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We live in a nation where it is blatantly obvious that when you are a middle class, straight and white man there are a lot of privileges and advantages that you possess. It is also fairly clear that in the new Democratic Party, which is being flushed with a new Progressive movement, as is indicated in the nominees for President, that diversity and youth in our elected officials is reaching new and amazing heights.

Of the 62 Democratic freshmen to be elected to the house in 2018, 35 were women. Outside of national politics, there are incredible stories such as Rep. Park Cannon who, as a queer black woman, was elected to the Georgia State House at the age of 22. These examples of amazing diversity in our politics are representative of a wave of new ideas that coincide with the new types of people able to have their voice heard in the political sphere.

Now how do I, or those like me, reckon with this? Where do we step in and where do we not? There is a common problem of feeling uncomfortable in talking about what to do. Feeling uncomfortable in confronting centuries of systematic racism, misogyny and homophobia is understandable, but the only way to overcome this fear is by facing it.

I was put in such a situation while attending a voter activism summit and talking about diversity in politics. In my head I thought, “In a world where more female and minority voices need to be heard, why should I bring my voice forward?” Not that the people I talked to were the ultimate authority on anything but the response to someone like me wanting to talk about it was, to me, well received. It allowed me to put myself into situations where I could make mistakes and learn from them. This was amazing, as it put me in a place where I couldn’t run even if I tried. 

What I learned, through conversation with the many amazing people that I met at that conference, was that the solution to the problem can be summed up in one word: “ally."  If I can recognize the privilege that I have, then I can use that privilege to lift up those voices who are still not heard in the capacity that they deserve.

Now, how do we apply this to the political arena?

Having a political movement dominated by unconventional backgrounds and ethnicities does not mean people that look like me are not welcome. Recognizing the privilege I have is only the first step, and while it is important, it doesn’t actually accomplish anything. The progress occurs when I use this privilege to lift up those that are disadvantaged by centuries of bigotry. I can't completely solve racism, sexism, homophobia or anything else in writing this article, but I think it's important to bring these ideas up and start a conversation. The more and more people who are comfortable with talking on this subject, the more representative our democracy becomes.

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(4) comments

Steve Gregg

The idea of white privilege is itself racist, part of the anti-white racism which is so deplorably fashionable among lefties. Educated, moral people should reject it, as you should any form of racism.

Calvin Boman

Steve, It is not racist to recognize that, due to the color of one's skin, one can have advantages, just as it is not racist to recognize the disadvantages of different demographics of people. There is nothing moral about the way you adressed his writing. The fact you felt the need to cover your tracks by saying you should respond to white privilege the same as "any form of racism" is evidence that you are worried about seeming racist. As for reasons you're calling white privilege racism, I can only come up with an attempt to avoid feeling guilt or that uncomfortable feeling Johnson made reference to in this piece. It is okay to feel uncomfortable, but morally incorrect to remain in denial. I don't believe you are racist, but I do believe that you are afraid to face white privilege. I don't know your ethnicity, but no matter, you should still recognize the existence of white privilege and the part it plays in others' lives and yours.

Steve Gregg

Calvin, you are quite full of it. I call accusations of white privilege racist because they are racist. Using your own knucklehead psychology, since you refuse to accept that it’s racist, you must be feeling guilt for promoting such racism. The main advantage that whites have over minorities, particularly blacks, is fathers. Two thirds of whites come from intact families with fathers while two thirds of blacks come from broken homes with no fathers. Blacks further their disadvantage by rejecting education, their golden ticket out of poverty, and by embracing crime and drugs. These are self-inflicted wounds. If blacks stopped doing themselves harm, they would succeed like Asians. For that matter, if American blacks behaved like Caribbean or African blacks, they would succeed like those groups do. The great scam that blacks and liberals are pushing is to shift the blame for black failure away from black dysfunction to false accusations of white racism. If a black kid drops out of school to deal dope on the street corner, acquiring a rap sheet of violent crimes from clashes with rival dope dealers and gangs, he is not failing because some white farm girl milking a cow in Maqoketa has white privilege. He fails from his own doing. I urge you to give up these racist excuses and accept that blacks have agency and are in command of their destiny for good or ill.

David Jackson

“We live in a nation where it is blatantly obvious that when you are a middle class, straight and white man there are a lot of privileges and advantages that you possess.” Blatantly obvious….with no evidence whatsoever. Just the cult like chanting from the easily emotionally manipulated regurgitating the slogans they’ve been conditioned to regurgitate. Amazing diversity!? How racist and sexist do you have to be to not only think someone’s sex or race matters more than their life’s experience, but to think of yourself as morally superior for doing so? Gee it’s almost as if it has more to do with exploiting how people want to think they’re a good person than it is about the facts and societal accomplishments that are actually good. Diversity of experience and perspective can be an asset to an organization because it brings people who have developed different talents to the table. Diversity of race, sex, sexual orientation, etc. only matters if you believe people of different races, sexes, orientations, etc. have different talents because of their race, sex, or orientation. Tell me Johnson, what it is that you think one race is better at than the others? What about sex, when it comes to governing, what are men better at than women and what are women better at than men? What policy decisions are gay people better at and what legislation are straights superior at drafting? Judging people by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin has been thrown out the window by the SJW self-labeled Progressives. The bigotry of the people who love to label those who disagree as bigots is amazing. This opinion piece illustrates the indoctrination taking place in higher education. Zachary Johnson I suggest you question what you’re told to think a little more, you’re young there may be hope for you. If you think critically and search for comprehensive facts, you might just find out it’s more important to support policy based upon the facts rather than appeals to emotions. It’s what you have to do if you really want to accomplish good in the world instead of just feel good (woke, on the right side of history, whatever mantra comes next) to be on the current trendy bandwagon. Face your privilege? No, face the facts son, and all of them. Not just the ones that fit a preferred narrative.

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