The Ultimate White Privilege Statistics & Data Post

Maybe you’re like me, and you’re tired of rhetoric. My wife is a nursing student, and one of the current emphases in medicine is “evidence-based medicine”—as opposed to “eminence-based medicine.” And that’s a good thing. When I’m in the hospital or visiting my doctor, I want them using treatments that science actually proves are good and do work.

I have come to take a similar approach to politics. I’m not interested in cliché ideas or rehashed rhetoric; I want evidence-based policies, and I try to take data-based positions.

If you’re like me in this way, then I present to you a data-based approach to discussing the issues of white privilege and systemic racism—what it is, whether it truly exists, and what it looks like.

Others have used various analogies to explain what white privilege is—the immortal Invisible Knapsack and the very apt bicycle analogy are two excellent ones. But those are focused on explaining what privilege is (and what it is not) and what we mean when we talk about it, moreso than on presenting data that prove that the disparities that those approaches take for granted do indeed exist.

What follows is, as far as I know, the largest and most complete collection of facts, statistics, and data that demonstrate and exemplify the reality of white privilege anywhere on the internet. Mixed throughout, and especially at the end, you’ll find some occasional commentary from me—but by far and away the emphasis is on the data. I put it before you, with minimal commentary, so that you can decide for yourself—and because I believe it speaks for itself. Most of my thoughts I have saved to the end.

The data are organized into 12 categories: Police, the War on Drugs, Prison (Mass Incarceration), Criminal Justice/Courts, Education, Employment, Wealth, Workplace, Voting, Media, and Housing.

Before we dive right in, one final note: The data I’ve provided generally pertain to black and Latino people, but the experiences they quantify are not limited to these groups. Almost all of them are things that all other minority groups experience to one degree or another. In particular, I often focus on data relating specifically to black people. This is not to suggest that other groups do not experience the same forms of discrimination, in the same areas—it is simply that in almost every instance, black people experience the harshest forms of discrimination at the highest rates. And so, I have chosen to focus often on data comparing white and black experiences in various areas.

Finally, I cannot stress enough that this is only the tip of the iceberg. As extensive as this list of statistics is, it is by no means anything close to exhaustive. What you see below only begins to scratch the surface of the daily reality for people of color.

I hope you’ll read with an open mind.


  • Young black boys/men, ages 15-19, are 21 times more likely to be to be shot and killed by the police than young white boys/men.[1]
  • Blacks are less than 13% of the U.S. population, and yet they are 31% of all fatal police shooting victims, and 39% of those killed by police even though they weren’t attacking.[2] See chart:
  2. FBI Supplemental Homicide Report; see here for analysis

To be clear, the above chart deals with people being arrested by the police. In other words, police shoot and kill black people they are arresting far more often than they shoot and kill white people they are arresting.

Also worth noting is that this data is limited—many police departments across the country do not report it, as it is not required. The well-recognized tendency of police is to give police officers the benefit of the doubt to the greatest extent possible. Furthermore, the categories reported to the FBI’s Supplemental Homicide Report are self-selected by police officers and departments—meaning that they have every opportunity to classify any given shooting more favorably than it perhaps ought to be. “These reports may or may not be accurate, and can boil down to an officer’s word.”[2] Therefore, the data in the chart above ought to be considered very conservative; if anything, since the data is entirely based upon police officers’ non-compulsory self-reporting, the bias in these data must be assumed to favor police. Thus, if we could account for all officer-involved homicides in all police departments in the entire United States, and if it were possible to use an objective measure that did not depend on an officer’s own assessment of an incident in which he is involved, it’s entirely possible that the data might show an even greater race-based disparity.

Despite this, police officers involved in unwarranted fatal shootings—incidents that result in the death of people who are unarmed, not resisting, etc.—rarely face significant consequences. Few lose their job, let alone face criminal charges. While it is extremely rare for a grand jury not to indict in all other circumstances, the one context in which a grand jury is highly unlikely—suspiciously unlikely—to indict is when the defendant is a police officer. When viewed against data that show extremely high levels of unwarranted racial profiling (see next section, and also War on Drugs, below) and stiffer charges and sentences for people of color (see Criminal Justice / Courts, below), the result is a stark contrast: People of color who do NOT deserve it are being stopped, arrested, charged, and imprisoned, while police officers who DO deserve it routinely don’t even have charges brought against them—let alone are they convicted and sent to prison. The criminal justice system, therefore, precipitates, protects, and even encourages racism.

Police also stop, search, and frisk blacks and Latinos at much higher rates than whites—even though whites consistently have higher rates of contraband possession. Often much higher. (Unless otherwise noted, all of the statistics that follow come from the same source.[3])

  • In New York City, whites comprise 44% of the population; blacks and Latinos, 53%.[4]
    • Between 2005 and 2008, 80% of NYPD stops were of blacks and Latinos. Only 10% of stops were of whites.
    • 85% of those frisked were black; only 8% were white. (Blacks and Latinos were frisked 50% of the time; whites, only 34%.)
    • Under the NYPD’s controversial “stop-and-frisk” program, in every year since 2009, 87% of those stopped-and-frisked were black or Latino. 10% were white.[5]
    • 24% of blacks and Latinos had force used against them by the NYPD, compared to only 17% of whites.
    • Only 2.6% of all stops (1.6 million stops over 3.5 years) resulted in the discovery of contraband or a weapon. Whites were more likely to be found with contraband or a weapon.
  • Similar trends are seen in Department of Justice data from Los Angeles between July 2003 and June 2004.
    • The stop rate for blacks was 3,400 stops per 10,000 residents higher than the white stop rate. The Latino stop rate was 360 stops higher.
    • Blacks were 127% more likely to get frisked and 76% more likely to get searched than whites; Latinos, 43% more likely to get frisked and 16% more likely to get searched.
    • And yet, frisked blacks were 42% less likely to be found with a weapon than frisked whites; Latinos, 32% less likely.
    • Consensual searches of blacks were “37 percent less likely to uncover weapons, 23.7 percent less likely to uncover drugs, and 25.4 percent less likely to uncover any other type of contraband, than consensual searches of Whites.”
    • Consensual searches of Latinos were “32.8 percent less likely to uncover weapons, 34.3 percent less likely to uncover drugs, and 12.3 percent less likely to uncover any other type of contraband than consensual searches of Whites.”
  • Similar statistics can be seen across the U.S.
    • A study in Arizona found state highway patrol 3.5 times more likely to search a stopped Native American, and 2.5 times more likely to search a stopped African American or Latino, than a white person. And yet, whites who were searched were more likely than all other groups to be transporting drugs, guns, or other contraband.
    • A study in West Virginia showed black drivers 1.64 times more likely, and Latinos 1.48 times more likely, to be stopped than white drivers. After being stopped, non-whites were more likely to get arrested, even though police “obtained a significantly higher contraband hit rate for white drivers than minorities.”
    • In Illinois, data showed the number of consent searches after traffic stops, for blacks and Latinos, to be “more than double that of whites”—even though “white motorists were twice as likely to have contraband”!
    • Studies in Minnesota and Texas have yielded the same results, with blacks and Latinos being stopped more often, even though whites were more likely to have contraband.
  • In another study, it was found that blacks are three times more likely to be stopped in California than whites.[6]
  • A 2007 U.S. Department of Justice report on racial profiling found that blacks and Latinos were 3 times as likely to be stopped as whites, and that blacks were twice as likely to be arrested and 4 times as likely “to experience the threat or use of force during interactions with the police.”[7][8]

Crime statistics do not justify the increased likelihood that people of color will be stopped, frisked, searched, and arrested. As mentioned above, hit rates on contraband are consistently higher—often much, much higher—for whites than for non-whites. The same is true in other areas, such as drug use, possession, sale, etc.—which brings us to our next section, on the War on Drugs.

War on Drugs

Similar disparities between the practice of racial profiling and actual crime rates can be seen in the “War on Drugs”:

  • Blacks are less than 13% of the U.S. population, and they make up only 14% of regular drug users, but they are 37% of those arrested for drug offenses, and 56% of those in state prisons for drug offenses.[9]
  • Black kids are 10 times more likely to be arrested for drug crimes than white kids [11]—even though white kids are more likely to abuse drugs[11].
  • Blacks aged 18-25 are less likely than whites to have used marijuana in the last 12 months[12]:

    Blacks of all ages are also more likely never to have used marijuana[12]:
  • And yet, black arrest rates for marijuana are astronomically higher—and the disparity is only getting worse[12]:
  • In Seattle in 2002, “African Americans constituted 16% of observed drug dealers for the five most dangerous drugs but 64% of drug dealing arrests for those drugs.”[13]
  • In the late 1990s, black and white women had similar levels of drug use during pregnancy, but black women were 10 times as likely as white women to be reported to child services for prenatal drug use.[14]
  5. Race and Justice Shadow Report.pdf
  6. Neuspiel, D.R. (1996). “Racism and Perinatal Addiction”. Ethnicity and Disease

Meanwhile, the War on Drugs has been a total failure. It has been completely ineffective at changing drug use or addiction in the U.S.:

  • When Richard Nixon declared the “War on Drugs” in 1971, the U.S. addiction rate was approximately 1.3%. [15]
    Today, that number is unchanged: 1.3%.[15]
  • Nor has it spiked or dipped significantly at any point in the 40+ years of the War on Drugs—it has floated with unwavering consistency in between 1.0% and 1.5% for 45 years.[15]
  • Drug use among teens has not decreased; in fact, in recent years there seems to be a moderate increase.[16]
  • What fluctuations there have been have no correlation whatsoever to enforcement of the War on Drugs.[16]
  • Recent data show that marijuana legalization hasn’t made teens more likely to use marijuana.[17]

The devastatingly destructive effect of the War on Drugs on communities of color, especially the black community, cannot be overstated. It is completely ineffective in its stated goal; it has not reduced drug use, nor has it reduced addiction in the United States. Meanwhile, the drug trade is stronger than ever.

What the War on Drugs has done is trap millions of people, especially black men, in poverty, and push them toward a life of crime. With black boys arrested 10 times more frequently than white boys, for a non-violent crime that they commit less frequently than white boys, black men are funneled into the criminal justice system from a young age. With felonies on their records, it is incredibly difficult for black men to get work (see Employment below). As a result, they are trapped in low-paying jobs, or worse, turning to crime.

Meanwhile, time spent in juvenile detention centers and state and federal prisons exposes young boys and men of color to the harder criminal element. Prison acts as a sort of “Crime U,” where non-violent offenders whose only crime was smoking a little weed—something a majority of Americans, especially white Americans, do at some point in their lives (82% of drug-related arrests in 2013 were for possession only, not dealing[18])—are encouraged and taught to commit increasingly worse crimes.

At the same time, the War on Drugs has given rise to criminal organizations that are both difficult to escape (even for kids trying to avoid gang life), and often appear to provide greater opportunity than getting a job and abiding by the law. In addition to juvenile detention and prison time, disparate rates of suspension and expulsion (see Education, below) bring young men of color into contact with the gang element, increasing the likelihood that they will become affiliated with a gang.

Finally, once they have a felony on their record, most states prohibit them from voting. Thus, the War on Drugs has become a new Jim Crow, a law enforcement policy that unfairly and disproportionately targets black men, which results in their disenfranchisement (see Voting, below) and effectively permanent relegation to an American underclass.

The War on Drugs has not only failed—it has created, fueled, and currently supports the very thing it purports to fight. Its only legacy is lifelong marginalization and disenfranchisement of millions of black and Latino men, and the utter destruction of countless communities of color. It is Prohibition all over again, and it has failed to reduce substance abuse, addiction, crime rates, or any other ill associated with drug use—in fact, it has caused all of these things to increase, for the exact same reasons that Prohibition caused all of these things to increase[19].



The U.S. has seen a surge of arrests over the past 4 decades, and an absolute explosion in the prison population. The primary reason for this increase is the War on Drugs (see above), which is wholly ineffective, disproportionately targets people of color to extreme degrees, and has created a culture of crime that has trapped black men in poverty.

  • The U.S. prison population rose by 700% from 1970 to 2005, mostly as a result of the War on Drugs.[20]
  • The United States has 5% of the world’s population, but we house 25% of the world’s prisoners.[9]
  • There are currently more black people locked up in prison than there were enslaved in 1850.[21]
  • 1 in every 15 black men (and 1 in every 36 Latino men) are currently incarcerated, while for white men the statistic is 1 in 106.[22]
  • 1 in 3 black men can expect to go to jail at some point in their lifetimes.[22]
  • Minorities are less than 28% of the U.S. population[23], but they are nearly 60% of the prison population[24][25]. Blacks in specific are less than 13% of the U.S. population[26], but they are 38% of the American prison population[24][27]. This is not simply because black men are committing more crimes—see Poverty, below.
  • African American juvenile youth is only 16% of the U.S. population, but they are 28% of juvenile arrests, 37% of the youth in juvenile jails, and 58% of the youth sent to adult prisons.[28][29]
  • Black boys are five times as likely to go to jail as white boys; Latino boys are 3 times as likely.[9]
  • The average cost of prison in the United States is $31,307 per year for each inmate[30]. That’s the equivalent of 3 years in-state tuition at UCLA[31].
  • In many states, the cost of incarcerating a single inmate per year is much higher than the national average. In California, it is $47,421 per year; in states like Connecticut, Washington, and New York, it’s anywhere from $50,000 to $60,000 per year.[30]
  • The cost of federal prison ranges from $21,006 per inmate per year for minimum security, to $33,930 per inmate per year for high security.[32]

Criminal Justice / Courts

  • Once arrested, blacks are more likely to remain in prison awaiting trial than whites; in some places, they are 33% more likely to be detained while awaiting trial than whites.[9]
  • Then, people of color are routinely arraigned under stiffer, harsher charges than white offenders. While more than 90% of cases end in a plea bargain, blacks and Latinos are less successful at getting their sentences reduced via plea bargain.[33]
  • According to a University of Michigan study: “[B]lack defendants face significantly more severe charges than whites even after controlling for criminal behavior (arrest offense, multiple-defendant case structure, and criminal history), observed defendant characteristics (e.g., age, education), defense counsel type, district, county economic characteristics, and crime rates. Unexplained racial disparities exist across the charge- severity distribution, especially at the high end. The most striking disparities are found in the use of charges that carry non-zero statutory minimum sentences.”[34]
  • Black men are nearly twice as likely to be arraigned on charges that carry a mandatory minimum.[34]
  • A study in Georgia in the 1980s found that more than 20% of black defendents convicted of murdering white victims received the death penalty. However, only 8% of whites who killed whites and 1% of blacks who killed other blacks received the death penalty.[35]
  2. Rehavi, M. Marit and Starr, Sonja B., Racial Disparity in Federal Criminal Charging and Its Sentencing Consequences (May 7, 2012). U of Michigan Law & Econ, Empirical Legal Studies Center Paper No. 12-002. Available at SSRN:

If you’ve watched Law & Order or just about any other police procedural show, you’re familiar with the idea that almost anything you can be arrested for can be brought under different charges—say, Murder II or Murder III, or even Manslaughter, instead of Murder I. People of color are prosecuted under the higher charges at much higher rates than whites.

  • Blacks are 21% more likely to receive mandatory minimum sentences.[9][29]
  • Blacks are 20% more likely to be sentenced to prison than whites.[9][29]
  • Once convicted, black offenders receive sentences that are 10% longer than white offenders for the same crimes.[9][29]
  • That sentencing gap has widened in recent years; since judicial discretion was returned by the Supreme Court in 2005, “Prison sentences of black men were nearly 20% longer than those of white men for similar crimes in recent years.”[36]
  • 2/3 of criminals receiving life sentences are non-whites; in the state of New York, it’s 83%. [9]

The higher rate of mandatory minimum sentencing, the increased likelihood of a prison sentence, and the longer overall sentences, are even worse when considering the previous statistics. Consider that blacks are routinely brought up on stiffer charges for the same actual crime, while whites are more frequently charged more leniently. Consider also that whites are more often successful at pleading the initial charge down to lesser charges than people of color. The result is that people of color end up facing longer sentences for lesser crimes, while whites receive shorter sentences for greater crimes!

  • Blacks are frequently illegally excluded from serving on juries. “For example in Houston County, Alabama, 8 out of 10 African Americans qualified for jury service have been struck by prosecutors from serving on death penalty cases.”[9]
  • Only 3-5% of criminal cases go to court; most are plea-bargained. “Most plea bargains consist of promise of a longer sentence if a person exercises their constitutional right to trial. As a result, people caught up in the system, as the American Bar Association points out, plead guilty even when innocent. Why? As one young man told me recently, ‘Who wouldn’t rather do three years for a crime they didn’t commit than risk twenty-five years for a crime they didn’t do?’”[9]
  • People of color are much more likely to receive a public defender than whites.[9]

In 2004, the US Bar Association—not exactly a liberal bunch—reviewed the public defender system and came to the following conclusion:

“All too often, defendants plead guilty, even if they are innocent, without really understanding their legal rights or what is occurring…The fundamental right to a lawyer that America assumes applies to everyone accused of criminal conduct effectively does not exist in practice for countless people across the US.”[9]

Read that again, please. This is the American Bar Association admitting that the fundamental, constitutional right to a fair trial does not exist for many people in the U.S.


  • Whites are 78% more likely to be accepted to the same university as equally qualified people of color. Emphasis on “equally qualified.”[37]
  • Once admitted, 71% of white students receive degrees, compared to only 29% of people of color.[37]
  • When they do graduate, black college graduates have significantly more debt than white graduates.[38]

This is in addition to the lower quality of education in public schools in poorer neighborhoods and communities of color.

  • The U.S. is one of only 3 of the 34 O.E.C.D. nations to give fewer resources and have lower teacher/student ratios in poorer communities than in more privileged communities.[39]
  • “[T]he vast majority of O.E.C.D. countries either invest equally into every student or disproportionately more into disadvantaged students. The U.S. is one of the few countries doing the opposite.”[39]
  • In New York, the value of the poorest 10% of school districts was $287,000 per student. In the richest districts, that number was $1.9 million per student.[40]
  • In the 2010-11 school year, the wealthiest 10% of New York school districts spent $25,505 per student. The poorest 10% of school districts spent $12,861 per student.[39]
  • The state of New York spends $19,000 per student on average. Tennessee spends $8,200, and some districts in Utah as little as $5,321.[39]
  • In Illinois, Nevada, New Hampshire, and North Carolina, school districts with a poverty rate of 30% received at least 20% less funding per student than districts with a 10% poverty rate.[39]
  • Only 17 states provide more funding to high-poverty districts than to low-poverty districts.[39]
  • A Georgetown University study found that the same racial divide is repeated in higher education: “The postsecondary system mimics and magnifies the racial and ethnic inequality in educational preparation it inherits from the K-12 system and then projects this inequality into the labor market.”[41]

Meanwhile, children of color in public schools are treated much the way that teenagers and adults are treated by the law. Children of color are more likely to be perceived of as guilty, problem children, young criminals, and funneled into the justice system early. This is refered to as the school-to-prison pipeline.

A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that young black boys were viewed differently than their white peers. “Children in most societies are considered to be in a distinct group with characteristics such as innocence and the need for protection. Our research found that black boys can be seen as responsible for their actions at an age when white boys still benefit from the assumption that children are essentially innocent.”[42]

  • Black and Latino students are far more likely than white students to repeat a grade, especially in elementary and middle school.[43]
  • Black and Latino students represent more than 70 percent of those involved in school-related arrests or referrals to law enforcement.[43]
  • Black students are 3.5 times more likely to be expelled than their white peers.[43]
  • Black and Latino students make up 60% of confined youth today.[29]
  • Black and Latino students also make up more than 70% of students involved in school-related arrests or referred to law enforcement.[44]
  • While black students make up only 18% of student population, they are 35% of those suspended once, 46% of those suspended more than once, and 39% of those expelled.[44]

Criminal charges are brought against youth in schools for violations that never would be considered criminal if committed by an adult. … A child who has been suspended is more likely to fall behind in school, be retained a grade, drop out of high school, commit a crime, and become incarcerated as an adult. … The best demographic indicators of children who will be suspended are not the type or severity of the crime, but the color of their skin, their special education status, the school they go to, and whether they have been suspended before.”[45]



And even when you factor all of the above in, the “get an education, get a job” argument still has massive problems. Because even when they manage to beat the stacked deck and graduate high school without a criminal record, they still face huge discrimination.

  • A black college student has the same chances of getting a job as a white high school dropout.[46]
  • Meanwhile, a white male with a criminal record is 5% more likely to get a job than an equally qualified person of color with a clean record.[37][47][48] Read that again, please.
  • Blacks need to complete not one but two more levels of education just to have the same probability of getting a job as a white guy.[46]
  3. Pager, Devah, Bruce Western, and Bart Bonikowski. “Discrimination in a Low-Wage Labor Market: A Field Experiment.” American sociological review 74.5 (2009): 777–799.


Inherited wealth also plays a big factor.

  • The average net worth of black households is $6,314, compared to $110,500 for the average white household.[49]
  • While a college-educated white American has an average net worth of $75,000, a college-educated black American has an average net worth of less than $17,500.[46]
  • The black-white wealth gap is greater in the United States today than it was in South Africa in 1970, at the height of apartheid. We also incarcerate a higher percentage of blacks today than apartheid South Africa did.[49][50][51]

Not only does this have a direct effect on everything from getting a job to getting access to healthcare and adequate representation in the legal system (all of which are made easier by having money), but it also translates to lower home ownership rates and higher deficit/debt rates.

And why do blacks have less inherited wealth? Because for 250 years, they didn’t have property, they were property. Yes, the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation happened 150 years ago, but then we went straight into Jim Crow. For 100 years. Until the Civil Rights Movement (MLK, Malcom X, Black Panthers, Rosa Parks, etc.), which was forty years ago! Your parents were alive when MLK was assassinated! Rosa Parks refusal to give up her seat on the bus, which ignited the whole 15-year movement, was the year before my parents were born! They were children and teenagers during almost the entire Civil Rights Movement! This isn’t ancient history; it’s yesterday. We’ve gone from slavery to Jim Crow to today—which, in light of the statistics listed above and below, isn’t looking so much like equality anymore. When, exactly, were black people supposed to find the opportunity to accumulate and pass on even the most modest amount of wealth?

And we suddenly expect that since slavery is over and the Civil Rights Movement happened and that’s all done, black men should be able to get it together and “pull themselves up by their bootstraps” within a single generation?


Even when people of color do get the job, they face even higher wage discrimination than women do.

  • White women make 78¢ for every dollar a white man makes.[52]
  • Black men make even less: 72¢ for every dollar a white man makes.[52]
  • Combine gender and race, and it gets even worse: Black women make 64¢ for every white male dollar, and Latina women make 53¢ for every white male dollar.[52]
  • Once released from prison, if they can get a job at all, the wages of black ex-convicts grow at a 21% slower rate than white ex-convicts.[29]

These are just a few statistics, which barely scratch the surface, on workplace discrimination against people of color. The direct effect this has on poverty in black and Latino communities must be considered before simply writing incarceration rates off as being due to higher rates of crime in black and Latino communities. Poverty leads to crime, and for people of color the odds of being poor are much, much higher specifically because the system treats them unfairly. That directly impacts crime in black and Latino communities.


