My comment has nothing to do with the author’s skin color or mine. Yes, I enjoy certain privileges because I’m White and male. But, I also struggle with certain disadvantages because I’m gay, disabled, and grew up poor. My comment wasn’t about the author’s personal traits or attributes, which is why I didn’t refer to them (unlike your ad hominem comment). Skin color doesn’t insulate a person from being objectively wrong or called out for misrepresenting an established sociological concept. It is not respectful to Black people to defer to their words or ideas simply because they come from a Black person. That’s oppression through exaltation.

The author describes White privilege as a “label” designed to “shame” and “guilt” White people. It’s not. It’s an objective sociological observation that U.S. society confers well-documented, unearned advantages on those with light skin color (i.e. White people). And most White people are unconscious of these advantages until they’re pointed out. Maybe it’s uncomfortable to learn one’s station in life isn’t solely the product of “hard work and discipline” but facts are facts: whatever White people accomplish, their skin color wasn’t an obstacle along the way. That’s White privilege in a nutshell.

The author’s story prioritizes White “feelings” over racial justice, ending with a naive call that we all “come together.” For that alone it’s dangerous and wrong-headed. We can’t “come together” if we can’t be honest about how society functions systematically to advantage some people and disadvantage others solely on the basis of skin color.

Had a White person written that story (“Won’t Someone Please Think of White People’s Feelings?”), they’d be (rightly) castigated in the digital village square and called a White supremacist or racism denier.

Professional homosexual. Professor. Writer. Scholar. Activist. Husband.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store