This month, I want to shed some light on a huge issue dividing conservatives and radical liberals: race. Many liberals accuse us of not wanting to and avoiding frank discussions about race. I say “challenge accepted! ” I’m going to try to write some articles on different issues involving race this month as an overarching theme…
Many proponents of political correctness bring up a concept called “white privilege”. For those who aren’t familiar with the concept, it is the idea that white people have an advantage socially, economically, culturally, etc. based on their race, being white. Often this concept is brought up to try to get white people to acknowledge the disadvantages minorities have, but it often backfires into reverse discrimination. While race can be a factor that “privileges” people in society, white privilege ignores other factors independent of race, such as socio-economic status, family stability, the environment one grew up in, opportunities, social connections, and yes, gender, sexuality and even religion. While these can intersect to give a combo of advantages and disadvantages to everyone, focusing on white people having less adversity in their life mostly due to their race dismisses all the other factors, such as poverty and personal adversity such as a death of someone close, or another tragedy. Some say there’s no such thing as reverse discrimination because white people are the dominant group. That might have been the case decades ago, but now, we have ushered in a new age of far more equality and have tipped the scales the other way. Don’t understand? Let me use a technique PC proponents use all the time: The “privilege walk”.
- Take a step forward if you feel the mainstream media is bringing more and more awareness to the issues you face in society.
- Take a step back if expressing pride in your race can easily be misconstrued as racial supremacy.
- Take a step forward if your family-makeup (ie. who makes up your immediate family, especially spouses) is becoming more accepted as a norm than an exception.
- Take a step back if others dismiss the contributions of historical figures of your race based on their race.
- Take another step back if gender and race was the factor in dismissing a historical figure of your group.
- Take a step forward if jobs, schools, housing and other opportunities are making a special effort to represent your group.
- Take a step forward if media such as TV, movies and literature are becoming more inclusive towards your group and more apt to represent them.
- Take a step back if a cultural norm or tradition from your group is thought of as discriminatory.
- Take another step back if defending your desire to openly practice the cultural norm or tradition is misconstrued as being exclusionary of other’s norms and traditions.
- Take a step forward if you can ask for a space for your group exclusively.
- Take a step back if doing so is construed as discriminatory and unacceptable.
- Take a step forward if your political leanings are becoming more widely accepted and advocated for.
- Take a step back if your political leanings are attacked on a societal and personal level, and you are labeled “bigoted” or “backwards” for holding them.
- Take a step back if a critique of the other side’s position on an issue they feel affects them is construed as hatred and prejudice.
- Take a step forward if others feel special concern not to offend you.
- Take a step forward if you are allowed to use terminology that is only permissible by your group.
- Take another step forward if that also encompasses cultural practices, material culture, language, and dress.
- Take a step back if formerly innocuous comments and gestures are construed as racist or sexist, or even assault.
- Take a step back if you provide quantitative evidence for an unpopular position, but are still construed as being arbitrarily prejudiced.
- Take a step back if you are afraid to openly express your politics in fear of ostracism or even physical violence.
- Take another step back if this also includes an opinion on another group’s position.
- Take a step back if you have a hard time finding media such as news, tv shows, and literature that represent your views.
- Take a step forward if you can easily find sites online that advocate for your side of prominent issues.
- Take a step back if you have a hard time finding websites that advocate for your views, and are considered “fringe” or “radicalized”
- Finally, take a step back for each category you belong to: white, male, cisgender, heterosexual, conservative, and middle class. All those identities are limited as to what they may and may not express in regards to other groups.
You might have noticed, that many of these statements for steps forward are the “victories” minority groups have won. While discrimination is not 100% gone from our society, keep in mind the privileges minorities have “won” over the years. An egalitarian society treats everyone by the same standards, regardless of groups that separate people. If we swing the pendulum to the point where we have to guilt trip and attack the once dominant group, we are no longer treating everyone equally if that group is afraid to express any critique anymore. PC proponents, you have asked white, male, cisgendered, straight people to “check their privilege” and be aware of the advantages they take for granted in society. Many people in these categories genuinely want a more equal and just society, and are more than willing to work with you to make that a reality. Don’t alienate them by making them “the enemy”. Please return the favor and check your privilege as well.