Voter ID laws have been proven to be completely unnecessary and ineffective. They purport to prevent a kind of voter fraud that simply does not exist. They are a new Jim Crow—a way for conservative white politicians to prevent blacks and Latinos from voting. An increasing number of states are passing these voter ID laws, along with restrictions on early voting, same-day registration, community voter registration drives, and more—all of which serve absolutely zero purpose whatsoever, except for the (intended) side-effect of disenfranchising millions of blacks and Latinos.

  • In challenges to Pennsylvania’s voter ID law, Pennsylvania had to admit that there had been zero fraud of the type the law attempted to prevent.[53]
  • An exhaustive analysis of all election-crime prosecutions since 2000 identified only 7 convictions for voter impersonation fraud. None of them involved conspiracy.[54]
  • A very influential conservative federal judge, who previously upheld Indiana’s voter ID law, has since reversed his position in light of a vast amount of data that now shows that voter ID laws are not necessary and do not prevent voter fraud, but that they do legitimately and indisputably disenfranchise millions of voters.[55]
  • A comprehensive database of US voter fraud uncovered virtually zero voter ID fraud—out of 2,068 alleged voter ID fraud cases, only 10 legitimate cases of voter impersonation. That’s 1 case out of every 15 million.[56][57]
  • In Texas in the last decade, there have been 2 confirmed accounts of legitimate voter fraud—out of 20 million votes cast.[58]

Voter ID laws do absolutely nothing to prevent election fraud. Instead, they have disenfranchised millions of young people, minorities, and elderly, who disproportionately lack the necessary government IDs and utilize early voting, same-day registration, and community voter registration drives—other voting-related activities that are being banned alongside the passage of voter ID laws. This can only be seen as a highly transparent effort to keep young people, minorities, and the elderly from voting.

  • 11% of the American population do not have the kind of government ID required by the strictest state voter ID laws—including 18% of Americans over 65 and 25% of blacks.[54]

Meanwhile, many states have laws that prevent former felons from voting, disenfranchising them for life.

  • Voter laws that prevent felons former felons from voting disenfranchise 5.85 million Americans with felony charges in their past.[59]
  • Because of racial disparities in incarceration, these laws disproportionately disenfranchise people of color. As a result, felony-disenfranchisement policies currently deny more than 10% of the black population the right to vote.[60]

As a lifelong conservative American, here is something I have never understood. Conservative Americans are (a) fiercely “patriotic” and claim to be the defenders of freedom, liberty, democracy, etc., and (b) also predominantly Christians, meaning that they ought to believe in grace and mercy for all of us sinners. So, aside from partisan self-interest, I find it hard to understand how they find it okay to rob a person of their democratic right to vote for their entire lives on the basis of mistakes that are in their past—often times mistakes that they made when they were kids! Shouldn’t their Christian faith cause them to forgive, to give people another chance, and their patriotism and passion for democracy and the Constitution bring them to the defense of any person robbed of the right to vote?


  • According to a study in Canada, non-white women who go missing receive 27 times less media coverage than white women.[61]
  • While African American children comprise 33.2% of missing children cases, but only 19.5% of cases reported in the media.[61]


Housing discrimination can include such things as landlords refusing to rent to black people, or charging higher rent; real estate agents failing to show black people houses in white neighborhoods; banks funneling black people into higher-priced loans; and much, much more, all on the basis of skin color.

  • Blacks and Latinos face housing discrimination an estimated 4 million times each year.[62]
  • While some of the more blatant forms of housing discrimination have declined in the last 3 decades, overall levels of discrimination remain extremely high.[63]
  • Housing discrimination is difficult to quantify, because a majority of cases go unreported. See this Report of the National Commission on Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity for more information on housing discrimination.[63]
  • Read some of the stories at the beginning of this ProPublica article for examples of the kind of discrimination that occurs every day.[62]
  • Practices such as redlining, in which banks designate certain low-income neighborhoods where they won’t lend for home purchases or where they charge higher interest rates than similarly priced homes in non-redlined neighborhoods, and pricing discrimination, in which lenders charge minorities higher loan prices than to comparable white buyers, made the 2007 housing crash and the financial crisis worse overall[64], and particularly bad for black families, who were twice as likely to enter foreclosure during the recession than whites[65].
  • “[B]lack families making $100,000 typically live in the kinds of neighborhoods inhabited by white families making $30,000.”[69]
  • In 2009, bailed-out banks such as Wells Fargo and many other large banks were found to have pushed minority borrowers who qualified for prime loans into subprime loans, which can add as more than $100,000 in interest payments to a mortgage over the life of the loan.[66]
  • Subprime loans were given to 41.5% of blacks and 30.9% of Latinos, but only 17.8% of whites.[64][66]
  • “Among high-income borrowers in 2006, African Americans were three times as likely as whites to pay higher prices for mortgages—32.1 percent compared to 10.5 percent. Latinos were nearly as likely as African Americans to pay higher prices for their mortgages at 29.1 percent.”[66]
  • Washington Mutual was the worst: 56.9% of blacks and 42.3% of Latinos paid higher prices, compared to 16.9% of whites.[66]
  • Wells Fargo and Bank of America (two of the largest U.S. mortgage lenders), and many other banks, have been accused of neglecting foreclosed homes in minority neighborhoods, while maintaining foreclosed homes in white neighborhoods. This depresses the value of that home and the homes around it, hurting everyone in the neighborhood and causing the effects of closure to last longer.[67]

All of the above practices, along with many others, make housing much more expensive for minorities. Housing discrimination is inextricably linked with wealth accumulation and the growing wealth gap between whites and blacks; over the last 25 years, that wealth gap has tripled. The concentration of black people in poor, “inner city” or “ghetto” neighborhoods is a direct result of blatantly discriminatory and predatory lending and home ownership practices between from the 1930s through the 1960s, designed to strip blacks of what limited wealth and property they had as white contract sellers profited massively at their expense in ways that make modern loan sharks look like saints.

Housing discrimination and educational segregation go hand-in-hand, as sub-par, underfunded schools in poor neighborhoods depress educational attainment in low-income areas. Poverty, violence, teen pregnancy, and drug use are all exacerbated by housing discrimination.

In truth, it is difficult to adequately quantify housing discrimination. The statistics above present some picture, but much of today’s circumstances are the result of blatant housing discrimination practices of the early and middle 20th century that herded minorities into segregated, poor neighborhoods, from which it is now extremely difficult to escape.

Instead, for those willing to maintain an open mind who care enough to learn about the persistent discrimination that underlies all of the statistics in the sections that have preceded this one, I urge you to read these two articles, both from The Atlantic. The second one, The Case for Reparations, is unquestionably one of the top three most important articles I have ever read.

This Town Needs a Better Class of Racist[68]
“If you sought to advantage one group of Americans and disadvantage another, you could scarcely choose a more graceful method than housing discrimination. Housing determines access to transportation, green spaces, decent schools, decent food, decent jobs, and decent services. Housing affects your chances of being robbed and shot as well as your chances of being stopped and frisked. And housing discrimination is as quiet as it is deadly. It can be pursued through violence and terrorism, but it doesn’t need it. Housing discrimination is hard to detect, hard to prove, and hard to prosecute.”

The Case for Reparations[69]
“From the 1930s through the 1960s, black people across the country were largely cut out of the legitimate home-mortgage market. … [Today,] black families making $100,000 typically live in the kinds of neighborhoods inhabited by white families making $30,000.”


You cannot begin to grasp the extent of white privilege or the continuing extent of massive systemic racism until you are at least aware of the legacy and extent of housing discrimination, and the ways that it has historically and continues to underly the causes of higher rates of crime and poverty seen above. Together, housing discrimination and the War on Drugs create a new form of Jim Crow—invisible, self-justifying, self-perpetuating, and nearly as destructive as the original Jim Crow.

What People of Color Can Expect

So here’s the reality. Black people in America can expect to have a hard time finding a job, and be paid less for it when they do get it. They can expect to have a harder time getting a loan, and pay a higher price when they do. They can expect to have a harder time finding an apartment or a house, which may make it more likely that they end up in a “bad neighborhood,” which in turn can increase the risk of their children becoming involved with gangs, reduce their access to investment, reduce the quality of their children’s education, and disadvantage them in myriad other ways. They can expect to be viewed and treated as dangerous criminals when they enter a grocery store, hail a taxi, or even move into a neighborhood. They can expect to have a hard time getting accepted to college, struggle to make the same grades and receive the same treatment from professors and advisors once they’re there, and have a harder time graduating. They can expect to be regularly pulled over or stopped while walking down the street, for no reason whatsoever—and when they do, they can reasonably fear that an officer with an attitude problem or a quota to fill might arrest them on bogus charges, or maybe even plant evidence on them. They can expect police officers to operate under the assumption that they are guilty, and they can expect to be railroaded by the justice system—even to the point of being forced to take guilty pleas when they are innocent. If they were born in poverty, as a much larger percentage of them are than whites, they can reasonably expect to remain in poverty for their entire lives. They have very little reason to believe the American Dream applies to them.

And that’s when they’re doing their best to do everything right! God forbid they should make a mistake, as many of us do, especialy when we’re young. If they do, they can expect to pay for it in ways that white people don’t—often for the rest of their lives. They can expect to be treated as young criminals by their teachers, given harsher sentences (longer suspensions, quicker expulsions, etc., both of which remove them from school and expose them to the gang element in their neighborhood). They can expect to be arrested, charged, convicted, and imprisoned for offenses that a large percentage of whites consider part of “being a teenager” or a college student. They can expect stiffer charges, higher conviction rates, and longer sentences.

And yes, black mothers and fathers can reasonably fear that any time their child walks out the door, he might get in trouble with the law, get arrested, have his entire future ruined—or even, yes, be shot and killed by a police officer for no valid reason. And when that happens, they can expect that justice will not be served.

My Personal Experience with Poverty

As I write this, I live in poverty—right now, this very moment. I don’t mean that I’m broke, though I am that, too; but you can make good money and pay all your bills and still be broke, because you spent all that money and you have nothing left in the bank at the moment.

I am not just broke; I am poor. I am a poor person. And because of that experience, I can say this much with absolute certainty: If it were not for the certainty that I have that sooner or later, my family will get out of poverty, I would live not only in poverty, but in despair as well. That is the only thing that keeps me going.

But because I live in poverty, I know a lot of other people who live in poverty—people of color. And let me assure you, the certainty I have that we will make it out is entirely due to my background, and and my wife’s. Are we working hard at it? Yes, it’s rough, and we are. No one is giving us an inch. But the things we’re able to do, the way that we are able to work the system, our very understanding of how the system works, our expectation that if we do the right thing the system WILL work for us, the education we both have, the very way we are able to think about and determine approaches to problems (which is a result of the education we got and the parents we had—which are in turn due to the fact that our parents were at home, not working a second or third job or in prison, and we attended good schools and had full stomachs during the school day)—all of these things, and more, are the reasons we’ll make it out. And they are things that many black and Latino people born in poor neighborhoods across America simply do not have.

All of my black and Latino friends that are as poor as I am, or even poorer… they do not have any hope of making it out. They don’t even think like that. It’s just life for them. I can only imagine that the only reason they don’t live in complete despair, as I would if I were permanently trapped in poverty, is because they never expected to make it out in the first place. Because they don’t really have an American Dream. That was never a reality for them in the first place.

I’m not saying there aren’t exceptions. I’m not saying it’s not possible. What I am saying is that poverty has a way of trapping you in it, and never letting go, and I have experienced that personally. What I am saying is that my wife and I are barely making it, even though we don’t have to worry about any of the 150 statistics that I have listed above. What I am saying is that we will barely make it out, and we have been trying for a decade—and that is despite a long, long list of advantages we have over the average person that is as poor as we are. Without the advantages we have, it’s highly unlikely that we’d ever make it out of poverty.

What would you do if you were born poor, and that dream of getting your dream job, marrying a good-looking guy or girl, buying a house, and shopping for white picket fences simply wasn’t an option for you? For many blacks and Latinos, continued poverty is what they can expect, and the American Dream as white people like me conceive of it isn’t something that is part of their reality.

What Would You Do If It Were You?

Many whites want to talk about “reverse racism”; I have been there, myself. I’ve gotten upset about it. But before we go there, spend just one more moment with me in their shoes, and let’s consider whether those attitudes genuinely constitute racism, or merely the legitimate and understandable anger, frustration, and bitterness as a result of all of the above.

Do blacks hold negative racial attitudes toward whites? Yes, plenty of them do. But ask yourself this: Considering all of the above—and considering that I have just barely scratched the surface in attempting to describe what it’s like to be black in America every single day—what would your attitude be toward white people, if it was you?

More to the point, how would whites react to all of the above if suddenly, overnight, whites and blacks switched places? How would we react if, retaining the expectations of the lives we currently enjoy and view as normal, we were suddenly treated as they are?

To be quite honest with you, I think there is a surprisingly high percentage of black people who are amazingly benevolent toward white people, despite living their entire lives in a system that, at the very least, favors us—and in more ways than I can describe, on occasions too numerous to count, actively persecutes them.

Were our position suddenly switched with theirs, we would not be so magnanimous. Nor would we be quiet. We would decry the injustices we were suddenly facing every hour of every day, on every television and radio program in the nation. We would protest in the streets of every town and city across the nation. And we would be angry, bitter, spiteful, and hateful toward those who occupied the position of privilege we currently enjoy. Much more, I think, than many of them are toward us.

The epitome of white privilege is that if black people attempted to do that, mainstream white society would chide them for being self-interested, denounce their outrage as unbecoming and inappropriate, admonish them to work within the system, and turn the tables on them to blame them for all of the above. In fact, that’s exactly what does happen, any time they talk about it at all.

A Common Objection

And while we’re at it, let’s dispense with the other argument you’re hearing a lot these days, especially on Fox News. “What about black-on-black crime? Over 90% of black people are killed by other black people! Why aren’t they addressing that?” First, the answer; second, the rebuttal. The answer: They are. White people just don’t hear about it, because we aren’t in the places where they’re addressing it, as this Daily Show video points out.

Now, the rebuttal: The majority of Americans are killed by other Americans; therefore, we should just not talk about, let alone do anything about, terrorism. We should instead focus on American-on-American crime.

I’m guessing you get the point. Yes, most blacks that are killed by other people are killed by blacks. That’s still overly simplistic, because blacks killing blacks is but a symptom of mass incarceration, mass poverty, mass disenfranchisement, and mass segregation wrought by housing discrimination, all of which are the direct result of the War on Drugs, a racist criminal justice system, and decades of housing discrimination—which are themselves the heritage of 250 years of slavery, 90 years of Jim Crow, 60 years of “separate but equal,” and 35 years of racist housing policy.

But even if you want to ignore all that, it doesn’t matter. Because blacks killing blacks is NOT a good reason NOT to talk about, get upset about, and demand change in the gross injustices and massive systemic racism in the United States, particularly in the criminal justice and housing systems.

Diabetes and heart disease kill even more blacks than other blacks—but that’s not a good reason not to talk about this. Nor is it okay to attempt to minimize this problem, to make racism and injustice seem like a small thing that hardly ever happens, by comparing it to black-on-black crime. This is a massive problem. It is something we should be above. It is something we claim to be past. But we are not. Not even close.

And hopefully, all of the data and commentary provided and linked above has begun to make it clear that even that very issue itself—that of black-on-black crime—is a product of over 400 years of slavery, violence, discrimination, and marginalization perpetuated by the a society built to favor whites at the expense of blacks and other minorities. If anything, the reality of black-on-black crime, when viewed not simply as a phenomenon to itself but through the lens of its underlying causes, even further demands that we talk about the white privilege that has caused and now perpetuates it.

We must talk about it. We must be honest about it. We must end it.

Further Reading: The Importance of the History of Slavery and the New Jim Crow

Perhaps an even more common objection is found in the mentality that self-righteously suggests that black men should just get themselves together—in a single generation. I’ve been there, too—and if that’s you, I ask only that you first reserve judgment while doing just a little bit more reading. Read these two articles, and then ask yourself if it makes much sense to place all of the onus on black men to “pull themselves up by their bootstraps” in a system that has consistently, deliberately prevented them from doing so. In fact, ask yourself if that is not precisely what they have tried to do—but somehow been prevented from achieving it.

The Fight for Black Men, by Joshua DuBois.
The Case for Reparations, by Ta-Nehisi Coates

And if you’re really serious about this issue, read the book that Joshua DuBois’s mentions: The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander. It’s what’s on my virtual nightstand right now, and it is being hailed as the most important book on the issue of race since Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

This is my challenge to you; I am throwing down the gauntlet. If you have strong opinions about racial issues, then you have a responsibility to be informed on the issues about which you’re so opinionated. Conversely, if you’re not willing to put in a very small amount of effort to become better educated on a tremendously important human rights and social justice issue, then in my book you forfeit your right to an opinion. A deliberately ignorant opinion is not, in fact, an opinion at all; it is willfully held prejudice.

If you’re white, then much of what this book and these articles discuss are things you were likely unaware of. I know I was. A little reading is not a lot to ask, and for anyone with strong opinions on these issues, this book and these articles ought to be mandatory.

The Privilege of Privilege Blindness, and the Importance of Talking About White Privilege

Here’s the thing: It’s easy for white people like me to be completely oblivious to much of this. Why should we know much about it? It has not been part of our experience. We’re not aware of this, because we haven’t lived it. And that is what white privilege is—it’s the privilege of not having to even think about white privilege, or even be aware of it, let alone worry about it. But this is why it’s important to talk about it. Because nothing is changed if we don’t talk about it—especially when the injustice in question is so woven throughout our entire society, and perpetrated by our own social structures.

When the authorities and the institutions are the guilty parties, the effort needed by the people to end injustice is massive. The first step is to stop perpetuating it, ourselves—but we can’t stop there, either, because this is too pervasive a problem in our society to only correct our own behavior, and not also be a part of calling for change on a national, society-wide level.

This can’t be a thing that a few people fight against; it has to be a massive movement. It has to be something the entire country is talking about. It has to be something that we finally, again, say is unacceptable. It has to be something that we, as an entire society, will no longer put up with, to the point that we’re willing to make the massive changes that are necessary to end this. Changes like ending the pointless war on black pe—I mean, drugs. Changes like completely overhauling the way that the police are held accountable for their actions. Changes like completely overhauling our justice system. Changes like putting genuine protections into our lending and housing industries.

But none of that can happen if the predominant storyline is that race isn’t an issue, racism is a problem of the past, etc. You can’t take race out of it. No one is “making this a race issue”—it already is one. It has always been one.

So here is the hugely important question for you. I saw this on Twitter:

“If you’re desperately trying to justify violence against unarmed civilians in 2014, who do you think you would have been in 1964 or 1944? You want to disprove the claims of people talking about an unjust and racist system today, but you would have listened during Apartheid, Jim Crow, etc.???”

By 1964, of course, the author of that tweet meant the Civil Rights Movement; by 1944, he meant the Holocaust. If we’re not willing to recognize, let alone fight against, the injustices of our generation, how can we see ourselves as the type of people who would have fought against the injustices of the past?

So… Who are you today? In the face of today’s injustice, which all of the above just barely even begins to describe, are you being today the kind of person that would have opposed slavery, the Holocaust, Jim Crow, and Apartheid back then?

  • Wow. Amazing article. Thank you for your incredible time and effort in putting together such a compelling, accurate and revealing account of white privilege and racism in the states. It’s tragic, horrifying and shameful.

    Sadly, very similar, in some cases much worse, things are happening to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia. The Australian government has recently announced it will cut of services to 150 remote Aborginal communities, forcing people out of their homes and off their native land. It’s unclear where these people are expected to go, or what will happen to their housing situation. In one community near where I used to live (Alice Springs, in central Australia) water was shut off to a community in an effort to push them off land. There’s a 17 year gap in life expectancy between a non Indigenous and Indigenous Australian. And the differences in education are appalling.

    I hope that your blog will play part of the larger movement to change these injustices. Education is the first step, right? I will certainly be referencing your article in the next discussion I have with someone on inequality in the ‘developed’ world’

    And thank you for sharing your personal story, too. I wish you, your family, your friends, all the best in your struggles.

    • kyleyoder

      unlock that gate that houses the largest number of indigenous people on the planet, then worry about the US.

    • Ucd InternationalFriends

      You notice he never mentions Asians or Jews during the article. Because Asians and Jews are minorities yet they do better than white people. Any one who takes this non sense seriously is simply racist toward white people

    • Max Blood

      there is no fucking such thing as white privilege ffs!!! makes me fucking sick when i see white scumbags like u that talk like that about your own race. worry about ur own ppl and let them worry about theirs.

    • Danvers

      You were fooled by this liar.

  • Amanda Franzen

    The most important category missing is the War on Poverty.

    • Care to elaborate? Perhaps share some examples of the data you’re referring to?

      • Amanda Franzen

        Thank you for responding, Mr. Tucker. May I suggest a references? “The Color Of Welfare: How Racism Undermined The War On Poverty”. For statistics, I suggest you read “The War On Poverty: 50 Years Later”. I would really appreciate hearing your point of view on how the War On Poverty has exacerbated systemic racism. I believe these nameless, faceless wars (Poverty, Drugs, Terror) are unconstitutional and are a deliberate means to transform our government into a totalitarian state. In my opinion, this colonial (neoliberalism) idealism is destroying lives and must be smashed.

        • It’s summertime and the kids are home, so things move a little slowly around here—but I’ll certainly take a look as I get the chance.

        • Can you be more specific about your second source? There appear to be two reports given that name—one by the Paul Ryan-led House Budget Committee, and the other by the Obama Administration. I’ll actually check them both out, but I’m expecting significantly different perspectives, and I’d like to know which one you’re actually citing here.

          • wingman

            Thank you so much for this Article, any chance I cang get the source for ” Whites are 78 times more likely to get accepted into the same universities than equally qualified black students” If you could show me that source that would be great because that definitely would prove alot of the Affirmative Action haters wrong..

          • FrankieB

            All you need to know is that black males aged 15-50 are 3% of the population but are almost 40% of the violent crime.

            That’s the crux of the matter which the Black Left has ignored since 1960.

          • Michele G

            I heard an NPR story the other day about the failure of President Johnson’s “War on Poverty.” Johnson did establish the Kerner Commission to determine the cause of wide-spread civil unrest and riots (termed “racial disorders” in the report) in 1967. The Commission noted that the overarching conclusion of their investigation was that “Our nation is moving toward two societies, one
            black, one white–separate and unequal.” The report notes a lot of the problems you list here, and provides specific recommendations for what the Johnson administration can do to address these problems. The War on Poverty was reputedly a failure because Johnson ignored the recommendations of the Commission. It’s definitely worth a read.

  • Lekha Murthy

    This was an amazing read. I was just looking for a few statistics on white privilege for an article I’m writing for my college’s paper and this was mind blowing. I was aware that white privilege exists and that discrimination certainly exists against people of color in the criminal justice and housing systems, but I really did not understand the extent of it. This is a great article for anyone looking to be educated on the realities of white privilege and modern day racism in the U.S. Thank you so much for this very informative read.

