Recently, I attended an open-mic at the Urban Justice Center (UJC), NY, NY. It was a pleasant evening until one participant began raging against “white privilege” in her impassioned poem. She received hearty applause. I even applauded her poem until I began to think about it a bit and decided that this was racist.
The more I thought about it, the more troubled I became. I needed an outlet and found it on the UJC blog. I wrote:
· I guess that at the UJC racism is fashionable as long as the racism is directed against “Whites.” Although I have heard a lot about “white privilege,” I haven’t seen any evidence of it. What I have seen is that racist statements are privileged and protected as long as they are directed against Whites. The UJC needs to publicly reject this double-standard.
· If the UJC is serious about providing a “supportive environment,” as it claims, it must make its programs supportive of all peoples, regardless of their skin color.
· Certainly, there is racism among all people groups. However, this must be dealt with through the courts, using evidence to prove that a law has been broken, on a case-by-case basis, and not by condemning an entire people, without any evidence of discrimination. When you indict an entire people, you have surrendered any claim to the name “justice” and have become the racist you have deplored, promoting your own form of hatred.
· Urban Justice Center, I hope you will reconsider your stance that sees certain skin colors as profiting from the alleged "injustice of white privilege." Not only is this charge unfounded, such a charge encourages division and even violence against those who are allegedly profiting from such an injustice, bringing to mind the Hutus who had exterminated the Tutsis because of this very thing.
One UJC employee responded, and I tried to argue that indicting an entire group of people by virtue of their skin color makes little sense. I therefore posed these questions:
· How white must the skin color be for someone to be considered “White?”
· Do all Whites profit from having a certain skin color? What about those Whites who haven’t profited from their skin color? How about those who didn’t get a job or university acceptance because of Affirmative Action? Did they profit from “white privilege.”
· What about a White who marries a Black. Have they too partaken in “white privilege?” And their children? How would you classify them? Are they only partially guilty of “white privilege?”
· Do lighter people-of-color also partake of this injustice?
I was hoping that these questions would illuminate the injustice of charging someone with “white privilege” without any supporting evidence of wrongdoing, but it didn’t. I was also hoping that this employee would see the hypocrisy of calling the name “Urban Justice Center,” while it is clearly unjust to indict someone without any evidence. Even worse, to indict an entire group of people according to their pigment!
And what does this say about UJC’s written but hypocritical assurance that they are providing a "supportive environment?" I guess this only pertains for those of certain skin tones?
After accusing me of having “insecurities about this topic,” the UJC employee asked me to define “white privilege.” I answered:
· Although "white privilege" had been institutionalized during slavery and "Jim Crow" days, it is no longer institutionalized. There are no laws that favor Whites. Yes, there are racist Whites but there are also racist Blacks. Racism must be challenged in both groups as it arises. It arose in the UJC. However, it is not challenged but defended.
· The charge that Whites are favored by "white privilege" might serve as a charge against certain individuals. However, it is UNJUST to apply this indictment to an entire race or color!
The employee then charged that it is my statements that are promoting racism and that I have wrongly called the entire UJC “racist.” I responded:
· I am not calling the entire UJC “racist.” However, I have seen that many progressive institutions not only tolerate reverse racism and provide an environment where reverse racism is encouraged –- with your degrading statements about me, you are even encouraging racism – but even promote it.
· It is inevitable that such talk promotes crime against Whites. In fact, this seems to be happening. We find that a greatly disproportional amount of crime is committed by people-of-color against Whites, and this is not only in the area of property crime and assaults, but also rapes. White rapes of non-Whites are almost non-existent. We cannot say that at all about this reverse.
· Even White political candidates are alleging widespread discriminatory practices against people-of-color without a shred of evidence. They allege that there is a systematic attempt to incarcerate people-of-color. These charges are unfounded, inflammatory, and manipulative.
Unless this racism is exposed for what it is and rejected, we will all suffer. I am not saying that discrimination against people-of-color should be overlooked. However, charges of discrimination and their evidences must be addressed by the justice system and not by the mob.