One of the most widely held viewpoints of the regressive left, is that all members of any majority group have certain inherent advantages over other minorities. They call these supposed advantages “Privileges”. According to this viewpoint, men have “male privilege”, which gives them advantages over women. White people have “White privilege”, and “cisgender” individuals have Cisgender privilege, which gives individuals of both groups unfair advantages over “People of color” and transgender individuals. We know that this isn’t true of course, Dave Nappi of Though Catalog wrote a thought provoking article debunking the myth of white privilege. So did Susan Knowles of WND.
“[White privilege] is a terminology the progressive left recently created as a tool to brand whites as a scapegoat for many of the problems of non-white races. It is also a way to attempt to condemn white people because of the color of their skin under the guise of “bringing about awareness only” of the unearned advantages of being white. Finally, it is an effort by the progressive left to shame and punish a race for the sins of their ancestors who owned slaves and participated in Jim Crow laws, while denying this is their intent. All the while, their plan causes further dissension between whites and non-whites.”
But lets assume that these people are right, and certain people in society possess certain unearned traits that gives them “unfair” advantages over others.
Wikipedia defines Privilege as “a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group”. By this definition, every human being currently alive is privileged in one way or the other over others. No matter who you are or how underprivileged you are, you definitely have some form of privilege that others do not have. A homeless man has the trust and friendship of other homeless people, which not everyone can boast of. A bankrupt and poverty ridden person probably has a well functioning bladder, something that not every rich person can boast of. These are just fringe and perhaps silly examples, but there’s a lesson to be learnt here. There is an infinite number of advantages that someone can have over another, which would open doors for him that wouldn’t be open to the other person. Wealth, good looks, intelligence, speed, health, communication skills, ability to digest diary products, etc. On the topic of health alone, there are several health problems that some people have that others do not, making the later, by definition, privileged. Good and clean teeth, a well functioning heart, a healthy respiratory system, lack of sexually transmitted diseases, etc.
An actor with clean and healthy teeth is much more likely to get that role in a toothpaste commercial than a toothless actor. Privilege at work. Someone without an STD has a higher chance of getting laid than another person who is known to be riddled with sexually transmitted diseases. Privilege at work. All human beings possess a combination of several million attributes and traits that either make their lives better or worse off. If you were to embark on a mission to list every single possible advantage, whether fair or not, that someone has over other people, it would take you several decades, and you wouldn’t even be halfway through.
When you point this out to the people who postulate this “privilege” rhetoric, the usual retort is that these are not the kinds of privileges they are referring to. They are referring to the kinds of privilege that “matter”. The important types of privileges – Like being born to rich parents or having a thin body (Thin privilege). Or living in a house where evening studies and bed time reading is encouraged. Last year, a British academic, Adam Swift, argued that children who read their books at night had an unfair advantage over other children who didn’t.
““I don’t think parents reading their children bedtime stories should constantly have in their minds the way that they are unfairly disadvantaging other people’s children, but I think they should have that thought occasionally,” he said. He also argued that perhaps the family system should be destroyed altogether, so that other children are no longer disadvantaged.
The primary goal of every human being is self improvement and progress in life. Unless you are a nihilist or a sociopath, nobody wakes up in the morning asking themselves how they can make their lives worse off or more strenuous.
After improving our own lives, the next step is to improve the lives of our children and future generations to come. If you grew up in orphanages your whole life, you do your best to build a caring home for your children so they will grow up in a better environment than you did. If you had to work as a stripper in your teenage years to make ends meet, you make sure that your children do not go through the same hardship. If you were born into poverty, you try to get rich, so your children can live the quality of life you were denied.
So why exactly do we vilify people for being born into rich homes? Isn’t that everyone’s goal in life? To improve the lives of our children and make sure that they live fulfilling and entertaining lives? And then when someone actually succeeds, we vilify him? For attaining what everyone else wants to attain?