    • Ucd InternationalFriends

      If white people are so privileged can you explain how Asians and Jewish people earn more money than whites?

    • Danvers

      “I was aware that white privilege exists”

      Really? its not even a theory. Its not proven and this doesn’t prove anything.

  • HelenWheels

    Wow. I found this in the comment section on an article from Addicting Info. I’ll be bookmarking it when anyone asks for specific data relating to white privilege. Thank you so much for doing the work for this article.

    • Ucd InternationalFriends

      Will you also share the fact that Asian and Jewish people also do better than white people in society?

  • Therese Sibon

    beautiful article, densely layered with statistics, facts and a compassionate perspective.

    • Ucd InternationalFriends

      How come the article doesn’t mention Asian and Jewish people do better than white people in society?

  • wingman

    Thank you so much for this Article, any chance I cang get the source for ” Whites are 78 times more likely to get accepted into the same universities than equally qualified black students” If you could show me that source that would be great because that definitely would prove alot of the Affirmative Action haters wrong.

    • D Schulz

      This doesn’t have that exact stat, but what i found most revealing was how equally un prepared students, white students are more likely to get into the better schools and more likely to end up with the degree.

    • Apologies for the delayed response.

      I think you’ve actually misquoted the statistic I presented a bit. But aside from that, I just want to explain why I haven’t provided a source yet, and will continue to hold off for a bit longer.

      Here’s the tl;dr version: I’m working on a complete overhaul of this piece, including the sources and a small percentage of the data, and because of that I’m reluctant to link to any source that has not yet undergone that vetting process.

      Here’s the longer version, with a peek behind the curtain:

      This began as a stream-of-consciousness semi-rant to a kid I used to mentor, in response to a question he asked. (He was basically asking, “What’s the big deal? Aren’t black people just as racist?”)

      Later, when I had an opportunity to link some other people to the information I had provided him, I ended up dramatically reorganizing and rewriting it.

      Because this began as a conversation between me and a friend, I was okay with pulling my much of my data from secondary sources—newspaper articles, etc. But once I had rewritten it, I realized what it could be—indeed, what it had become. It has been shared 2,500 times on Facebook without me doing a single thing to promote it, ever. But if I was going to turn this into the single greatest resource anywhere on the internet for statistics both proving and describing white privilege and systemic racism, then that changed things. Something like that needs to be built on only the best quality data, from primary sources, which have been thoroughly vetted.

      That is the process that I am in the middle of. For the most part, it means digging behind the secondary sources (newspaper articles, etc.) to find the primary sources (academic studies, government data, etc.). Every now and then, it means adjusting some of the data.

      Has some of my data changed? Yes. Have a couple points I had included been found to be built on unreliable data? Yes. Has it changed the nature of the data, the gist or scope of the conclusions drawn from it, or the message of the piece? Not one bit. Where I have found my original data to be unsubstantiated, I have found similar data that are very sound, which usually demonstrate the same point. Where numbers were false, or widely misunderstood and therefore misused, I have found the correct numbers—and they are equally damning. Not once, thus far, have I found that the data I cited was weak, unsubstantiated, or flat out incorrect, and then subsequently discovered that the reality was exactly the opposite of what my data had claimed. Every time, when I track down the correct data, it may be different, but the result is the same.

      And to be clear, we’re talking about probably 5-10% of the data I had provided. The vast majority of it has, thus far, proven to be accurate, well-substantiated, and from a solid source.

      Still, since I am in the middle of this process, and since my ultimate goal is to turn this into something that really does require impeccable data from unassailable sources, I am reluctant at this point to make any further reference to a source I have not yet vetted.

      Stick around. It will probably take me a month or two longer, but when I’m done, this post will be even stronger than it was before, the data even more robust, and it will be impossible for naysayers to write it off by impugning the credibility of my data sources. And then I’ll get you that reference.

      • Ucd InternationalFriends

        In your overhauled piece will you also mention how Asians and Jews do better than white people society? Or are you just racist toward white people?

      • XaleD

        I hope one of the points that is being updated/corrected is the part about percentage receiving degrees, (#37). Because you mistakenly present it as 71% of whites get degrees, while only 29% of blacks do, when these statistics are actually in reference to percentage of total degrees awarded, meaning, of all degrees awarded, blacks (actually “all non-white”) receive only 29%. Source:

        • If both the subject matter (% of each race completing, vs. % distribution of degrees) and the population (blacks, vs. all non-whites) of the data differ, you might consider that the data you’re looking at are not, in fact, the ones I’m referencing.

          Let’s use an analogy:

          It’s as if I said, “Only 30% of all sandwiches are made on sourdough bread,” and you responded, “Actually, it’s 45%, and the reason you got it wrong is because it’s rye bread. Oh, and also, it’s not sandwiches, it’s French toast.” Somewhere along the way, you might wonder if maybe you’re just talking about something entirely different.

          But yes, I will be reviewing and upgrading all of the data in the education section, including the percentage of admitted students that graduate by race—which is not the same as percent distribution of degrees. The former is where I’m focusing at the moment; if you feel the latter should be more thoroughly discussed, there are many mediums via which you could write on the matter.

          • Danvers

            Bye bye anti-white narrative.

    • Danvers

      Its a lie, blacks are accepted into colleges with lower requirements than white students.

      Just like most of this “white privilege,” which is not even a theory, is utter nonsene.

  • Michael Amity

    Did you bother to look at the fbi stats? because they lump latinos with whites, and somehow that was omitted in your article.
    From FBI site, see race categories, no latino category. I’ve quoted below the link to show that “whites” (meaning whites and latinos collectively) are arrested a lot more than other races, blacks and “whites” are arrested in roughly the same amount for murder. Compare to demographics, and we see the problem–blacks are under 13% of the total population, whites (non-hispanic) 63%, hispanic 16% (source Wikipedia):
    “Arrests, by Race, 2011
    In 2011, 69.2 percent of all individuals arrested were white, 28.4 percent were black, and 2.4 percent were of other races.
    Of all juveniles (individuals under the age of 18) arrested in 2011 in the nation, 65.7 percent were white, 32.0 percent were black, and 2.3 percent were of other races.
    Nearly 70 percent (69.7) of all adults (18 years of age and over) arrested in 2011 were white, 27.9 percent were black, and 2.3 percent were of other races.
    White individuals were arrested more often for violent crimes than individuals of any other race, accounting for 59.4 percent of those arrests.
    The percentages of white adults and black adults arrested for murder were similar, with 48.2 percent being white, and 49.4 percent being black.”

    • kyleyoder

      A good place to start are city stats that don’t lump hispanics in with whites, as does the FBI—even the New York Times keeps a record of crimes by race: 60% black, 30% hispanic, 7% white, 3% Asian. I’m sure those numbers are replicated nationwide.

      • First, as I’ve detailed below, yours is an unnecessary workaround, since all of the data that I have included actually do separate Latinos/hispanics from whites.

        Second, I would think that someone who had barely finished calling me sophistic would at least cite his sources when presenting what he sees (however incorrectly) to be contradictory data.

        Third, and again, I would expect that someone who had just accused me of making plausible but misleading or fallacious arguments (the definition of sophistry) would avoid something so blatantly and obviously absurd as claiming that the above numbers, if true, would be replicated in locations where demographics are wildly different.

        Fourth—and yeah, again with the sophistry—surely you must grasp the irony of calling me sophistic, and my work “condescending garbage,” and then attempting to disprove the data I’ve provided with completely unrelated data that does exactly nothing to change the data I’ve presented.

        That last one may seem like a difficult concept, but it’s really not. I provided specific data which showed a disparity in how, for example, law enforcement treats black and latino people as compared to white people. If I had left it at that, you might have had some shred of a point. But I didn’t stop there. I also consistently provided data that demonstrated that blacks and Latinos did not offend at a rate that warranted disparate treatment. You responded with a single statistic that supposedly (source pending?) shows that blacks offend at higher rates than whites… in other areas, for other offenses.

        Do you get how that does exactly nothing to disprove or rebut anything that I had said, or any of the data that I had provided?

        Because here, in a nutshell, is what you’re doing:

        Me: (a) Blacks and Latinos use and deal drugs at rates equal to or even lower than whites, and yet (b) they are stopped, searched, arrested, charged, tried, and incarcerated at rates exponentially higher than whites for those specific offenses.You: Blacks commit more, I dunno, burglaries than whites, therefore the fact that they are incarcerated for drug offenses at 10 times the rate of whites is justified.

        Do you see how that doesn’t work?

        Fifth, law enforcement was one of the 12 areas for which I provided extensive data. Even if your non-sequitur, red herring point were valid, which it isn’t, you still haven’t addressed either (a) any of the other points I made under law enforcement, or (b) any of the data I presented in the other 11 categories. I’m inclined to assume that’s because you didn’t actually read it.

        Given all of that… which of us is actually guilty of sophistry, here?

        Sixth, sophist is a noun. The adjective you were looking for was sophistic.

        Don’t forget to cite your source.

    • Michael, there are a number of problems here; I’ll address them separately.


      Having put in several hundred hours researching this issue, collecting information, and analyzing data, I am abundantly aware of the fact that some data lumps Latinos in with whites. What I don’t get is how you think that’s relevant to any part of what I have included above. Wherever possible, I have made every effort to focus on data that separate Latinos from whites. A currently in-progress revision to this piece will add to that effort, including additional sources that I have found since I published this that do not include Latinos with whites.

      But more to the point is the fact that virtually everything that I have included here very deliberately does not rely on those statistics that count Latinos as whites. In well over 100 separate statistics, I’d be surprised if you can find five instances where I used a statistic about whites for which the definition of “white” includes Latinos.


      More disappointingly, your specific example is dead wrong. I cited FBI data in exactly one place in this entire piece: In the first section, relating to the disparity in fatal police shootings (footnote number [2]). You claim that data doesn’t separate hispanic from white, even though the chart accompanying that data specifically shows hispanic separate from white! I would hope that with anything more than the most cursory glance at the information I provided, you would have noticed that bright yellow detail.

      Your mistake is in assuming that the FBI maintains a single set of data, and thus all FBI data is subject to the same limitations—but that is not the case. Your link goes to the Uniform Crime Reporting Program’s Crime in the United States report. The data I referenced are from the FBI’s 2012 Supplemental Homicide Report. The UCR data does not separate out Latinos or hispanics; the Supplemental Homicide Report does. Thus, the only FBI data I used was that which, unlike much of their other data, does in fact separate hispanics from whites.

    • Third:

      Beyond that, I can’t help but wonder if you actually read the rest of the piece, or if you stopped reading at the second out of more than 100 bullet points, having already found the point of contention you went into this looking for.

      Had you read the whole thing, I would hope that you’d have noticed that I have actually presented an abundance of data here, across all categories, that do in fact separate Latinos from whites—the sum of which leave absolutely no doubt that (a) Latinos face regular, systemic racism in virtually every way that blacks, and that (b) blacks virtually always have it even worse. It is unacceptable that FBI data do not separate Latinos from whites; but it changes absolutely nothing about the clear conclusions to be drawn from the data presented here.

      Had you actually read the rest of the piece, which rarely, if ever, utilizes any data that combines Latinos with whites, and instead presents a vast amount of data relating to blacks, whites, and Latinos, I doubt you’d have asked, “Did you bother…?” Clearly I did.

    • Fourth:

      Finally, we come to the conclusions that I think you’re implying—and this is where I’m genuinely confused as to what you’re getting at. You make the point that in some of the data (though not what I’ve presented), Latinos are included with whites—but what do you think that shows? What point do you see yourself making? Because your upvote of kyleyoder‘s reply above would seem to indicate that you agree with his position (his position appears to be that the justice system is not, in fact, racist, since he seems to be making the point that blacks and hispanics deserve to be arrested and incarcerated at higher rates because they supposedly commit crimes at correspondingly higher rates).

      But the inclusion of Latinos in the white classification does not reduce the extent of the racial bias in the system—it increases it.

      The data included in the rest of my piece show consistently, undeniably, across 12 different categories, that Latinos are systematically profiled and discriminated against, both in every level of the justice system, and in other areas such as housing, education, media, etc. Given that, when dealing with data that does not separate Latino from white, we can only reach the conclusion that the pro-white bias is even more extreme than what the faulty data demonstrate.

      Let’s us a hypothetical example:

      Let’s say that, for a given offense, we know three things: (1) That blacks, whites, and Latinos all commit this offense at about the same rate; (2) that blacks are arrested for it at a rate of 200 per 1000 black people; and (3) that a group called “whites” are arrested for it at a rate of 50 per 1000 “white” people.

      At a first glance, we say, “Wow, look at that! Blacks offend at the same rate as whites, but they get arrested for it four times as often!” That’s what we can injustice.

      But wait!

      Suddenly we notice the little footnote that says Latinos are included in the group labeled “whites.” Well, that screws up the data! Yes, the data is less precise—but if we know with reasonable certainty that Latinos also get arrested at rates higher than whites, then it doesn’t change our conclusion at all.

      So let’s say we do further research, and we discover that Latinos alone are arrested at twice the rate of the “white” group their lumped in with—that is, that Latinos are arrested at a rate of 100 per 1000 for the same offense. This is not at all an unreasonable number, as you’ll see when and if you read the rest of the data above.

      Now, let’s say that Latinos comprise 30% of the group being labeled as “white” (these aren’t the real numbers, but it’s a hypothetical, and using round numbers makes math easier).

      So in reality, only 70% of those labeled “white” are actually whites.

      Doing the math, that would mean that the remaining 70% of those labeled “white” who are actually white are only arrested at a rate of 28.6 per 1000 for this hypothetical offense.

      So, the end result would be this: Though they all commit the offense at the same rate, whites are arrested at a rate of 28.6 per 1000, Latinos at a rate of 100 per 1000, and blacks at a rate of 200 per 1000. The conclusion is unchanged: There is a massive injustice in how this particular law is administered. And as it turns out, separating Latinos from whites makes the disparity even worse: Now, our hypothetical blacks aren’t arrested at four times the rate of whites, they’re arrested at seven times the rate of whites!

      To get away from the math and put it more simply: Including Latinos with whites, when we know that Latinos are unjustly arrested at higher rates, falsely raises the average rate for the “whites” category. Therefore, when we separate Latinos from whites, it will cause the rate for true whites to drop even lower, revealing an even greater disparity than the original (and faulty) data seemed to show.

      And we do know that Latinos are regularly, consistently profiled and treated with discrimination compared to whites.

      Therefore, any time you see a disparity between blacks and whites, and Latinos are included in the group labeled “whites,” you can safely assume that the average for whites is negatively affected by the inclusion of Latinos—and therefore, that the disparity between black and true, non-hispanic whites is even larger than what the data seem to show.

      • Michael Amity

        I did look up your source #2 at it came up “404 not found”. I’m not going to find your source if you can’t link it properly, when it doesn’t even pertain to my argument. You focussed there on police killing citizens by their race breakdown. You may have had a lot of other points, but you lead off with an assertion that there is a prejudice regarding the killings by police, and your sourcing looks bogus on my first glance. So yea, I quit pretty soon after. No agenda hereat all, rather, you have one, but no amount of hocus pocus can hide the fact that whites are not committing murder at an equal rate with other races.

        So my focus is on who is committed murder as per conviction rate.

        You aren’t helping with statements like: “2/3 of criminals receiving life sentences are non-whites”
        And how many of the convictions for murder were black? Around 50%. And how many were latinos lumped in with whites on convictions for murder? 25% seems like a conservative guess to me. Well, there’s you 2/3 and then some.

        My point, is that based on average threat level to police of any given member of a particular race, a white person is less likely to be a murderer, and so they don’t serve as long a sentence or get killed by cops at as high a rate. Seems fine to me.

        Now you add to the fact many more videos that come out that I’ve seen are of a black man shot includes the man not complying, charging with a weapon or against an officer who has their weapon drawn. This is somehow portrayed as the cop doing the wrong thing by using lethal force. I’m not buying it.
        There are of course horrible injustices that I have written about, and I recognize it’s still a crime to be black. I’m just asking why you would ignore that the police are mostly good, and are genuinely fighting back against a disproportionate violent crime flux from non-whites, that i the reality, it isn’t made up to be unfair. And that reality happens to be misconstrued by the FBI and the media, with cases like George Zimmerman.

        • “I did look up your source #2 at it came up “404 not found”. I’m not going to find your source if you can’t link it properly, when it doesn’t even pertain to my argument.

          I apologize for that; it is fixed now. Apparently, when you put a link into WordPress, if you don’t include the “http://” part, it completely screws up the link.

          That said, you still had the graph. And while your next point is that a higher percentage of black people are a threat to cops, one of the things you overlooked on that graph is that it presents data on three different contexts (the first bar is just U.S. census data)—and two of those three are when not attacking.

          What you wouldn’t know, since my link was broken (but you can read more on now), is that this data is biased by compounding points of police self-reporting. First, it is entirely up to the officers to classify the events as they see fit when filing their reports. They have every opportunity to classify someone as “resisting” or “posing a threat” who was not. Do they do this? The short answer is yes, quite a bit—but the data will have to wait until the next revision of this piece, so feel free to reject it out of hand and proceed instead with naïve assumptions, while also maintaining your claim to no bias. They also deliberately miss-classify people’s race on a regular basis, recording people as white who aren’t just light-skinned Latinos, but very dark black men and women, dark-skinned Latinos with names like Hernandez and Garcia, etc. Again, data coming later, so feel free to write it off for an equally unsubstantiated assumption.

          Second, reporting of this data to the FBI by police departments is also completely voluntary. Which means the worse the problem is, the less likely it is that they’ll report their data.

          These two factors, along with others, make it very likely that the racial discrepancies are actually significantly worse than what the data we have shows.

          “You focussed there on police killing citizens by their race breakdown. You have a lot of other points, but you lead off with an assertion that there is a prejudice regarding the killings by police…”

          You get that I have to start somewhere, right? Just because there’s a beginning doesn’t mean the rest is less important. The entire first half is devoted to the legal/justice system, since it would make no sense to randomly intersperse things like housing and education in between categories that are clearly interrelated. Within the legal/justice system, policing is the beginning; it’s where the process starts. The War on Drugs is a subset of law enforcement, so that was next. Prison and the Courts come further down the line—why would I start in the middle of the chain and work backwards?

          And as it turns out, you’re wrong. I think housing is more important than police killings. So is felony disenfranchisement. So are mandatory minimums specifically, mass incarceration in general, and the War on Drugs. If you ask me, the two most important areas of all the ones I discuss above are housing discrimination and the War on Drugs. But it flows better if you start elsewhere. Of course, I actually say specifically what I think the most important parts are, later on. But you only read a couple paragraphs, and you’d seen all you needed to see.

          “… but for now, I’m critiquing your piece to explain how you are biased…”

          That critique, and your claim to be able to explain to me how I’m biased, is still based on a few paragraphs, isn’t it? You still haven’t read the rest, right?

          “…and your sourcing looks bogus to me on first glance. And I said that. And yea, I quit pretty soon after.”

          Translation: I didn’t really check your sources, I just glanced at them and jumped to the conclusion that they were bogus (technical errors are proof of bias, duh). I also didn’t read more then about 2% of what you wrote, the bulk of which was just your intro, but I went ahead and jumped to conclusions about your bias, while I was at it. Now I’m here to instruct you in it. “No agenda here at all though.” Not actually evaluating the sources, and immediately posting a reactionary response without actually reading what the other person wrote, is how I always go about being unbiased and without agenda.

          “So my focus is on who is committed murder as per conviction rate.”

          This is where, you know, actually reading what was written might have helped you. I’ve just described how every level in the criminal justice system is unjust to people of color. You wouldn’t know this because you didn’t read, but that includes the effectiveness of legal representation. You wouldn’t know this either, not having read, but it also includes which charges the prosecution chooses to bring against you (which is at their discretion). Nor would not know this one, not being much for reading, but this includes research by the American Bar Association that led them to conclude that huge numbers of people of color who are, indeed, innocent take plea deals out of fear that the legal system would railroad them and they would get a much longer sentence despite their innocence—a fear that the ABA found to be very well founded.

          But if you had read, you would understand that arguing based on conviction rate or offense charged means nothing when we’ve just demonstrated that both the charges brought and the conviction rate are massively influenced by systemic racism. That’s like me saying, “It is unjust that police stop and search black people so much more than white people,” and you responding, “Just look at how many more black people police stopped and searched than white people! That proves that black people carry more contraband than white people!”

          “And how many of the convictions for murder were black? Around 50%. And how many were latinos lumped in with whites on convictions for murder? 25% seems like a conservative guess to me. Well, there’s your 2/3 and then some.”

          So, your version of showing me my bias, after I’ve spent hundreds of hours poring over data and actually giving a damn enough to do the research, is to “guesstimate” and engage in wild, baseless speculation? Well, I’m sure glad you’re here to put me in my place.

          “My point, is that based on average threat level to police of any given member of a particular race, a white person is less likely to be a murderer, and so they don’t serve as long a sentence or get killed by cops at as high a rate. Seems fine to me.”

          Yeah, you’ve misunderstood. At no point in this piece—ever—do I compare arrest rates in general. I am always comparing apples to apples. So when we’re talking about black people getting longer sentences, we’re not comparing black murderers to white drug users. We’re comparing people who do the same crime. So we’re comparing murderers to murderers, rapists to rapists, burglars to burglars, drug dealers to drug dealers, etc. And for the same crime, black offenders are more likely to be killed by police, more likely to be arraigned on the harsher charge, more likely to be found guilty, etc. They serve longer sentences, and they are more likely to be on death row. For. The. Same. Offense.

          By the way, even if you didn’t have that whole problem going on, your argument is basically, “Blacks are more likely to be dangerous than whites, so that justifies the fact that blacks are disproportionately killed by police when they’re not resisting.” (Again, see the graph.)

          And if you can’t see the problem with that, then I don’t know why I’m even having this conversation. Then again, I’m already there.

          “I’m just asking why you would ignore that the police are mostly good, and are genuinely fighting back against a disproportionate violent crime flux from non-whites.”

          Here, you seem to be making the same mistake kyleyoder made below. I have not made any value judgments whatsoever. Not in this piece. I have not said that the police are mostly bad; I have not said that they are mostly good. I have not said that they are mostly anything. I have not made any value judgment about them. I have simply said what the facts—the actual cold, hard data—reveal that they do. And not just them. Prosecutors, defense attorneys, juries, judges, teachers, bankers, TV and print media, real estate agents, neighbors, employers. You just didn’t read any of that.

          But I never make any value judgments about any of them. I don’t call any of them evil; I don’t call any of them good. I only describe what happens. I describe some parts of what black (and Latino) people can expect as a regular, even daily, part of their lives.

          Sure, value judgments can be made from that. We can take a look at the data and say, well, based on this, I either do or don’t believe the line that most police are good, and it’s just a few bad apples. And maybe I’ll weigh in on that at some point. But I have not done that yet—and certainly not here.

