White Privilege – A Double Standard


Written by: Douglas White

got-white-privilegeThis whole racism debacle going on in South Africa today smacks of political opportunism at its worst.

The same standard should apply for all who espouse racism no matter how eloquently they splutter it. Just because someone is not literary trained enough to disguise their bigotry does not mean those much more eloquent are not equally guilty of causing irreparable harm to the dignity and reputations of individuals and social groups. There are those who have perfected the art of smearing – they get away with their bigotry and racist slander in the media every day. All in the name of exposing “white privilege”. This from respected journalists, political analysts, bestselling authors and the like.

The general consensus is that only white people are racist, power hungry and war-mongering; all the while, being the perpetual and willing socio-economic beneficiaries of apartheid. I think not…

Did white South Africans under apartheid have freedom of expression, freedom of association and abounding economic opportunity? In reality apartheid had very much a degenerative effect on white people – socially, politically, economically and not to mention, psychologically and ethically. Together the Immorality Act and functional autarky made sure of this. A gradual diluting of basic human rights further ensured the survival of the fascist nationalist state. This is not to say there were not and are not still those who prefer it this way. Racism most definitely has support among white people. What is not as quickly admitted is support for racism among black people.

Apartheid hurt all of us, blacks far more than whites and, paradoxically, we have all benefited from apartheid, whites far more than blacks.

“Whiteness” or “white privilege” is racist speak – it is hate speech. All who espouse such should be brought up on charges of crimen injuria and reported to the South African Human Rights Commission. Ethnicity and skin colour are by their very nature amoral and removed from the individual’s ethics. Intellectually distributed meaning and inferred morality give these things life; the reason is often not without political motive.

Upholding the “white privilege” worldview removes any chance of the different race-groups becoming allies. One is left with a skewed version of reality, that is: having white skin in South Africa makes one unreservedly privileged and complicit with the past race warfare and therefore morally compromised. For what? Being white, that’s it!  It sets up blackness as being the moral standard and the more normative state of being. It is racism.

The dictionary description of racism is: “the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races”.

They say anti-black racism is historic and the “white privilege” argument is therefore contingent and cannot be construed as racist. This is a weak dodge and intellectually pathetic. Racism is racism… Do we need to experience a genocide in order to say anti-white racism is a thing?

The white privilege argument is being deliberately skewed to advantage the leftist way of thinking. A kind of craving for the stable supply of “white racists” and “bigots” in order to legitimise their political identity.

The more these kinds of attitudes are published, the more it feeds whiteophobia. The more it plays into the hands of the extreme left.

Whiteophobia: The irrational fear of that which is perceived to have originated from white people – whiteness. Whiteophobia manifests itself involving the perceptions of an in-group (non-whites or blackness) toward an out-group (whiteness), including the fear that white people cannot be trusted, and fear that all white people are intrinsically racist and morally bankrupt. It includes the fear of losing absolute political power and involves the suspicion of all white activity and their involvement in government. Whiteophobia is often accompanied by an overwhelming desire to eliminate the presence of whiteness to secure the in-groups socio-political agenda and ethnic hegemony. Whiteophobia often ascribes stereotyped qualities to the out-group (whiteness) that, when taken on as absolute truth by the majority of the in-group, can result in genocidal action on the part of the in-group towards the out-group.

All who live in South Africa today are now equal – our constitution guarantees it. “Equality includes the full and equal enjoyment of all rights and freedoms.” However, an irrational dimension of this understanding is thrown around today. It goes something like this: “because we are equal, it is only logical that I should expect to gain the same wealth and resources as the other. After all, those privileged whites never earned it and that makwerekwere stole it”.

In South Africa today, with resources and opportunity being particularly scarce, competition between similarly determined people unescapably will lead to conflict in one way or another. Those more productive will rise to the top. Green-eyed idle people wanting what they don’t want to work for. The xenophobic attacks are a direct result of this cause.

