In the wake of the controversial 8th-grade white “privilege test,” and more recent calls for “affirmative action” to overcome so-called “white privilege,” this past Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, many are concerned that being a straight white male from an intact family with an adequate income is something to ashamed of – or even punished for.
About a year ago, 150 eighth-grade students were given a test at a public middle school in West Bend, Wisconsin, complete with 55 statements for the children to check off to determine if they were shamefully privileged or commendably disadvantaged among their peers from other demographic backgrounds – raising concerns from parents.
Bad to be white
Some of the entries included: “I am white,” “I am a man,” “I am heterosexual,” “I feel comfortable in the gender I was born in,” “My family and I have never lived below the poverty line,” “My parents are still married” and “I do not have any physical disabilities.”
The “privilege test” reported on last January also indicated that those from the LGBT community, Muslims (or Arabs), and females all came from groups that experience hardships – usually at the hands of a society driven by white males.
“Other statements on the ‘privilege test’ included, ‘I have never tried to hide my sexuality,’ ‘I have never been called a terrorist’ and ‘I have never been catcalled,’” Breitbart News reported at the time.
Some parents were so livid over the test at Badger Middle School that they called the police, who referred the back to the school to settle the matter, but West Bend School District Assistant Superintendent Laura Jackson attempted to justify the reasoning behind the test.
"If we want our students to be successful when they go out into their careers in the future, they have to understand that not everyone is like them," Jackson told WITI-TV.
One parent did not agree with the school’s rationale behind the test.
"As a parent, it's my responsibility to teach my children the difference between right and wrong," parent Kim Goldman told the local station.
Badger Middle School Principal Dave Uelmen ended up conceding that parents had legitimate concerns
"Some of the language in the questionnaire I can see why, as a parent of a 13, 14-year-old eighth grader, some people may feel as though those are topics that should be discussed in the home and not the classroom," Uelmen told WITI.
The test was subsequently pulled after the parental and public uproar – even though education officials stood behind the principles at the root of the problematic examination.
“Following the controversy, the district decided to stop administering the ‘privilege test,’ but officials [insisted that] they stand behind the test's core ideas,” Breitbart’s Dave Urbanski noted.
It was also discovered that the test had previously been administered – which was virtually undetected.
“This wasn't the first year for the test,” Fox 6 pointed out after the uproar. “District officials say they would have done things differently, but they stand behind the idea of the exercise.”
New ‘privilege’ problems?
More recently, Asian American students have been up in arms, believing they are experiencing the same discrimination white males have been dealt in the Ivy League for years, and the United States Supreme Court debacle initiating its new justice served as a grim reminder that “white privilege” and affirmative action are here to stay – at least in the foreseeable future.
“Affirmative action is in the news again,” Forbes reported Monday. “Harvard University is being sued by Asian Americans for discrimination and the elevation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court has many worried that the Court will soon have affirmative action in its sights again.”
Even though affirmative action has remained controversial over the decades in the education and business world, leftists believe that it should be an integral part of the system to weed out privileged white males from the race to success.
“Affirmative action [is] … a term that has become quite popular on the political left: ‘white privilege,’” Forbes contributor Evan Gerstmann noted. “Affirmative action and white privilege have a lot to with one another.”
In fact, the “white privilege” argument has become so problematic that blacks have even been accused of it, as witnessed last week.
“CNN analyst Areva Martin accused radio host David Webb of ‘white privilege,’" USA Today reported last Wednesday. “The radio host is black. During a guest radio appearance, a CNN legal analyst said the show's host, who is black, has benefited from ‘white privilege.’ His guest during the segment was Areva Martin – a civil rights attorney and CNN legal analyst."
The host approached the issue before Martin went on the attack.
“Webb detailed his rise in the media, saying he always saw his qualifications as a more important issue than his color,” USA Today’s Brett Molina reported.
And Martin responded.
"Well, David, that’s a whole 'nother long conversation about white privilege – the things that you have the privilege of doing that people of color don’t have the privilege of," Martin said.
The shocker of mistaken identities quickly erupted on social media.
“@SIRIUSXM Patriot Host @davidwebbshow mistakenly accused for his ‘White Privilege’ by @CNN Analyst @ArevaMartin,” Sirius XM Patriot tweeted Jan. 15.
Webb gave the news to her straight.
"Areva, I hate to break it to you, but you should’ve been better prepped – I’m black," Webb informed, according to USA Today.
Then, things did not remain too friendly.
“Webb then scold[ed] Martin for making the assumption, going through his qualifications ultimately leading him to Fox News ‘where I’m told apparently blacks aren’t supposed to work,’" Molina recounted.
In fact, Webb was quite upset.
"Yet, you come with this assumption, and you go to white privilege,” he added. “That’s actually insulting."
But Martin then apologized, justifying the misunderstanding by saying, "My people gave me wrong information."
The mix-up was later recounted on conservative TV.
“On FOX News Channel's Fox & Friends on Wednesday, Webb criticized Martin for advancing ‘a false narrative’ and for an apology that ‘throws her team under the bus’" Molina noted.
Webb then took the opportunity to denounce “white privilege” once and for all.
"There is no such thing as white privilege," Webb told Fox & Friends. "There is earned privilege in life that you work for."