          All I have said here is, “Here is what happens, and here is how common it is.”

          So here’s my question: I’ve already puzzled at how you claim to correct me, to point out my bias, if you haven’t even read what I’ve written. What I want to know now is, by what stretch of the imagination are you qualified to “critique my piece” and “explain how I’m biased” when you can’t even tell the difference between presenting the facts and rendering sweeping value judgments?

          • Michael Amity

            It was not a guess when I said 50% of murder conviction are black–that’s the FBI. I was copying your hypothetical method to fix to an extent the latino lumping issue (you’re welcome for that, and the link). I’m glad your work is better thanks to my skimming.

          • Michael Amity

            I did correct you. And the lumping issue is an anti-white bias you have to now fix. Try as you might to downplay conviction rates for murder, it factors in to policing, and you missed the whole point of how blacks are disproportionately more threatening to police (even when not resisting) by virtue of their murder rate.

          • Again, if the data I presented relied on such information, I would have to account for it. I didn’t use any such information, so I don’t have to fix anything.

            And no, I didn’t miss that point. I definitely got that you made that point. I just don’t consider entirely subjective, perceived threats—explanatory fictions—to be justification for killing a person in cold blood. And I was trying to give you every opportunity to walk that back.

            You’re literally arguing for the end of due process, here—justifying cops being judge, jury, and executioner, based solely on racism.

            That’s called racism. Nicely done.

            I think I’ll pass on the “corrections” of someone who thinks blackness isn’t just a crime, but a good enough reason to kill someone.

          • Michael Amity

            I don’t think that at all. I am explaining that white people commit less violent crime than people think (as per FBI lumping latinos). This is counter to your narrative that whites commit crimes at the same rates at blacks–something you refuse to back away from. In some stuff, of course. But in murder, no.
            You are pulling racism out of nowhere by twisting what I said. I don’t think people deserve to be killed without trial. That’s funny you suggest that. Are you basing it on my words? All I did was ask if you looked at the FBI data (which I had reason to ask). You started asking why I would ask that, and wondering if I read your piece in full. I said I didn’t. I just wanted to help you out. Though you are being a baby about it, you still took my help. You fixed your piece and will continue to fix it with my suggestions and you don’t even thank me. I’ve done more to improve your work than these other commenters, and that’s a fact.

          • Wow, this one was definitely my bad. It usually doesn’t take me this long to spot a troll.

            You’re a blatant racist and a troll. You keep repeating even the simplest claims that have already been explained repeatedly. You apparently struggle with reading. That makes sense, since reading something you didn’t do in the first place.

            Now you’ve gone back and edited your comments after I responded to them to try and act like you didn’t say the blatantly racist things that you did, in fact, say.

            So no, I’m not going to explain. I did way, way too much of that already—mainly because I made the mistake of not recognizing you for a troll earlier on. But it is my policy not to feed the trolls.

            And now I’m deleting your original comment on this post, and along with it, everything that was submitted as a reply. So why am I replying, and then deleting the very thing I’m writing right now? Consider it my last act of courtesy to someone who hasn’t done anything to deserve it: I wouldn’t want you wondering why I suddenly deleted your comments, and with them my replies to your comments, out of the blue. So I’m replying so that you’ll get the Disqus notification in an email and have a proper explanation.

            Consider this the thing you don’t think black people deserve: Due process.

  • Ancalagon

    You are a worthless, white guilt cuck and a shame on the white race. Fuck you, eat my shit and die, you anti white piece of SJW shit. White Power bitch. No regrets or shame for my European heritage.

  • D Schulz

    I have tried to find a concise single list with these types of studies linked to, and it took me a few searches to find yours. In the meantime I took my own stab at it with some sarcasm… and lacking some clear statistics/links.

    How to explain white privilege to a naysayer in 10 items or less:

    1) Blacks are arrested dis-proportionately for crimes that are equally committed by whites. I.E. why are we letting all these white people off the hook for smoking marijuana? Imagine the revenues we could get from arresting and fining them too!

    2) Having an ethnic sounding name or showing up to a rental appointment and being black or otherwise non Caucasian can prevent you from finding a place to live. Imagine all the dead beat white people getting into apartment after apartment as horrible tenants just because they are white?

    3) If your kid goes missing, they are more likely to get the national news attention that might help crack the case than black, fat or just plain unattractive people will. Think on that, being black is put in the same group as ugly and fat in terms of how fast your kids story will sink in the headlines, how many volunteers you will have turn out to search the field they disappeared for any evidence and ultimately the likelihood the case is solved.

    4) The GI Bill for returning WWII veterans. Some of those white veterans probably should not have been pushed to be engineers, and most certainly some of the black veterans could have become Engineers, but strangely the black schools didn’t have degrees in professional careers, instead focus on service and public sector jobs. Many could have used those promised GI Bill home loans too.
    a. The White Privilage version:
    b. The just the facts version:
    c. The ugly version:

    5) In the interests of finding a candidate who will fit in to their company culture, white sounding names get more offers to more highly compensated positions than white sounding names. I think Yolanda Spivey in Feb 2015 went a bit far with the name Bianca White personally, What about Anne Johnson, isn’t that far enough to get the better job?

    6) Getting into college, not a slam dunk for a good life, but if you are white and unprepared for college, you still get a good shot at a selective and well funded college. If you are black and got > 3.5 GP and > 1200 on your ACT, Still more likely to end up at a state school with less resources and spending.

    7) The great tragedies of your culture, like slavery, are not minimized if you are white. And for those blacks whose ancestors were not involved in slavery, it might be awkward to keep getting asked about your opinions on it. My family is from Zimbabwe were we lived like kings, I’m just here in America to get a Yale education, but sure I’ll weigh in on what I think about the mental toll of 200 years of slavery on modern black Americans.

    • Ucd InternationalFriends

      Do you have any statistics on how Asians and Jews do better than whites? Why are you only comparing whites to blacks? Why not speak about all the races?

  • kyleyoder

    I find articles like this to be rather white-centric. It’s always about how white people view the issue of race–and all these “critical race theory” diatribes will supposedly solve the problems that blacks face. The inclination to save blacks stems from that same elitist drive to feed wildlife. Now try to imagine being the recipient of such sophist, pseudo humanitarian, condescending garbage.

    • Did you really upvote your own comment?

      “I find articles like this to be rather white-centric.”

      That makes sense, since this piece is primarily composed of statistics that use data to describe 12 different aspects of what it is like to be a person of color, particularly a black person, in America. It clearly centers on white people.

      What I’ve presented here echoes the work of Michelle Alexander, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Ian Haney López, Bryan Stevenson, etc.—some of the most important voices on the issue of race in America, all black or Latino. The data I’ve presented are being referenced by Senator Cory Booker, #BlackLivesMatter, the NAACP, the ACLU, and many others like them. But yeah, sure, it’s obviously a very white-centric perspective.

      “…all these ‘critical race theory’ diatribes will supposedly solve the problems that blacks face.”

      Did you actually read what I wrote? Because I never offered a solution to anything. I described a problem. Solutions have been and will be proposed by people far better qualified to do so than I am (though I won’t shy away from using my voice in support of their expertise). This piece has exactly one message: Racism prevails in America, and it is everywhere. So far, you’ve tried to rebut it by arguing against a variety of things I have not said or done.

      “The inclination to save blacks…”

      I haven’t proposed to “save” anyone. I actually haven’t proposed anything. But if I were to, or if you were to read an implied imperative from what I have written, then it would be that we should simply stop oppressing them (to put it simplistically). That’d be a good start.

      “…stems from that same elitist drive to feed wildlife. Now try to imagine being the recipient of such sophist, pseudo humanitarian, condescending garbage.”

      So, in the span of a sentence and a half, you managed to equate black people to wildlife, and then call me condescending and disingenuous? Well, I’m impressed; that’s not easy to do.

      • N5500

        This sounds similar to a person on YouTube telling that White liberals who are against racism are worse than racist conservatives. That is because “at least the racists are honest”. The concept is that “Black people should fight for themselves and white liberals should not try to save blacks”. If that is the case then Lincoln was probably the most racist person at that time along with all the people who helped black people escape slavery.

        • Melissa

          No offense but for future reference, Lincoln is probably not the best example to use and by using him, you are actually proving the point of the person you are writing about. If you’ve research him, you would see, Lincoln would be considered a racist by today’s standards. He didn’t believe blacks should have the same rights as whites and one of the reasons he “freed” slaves is because he felt they should go back to Africa.

          • N5500

            Yes, “By today’s standards” is important.

      • Willie James Chandler III

        Racism prevails? So America is more racist than not? And if you offer no recommended solutions, then the only thing that is redeeming from your entire screed is to spark up more anger among those who cannot or will not accept that improving personal responsibility is the only thing that will fix this. Yes, black “individuals” should assess their own situations and pull themselves up by the bootstraps.

        • The fact that I haven’t proposed solutions in this piece does not mean that I will not at some point discuss solutions. Nor does it mean that there are not many discussing solutions. If you’re unwilling to find and listen to those who are proposing those solutions, that reflects more on your willful ignorance and hardheartedness than on my decision to not try and do everything all at once in a single post.

          Meanwhile, calling this a “screed” and suggesting that the solution to oppression is for the oppressed to deserve their oppression less is not constructive and does not add to the discussion. It’s called trolling.


    • Webb Mealy

      as incisive as a box of rocks. Troll.

      • Quite true. This was one of the first trolling comments on this post, soon after which I decided on a policy of strict troll-banning. I left it in place mostly because the troll did not continue to troll incessantly, as many do—and also because in some small way, it is perhaps instructive. However, henceforth all comments must be constructive and add to the discussion, and so all trolls are banned and their posts deleted.

  • Ava Torre-Bueno

    Thank you so much for this!!

  • Eric Scoles

    The most clear & obvious interpretation for that first infographic is precisely the OPPOSITE of what you say it is in the accompanying text. It’s a really, really terrible way of presenting the statistics. It’s almost like you’re begging people to dismiss the article.

    • Please take note of 2 things:

      (1) That first graphic deals with people who are ALREADY being arrested.

      (2) The 3rd and 4th bars show people who were NOT attacking when they were killed.

      Given those two facts, if you still think the graph demonstrates something other than what I have claimed, feel free to make your case.

      Make it good.

  • Rudi Salisbury

    End the banking enslavement and racism will become what it truly is, a non-issue. whites are being used as the affluent fools, lead into a “it will all be ok if you just vote for the right person” illusion.


  • Kristi

    Thank you for compiling this list! I’m sure it took a lot of time! I will refer people to it in the future, I wish I had found it sooner! I am also so glad to see a Christian blogging about white privilege. There arent enough Christians speaking up about this, and that absolutely needs to change!

  • Ucd InternationalFriends

    All throughout the article there is no mention of how Asians and Jews do better than white people in society. Should we start talking about Asian and Jewish privilege? Black people have a criminal culture, that is why they do so poorly in society and Asian and Jewish people have a healthy culture, that is why they are successful. When you speak of White privilege you are simply being racist toward white people.

  • James Malenfant

    I can make internet sources say anything. When I see words like, “moreso,” the article loses all credibility to me. It was far too long, and sounded truthy, but it is not. This article is also not scientific. Who gave the author these numbers? Credible publications, or just ones picked off the internet? Quite frankly the author sounds like the one that is racist. Have a great day!

    James Malenfant
    Arizona State University

  • ib313

  • John Smith

    You talk about crime in your article, but you never mention that disproportional amount of crime committed by each race. Wouldn’t that have been important to mention?

    • Not true. I talk about specific offenses, and I provide very clear data that demonstrate that blacks do not offend at higher rates for those offenses.

      There’s also enough in there to at least cast doubt on other areas. Once we’ve demonstrated that the criminal justice system unfairly targets black people, and that many innocent black people plead guilty because the alternative is worse, you’re essentially begging the question.

  • Jeanne Poremba

    This is great! I don’t know if I’m missing something, but your footnote links don’t appear to resolve anywhere? I’d love to see a bibliography for this! It’s relevant to work I do teaching white supremacy and racial identity development at my church, and a list of the original sources would be enormously helpful. Thank you!

    • Glad you like it.

      You’re right, I just realized that the actual in-text footnote links, themselves, don’t link to anything. That’s a next step that I apparently skipped in favor of upgrading this entire piece to a sort of 2.0 version.

      The short version of the story is that I originally created this as part of a private conversation with a friend, so I took a bit of a different (more informal) approach to putting this together than I would have had it been for public consumption from the start. I’m in the final stage of that process, and a large part of it is a combination of verifying the validity and robustness of the data I’m using and the sources they come from, and upgrading certain sections with better or more data from high quality sources.

      In the meantime, you can find the sources for each section at the end of each section, in small, gray text. If you find a dead link, let me know; sometimes WordPress messes a link up, and I’ve already had to kill one.

      I’d encourage you to sign up the email list. I don’t spam it—in fact, right now I’m not doing much with it at all, as I’m completely consumed with research and writing on this project—and when the upgraded version goes live, you’ll get an email notification. In that version, I’ll make sure every in-text footnote link actually works, and I’ll verify every external link to make sure none of them are broken.

  • Raykel White

    Beautiful job. I feel almost in awe thinking of the time and effort you put into this and I greatly appreciate it. I know there will be naysayers, even when this information is staring them in the face but for those of us who wish to see the world for what it is, this was wonderfully done.

    You have my gratitude.

  • Melissa

    I ran across you article as I was researching white privilege. I want to begin by telling how well thought out and written your article is. This is kind of a response to the article so I apologize for the length but I really felt compelled to respond. Let me begin by giving you a background on
    who I am. I am a Cambodian American. I became a citizen in this
    country when I was about 12 years old. I am not sure if you know the history in Cambodia but my family and I left after the reign of the Khmer Rouge. We were the lucky few whose immediate family left whole although both my parents lost brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, and uncles – My brother, sisters, father, mother, grandmother, and uncle stayed together and were never separated. This was not by luck or chance but to my father’s wittiness. My father, this highly educated, intelligent, wise man acted as if he were a “dumb” farmer and its sounds stupid but if you know anything about the Khmer Rouge, you would understand the importance of it. My mother would tell me stories about how my father would leave for days and risked his life in the jungle just for small scraps of food. During our escape, my sister became so very ill; the doctor said she would die. At that time, my father had to make a choice between the rest of his family’s safety
    and leaving his eldest daughter to die by herself. Now that I have children, I couldn’t imagine making that decision with my own. My
    father claims something told him to stay (I think it was my momJ) and my sister’s fever ended up breaking after a few days and she survived.

    We were in refugee camps from 1979 to about 1981. Luckily I was young and don’t remember any of it. We arrived in America with nothing more than the clothes on our back and a bit of gold my mother did not have to trade away for food. When we arrived, our sponsors told my father and mother they needed to apply for welfare. After a few months though, my father said he could not live off of the state so he and my mother worked two full time jobs each making minimum wage with no car in Duluth until they saved up enough to move to St. Paul for better opportunities. When I was about 9, my father was hit by a semi-truck on his way to work and almost lost his life. The driver was drunk. After about 5 years, the injuries from the accident came back to haunt him and he could no longer stand for long periods of time in a factory line so his company offered him a desk job which he worked for about a year then a manager position was opened for the line he used to work. My father came home and asked me to help him put a resume together which I had to learn to do quick cause I never had to make one before. My father was sure he would get the position. It was mostly Khmer’s on the line and my father had worked that line for years. He now knew how to work a desk job too. Then he came home one day and told us the job had been given to a young kid fresh out of college who he would have to train in. The reason he didn’t
    get the job was because the company feared he wouldn’t be able to communicate effectively. You could see it in his face how heartbroken
    he actually was but he did as he was told. My parents always worked hard to provide a better life for us. They stressed assimilating and
    education. Until I was 15, I actually could barely speak Khmer. That is the year I decided it was a good idea to throw a house party when my parents were out of town and they found out about it. My parents then told me I had become too Americanized in values and sent me to live in Stockton, CA (I call it little Cambodia) for a year.

    I guess sharing this stuff about me with you is my little way of showing you what type of family I come I from and the values my father choose to instill in me and kind of where my though process comes from. There is a point to all this!

    I guess the view of privilege for me is a lot different from you because of my background. For most of the world outside of America, White Privilege doesn’t exist because” privilege” has nothing to do with skin color and more to do with social status. George Carlin once said, “Rights aren’t rights if they can be taken away. They’re privileges, “and your social status determined how privileged you actually are. Under the Khmer Rouge, the higher generals in the camp ate to his heart
    contents while the villagers barely got a spoonful of rice soup after a full day of work in the fields. You weren’t allowed to even think freely without being threatened. Under the Khmer Rouge rule, the rights of all workers were taken away while the rights of high officials stayed in tack for the most part.

    I sit and watch groups like BLM protest the very people protecting them and I see that as a privilege because in Cambodia, last year, people were being shot and killed by the police for protesting a factory they worked at in order to get better working conditions. I see it as a privilege that even the poorest of the poor in America have access to clean water while in India and even right across our border in Mexico, there are children drinking water people use as a toilet and a bathtub. I see as a privilege that our homeless can still get a meal at the soup kitchen while the homeless in parts of Africa eat dirt cookies to sustain themselves. I see it as a privilege that my child doesn’t have to wake up every morning worrying about whether or not they will be kidnapped and sold into slavery or whether or not that stray bullet from the war they know nothing about will hit them while they are playing in the dirt
    fields they have known their whole life. I see it as a privilege that my 16 year old daughter has the freedom to plan her future because she expects to have one while children in the Middle East do not know if they will survive the night. I see it as a privilege for my father to be able to apply for a managerial job even though he didn’t get it because in other parts of the world, he wouldn’t be able to. I see it as a privilege that both you and I can write freely about privilege without spending the rest of our lives in prison for doing it. All these privileges taken away from people across the world yet they still do not consider themselves victims of society or the world. They are survivors. My father, my mother, my aunts and uncles, all survivors and have instilled in me what Americans take for granted, those “God-given rights” are actually privileges that can be taken away in the blink of eye so I consider myself privileged.

    Here is where my opinion starts sounding a little harsh so please don’t take offense. This is just my thoughts written down. A few years back I watched a YouTube video where Tim Wise gave a lecture in “White” Privilege. To be honest, at first, I was completely Gung Ho about it. After some research though, my ideas changed. I went back to the video so I can reference some things and, for the first time, I noticed the sea of “white” in the audience. In fact, all the experts on white privilege are white. The two articles you referenced in your article are written by “white” people. Isn’t that interesting…a bunch of “white”
    people telling “black” people how they are being treated.

    The idea of “white privilege” is an Americanized ideal created by “white” people in order to justify the behaviors of their ancestors. It is way to say, “Hey, we’re sorry you’re brown. You all are a victim of our skin color but it’s not our fault or ours because that’s the way things just are.” Then the idea is pounded into minorities as if to say, “It’s not your fault if you don’t succeed. It’s our fault because we have skin color lighter than yours but wait; it’s not our fault either because that’s
    our society.” That’s the first problem; we are all part of this society. After the ideals are instilled into the mind of a minority, we get these same “white” people again to say, “Hey, don’t worry. We will do what we can to help you get out of the situation we put you in.” So in essence, the idea of “White” privilege takes the strength of a minority, give them mentality that they’re victims of society, and then “white” people get to be the hero’s that pull them out of the that same victimhood mentality. Now they can rid themselves of the guilt they think they should feel because, “Hey, I helped.”

    I kind of had a little chuckle as I was reading though Peggy McIntosh’s
    idea of “White” Privilege. Number 7, for instance – “I can be sure my children will be given curricular materials that testify to the existence of their race.” Since America defines the color of one skin race, The “African” American doesn’t need a text book to tell them race existed. They just need to look outside their door since most of the world is the same color as them. Let me correct myself, every single person in the world ancestors originated from Africa so everyone can in actuality consider themselves African. Number 13, “I can swear, or dress in second hand clothes, or not answer letters, without having people
    attribute these choices to bad morals, the poverty, or the illiteracy of my race.” So now this is what “white” people view as a privilege, by what others think of you? I also ran across young lady who argued it was a privilege of “whites” to take time off work because minorities can’t do that and I really just didn’t even know where to begin with that. Is this what privilege means to a “white” and a “black” person? The same things the rest of the world consider luxuries or so far down on their list of necessities, they don’t care enough about it.

    Originally, I was going to dispute your numbers. The scientist in me loves raw data and as I said above, although I can see your article is well-researched and well-written, using other articles as your evidence to support your argument can be somewhat biased since numbers can be skewed by biases of the author of the article. But after I see my thoughts on paper, I really don’t think there’s a need. I think the numbers is going to take focus away from the issues because
    I have biases of my own.

    Police/Prisons/Criminal Justice/Courts/War on Prisons:

    You brought up some very key issues facing America – but they are not issues of privilege. For most of the world, these are issues of luxury not the privilege of having “God-given” rights. It is a luxury to commit a crime in the US and still have people protest and speak on your behalf. What your numbers don’t tell us is the fact that these individuals did indeed commit crimes. They aren’t being jailed just because they have a darker complexion. They are being jailed because of their ideas like King and Mandela was. They aren’t being jailed because they are fighting for their freedoms. They are committing crimes and there an expectation that the idea of “white” privilege will take away the blame for the actions and to justify their behaviors because that’s what society built around the idea of “White” privilege has taught them to do.


    Employment is a luxury not a privilege – I think my father’s story covers this aspect of it. Most of the world has to survive on their land because employment is not even an option.


    Only in western hemisphere does wealth equate to equality and privilege. In all other countries, wealth is a complete and total luxury. Who care how expensive your home is as long as you have a roof over your head.


    Most people would die for the right just to vote – yet in America, you have the right to do so and argue over if an ID should be required or not. Again, this is not a privilege but a luxury.


    Honestly, I don’t want to go too far into this. The media has nothing at all to do with “white” privilege.

    Finally, there’s education. This is an issue near and dear to my heart. During the Khmer Rouge Rule, education was an enemy because education created free thinkers. This is the one area I do not consider a luxury but a privilege. Higher education, college, and university create free thinkers or they
    are supposed to. It’s sad that these days, people who thinking differently than the masses are ostracized the way they are.

    I think many Americans mistake privilege for luxuries and luxuries are not necessary in life…they are just really nice to have and makes your life more convenient. As long as you see a luxury as a privilege, you will never see equality as it’s meant
    to be. We take for granted our rights because they are so freely given to us. We all make excuses for our behaviors with ideas like “white” privilege. The truth of the matter is there is no such thing as white or black. They are merely labels we take on in order to separate ourselves from others and though we claim we want to help other “races”, we take our labels with full pride and then make excuses for taking on those labels i.e. “white” privilege.

    So what is “White” privilege? It’s simple really. It’s the idea that equality equals success and wealth and by think that way. we as a society we never see equality as it should be.

    Equality means we treat people with the same humility we want for ourselves not how much money we spend on our houses, we make the same sacrifices we want made for ourselves not whether or not an ID should be required for
    voting, we give the same love we would want for ourselves not how much money we make. There is no need for excuses involved; there is no need for a reason. There is not even a need for words. We just do.

