With all the crime in the inner city, you’d think black people would want greater, not lesser police presence there. As I recall, that was actually the case back in the Seventies when black leadership complained that so little police presence in the high-crime black areas actually encouraged crime. That made sense. So, police presence increased and more black thugs went to jail. Then we began hearing about the overrepresentation of black men in prison, which turned into pipelines to prison, which morphed into white privilege, which became part of the Lefty narrative that white people are hopelessly racist.
When you get right down to it, white privilege is at least as much about what you don’t have to worry about as it is having special privilege. Why? Because it means you function in ways protected by law and respected by the dominant culture. That, in turn, means you don’t normally have to concern yourself with thugs or thuggish behavior.
Jesse Jackson recognized as much years ago in an unguarded moment with a black audience, when he said it pained him that he would be walking down a street at night, hear footsteps behind him and get to thinking about robbery, then look back and see somebody white and feel relieved. Jesse later tried to walk back those words, saying that those who quoted him exactly had used his words “out of context” and “dishonestly.” He lied on both counts. He said what he said, and what he was talking about was black thuggishness.
Nothing has changed since then. In general, whites and Asians and just about any other race or ethnicity you can name behave less thuggishly than blacks. Maybe a better way to say that would be that there are fewer non-black thugs on the streets than black thugs. Certainly fewer non-blacks worry about bullets ripping thru the walls of their homes, or being targeted in drive-by shootings. Those privileged blacks who don’t have that worry would number several million nationwide. They, too, would enjoy white privilege.
Which would mean blacks outside the inner city enjoy white privilege as much as whites do. They don’t fear whites because they know that whites generally don’t present a grave and present danger from omnipresent thugs. Blacks do. Especially in the inner city.
It isn’t about race. It’s about behavior.
By Jack Rail
Jack Rail is a retired Army officer who writes mostly when something gets his goat.
Photo by Dave Wild at Flickr.