May 21, 2013

Charlotte Allen at the White Privilege Conference

I'm on the mailing list for the annual White Privilege Conference, so I'm always on the verge of getting around to writing about it at length. But I didn't want to make a big deal out of it if it weren't a big deal, and doing the research to determine whether it's a big deal or not sounded depressing.

Charlotte Allen, in contrast, actually attended this year's WPC at the hilariously sprawling Sea-Tac DoubleTree by Hilton hotel, and here's some of her report in the Weekly Standard, "Beyond the Pale:"
Dr. Eddie Moore Jr.
WPC drew only 175 attendees at its first session in 1999, on the campus of Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa, where the conference’s founder, Eddie Moore Jr., had earned a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1989 and was serving as an assistant dean while working on a doctorate in education from the University of Iowa (he received it in 2004). Moore is now director of diversity at the Brooklyn Friends School. A larger-than-life character (he’s at least six-foot-eight and a former college basketball player), Moore physically and psychically dominated the conference. The typical garb for WPC14 attendees ranged from hippie (old folks) to hipster (young ’uns), with common elements of rubber soles on every shoe and green-conscious water bottles dangling from every backpack. The shaven-headed Moore sartorially carved out for himself an impressive hieratic distance from his disheveled audience: meticulously tailored suits complemented with silk shirts, silk ties, and even socks in shimmering springtime colors. A gold elastic-band watch that looked like a Rolex gleamed on his wrist.
Quaker delegation to WPC
Back in 1999 the main focus of the White Privilege Conference had been on race. Recently, though, the categories of victims of white supremacy have grown to include such overwhelmingly white groups as feminists and the “LGBT community”​—​or “LGBTQ community,” “LGBTQQ community,” and “LGBTQQIA community”​—​all acronyms used by White Privilege participants at various times (the two “Q’s” stand for “queer” and “questioning,” the “I” for “intersex,” and the “A” for a conventionally heterosexual “ally” of all of the above). ...
Dr. Eddie Moore Jr.
By this year at SeaTac, the number of White Privilege attendees had swollen to 2,000, a substantial increase over the 1,500 or so at WPC13 last year in Albuquerque, where the theme was “Intersectionality”​—​WPC-speak for two-fer oppression, as in the case of a black female or a gay Latino. 
The bulging crowds at the SeaTac DoubleTree were a fire chief’s acid-reflux nightmare. By row-counting I calculated 1,500 chairs​—​all taken​—​in a ballroom whose wall proclaimed “Maximum Occupancy 505.” The smaller conference rooms that housed some 120 different workshops (a sample: “Talking Back to White Entitlement,” “Follow the White Supremacist Money,” “Engaging White People in the Fight for Racial & Economic Justice”) were typically as packed as mosh pits. ...
Dr. Eddie Moore Jr.
Who were those 2,000 people lounging on the lobby floor as they ate their WPC-supplied vegan-option box lunches or lined up to buy corporate lattes at the in-house Starbucks station? From my conversations with some of them, it seemed that they had one thing in common: Someone else, or something else, usually a public entity or a university or a nonprofit or a church, had paid their way (up to $435 in registration fees alone) for the four days and nights at the Seattle airport. The top representative professions at the conference were: college professor, student, campus diversity officer, and employee of an activist organization whose title typically included the words “equity,” “social justice,” or both.  
Not Dr. Eddie Moore Jr.
(possibly Ferris Bueller,
Diversity Consultant)
Indeed, one way to look at the conference was as a networking event for a diversity industry that is larger and more elaborate and competitive than one can imagine. The conference program bulged with ads for other White Privilege-style conferences (a Pedagogy of Privilege conference this coming August at the University of Denver, for example) and white-privilege reading material (sample book titles: Deconstructing Privilege; Cultivating Social Justice Teachers; White Women Getting Real About Race). It seemed that nearly everyone in attendance, including many of the college professors, was flogging a book or had a side gig as a “consultant”​—​that is, someone you might want to hire for your own campus or workplace exploration of the ins and outs of white oppression. Eddie Moore himself, when he is not at Brooklyn Friends, runs America & MOORE LLC, and his business card advertises “Diversity Education, Research & Consulting.”