    • George Carlin once said, “Rights aren’t rights if they can be taken away. They’re privileges.”

      Freedom of speech can be taken away, and has. Personal freedom (i.e., freedom from slavery) can be taken away, and has. Life can be taken away, and has. These are not privileges. Life is not a privilege. It is a right.

      To say that something is only a right if it cannot be taken away is to say that there is no such thing as rights at all, because anything can be taken away, and has. George Carlin was wrong.

      All these privileges taken away from people across the world yet they still do not consider themselves victims of society or the world. They are survivors.

      You just told me that your family fled oppression, but now you tell me that people in other parts of the world don’t view it as oppression (or victimization). Which is it? Please explain how your families own experience doesn’t disprove your point.

      Beyond that, the fact that “victims” or “oppressed” may or may not be the primary way in which these or those people see themselves does not mean that that is not what they are. They may think of themselves primarily as tired, or strong, or persevering, or even happy, because they know nothing else, and because that is where their mental and physical energy is focused and directed. But just because oppression is all that they have ever known, and as a result something that they cannot see for what it is, does not make it any less oppression.

      I went back to the video so I can reference some things and, for the first time, I noticed the sea of “white” in the audience. In fact, all the experts on white privilege are white. The two articles you referenced at the begining of your posts are written by “white” people. Isn’t that interesting…a bunch of “white” people telling “black” people how they are being treated. Ironic isn’t it? Couldn’t that in itself be considered “White” privilege according to the definition?

      Later, I reference articles by Ta-Nehisi Coates, a black journalist, and Joshua DuBois, a black minister, as well as a book by Michelle Alexander, a black civil rights lawyer. As I said in another comment above, my work here echoes the work of Michelle Alexander, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Ian Haney López, Bryan Stevenson, etc.—some of the most important voices on the issue of race in America, all black or Latino. The data I’ve presented are being referenced frequently and vocally by Senator Cory Booker, a black politician, as well as by #BlackLivesMatter, the NAACP, the ACLU, and many others like them.

      There are, indeed, a few white people talking about white privilege and systemic racism. But there are far, far, far more black people doing the same. And it is they, not we, who are leading the way. It has always been so. Someone like me is referred to by black people who are leading the way in this area as a white ally—not a white benefactor. It is they who are asking, begging, pleading for us to add our voices to theirs—and the great tragedy is that for the very large part, we are failing massively to do so in any significant way.

      If your perception is that it is mostly white people talking about this issue, it is because when a black person says, “Hey! This is what is being done to us, and it is wrong!” the media and the white (particularly conservative) establishment labels them as self-serving. If all you see are white people talking about this issue, it is because when you do not live in the spaces where black people are talking about this—and their outcry is often not heard outside of their own community because when black people talk about it, the media does not cover it. For that, it usually takes a white person. That is white privilege.

      One example: In St. Louis, just a few miles from Ferguson, in the aftermath of the Michael Brown shooting, black churches reached out to white evangelical churches to try to find spaces to begin conversations about race. The white churches weren’t interested; they weren’t “ready” for that. That is white privilege.

      I do not represent the primary voice of those speaking out about white privilege. I represent the shamefully small percentage of white people who are joining our black brothers and sisters in lending our support and our voices to a cause that is theirs, not ours.

      Would you care to revisit your point?

      So now this is what “white” people view as a privilege, by what others think of you?

      Ignoring your faulty premise and your smug dismissiveness—because, frankly, there’s just not enough time and space to respond to everything—do you not get that you’re arguing with me about what someone else says privilege is, when I’ve given you over 100 statistics in 12 different categories that demonstrate what I’m saying white privilege is? So here’s my answer: No, that’s not what I’m saying white privilege is; everything in the very piece you’re commenting on is what I say white privilege is. Please take down your straw man.

      Part of “white” privilege has to do with this guilt associated with skin color. That guilt is needed in order to make “White” privilege work.

      As to this and the rest of your thoughts on privilege: The problem is that you have completely, entirely misunderstood what is meant by “privilege” in this context. That’s not entirely your fault; it’s probably not the best word to use. But what you’re describing is not what we mean. For one thing, white privilege has nothing to do with white guilt. Nothing.

      I’ll say this once: White privilege is the other side of the systemic racism coin. It answers this question: How do societal systems treat different racial groups? If we’re talking about black people, the answer is systemic racism. That is the term that describes how societal systems treat black people. However, when we’re talking about white people, that term doesn’t work; societal systems aren’t racist toward white people. So when we’re talking about white people, privilege is the answer to that question. White privilege is the term we use for how societal systems treat white people.

      Try this: Everywhere you see the words “white privilege,” take them out and put “non-racism” or “the benefit of the doubt” in its place. That will help you understand what privilege actually means in the context of white privilege and racial justice.

      “Luxury” versus “privileges” has exactly nothing to do with this. It’s not about special benefits Americans have that no one else gets, It’s about systemic racism. Period.

      The fact that others in the world experience various kinds of hardship does not make hardship right, okay, or acceptable. I cannot fathom how you could possibly be making this argument.

      The ironic thing is that the way you are using the word “privileges”—which, again, is not the same as “privilege” used in this context—actually makes “privileges” mean basically the same thing as luxuries. And yet you use them as opposites. It makes what you’re saying at best extremely difficult to follow, and at worst completely meaningless.

      The truth of the matter is there is no such thing as white or black. They are merely labels we take on in order to separate ourselves from one group while associating ourselves with another. And though we continually voice how so empathic and compassionate we are for that other group of people, we wear our labels as if it were a medal of honor. If we did not take pride in our labels, we would have destroyed them long ago.

      Do you not see that you’re proving my point, and undermining your own? This is what those of us who stand in opposition to systemic racism are saying! There is no white and black; race is a construction created by white people. There is only the human race, and we are all equal. What you fail to mention is that race was constructed by white people for the purpose of oppressing black people! Those of us who oppose systemic racism and white privilege are specifically not wearing our race as a badge of honor; that is what racists, whom we oppose, do. It is also what societal systems, which we seek to change, propagate.

      I’ve also never heard a single black person use the excuse that they because they are black that excuses their own failures. Not one. Please stop saying that.

      To conclude, a confession: To be honest, you seemed much more reasonable at the beginning of your comment—a genuine person with a sincere difference in perspective, albeit it misguided and based on a complete misunderstanding of what the term white privilege means. The further toward the end I got, the more trollish it began to feel. Had I not been responding as I read, but instead waited until I had first read the whole thing, I might have decided not to respond at all, and instead to consider you as a troll.

      But here I am, and this is already written. Please prove my fears wrong.

      • Melissa

        Sorry for the late response, but me, who has never been in a “black”
        community was busy last night out a NYE party put together by a “black”
        person who I chose to support because I believe in supporting “black”
        owned businesses even though I have never been to a “black”

        Let me begin with why this issue is so important
        to me. My husband of 20 years is what you deem as African American who grew up in one those poor neighborhoods you were writing about so
        obviously, my children are mixed. I don’t want them, especially my son (cause that who gets it the worst right, black men),
        to grow up with the mentality of victimhood so it is important to me to
        proof that just because ideas like “white privilege” tells them their
        chances of succeeding are slim to none, doesn’t make it true.

        am in the process of obtaining my Bachelors in Business Administration.
        From there, I will go into my Master’s Program which will be
        International Development. The reason I was researching “White
        Privilege” is because my thesis paper will be introducing the idea of
        Self-Fulfilling Prophecy within the African American community and how
        idea’s like “White Privilege” hinder the economic success within the
        African American community. The idea is that low expectations will
        produce the same result.

        In 1968, two researchers by the names of Rosenthal and Jacobson did an
        called the Oak School Experiment where they found strong evidence that
        teachers in a “Ghetto” school who had low expectation for their students
        received lower test scores and lower grades. The teachers received the
        same results they expected to receive. Below is a nice summary of the
        experiment also known as the Pygmalion Effect and a nice little article
        you can look at:

        idea of my thesis is to prove the same thing can happen within a social
        structure and to provide solutions to combat it like using the Wells
        Fargo business model of taking the demographics of community and hiring
        on the basis of those demographics or offering incentives bring
        businesses in poorer “black” communities like the west side of Chicago or finding a way to make it easier for
        “black” business owners to become successful though the “black” buying

        The reason I tell you this is because it sounds like in
        your response, it seems you think I am not well-versed in the area of
        “White Privilege”. I have probably done a lot more research than most
        in the area looking at actual raw data and academic peer-reviewed
        research rather than taking data from articles that can been seen as
        biased with skewed numbers because I am writing a college thesis that
        requires verifiable sources (not because I am trying to prove a point
        during a discussion I was having a someone else). Numbers can be skewed
        in a variety of ways depending on how you calculate the raw data. For
        instance, there is an estimated population of 39,641,060 labeled as
        Black living in the US in July of 2009 – according to the BJS, 159
        individuals who were identified as “black” died in the hands of police.
        That means 0.00040% of “black” community are actually affected by
        police-related deaths but according to some of the articles you linked
        to support your idea, the number is a lot higher. Here are the links to
        the raw data.…/expanded_information/homicide.html

        I understand that data is missing because there is not a mandate for
        statistics to be kept but we can’t make assumptions for numbers we do
        not know. Now, we can go into the issue of some type of conspiracy from
        the DOJ in trying to hide real numbers but beginning this year, “The
        Counted” also started keeping track of police-related deaths and the
        percentage of the black community affected by police-related deaths are

        though, The Guardian is not a non-biased paper, it is a more liberal
        paper so their data can also be considered biased and I do not know how
        they are getting their data.

        Yes, that about 0.00040% of the
        black community are affected by police related deaths yet “white
        privilege” tells the black community that’s there a strong likelihood of
        it happening because they were not “white”. There’s an expectation of it, in fact. And that’s where
        self-fulfilling prophecies starts going into effect. In fact, you’re
        whole section on “What people of color can expect” kind of goes well
        with my thesis and I might just end up using you as one of my resources
        on how these expectations can lead to self-fulfilling prophecies.
        And, honestly, that’s really my biggest issue with the idea of “white privilege”, that what minorities can expect. Like they can expect to be treated differently than a “white” person because they got a more melanin in their skin.

        to your response. My original response to your article was completely
        emotion based but I really do not appreciate anyone questioning my
        intellect but it always happen when I write based on my emotions so I
        often try not too. So, here is some actual evidence that supports me.
        Yes, there is no such thing as rights to a point. Even the “right to
        life” is not really there in a physical sense meaning no one can take
        away spirit or your consciousness but they sure as hell can take the
        breath out of your body. If they couldn’t murders wouldn’t exist nor
        would the death penalty anywhere in the world. The people who commit
        those acts are stating, you do not have the right to breath in your
        body. Better yet, let’s look at abortions, if there was a right to
        life, why is there a policy in place where abortion is legal? So because
        it can be taken away, please explain how it
        can be considered a
        right? We have the right to nothing in this world because a right
        (noun) is defined by the Webster Dictionary as “the power or PRIVILEGE
        to which one is justly entitled” – it is an entitlement, undeserving
        which is exactly what privilege is, isn’t it? So isn’t a “right” then
        just a privilege for everyone?

        You can’t intertwine the
        definitions of oppression and victimhood. Victimhood can be a result of
        oppression, it does not have the same definition. You can be oppressed
        but not spend of rest of your life being a victim of that oppression.
        Black Wall Street is proof of this. It existed in the early 1900’s when
        oppression of the Black community was strong yet it thrived. This all
        “Black” community was the most successful community “Black” community in
        the history of America with no “white” influence what-so-ever but was
        destroyed by “white” people in 1921.

        is another article written by Dr. Boyd Watkins about successful “black”
        communities before the “white” influence during the 1960’s – again in a
        time of great oppression and he offers solutions rather speaking about
        how it’s “white privilege” that keeps the black community from becoming

        am sure in all the research you looked at on “white privilege”, Black
        Wall Street didn’t come up because it doesn’t fit into “the strong
        likelihood of black people staying poor” narrative that “white
        privilege” gives. I am sure you’ve also heard of all the “Black” only
        schools before desegregation that had some of the highest graduation
        rates in the nation too when you write about education? A lot of the
        research I have looked at comes directly from my husband and his family
        who grew up in the Civil Rights era and who happen to no longer live in
        these poor neighborhoods you speak of but got out and now lives in the
        suburbs of Chicago (grew up of those bad neighborhoods you were writing
        about though). They would give me a subject matter and I would research
        in great detail. So I guess you’re right, I don’t go to all “black”
        neighborhoods where “black” people are speaking about because the
        “black” people I speak with are well-educated (some of them not school
        educated but street educated) and successful.

        Speaking on the
        subject matter of getting out of the “ghetto” – I bet in all of your
        research, you also didn’t find that American cities are more integrated
        than they have ever been since 1910? Meaning that there is really no
        neighborhood where “black” people aren’t in?

        doesn’t fit into the “white privilege” narrative of “black” people are
        not getting out of their “ghetto” and “poor” communities.

        seem to also be intertwining the ideas of systematic racism with white
        privilege. There’s a big difference of the two. The black authors
        which you state your work is emulating are actually speaking about
        “systematic racism”. For instance, Michelle Alexander focuses on mass
        incarceration which is an issue with governmental policies that are in
        place in regards to the color of one skin – hence “systematic racism”
        (which does exist in America). It’s important to not mix the two ideas
        because it’s important we fight the right enemy. White privilege is
        about getting “entitlements” because of the color of your skin (people
        with no power and an idea created by “white” people) whereas “systematic
        racism” is about the governmental forces (forces with power and the
        color of those in power doesn’t matter) blockading the advancement of
        those with a darker skin tone – Why is it important we differentiate the
        two? Because you can’t change the color of your skin but, with the
        right leadership, you can change governmental policies and economic
        downfalls. As I stated above, Black Wall Street existed during a time when systematic racism was at it’s height yet it was still successful because these “white experts” weren’t teaching idea’s like “white” privilege weren’t there to tell them they would not succeed because of their skin color.

        See bringing attention to “White Privilege” teaches
        the “Black Community” they’re stuck and can’t change anything because
        you can’t change the color the skin but bringing attention to systematic
        racism can help to change actual policies in place.

        FYI – the
        idea that you cite works of NAACP and BLM and claim they hold the
        sentiments of the “black” community is hilarious since much of the
        “black” community wants anything to do with neither. That’s the media
        toting the “black” community supports them. Have you seen a video of
        the BLM protests? There’s a lot more white people than black…;_ylt=A2KLqIPaaYdWdCEAbDEsnIlQ;_ylu=X3oDMTBzaWY2azluBHNlYwNzcgRzbGsDdmlkBHZ0aWQDBGdwb3MDNTA-?p=black+lives+matter+protest+at+moa&vid=c79dbcfe89010ca7a1d340626eb93d13&

        many “black” people do not want men like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton
        speaking on their behalf. Al Sharpton (closely nit with
        the NAACP)
        wants to help the “black” community but is being sued for racial
        discrimination by a Black-owned media company so I wouldn’t be too quick
        about toting these two groups as people you are trying to emulate.

        • Here’s the last I’ll say on the matter, and I’m going to keep it to the two things you’re not understanding: rights and the term white privilege. I’ll keep it short this time.

          Your problem, when it comes to rights, is that you’re conflating the right to a thing with the thing itself. You have a right to life, but the right to life is not life itself. Your life can be taken from you; but since you’re life is not the same as your right to life, taking your life does not mean that your right to life has been taken. Your life may be taken, but your right to life remains. You do not lose that right; instead, we say that that right has been violated.

          Rights are things that all people in a certain context have. There are inalienable rights, which are inherent to our existence, such a life and liberty. The fact that the liberty and even the lives of many around the world are taken from them does not mean they have those rights to any lesser degree. It means those rights are being violated. There are also given rights, such as the right to not be arrested without cause, the right to a swift trial in front of a jury of our peers, etc. These are not rights that are inherent to our humanity, to our existence, and which, as a result, all people have. They are rights that are granted through our constitution and our laws in the United States.

          However, for something to be a right, it must apply universally in its context. Our context, in this case, is the United States; all those who live here have these rights equally. That does not mean that the rights of some aren’t routinely violated. Inalienable rights cannot be taken away, by anyone, ever; they can only be violated. Given rights, granted by our constitution or our laws, can be taken away via the appropriate legislation and/or changes (amendments) to our constitution; but in that case, those rights are taken away from all. Until that occurs, these rights can not be taken away simply by a person who steals from us that to which we have a right. As long as they remain part of our law, they can only be violated.

          Regarding the term White Privilege. First, let me say this: I’m no huge fan of the term; I’d rather call it something else, since “white privilege” clearly leads plenty of people, like yourself, to completely misunderstand what is meant by it. But it is what we have, and I’ll admit that I can’t think of a better one, off the top of my head.

          That said, you’ve missed the point altogether. I explained extremely clearly that white privilege is the same thing as systemic racism—just described in the other direction. You then proceeded to ignore all that, and in the process, state that you have no problem with systemic racism, but that white privilege is some kind of evil term that makes black people lazy.

          I’ll do this once more, and then I’m done.

          “White privilege” and “systemic racism” are about the same thing. They just describe it in different directions. Here is what they’re both about:

          Societal systems treat white and black people differently,

          That’s it. Now, from there, we could ask a question: How so?

          If we make the question more specific, we see the difference between the two terms:

          Q: How do societal systems treat black people (as compared to white people)? A: Systemic racism.

          Q: How do societal systems treat black people (as compared to black people)? A: White privilege.

          White privilege and systemic racism are terms that describe the exact same thing—one is the term you use when you’re describing it in the direction of black people, and the other is the term you use when you’re describing it in the direction of white people. If you’re okay with one, the other is substantively not one bit different.

          White people misunderstand it, and that’s unfortunate. But its actual meaning is not any different, and certainly not more harmful, than systemic racism.

          • John MIles

            Mr. Tucker I applaud you for your care and data scouring to establish a highly correlative argument. We can agree all racism no matter the place and side of the equation one is on, is not rational, fair or life perpetuating. We do have to accept it does exist, however. To the degree I fear melanoma, I cannot blame the sun. The sun exists and no amount of data I gather and scream from the rooftops will eliminate the sun. Biases and injustice can be found everywhere. The reality of it is that they are all born from experience. I can talk until I’m blue in the face to my asian-american friend who has been sexually assaulted 3 three separate times by african-american men, including by post-graduate degreed professionals the “cosby” way, that black men are not dangerous and she should be more tolerant, but that has not been her experience. (Those that take a second to wonder what she did to encourage these events may need to pause a moment and think about their own agenda.) The gunpoint robbery I experienced courtesy of a black youth still clouds my judgement. Is it unfair to project these experiences onto a whole group of people? Absolutely! In less developed times, would this projection have kept me safer and alive? Absolutely! Do these three assaults and one robbery really matter in the big pool of data? No. Your statistics are unaffected. Does it matter directly in the lives of two people and indirectly in the lives of their friends and loved ones? Absolutely! In no way are you denying or minimizing our experience, I know.

            I see you have repurposed your blog and I suggest you use your bully pulpit in a more efficient manner by talking about a root cause and it is not systemic correlations or white people. It’s shame. No one that has felt good and at peace with themselves will consciously harm, steal or adversely affect another. Your position of conservative theology provides you point of view and respect to talk about the tremendous amounts of shame inculcated into everyone, regardless of race or divisive label. Simply, you are perpetuating the shame spiral by exacerbating the division and using shame on whites, and society in general, while ‘victimizing’ blacks. Neither of these are helpful and are truly the same old story. Use your blog to educate, not indict. Use your blog to provide tools for all people to be better versions of themselves. We are all worthy of love and respect. I know you are. Spread that message and differentiate yourself from others that may use this or other causes to fight for their own self-worth. I guess a test about whether the a person’s motivations are genuine are, “Can I do this and not have anyone know I’ve done it?” If your motivation or passion in a cause requires witnesses, then you are doing it to show others how good (worthy) you are. I offer this quote: “We are here to give quietly and shine in secret” – Andre Agassi

          • You applaud me for the data I present and the way I’ve dealt with it, and then ignore it altogether in your assertions. I should probably ban you as a troll right from the start—but perhaps some of this will be instructive, and perhaps you’ll endeavor to prove me wrong about you.

            We can agree all racism no matter the place and side of the equation one is on, is not rational, fair or life perpetuating. We do have to accept it does exist, however.

            We have to accept that individual racists exist. We do not have to accept that systemic racism exists, nor should we.

            To the degree I fear melanoma, I cannot blame the sun. The sun exists and no amount of data I gather and scream from the rooftops will eliminate the sun.

            It would be more reasonable for you to eliminate your fear of melanoma.

            Biases and injustice can be found everywhere. The reality of it is that they are all born from experience.


            Injustice has been systematically perpetrated by the white establishment since 1619, via systems of oppression that have deftly and seamlessly adapted to each new obstacle, and each incarnation more invisible than the previous—from slavery, to white terrorism (KKK, etc.), to Jim Crow, to convict leading and debt peonage, to New Deal exclusion and FHA-mandated redlining, to separate but equal, to the War on Drugs, mass incarceration, and felony disenfranchisement. An unbroken chain of ever-adapting oppression of black people by the white establishment from 1619 to the present.

            Biases—that is to say, fear of black people and the myth of inherent black criminality—have been systematically cultivated by white politicians specifically and the white establishment in general since the end of slavery in 1865, and with renewed vigor since George Wallace and Barry Goldwater in the 1960s. For more, read Ian Haney López’s Dog Whistle Politics, or Ta-Nehisi Coates’s The Case for Reparations and The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration.

            I can talk until I’m blue in the face to my asian-american friend who has been sexually assaulted 3 three separate times by african-american men, including by post-graduate degreed professionals the “cosby” way, that black men are not dangerous and she should be more tolerant, but that has not been her experience. … The gunpoint robbery I experienced courtesy of a black youth still clouds my judgement. … In no way are you denying or minimizing our experience, I know.

            I am not. Nor would I ask much of your friend, at all. I can only assume that must be a near-unbearable amount of trauma. To you, I would ask whether you would feel the same prejudice toward all white people were you robbed at gunpoint by a white youth. Or would it be reasonable for American society at large to hold prejudiced opinions of Christians, because the vast majority of mass shootings are carried out by people who are nominally Christian? Or should we be prejudiced toward white conservatives, since there have been five times as many terrorist attacks, resulting in a far greater death toll, carried out by white, right-wing extremists than by Islamic extremists? I doubt you’d accept blanket judgments of all white young men, or all Christians, or all white conservatives, on those bases—which suggests that your view of young black men stems not from personal experience but from prejudice.

            Furthermore, the idea that biases against black people are borne of widespread personal experience is simply nonsensical. 87% of whites are killed by other whites. The vast majority of crime perpetrated against whites is committed by other whites. It’s called proximity—the majority of crime is committed by someone within the same community, and since American cities are massively segregated, that means white criminals prey on white victims.

            Were your claim that prejudices are based upon experience even remotely realistic, white people would all be scared of other white people.

