In response to Eric Wheeler’s contention  ("There is no white privilege" - July 1).

As a white man myself, I understand why Mr. Wheeler feels that white privilege is a made-up construct. After all, I worked hard for what I have. Besides, I have black friends and I strongly believe that everyone should be treated fair regardless of their race. There is no way I am racist.

Clever, indeed. See, all that can be true; in fact, it often is! But what many whites fail to realize is that the system of white privilege works best when those benefiting from it do not realize it exists at all. In the computing field, programmers often strive to create systems that run so well in the background that we don’t notice them at all. A system that does this is “user-friendly” because it allows the user to go about their business without noticing all the processes that are running. This is a good metaphor for white privilege.

Make no mistake, no one who talks about white privilege ever claims that means whites don’t experience poverty or hardship. But it does mean they don’t experience these things because of the color of their skin. When a person is given new information, they have two choices: deny reality or accept it and make better decisions. It’s annoying to learn that not all of what we were taught is true. But aren’t you tired of defending this? There is freedom and redemption in acknowledging it. By doing so, we can then recognize when this system is working and use our privilege to break the cycle of oppression it perpetuates. If we don’t, we are complicit in benefiting from a legacy of racist beliefs. No one loses when we acknowledge this; in fact, we all benefit. Wouldn’t you rather create a user-friendly world for all?

Christopher Lauth

Bowling Green

(10) comments

victoria

Thank you Mr. Lauth for your letter. I think you express the sentiments of the silent majority (i.e. those who don't post comments on this site).

zeitgeist

Come senators, congressmen

Please heed the call

Don't stand in the doorway

Don't block up the halls

For the times they are a changing.

Absolutely Positively

The DN did a "10 Questions" article with Mr. Lauth last year.

White privilege: a term used by liberals to sort of acknowledge that they are racists while avoiding any responsibility for being racists.

Enough Already

Hey Chris,

Just because a democrat/socialist/communist coined a term to create division within the races does not make it true, but if you immediately accept it as fact it does suggest you're naive at the least but likely stupid. After reading your letter it appears you are the latter.

zeitgeist

Actually the term goes back to at least the 1930s and was coined by a person of color.

Econobot

Or, per the ancient maxim, correlation isn't causation. Black folks experiencing bad things doesn't mean those bad things are because they are black.

Econobot

Black people do not suffer these things because of the color of their skin. They suffer them from economic effects that affect everyone else. Poverty in inner city Chicago isn't because they are black. It's because the region is economic disaster. The poverty affecting South Africa minded Kentucky isn't because people are black. It's because the leaders are South Africa minded.

Dr. Strangelove

Mr. Lauth,

You suffer from systemic "moron privilege". It runs in your gray cells unnoticed by you as to give you a feeling of exceeding insight and self worth. If you deny it or argue about it will only confirm you have it. It's a terminal diagnosis.

A Kindred Spirit

Mr. Lauth is a bright and thoughtful man who does not deserve to be insulted by you. You can disagree without being disagreeable.

Enough Already 2

I am really amazed at Dr. Strangelove!

I must admit that I have significantly underestimated him in the past, but I applaud him for doing such an outstanding "self diagnosis".

Does one suppose that perhaps he has been sipping the "Clorox" again?

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