Who Doesn't Benefit From A New Racial Slur?

So apparently in the confines of academia, there's a sense that it would be really nice if we could come up with a good racial slur to use against whites. Well, non-Southern whites, that is: everyone already knows a mess of slurs for uppity Southerners.
I cajole a few of them into “Cracker” and “Red Neck.” We can usually get to “Hillbilly” or “Trailer Trash” or “White Trash,” possibly even “Peckerwood,” before folks recognize the “Cletus the slack-jawed yokel” pattern of class discrimination here. And being that we are at a top ranked west coast university, not only do we all share basic middle class aspirations, but we can feel pretty safe in the fact that there are no “Red Necks” here to insult.
There probably are quite few. Southern poor whites are as underprivileged -- and as poor -- as almost any minority group. So naturally, of course, they're the one the culture is readiest to insult should they break out of their hills and come down into town where they don't belong.

What is really wanted is a good way to insult the rest of the white community. The first author takes a stab at it -- given that he's looking for a good way to insult white, left-leaning college students at his own university, I was amused to see that we'd gotten there first.

Still, it's not good enough, argues a second thinker. The problem is that it's possible to avoid being slandered by changing behavior, which is not how racial slurs are supposed to work. They're supposed to taint you forever, no matter what you do:
It is a label that denies the individuality of the target and forces him to into a set of predefined stereotypes. And there is nothing the target to can do to exempt himself. It is beyond achievement, effort, or choice. You just *are* are Black or Latino or Jewish or “white privileged”. Definitively, a person of Euro-Caucasian descent can never stop being white privileged.

And just like those other racial slurs, being white privileged undercuts anything a person individually accomplishes. Maybe he can be the nicest of the White Privileged that his Black and Latino friends know. Maybe he can be “one of the good ones” who “knows his place” as the beneficiary of American institutional racism. But he can never be other than white privileged. White privileged is the Bizarro-world version of the presumption that a Black student was accepted to an exclusive university because of his skin-color. If you are white privileged, it means that — although you might have never treated anyone inequitably based on their race, creed, or national origin, although you might have even shown a degree of favoritism to races different than your own, although you might have had no valuable socio-economic connections when starting out, although you might have worked very hard and risked much to achieve whatever you have — but still you vicariously share in the sin of every cop (white or black or brown) who stops and tickets a black man in an expensive car because he stood out on the highway. And it asserts you have even reaped unspecified rewards from those encounters—rewards not shared by other categories.

White privileged is the true white racial slur, and no one has been slow to throw it around. It is used the same as any other racial slurs: To deny the target his individuality, to brand him with the failures of the worst member of his category and with the stereotypes in the minds of others, to disparage the quality of his achievements and potential, and to implicitly demand more from him than others.
There's some merit to this suggestion. No one should be expected to take seriously an argument framed around a racial slur, which would dismiss 'privilege' arguments on the same terms. Further, it justifies a response exactly similar to the response we expect should we call someone of a given race by a slur. If that ends badly for you, most people will agree that you brought it on yourself.

So, motion carried. Good to know that our fine academic minds are still working on solving the hard problems bedeviling the nation! Thanks to their tireless efforts, we've devised a new racial slur. Surely there's nothing America needed more.


Joseph W. said...

Well, you know, it is educational. Anyone who pays attention will be educated on the true nature of PC.

(Or as Thomas Sowell once quoted: "No one is completely useless. Anyone can at least serve as a bad example.")

MikeD said...

I'm putting this in my back pocket for the next time someone tosses it around casually. Because that author is right. It is fundamentally no different than assuming a minority received a promotion or position by sole virtue of their skin color.

Joseph W. said...

MikeD, I recommend against that. Don't let them get you into a "contest of victimhood." The premises are built on BS. The kind of people who talk that way thrive on the idea that it's right and normal to be hurt by their language, and if you come back with an argument you're showing that you are.

It's better to demonstrate that you have complete contempt for the mentality that leads them to talk that way, and that they're not getting the time of day, let alone the implied respect of a rational argument, as long as they're leaking that kind of sewage from their mouths.

I recommend the advice of this excellent author on an overlapping tactic.

douglas said...

New? That's been around for quite some time, I thought.

Ymar Sakar said...

Joseph, the family dog, will not lash out at us, will not become angry at us if we beat him. He will stay loyal to us, even if we beat him.

Only when the black man can have this loyalty, will they be able to rise above their race.

-philosophical sentiments of 1850s Democrat states.

Little has changed now, given the powers that be think minorities are mentally retarded livestock that needs free healthcare and instructions on how to zombie walk around.