            Simply, you are perpetuating the shame spiral by exacerbating the division and using shame on whites, and society in general, while ‘victimizing’ blacks. Neither of these are helpful and are truly the same old story. Use your blog to educate, not indict. Use your blog to provide tools for all people to be better versions of themselves.

            Careful, now. You’re venturing dangerously near to troll territory.

            This reads to me as a coded attack on Great Society programs, along with a similarly coded suggestion that black people should “pull themselves up by their bootstraps.” Don’t do that.

            This is victim blaming 101. They’re not struggling because they’re being oppressed, they’re struggling because they’re plagued by shame; and they’re plagued by shame because we’ve told them they’re not good enough. No, they’re oppressed; to suggest any different after reading the data I’ve presented (if you did that at all) is willfully misleading.

            And here, again, we see the idea that the best way to solve a problem is not to talk about it. Please see my comment to Rachel as to why that’s the worst possible idea.

            Your position of conservative theology provides you point of view and respect to talk about the tremendous amounts of shame inculcated into everyone, regardless of race or divisive label.

            No. Perhaps the oldest Christian tradition is that of boldly, loudly, and unapologetically calling out injustice and wrongdoing. The idea that you would appeal to my faith to get me to ignore injustice and wrongdoing, to stop talking about it, is ludicrous. To ask me to stop talking about racial injustice because of my faith is to ask me to follow in the footsteps of those who have most egregiously abused my faith for centuries and millennia—those who used Scripture to justify slavery, Jim Crow, segregation, the oppression of women, the genocide of Native Americans, the Inquisition, the Crusades, and more. To that, I say get thee behind me.

            I guess a test about whether the a person’s motivations are genuine are, “Can I do this and not have anyone know I’ve done it?” If your motivation or passion in a cause requires witnesses, then you are doing it to show others how good (worthy) you are. I offer this quote: “We are here to give quietly and shine in secret” – Andre Agassi

            Congratulations on your attempt to invalidate literally all activism, and every attempt to fight injustice, as necessarily self-serving. But Jesus spoke out against injustice. So did Peter, Paul, James, and John. So did the writing prophets of the Old Testament, as well as the prophets who served the kinds before them. So did Moses, Joshua, and David. Was their outspoken opposition to and condemnation of wrongdoing, injustice, and oppression self-serving?

            I’ll give this warning once: Troll and be banned.

          • Melissa

            So basically, everyone who disagrees with your ideas are trolls? He didn’t say anything rude just disagreed with you. Wow. So you want to start a conversation about “white privilege” as long as that conversation aligns with your ideas. Okay. That’s a good discussion.

          • So basically, everyone who disagrees with your ideas are trolls? He didn’t say anything rude just disagreed with you. Wow.

            He began by supposedly praising my use of data, and then immediately claimed that “(racial) biases and injustice” are borne out of experience—that is, he justified racism in that the collective experience of white people (supposedly) proves it true. Pretending to agree, to concede the point, and the immediately making assertions to the opposite is common troll behavior. In itself, that does not make him a troll. Coming to a website purely to express an obviously provocative and controversial perspective—such as, that the collective experience of white people proves prejudice and racism justified, on a post and in a conversation denouncing systemic racism—is common troll behavior. In fact, doing so deliberately is the pure definition of a troll. But I could not say for certain it was quite that deliberate, and so in itself, that does not make him a troll.

            Denigrating a person’s work and making outlandish accusations are common troll behavior—such as the when he claimed that I am “perpetuating the shame spiral by exacerbating the division and using shame on whites, and society in general, while ‘victimizing’ blacks.” But in and of itself, that does not make him a troll.

            Popping in to invalidate everything an author has written, and then arrogantly instruct him as to how and what he should write, is textbook troll behavior. But in and of itself, that does not make him a troll.

            Calling me self-serving for daring to call out injustice, rather than sweeping it under the rug and pretending it doesn’t exist (as he explicitly told me I should do) is absolutely trollish behavior. In and of itself, perhaps that’s not quite enough to call him a troll. But it’s starting to get close.

            Taken all together, there are many—many—who would absolutely call him a troll, delete his comment, and ban him from the site, without a second thought. And they would be well justified in doing so. But even then, I chose not to do that. But jumping to conclusions about judgments I’ve made, and condemning me for them, when I have not, in fact, done such a thing, is also a bit trollish. That one wasn’t him, though; that one was you. Because I never called him a troll. I said that perhaps I should ban him as a troll—but that I was choosing to engage him instead, and hoping he would not to live up to that trollish potential. I said, later, that he was venturing “dangerously near to troll territory”—that’s not calling him a troll, except when you conflate it to land a rhetorical point against me. Finally, having plenty of justification for thinking him a potential troll, as detailed above, I ended with a warning: Troll and be banned. The warning carries an implication: That, since he had not yet been banned, I did not yet consider him a troll. And yet, I have seen far, far too many of these “conversations” begin this way, with just barely enough semblance of reasonableness to cause someone like me to engage, as though in genuine discussion, only to devolve, time and again, into circular trolling arguments. And so I issued the warning—that I was giving him the benefit of the doubt, and engaging him like a reasonable, if misguided, person, but that if he crossed the line in his response, I’d cut it short and ban him, like any other troll.

            But you, in your rush to condemn me, missed all that nuance, didn’t you? Heck, you even missed the whole point—that I didn’t call him a troll. Dismissing me as someone who bans anyone who disagrees with me is a lot easier than having to address any of the points I’ve made.

          • By the way, one of his main points is the same point that Rachel made, below. Except, Rachel doesn’t do any of the other trollish stuff he does. Rachel is respectful. Contrary to your accusations, Rachel expresses a perspective, raises a concern, that I disagree with. Did I call her a troll? No. I affirmed the sincere nature of her comment, and responded in kind. She is the example of how to disagree without acting like a troll. John Miles is the example of, at the very least, quite a few trollish tactics put into practice. Thus, in my response, I pushed back against his comments that were offensive, and warned that he back away from the troll ledge, as opposed to taking the leap right over it.

            But sure, I ban everyone who disagrees with me as a troll. You know, if you’re finding yourself more in John Miles’s camp than in Rachel’s, perhaps that should be an indication of something.

          • …you change the meaning of words (literally one from the Webster Dictionary among others) and distort ideas to support your own…

            Merriam-Webster, privilege:

            (1) a right or benefit that is given to some people and not to others; (2) a special opportunity to do something that makes you proud; (3) the advantage that wealthy and powerful people have over other people in a society.

            The first and third definitions largely overlap. They are exactly what I have been saying from the beginning. From the beginning, I have explained that people of color are regularly not afforded rights that white people not only are afforded, but can take for granted. From the beginning, I have called that systemic racism, when referring to how the system treats POCs, and white privilege, when referring to white people. That is, one side of the coin is that POCs regularly aren’t afforded their full rights, and that’s systemic racism; on the flip side of the same coin, white people have those “rights or benefits afforded to some people”—to them—”and not to others”—to POCs. It is specifically the dictionary definition, and it is what I have said from the start. Sorry, try again.

            I went back to think about a better way to explain to you why I don’t believe in white privilege and I am just going to leave you with a quote from one of the very authors you say is leading the way when it comes to the idea of “white privilege”

            First, let’s be clear. I have not said that TNC is leading the way when it comes to the idea of “white privilege.” TNC very clearly focuses on systemic racism. They are virtually the same, yes, but for perspective, as I have said since the beginning. But TNC focuses his perspective toward black people, toward the black person’s and the black community’s experience, and so his subject matter is appropriately labeled systemic racism, among other things. Second, I have said that I have drawn heavily on his work—as well as the work of Ian Haney López, Michelle Alexander, and many others. But if you read my intro, you’d see I discussed systemic racism as much as white privilege. If you actually read the rest of the piece, you’d see it presented systemic racism as much as white privilege. I have not, for the most part, gone to TNC for my data—because he doesn’t deal primarily in data, as I do in this piece. He focuses, as he says in the piece you quote, on the individual experience, and that is what I have primarily taken from him. That, and an understanding of a recent history that is largely glossed over, ignored, or deliberately swept under the rug, which TNC is unparalleled in retelling and bringing back into the light. So to claim that I have gotten my ideas of white privilege from TNC is incorrect.

            Second, I did read TNC’s article that you linked; your implication that I wouldn’t represents another baseless accusation, which is really starting to look like a pattern—one you should avoid. However, perhaps you should have read it a little bit better. The quote from TNC comes from the same piece that includes this:

            “…it needs to be understood that my identity isn’t founded on the losing end of ‘white privilege.’ I understand the use of that term for social scientists and perhaps literature critics. But I generally find it most powerful and most illuminating when linked to an actual specific privilege–not fearing sexual violence, not weighing one’s death against the labor of birthing, living in a neighborhood bracketed off by housing covenants, not having to compete for certain jobs etc.”

            That’s TNC making specific reference to specific kinds of privilege—a whole list of issues, each of which he calls “an actual specific privilege”. Before using him to support your position, as one who doesn’t “believe in white privilege,” you should make sure he didn’t just affirm it, a moment earlier.

            So what’s the point of the passage you quote? Here’s the next sentence that comes after the part I quoted:

            In its most general invocation, I’m often repulsed because I think these sorts of questions often break down in the face of actual individuals.

            What TNC is doing here is two-fold: First, as seen in the first quote I provided above, he makes clear that his “identity isn’t founded on the losing end of ‘white privilege'”; second, he is making clear that when you deal with individuals, everyone’s story—both the ways and the extent that they did or did not have privilege—is different.

            So, first, I have never said that the identity of anyone is founded on the losing end of “white privilege.” I have simply pointed to massive, pervasive, systemic injustice that must be addressed, must be talked about, must be corrected. I’ve never said word one about anyone’s identity.

            Second, he’s dealing on an individual level—he says so himself. I’m dealing on a macro level. The data I present make abundantly clear that the injustice I’m pointing to not only exists on the macro level, but is widespread and pervasive.

            Third, I have never argued that each and every black person’s experience of systemic racism (or of anything else, for that matter) is identical, nor that each and every white person has the same kinds and extent of privilege. Again, I am operating on a macro level, identifying predominant trends—to which there are undoubtedly exceptions, but which occur more often than not (or, as the case may be, far more often than is justified). This is not an opinion; it is literally what the data say. Describing what is more likely to happen, what happens more often than not, is literally what statistics do.

            So nothing that I have done contradicts what TNC says here. And he alludes the the reality of the data that I present on more than one occasion—as referenced above, and also in this statement: “I can run you all kinds of stats on the racial wealth gap and will gladly discuss its origins.” The reason he says that is because the data do exist, and they do clearly demonstrate that. Those data are my focus; they are not his. But in your search for a quick quote, you miss that he completely affirms the reality that I present.

            Finally, in his last paragraph, he’s doing one last thing: In a subtle, non-explicit way, he’s pointing out that there are all different kinds of privilege. There is white privilege, yes. And he recognizes it as real. But there is also male privilege. There is Christian privilege. There is the privilege of wealth. And yes, there is the privilege of having an in tact family, and one that cares for and takes care of each other; I don’t know that there’s a term for that, but it exists.

            My work does nothing to deny any of that. Instead, like TNC, I have simply chosen to focus on a certain area. For me, it is the area of systemic racism and white privilege—which is defined as systemic racism seen from the perspective of white people—with a focus on data. This does not bring my work into conflict with what TNC says here in any way.

            He is saying, “Look, there are macro trends in many different kinds of privilege, and I was disadvantaged in some of those areas—but I benefitted in others, and it was enough for me.” He is not, however, denying that those macro trends, those big picture realities, in privilege exist or are real. He is not the guy to quote, to support not believing in white privilege.

          • Danvers

            You again have a Eurocentric view, You want to blame all white people and have invented a new term “white privilege’ Which doesn’t exist and never has been proven to exist.

            I caught you lying about blacks in college.

            “since there have been five times as many terrorist attacks, resulting in a far greater death toll, carried out by white, right-wing extremists than by Islamic extremists”

            No there hasn’t. What are you even talking about?

            “The vast majority of crime perpetrated against whites is committed by other whites”

            Interracial crime its 9/10 times a white victim and black perp.

            “Biases—that is to say, fear of black people and the myth of inherent black criminality”

            Sure its a myth. stat don’t agree with you, the same stats you cherry pick in a vain attempt to prove this un-provable theory.

            “Or would it be reasonable for American society at large to hold prejudiced opinions of Christians, because the vast majority of mass shootings are carried out by people who are nominally Christian?”

            What mass shooting? the made up term by liberals which is not used by the world or the FBI? that’s a lie, there are far more mass shootings by blacks per capita than whites. Nice try.

            “those who used Scripture to justify slavery, Jim Crow, segregation, the oppression of women, the genocide of Native Americans, the Inquisition, the Crusades, and more.”

            90% of natives died from disease, and the small pox blankets is a myth don’t even try to go there. Slavery has existed for all of human history. Nobody is asking Turkey or northern Africa for reparations. They were the biggest slavers in the world.

            How about you look up how many people were actually killed in the inquisition? You do know most history about that in english is protestant propaganda? Crusades were defensive campaigns vs Islamic aggression. Crusades were nothing compared to islamic war mongering like 500 battles to one.

            “Were your claim that prejudices are based upon experience even remotely realistic, white people would all be scared of other white people.”

            Unlike you people can look at per captia. Like 9/10 times its a black attacker and white victim. I avoided getting car jacked by four black men because i profiled them in a white area.

            “No, they’re oppressed; to suggest any different after reading the data I’ve presented”

            You’re data is cherry picked and you are missing per captia and many more categories. Like why is the black IQ 80 average in the US?

          • Melissa

            I went back to think about a better way to explain to you why I don’t believe in white privilege and I am just going to leave you with a quote from one of the very authors you say is leading the way when it comes to the idea of “white privilege”

            “In short–you need to know that I was privileged. I can run you all kinds of stats on the racial wealth gap and will gladly discuss its origins. But you can’t really buy two parents like I had. Money can buy experience and exposure–but it can’t make you want those things. It can’t make your parents curious about the world. It can’t make them moral, compassionate and caring. It can’t make them love their children. As I have moved on up, in that old Jeffersonian sense, I have seen families who allegedly were more privileged. But ultimately I find merit in who they are as humans. I am unconvinced that money trumps all of their flaws

            White commenters who were financially “better off” than me should assume only that, and no more. They should certainly not assume THEY WERE MORE PRIVILEGED. I certainly do not. It is the privileges which I experienced, as an individual, that brings me here.” TA-NEHISI COATES


            Think on that –

          • Melissa

            Oh yeah – And my husband wanted me to correct myself. . “White Privilege” or “White Skin Privilege” is historically just another name for systematic racism. It began around the late 18th and and “blew up” during the industrial age but Peggy McIntosh essentially changed the meaning of “White Privilege” to mean entitlements because of your skin color.

            He’s said to read W.E.B Du Bois and Theodore W. Allen to get a clear understanding of what it is because it was never meant to be about skin color but about being a ruling class.

            So, admittedly, I was partly wrong on saying it’s two different subjects. I should have said, it is completely different from systematic racism in it’s meaning in today’s day and age but not historically.

          • That must be awkward for you. You’ve just spent all this time making all kinds of accusations about me—not the least of which was the claim that I’m distorting the definition of privilege, even referring to Webster’s dictionary. Now you come back to admit that what I’ve been saying since my very first reply to your original comment—nay, since my replies to others long before you even showed up! I made this exact, specific point on multiple different occasions, and not only did it not affect you, but you neither bothered to respond nor even acknowledged my explanation of what white privilege means. Perhaps you wouldn’t be here correcting yourself if you had tried a little bit harder to listen, rather than lecturing me on something you had misunderstood in the first place.

            You state that it is “completely different” form systemic racism today, but not historically. Your husband states that Peggy Macintosh “essentially changed the meaning of ‘White Privilege’ to mean entitlements because of your skin color.” But there are two problems with that.

            First, to say it was “just another name for systemic racism” is just slightly incorrect. That implies the two are perfect synonyms. They are not; they cannot be, since “racism” is harm, and “privilege” is benefit. Clearly, there must be some sort of distinction. And the distinction is seen in the first word: “white privilege.” I’m not saying your husband is incorrect. He is completely correct; it’s just that it would be more accurate to say that they describe the same thing: they both describe systemic racism. But it should be fairly clear that “racism” refers to how systems treat POCs, while “privilege” refers to how systems treat white people—since, again, racism is harm and privilege is benefit. This, by the way, happens to be what I’ve said since the beginning.

            Second, I just reviewed Peggy McIntosh’s Invisible Knapsack. You (he) claim that she changed it to mean entitlements because of your skin color. But have you actually looked at her list of examples? There are a couple of odd ones in there, but the vast majority of her examples can be summed up as essentially an absence of systemic racism. In essence, “I can be pretty sure that [fill in the context] I will not face systemic racism.” How, exactly, has that changed from its original meaning, in which it described systemic racism as it related to white people? Everywhere you see a statement in the affirmative, such as, “If I should need to move, I can be pretty sure of renting or purchasing housing in an area, which I can afford and in which I would want to live,” a corollary statement in the negative is necessarily implied for POCs, such as, “POCs can be not be sure of renting or purchasing housing in an area which they can afford and in which they would want to live.” She is describing systemic racism; she’s just describing it from the perspective of white people.

            If you claim that white privilege was once “just another name for systemic racism,” then I don’t see that that has changed in any substantial way in McIntosh’s Invisible Knapsack. It remains another name for systemic racism—described from the opposite perspective, which is what white privilege has always been.

            Finally, that is how virtually everyone that I have read on this subject in the last couple years uses it. Your assertion that it is now “completely different” from systemic racism and from what it meant historically does not hold up with Peggy McIntosh. It does not, in my experience, hold up in describing virtually anyone else talking about this issue, either on the internet or in print. Yes, a pretty huge number of white people misunderstand what it means, and if you’re going based on their misunderstanding, then perhaps you’d have a point. But you don’t get to point to people who are topically illiterate in this area as a way of condemning the specialized vocabulary used by those who are literate in the area.

            Please inform your husband that W.E.B. DuBois is already on my reading list, and Theodore W. Allen has been added—but that while I look forward to reading them and learning much from them, they are not necessary to understanding “his” point about the larger definition of privilege. I understand full well that privilege is not restricted to white people, but refers to privilege held by the ruling and/or dominant class of people, those in whom power is consolidated. This should be fairly clear by my reference to male privilege, Christian privilege, etc., and my point that there are all kinds of privilege. But yes, in case it needs to be said, I understand quite well that privilege is that which is held by the ruling class, whoever they may be. But since, as your husband points out, that ruling class has historically been people of European descent here in America, those of us who both live and deal with issues in America as our primary, or even sole, context, naturally choose to be more specific, since it is both applicable and correct. By the way, if by your statement that “it was never [meant?] to be so much about skin color as meant to talk about a ruling class of people,” you’re implying that today is has become all about white skin, then you’re wrong there, too. Because virtually everyone I have read attempt to explain to confused white people what privilege is takes special care to emphasize that there are many kinds of privilege, and to make the very point your husband just made.

            The funny thing about all this is that you really just seem to be squabbling over the term “white privilege.” In that, you’re no different from the offended white people who think we’re saying either (a) that they, individually, are racists, or (b) that they didn’t work hard for and earn what they’ve accomplished. Neither of those are what we’re saying—and if you do even a cursory google search, you’ll see almost countless instances of people like me trying to explain to white people that it doesn’t mean either of those things, or any of the other things that are kind of in the same vein that they come up with. By the way, the next thing each of those people does is explain that it refers to systemic racism as experienced beneficially by white people.

            All this effort to criticize and condemn me, and it really seems that it’s not over the content of my piece—after all, the data I present show systemic racism, and you’ve said more than once that you agree that systemic racism is real—but simply over the usage of a stupid term. And you criticize and condemn me for it, even though I said very early on that I personally do not like the term at all! But it is the term we have, for referring to something very specific that must be talked about. And as long as it is the term we have, I will use it, and I will use it appropriately. And as often as I can, I will attempt to compensate for the term’s tendency toward miscommunication by explaining to white people who don’t understand what it actually means.

            And after all this squabbling over nothing more than a term—over something that is, at best, peripheral to the actual content and nature of my work—you go and admit that you were wrong about what white privilege meant, all along.

            But not without lecturing me about Webster’s dictionary and making all sorts of baseless accusations.

            So, you know what? You’re right. This conversation is no longer productive. I’ve gone ahead and responded, because contrary to your claim that I just ban anyone who disagrees with me, what I actually do is engage them in substantive discussion—far more than many others thing I should. And because that’s my way, I’ve done so again, one last time. And I’ve done so so that you will receive, via email, both a reply to your ill-conceived points, and an explanation for why I am ending this conversation. I don’t ban or block without explanation.

            I’ve replied to every single point you have made in all of your comments and replies; you have routinely ignored my points, especially when you clearly had no room left to argue. I have always argued on points of substance, sticking to the points and the issues being discussed; you, most recently especially, have devolved into lobbing accusations.

            You’ve implied that I don’t read, that I just jump to conclusions; I have refrained from making a similar claim about you, even though you have categorically avoided engaging with the actual data I present, which in many cases means that you didn’t read it. But I didn’t jump to that conclusion; you did.

            You accuse me of twisting ideas to fit my agenda, but you’re the one who pulled a quote from TNC out of context and used it to imply his support for your disbelief in white privilege, even though he specifically acknowledges it in the very same piece.

            Some—many, even—would call this borderline troll-like behavior. I will refrain from that. I think you’re passionate, misguided, and because of your experience with your husband and his family, perhaps a bit arrogant and condescending. But whatever the case, I’m not saying that you’re a troll. I’m simply saying that this conversation is no longer productive, and that your participation in it has devolved from one comment to the next to the point that it is no longer welcome. That’s unfortunate. But while we have debated intensely for several rounds, it is you, in your latest comments, who have turned to inappropriate and disrespectful rhetoric. And that brings this to an end.

            For that reason, your most recent comments—the ones in which you’ve devolved into ad hominem attacks and using a TNC quote out of context to support a position he does not agree with—will be removed, along with my replies to them, and you won’t be welcome to comment here in the future.

        • CareBare Hair

          Excellent – pity Tucker is too obstinate to see the truth in what you have written.

    • FrankieB

      Great post. Asian immigrants are a true American success story.

  • MichaelBlev
    • Thank you for sharing this with me, Mike. I created an account and submitted a request for the PDF; if that’s something you’re able and willing to do, I would love to take a look at it. Upon review, I may be able to point people to it in the future. While my current focus is clearly on proving and describing the reality and nature of the problem, I certainly don’t plan (as some have suggested) to stop there—so I am very eager to learn as much as I can about the work that is being done in proposing solutions to this problem.

      Thank you again!

    • One more thing: SOWS is a term I’m not familiar with. Can you anagram the acronym for me?

    • FrankieB

      Oh yeah, the Reparations Scam…that’ll help black Americans.

      Another shakedown by the Black Left that is not happening.

  • ronnieb1958

    a solid analysis…not only for its concrete fact, but because of your wisdom in being able to reveal the underlying motives of those who would attempt call those facts into question.

