A Story of White Privilege
Consider, for a moment, a young white man from a privileged home who goes off to college and joins a fraternity. This young white privileged frat boy begins to wreak havoc. He tweets out videos of himself ranting about black people and he posts Instagram photos with him wearing a “F*** Obama” t-shirt. He knows very well he won’t get into trouble because…he’s a young white privileged frat boy.
One day, however, he goes too far. In an effort to gain attention while simultaneously furthering the stereotype that black Obama supporters are criminals, he stages his own mugging. Police get involved and our young white privileged frat boy spins a tale in which two black guys beat him up in a dark ally. The case goes viral. America is outraged. Newspapers run front-page stories about the problem of black thugs in America. The police vow justice. There’s an investigation.
And then…it happens.
The story unravels when police discover the whole thing was a setup and a hoax, motivated by racial animus towards blacks. In truth, the young white privileged frat boy orchestrated the whole thing. There were no black guys in the ally. It was a hoax.
But fear not, because our young white privileged frat boy is well-connected. His family is represented by a former U.S. President’s Chief of Staff. And the county attorney agrees with his racial views.
Just like that, our young white privileged frat boy is off the hook with a little bit of community service. And he learns nothing.
The story above is similar to stories that you’ve no doubt heard many times. It is, perhaps, the epitome of what is called “white privilege.” It’s the notion that white people go through life in America with certain advantages not enjoyed by their minority counterparts. Advantages, furthermore, which are built into the “system.”
One of the main advantages is what Tolerance.org describes as the “Power of the Benefit of the Doubt.” They say:
In other words, they (whites) are more often humanized and granted the benefit of the doubt. They are more likely to receive compassion, to be granted individual potential, to survive mistakes. This has negative effects for people of color, who, without this privilege, face the consequences of racial profiling, stereotypes and lack of compassion for their struggles.Cory Collins, “What Is White Privilege, Really?”
The Curious Case of Jussie Smollett
By now you’ve probably figured out that our young white privileged frat boy is really Jussie Smollett, a gay black actor from Chicago. The stories run parallel.
Just like our young white privileged frat boy, Jussie Smollett used social media – and large quantities of profanity – to disparage the President. The tirades and profanity were racially charged and contained violence. In his music video, Smollett smashes a Donald Trump mask into pieces.
Just like our young white privileged frat boy, Smollett got into serious trouble with police by faking a hate crime. He alleged that two white MAGA-hat-wearing Trump supporters mugged him in a dark ally and tied a noose around his neck.
Just like our young white privileged frat boy, America responded with instant outrage. The media bought into the allegations without question. The police vowed justice. And Left-wing politicians and pundits took to the television news circuit to proclaim: “This is Trump’s new America!”
And then…it happened.
Just like our young white privileged frat boy, the police investigated Smollett and realized his story was full of holes. They officially called it a hoax. Chicago Police Superintendent, Eddie Johnson, issued a strong statement about Smollett’s actions, stating the actor “took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career.”
But just like our young white privileged frat boy, Smollett has friends in high places.
The Privilege of Jussie Smollett
Start with the Cook County State’s Attorney, Kim Foxx. A prototypical Left-leaning activist who sees her office only in terms of righting the wrongs of society. Of course, the wrongs that only “woke” people understand. That includes quelling the number of black men convicted of crimes.
The Left believes that talent is distributed equally among all people, but opportunity is not. That is why equality of outcomes – aka quotas – is so important. If an executive board doesn’t “look like America” – in other words, have the right balance of men, women, and minorities – then it clearly means that not enough women and/or minorities had the opportunity to join that executive board.
The reverse of this is true as well. If minorities are over-represented in a negative way – i.e. violent crime statistics – then it also represents clear systemic discrimination. Because if all things were equal, we would see crime statistics that “look like America” as well.
Kim Foxx set out to correct this by deliberately exchanging justice for “social justice.” In the article I linked above, she makes it clear that she is more interested in the story or humanity of the individual than in the real crime or circumstance.
In the case of Jussie Smollett, this meant ignoring her duties as a prosecutor of the law. Instead, she worked behind the scenes with Smollett’s representative, who turned out to be former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Chief of Staff, Tina Tchen.
And so, just like our young white privileged frat boy, the case against Smollett was dropped. The court records were sealed – an almost unprecedented move – and Smollett received Community Service, which was later revoked on the grounds that Smollett had completed 18 hours of volunteer work previously with the Rainbow PUSH Coalition.
Suffice to say, Jussie Smollett’s reaction was the same as you’d expect from our young white privileged frat boy. Which is to say: he learned absolutely nothing.
Whereas whites are supposed to enjoy the benefit of the doubt, when it comes to nation-wide scandals we find the opposite at play. The media is actually far more likely to give the benefit of the doubt to minority accusers.
In a well-publicized incident from 2017, NFL defensive end, Michael Bennett, was detained in Las Vegas by police when he appeared to run from the site of a potential shooting. Bennett, a social justice activist, claimed that police forced him to the ground and yelled “Don’t move or I’ll blow your f****** head off!” among a lot of other accusations.
ESPN ran with the story, as did nearly every Main Stream Media outlet. Later, however, body-cam footage from the police officers in question showed what really happened. And it was completely opposite of Michael Bennett’s account.
The police did detain Bennett when he was seen fleeing from the scene of a potential shooting. He was not abused and the officers were very respectful in telling him why they were questioning him. As it turns out, Bennett did not have any identification on him, and so he kept saying “Do you know who I am!?” The police then used Google to search his name and confirm his identity, at which point they promptly released him with their apologies.
How many white people have the privilege to have police Google search their name to prove their identity? Note: ESPN did not retract their earlier articles citing police brutality, and to this day Michael Bennett is seen as a strong social justice advocate.
Again, this case is far from unique.
The Covington Boys
If anyone has “white privilege”, it’s certainly a group of rich young white Catholic boys from a private school, right?
Just 11 days prior to Smollett’s accusations, another case took the nation by storm. A video circulated around the internet showing a group of white boys from Covington Catholic High School – wearing MAGA hats – apparently bullying a Native American man.
Just like the Jussie Smollett case, America responded with instant outrage. The media bought into the allegations without question. The social Left vowed justice. And Left-wing politicians and pundits took to the television news circuit to proclaim: “This is Trump’s new America!” Tweets like the one above from “Beauty and the Beast” director, Jack Morrissey, were common.
And then…it happened.
More video surfaced showing it was the Native American man, himself an activist, was the actual aggressor, not the young white privileged Covington Boys. But by that time the media did not care.
The list goes on and on…
White Privilege vs Racial Reconciliation
Perhaps the most interesting facet of the advent of “White Privilege” is that it coincides with the rise of the social justice movement, coined by the very people that claim to be for racial reconciliation.
If that is truly their aim, then one must point out that fostering negative – and, for the most part, completely untrue – stereotypes about one of the races is not the way to go about it.
Even if a person feels justified in the act because of certain uncomfortable truths about America’s history; I feel the need to quote a famous proverb: “Two wrongs don’t make a right”.