A common debate “tactic” among all SJWs, from the most fanatic to the mildly adherent, is “check your privilege!” You usually hear this phrase when a middle class white male (the most evil creature of the human race) makes a relatively unpopular social observation. The phrase used to imply that his statement is skewed, and therefore incorrect, because of his social status. Types of “privilege” include white privilege, male privilege, even cisgender privilege.
These ideas could certainly provide some stimulating intellectual conversation in the abstract, but the main application of these concepts today are to either instill a sense of guilt in the majority, or to excuse the poor choices made by people belonging to minority groups. The latter is indicative of an even broader and more detrimental social problem in western culture: a lack of personal accountability.
White Male Privilege
I was first acquainted with this concept when my hippie ex-girlfriend started lecturing me on my cultural insensitivity when I may or may not have uttered something culturally insensitive. After researching the phrase, I found out that living in a nation founded by men of my skin color and built upon the sufferings of a different colored people has supplied me with some unique cultural benefits not shared by women or other races.
Furthermore, lacking these benefits has socially conditioned women and non-whites to strive for less and thus achieve less. The first concept I can understand, the second I cannot. The minute people start blaming their situations on “social conditioning” is the minute I tune out and classify them as degenerates. Regardless of the society you live in, you are one hundred percent responsible for your actions.
Aside from attempting to make white men feel guilty for the transgressions of their ancestors, the concept of white male privilege is used as a scapegoat for non-white males to excuse their life decisions. Being born with fewer resources than some of your counterparts does not excuse poor decisions, nor does it change the fact that improving your life requires a lot of time, dedication, and hard work.
Social conditioning does not force you to commit crimes, nor does it prevent you from working hard to change your circumstances. Maybe you start off lower than most, maybe you have to fight just to avoid poverty, and maybe you have more to prove and more to overcome. Yeah, it sucks, and I’m sorry some of you were born into shit. But whether you wallow in that shit or claw your way out of it is completely up to you.
Race and gender aside, a lack of personal accountability manifests itself in many other ways among all demographics. “I didn’t pass the class because the teacher hates me,” “I didn’t get the promotion because I don’t kiss ass,” or my personal favorite, “I didn’t make the basketball team because I’m not black.” People are quick to blame their shortcomings on factors outside of their control, neglecting that achieving something you want usually requires personal sacrifice.
Take for instance the basketball team example. The last time I heard this excuse was when my unit was putting together a team for the base basketball league. I asked one of my troops how the tryouts went, and he fed me this excuse. After asking a few other people, I heard the same thing several more times, so I assumed that my unit’s team would lack white guys.
This wasn’t the case, however. After watching one of the games, I came to the conclusion that my troop was not cut because he was white, but because he wasn’t nearly as good as the guys who did make the team. My troop was a shorter guy on the pudgy side and although he did have some competence on the court, he was nowhere near the level of the guys who did make the team. But this is because I saw these guys playing all the time. Most of the time I went to the gym, these guys were either on the court or in the weight room.
Also, I never once saw my troop in either unless I had forced him to work out with me. If being on the unit’s basketball team was something he truly wanted, he would’ve had to bust his ass in the gym and play his heart out in pick-up games in order to reach a competitive level of skill. But because he was lazy and unmotivated (partly my fault too I guess), he spent most of his off time sitting at home drinking sodas and eating pizza. When he was told he wasn’t good enough for the team, he chose to blame racial discrimination instead of his own decisions.
I am not trying to tell you racial discrimination doesn’t exist. I am also not so delusional that I believe everyone has equal opportunity. No matter what you want in life and no matter what circumstances you were born into, obstacles will exist and sometimes they will be beyond your control. Sometimes you have to work harder than others, sometimes there’s more holding you back, and yes, it is completely unfair.
But you should’ve been told life isn’t fair since you were five years old. Bitching about your circumstances is far less effective than working to change them. Take some personal accountability for yourself and your actions, and watch your life improve immediately.
Read More: Thin Privilege Doesn’t Exist