51 comments:

jody said...

what is this i don't even

Uncle Peregrine said...

I recently attended a question and answer session with former riot grrrl Kathleen Hanna. Someone asked how she not just fought her oppression but kept her privilege in check. Answering the question, she mentioned in passing the menace of "cisgender privilege".

Chicago said...

Every black who gets a Phd in any subject, urban or diversity or whatever studies, must always be addressed as 'Doctor' or have it precede their name in print. Always to let the world know that they aren't just any old negro walking down the street. Most likely got AA and plagiarized the rest like that other so-called 'Doctor' who has a yearly holiday. What's next, 'Your Highness'? Don't forget to bow.

Anonymous said...

Who would want to play golf?

Gilbert P.

Anonymous said...

One of the conference features is "Shabbat "Ce-­‐Liberation" Dinner".

Priceless!

Anonymous said...

I really don't understand why this is an issue. White privilege is very simple. Despite some people denying its existence, I accept that it exists. But, not only is there nothing wrong with it, it should be acknowledged as being natural. If a certain group builds and dominates a society for hundreds of years, it stands to reason that those most like the original builders, would benefit most from said society. Why is that confusing?

If minorities want privilege for themselves and their posterity, they should build a society... and they have. For example, it's great to be a communist Chinese in communist China. Why are people so confused?

As far as I know, there isn't a single mainstream institution built by a non-White, so how can they, with a straight face, expect every facet of society to benefit them? This really perplexes me. It's just another double standard foisted on Whites, and Whites only. Can you imagine anyone going to Japan and complaining that there's too much Japanese privilege in Japan?

People really need to start pulling their head out of their ass!

Aaron Gross said...

I think linguists distinguish between what a word means and how it's used. "White privilege" is used as "let's rage and whine and accuse whitey of being the source of everybody's problems," but white privilege means simply that white individuals have unearned privileges just because they're white. So white privilege undeniably exists, in this sense of what it means and not how it's actually used.

This implies that race realists can subvert the progressives' white privilege rhetoric. Just respond to the "dictionary" definition of white privilege, as defined in McIntosh's original essay, and not to the actual use. Thus, one can ask questions like,

Yes, white privilege undeniably exists. How do we measure its effect? How much racial inequality is explained by white privilege, and how much is explained by other causes?

Given the existence of white privilege, why aren't whites at the top of the socio-economic ladder in America? Is it because of Asian privilege? Jewish privilege? What else could explain whites' underachievement?

And so on. White privilege, in the sense of McIntosh's original essay, undeniably exists. So use it against the leftists.

Anonymous said...

Here's how I imagine the conference schedule might have went:
9:00am Talking Back to White Entitlement
10:29am Follow the White Supremacist Money
10:30 Coffee Break
10:45am Engaging White People in the Fight for Racial & Economic Justice
etc...

Aaron Gross said...

Charlotte Allen writes about Peggy McIntosh's paper,

They included such verging-on-Onion parody items as:

“17. I can talk with my mouth full and not have people put this down to my color.”

“39. I can be late to a meeting without having the lateness reflect on my race.”

“46. I can choose blemish cover or bandages in ‘flesh’ color and have them more or less match my skin.”


I actually think all three of these are serious points, and all are true, in the sense that all show a "double standard" between white and black. The first two points can be responded to, but the third really can't.

People are more likely to connect talking with your mouth full with your race if you're black than if you're white. But there's a flip side of the coin: People are more likely to connect prissy table manners with your race if you're white than if you're black. The second point is also symmetric.

The third point can't be dismissed. In lots of small ways, non-whites are constantly reminded that they're not white, that they're not the majority or culturally dominant group. It's arguable whether "privilege" is the right word for this, but white individuals are told more that they belong, just because of their race.

Anonymous said...

Laugh at these a-holes all you want -- but if you pay taxes you're paying for them.

All of them...

