The Rise of Black Privilege and What It Means
By Patrick Quay
As a writer and a thinker, you have to consider before writing a column like this one. Truth – not MY truth or HER truth, but ACTUAL truth – is not in vogue right now. If I write this, I will be pilloried. Facebook and Google are likely to censor it. If they do, you’ll know I was right.
I’m white. I was born that way, to a poor opposite sex couple, both of whom loved me and provided the basics. By that I mean food, clothing and helping me with my homework. The car in the driveway of the modest house we rented was always more than a decade old. I fought for every dime I earned, every job I got and I worked to help pay for a college education.
After college was over, I worked to find a job, found one, and clawed my way as high up the ladder as I could. I helped my folks when I could. I never had a life of privilege.
I never hated black people, and always made sure to address them as Mr. and Mrs. If they were older and wiser than I. I did this as a sign of respect without being overt about it. I treated them as I would anyone else.
I always recognized that white bigots exist and was determined never to become one.
I took pleasure in seeing black people rise to the top as they have in sports, entertainment, and business. Talented blacks like Nat King Cole and Sammy Davis, Jr. were so gifted that they succeeded in racially troubled times. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. worked for a country that catered to character rather than color. I wish these men had lived to see the amazing progress that has been made, and to witness the unbelievable opportunities that have been afforded to People of Color.
Black culture is dominant in America and has been for some time. Who would have thought that off-sounding poetry set to a beat would become the musical choice for a generation of young people – including whites? Who would have thought that the NFL, MLB, and the NBA would create a large community of black men who are multi-millionaires and whose voices are heard and respected?
Who would have thought that a black man could be elected president of the United States, and then re-elected? Only in America. It couldn’t happen anywhere else.
Then, what of the current situation in America?
The concept of “white privilege” has been used as a cudgel to attack a group of people on the basis of the color of their skin. This is wrong. Some people say we are now in a race war. That’s close, but not quite right.
If we split Americans into two sides, we could say black and white – but it’s more than that. Consider this way to define the two sides:
Group One has a stake in society. A member of this group worked for decent marks in grade school, went on to finish college, worked for a living, bought a house, and perhaps owned a business of his own. This person believes in America and wants to preserve our freedoms and what he has built for his family.
Group Two has no stake in society. This person hated school, dropped out, worked at a few jobs, never went to college or a trade school, developed no skills, got on welfare and became stuck there, believes society is unfair, and would like to tear it down.
When you add skin color to this mix, it becomes very toxic. College educated whites and blacks are taught in liberal universities to sympathize with Group Two. That’s why the protests have grown so large and become so destructive. There’s too much energy in expressing grievances and not enough in taking advantage of the American Way.
Video: Dr. Cornel West and Leo Terrell fight the culture war on “Hannity” 6/9/20.
The Rise of Black Privilege.
This term would be more correct as “Liberal Black Privilege” because there are millions of black people who have a stake in society. They are in Group One and they think it’s terrible to see America burn.
Whatever you call it, here’s what it is:
Black Privilege is that unsaid but unassailable rule that no person, institution, or corporation may disagree with the current orthodoxy on black life in America.
This is an amazing advantage to subversive organizations such as Black Lives Matter. Because of this rule, they can say all manner of incredibly divisive things and few people dare to disagree. This has resulted in:
- Certain cities agreeing to dismantle their police departments in some form or fashion.
- Many politicians agreeing that prisons should be emptied, freeing felons that are imprisoned there.
- Democratic Party politicians that want to be reelected know to agree with the current orthodoxy – or else. (This puts heat on Joe Biden as he runs to defeat Trump.)
- This means that CNN, MSNBC and the Associated Press MUST define the protests as “peaceful” even while they show video of destruction, looting, and burned-out cars.
- It means that all good liberals MUST blame this on President Trump – even to the point of pillorying him for walking to a church with a Bible in hand.
- In means that nothing President Trump says can ever be true – and must always carry the disclaimer “without evidence.”
- It means that any business or corporation MUST support Black Lives Matter and the ridiculous things this group stands for or they will be attacked physically or through boycotts.
- It means that businesses that want to stay out of it entirely are GUILTY because “Silence Is Violence.”
- It means that police are now cowed and timid and cannot maintains peace due to what is known as the Ferguson Effect.
- It means that any black man unfairly killed by a bad cop MUST be fitted with a halo, even if he has committed crimes such as armed robbery and home invasion as George Floyd had done.
- It means that when a white man such as Tony Timpa is killed by a bad cop in the same manner as Mr. Floyd – who cares?
Here’s an example of a pandering email from the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas:
The Harry Ransom Center community mourns the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Michael Ramos, and the countless other victims of police violence and institutional racism. We condemn in the strongest terms the police brutality and racial injustice directed toward people of color, and affirm that Black Lives Matter.
This letter is only a pull-quote, but it is disingenuous. Does the Ransom Center not care about Chicago’s weekly bloodbath? Baltimore’s? Millions of black children that are aborted? Why do only some black lives matter?
Here is another letter – this one from Uber, that like CNN and the AP refers to obvious violence and looting as “peaceful protesters.”
Let me start by saying I wish I never had to send this email.
I wish that the lives of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless others weren’t so violently cut short. I wish that institutional racism, and the police violence it gives rise to, didn’t cause their deaths. I wish that all members of our Black community felt safe enough to move around their cities without fear. I wish that I didn’t have to try to find the words to explain all of this to my two young sons.
