White Privilege – Guilty As Charged

I originally wrote and published this on February 17, 2011. I was reminded of it on the birth of our second grandchild. I am posting it again as a reminder to myself of the responsibilities that we have to our children and grandchildren.

One cannot be a vocal advocate of Southern heritage and culture without encountering the topic of race on a regular basis. It shouldn’t be that way but it is, so it must be confronted head-on.

I have been reading recently about the concept of White Privilege – what our accusers define as an unearned, unmerited advantage that Whites have over other races. To that I answer, “Guilty As Charged.”

Let’s look at this White Privilege that gives me an “unfair” advantage over others:

I have the privilege of being raised by both my mother and my father in a stable home where drugs, alcohol, and crime never intruded.

I have the privilege of being raised by parents who understood the value of education and insisted that I and my siblings take learning seriously.

I have the privilege of being taught at an early age that making sacrifices today in order to have something better tomorrow is one of the keys to progress.

I have the privilege of having grandparents who taught my parents these same values – and generation upon generation before them.

I have the privilege of learning about the Western European culture – the music, the literature, the science, the art – that has enriched the lives of all who care to take advantage of that culture; freely bestowed on all who care for the finer things of mankind.

I have the privilege of having a strong work ethic instilled in me from a young age.

I have the privilege of being raised in a Christian home and taught about the wholly undeserved love of a God who would sacrifice His only Son to pay for my sins.

All these privileges were given to me, completely undeserved and unearned. They were given to me by the generations that came before me because they put the best interest of their children above all else. If other races or other groups of people choose to live for their own immediate gratification with little thought for the fate of their descendants, then that is their choice. It is my fondest hope – and expectation – that one day my grandchildren, when accused of White Privilege, will proudly proclaim “Guilty As Charged”.

About Stephen Clay McGehee

Born-Again Christian, Grandfather, husband, business owner, Southerner, aspiring Southern Gentleman. Publisher of The Confederate Colonel and The Southern Agrarian blogs. President/Owner of Adjutant Workshop, Inc., Vice President - Gather The Fragments Bible Mission, Inc. (Sierra Leone, West Africa), Webmaster - Military Order of The Stars and Bars, Kentucky Colonel.
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7 Responses to White Privilege – Guilty As Charged

  1. Lady Val says:

    We tend to forget that the original intention of those who seriously cared for the welfare of black Americans (most of whom were white) was to bring them into the society, to help them to learn to function like other Americans; that is, to succeed in obtaining the American dream of prosperity and a better life through education and hard work just like everybody else. We equally forget that the “society” and culture into which these black folks were being brought was a WHITE culture – that is, “the West” or Western Civilization. There was never a question of amending society and the culture to make it black or mulatto (a mixture of white and black) for the benefit of blacks. Just as every immigrant into this country was (or at least USED to be) expected to become an American and conform in general to the way Americans lived, so, to, blacks were expected to leave the slave mentality behind and become useful, productive American citizens. This did not exclude various cultural differences not only between white and black but between and among whites as well which is easily seen by our different ethnic festivals and celebrations.

    The slave mentality was a result of the fact that slaves were “cared for” by their masters for their whole lives in exchange for labor and fidelity. Slavery was not a “one way street” with everything FOR the master and nothing for the slave! Plantation records show some slaves living well past their allotted “three score and ten.” Some even lived to be a hundred – which was not the societal norm even for whites – then OR now. However, many slaves (especially the men) after being “emancipated” by the War of Secession believed that they would continue to be “cared for” but that they would no longer have to do their part by providing labor. They saw their period in servitude as “paying their dues” and all that they had to do in the new period of Jubilee was to sit back and be served themselves. In that sense, very little has changed in the last 150 years among the “entitlement” crowd.

    The society, however HAS changed – and not for the better. If an alien were to descend today into the United States and look at the culture whether it be television or advertisement or music or the movies, the natural conclusion would be that the nation is 50% white and 50% black with the blacks being the more important and visible segment of the culture. Seminal elements of the culture such as music no longer has any basis in Western civilization with perhaps the exception of film and show scores. Almost everything else is a perversion of musical expression. Some of it is positively vile and touts violence and murder.

    Furthermore, it is no longer acceptable to champion Western civilization because it is perceived as being “white” which, in fact, is true. So slowly, the West – including the United States – is sinking into a morass of “multiculturalism” which seems to consist of the WORST of all the cultures of mankind. The fact is, if we do not rescue Western Civilization, the future is dark indeed.

