Is it a 'Privilege' Not to be
May 10, 2014
[Must read: "How the Jim Crow Laws Harmed the Poor Whites in the South" If you think the Jim Crow laws benefited the poor whites, you have been BRAINWASHED and REALLY need to read this article carefully.]
[Also please see, "True or False: An Injury to One Is an Injury to All?"]
[Also please read "Why and How Big Money Promotes "White Privilege" Rhetoric"]
Fact #1: There is systemic (enforced by the ruling billionaire plutocracy) racial discrimination against non-whites in the U.S., as I discuss in detail here.
Fact #2: This systemic racial discrimination against non-whites not only harms non-whites in the obvious ways but it ALSO harms (not benefits, and note that the word "privilege" means a benefit) ordinary white people by destroying the solidarity between ordinary people of ALL races, by creating resentment and mistrust and even fear between the races. All races of ordinary people suffer when this solidarity is destroyed because it is ONLY this solidarity that enables working class people of ANY race to stand up and successfully challenge the power of the ruling billionaire plutocracy that oppresses ALL ordinary people. The ruling class has been USING this systemic racial discrimination for exactly this purpose--to destroy working class solidarity--since the days when it instituted chattel slavery based on race. I discuss this further in my "Myths about Slavery & Racism, in the sections about Myth #1 and Myth #3.
Fact #3: The ruling class-controlled mass media and punditry are now using a phony kind of so-called "anti-racism,"--a new strategy of social control--that, like the original chattel slavery racism, is designed to destroy solidarity between white and non-white working class people. This new strategy entails speaking and writing against systemic racial discrimination while NEVER--ABSOLUTELY NEVER!--allowing the idea that this racial discrimination also harms ordinary white people to see the light of day. The ruling class and its pundits ALWAYS CENSOR that idea. Look around with this in mind and you will see it for yourself.
By censoring the idea that, among ordinary people, "An Injury to One Is an Injury to ALL," the effect--the intended effect!--of this deceitful framework for supposed "opposition" to racial discrimination (which the pundits and media ALWAYS refer to--wrongly--as "white privilege" of course!) is to make ordinary white working class people feel wrongly blamed for the systemic racial discrimination, to make them angry at being wrongly accused of benefiting ("white privilege") from this racial discrimination, and to make them conclude that anti-racism is code for anti-white (as I discuss in more detail here.) This is how the ruling class is using phony anti-racism ("white privilege" rhetoric) to destroy solidarity between white and non-white working class people, just as it used chattel slavery for the same purpose in the past.
The Left Is Helping the Ruling Class
Some on the Left have recently begun asserting that people who are the ones NOT discriminated against (working class whites in the United States, working class Jews in Zionist-controlled Palestine, working class males in some cases) are "privileged."
Instead of talking about racial (or ethnic or gender) discrimination, these Leftists prefer to talk about "white privilege" or "Jewish privilege" or "male privilege" and so forth. The following will show that not only is the word "privilege" inappropriate in this context, but additionally it is the oppressor class and only the oppressor class that benefits from this use of the word "privilege." (How and why Big Money promotes "privilege" rhetoric is discussed in detail here.)
First, let's see why the word "privilege" is simply an inappropriate word to apply to people who are the ones not discriminated against by an oppressive power.
noun \ˈpriv-lij, ˈpri-və-\
: a right or benefit that is given to some people and not to others
When person A and person B are wrongly oppressed by person C, but C oppresses B less than A, it is correct to say "C discriminates against A" or "B is oppressed less than A"; but it is simply wrong to say "B enjoys a privilege." Why?
For two reasons:
#1. The word "privilege" refers to a BENEFIT, but there is no benefit in being oppressed (as person B is), not even if somebody else is oppressed more. It is well known by those with experience in the labor movement that, among working class people, "An Injury to One is an Injury to All." When the employer discriminates against one group of working people it is for the purpose of fomenting mistrust, anger and resentment between the discriminated-against group and the non-discriminated-against group, to destroy solidarity between them, and thus to be able to dominate and oppress BOTH groups easier.
Furthermore, when a business owner or corporation pays one race or ethnic group or any sub-set of the working class less than those not in that group, it makes it easier to pay lower wages than otherwise to the "favored" group which is forced to compete with the discriminated-against group. Chattel slavery forced poor whites to compete with unpaid labor and this drove white laborers into abject poverty. Ditto for the South's Jim Crow laws that made poor whites fear being replaced by even cheaper black labor if they demanded higher wages, and that made it illegal for unions to be integrated and thus made them extremely weak, resulting in lower wages for white workers in the South than in the North.