Anonymous said...

The third point can't be dismissed. In lots of small ways, non-whites are constantly reminded that they're not white, that they're not the majority or culturally dominant group. It's arguable whether "privilege" is the right word for this, but white individuals are told more that they belong, just because of their race.

Flesh color bandages match best to high yellows. And no one is stopping anyone of any race to make a different color bandage and call it flesh color.

Anonymous said...

In lots of small ways, non-whites are constantly reminded that they're not white, that they're not the majority or culturally dominant group. It's arguable whether "privilege" is the right word for this, but white individuals are told more that they belong, just because of their race.

So from that standpoint, what would be a suitable solution? I personally don't see it as a problem. It's no secret that non-Whites have their own enclaves, radio stations, entertainment, and media. Why is it Whites' job to make everyone feel included, when they exclude themselves? How would it even be possible?

Anonymous said...

Every black who gets a Phd in any subject, urban or diversity or whatever studies, must always be addressed as 'Doctor' or have it precede their name in print. Always to let the world know that they aren't just any old negro walking down the street. Most likely got AA and plagiarized the rest like that other so-called 'Doctor' who has a yearly holiday. What's next, 'Your Highness'? Don't forget to bow.

So what you're saying is you would NOT let Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry perform thoracic surgery on you?

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

Absurd. Collect the names, professional details, contact info of organisers/participants, and save for later date. :)

Anonymous said...

the privilege of fighting white privilege

ogunsiron said...

I basically agree with the anon poster who said that there is nothing wrong with white privilege for whites living in white built societies.

Aaron Gross specified "unearned privilege" and even that isn't necessarily illegitimate. Any child is a beneficiary of unearned privilege when interacting with its parents. its parents treat him in a very special way, from day one when the child hasn't "done" anything.

Anonymous said...

Give me more of that good old white privilege. I want more, I tell you.

Anonymous said...

White privilege is another way of stating saying black dependency but making it seem less demeaning. Jews don't speak about Christian privilege, they don't need to. Their community established themselves economically so they are now courted by the rest of society. Same for Asians. Blacks aren't courted because there isn't much there the rest of the world wants or needs that they are producing in terms of goods or services. If they created it, they would be courted as well. Instead, they dream up lame apologetics for their own failure and call it white privilege. There really is no reason, at least none imposed by whites, that bars blacks from succeeding if by no other means than buying and selling services and goods among each other.

Whiskey said...

This falls in with the fraud (yes he is) that was Martin Luther King Jr.

Now, when ROLEX uses you as an "icon" to advertise their hideously expensive watches, you might well be a pop star in the vein of Elvis and Paul Newman and Eric Clapton. Also featured in ads running on Rolex's website and the FT.

But "God's drum major for justice?" Nope. You don't wear a ROLEX doing that. You do if you're God's Drum Major for getting cash. For raking it in. For fooling the rubes.

Ironically the very same desire to push superstars as worthy of emulation by Rolex makes anyone with a brain see in an undeniable way just how on the make and what an unscrupulous man King really was. You don't wear a Rolex being an HONEST Southern Preacher for Civil Rights. Being a man on the make? Sure. Or being a movie star or rock star. Sure. But not an honest preacher.

Apollo said...

Its amusing that at a conference supposedly associated with white privilege that the black organiser presents like Mr Moneybags and the white attendees present like a bunch of filthy jobless layabouts. Who is the privileged one here again?

Judging from the jobs the attendees apparently have though, it seems like they are all parasitically extracting their living off actual useful members of society. Is that Liberal privilege?

Londoner said...

Literally and etymologically, "privilege" = "private law". Of course, the actual beneficiaries of the actual private laws in the west of today - the laws drawn up to benefit specific groups, or the universal ones selectively applied to the same end - are everyone who isn't white. "White privilege" quite literally does not exist and that is a demonstrable fact.

Torn and Frayed said...

The White Guilt Industrial Complex (WGIP) is alive and well.

