A great kerfuffle, ballyhoo, and brouhaha recently erupted after a phenotypically white male attending Princeton University wrote an essay objecting to the fact that several others on campus were constantly instructing him to check his privilege.
Either he is obviously evil, or no one properly instructed him on how to check his privilege. I’m here to help.
For white males, checking your privilege has nothing to do with confronting uncomfortable facts. It’s not what you have to confront—it’s about what you’re being forced to ignore. Checking one’s privilege is almost exclusively a process of evading the most plausible reasons for why white males began dominating the world until others were able to start guilt-tripping them and telling them to check their privilege. It involves living in complete denial. Instead of realistically confronting unearned privilege, it involves swallowing unearned guilt.
Pretend it makes sense that it’s currently considered the pinnacle of virtue to eagerly hand over what you have instead of fighting to keep it. Pretend that all other groups aren’t actually fighting loudly and brazenly and openly in their own self-interest. Pretend that it’s only wrong when white males do it.
Pretend it’s moral—rather than cowardly and spineless—to bend over, grab your ankles, and placidly acquiesce to social shaming and belligerent guilt-tripping.
Pretend that people who whine about white privilege are typically white and far more privileged than most whites. Pretend that they are motivated by a sense of fairness rather than a deep-rooted guilt that they’re projecting onto less privileged whites. Pretend that if their families have been in America since colonial times, they aren’t more likely to have descended from slave owners rather than from white indentured servants. Pretend that the peddlers of the “white privilege” meme are motivated by facts and logic rather than emotion and superstition.
Pretend that only Western civilization—rather than every civilization that has ever existed until, ironically, latter-day Western civilization—is chauvinistic, considers itself the center of the universe, and acts the best it can to advance its own interests whether or not it’s at others’ expense. Forget all about Hannibal, the Moors, Genghis Khan, and Islamic conquerors. Deny or suppress any evidence that suggests white males merely won a game in which everyone was a willing participant. Go one step further and accuse whatever team wins the World Series this year of cheating.
Pretend the ample successes of white-male civilization had nothing to do with possible genetic privileges that were actually earned through evolutionary struggles under harsh circumstances.
Pretend that all the rage directed at white males is strictly spurred by a thirst for justice rather than a deep-rooted shame that it seemed so easy for white males to subjugate other cultures in the first place.
Pretend that the underprivileged are motivated by compassion rather than envy.
Pretend black people don’t have it far better here than they do in sub-Saharan Africa. Pretend they don’t live longer and earn more when they’re around white people than when they aren’t. Pretend that far more blacks are still willingly coming to this horrible racist country from Africa than they are leaving America to live in their blissfully harmonious motherland. Pretend that if blacks earned more than whites on average in this country, they’d feel bad about it.
Pretend that in America, Jewish and Asian males don’t actually make more money on average than do non-Jewish white males.
Pretend that throughout history, women have invented a lot of things. Pretend they don’t enjoy privileges in divorce proceedings, custody disputes, and in sentencing for crimes. Pretend they don’t live longer than men do, commit suicide less than men do, risk their lives in war less than men do, and enjoy the presumption of innocence in domestic squabbles more than men do. Pretend that any violent or psychotic behavior from women is due to emotional problems. Pretend that they aren’t encouraged to cry, while men who cry are mocked. Pretend they are helpless victims at the mercy of their emotions and thus could never be equal to men in the sense that they are truly able to purposely inflict harm on others.
Pretend that no matter wherever equality of outcome has been attempted across the world and throughout history, hierarchies don’t stubbornly emerge to thwart the scheme. Pretend that equality can only be achieved by tilting the playing field rather than leveling it. Pretend equality is real, and that any disparities in wealth, success, technology, and longevity are strictly due to unfairness rather than disparities in ability.
Pretend all wealth is completely unearned—in fact, it’s stolen. Pretend that IQ is not correlated to wealth at all, despite what all the evidence suggests. Pretend that many of the “underprivileged” and “disadvantaged” aren’t truly dumb fuckups who’d blow $1 million in a month if you handed it to them.
Pretend that white males aren’t responsible for most of history’s inventions and technological advances. In other words, pretend that the Native Americans actually had guns and printing presses and computers and motorcycles and air conditioners and WaterPiks and that white males simply crashed the party and swiped it all.
Pretend that chimpanzees should feel guilty for evolving beyond snails and that the snails should be rewarded for not evolving.
Pretend that it’s nobler to lose than to win and that moral character is inversely correlated to success. Pretend that the rich are innately evil and the poor are by default virtuous. Pretend that privilege is something that you should feel ashamed of and discard rather than value and exploit.
Pretend that affirmative action doesn’t discriminate against more qualified white males in order to boost the income and self-esteem of those who are literally underprivileged in terms of innate intelligence.
Pretend that it’s not actually a curse rather than a privilege to be blamed for all atrocities and crimes and nastiness throughout world history.
Got it? Good. Now close your eyes, cover your ears, and start checking your privilege.
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