MIKE BARNICLE: You mentioned - that it was depressing, that it was a terrible weekend, that the verdict is unsettling for so many people in this country and probably around the world. I'll tell you what’s truly unsettling to me personally as a parent. I have three sons. Not one of those sons that I have to tell listen, don't run when you see a cop, you know don’t establish eye contact with a cop.
THOMAS ROBERTS: Right.
BARNICLE: You know, watch out when you're here. Watch out when you're there. I never had to do that. But if you're a black parent, you do that. You do that. It's part of raising your children.
ROBERTS: Well, with all due respect your three boys have hit the American trifecta of privilege.
ROBERTS: They are white, straight males. Presumably. So they have hit the trifecta of American privilege and from there we go down hill. So if you are an other in this country, and that means if you are an LGBT, if you are hispanic, if you are black, if you are a woman right now we are fighting to prove why other is no the bad and why we are due the value of our American rights. I mean, Trayvon's rights were obviously violated, stalked, followed presumed to be suspicious from the get-go by somebody who was the self-proclaimed watch commander of his neighborhood who was packing heat to go to the grocery store.
This is a familiar left-liberal way of seeing things. The focus is on some groups, namely whites, males and heterosexuals, being privileged at the expense of other groups.
If you look at indicators such as income, education and careers then it's not clear that white, male heterosexuals are always and everywhere privileged. Asian Americans do better than white Americans in all these areas; lesbians do better than heterosexual women when it comes to income; females do better than males when it comes to education and so on.
Thomas Roberts is himself homosexual. He wants to put himself in a non-privileged group, despite the fact that he has a high status, high income professional position.
So what explains the idea that white, heterosexual males are privileged? I think it happens for the following reason. Liberals believe that it is the act of choosing for ourselves that makes something moral. For this moral system to work, everyone must be equally free to self-define their own good. And this means that liberals will think it most wrong for some people to pursue their own self-determining choices at the expense of others seeking to do the same thing - that becomes the focus of moral evil.
The sense that liberals will have is that American society was created by the self-defining choices of white American males. That is what brought about the culture, the institutions and the environment that people live in. But that is a morally inadmissible situation; it means that the self-defining choices of this group of people defines the environment that other people live in.
A consequence of this is that it becomes important to deconstruct that culture and those institutions until they no longer exist as the environment that people live in.
So what then replaces them? There are two angles to this. First, it won't be thought so bad if the white culture is replaced by another one, as minority cultures are associated with resistance or subversion rather than the creation of systems of dominance or privilege. But, second, liberals might also aim at a diversity or plurality that prevents any one group from establishing a "hegemony".
And so the very mixed suburbs, in which no single group predominates, and which is experienced by traditionalists as lacking a clear expression of culture, fits in with liberal aims. The environment is no longer influenced by the self-defining choices of any particular group.
Therefore, it is not just markers of education, income and career which matter to liberals in defining privilege (though these are certainly part of the equation). There's also this other concern with the way that American institutions and culture have been defined by white heterosexual males and this concern cannot be allayed until traditional America has been thoroughly deconstructed.
Traditionalism has a very different starting point to liberalism which leads us in a radically different direction. We do not believe that it is the act of choosing for ourselves that makes something moral. Instead we believe that there are objective moral goods that can be known to us.
And so the aim is to discern and to defend what is good in human life. When we look at the culture and the institutions we inherit, our aim is to recognise the good that has been handed down to us within this tradition, and to build on it, rather than to look for patterns of privilege in how a social environment has been defined.
A part of the good that traditionalists recognise is being connected in our identity to our own culture and people (ethny). And so we do not wish to deconstruct these in order to create a "definition free" environment, but rather we want to maintain their continuity - we do not want to lose something that has a significant value, that inspires our love and which forms part of our identity and part of the setting which makes our social commitments meaningful.
Nor do we think of diversity in the same way that liberals might. For us, diversity is a world in which different peoples are allowed to predominate in different areas and so flavour those areas with their own distinct cultures. When liberals invoke diversity it has the sense of mixing cultures within a particular area so that no single one can predominate and define the environment. But that means that such an environment is likely to lack any clear cultural flavour.