In ancient times there were often slave rebellions. One interesting aspect of these is that after the rebellion the new leaders took slaves themselves. It seems the rebellion was not against the institution of slavery itself; but just a question of who would be master and whom would be slave.

This is echoed in the statement by Susan Sontag, one of the founding spokeswomen for the WGIP. According to Sontag, “The white race is the cancer of human history”. Now this could be seen as confusing as Sontag and her culturally elite gang in New York were overwhelmingly white. But if we look deeper, she premised her attack with, “Mozart, Pascal, Boolean algebra, Shakespeare, parliamentary government, baroque churches, Newton, the emancipation of women, Kant, Balanchine ballets, et al. don’t redeem what this particular civilization has wrought upon the world. “ So she creates a dichotomy; on the one hand we have the right kind of whites (the cultural elite) and on the other the wrong kind of whites (all the rest). So we can restate what she said as “in spite of the gallant efforts of the white cultural elite, the wrong-kind-of-whites are a cancer on human history”. So just join the creative class, say three Hail White Privilege Marys a day, and all your white guilt is assuaged.

Along with Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman, each in their own special ways, raising the individual above the nation-state (except in the case of Israel), the left and right elite were able to combine against the wrong kinds of white to implement globalization.

And so while it may not have started as such, the antiracist movement has become not a movement against racism per se; it is now just a question of which races or groups will dominate the other.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Moore, ain't white guilt grand?

irishman said...

On behalf of the sodomite community I would like to apologise for Dean Spade.

Anonymous said...

Doctors with doctorates in "disciplines" like Womyn's Studies or Education INSIST on it, like Dr. Jill Biden. Rand and Ron Paul, real MDs, don't.

My old college mentor, a former OSS guy with double doctorates, joked that he was only Doctor Kaufman when making restaurant reservations.

slumber_j said...

Aaron Gross said:

"So white privilege undeniably exists, in this sense of what it means and not how it's actually used."

Ludwig Wittgenstein's head just exploded in his grave.

Daybreaker said...

By the way, in this context "people like Susan Sontag" doesn't necessarily mean Jews. It means people like Peter Sutherland, urging the EU to "do its best to undermine" the "homogeneity" of its member states. People pushing an anti-white agenda. I don't care of they can prove some kind of pure descent for forty generations; that's got nothing to do with it. The relevance of race is that white people, as a race, are the targets.

Art Deco said...

I think it was Eric Hoffer who said that what starts as a cause turns into a business turns into a racket.

I think, as she suggests, you have this because of the aggregation of enterprise: you have a critical mass of people licensed to spend other people's money. Conjoined to that is the absence of the constraint operative in commercial enterprise for having to make a business case for expenditures. Conjoined to that is the decline in notions of stewardship and in seriousness among those employed in the philanthropic sector.

A more egregious example of this is Bilge Clinton's standard rates for a speech: $189,000 a pop to listen to his oleagenous self.

Anonymous said...

"but white individuals are told more that they belong, just because of their race."

Have some examples of this? In academia and media they sure as hell aren't. When was the last time whites were openly courted by politicians during an election the way blacks and latinos are?

C. Van Carter said...

Compare and contrast.

Anonymous said...

White Privilege is more progressive BS. Once again they conflate and confuse.

What they are really attacking is "White" culture, which really isn't constrained to Whites.

Rather than get the "Non-White unprivileged" to adopt the culture and the privileges the rule of law provides they racially attack to promote other cultures - most of which are despotic, tyrannical crap holes.

Junk poli-sci at it's worst.

Aaron Gross said...

@slumber_j, Damn, I knew somebody was going to call me on that. I knew I phrased it wrong, but I wasn't sure how to say it. How about, "in this sense of [white privilege's] purported meaning and not its actual meaning as manifest in usage." Would Wittgenstein's head be OK with that?

Or more simply: White privilege exists, as described in Peggy McIntosh's original article.

Marc B said...

"White privilege is very simple. Despite some people denying its existence, I accept that it exists. But, not only is there nothing wrong with it, it should be acknowledged as being natural".

