White Privilege: if nothing else it's a poor political strategy

Dec 2018
1,376
480
New England
#1
Putting aside whether "white privilege" as defined by the social justice warriors is a real or a construct, it must be said that politically, it's a really bad tactic.

First off, it smacks of the "you didn't build this" meme we also hear from the likes of Warren. A tip, if you're trying to win over people who believe they've had to work for what they have (and most folks do feel this way), don't start off by telling them that their effort has been an illusion and imply all was accomplished with the ease that only special privilege can bestow.

Second, it is critically important for any political message to hit its target audience. Think about this: who is going to be convinced and change their attitude with a good "white privilege" scolding? The nation's social justice warriors are already on the bandwagon. I'm also sure the WP line sells well among the self-styled liberal elites who live in places like Boston or NYC's upper east side, but these are not the people voting for Trump in the first place. They're already voting for the kinds of candidates WP advocates favor, so the hectoring is wasted.

So how about the Trump voters? Let's look at his base. Do you think the one-time factory foreman in the Rust Belt who's now working three part-time, low skill jobs for less money is feeling particular "privileged" about his skin color? Or maybe the middle-class parents whose kid has the wrong skin color for the minority-side-aside scholarship and thus must go to a less expensive, less prestigious college are feeling like they're catching a nice ride on white coattails? Tell these folks they're "privileged" and I suspect their first reaction would be "up yours." Again, not a winning strategy.

No, I think the "white privilege" campaign isn't about winning hearts and minds but instead serves a very different purpose. It's the same purpose that drives much of progressive policy making. That purpose it make those who advocate for social justice feel good about themselves, More importantly, to feel superior to those who do not think as they do. Stripped of its euphemisms and social justice jargon, the white privilege argument goes like this "I believe in white privilege. I am enlightened. You do not, so you must be a racist. I am therefore better than you."

Emotional satisfaction is not the stuff of a winning, sustainable, national political strategy.
 
Dec 2015
14,628
13,533
Arizona
#2
HAAA---great post. I particularly like the last line:

Emotional satisfaction is not the stuff of a winning, sustainable, national political strategy.

I'll just counter with three words: Donald Trump Presidency
 
Dec 2018
1,376
480
New England
#3
HAAA---great post. I particularly like the last line:

Emotional satisfaction is not the stuff of a winning, sustainable, national political strategy.

I'll just counter with three words: Donald Trump Presidency
That's a fair point, but I don't think Trump-ism is sustainable. Do you?
 
Nov 2018
2,596
1,212
Montana
#6
White privilege is an important concept that helps to convey understanding of institutional racism. It is about raising understanding and awareness.

Few people are intentionally and consciously racist, but many people benefit from the vague and hard to quantify aversion to people of color or those with different ethnicity. It is not much different from the decision by an all male partnership to avoid a woman because there are "potential" issues of childcare, pregnancy, maternity leave, and just a different outlook or worldview.
 

Similar Discussions