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What White Privilege? Essay

1659 words - 7 pages

What White Privilege?!!

Explanation! I'm not saying that privilege doesn't exist, I'm saying that as far as White Privilege goes in Modern Society, it is an anthill being transformed into a Mountain to push an agenda. I agree with Black Conservative and Economist Thomas Sowell when he argues that moral condemnation of discrimination doesn't automatically make it causally crucial, that having a majority in any society is a given, that the idea of a homogonized "white" group in society that is accepted and given privileges is erroneous. The theory of White Privilege fails to give an accurate definition/ analysis of barriers in society and the idea that large amounts of minorities or lagging ...view middle of the document...

  Sowell argues that in the macrocosm, only cultures that can shed their previously unorthodox methods, those that can quickly adapt, can achieve. Sowell discusses an example of when a group of Japanese people were given the gift of a train by Commodore Perry:
At first the Japanese watched the train fearfully from a safe distance, and when the engine began to move they uttered cries of astonishment and drew in their breath.  Before long they were inspecting it closely, stroking it, and riding on it, and they kept this up throughout the day.
A century later, the Japanese “bullet train" would be one of the technological wonders of the world, surpassing anything available in the United States.  But, before this happened, a major cultural transformation had to take place among the Japanese people.  A painful awareness of their own backwardness spread through Japan.  Western nations in general and the United States in particular were held up as models to their children.  Japanese textbooks urged imitation of Abraham Lincoln and Benjamin Franklin, even more so than Japanese heroes.  Many laments about their own shortcomings by the Japanese of that era would today be called “self-hate." But there were no cultural relativists then to tell them that what they had achieved was just as good, in its own way, as what others had.  Instead, the Japanese overcame their backwardness, through generations of dedicated work and study, rather than redefining it out of existence.
Sowell states that both the Japanese and British had become considerably dedicated to learning and imitating other cultures. The British in imitation of the Roman Empire(which they would transfer on to the Scots and Irish who lived on the fringes of European Civilization), and the Japanese adopting American ideas. This is important because the success of these civilizations was due to exactly the opposite of what is being urged upon less fortunate groups in the United States today. It is here that I think Sowell makes his keynote:

Far from painting themselves into their own little cultural corner and celebrating their “identity," these peoples sought the knowledge and insights of other peoples more advanced than themselves in particular skills, technologies, or organizational experience.

A significant number Black Americans and members of other races, if you let them tell, were the only ones who went through what they did. In some points through time it is true but not always the case. People forget that the word "Slave" came from the "Slav" as in Slavic people who were the top pick for peasantry and slavery for many in the Christian and Muslim world (in the Muslim world up until the 1930s and as well as the continued institution in some parts of Africa and Muslim world). Where was the Slavic people's white privilege?! Was it White Privilege that allowed the likes of  the Mongolians under Genghis Khan, The Ancient Egyptians under rulers like Ramses, Tut etc, to rise to...

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