It's not that there are not benefits to being part of a prosperous racial majority, it's that the terminology is inaccurate and prejudicial. The term "privilege" implies that Whites in the US have attained prosperity based on merely being born White, and not because of their own productivity or hustle. It presumes all Whites have a social network on par with a small number of very well established and very wealthy families in the US, when in fact most of us started out without much, if anything but a family that did a decent job of providing for us.

Jim Bowery said...

Perhaps of some morbid interest is the google ngram time profile of occurrences of "white privileged" in published literature.

It would be interesting to see research done on the time correlations between ngrams to see how their evolutionary dynamics compare with those of race replacement.

d said...

Re: white privilege. Chris Rock did a whole movie about "black hair" (i.e., frizzy Negro hair, not raven hair) that blamed the preference for "white hair" (i.e., Caucasian hair that you can get a comb thru, not albino hair), on

YOU GUESSED IT

The legacy of slavery!!

At one point the film briefly pictured his wife, Malaak. Google her and you will see that she is beautiful and has.....

Straight hair!!!!

Nowhere did Rock raise the possibility that perhaps frizzy Negro hair is ugly, in and of itself. It is simply not an attractive secondary sexual characteristic, whereas amongst every other race, it is.

A beautiful, thick, flowing, silky, shiny head of hair can make an ugly girl look pretty (at least when young), while a woman with not great hair had better look like Charlize Theron to get away with it.

Whites definitely got the better genes in this area, with the range of hair colors.

White privilege! Yes!

Maya said...

Oh golly gosh! If I ever become an independent hemp farmer, I will know where to network. Bet the price of the entry ticket could be recovered in the first few hours of networking.

Rev. Right said...

Judging by the mostly white attendees there to network, even the Railing Against White Privilege Industry is dominated by whites.

Snap!

David said...

I understand their new slogan is "Celebrating White Privilege since 1999."

Anonymous said...

is that Spade guy really 36?

Anonymous said...

One point I haven't seen made is that the accusation of "privilege," as it is being used here, is really nothing more than an inversion of the old accusation of "discrimination."

I.e., instead of talking about how victim groups are treated badly, you talk about how non-victim groups are treated better than they deserve. Logically both approaches amount to exactly the same thing: an assertion that there is an unfair difference between the way various groups are being treated.

And yet somehow it sounds different when you talk about "privilege," and that is the key! Victim rights activists have been milking "discrimination" for a long time, and the word has lost much of its punch. By using the word "privilege" they get to make essentially the same accusations they were making before, but now it sounds fresh and new, so it has more power.

And since it isn't obvious that both words refer to the same thing, the victim industry even gets to double dip, and gain advantage from both accusations. Bonus!

Aeoli Pera said...

Big Diversity.

Also, the black dude in the perfect suit is probably a cookie-cutter sociopath.

Grover Prosling said...

Eddie Moore Jr., had earned a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1989 and was serving as an assistant dean while working on a doctorate in education from the University of Iowa (he received it in 2004). Moore is now director of diversity at the Brooklyn Friends School. A larger-than-life character (he’s at least six-foot-eight and a former college basketball player), Moore physically and psychically dominated the conference. The typical garb for WPC14 attendees ranged from hippie (old folks) to hipster (young ’uns), with common elements of rubber soles on every shoe and green-conscious water bottles dangling from every backpack. The shaven-headed Moore sartorially carved out for himself an impressive hieratic distance from his disheveled audience

lol! Sort of like the liberals in Tim Wolfe's classic "Radical Chic" or hell, maybe those white female hippies admired the negro's powerful build.