  2. Lady Val,
    It is always a pleasure to hear from you. You have a way of always shining light where there was only darkness – revealing something that we instinctively knew but did not fully understand. Thank you, ma’am.

  3. Jose says:

    White privilege? That is just a psychological political mind game to keep us Black and Hispanic people from achieving those goals stated above and locked in the Gov system. I believe with hard work and perserverance we can all achieve those goals you were talking about in your article.

    Being a Latino who grew up in the Bronx i saw all that negative and stereotypes first hand. My parents were always quick to straighten us up when they felt we were starting to wander off the road. Pushed us to get good grades and become responsible men. I thank God everyday for having them in my life. Now that I’m older and with children of my own i want to pass down what my parents taught me to them. I want them to grow and become even more successful than me.

    Unfortunately, too many people like to use this excuse of “White Privilege” to stop them from reaching their full potential because they believe it does not pertain to them. Don’t get me wrong i had a lot of obstacles to overcome in the past in which i conquered but that is what life is about overcoming your obstacles. I refuse to sit back and wait for handouts my parents have taught us better than that.

    By the way i love your blog and i come here regularly to read your articles! Keep up the good work!!

  4. Jose,

    Thank you for the encouraging words. You are right on target – when parents take responsibility and then pass that along to their children, the cycle is broken. The thing is, that cycle can be broken at any time. Right now, every multi-generation welfare family could make the decision to become responsible adults. It wouldn’t be easy, and I’m not about to try to make the case that it is. It’s hard. So is life.

    Daniel Greenfield has become one of my favorite blog writers. In yesterday’s post, he said, “Magical thinking rejects the discipline of labor, instead it believes that individual or group success derives from their ‘specialness’ and that a failure to achieve that merited success is due to being obstructed or conspired against by the underhanded people who cunningly go out and work for a living instead of wallowing in the warm tub of their own specialness.”

    There is a lot of truth in that.

    Thanks again for stopping by, sir.

  5. Lady Val says:

    White privilege used to mean that whites took responsibility for non-whites. Sometimes this was just plain foolish – as Europeans believing that the Chinese and the Japanese and even the people of the Indian sub-continent were barbarians when those people had had elevated cultures before the Europeans! And sometimes, this privilege morphed into the belief that whites had a right to what non-whites had whether it be land or treasure. We see that in the treatment of the American and Mezo-American Indians. But often it meant the concept of “the white man’s burden” which translated into missionaries to (especially) Africa and white charities to care for the starving or victims of tribal wars or disease. Who knows how many black Africans would have died over the years had it not been for the concept of “the white man’s burden.” Even the slave trade was not a white invention. Slavery was not only a way of life in Africa (it still is!) but the actual economic system of that dark continent. White Europeans and Americans did not “capture” black slaves, they purchased them from AFRICAN chieftains whose captives they had become in Africa’s never ending (and still continuing) tribal wars. Was white influence always good? Certainly not. However, it was most assuredly not always bad. The slaves that came to the British colonies and later the American states flourished to the point at which their numbers were the cause of the difficulty in emancipating them! Had there only been a hundred thousand or so, emancipation would have been relatively simple. But over 9 MILLION was something else again! Thomas Jefferson, no friend of slavery, put it bluntly when asked about emancipation. Jefferson replied, “But what shall we do with the African?” It was a question that has never been satisfactorily answered as our present violent “diverse” (mulatto) culture makes clear.

    So the idea that somehow the interaction between whites and blacks was always bad for blacks is just plain nonsense. Indeed, nothing makes that more obvious than suggestions to American blacks that if they feel so victimized that they require reparations for evils that they never suffered, then the government will give them sufficient money for them to leave the United States and return to their “roots.” I would be surprised if ANY “African-American” was willing to return to their beloved Africa even with enough money to make a good start! No, sadly what is wanted today in racial relations is a continuation of “the white man’s burden,” but limited to the redistribution of money, goods and civil rights FROM whites TO blacks with nothing given in return – no, not even respect.

  6. jose says:

    WOW! Lady Val I agree with your comment 100% percent!

  7. Jennifer says:

    Actually yes, non-blacks DID sometimes capture black slaves, Val.

    This isn’t white privilege, it’s Christian privilege.

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