Friday, December 15, 2006

Whiteness theorist: diversity a sham

Remember whiteness studies? It's a new university discipline which claims that race is a social construct rather than a biological reality, and that "whiteness" was invented so that some people could enjoy an unearned privilege at the expense of the oppressed other.

One problem for the theory is explaining exactly how all whites are privileged. After all, there are plenty of whites who work hard to earn a living and raise a family and who struggle to make ends meet. In other words, it's not the case that all whites are at the top of the heap and non-whites at the bottom. So why identify all whites as privileged?

Peggy McIntosh is an American whiteness theorist who has attempted to answer this question. Having decided that "whites are carefully taught not to recognise white privilege" she was determined to produce a lengthy list of the ways in which whites like herself actually are privileged.

The list is titled "Daily effects of white privilege" and runs to 50 items. The tone of the list is set from the start:

1. I can if I wish arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time.

2. I can avoid spending time with people whom I was trained to mistrust and who have learned to mistrust my kind or me.

3. If I should need to move, I can be pretty sure of renting or purchasing housing in an area which I can afford and in which I would want to live.

A large number of the items continue in a similar vein. For example:

6. I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented.

12. I can go into a music shop and count on finding the music of my race represented, into a supermarket and find the staple foods which fit with my cultural traditions.

22. I can remain oblivious of the language and customs of persons of color who constitute the world's majority without feeling in my culture any penalty for such oblivion.

24. I can be pretty sure that if I ask to talk to the "person in charge", I will be facing a person of my own race.

26. I can easily buy posters, post-cards, picture books, greeting cards, dolls, toys and children's magazines featuring people of my race.

48. I have no difficulty finding neighbourhoods where people approve of our household.

Now, if these items are true then they would confer a kind of privilege on all whites, whether rich or poor. So at one level Peggy McIntosh has made a real attempt to justify the claim that all whites are privileged.

But at what a cost! Peggy McIntosh may have hoped we wouldn't notice, but she is effectively arguing the following: that whites are privileged because they are better able to escape the effects of diversity than blacks.

Diversity is held to be, in Peggy McIntosh's list, something harmful to our well-being, the negative consequences of which ought to be shared equally. It is wrong, she thinks, that whites should be privileged by being better able to live amongst their own kind and within their own culture than blacks.

Now this runs directly against the line usually fed to us. We are normally told that diversity is something which enriches us, and which is superior to a traditional ethnic monoculture.

Peggy McIntosh, despite her credentials as a politically correct academic, evidently doesn't really believe this. If she did, then logically she would conclude that it is blacks who are privileged for being more exposed to other cultures and whites who are oppressed for retaining their traditional neighbourhoods.

A cat has been let out of the bag. Even the most left of the left believes that diversity is something inferior and undesirable, something oppressive.

There are two further points to be made about the Peggy McIntosh list. The first is that it puts whites in a difficult position. Whites are held to be privileged oppressors not so much for any specific actions taken against non-whites, but simply for being part of a majority culture.

What this means is that a white culture which admits any non-whites at all will be immediately condemned and held to be illegitimate. The non-whites won't be equally represented within the culture, which will then confer privilege on the whites. But if the whites then make themselves no more represented in the mainstream culture than any other group, then where in the world will a living white culture still be able to reproduce itself? It's a case of being told that you will either be damned as oppressors or else cease to exist. It's a range of choices which sensible people will reject.

Second, Peggy McIntosh overstates the degree to which whites are more able than blacks to maintain ethnic solidarity. For example, there are certainly cities in America in which there are black majority populations. The area of South Central Los Angeles, for instance, was majority white 50 years ago, but then became increasingly African-American in its demographics.

The problem for blacks in South Central Los Angeles isn't the imposition of a white population or culture. It's the breaking up of their neighbourhoods by the politically correct open borders mentality. This is bringing in a large influx of illegal hispanic immigrants, who undercut black wages and who change the character of the neighbourhoods, leading to a "black flight".

A black radio host, Terry Anderson, has made clear the immediate problems facing the communities of South Central Los Angeles:

We black Americans are being displaced in Los Angeles. We are being systematically and economically replaced.

And the next time somebody tells you that the illegals only take jobs that blacks won't do, just remember that WE were doing those jobs before the illegals got here AND in places of the country where there is not yet a problem with illegals, you can STILL get your grass cut, your dinner served, your dishes bussed and your hotel room cleaned.

Funny how in those places Americans are doing those jobs. We would still be doing them in Los Angeles if it was not for the fact that the illegals will work for $3.00 an hour. Breaking the law by working for less than minimum wage means nothing to somebody who broke the law to get here.

