by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Dennis Prager devotes a National Review Online column to one of the political left’s poorly reasoned talking points.
A pillar of contemporary Leftism is the notion of “white privilege.” Given that a generation of high-school and college students are being taught that a great number of “unearned privileges” accrue to white Americans, the charge of white privilege demands rational inquiry.
The assertion turns out to be largely meaningless. And, more significantly, it does great harm to blacks.
First, no reasonable person can argue that white privilege applies to the great majority of whites, let alone to all whites. There are simply too many variables other than race that determine individual success in America.
And if it were true, why would whites commit suicide at twice the rate of blacks (and at a higher rate than any other race in America except American Indians)? According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, white men, who the Left argues are the most privileged group of all in America, commit seven out of every ten suicides in America — even though only three out of ten Americans are white males. …
… Second, there are a host of privileges that dwarf “white privilege.”
A huge one is Two-Parent Privilege. If you are raised by a father and mother, you enter adulthood with more privileges than anyone else in American society, irrespective of race, ethnicity, or sex. That’s why the poverty rate among two-parent black families is only 7 percent.
Compare that with a 22 percent poverty rate among whites in single-parent homes. Obviously the two-parent home is the decisive “privilege.”
Another “privilege,” if one wants to use that term, that dwarfs “white privilege” is Asian privilege. Asian Americans do better than white Americans in school, on IQ tests, on credit scores, and on other positive measures. In fact, according to recent data from the Federal Reserve, Asians are about to surpass whites as the wealthiest group of Americans. Will the Left soon complain about Asian privilege?