  • DrCintli

    i believe deaths from both diabetes and heart disease are most likely caused by racial inequalities in this country…

    • I agree. Racial inequality, both current and historical, directly affects the neighborhood you live in. This affects access to quality education, good jobs, etc., both of which correlate to better healthcare outcomes. It affects access to quality medical care. It affects access to quality grocery outlets providing fresh food, and it affects both value for, education regarding, and time to spend on exercising and preparing meals cooked with fresh foods. Poverty—which is linked to housing discrimination, employment discrimination, workplace discrimination, lack of access to quality education, the War on Drugs, criminalization and mass incarceration, felony disenfranchisement, and many other factors—limits access to quality healthcare, exercise facilities, insurance, and fresh food. All of these things have significant impacts on health outcomes.

      My intent was not to suggest that diabetes and heart disease are black people’s fault, whereas police discrimination and violence against blacks is not. My point was that just because there are other things that also kill black people, that does not make it any less important to talk about police violence against black people, nor does it in any way diminish the complaint and protest of black people regarding their treatment at the hands of police.

      My point was that you can name any one of literally dozens of factors that may kill black people at a high rate—and none of that means we should talk about police brutality against blacks less, none of that means the complaint and protest about police violence is one iota less valid or important.

      • Danvers

        Should talk about white people too, but this destroys your narrative.

  • Stel2015

    Great article, thanks for all this work, have added it to the Racism page of the Integral Permaculture Designers Manual,

    One glaring omission is how violence against women disproportionally affects women of color, will look up sources and report back ok :)

    • Thank you for that! Please do send me whatever data you have. I’d love to see it, and if it meets a certain standard, I will add it to this in the upcoming revision. You email me at

  • This is, in total, an amazing collection. I have read much of the information you collected, but I have never seen such a thorough job of publishing it all in one place.

    I do have one suggestion for the rewrite you are in the middle of: strengthen the connection between household net worth and the FHA racist policies which were finally addressed (not eliminated, make no mistake) in 1968.

    Your grandparents or great-grandparents might have been able to buy a house in, say, 1950 which no black person could buy because your folks had access to FHA financing, while a black family had access to no financing at all in many areas. Now, calculate the estimated appreciation of that house, and the next generation having access to their parents’ wealth as a result of the decades of appreciation and buying a house, followed by the next generation able to get help to buy a house…and, you have a huge factor in that 17-to-1 gap in household wealth as the accumulated worth of possibly four or five homes and the appreciation of all that real estate over a combined hundred years is added up.

    You already note the huge gap in household wealth between white and black families, and you note the historic and current discrimination in getting a mortgage, but you didn’t indicate how powerful the connection is between the two when you look back 70 or 80 years and project the financial implications to today.

    This is my go-to point when anyone says, “Yes, that discrimination existed long ago, but it doesn’t matter today.”

    Here’s one good source on this topic:

    • You’re not wrong. To some extent, this is a question of analysis versus data presentation. In the data sections, I try to stick to presenting actual data points. While there is undeniably a very clear link here for anyone who knows this aspect of 20th century American history, it definitely falls more under analysis—demonstrating how historical events led to present day disparities. The data point is the 17-to-1 wealth gap; demonstrating how that gap came to be is analysis.

      That’s not to say that I couldn’t add some more in-depth analysis on that point. I’ve alluded to it some, both in my analysis and in my additional reading links. My analysis includes this paragraph:

      You cannot begin to grasp the extent of white privilege or the continuing extent of massive systemic racism until you are at least aware of the legacy and extent of housing discrimination, and the ways that it has historically and continues to underly the causes of higher rates of crime and poverty seen above. Together, housing discrimination and the War on Drugs create a new form of Jim Crow—invisible, self-justifying, self-perpetuating, and nearly as destructive as the original Jim Crow.

      I also reference Ta-Nehisi Coates’s The Case for Reparations, which does an excellent job of telling the story of housing discrimination and the FHA, in two separate places.

      However, you’re probably right that I could add more explicit analysis linking housing discrimination to (the lack of) wealth accumulation and net worth. That may eventually become an accompanying piece, but in the next revision, I will see if there is a way to incorporate a little extra analysis along those lines.

      Thanks for your feedback, and also for the link. Having read Coates’s phenomenal story on the matter, I look forward to hearing it from another angle—gotta love The Atlantic.

      • Yes, it was that very paragraph of yours that prompted my comment. I understand your distinction between data and analysis, yet my inclination was to demand that you call this out, this decades-old factor which only accumulates as time passes. A modest home in 1950 cost $10,000. The same property today could be worth hundreds of thousands. The white family might have that accrual (admittedly, via a dozen transactions in the decades since) while a black family with exactly the same resources in 1950 might not have been able to participate until decades later. They cannot make up for the loss of decades of appreciation.

        I know you know this. I get that, within the structure of your piece, you will treat this aspect with the same rigor as the school-to-prison pipeline and employment discrimination, as examples.

        Thanks for giving me your thoughts on it. I’m reading “Between the World and Me” right now. I have yet to read the Coates piece on reparations, but it is on my list.

        • Well, now that you frame it that way, I could see a bullet point or two immediately following the 17-to-1 bullet, which did the math on how much an average home in 1934 cost, how much an average home in 1968 cost, and the difference in accrued value between the two today. That’s data, and it makes the point.

          I’ll also probably beef up the analysis at least a little more. I don’t know if I said it in this piece, but I’ve said elsewhere and to others that I consider the effect of housing discrimination, as described by TNC, to be equal to if not greater than anything else on this list in terms of detrimental effects on people of color. It’s worth saying more clearly.

          One quick note: Regarding the FHA’s racist policies, you state that they were addressed in 1968, but have not been eliminated. Are you simply referring to the fact that housing discrimination still exists in the real estate and lending markets, despite FHA policy changes—or are you actually saying the official FHA policy retains some racist elements to this day?

          I’m reading “Between the World and Me” right now. I have yet to read the Coates piece on reparations, but it is on my list.

          I’m in the opposite position. I’m in the middle of Ian Haney López’s Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class. After that, I’ve got to finish Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow, though I may put that off to read William Martin’s With God on Our Side: The Rise of the Religious Right in America. Between the World and Me will be next in line after those.

          In any case, The Case for Reparations will blow your mind—as expected, I’m sure.

          • I don’t have data about the FHA in particular, but this study — — is indicative of what I was alluding to.

            It reminds me a great deal of my own experience. I was laid off at 55 years old. Of course, age-related employment discrimination is illegal. Yet, time after time, I would be considered qualified for a job, do a phone interview and get invited in, only to see the look in the eyes of the interviewer when I walked in the door: I had no shot at all. As soon as they saw me, they did a cursory interview and got me out the door as soon as possible. (It isn’t germane to this discussion, but I will note that, after four years of seeking work, I have now been employed for three years.)

            My example is to illustrate that making a behavior illegal — as the Fair Housing Act did with housing discrimination — does little other than cause people to be careful as they continue the behavior. In the case of mortgage loans, though the FHA was no longer explicitly discriminatory, the patterns of discrimination remained, even if becoming somewhat less obvious. The rest of the mortgage industry was even more to blame in the last few decades. For the sake of your work, though, there is not much that I have found which can be used as data points. It’s the murky world where people know they are at risk of being sued, so they do what they can to avoid leaving an easily studied data trail.

            The studies done in Boston which I linked to above is one of the few examples where concrete data has been collected.

            By the way, you were quite right that I was blown away by The Case for Reparations. From Yale historian David Blight: “In 1860, slaves as an asset were worth more than all of America’s manufacturing, all of the railroads, all of the productive capacity of the United States put together.”

            Of course, the in-depth view of life in North Lawndale, where those attempting to become home owners ended up with contracts (instead of the mortgages available to whites) which left them vulnerable to losing everything for one missed payment, is horrifying to me.

            I’m also reading a book which takes a deep dive into the role of slavery in our nation’s oldest and most prestigious institutes of higher learning: Ebony & Ivy by Craig Steven Wilder. Given the huge importance of slavery to the country (the North benefiting even as the South actually housed the enslaved), it is no surprise to learn that the finest colleges and universities founded in the period were built with slave labor and endowed by trafficking in slaves. I heartily recommend the book.

          • That’s what I was assuming, and that’s where my current data focuses—not on official policy, but on the racist realities that persist in every aspect of the housing and lending markets. I just was a little unclear about the way you worded it, which could possibly have implied that some elements of official policy retained racist restrictions. Thanks for clarifying.

            I’ll add the Boston study to my list. I’ll take a look at it when I get to the housing section in my revision.

            Yes, horrifying is the right word.

            I’ll add Wilder’s book to my list. It’s a long list, but it’s on there now.

            Thank you for contributing to this conversation and to this piece in particular, and for the links and resources you’ve pointed me to. It will help me make this piece that much better, that much stronger, in the long run, so I appreciate it.

          • I am grateful that you are continuing the work! I’m on your mailing list, so I’ll be back to see what the 2.0 reboot looks like.

        • egox

          There is something to your point, but given the greater access to healthcare for whites argument, it would be amiss to assume that homes purchased in 1950 were not subsequently sold or mortgaged to pay for said healthcare. My parents bought that house, now long gone, and their parents bought homes in roughly the same period. You seem not to consider the impact of taxes, the fact that a single home is divided between multiple heirs, or the common reality that families are left to settle the debts of the deceased.

          • egox, the fact remains that housing appreciation was largely unavailable to blacks for decades. You are right that, as with any familial asset, there are issues to be dealt with. There are significant and measurable advantages in having the asset to manage when compared to not having it. It’s just that simple.

    • FrankieB

      No, it does NOT apply. If it did, then Jews and European immigrants who faced discrimination would also be at a severe economic disadvantage.

      The problems in the black community deal with the failed welfare policies of the last 50 years which the black political establishment has zero interest in addressing. They realize their source of political power is racially-based and without race as the toxic glue that holds the black vote to the Democratic Party, they are out of business. Blacks are 25% of the Democratic Party’s voting strength because blacks vote 90-95% Democratic.

      You think black liberals would be important based on their business acumen…their top-notch record of having great schools in their districts…their ability to deal with crime ?

      • Here’s the thing, FrankieB: facts are facts. No one gets to decide they don’t apply, as they aren’t trying to apply. They are just facts, lying there for us to uncover.

        Familial wealth in the United States was hugely impacted by the active discrimination of the FHA in the middle decades of the 20th century. White families (including the groups you mention who had suffered when they first arrived in this country) benefited, black families did not. This isn’t a guess or a theory. It is a fact.

        • FrankieB

          You’re right, Rick, facts are facts. But you have to know how to INTERPRET them. Is it a question of causation or correlation ? That kind of thing.

          The FHA datapoint is meaningless. I could say the same thing about non-Jews in exclusive neighborhoods like Beverly Hills CA going back decades.

          Blacks were NOT systematically discriminated against by the FHA. They were held back by the fact that most lived in the rural South instead of the urban North. That is why we had the Great Migration.

          Blacks who stayed away from crime, got educated, worked, saved money — those were the ones who not only got homes but went to college and sent their kids to college, too.

          I don’t dispute that blacks have had burdens, to deny that would be ridiculous. But to explain today’s problems in the black community on past discrimination in general or the FHA in particular is ludicrous. As an example, immigrant blacks from Africa and/or the Caribbean achieve great success in 1-2 generations.

          Remember the Vietnamese boat people ? Per-capita financial net worth and incomes well-above the U.S. median in less than 25 years. This from a people who came here with NO MONEY and NO ENGLISH LANGUAGE SKILLS and nothing more than the clothes on their backs.

          How ?

          Why ?

          Simple: hard work….no crime…..start businesses…get educated.

          • It’s not an FHA ‘datapoint’. It was a system of discrimination. Written in the regulations of the FHA until 1968–more than three decades–was the active discrimination I cite (as do a great many people who know more of the details than I do). More than 97% of the loans backed by the FHA went to white people.

            Check out the redlining which occurred in Boston. Not exactly rural South, but clearly discriminatory.

            It is a well-accepted idea that owning a house provides the potential for accumulation of wealth which renting does not. It’s why I have owned every residence I have inhabited for nearly 40 years. It works for me.

            A black family in 1950 had very little chance to own a home. They missed out on decades of appreciation — familial wealth-building — as a result.

            You are quite right that it is not impossible for all shapes, sizes, and colors to be successful. The point of this article is that the barriers which exist simply make it more difficult if you are born black and poor.

  • Rachel

    First, thank you for your well written article. However, this makes me uncomfortable. Maybe it should, and maybe that’s because it’s valid and important. But, I’m peaceful in an existential way, so this seems counterproductive. Reason being, these loaded words bring on rage, chips, I can’t help that I’m white any more than anyone can help the color of their skin. I feel like I have to constantly apologize for being white. I’ve raised a black child into a strong black woman without ever telling her she is some how not as privileged as a white person, she is currently in medical school and has a wonderful self image, we didn’t have money, we were middle class, we are unique in every way, which could be considered a disadvantage. Aside from my personal experiences, I’m just not certain creating anger, with just the wording, is helpful to pulling out of disadvantage. Saying “white privilege” is saying “black disadvantage” which might be a truth, but it’s not good to carry, it doesn’t help. Psychologically, maybe the term should change or maybe we should talk about minority strengths and leave others alone. I hope you don’t think I’m trolling. Lol. I am just not sure this revolution is being approached properly, I like focusing on what we are actively doing to be better, what do we have control over…it’s noted that white privilege is a thing, but now what?

    • I don’t think you’re trolling. And I do understand your concern, though I don’t agree with it. I have no problem at all with you respectfully raising concerns and expressing differing perspectives, and so far you’ve done that.

      I see three problems with what you’re suggesting.

      First problem: What do you think does more to “bring on rage”: The actual oppression that people of color experience on a routine basis, or calling it oppression? What do you think does more to “create anger”: The regular occurrence of systemic racism, or the willingness to recognize it as such?

      You suggest that saying “black disadvantage”—which you correctly understand as a synonym for white privilege—doesn’t help. With regards to black individuals, maybe you’re right, and maybe you’re wrong. It’s not unfathomable that for some, telling them they have no chance—which, by the way, is not what I, or anyone else discussing this issue, am saying—might cause them not to try. But telling them that it will be much harder for them, that they’ll have to be twice as good just to achieve the same result, might have the opposite effect, in two distinct ways: First, it may cause them to try harder, to be better; it’s unfortunate that in many cases that’s necessary, but as long as that remains the reality, then such is the task in front of them. Second, it may cause them to stand up and demand better—and historically speaking, nothing will change unless and until they say, “Enough!”

      Second problem: You assume that I’m telling “them” anything “they” don’t already know. You don’t think POCs already know that they’re constantly harassed by police? You don’t think they know that the justice system won’t give them a fair shake? You don’t think they know that their kids are treated differently in school, that the War on Drugs targets them unfairly, and that they face routine and rampant discrimination in the workplace? I said in this piece that privilege blindness is the ultimate privilege—that’s because as white people, we are the only ones capable of denying the existence and the reality of privilege. Why? Because everyone else lives it; it is their daily reality. I may have put numbers to it that many of them didn’t have, but with or without the numbers, none of this is news to them.

      The reality is that this is nothing new to people of color, especially black people, in America. If I and everyone like me stopped talking about this publicly, it wouldn’t mean people of color wouldn’t hear about it—because they’ve been having this conversation with their parents and with their kids since long before we started having it on a national level. White privilege is that I don’t have to have those conversations with my kids; they don’t have that luxury. If I stop pointing to the truth that black people are at a disadvantage in our society, that will have zero effect on whether they still know it, zero effect on whether their kids still hear it.

      Not talking about white privilege and systemic racism publicly would not mean that black people, black children, would not hear that they’re disadvantaged. It would simply mean that white people would not hear that black people are disadvantaged. And that brings me to the third problem…

      Third problem: You’re essentially suggesting that the best way to deal with a problem is to stop talking about it. If you’re as reasonable a person as I think you are, I think if you stop and think about that for a moment, you’ll understand how it doesn’t work. Because there are two flaws in that thinking: First, not talking about a problem is never the solution to the problem. The first step in solving a problem is not pretending that it doesn’t exist. Second, that’s what we’ve done for decades; how’s it working out?

      The only thing not talking about this issue achieves is preserving the status quo. And that is not acceptable.

      • egox

        Having read this reply, as well as your exchange with Melissa above, I cannot help but see a common thread: two mothers of racially diverse children made uncomfortable by the term ‘white privilege’. While you have said previously that you can’t think of anything better, I wonder if your argument might not benefit from a renewed attempt at choosing words less likely to be misunderstood or seen as divisive.

        In what I gather from your OP and comments, you do not intend for ‘white privilege’ to refer to something that should be stripped from ‘white’ people, so much as something that should be granted to all citizens: namely, equal opportunity that is free of racial bias, what we might hope to call ‘American privilege’. Yet even if that should finally be achieved, it would do little to counter what Melissa’s ‘luxury’ argument tried to point out:

        For most of the world outside of America, “White Privilege” doesn’t exist because ”privilege” has nothing to do with skin color and is more about social status.

        I see that she is confusing your meaning – of the relative immunity of white Americans to disadvantages encountered by black Americans – with that of privilege as an advantage that wealthy/powerful people have over others. However, it is the words themselves that cloud the issue, leading some to feel defensive and others to allege that white academics are assuaging guilt, or worse, helping to create a generation of victims and perceived oppressors. Is ‘white privilege’ just a gender-neutral phrase for ‘the Man’? If your goal is that everyone be given ‘the benefit of the doubt’, then why maintain what is fast becoming a divisive term?

        I fear that you may have missed some of the more compelling points that Melissa was making. Forget her unfortunate decent into ‘white guilt’ and focus instead on how she framed what she had to say. She introduced the values that her father had instilled in her, those which many immigrants have associated with a new life in the New World: leave the old country behind and join the American experiment; study and work hard; make no excuses and strive to rise above the hardships. She extolled the virtues and benefits of living in America, as compared to living in a host of other countries. She declared her forebears ‘all survivors who have instilled in me what most Americans take for granted, those “God-given rights” are actually privileges’. She concluded that she saw herself as privileged to be an American.

        Perhaps you feel that this is dated, or somehow inapplicable to African Americans, but it was encapsulated in the de facto motto of the country until 1956: E Pluribus Unum. To my mind, unity is the very thing that seems to be lacking in a term such as ‘white privilege’, and Melissa is far from alone in questioning whether these words beg confusion with nepotism (i.e., the old boy network), perhaps distract attention from broader issues of inequality, and might even endanger the very ideal of American equality. So I ask you, would a return to America’s first motto not be a more effective rallying cry?

        Notwithstanding, ‘systemic racism’ is a term capable of expressing both the advantage of being perceived as ‘white’ and the disadvantage of being perceived as ‘non-white’. Yet it’s hardly a term accessible to most people. As Noam Chomsky once put it, ‘Why do you have to teach people? Well, you have to teach ’em, ’cause it’s artificial; it’s not their language.’

    • All of the above said, I want to address a couple things you’ve said about your own experience.

      I feel like I have to constantly apologize for being white. I’ve raised a black child into a strong black woman without ever telling her she is some how not as privileged as a white person, she is currently in medical school and has a wonderful self image, we didn’t have money, we were middle class, we are unique in every way, which could be considered a disadvantage.

      First, it sounds like you’ve done an amazing job as a parent. Second, I would not presume to understand what your experience as the white parent of a black child was and is. I do not have any personal experience in that way, and I have no idea if there is any data I’ve seen that describes what is common in such circumstances. Perhaps your daughter has largely escaped the kinds of systemic racism many black people face as a result of being your daughter; perhaps she has more experience with it than she has let on to you; perhaps she has faced it, but has overcome it because of how you raised her. Perhaps something else. It sounds like she’s doing great, and kudos to you for your part in that.

      But you need to stop apologizing for being white. That can end today. No one is asking you to apologize for being white. Well, I take that back—no doubt a very rare few, a very teeny, tiny percentage, will expect that from you (every group under the sun, after all, has their extremists, their fringe element), but they are a tiny minority, and they are wrong.

      This is why it is so important to understand that the problem we are pointing to is not individual racists, but systemic racism. No one’s saying it’s your fault. We’re saying our society is built on unjust systems. We’re not asking you to apologize—not for being white, and not for anything else. We’re not even asking you to apologize for the advantages you have enjoyed as a white person, the things that have contributed to your success in ways that do not exist for black people. We’re just asking you to join us in (a) recognizing the problem, and (b) working to solve it.

      I don’t apologize for being white. I didn’t choose it. My skin color is not wrong, any more than a black person’s skin color is wrong. I should no more apologize for being white than they should apologize for being black.

      We’re just asking you to recognize the benefits you have received as a result of being white, and inversely, the disadvantages people of color have faced as a result of not being white. And we’re asking you to be willing to be a part of the solution—whatever that may be.

      Be released from any felt obligation to apologize for your skin color. Be released from the idea that you should feel guilty, unless it be for something you have done. Leave all that behind, and be part of the solution. You’ve already done that in many ways, as a parent.

  • Jen Frankel

    A beautifully researched and heart-felt examination. Thank you for being the kind of conservative, big or small c, that the world needs.

  • FrankieB

    The article is 100% baloney and ignores the elephant in the room: blacks, especially black males aged 15-50, constitute a disproportionate amount of crime in the United States. They are 3% of the population, but account for nearly 40% of the violent crime.

    • You should go back and actually read the article, FrankieB. In it, Tucker directly addresses the context within which the numbers you tout (unattributedly) occur. In fact, the entire first half of this post has attributed facts (those pesky facts again) which are helpful in grasping the nature of systemic racism. In other words, the article is precisely about the elephant.

      • FrankieB

        I read it, Rick. It’s long on anecdotes and short on logic and economic common-sense.

        Here’s an example:

        ““From the 1930s through the 1960s, black people across the country were largely cut out of the legitimate home-mortgage market. … [Today,] black families making $100,000 typically live in the kinds of neighborhoods inhabited by white families making $30,000.”

        That’s just a generalization and doesn’t take into account a myriad of factors.

        Obama sued banks 20 years ago to give blacks access to higher-priced homes. More than half defaulted within 5 years.

        • FrankieB, I want to be clear on this: I wasn’t going to ban you as a troll. I was in the middle of a response to your points, however poorly formulated and reliant on culture-blaming and red herrings. But even as I was writing it, you were making more clear that you are, in fact, a troll.

          You can argue conclusions. You can present data you may feel I have missed. But when you attempt to claim that this piece, which contains over 100 statistics in 12 different categories, as “long on anecdotes,” then you’re revealing yourself for who you are: a troll.

          You raise some points that conservatives frequently raise, though you don’t do it all that well. Those points will be addressed in the future, but not here, and not in response to trolling.

          Please find somewhere else to troll.

      • Rick, thanks for your efforts. But you are attempting to use data and logic to engage with someone whose primary purpose is not to engage in that currency, but rather to deliberately obfuscate both. We’ll deal with many of these issues, as espoused by many conservatives, in 2016—but in this instance, I’m banning the troll.

        • Thanks for confirming what I guessed had happened, Tucker.

          • No problem. I’m going to go ahead and delete our other comments so you don’t have these weird threads with replies to nothing. It’ll disappear altogether once I do that.

