It’s no secret that I despise rhetoric in Aboriginal affairs. It’s a weapon of choice for the politically correct, victim brigade, culture vultures, and whinja ninjas for avoiding taboo topics or silencing opponents when looking foolish in a debate. One of the most used rhetoric phrases in Aboriginal affairs is that of ‘white privilege.’ People accused of having ‘white privilege’ are considered not worthy of listening to. Is ‘white privilege’ therefore not a racist term? I ordinarily would not consider such a term racist, but applying the standards of the people using it (who are quick to see racism everywhere), it is racist, simply because it makes a negative judgement on the basis of colour or race.
For the person who has been assigned the white privilege label, their arguments are considered inferior or invalid simply because they are non-Aboriginal (or White American if in America). It’s interesting that such a racist term is so frequently used by those who claim to be opposed to racism. For those who love using the ‘white privilege’ argument when drowning in a debate or faced with an inconvenient truth from a non-Aboriginal person, I’m reminded of the words of Theodore Dalrymple:
There is no racist like an antiracist: That is because he is obsessed by race, whose actual existence as often as not he denies. He looks at the world through race-tinted spectacles, interprets every event or social phenomenon as a manifestation of racism either implicit or explicit, and in general has the soul of a born inquisitor.
Consider the writings of Luke Pearson on the topic of white privilege (a favourite of his):
Being born white means that you were born into a system that validates and reaffirms that you are socially included - and being socially included, is a very valuable privilege.
Really? Presumably his message is that Aboriginal people are not included. A majority of Aboriginal Australians (particularly those who complain about white privilege) are either in relationships with non-Aboriginal Australians or are the descendants of non-Aboriginal Australians. How then are they not included? And it becomes hysterically funny when we consider that among those claiming to be victims of white privilege, there are some who clearly have plenty of white privilege flowing through their veins. For sensible counter arguments against the notion of white privilege, see this young Black American woman or Ben Shapiro.
Users of the term ‘white privilege’ and other similar rhetoric (like ‘white supremacy’ and ‘whitesplain’) are quick to tell you that Aboriginal people are its victims. And as only White people can have white privilege, then their argument essentially boils down to the claim that Aboriginal people are the victims of non-Aboriginal people. A quick look at the available statistics on Aboriginal violence or images portrayed in this video would show you who the real enemy is. It would seem then that use of the term ‘white privilege’ is just a convenient distraction from the inconvenient topic of violence in Aboriginal communities (and other related topics like child abuse). ‘White privilege’ is not the enemy of Aboriginal people, but ‘black hate’ is.
Consistent with the high rates of violence in certain sectors of the Aboriginal population, is the hate directed from Aboriginal people at other Aboriginal people who don’t play the victim game or identity politics. For convenience, I’m going to talk about two types of black hate here. First, consider physical black hate. This often manifests as violence. It is when Aboriginal people physically harm Aboriginal people. No doubt about it, it’s a serious problem and it needs to stop.
Now consider the non-physical type of black hate. Those Aboriginal people (some well known and many less well known) who hold a view that runs counter to those who claim that ‘white privilege’ is holding Aboriginal people back know full well about what I’m talking about. They are called ‘sellouts,’ ‘Uncle Toms,’ ‘coconuts’ and more. For the Aborigine wanting to get ahead, they are sure to face resistance from ‘their own.’ And in general, the hate they receive from ‘their own’ is far worse than what they receive from non-Aboriginal Australians.
This hate is damaging, but not so much for the targets, but for the perpetrators. The targets of black hate are far in front of their accusers in terms of integrity, ability, backbone, and contribution to society. This type of black hate is simply self-hate directed towards other non-Aboriginal people. And you don’t get rid of it by directing it at others.
Both types of black hate are damaging to Aboriginal people as a whole. When non-Aboriginal Australians see this hate, some may be reluctant to empathise with Aboriginal people, justifying their lack of empathy on the grounds of “Well they need to just stop fighting each other.” Of course it’s not that simple, but some non-Aboriginal Australians’ tolerance will be tested when they witness black hate, and especially when they are also told their opinions on Aboriginal affairs is from a position of white privilege. For those engaging in black hate, or are trying to downplay it or blame White Australia for it, just remember, Australians are watching you. Their goodwill is being tested.
And for those who are quick to claim that black-on-black hate is simply ‘lateral violence’ which results from colonisation, you are making more excuses.
I have suggested that white privilege is not the cause of problems facing Aboriginal people; it is just an excuse some Aboriginal activists use to avoid looking at the problems Aboriginal people can solve themselves, and black hate is one of those problems. Any solution to address the problems must acknowledge this. I have written about solutions elsewhere, and so will only comment briefly here. The problems facing Aboriginal people will only be resolved when we do away with identity politics and acknowledge that Aboriginal affairs is everyone’s business. Calling yourself Aboriginal, or even an elder, does not give you special rights when discussing Aboriginal affairs. For far too long, non-Aboriginal Australians have been excluded from commenting on the black hate and other problems facing Aboriginal people. We are all in this together.