by Robyn Riley
White privilege is a myth. A relic of a time that no longer exists and that none of us living and raising kids today have ever really experienced. There was once a time when legal and cultural advantages were offered to whites, but those days are gone and pretending otherwise is causing great damage to children and our society.
White Privilege Talk Harms Children Psychologically
White privilege is a concept which hurts both white and non-white children, albeit in different ways. For white children, you steal from them the ability to feel pride in who they are, their ancestors, and in their cultural inheritance. Certainly every nation and people can find stains in its history. The past was a violent and merciless place in which all sides are implicated.
White privilege requires that children of European descent are never allowed to feel deserving of what they, their parents, or their ancestors have achieved. They are never allowed to believe that they have rightfully earned anything. Consequently, they are pressured to actively give up what is theirs in penitence. This is obviously damaging and abusive for a child to endure.
Children who are raised in environments where they are consistently made to feel shame and guilt experience negative outcomes in adulthood. They are statistically more likely to engage in risky behaviors such as sexual promiscuity, criminal activity and drug use.
For non-white children, the concept of white privilege acts as an externalization of their own limitations. It teaches young children of color that if they have obstacles in their lives that they will always be burdened by them, with no possible reprieve. The focus of life’s struggle becomes about blaming “white people,” rather than cultivating the skills and self esteem which would allow them to overcome whatever life throws at them.
Removing the ability to own and assess their failures honestly robs children of color of the transformative experience of conquering one’s own obstacles. When we overcome our hardships we gain self-knowledge that positively reinforces our capacity for long term success in life. This is being stolen from youths immersed in critical race theory.
When your failures or struggles can always be seen as someone else’s fault, the temptation to ignore evidence to the contrary is overwhelming. And bad habits are thus perpetuated. In a way, the concept of white privilege is more harmful than any supposed systemic racism. Not only does it rob minority children of the chance to envision their own paths to success but, because triumph over personal struggle is central to the human experience and to building one’s own unique identity, it robs them of a sense of self-worth and accomplishment.
Breaking Down the Myth
When dispelling the lie of white privilege for our children, we must first break down the layers of false ideology which support this concept. The term white privilege is used to support the Marxist framework which underlies all critical race theory. Instead of the class-based “haves and have nots” we have the racially based “privileged and oppressed.” This ideological perspective prescribes that only white people can be racist because racism is now defined as the result of power plus privilege. Only whites can have privilege because of the racist system they inherited from their colonial ancestors.
This new progressive way of thinking about racism departs from the original definition of racism which was to judge, punish, or persecute an individual on the basis of race alone. It is important to explain to children the original meaning of words that are being redefined. Language dictates how we think. In order to not be spellbound by the attack on language, children must understand words in their original meaning.
It’s also worth noting that this new definition of racism allows progressives to be racist in the true sense of the word towards white people while maintaining a frame of moral superiority. This fact exposes critical race theory for what it truly is. It’s not about equality, it’s about building an intellectual justification for hating white people.
Start by explaining the discrepancies in income to your child—a metric of success and privilege that they will easily grasp. According to the median household statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, there are many immigrant minority groups which out-earn white Americans annually. These groups include Sri Lankans, Iranians, Pakistani, Lebanese, and Filipinos. The highest earning immigrant group are Indians.
Black immigrant groups such as Nigerians and Ghanaians also significantly out-earn the average American household. How could it be that, in a country where people of color are oppressed due to white privilege, so many other groups are richer than whites? This will be one of the easiest ways to show that white privilege is a lie.
On the matter of multiculturalism and assimilation explain also that when an immigrant family moves to a new country they should expect to be confronted with a different culture, public history, and alien societal norms. It is absolutely absurd for someone to go to a new country and expect the people there to accommodate the sensibilities which are rooted in the country they left. The sense of entitlement required to make such demands is rather unfathomable and should be obvious to even a child.
It is also helpful to ask, “why would people of color so desperately want to move to white countries where they will be oppressed and subject to discrimination?” Of course the answer to this is that people around the world see Western nations as shining beacons of prosperity and hope. Most immigrants who are not indoctrinated with progressive nonsense understand that they will actually have an economic advantage living in a predominantly white country. This is due to the foundational belief in equality of opportunity afforded to all in Western nations.