Racial discrimination against non-whites in the United States was additionally aimed at making them be perceived by whites as less deserving than whites, even less human. To the extent that whites adopted this racist contempt for non-whites, then non-whites became angry at, and hostile towards whites. This only benefited the upper class. For example, when business owners needed to break a strike by white workers, they had a ready supply of non-white workers who were willing to scab on the strike. Were it not for the racial discrimination those non-white workers would have acted in solidarity with the white workers instead of scabbing on their strike.
This is why, among working class people (both blue and white collar), an injury to one is an injury to all. When the oppressor, C, discriminates against A it is thus an injury not only to A but also to B; it is absolutely not a benefit, or "privilege" enjoyed by B.
#2. A "privilege" is a benefit that is either a) deserved or b) undeserved. An example of a deserved benefit is the privilege of being allowed to drive a car, granted only to people who have passed a driver's test and thereby demonstrated that they deserve this privilege. An example of an undeserved privilege is royalty being handed great wealth, etc., because of their supposed 'royal blood.'
If one says that person B (the less oppressed person in our scenario) enjoys a privilege, then it is either a deserved or undeserved privilege. But it is clearly neither:
Does B deserve to be less oppressed than A? Certainly not. None of us, for example, would say that whites deserve to be treated less badly than blacks by the police, would we?
What about if we say that B's lesser oppression is undeserved, then? The proper thing to do when somebody is enjoying an undeserved privilege is to abolish that privilege. So, if it is an undeserved privilege for B to be oppressed less than A, the proper thing to do would be to abolish that privilege by calling for the oppression of B to be increased until it matches that of A's oppression. But does anybody reading this article seriously believe, for example, that the way to make a more equal society is by calling for the police to start treating whites worse, until they're treating them just as badly as they treat blacks? I doubt it.
The inappropriateness of the word "privilege" in this context is evident in light of the above.
Not Only Inappropriate, but Also Dangerous
Using the word "privilege" in this context is not only inappropriate; it is positively dangerous. It's dangerous because it harms the oppressed and benefits the oppressor.
Saying that person B enjoys an undeserved privilege essentially points an accusing finger at person B (who is not an oppressor), and lets person C (the actual oppressor) off the hook.
Furthermore, by wrongfully accusing person B of enjoying an undeserved privilege, and making the accusation in the guise of an apparent concern for the welfare of A, it foments resentment of B against A. Additionally, wrongfully accusing B of enjoying a benefit "at the expense of A" promotes anger by A against B. The Left's use of the word "privilege" thus destroys solidarity among the oppressed and shields the oppressor from anger that would otherwise be directed at it. This is precisely why Big Money promotes "white privilege" rhetoric, as discussed here.
Canadian Postal Workers--Men and Women--Fought Discrimination Against Women Postal Workers with a National Wildcat (Unauthorized) Strike
"In the early 1970s, Canada Post Office began implementing its postal mechanization programme. The system was staffed with female postal code machine operators paid $2.94/hour compared to male postal clerks making $3.69/hour. The national office of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers instigated a national illegal strike to bargain for better wages for the new postal work. The strike lasted from April 19 to 26, and ended when the federal government agreed to arbitrate the pay scale for postal coders. An arbitrator awarded female postal coders the same wages as male postal clerks." [from this source]
Canadian Postal Workers Went on Strike for Maternity Leave
"Claude Parrot led a 42 day strike in 1981 (June 30 - August 12) for the right of its members to maternity leave. CUPW became the first federal civil service union in Canada to win the right to maternity leave for its members." [from this source]
Canada's Postal Workers are Mostly Male, So Why Did They Go on Strike to Oppose Discrimination Against Women?
"Canada’s postal carriers are divided into two sectors: 8,450 rural and suburban carriers (RSMCs), a workforce that’s 70 percent women, and 22,147 urban carriers, made up of 70 percent men." [from this source]
The reason the men joined with women to go on strike to oppose discrimination against women is because they understood that AN INJURY TO ONE IS AN INJURY TO ALL! They did not believe that men were "privileged" (benefited) because only women were discriminated against!