Equal rights means a person has a right to support his life by his own work, legally, and rationally. It does not mean that others (the government included) must provide you with the requirements of life, no matter how history has played out.

The white privilege argument is really just an attempt at argument by intimidation. It replaces a discussion of the merits (the truth or falsehood) of a given idea with a menacing accusation – you are a racist.  The worst form of crime if practiced by a white person and an inalienable right if practiced by a black person. It is intended to make one’s opponents retreat, protesting that they didn’t mean it. Mean – what? Its function is to hide or cover up some uncomfortable truth about their (your antagonists’) essential identity. In this case, as it were, the fact that they themselves are in fact motivated by a supremacist viewpoint of their essential identity.

Author: Douglas White (a pen-name) is a Johannesburg-based IT specialist and laissez-faire capitalism advocate with an interest in ethical philosophy, sociology, psychology and the martial arts.


  1. We have either a rational or a political discussion. A rational discussion starts with defining the subject of debate properly and then exchanging arguments, evaluating them and come to a conclusion. A political debate as about “white’ privilege is about moralistic blackmailing and power play. Yes, i admit i am privileged, I am earning above average, I live in a very decent suburb and so on and so on. Waiter, Champagne please!

  2. I am not so sure that this is a right protected by the Bill of Rights – “Equal rights means a person has a right to support his life by his own work, legally, and rationally.”
    While the bill of rights protects a persons choice of work it does not however protect the means of earning a living though.

    • Altus: The sentence, “Equal rights means a person has a right to support his life by his own work, legally, and rationally.” Is my interpretation/opinion of ‘Equal rights’ within the rational context where a ‘right’ is a moral principle defining and sanctioning a man’s freedom of action in a social context, where all other rights are its consequences or corollaries.

  3. Though I can admit that there is some truth in what you coined as whiteophobia or a black “Racist” however it would be disingenuous of you the author to deny the existence of “White privilege” and its perpetual residual benefit to that group for you to reduce it to triviality or an argument of convenience. That term manifests itself in a myriad of social settings or scenarios aside from economics, justice system,customer service etc regardless of social stature if you non-white. The common denominator inmost of these being “Treatment” rendering the Equality as a myth….You should also note the term “equality” is an uncomfortable propositions when there is already a person who has more, that only means you have to shed of some of your privileges for balance. For a modern man that spells out unfairness offcourse forgetting that unfairness is what your position in life was actually paved by,by those before, thus if you enjoying the privileges you are technically complicit…..

    • Mcanthony, thank you for engaging. I’m very happy to respond and will do so in due course. Work deadlines are looming…

    • Answer to your first Sentence:

      Your first sentence drips with sardonicism and is nothing short of incongruous. You cannot admit to being brought to truth and then in the same breath tell the person who brought you to that truth that
      their argument lacks integrity and conveys no information. That is simply incongruous and demonstrates duplicity of mind.

      Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that your fallacious opening was nothing more
      than a structural booboo.

      The essay at no point “denies’ the existence of White privilege”. It talks to how this kind of “White
      Privilege” argument is being used as a means of intimidation by the leftist commentators and the kind of message that misapplication brings to society including its costs. The message it brings is an ethical message, it says, being white in South Africa today is paramount to being immoral, why? Because all white people are racist and morally compromised and so much so they cannot even begin to see it. It says being white is dirty and impure, it says being white means one cannot ever cleanse themselves of this dirty whiteness that only knows racism and hate. It sets up blackness as being the moral standard and the more normative state of being. It is racism.

      This kind of “White Privilege” world view has no respect for circumstance and history, and deliberately so. The more narrow and vague it is the better and quicker its bile can spread. It is dishonest and it carries a political agenda that is threatening in nature, is not interested in cooperation and societal cohesion. It is devoid of all morality. It is anti-life. It masquerades’ as the champion of the down trodden. It does not and will not accept an alternative world view. It is real evil. It is this kind of “White Privilege” I cannot rationally accept.

