Vanderbilt University Professor Tony Brown says there’s an easy explanation for the rioting and looting in Baltimore last week: white privilege. According to Brown’s editorial in The Tennessean, what we are seeing in the streets is a reaction to Americans using “white privilege” to “harm, demean, and damage black and brown people.”
Brown, a sociologist, says that incidents like the racist fraternity chant at the University of Oklahoma are indicative of the atmosphere that gave rise to the riots. He blames white parents for sending their children to “racially homogenous” schools and reading them books with only white characters. He even has a word or two for “Uncle Roy,” telling racist jokes at Thanksgiving and sending children the message that “all poor people are black and it’s their own fault.”
One way to combat this privilege, Brown muses, is for people to start documenting their days with cameras. He writes that by recording “the discourteous way co-workers or service industry workers or police officers treat you,” society will finally understand the “lofty levels of frustration and despair among black and brown youth.”
It’s funny that Brown would condemn white parents for self-segregation while driving the wedge of division ever deeper. If an end to homogeneity is key to getting past our racial hurdles, then op-eds like his only worsen the problem. In fact, sociology itself is part of the problem, removing the individual from the equation. There are only groups. Categories. You’re black, white, Hispanic, male, female, gay, straight. And do you know that people in your category are being held down? Do you know that merely by belonging to your category, you are oppressing others?
How depressing to go through your one life only thinking of yourself as part of one of these groups. Liberals not only believe that people are born gay, they believe that people are born into a predetermined life. Sure, chaos theory demands that the occasional anomaly will defy their categorization, but those aberrant data points can be safely thrown out. The trends are the only things that matter. The statistics. Who cares about you?
Looking at the world this way, they think the only solution is to fundamentally change the system. Blacks can only get ahead if whites stop being racist. If Uncle Roy stops telling those offensive jokes at Thanksgiving. If the government finally plays Robin Hood the way it needs to. Steal from the rich and give to the disadvantaged. Turn the whole thing upside down. That’s not too much to ask, is it?
Unfortunately, the world is what it is. Some will have more and some will have less. Some will be racist and some will be inclusive. Some will fight and some will flee. If you spend your whole life fighting against these basic truths of existence, you risk missing the ride altogether. If more people knew that they too could be an “anomaly,” there would be no one left to riot.