While the term “white privilege” has been bandied about for years in liberal circles, it’s currently being promoted anew by the mainstream media and left-wingers amid protests, and in many cases riots, following the death of George Floyd.
Prager University, an conservative media company known for publishing educational videos about various topics, released a video earlier this year contesting the notion of “white privilege.”
African-American political commentator Brandon Tatum, a former police officer, narrated the video, providing viewers with a thorough breakdown of the logical fallacies within the identitarian concept of “white privilege” in America.
The video was originally published in January, but the video and text transcripts of his comments in it were recirculated online amid the current civil unrest.
As a result, Snopes, a self-described “definitive fact-checking resource,” published a point-by-point rebuttal to Tatum’s video, which the conservative commentator responded to in an interview with The Western Journal.
When asked about his overall opinion of the article, Tatum noted while “it didn’t seem to be incredibly inflammatory,” it was nonetheless “incorrect” and seemed to come “from a perspective of a person that has never been black” and “a person who is trying to use statistical data, biased in one direction, to articulate points that are not legitimate.”
“They talk about generational wealth when they spoke about the education system. They didn’t speak about the voting history of African-Americans. They didn’t even talk about the party history and how it lead to a lot of these issues,” Tatum told The Western Journal.
“And many of the issues that they spoke about, that they claim to be counter to what I was saying in regard to the fact that white privilege is a myth, were from 100 years ago, 80 years ago, 90 years ago, 70 years ago.”
One aspect of the Snopes piece that stuck out to Tatum was the lack of peer-reviewed evidence.
“I didn’t see any peer review research or articles that were relevant to today and even in some articles that I read, pertaining to African-American people thinking they were discriminated against in a store,” Tatum explained, “that’s opinion. That’s not fact.”
The former police officer went on to say that “if someone feels like they’re discriminated against, that doesn’t mean they’re actually being discriminated against.”
“Many store owners are going to say … ‘people that best fit that description were robbing the store all week and so this person matched the description of course I was following the person around.'”
Additionally, Tatum pointed out how the Snopes critique of his video failed to mention the what he called the “cultural dynamic,” “criminal element,” prevalence of single-parent households or the lack of financial literacy within the black community.
“All of these things are contributing facts to the disproportionality of African-American wealth,” Tatum noted.
When asked why he believed an organization like Snopes felt the need to respond to the video, Tatum suggested that Snopes saw it as a “threat to their narrative.”
“Because that video that I made with Prager University was tremendously compelling … and it resonated with people so much and it made so much sense as coming from a black man that I feel like it’s a threat to their narrative,” he said.
“And so they had to come out and try to create a counterbalance narrative to say that white privilege somehow exists. Because, if what I’m saying is true, which it is, then their whole argument, everything they’ve been fighting for all this time, all of the white guilt that has been perpetuated, is now all for naught. White privilege, even in the article they couldn’t prove that every white person has white privilege. And if you can’t prove that every single white person is experiencing white privilege then you have to ask yourself ‘well, out of all the white people in the country, who is experiencing white privilege? How many individuals have white privilege? What does that look like? How many black people have equal or higher privilege than the average white person? And what does that look like?'”
Snopes critique of Tatum’s Prager University video isn’t the only example of the organization putting out questionable fact checks.
On June 11, Snopes published an article disputing whether the television program “Paw Patrol” was canceled, asserting the claim that “The kids’ TV show ‘Paw Patrol’ was canceled in June 2020 due to its portrayal of police” was false.
For the most part, however, that was not the claim being made about calls to censor “Paw Patrol” at the time.
After many Twitter users posted comedic messages about how “Paw Patrol” should be canceled, other users and even well-known critics, such as New York Times critic Amanda Hess, seriously implied that the show should, in fact, be censored for depicting a lovable police dog.
Snopes claimed statements from conservative figures such as Eric Trump and Dana Loesch claiming the “rage mob” was coming for “Paw Patrol” were misleading, when in fact those critiques of the show were prominently displayed and explained in The Times article.
Additionally, Snopes ran a story last year suggesting The Babylon Bee, a Christian satirical website, runs misleading stories despite the fact that the site openly admits to publishing completely satirical articles.
Snopes later revised its story on The Babylon Bee with the following note: “Some readers interpreted wording in a previous version of this fact check as imputing deceptive intent on the part of Babylon Bee in its original satirical piece about Georgia state Rep. Erica Thomas, and that was not the editors’ aim. To address any confusion, we have revised some of the wording mostly for tone and clarity. We are in the process of pioneering industry standards for how the fact-checking industry should best address humor and satire.”
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