      Answer to your second sentence:

      The manifestation of these things are circumstantial and cannot be viewed as a blanket truth on Whiteness. One cannot assert white people generally enjoy advantages that non-whites do not generally experience in South Africa in 2016. The current “black middle class” is larger than the entire white population in South Africa.

      From an economic and political standpoint In South Africa White people as a group can no longer be considered privileged. The minute Affirmative Action and BBBEE legislation came into effect and
      organizations changed their policies accordingly, White People as a group ceased to be privileged in this regard. Though there are circumstances where-in a white person might from time to time enjoy privilege over black people. Whereas in most cases a black persons default position in this regard is privileged.

      The justice system has fully transformed in the last 22 years and the law no longer privileges white people in this regard.

      Customer service is very good example for circumstantial based evidence for this kind of so called “white privilege”. There has never been any law governing customer service in South Africa where one is treated more fairly or unfairly than another based on one’s race. This is circumstantial and not the norm. It is therefore an allegory to assert that one whole social group enjoys privilege in this regard. Though there are circumstances where-in a white person might from time to time enjoy
      privilege over black people and vice versa.

      Again, treatment is circumstantial.

      No two people are naturally equal. My point being this: You cannot extend the idea of equality beyond its legal and political meaning – the equal right to action. What you seem to advocate here is a cancelation of natural law—an anti-concept. You are talking about metaphysical equality—the equality of personal attributes and virtues, regardless of natural endowment or individual choice, performance and character. You cannot fight these things by means of man-made institutions. Nature doesn’t care for fairness. It is not equality before the law that you seek, but inequality: the establishment of an inverted social system, with a new upper crust—the upper classes of non-value.

      Maintaining a view that white people in South Africa are mostly privileged constructs a false reality that has nothing to do with the lived experience of the majority of white South Africans, who themselves did not and still do not have access to prestigious and high-powered institutions etc… Who now through legislations, cannot, by the mere fact of being white and perceivably “privileged”,
      ever have access to those opportunities? You are in effect condemning white people for possessing, in the concrete, features of present day life that should be available to all, and if
      this is correct, how can whites be expected to give up such things? The fact that these features of everyday live have been available to white people in South Africa for longer, does not make
      one automatically complicit with past race wars, racist or privileged. This viewpoint fails to acknowledge the diversity of peoples within this group and their varied history and origins. It
      supplicates more questions about your motives, and about what lurks within you…

      To conclude, it is understandable that people in South Africa are emotional and hurting. However, if one is not willing to deal with the facts of South African history in its entirety, a highly emotional response squeezes all time into a single moment, which leads to the overflow of what one
      prefers to believe over the facts of reality.

      South Africa is a complex place with a complex history with our more recent history more-and-more
      proving to be one filled with false promises and deception. Governed by those with little to no ethical
      base, who continually strive to avoid accountability who are now trying to pin all this countries problems squarely at the feet of un-repented “Privileged” White people.

      Yes there are still things to account for by white people in general, however, where we find ourselves today has more to do with this bad government than white people not facing up to some skewed version of White Privilege…

      • Ok for now, for the purpose of time I will give a short analysis of your response;

        -My man it is way too looong which gives me an indication that it is probably driven more by emotions rather than reason hence it void of concise valid points
        – Perhaps this analysis is premature, granted, I’m going to admit I didn’t read the it as whole thus if I may also ask for a moment too to get back at it later and dissect it accordingly, if necessary.
        -So you are of the logic that a person viewpoint or stance should be absolute and no reservation on some points otherwise any statement that shows consideration will be rendered “incongrouos”
        -I also realize in terms of objectivity the set up of our dialogue might be disadvantaged due to our own individual biases since you seem to be commenting from your perspective which is different to my reality, maybe if you could send me proof or stats that “whites” have been worse off economically since the advent of BEE policy.
        -And now I’m forced to look up on the word “Sardonicism”