Social Justice 101: Leftists Weaponize the Word 'Privilege' To Cry 'Racism,' Don't Realize It's Racist


Political discourse in America has become nearly impossible.

This is because rather than arguing for the validity of left-wing policies (which have repeatedly failed minority communities for decades now), leftists claim that anyone who disagrees with them only does so because of their group privilege.

This idea that you can target individuals based on group identity comes from a theoretical framework called intersectionality.

Group privileges most often called out by intersectionality are white privilege, male privilege, straight privilege and cisgender privilege (“cisgender” is a term used to describe people who don’t identify as transgender).

Here’s everything you need to know about the philosophy, origins and bigotry of intersectionality:

The Tenets and Origins of Intersectionality

According to the Columbia Journalism Review, “intersectionality” was coined by civil rights activist and legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw, who also co-created the term “critical race theory.”

In a 1989 paper for the University of Chicago Legal Forum, Crenshaw argued that traditional feminist and “anti-racist” ideas both exclude black women.

While feminism accounts for female oppression and anti-racism accounts for black oppression, there is no set of ideas that especially accounts for the unique set of problems faced by black women who suffer from both forms of oppression, according to Crenshaw.

Crenshaw dubbed the need to address the intersection between two different forms of oppression “intersectionality.”

Is intersectionality racist?

In the view of intersectionality, women are oppressed, but not as much as black women. In the same way, black women are not as oppressed as gay black women; gay black women are not as oppressed as Muslim, gay, black women, and so on.

The more intersections of oppression that an individual has, the more oppressed they are in society, according to this theory, which means their thoughts and opinions should be given precedence over individuals who rank lower on the pyramid of oppression.

This philosophy works in the opposite direction as well. Feminists and left-wing activists use it to identify the groups of people who benefit from society’s oppressive nature.

In the minds of intersectional feminists, the worst possible oppressor, the person who benefits most from society’s advantages and systemic discrimination, is a straight, white, cisgender, Christian male.

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The feelings, thoughts and opinions of this group don’t matter; in the view of intersectional feminists, every argument made by an oppressor isn’t based on facts, it’s based on their perceived privileges.

Intersectionality vs. Individuality

One of the loudest voices in opposition to the racism of intersectionality is University of Toronto professor and clinical psychologist Jordan B. Peterson.

During one of the many talks Peterson has given about the dangers of far-left postmodernism and neo-Marxism, the psychologist broke down specifically why intersectionality is logically incoherent.

Peterson’s primary criticism of intersectionality is that it only accounts for the intersections between a select few identities — sex, race, gender identity, religion and sexual orientation.

“Here’s some ways people differ: intelligence, temperament, geography, historical time (you live now and not a hundred years ago), attractiveness, youth — it’s advantageous to be young, you’ve got potential,” Peterson explained. “It’s advantageous to be old — you’ve got wealth. Health, that’s a good one. Sex. Women have advantages, men have advantages, maybe one has more than the other, it’s not self-evident.

“Athleticism, wealth, family structure, friendship, education.

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“Why not those other dimensions of variation? There’s no evidence that they’re less important. In fact, there’s quite a bit of evidence that they’re more important. So, why not consider them?”

He then went on to explain that the left-wing activists pushing intersectionality don’t understand its logical conclusion: individuality, a concept that Christian conservatives proudly stand behind.

“They don’t know where they’re going. They don’t understand that the logical conclusion of intersectionality is individuality because there’s so many different ways of categorizing peoples’ advantages and disadvantages that if you take that all the way out to the end you say, ‘Well, the individual is the ultimate minority,'” Peterson said.

“And that’s exactly right and that’s exactly what the West discovered. The intersectionalists will get there if they don’t kill everyone first.”

Peterson’s point here is exactly correct: While the intersectional left chooses to identify “privilege” along racial and gender-specific lines, there is an infinite number of ways to determine whether or not someone is advantaged.

Who’s to say sexual orientation and skin color gives out more advantages than wealth, health, youth, historical time or any other of an infinite number of advantages and disadvantages that individuals accumulate over the course of their lifetimes?

Arguing that having white skin gives you more advantages than being born within a stable family structure, for example, is an utterly ridiculous argument that’s not based on facts.

This is an important point to note: White people in America tend to be more economically advantaged than black people. That is verifiably true.

However, that doesn’t mean that white people, because of the color of their skin alone, are privileged. Different communities face different problems because of cultural differences within those communities, as was discussed in the previous installment of Social Justice 101 about systemic racism.

For example, the higher percentages of police shootings suffered by the African-American community is not because of racial bias or a racist system.

Instead, there are certain factors that lead to a higher number of encounters between African-Americans and police, driven by higher levels of crime, which is in turn driven by higher levels of fatherlessness in the black community, which has been incentivized by welfare.

No matter the race, children facing fatherlessness are more likely to live in poverty, commit crime and go to jail, according to a series of studies collected by United Families International, a nonprofit, pro-family organization.

Therefore, “two-parent privilege” would be a more accurate descriptor for this problem than “white privilege.”

Intersectionality Is Racist

After covering the illogical nature of intersectionality, Peterson went on to address the specific notion of “white privilege.”

“Well, the other thing you might notice is that to attribute to the individuals of a community the attributes of that community on the basis of their racial identity is called racism. That’s what racism is. There’s no other way of defining it. It’s attributing to the individual the characteristics of the group as if the group was homogenous,” Peterson said.

“Now, the intesectional people have already decided that’s not a fair game because there’s so many differences between people. But the postmodernists don’t care about logical coherence, because they regard logical coherence — here it comes again — as a creation of the white European male patriarchal structure that’s designed to oppress the oppressed.”

Accusing someone of white privilege is racist. Accusing someone of male privilege is sexist.

Accounting for your own individual privileges is important. That being said, each individual has an infinite number of characteristics that have made them who they are. Boiling that down to a single immutable characteristic is the very definition of bigotry.

Come back next Sunday for the next installment of Social Justice 101 — how social justice ideas and policies, stemming from critical theory, are replacing Christianity as the left’s new secular religion.

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Michael wrote for a number of entertainment news outlets before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter. He now manages the writing and reporting teams, overseeing the production of commentary, news and original reporting content.
Michael Austin graduated from Iowa State University in 2019. During his time in college, Michael volunteered as a social media influencer for both PragerU and Live Action. After graduation, he went on to work as a freelance journalist for various entertainment news sites before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter.

Since then, Michael has been promoted to the role of Manager of Writing and Reporting. His responsibilities now include managing and directing the production of commentary, news and original reporting content.
Ames, Iowa
Iowa State University
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