I read some of the arguments that passed between Jon Stewart and Bill Reilly on White Privilege. To have listened to their circus performance would have been a most unbearable experience. Both men are idiots in my opinion, Stewart the more so. Both are bombastic in speech and both have a difficult time with thought processes. I know, that sounds a little harsh. But those individuals in the public media make their living and reputations by being somewhat outrageous. Those who watch and support them expect entertainment. Even singers need to add the trills and ooh-oohs to stay on top these days. And certainly today’s reality shows have become increasingly over the top no matter how limited their audience.
But back to today’s rant. In 1935 W E B Du Bois introduced the term psychological wage to compare the differences of low wage workers by color. Low wage white workers were led to superior to their black counterparts. And he identified White Supremacy as a global phenomenon based on the existence of colonial states. Later in the fifties others would introduce the term white privilege as a way of identifying the advantages the white population had as a whole over other groups. Today this concept has taken a more racially tinged tone in public argument. Those like Jon Steward seem to believe that this concept has a real existence in society and culture. And these people believe it is universal, global, and endemic. Of course this concept has taken a new turn in that many liberals see it an a form of oppression. Hence the white male is seen as having the oppressive privilege against any group such as women, blocks, Asians, and so forth. Indeed, the white male is born with it and cannot get rid of it in their eyes. A white male by virtue of being born white has the advantage in all things social and cultural in life and his position is not due to any individual effort on his part but due solely to being born white. This argument has no merit.
If one were to ask those who argue that the concept of white privilege exists what is the solution to this perceived problem one gets no answer. How does one ‘destroy’ this white privilege? Do we send all white males to the back of the line and promote all others over them? Perhaps they should pay a special tax to be used to elevate the other groups through better education, housing, and employment. I suppose we could get very silly about the remedies but what would be the result? Would we have done anything useful? And would we have solved this perceived problem?
The post world war two years where we entered a cold war with Russia and China was termed the Age of Anxiety. There was constant talk about the possibility of nuclear war and the devastation such a war would bring. We became wary lest any advantage accrue to the other side and leave us weaker and perhaps defenseless. The nuclear warhead was the sword that hung above our collective heads. I think we have entered the Age of Recrimination, that period where we blame our failures on others. Perhaps we should call it the age of very low expectations. After all, if we want all children to graduate from college with a degree then we must lower the entrance standards and the grading standards to make that possible. But what have we done as a result? We have created a false sense of success while proclaiming a search for excellence.
But as Jon Stewart shows, the liberal, particularly the white male liberal is an idiot. The real pity is that so many people believe what he says, he is their news source. Stewart has erected his own hollow religion where the ignorant can worship at his microphone. He will solve no problems and he will not add to any understanding of the world. But he will be a rich white male enjoying his supposed White Privilege. I hope he enjoys the experience.