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A disadvantage of white privilege

Melvin B. Miller
A disadvantage of white privilege
“When are we supposed to get our special privilege?”

Racial discrimination has become so subtle that it is sometimes difficult to prove. Nonetheless, advocates for racial equality often avoid a debate over an incident that could well be considered as racial discrimination by renouncing it as the “white privilege” so common in American society. That is a lesser offense.

Many whites insist that there is no “white privilege” for them, but the data does not support that position for the affluent. According to the 2018 IRS report, 144.3 million Americans earned $11.6 trillion that year and paid $1.5 trillion in income taxes. The top 1% of taxpayers received 20.9% of the income reported. The Black population at that time was about 14.1%. How many Blacks could reasonably be estimated to have been included in the top 1% of taxpayers?

It should be noted that whites who are described as “woke” are aware that Blacks have fewer opportunities to serve in high paying professional and business organizations that would enable them to generate substantial income. The upper-class white response would be that they worked hard and lived a disciplined life that enabled them to succeed.

However, that does not fully resolve the issue. In the past, Blacks often had to accept posts much below their skill level and be replaced by the less talented family, friends and allies of those in power. Under the Trump presidential administration, a number of potential white administrators learned how discrimination feels as they lost their jobs. Surprisingly, the response seemed for many of them to be less patriotic and less committed to the standards and values of a democracy than is customary for Blacks.

It is relatively easy to understand that unbridled ambition can induce some people to take great risks. However, it does not take much to understand that Trump has placed the nation and all its citizens in danger by stealing from the White House secret documents that could create an enormous international risk for everyone. The fact that this breach of secrecy has happened at all undoubtedly has caused the U.S. to lose face with important allies.

Trump’s decision to withhold the U.S.-owned documents indicates a malevolent aspect of those who would be guilty of white privilege. It is not unusual for those who grow up with special privilege to fail to learn how to survive with neighborhood kids who might not always be so friendly. This failure of contact with reality is a common disadvantage of well-to-do suburban lads.

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