“White privilege” is a dubious concept. It’s typically invoked in lieu of reasoned rebuttal. Often, it’s akin to an ad hominen argument.
The concept first gained currency on college campuses. Ironically, the most obvious beneficiaries of privilege on campus are minority students with inferior qualifications who are admitted because of their race or ethnicity.
For the most part, those who talk about white privilege are dimwits who hope to preclude genuine argument. CNN’s Areva Martin is a case in point.
On her radio show, Martin interviewed conservative talk show host David Webb about diversity in the media. Here, via Amber Athey of the Daily Caller, is the key part of their exchange:
I’ve chosen to cross different parts of the media world, done the work so that I’m qualified to be in each one. I never considered my color to be the issue — I considered my qualifications to be the issue.
That’s a whole other long conversation about white privilege, which assumes that you have the privilege of doing what people of color don’t have the privilege of.
How do I have the privilege of white privilege?
David, by virtue of being a white male, you have white privilege.
Webb (after a pause):
Areva, I hate to break it to you, but you should’ve been better prepped. I am black. You’re talking to a black man who started out in rock radio in Boston. . . .
Martin apologized for her comment and insisted that her team gave her incorrect information about Webb’s race. Did Martin ask her “team” to research Webb’s race? Very possibly. Did her “team” tell Webb is white? Probably not.
In any case, an intelligent interviewer would have realized from context that Webb is probably black. His statement that “I’ve chosen to cross different parts of the media world, done the work so that I’m qualified to be in each one [and] never considered my color to be the issue” should have tipped Martin off.
But then, an intelligent interviewer wouldn’t have been itching to talk about “white privilege” in the first place.