But I’ve been given hope this week by hundreds of thousands of peaceful protestors demanding change. I am committed to being part of that change.
As a company, we believe that everyone has the right to move freely, no matter where they live or the color of their skin. We’re proud of how Uber has helped improve transportation equity over the last decade. But the reality remains that Black Americans often don’t feel safe to move freely in many places around our country. And they still face enormous barriers that others do not.
This is a reality we should not perpetuate or accept. We must do better.
We know there is no easy solution to the problems we have faced for centuries. We also know that we need to devote our time, energy and resources toward making a difference. That’s why we’re making a number of commitments that we will uphold not just this week, but for years to come:
We are committed to driving lasting change through criminal justice reform. On Sunday, we announced a $1 million donation to the Equal Justice Initiative and Center for Policing Equity to support their important work in making racial justice in America more than just a promise.
We are committed to creating a community that treats everyone equally and with dignity. We do not tolerate discrimination, harrassment [sic] or racism on our platform, as outlined in our Community Guidelines. We will hold everyone who uses Uber accountable to these standards of basic respect and human decency. I respectfully ask anyone not willing to abide by these rules to delete Uber.
We are committed to supporting the Black community. As a starting point, we will use Uber Eats to promote Black-owned restaurants while making it easier for you to support them, with no delivery fees for the remainder of the year. And in the coming weeks, we will offer discounted rides to Black-owned small businesses, who have been hit hard by COVID-19, to help in their recovery.
We are committed to making Uber a diverse and inclusive place for people of color to work and thrive. While we have more work to do, we have tied our senior executives’ pay to measurable progress on our diversity goals, and will continue to publish data on our workforce so the public can hold us accountable. We’re also committed to expanding opportunities for drivers and delivery people, including through education opportunities and skills training.
We know this isn’t enough. It won’t be enough until we see true racial justice. But we plan to work day in and day out to improve, learn, and grow as a company.
Lastly, let me speak clearly and unequivocally: Black Lives Matter.
Statements from institutions and companies such as these are not helpful. The Ransom Center excerpt is college campus boilerplate and the Uber letter is offensive in its zeal to make all cops and the entire country seem racist. Khosrowshahi mentions only instances that fit the liberal narrative. Perhaps he never heard of Tony Timpa. He ought to educate himself.
There is a kind of privilege that is unprecedented since the Civil war was fought to end slavery.
Yet, nobody may speak of it.
America, today, is a cesspool of political correctness that dictates what people who are not on the Left are allowed to think. This is evident on college campuses where opposing opinions are greeted with violence and protests. It extends to the editorial page of the New York Times where the employees erupt in anger if an opposing opinion finds its way into print.
Many companies that came out on the side of Black Lives Matter discovered that their stores and their products did not matter. BLM’s peaceful protesters broke their windows and stole their property anyway – apparently as punishment for being in Group One – the group that wants to preserve its stake in America.
Does Group Two have any responsibility?
President John F. Kennedy believed that black people should be able to obtain good jobs, and largely because of him, we created Affirmative Action. Many people took advantage of that program and became successful members of society regardless of color.
The United States has codified equal opportunity with Civil Rights legislation – meaning there is no systemic racism. In America, no one can be denied a seat at a restaurant, or a job solely on the basis of color.
Colleges and Universities all have Departments of Diversity and Inclusion – one hundred percent headed up by non-white people, who are intentionally left out. The feeling is that to be totally inclusive, one race must be excluded.
From abolition to civil rights laws to Affirmative Action to the current diversity craze, people of color have opportunities that abound. Those opportunities are ubiquitous – there for the taking.
And yet, we see a weekly weekend bloodbath of black-on-black crime in Chicago. We hear stories of young black students who don’t study because making good grades would be “acting white.” We see the NFL and famed quarterback Drew Brees turning their backs on the flag of the United States that has sacrificed so much to preserve our freedom. That’s right – people died so that Black Lives Matter and Uber could have freedom to speak as they wish.
President Johnson’s Great Society has seemingly provided an enabling mechanism to hold so many people in poverty. Chicago and Baltimore are two tragic cities that are mired in the aftermath of what LBJ did. If black lives matter – and they do – then black women must be mothers – not baby-mommas. Black men must step up and be fathers. Young blacks have to keep their grades up in school, avoid drugs and illegal guns, and break the cycle.
Trust me on this – white people want black people to succeed.
This country wants them to succeed. We’ve passed every law we can think of, put in remedial policies to help with jobs – and conservatives have even tried to stop the plague of welfare that has mired black people in single-mother hell. But once on welfare, no one wants to give it up. If acting right takes away the government check, who wants to do that?
Video: Tucker Carlson on the mob and trying to rebuild America. June 9, 2020.
Here’s a message to Group Two.
Just give it a shot, okay? Try getting good grades, getting off welfare, and stop getting pregnant out of wedlock. Stop aborting your own children. Embrace the idea of a traditional family with a mother and a father to raise your children. Teach them that America is a land of opportunity – for them and for everybody else.
If you show up at any university with an A or B average in your grades, they will want you. They will compete for you. Decide what makes you happy in life, and create a career. Buy a home and raise your kids right. That’s not acting white or black – that’s the American Way.
You don’t need to be angry with America or burn down her cities. All you need is to take advantage of the cornucopia of opportunities you have before you. What you need is a stake in America.
Patrick Quay is a U.S.-based freelance writer and political thinker.