Wednesday, April 06, 2016

White Privilege is the Weakest Major Privilege

Privilege is an unearned advantage given to us by others.  As such, it is a condition that has to be visible to others so they can accord it to us without much knowledge about us.

The best known privileges are, therefore, male privilege and white privilege.  In this top group I would include class privilege, which most social observers can discern on sight.

Of these three, class privilege is, I believe, the one that always matters the most.  It multiplies the substantive advantages of the rich by giving them (us) the benefit of the doubt even before having to demonstrate wealth.

Male privilege is also powerful, a step down from class privilege.

White privilege, though, is mostly a sop to poor white people to keep them from uniting with poor non-white people against the rich.  It does not have nearly as many material advantages as class or male privilege, and those material advantages decline every day.  But it does work to mobilize poor white people to support rich (mostly) white people on behalf of privilege in general.

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