I really don't understand why this is an issue. White privilege is very simple. Despite some people denying its existence, I accept that it exists. But, not only is there nothing wrong with it,
^^Indeed, and white privilege advocates say just that- that white Americans should just be honest about it and stop trying to sweep things under the rug. Liberals may be feeling guilty but they would say there is plenty wrong with it like mass murder, mass theft and you know, stuff like that.. Take this pregnant beneficiary of white privilege below for example:

"Burning at the stake was often prolonged for the benefit of spectators, who sometimes included women and children, although the gasoline age afforded a new and perhaps merciful refinement of immolation. Incredible tortures and humiliations accompanied the spectacles. In May, 1918.. mobs outraged by the killing of a white planter stormed across two SOuth Georgia counties for a week, hanged three innocent men, strung up the pregnant widow of one by the ankles, coused her clothing with gasoline, and after it burned away, cut her unborn child and trampled it underfoot, then riddled her with bullets."
----George B. Tindall (1967) The Emergence of the New South: 1913 - 1945. p. 171


As far as I know, there isn't a single mainstream institution built by a non-White

The exact configuration of "mainstream institutions" is shaky. Don't you really mean "white institutions?" If so, sure. White people often built white institutions. Others were built using slave labor of non-whites. Pretty self-explanatory there there. But as far as generic institutions, actually there have been plenty, from some of the largest church denominations proportionately (churches are pretty mainstream), to businesses that engage in making a lot of money- another mainstream pastime.

not a hacker said...

His vest is an example of current black privilege. For whites they went out of style somewhere around 1987 and over the last 20 yrs. would just have drawn derisive giggles. In fact, just say that black privilege is never getting laughed at, for anything. The monolithic black immunity to ridicule or sarcasm dwarfs any cultural advantages accruing to whites. Undoubtedly you've seen under-40 blacks swiveling their heads as they walk down the street. What I'm not sure about is whether this is trippin' over expected violence, or they've just shoplifted something.

Truth said...

"Every black who gets a Phd in any subject, urban or diversity or whatever studies, must always be addressed as 'Doctor' or have it precede their name in print."

When you spend 9 years in college to attain a $60,000 job, that's kind of the whole point.

Harry Baldwin said...

I think someone brought this up on iSteve before, but if someone brings up white privilege why not ask them if what they're really referring to is Jewish privilege? After all, when we look at who attends the most prestigious colleges, holds the most lucrative occupations, and dominates the media, show business, academia, law, politics, and of course the Fortune 400 list--it's Jewish people. Why not ask the liberals if it's really Jewish privilege they're upset about? Might bring some up short.

John said...

I think is interesting question is why are some people drawn to concepts like social justice and others are indifferent to them, or well, inimical to them. It seems a fairly large amount of the social justice folks are gay and lesbian, especially lesbian. At least, the whites who are the real true believers in the thing. It also seems there are more white young women into that sort of thing.

John Cunningham said...

Mere double preferences are totally passe. to be au courant, triple status is mandatory, such as a deaf lesbian Eskimo, or Malaysian transgendered midget.

Manila Joe said...

I never experienced White Privelege until I moved to the Philippines. Cabbies will literally run into a crowd of pedestrians to see if I need a ride. Restaurant managers always come to see if everything is ok, but dont check with anyone else. I love it. But when I go back to America nobody gives a shit again.

Mr. Anon said...

"Chicago said...

Every black who gets a Phd in any subject, urban or diversity or whatever studies, must always be addressed as 'Doctor' or have it precede their name in print."

Some day perhaps, all blacks will be referred to as "Doctor" all the time, whether they have PhDs or not.

Anonymous said...

"The bulging crowds at the SeaTac DoubleTree were a fire chief’s acid-reflux nightmare"
oops, in your rush to find something to ridicule, you forgot your own basic principle of FREEEDOM, NO GUBMINT REGULATION

Anonymous said...

Every black who gets a Phd in any subject, urban or diversity or whatever studies, must always be addressed as 'Doctor' or have it precede their name in print."

When you spend 9 years in college to attain a $60,000 job, that's kind of the whole point


Only if you're a prancing poseur. I have a PhD in a real subject (chemistry), yet I insist on NOT using the title "Dr" outside the very narrow professional contexts where it's necessary.

(And, occasionally, I invoke my PhD to shut down liberals who accuse conservatives of being stupid and/or uneducated).

But in what I consider the real world -- in my family life, in the neighborhood, at church, with my hunting buddies -- I am "Mr."