Friend of IMAO Mike Z. Williamson has a take on SF author’s John Scalzi’s post from a while back about “White Privilege” which I guess Scalzi is thinking of revisiting. Anyway, I read the essay back in the day, I remember being struck by how pointless it was beyond its ability to gin up controversy. The point of the essay was basically “People are born with different advantages” which is an extremely vanilla point hardly worth much text, but Scalzi wrapped the point in a lecture on “white privilege” to make it seem like he was saying something important and controversial. Of course, no one disputes that people are born with different advantages for a variety of reason; the important question is then what do you do (which Scalzi didn’t address). Unfortunately, for a lot of people, the answer if you aren’t born with the advantages you want, you whine about it — which is about a dis-empowering approach as possible. The assumption is you have to wait for others to change before you can get anywhere — and history shows you’ll be waiting a very long time for that.
Anyway, Williamson points out the odd racism in Scalzi’s essay, such as the assumption that only white people would object to what he was saying. In fact, there is almost kind of an odd white supremacy to these lectures by white people on race. It comes from the same attitude that makes the plot of movie like Avatar — minorities are superior to white people, but an enlightened white person who understands the value of minorities is the most superior of all. And I think that illustrates of the problems with racism: We’re so focused on the racism of the past that we completely miss the new ones that arise today to the point we can’t even correctly identify racists.
Anyway, if the “Stuff White People Like” site was still around, “Lecturing About White Privilege” would certainly be an item there.