[Martin Luther King, Jr. explains (audio tape) how racial discrimination HARMS, NOT BENEFITS, working class whites]
[Some short explanations: "Is it a 'Privilege' Not to be Discriminated Against?" & True or False: An Injury to One Is an Injury to All?]
[Another author writes "How Anti-White Rhetoric is Fueling White Nationalism"]
by John Spritzler
April 17, 2013
"White privilege" is a relatively new phrase that liberals, progressives and Leftists use instead of the "old fashioned" phrases such as "racial discrimination against non-whites" or "racial inequality." It didn't used to be this way. The phrase was not current during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s against the racist Jim Crow laws. But now the phrase "white privilege" (it gets 960,000 results with Google) is quite prevalent in liberal/Left circles. How come?
The answer is that Big Money wants people to stop referring to "racial discrimination" and refer instead to "white privilege" and so Big Money promotes the use of "white privilege." To demonstrate this I need to do two things: 1) explain why Big Money would have an interest in doing this and 2) show that Big Money is actually promoting the "white privilege" phrase. I'll start with the second, if only because the evidence for it is more obvious.
The Evidence that Big Money Promotes the "White Privilege" Phrase
The Ford Foundation promotes the use of "white privilege" by funding ("partnering with" to use the NGO jargon) an organization called "The White Privilege Conference." If one looks at the organizations that The White Privilege Conference partners with by going to its web page here, one sees the Ford Foundation listed as a partner. The Ford Foundation has the best public relations money can buy--literally. But underneath the pretty talk about helping to make a better world for everybody, there is the fact that the Ford Foundation is run by a small number of Trustees, named on their web page here.
The short biographical sketches of the trustees don't seem to show any obvious connection to Big Money. But looks can be deceiving. Let's take a close look at Chair of the Board of Trustees--Irene Hirano Inouye. Her bio-sketch says that she is the President of the U.S.-Japan Council. Let's see what the U.S.-Japan Council is all about. Its web page here says, in the top "Overview" section,
More "pretty talk." So let's look a bit closer. In the third paragraph of the Overview section we read,
What exactly is the TOMODACHI Initiative that the US-Japan Council was created to support? Going to its web page here, it seems that TOMODACHI is about making young people happy--lots of photos of young smiling faces doing fun activities. What's to object to? But let's keep looking more closely. On the same page under "What's new?" we see (at the time of writing this article) "Secretary Kerry dialog with TOMODACHI youth" and "Clinton Global Initiative University Fellows to the U.S." Does the involvement of these top U.S. politicians--who wage unjust wars involving mass murder of innocent people--mean that the TOMODACHI Initiative might be about something other than fun and games for youth? Of course it does! The TOMODACHI Advisory Board consists of Big Money players par excellence.
On the Advisory Board are Richard Armitage, President, Armitage International, L.L.C.; Takashi Kawamura, Chairman, Hitachi, L.L.D.; Yorihiko Kojima, Chairman and CEO, Mitsubishi Corporation. Also on the board are the Chairman or CEO of other corporations with less well-known (to me) names such as Salesforce.com, Takeda Pharmaceutical, Mitsui & Co. L.T.D., Rakuten, Inc.. These are the people who, as the TOMODACHI web page explains, "provide advice, assistance, and support to help the TOMODACHI Initiative achieve its mission."
The missions that this kind of people support are missions that make the world safer and more secure for their capitalist Big Money class. Big Money needs, more than anything else, to make sure that the billions of people in the world who want a more equal and democratic world don't develop the solidarity with each other that would enable them to mount a serious threat to the power of Big Money and its enjoyment, at the expense of everybody else, of billion dollar fortunes and privileges and power beyond the dreams of ordinary people.
This kind of people select, as president of organizations they control, individuals whom they trust. They selected Irene Hirano Inouye as president of the organization set up to support the administration of the TOMODACHI Initiative--the U.S.-Japan Council. And the Ford Foundation in turn selected Ms. Inouye to be the Chair of its Board of Trustees. According to the Ford Foundation's web page here, Ms. Inouye "also serves as chair of the board's Executive and Nominating committees and as a member of the Management and Governance; Proxy; Investment; and Education, Creativity and Free Expression committees." In turn, under the leadership and direction of people such as Ms. Inouye, the Ford Foundation decides to "partner" with The White Privilege Conference.
In case there is any doubt as to what kind of person sits on the Board of Trustees of the Ford Foundation, the Ford Foundations web page here describes one of its Trustees, Robert S. Kaplan this way:
The Goldman Sachs Group (known popularly as Goldman Sachs) reported (pdf, pg. 107) making in excess of seven billion dollars profit in 2012, and it did not do this by pursuing the official mission of the Ford Foundation to "strengthen democratic values" and "reduce poverty and injustice." Goldman Sachs is perhaps the most notoriously selfish and destructively anti-social organization on the planet, as discussed here and here for starters.
This is just one example of how Big Money promotes "white privilege" as a substitute for "racial discrimination against non-whites" and similar "old fashioned" phrases. The Rockefeller Foundation and others like it do the same thing. One of many illustrations of this is the case of Peggy McIntosh, Ph.D., the Associate Director of the Wellesley College Center for Research on Women whose "informational packet" is online here and in which we read:
When one scrolls further down in this informational packet one sees that in 1993 Dr. McIntosh had a Rockefeller Foundation Writing Fellowship, and that her "Major Grants and Contracts" include financial backing from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Hewlett-Packard Company, the James D. Wolfensohn [former President of the World Bank appointed by mass murderer Bill Clinton] Charitable Trust and others.
