Updated: Jun 16, 2019
While doing research for my site I saw an article online. Titled. ‘Apologize for branding black privilege as license to loot’. The words, ‘Black Privilege’ immediately caught my eye. I had never seen nor heard the term before. So it got me thinking. Is it true?
After reading the article, I was intrigued to discover that the term did not originate in the u.s. But was popularized in South Africa. By a white, controversial, (some say racist) female politician named Helen Zille. In short. She's a Western Cape version of our own U.S. Representative, Steve King. Her quote, was a reply from another politician speaking on white privilege within South Africa. (Via Twitter of course Zille replies).
“Well you clearly don't understand black privilege. It is being able to loot a country and steal hundreds of billions and get re-elected. If ppl want permanent poverty for the masses they are going about it the right way.” then ended her response with the hashtag #BlackPrivilege.
I had written about the validity of the term, ‘white privilege’. And determined that the label has substance and is relevant. Due to past racist laws, policies and institutions during the mid-to-late 1900s. i.e. The G.I. bill, redlining, and segregation. Many American Caucasians of today, benefit(ed) in some way from these racist practices, by these advantages being passed down from their grandparents to their parents and now to them i.e. education, housing, finance.
But I also admitted that many more whites do & have NOT benefited(ed) from those bygone races laws, policies and institutions passed down from their forebears which gave them an upper hand. Also, at times the term is used as a desperate insult and unfounded accusation.
Similar policies were also implemented in South Africa during Apartheid. And upon finishing reading the article and re-reading Helen Zille statement, “loo t a country and steal hundreds of billions and get re-elected’. I concluded that she is making a claim that black South Africans, feel justified in using ‘revenge’ tactics against whites because of the atrocities that were committed against them by whites during that era. An interesting argument for another day.
The ‘black privilege’ that the controversial politician is referring to got me thinking; What privileges do African Americans have? Do blacks sometimes feel justified in doing negative things because of foul treatment of the past?' Do they think they can do or say or act in ways that whites can't? Simply out of a feeling of resentment and revenge because of past injustices?
The politicians post got me thinking…is their validity in the term ‘black privilege’? And if so, what privileges do African Americans have? And another question came to mind. Do African Americans use past sins to justify using what Zille referred to as, ‘black privileges’ against whites as their African brethren allegedly do?
This question is to my reading audience as well. I feel my list of what I think ‘Black privileges is here in America may be quite lame. And only one man's opinion.
Here's what i came up with...
1. The ‘privilege' of using the n-word whenever they want.
2. The privilege blame social and individual shortcomings (violence, education) etc. on past injustices.
That's all of the 'black privilege' I could think of. So I ask you...
What is black privilege?