Finally, express the realities of hardship experienced by the white community. Show that generalizing about entire racial groups is the true definition of racism and it’s unethical to do it to any group. When we claim that white people benefit on the mere basis of race alone, we overlook the suffering and unfairness that many whites experience.
White Americans have been subjected to discrimination in school admissions and hiring quotas. Corporations have made a concerted effort to hire more diverse employees by listing positions for people of color only and by actively blocking applications from white people.
Universities also admit students on the basis of their ethnicity and at times lower standards for admission to allow more diverse student bodies. Whites cannot succeed on the basis of merit in a society like this and it is completely ludicrous to claim they have an advantage over others.
The reality does not match the picture painted by the myth of white privilege. Whites have the highest suicide rates, a huge number of whites are living in abject poverty, and more than any ethnic group, whites have been adversely affected by the opioid crisis. Somehow the privilege of being white wasn’t enough to keep these people from falling through the cracks of a system which theoretically favors them.
You will often hear progressives say, “White privilege doesn’t mean your life isn’t hard, it means your life isn’t made harder by the fact that you’re white.” It seems to me being told you’re inherently racist since childhood, undeserving of your accomplishments, excluded from jobs and positions at school, and constantly getting browbeaten by the woke mob to submit to their version of history and current events are all pretty clear-cut examples of how life is made more difficult for many white people, simply because they are white.
Getting the History Right
Much of the excessive violent crime, degeneration of the family, lowering attendance at church and struggle with poverty and drug addiction we see in the black American community is explained away by the intergenerational trauma of slavery. This bogus claim fails to acknowledge the many successes of black Americans preceding the sexual revolution, which had a very negative effect on everyone regardless of race.
As church attendance has declined and the nuclear family disintegrated with it, the turmoil within the black community has steadily climbed. A nuanced take on the problems faced by black Americans does not ignore the desperate situation that the black community finds itself in; rather, it seeks to point out the true cause and offer actionable solutions.
It is worth explaining to children the true origins of slavery. The slave trade began in Africa and spread well into the Middle East and Muslim world. Europeans didn’t partake in this barbaric and evil industry until the 15th century. Let us also not forget that it was white Americans who led the way in ending and outlawing slavery.
Before the transatlantic slave trade began, there was an entire industry within Africa which facilitated the sale and trafficking of human beings dating back to Rome in the first century. Africans sold other Africans. Indeed modern slavery is ongoing in Africa today. To place the responsibility for this heinous part of American history solely on the backs of “white people” is intellectually lazy and dishonest.
Today we have government welfare programs which have incentivized single motherhood, particularly in the black community, and one could certainly argue that this is a kind of “systemic racism” in that it is systemically harming black people.
Black women receive more welfare money if unmarried with children than they would if married, this has proven to have an extremely negative effect on marriage and fertility in the black community. And yet it is not credible even to argue that these programs specifically target and harm black people because they apply regardless of race and harm people in all demographic groups.
Still, the breakdown of the black family and its effects on black culture cannot be overstated. Children of married adults do better than those of single mothers by almost every single metric. This is not an issue that blaming others, reparations, or kneeling in prostration can solve. People must be willing to break the cycle and reestablish strong family units once more before we will see improvement.
Systemic racism doesn’t exist in America today, unless of course, you happen to be white. Systemic oppression, however, does still exist and it affects everyone. While Americans are kept busy fighting with each other over meaningless phrases like “white privilege” and “systemic racism,” those in power engage in true oppression of the most vulnerable people in our society and continue with it unchecked.
The strategy of divide and conquer is fulfilled quite easily through concepts like “white privilege,” which keep whites on the defensive and black people in a perpetual state of resentment. To hold those in power accountable for the division and hatred they have sown in our societies, we must help the next generation discard the ideological shackles which currently hold us in place.
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Robyn Riley is a digital media creator focusing on political commentary, the challenges of motherhood, marriage, and developing one’s femininity. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Film Theory and Mass Communication with a concentration on Media and Identity. Her main mediums for commentary are YouTube live-streams and the written word. She speaks to the ever more common experience of deprograming from the radical feminist mindset and has a dedication to seeking the truth wherever it leads her. She is a voice for those women who feel alienated by an increasingly ideological view about what womanhood is.