Clearly Big Money loves "white privilege" rhetoric. The question now is, how come?
Why Does Big Money Promote the "White Privilege" Phrase?
To see why Big Money wants to get people to stop using the phrase "racial discrimination" and start using "white privilege" instead, one needs to do something a bit unpleasant, namely try to look at things from the point of view of the privileged ruling elite. Here's what it looks like:
What about Tim ("white privilege") Wise?
The article by Tim Wise about the Boston Marathon bombing, "Terrorism and Privilege: Understanding the Power of Whiteness," is a recent example of the use of "white privilege" rhetoric.
Tim Wise is profoundly wrong. Wise writes, "White privilege is knowing that even if the bomber turns out to be white, no one will call for whites to be profiled as terrorists as a result, subjected to special screening, or threatened with deportation." The lie is in the first five words of this sentence, not in the remaining words.
Postscript November 15, 2013. Bruce A. Dixon of Black Agenda Report writes here about how Tim Wise gave his "anti-racist" stamp of approval to a very racist government program (Teach for America, which foists untrained inexerienced novice teachers on urban black public schools):
Postscript January 22, 2015. The Invention of the White Race (volumes 1 and 2) by Theodore W. Allen is an excellent history of how racial discrimination has been used by the capitalist class to dominate the laboring class and specifically how the capitalist class invented the idea of white supremacy and incorporated it into law and practice to dominate not only African-descent workers but also European-descent workers, starting around 1691 and continuing to the present day.
Although Allen uses the phrase "white privilege," he most defininitely did not believe that working class whites benefited from racial discrimination. On the contrary, he said that working class whites were harmed by racial discrimination.
Thus Jeffrey B. Perry, the editor of The Invention of the White Race, writes of Allen:
Allen points out, in one historical context after another, that "white privilege" harmed whites and benefited only the capitalist class. Here are some quotations in his book to that effect:
"If the Virginia laws of 1705 represent ruling class manipulation of the rank-and-file, the inescapable implication seems to be that the social transformation that they expressed--to the system of racial slavery, racial oppression, white supremacy--must not have been in the real interests of the majority of the people, the smallholders, the tenants and laborers, those who did not own bond-laborers." (vol. 2, pg. 253)
"...the gentry could not 'safely ignore the rest of white society' [Allen is quoting the person he is disagreeing with here--J.S.] because their bond-labor system was antithetical to the interests not only of African-American bond-laborers, but also of all the rest of the population that did not own bond-laborers. In their solidarity with the African-American bond-laborers in Bacon's Rebellion, the laboring-class european-American bond-laborers had demonstrated their understanding of their interests, and bond-laborers had had the sympathy of the laboring poor and propertyless free population." (vol 2, pg. 248)
"By shaping the homestead policy as a white-skin privilege, the ruling class had secured the acquiescence of laboring-class whites in the overthrow of black Reconstruction. Now it was time for the bourgeoisie to reveal the other side of its policy on the land question: the power of capital to expropriate a great proportion of the white farmers and cast them--racial privileges and all--into the ranks of the proletariat." (vol 1., pg. 153)
"As one eastern Virginia plantation owners, 'Civis', wrote of most of the poor whites in his area of the country, they had 'little but their complexion to console them for being born into a higher caste.' [Note! This is NOT a typo! --J.S.] Yet that one tie bound them to the plantation owners like hoops of steel, and made them 'always ready to respond to any call of race prejudice [so that they--Allen] voted with the planter, though the economic interests of the two parties of white men were as separate as the poles." [As separate as the poles! --J.S.] (vol 1., pg. 154)
"What was not normal from the standpoint of lowering operating costs was to refuse to hire Negroes as cotton mill operatives, even though the mill owners believed that African-American laborers were perfectly capable of doing the work, and possibly at lower cost...It was altogether rational, however, in terms of the maintenance of bourgeois social control, one more instance of balancing the economic and the social aspects of rulership...More than 90 percent of all African-Americans lived in the South; escape to the west and north, as we have seen in the story of the Exodus of 1879, was effectively cut off for all but the most hardy and lucky of them. Outside the South, industrial employers understood that the white-skin privilege employment policy, when combined with a corresponding racist immigration policy, was on the whole perfectly compatible with profitable operations and that it served their long-range class interests as a preventive against class-consciousness in the North and in the West, no less than in the South...Textile mill wages in the South were not only low relative to those of New England, but absolutely low with reference to their own daily needs...This historic persistence of low wages was not due, however, to the conditions of rural poverty of those tenant farmers and sharecroppers alone, or to the lack of opportunities for other industrial employment. It was bound to perpetuity because of the paralyzing effect of white-supremacism, a barrier that could not be overcome without a facing of the issue. That seems to be the clear conclusion to which the brothers Mitchell were led by their extensive studies in the field. They said: 'Managements have encouraged the maxim that the cotton manufacture is a white man's industry; the implied danger of Negro invasion is supposed to render the operatives glad to hold what they have, rather than reach out for more.'" (vol 1, pps 156-8)
Postscript January 34, 2017: Conservative Breitbart.com had a field day reporting a speech (with a video of it) by a white woman running for Chair of the Democratic National Committee who had swallowed the "white privilege" B.S. so completely that she said the "DNC should train people in 'how to shut their mouths if they're white.'"
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