A reader of Intellectual Takeout, bookbinder and Tennessean Ed Stansell, recently shared these thoughts in an email:
I was recently joking with a friend about his efforts not paying off. I asked him why he was having difficulties considering white privilege. His reply was ‘I'm afraid my privilege doesn't match my whiteness.’
You may have had similar circumstances, but in my family, we seemed to have no privilege at all, of any color. We have had only one member of my direct family line ever attend, much less graduate from college. And it wasn't me. We have been what many might term ‘white trash,’ albeit we have always been hard workers and never asked for nor accepted a handout. If we have made any advancement, and I believe we have, it has not been from privilege. If white privilege truly exists, I need to find me a good lawyer to sue whoever is responsible for me not receiving my fair share of privilege. For someone who has 'till this very day struggled to make ends meet and keep either the sheriff or the wolf away from my door (depending on whose turn it is this month), it makes me angry to hear talk of white privilege.
White privilege is a catchphrase, created to cause racial and social divisions. If you are black and believe that it exists, then you resent white folks for having what you have been denied. If you are white and believe in the existence of white privilege, you feel guilty over creating something you had nothing to do with and hate your own race for making you feel guilty. It's a shame that people are so ignorant of the world that they don't recognize Marxism at work.
A friend here in Virginia told me months ago that he was fed up with concocted racism, especially with the label “white privilege.” Like Stansell, my friend believes white privilege is a bogus phrase intended to create division. “They want to separate us into tribes,” he said. “So okay. I’ll stand with my tribe.”
About a year ago or so, I was talking with my daughter, a mother of seven, who was sorting and folding a small mountain of laundry, and whose husband was at that time an independent contractor, working long hours every day to try and make ends meet. When I asked if she felt privileged by the color of her skin, her response was a hearty laugh.
President Donald Trump apparently agrees with these individuals. Recently, he banned the teaching and workshops of critical race theory from the federal government. As Libby Emmons and Barrett Wilson write at The Post Millennial,
President Trump has, in an executive cease and desist order, cut off taxpayer dollars to the funding of critical race theory and racist white fragility indoctrination of federal employees. The order quite aptly describes these training sessions as seeking ‘to undercut our core values as Americans and drive division within our workforce.’
At The Heritage Foundation, Eleanor Krasne offers an excellent short history, alongside the dangers, of critical race theory, calling it “a theoretical framework, rooted in Marxism, that posits individuals as oppressed or oppressor based on their skin color.” She explains that critical race theory is authoritarian mind control: “You either #resist the hegemonic white supremacist power structure (which includes Western civilization classes and Columbus Day) or you are a racist.” She goes on to point out that “critical race theory does not seek equality or justice. Instead, it categorizes people,” adding that this framework “leaves no room for meaningful discourse.”
So some questions for those universities, corporations, and state governments that continue to indoctrinate students and employees by means of critical race theory training:
Are you aware of the ties between critical theory in general, which has a long history in academia, and Marxism? If so, do you openly acknowledge those ties in your teaching?
Are you aware of the misuse of the word critical? How can one be “critical” when only one viewpoint is recognized as valid? Consider that other word, “theory.” Does it mean “critical race theory” is based on evidence or conjured from the thin air of speculation?
Many of you sling about terms like “white privilege” and “white fragility.” How is the use of that language not in and of itself racist?
Can “people of color” be racist? If so, does critical race theory address that bigotry?
Here’s a message from the past for all those who have ginned up racism in our time, who keep feeding the fires of hatred and divisiveness, and who are tearing us apart as a nation rather than creating unity:
[W]hen we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, ‘Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!’
Here’s to the hope that someday we may all join hands and say of critical race theory, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”
Jeff Minick lives in Front Royal, Virginia, and may be found online at jeffminick.com. He is the author of two novels, Amanda Bell and Dust on Their Wings, and two works of non-fiction, Learning as I Go and Movies Make the Man.