Asked about “white privilege” at the “Brown and Black Presidential Forum” held in Iowa and hosted by Univision – no word yet on any forthcoming White Presidential Forum – Hillary Clinton offered a strange analogy of differing perspectives and vantage points between people swimming in oceans and people standing on shores.
“White privilege is a term that more people are talking openly about these days. Certainly people like me have long understood what it means. Secretary Clinton, can you tell us what the term white privilege means to you, and can you give me an example from your life or career when you think you have benefited from it?” asked a university student.
“I think it is hard when you’re swimming in the ocean to know exactly what’s happening around you so much as it is when you’re standing on the shore perhaps watching,” replied Clinton.
“For me, look, I was born white, middle class, and in the middle of America. I went to good public schools. I had a very strong supportive family. I had a lot of great experiences growing up. I went to a wonderful college. I went to law school. I never really knew what was or wasn’t part of the privilege, I just knew that I was a lucky person,” exposited Clinton.
Clinton then said her first realization of being a beneficiary of “white privilege” occurred to her when she was just 11-years-old, in seeming contradiction to her earlier professed lack of familiarity with the non-existent phenomenon until later in life.
“But I’ll tell you when I first realized that I was privileged, both because I was white and because I was economically stable,” said Clinton, reminiscing about seeing Mexican children doing agricultural work around Chicago when she was growing up. Apparently “whiteness” is used as a euphemism for the privilege of being raised by one’s own married and gainfully employed biological parents.
The term “white privilege” was coined in recent years to slightly shift the Marxist premise of class struggle to race struggle. As perceptions of perpetual class warfare as a feature of sociological analysis began to fall out of fashion in America and the broader West, the narrative was reinvigorated with race as a substitute for – and in some cases as a complement to – class.
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