Diversity is breaking up black communities in America just as it breaking up white ones. It is not the white person seeking to live within his own community who is oppressing blacks with his "privilege". It is the liberal political class which is at fault for disrespecting the aspiration most people have to live within their own traditional communities.


  1. Unintended perspective:
    For each item in Pighead Muck-in-Tush's list, I pretended I was
    a) a Chinaman living in China
    b) a black man living in, say, Zaire
    c) a latino living in, say, El Salvador
    d) choose any non-white country
    in the world.

    So, for example, using number 1,
    "1. I can if I wish arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time."

    applied to a,b,c,or d,
    gives me the sense chinese, blacks,
    hispanics, etc., are very privileged
    Numbers 6, 12, 24, and 26 also work
    out very well.

    Number 2 works out well if you consider that in most countries there are tribal differences/religious differences
    think Azores vs mainland Portuguese,
    Basques in Spain, Irish Catholics and Protestants, Sunni and Shiite and Kurds in Iraq, and many, many more examples.

    Also, as one who lives in a "multicultural utopia" I can attest to there being many immigrants here who have lived in their new country for 30 plus years and have NEVER learned the language i.e., English, because their entire
    immigrant experience is (exclusively) living in
    chinatown (for example, for a Chinese immigrant) with Chinese language newspapers, Chinese vendors, Chinese street signs, etc.

    The other points don't work as well because they have more to do
    with income/class than race anyway, i.e., a chinaman can be rich or poor just like a white man can be.

    Of course, China, Zaire, El Salvador, and fill-in-the-blank,
    are (mostly) racially homogenous populations
    and so one would expect a manager/"person in charge" to be of the same race, for example, in one's own country.

    Having "one's own country" is exactly my point.
    Why can't whites have a racially homogenous state?

    I actually feel somewhat sad and sorry for Pighead Muck-in-Tush if she is white because a lot of brain washing had to occur over a long period of time
    to make someone THAT stupid
    (and with an advanced degree, no less).

    Her intention is for you to focus
    solely on white America or perhaps white Europe. This is what her case rests on: narrow focus. But if you focus further afield, i.e., all the nations of the world, then her assertions become very silly indeed.

  2. Thanks Mark. BTW, readers might like to take a look at a post by Mark at his own website. If you think Peggy McIntosh is to be criticised for her whiteness theory, there's an even worse case study covered by Mark. A black American called Kambon Kamau made a speech at an American university in which he claimed that every white in the world was a plantation owner (a more colourful way of claiming, as whiteness theorists do, that all whites are privileged at the expense of non-whites) and he then proposed a very radical solution to the problem.

    "Why are the idiots in charge?": a very good comment. Of course, you're right. If you look at things from a larger world perspective, then Peggy McIntosh's explanation of white privilege becomes even more absurd, since whites would have to be considered the least privileged and Asians and black Africans the most privileged, which is the exact opposite of what Peggy McIntosh wants us to believe.

  3. It's ironic that the only racial group you mention here are blacks... there are many more minority groups, (especially in the United States) including, but not limited to... Latinos, Asians, Native Americans, etc. of whom this white privelege theory can apply to. I notice that you live in Australia... I'm not sure if that should make a difference, but the social structure here in the United States is very different. There has been a long past of racial biases, segregation, desegregation, and now covert racism. Funny that you should mention South Central L.A. Southern Cali, itself, is surround by white flight cities (Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, etc). But those who benefit from white privelege are typically not aware of it. Nor are they willing to admit that they may be benefiting from a system at the expense of others simply because of skin color... hence "white denial". There is also the advantage of never having to think about the consequences of being of a particular race for a white person because white is seen as normal. A black, Hispanic, Asian, Jew, has to think how their ethnic identities will effect them in every situation. No one is going to assume that a white person is ghetto, low-class, and inarticulate if he/she walks into a job interview with braided hair, even if he/she is an intelligent, articulate college graduate or greedy or cheap if he/she is Jewish. So I don't find it strange at all that it is hard to accept or look at race from another point of view...

  4. Alas, it's very odd for whites to be told that they are privileged when their very existence is under threat all across the Western world.

    The truth is that whites do need to become more ethnically self-conscious, but not for the liberal purposes of feeling guilt for their achievements, but for more conservative purposes of asserting their right to a future existence.

    Perhaps some of the minority ethnic groups you mention should consider just how they would feel if they were not allowed ever to openly express their communal identity in a positive way.