of the family, I could not think of any situation where adults were forced to labor without compensation for the monetary benefit of their owner.

It turns out that the myth of "Slavery still exists" in America is based on two very different indisputable facts.

Incarceration is a form of involuntary servitude. Prisons have shops. Prisoners are given the opportunity to work in those shops in exchange for enough money to buy luxuries in the prison store.

The second underpinning is the "Unequal outcomes". Claiming slavery still exists in America is a tidy way to explain unequal outcomes. The fact that none of the other attributes of slavery (loss of freedom of association, religion, speech, labor etc.) is waved aside. "Unequal outcomes" is all the data BLM needs to "prove" slavery still exists.

The "goldfish in water" metaphor is evidence of magical thinking. Magic differs from science in that science assumes things happen for observable, measurable reasons.
  • We cannot see gravity but everybody knows it exists and we can measure it. 
  • We cannot see air but we can measure a dozen things about it...pressure, temperature, oxygen level, clarity, a host of toxins in it....
  • We can even measure many things about electrons: Their mass and the energy associated with various orbital states

How do I measure "White privilege"? How do I reconcile exceptions?

So that makes me stupid, that I think the creed of "White privilege" is magical thinking and is partially based on gross redefinition of the word "slavery".

Or perhaps I am extraordinarily cynical. Perhaps they invented "White privilege" as a justification for "equal outcomes", also known as communism and totalitarianism.

2 comments:

  1. Unequal outcomes are the result of unequal abilities, for many definitions of ability - the ability to stay out of jail by not committing crimes, the ability to raise kids in and be raised in a household with two married parents, the ability to apply oneself at school, the ability to see career possibilities beyond pro athlete and rapper. I could go on.

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  2. They mistake White competence for White privilege.

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