  • Max Blood

    Blacks are less than 13% of the U.S. population, and yet they are 31% of all fatal police shooting victims, and 39% of those killed by police even though they weren’t attacking.[2] See chart: looks hmm says whites are killed more as it says whites are the orange percent and those are higher

  • BenSimp


    You just earned a sub. What a great piece.

  • Brian Coons

    I personally find it odd that you claim to be a conservative, yet your demeanor when responding to certain people indicates otherwise. If someone disputes or disagrees with something you said, and your response is to attempt to silence them by banning them and calling them a troll…that’s a VERY liberal characteristic. I may be off base here, but from what I’ve read of your article and some of your responses, I’ve come to the conclusion that you’re perhaps a social justice warrior and an apologist. Which would make you a liberal…not a conservative.

    My 50 years of personal life experiences do not agree with the narrative you’re selling here. And although they are MY experiences, and unique to me, I consider my life to be fairly typical and pedestrian. I wasn’t born into wealth, and my parents weren’t college grads or highly skilled. For the majority of my childhood, we struggled, living at poverty level for certain. But then again, I wasn’t particularly aware of the idea of poverty as we label it here in the U.S., as many others I knew shared similar economic struggles. And I CERTAINLY wasn’t aware of any notion of “white privilege”. It was quite plain to me that white people could be just as poor and under-privileged as blacks or hispanics. What I did become aware of though was the absurd attempts to right these alleged “racial inequalities” by programs such as Affirmative Action. Perhaps you are too young to be fully aware of or appreciate the premise of AA, but it basically gave PRIVILEGES to those who were not white or male…regardless of qualifications. Companies hiring their quotas of “under-privileged” people over people who were better qualified…that kind of stuff.

    I knew my choices out of high school were pretty limited because my parents didn’t have money. But, because of the personal choices I made throughout my high school years, I set myself up to be able to do well for myself upon graduation. I chose to join the military right after graduation…a choice that, by the way, is available to anyone able-bodied and able-minded. I made a career out of it, despite the hardships, challenges, and adversity I constantly faced. I worked hard, and can honestly say that I EARNED every thing I achieved and obtained. When I caught a break, it was because of my moral character and the ethics I portrayed in carrying out my duties…not because I was white. I live a comfortable life now on my military retirement and my VA disability, and I don’t go around crying about why others have it better than me, or making a big deal because someone else caught a break and I didn’t.

    You see…I’ve learned that it’s NOT about skin color…it’s about making good choices, having drive, desire, motivation, and determination, even in the face of adversity. We make our own breaks, and we can certainly shape our own destinies. Just because you’re born “under-privileged”, that doesn’t mean your doomed to a life of poverty or crime. And we’re surrounded by countless examples of people who share my sentiments and didn’t buy into this white privilege narrative that you people try to sell. All one has to do take note of the famous black and hispanic people in American history to understand that even with the reality of racism, there’s NO excuse for failure or accepting a life of poverty and/or crime. As I’ve stated, I knew plenty of people who grew up in really adverse conditions, yet they never felt compelled to turn to making a living off crime or welfare. Instead, they took advantage of whatever opportunities were available and made a better life for themselves. And they didn’t make bad choices that only exacerbated or perpetuated their problems. I don’t necessarily dispute your statistics or even their implications. But I don’t buy them as excuses for the behavior that plagues the black communities. No one is forcing anyone into lives of crime or sustained poverty. If you don’t like your life…change it. If you keep finding yourself on the wrong end of the law, perhaps it’s time to examine your decision making and your behavior. From where I’ve stood, most black people I’ve seen get “mistreated” is simply because of their attitudes, behaviors, and lack of morals and ethics. And like it or not…many stereotypes exist for very real reasons. I’ve observed MANY black people fully living up to the stereotypes…much to my chagrin. You want to throw statistics around? Let’s talk about the statistics behind racial profiling. The realities behind many the statistics you present are the stark realities and truths of racial profiling. I say if you don’t want to be a part of the statistics, then don’t live up to them. I also think that many of the inequities you present are a result of the cultural differences as well. Many black people I’ve encountered have an inherent disrespect for rules and law enforcement. They had a “fight the power” mentality, yet couldn’t comprehend why they were always being singled out. To me, it’s no mystery why there might be disparities in the statistics. Many black people simply like to make spectacles of themselves, and then get all indignant when people take notice… Can you say ironic?

    I applaud those who have decided to not allow themselves to fall into the statistics. They refuse to buy into the race baiting and propaganda, and don’t use their skin color as an excuse. I feel sorry for them that even though our country on the whole has made tremendous leaps forward in racial equality, there are still plenty who refuse to take responsibility for their lives, and want to keep dredging up a past that never existed for them personally. I, sir, throw the BS flag on white privilege, and take issue with people like you who want to keep inflaming things by inflating the issues.

    • Brian, while your story is interesting to read, you say nothing addressing the amazing compilation of data which Tucker lays out in this article. In other words, your contention is, “You are wrong, Tucker, because my life experience trumps the meticulously outlined data you posted.” For me, that’s a weak contention.

      • MT35

        Guess I need to jump in here. Actually, Rick, the stats he provides are
        very one-sided. The fact is, when taking proportion into account, black people
        DO commit more VIOLENT crimes than white people. While I can believe that more
        black people are arrested for drug-related offenses than whites (that is, that
        whites are essentially given the benefit of the doubt more than blacks), I have
        a very hard time believing that white people are literally getting away with
        murder because they are white. What does that have to do with drug-related
        arrests? Nothing definitive, and I’m not saying it’s good that blacks are
        arrested for drug-related offenses that whites are getting away with, but due to
        the higher rate of violent crime by black people, I can see where the police
        would be more apt to arrest someone for possession of drugs, as being under the
        influence of drugs often influences behavior in a negative way.

        Leaving that aside, though, one thing I always do as soon as I arrive at
        one of these discussions of “white privilege” is press ctrl + F and search the
        page for the words “Asians” and “Jews.” Usually, as is the case here, the search
        comes up empty, indicating that these groups are completely left out of the
        discussion. Which makes sense, as they don’t really fit into your narrative, do
        they? Here you have two groups, including one that has been extremely
        discriminated against throughout history, that OUTPERFORM Christian whites. If
        black people struggle because they are not the recipients of privilege, does
        that mean that society provides Asians and Jews with extra privilege?

        • Interesting, MT35. You criticize the presentation of the facts in this piece, yet provide none to support your opinions.

          You contend that black people commit more violent crimes, when you may have meant they are ARRESTED for more violent crimes. In this country, there is a huge difference between the two.

          Feel free to read further into the comments. Tucker addresses your concerns about the fact that there is no reference here to either of the groups you seek to hold up as some kind of invalidation.

          You’re late to the party. Read on.

          • MT35

            Interesting, Rick Hamrick. As has been pointed out many times before by many others, even Jesse Jackson has admitted that when he walks down a street at night and hears footsteps, he feels relieved when he looks behind him and sees white people. What do you know that he doesn’t? He just never got the message that white people are, in fact, committing just as many (if not more) violent crimes as black people, and that those white people he sees are just as likely to be dangerous? I did say, in my first post, that while I can believe it for drug-related crime, that I have a very hard time believing that white people are literally getting away with murder just because they are white. So I guess you think otherwise? Well, that’s one hell of a change, and I would love to know what evidence you’re relying upon to come up with it. “We have reason to believe that this guy committed the murder, but, well, he’s white, so we’ll just let it go.” Seriously?

            As for my second point, again, I used ctrl + F to search the page for the names of those groups first and came up with nothing, so I’m not sure how he could have explained in any depth Asian and/or Jewish success without using the words “Asian” or “Jewish.” But, despite the fact that it’s his site, forget Tucker for a moment. I asked you a question point-black and you ignored it, so I’ll try again. If black struggles are due to lack of privilege and white success is due to privilege, is the oversized success of Asians and Jews due to extra privilege? Then again, it would make sense, of course, that Jews receive extra privilege, because if there’s one thing that’s clear, it’s that world history has been characterized by a constant love-fest for Jews, right Rick? Especially, of course, among people who tend to discriminate against black people. And is that “some kind of invalidation?” It’s at least a pretty significant monkey wrench, I would say.

          • …even Jesse Jackson has admitted that when he walks down a street at night and hears footsteps, he feels relieved when he looks behind him and sees white people. What do you know that he doesn’t? He just never got the message that white people are, in fact, committing just as many (if not more) violent crimes as black people, and that those white people he sees are just as likely to be dangerous?

            You make the same mistake here that Brian Coons makes above: You fail to recognize that the plural of anecdote is not data. It is widely demonstrable that all of American society implicitly views blacks as more dangerous, more criminal, etc. This includes blacks—not just Jesse Jackson, but black police officers, as well, who are equally guilty of the disparate and unwarranted treatment of blacks as are white cops. You’ve conceded that blacks are treated unjustly by the criminal justice system when it comes to drug offenses—well guess what? Black cops are guilty of that, too, not just white cops. That is because this isn’t an issue of individual racism, but systemic racism. This means that policing is based on societal assumptions that the data do not bear out, but that are accepted as true across all strata of society.

            In fact, although the myth of black criminality can be traced all the way back to the end of the Civil War and the freeing of the slaves—while blacks were still slaves, they were broadly portrayed as simple-minded, child-like, needing structure, and grateful for slavery the way children are grateful for the guidance and protection of their parents, but as soon as they were freed, the narrative immediately shifted to portraying blacks as evil, vile criminals incapable of rehabilitation, when enabled white power structures to re-enslave them by way of mass incarceration and convict leasing—the history of black-white relations unfortunately includes a history of black leaders accepting the premise of black criminality. Jesse Jackson is not the first. That does not mean that either they or he were correct. Please read Ta-Nehisi Coates’s The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration, especially Section 4, to learn more.

            The idea of black criminality traces back to 1865. It was a myth then, and it is a myth now. The fact that some black leaders have accepted that framing at various points since then does not make it any less a lie.

            Now, as to your ideas about white people getting away with murder—frankly, I could care less about your hypothetical ideas of how that might play out. You saying, “Well, I can’t imagine that would ever happen,” means exactly nothing when we have extensive data demonstrating that not only that, but much worse, happens on a regular basis. But fine, I’ll indulge.

            See, you’ve got it wrong. We’re not talking about cops suspecting a white person of murder, or even having the evidence to prove it, and simply letting him skate. We’re talking about the cops who find a black suspect and stop looking for other suspects. We’re talking about witnesses who falsely identify a black suspect, when the offender was in fact white. We’re talking about white people who can afford good lawyers that get them off, while black people cannot afford a decent lawyer and end up pleading guilty to crimes of which they are completely innocent simply because not going along threatens a much longer sentence (see Criminal Justice / Courts, above).

            We’re talking about a criminal justice system—from policing and arrests, to prosecutors, to juries and trials, to convictions and sentencing—that unjustly and disproportionately targets black people at every level. By huge degrees. And when talking about a criminal justice system that has been proven to unjustly arrest, charge, convict, and incarcerate black people on every level, the only possible conclusion is that arrest and conviction data must be understood to be skewed against black people. This is Rick’s point: Crime data based on a system that unjustly and disproportionately targets blacks cannot be used to prove black criminality.

            In fact, the most irrational, illogical assumption being made here is yours—the idea that, even though the criminal justice system discriminates against blacks when it comes to drug crimes and many other areas, somehow that same bias would not affect violent crime. There’s simply no rational reason to reach that conclusion. The only way to accept the heavily unjust, discriminatory nature of our criminal justice system in certain areas and then assume, without any decent reason, that it has any integrity in other areas can only be the result of willful wishful thinking.

          • MT35

            Please see my response above.

        • one thing I always do as soon as I arrive at one of these discussions of “white privilege” is press ctrl + F and search the page for the words “Asians” and “Jews.”

          That’s funny, because the first thing I do before criticizing a written work it to actually read it. Had you done so, you’d have found this paragraph:

          Before we dive right in, one final note: The data I’ve provided generally pertain to black and Latino people, but the experiences they quantify are not limited to these groups. Almost all of them are things that all other minority groups experience to one degree or another. In particular, I often focus on data relating specifically to black people. This is not to suggest that other groups do not experience the same forms of discrimination, in the same areas—it is simply that in almost every instance, black people experience the harshest forms of discrimination at the highest rates. And so, I have chosen to focus often on data comparing white and black experiences in various areas.

          It’s the 7th paragraph. Didn’t get far, did you?

          That’s okay though, we’ll go ahead and address the objections you raise, mainly because many share your delusion. You’re wrong for at least six distinct reasons. We’ll number them. Make sure you actually read all of them this time—especially the last one. That’s the kicker. The first five invalidate your argument, but the last one invalidates your “data.”

          One. You know what other group I almost entirely omitted, even though they do “fit my narrative”? Native Americans. In virtually every way imaginable, the outcomes for Native Americans is similar to those for blacks—and in many categories, it’s worse. In well over 100 statistics in this post, they factor into exactly 1 of those statistics.

          But wait, I thought the only reason for me to leave out stats about a particular group is that it doesn’t fit my narrative? I guess you’ll have to rethink that claim.

          Two. The data presented are specifically structured to nullify your objection. If I only demonstrated disparity, and did not also demonstrate that said disparity was unwarranted, that would leave room for your objections. You could say, “Yes, but Asians and Jews don’t have those disparities—maybe it’s not racism, maybe it’s something else. Maybe it’s cultural.” But as it happens, at every point in this piece, I paired the data showing disparity with corresponding data showing that the disparity is not warranted. Thus, your argument essentially becomes, “Okay, you’ve proven that blacks are treated disparately and that it is not warranted, but Asians and Jews fare differently, so disparate treatment of blacks is warranted.” To which the only possible answer is, “Huh?”

          Three. Even if you were correct about violent crime—which you’re not (see “Five” below)—the idea that that would invalidate this is invalid. Your argument here is the equivalent of me proving that the favorite food of elementary school children is spaghetti, and you saying, “No it’s not, because elementary school children hate pizza.” It’s a non-sequitur; it does not follow. The one does not disprove the other. The issue of whether or not blacks commit more violent crime than whites has exactly zero bearing on the fact that they are arrested, charged, convicted, and incarcerated at higher rates for drug crimes. That is injustice, regardless of anything else. Period.

          What’s worse, your argument seems designed to justify the injustice that I have outlined. I point out that blacks are stopped, searched, and arrested more often, despite being less guilty of the offenses warranting such stops—and your response seems to be, “Yeah, well, even though they don’t deserve that, they do deserve it because of other things they do.” So let’s be clear on this: If they commit certain other crimes at higher rates than whites, then they should be arrested, convicted, and incarcerated for those crimes and those alone at higher rates. But let’s be clear, that doesn’t mean much higher rates. It means that they should be arrested for those crimes at rates equal to the rate at which they commit those crimes. And as it turns out, this is yet another place where your argument falls apart—because first, even for those crimes, they are arrested at rates far beyond any increased rate at which they may commit those crimes, and second, none of that justifies discriminating against them for offenses which they do not commit at higher rates.

          Four. Meanwhile, like many in these comments, your objection fails because it interacts with only one small portion of the data I have presented. You present data—no, that’s not the right term, because you really haven’t bothered to present any data whatsoever—you refer to data that you suggest validates the demonstrably unwarranted higher stop, search, and arrest rates for blacks. Not only does that argument fail, but you also fail to address all the rest of the data, in numerous other categories You think that by pointing to violent crime, you’ve dismissed the data I’ve presented—but you haven’t addressed the fact that blacks are charged, convicted, and incarcerated at unjustifiably higher rates for all crimes. You haven’t addressed the fact that blacks receive longer sentences for all crimes, not just drug crimes, than whites. Yes, including violent crime. You haven’t addressed that blacks are serving a disproportionate percentage of life sentences, or that blacks are a disproportionate percentage of death row inmates—and that violent crime rates do not explain either of these.

          And you definitely haven’t addressed the data that goes beyond crime and criminal justice. You haven’t addressed racism in education, employment and the workplace, voting, housing, or the media. You haven’t addressed the wealth gap. I’ve presented data that indisputably prove systemic racism across 12 different categories, and you think you’ve invalidated all of that data by making reference to data in one of those categories. Even if your argument in that category were valid—and it’s not—it would do very little to affect the overall conclusion.

          Five. Let’s talk about Jews and Asians. Both share one very significant trait that distinguishes them from blacks, and then Jews have yet another advantage on top of that. The first is that neither Jews nor Asians have undergone the sort of large-scale oppression that blacks in America have. Both have certainly been discriminated against, there’s no doubt. Both have been the on the receiving end of some pretty awful racism. But blacks have been systematically oppressed for four hundred years. Before objecting to this fact, please read my most recent piece, which gives an overview of this history. Many Jewish and Asian families are recent arrivals in America, relative to black people whose ancestors have been here since slavery. Generational oppression, and the generational poverty that results from it, matters. Asians immigrating to this country certainly have barriers to overcome—but they are limited to themselves, to their own experiences, not the compounding experiences of not just one or two, but dozens of generations that preceded them. The same has been true for Jews.

          In addition to the general oppression of blacks that has not stopped since 1619, one of the critical features of white oppression of blacks has been the deliberate destruction of the black family. Not just a little bit. Not even just a few generations. Four hundred years of destroying the black family. That has a devastating effect, and one that is difficult to bounce back from—especially since we’re still doing it. We have persecuted Jews and Asians in this country, but we have generally not undertaken to destroy their families.

          In addition to this, Jews have the additional advantage of being white in today’s America. Does this mean some people don’t hold racist attitudes and resentment toward Jews, especially those that have been very successful and attained to positions of wealth, influence, or power? Not at all. What it means is that, whether we’re talking about being pulled over by the cops or standing in front of a judge or attempting to get a loan at a bank, they benefit from the advantage of having white skin.

          For all of these reasons, the idea that Asians and Jews should be considered comparable to blacks—despite not having the same generational experience, despite not having undergone literally four centuries of deliberate destruction of their families, and in the case of Jews, despite having white skin—is absurd.

          You know what the one group is that might be able to make the claim to equal, or at least similar, mistreatment, over the same period of time (if not longer) as blacks? Native Americans. And guess what? While I haven’t included them here (except one), the data for Native Americans are consistently similar to the data presented here for blacks.

          Six. And now for the kicker. Conservatives love to argue that it’s not race, it’s poverty. When we point out disparity in outcomes, they argue that poverty it to blame, and that poverty is what actually correlates to these outcomes, not race. They’re demonstrably wrong, but I love them for making that argument, because it means they can’t object to the idea that poverty does in fact have an effect on outcomes like crime, and therefore we should correct for it. As it turns out, so does youth—the vast majority of crime in America is committed by young people, especially young males. No doubt none of this surprises you.

          What might is that, when we correct for poverty and for youth, black people actually do not commit more violent crime—or more crime in general—than white people. In fact, they commit less. From Ian Haney López’s Dog Whistle Politics (referencing data from Western’s Crime and Inequality in America). Review the image attached at the bottom of this comment.

          To conclude: The data you’ve referred to address only a very narrow portion of the data I’ve presented; even the narrow area that they do address, they fail to make your point; and as it turns out, when you deal competently and responsibly with the data you refer to, in context, even that data fails to make your point.

          • MT35

            As I, unlike you apparently, have a life outside of “social justice” issues, I won’t be responding to you point-by-point
            (maybe some day when I’m retired), but I certainly do have a few things to say.

            1. Regarding Asians, and a especially Jews, you make the common mistake of responding to me as if my question were “why do Asians and Jews do as well as white people?” But that wasn’t my question. My question was essentially “why do Asians and Jews do BETTER than white people?” Even if there was zero discrimination against these groups (which obviously is not true), it would only explain matching success, not supersized success. Jews have, I believe, won 22% of all Nobel Prizes, despite accounting for only .2% of the world’s population. You don’t accomplish that simply be being not discriminated against, I hope even you would agree (though maybe that’s optimistic). What I’m getting at, of course, is that perhaps, to a significant extent, groups make their own privilege.

            Also, quickly, what you stated about Jews and Asians not being as discriminated against begs the question of WHY Jews
            and Asians were so much less discriminated against in this country than blacks? Could it be more than just an arbitrary assessment of their skin color? And Jews have been successful everywhere, by the way, not just in
            America. Finally (on this topic), if you truly believe that every group’s success or lack thereof is contingent on what white people think of them, aren’t you basically arguing for a form of white supremacy yourself? To be able
            to have that level of control takes a certain level of ability, does it not?
            Not that I believe that, though. Again, I think groups essentially make their
            own privilege. I guess one could put it this way: you believe that a group’s level of success depends on its level of privilege whereas I believe that a group’s level of privilege depends on its level of success.

            2. Back to the crime issue. You start out by attributing, as do many others, the black crime rate to black poverty. Here’s the problem, though. Even if black people commit more crimes due to poverty, IT STILL MEANS THAT BLACK PEOPLE COMMIT MORE CRIMES. “Why” is a different issue, but
            police officers don’t have time for sociological musings when determining what neighborhoods to patrol more heavily, or which people to be more nervous around. Here’s a recent article from the Wall Street Journal, though I’m not sure you’ll be able to view the whole thing — It states, though, that officers are killed by black people at a 2.5X higher rate than black people are killed by officers. Of course, that’s going
            to impact their thinking. The “why” of it isn’t going to matter when their lives are on the line. And that’s also why I object to you calling this view “anecdotal,” and referring to the “myth of black criminality.” It’s not a myth if backed up by statistic evidence.

            Oh, but then you switch gears and imply that blacks don’t commit more violent crimes because they are poor, but that they don’t actually commit more violent crimes at all, but are just arrested more for the violent crimes they commit. And then you basically make the claim that blacks are disproportionately arrested for drug-related offenses, so it simply MUST be true that they’re disproportionately arrested for violent crimes as well (a classic non sequitur, I believe). Most would say, though, that not arresting someone for murder is a pretty different animal from not arresting someone for drug possession. Apparently you don’t think so, though, and feel that the only evidence you need to claim that black people are being disproportionately arrested for violent crimes is that they’re being disproportionately arrested for drug-related offenses. Sorry, but you’ll need to do a bit better than that to impress me.

            Oh, but it’s not about cops simply letting white people off the hook, but things like falsely identifying black suspects? You seem to be falling for your own trap of anecdotalism. Sure, that happens sometimes, but do you evidence to support the claim that there have been enough murders in which a conviction against a black person was overturned and it was then determined that a white person was the assailant that it makes up for the huge disparity in black/white murder rates. I doubt it, especially as if that scenario did take place, the white
            person would now be counted as the murderer and not the black person, and the numbers wouldn’t be what they are. You can’t just ASSUME that if a black person is convicted of murder, he/she (usually he) was falsely accused and that the “real killer” (as OJ would say, ironically enough) was probably white. You need hard evidence. And what evidence you do present about things like black defendants being more likely to get the death penalty is immaterial when
            discussing the relative murder rates. White people who don’t receive the death penalty for murder are still counted as having committed murder. It’s not as if lifetime sentences are considered “getting away with it.”

            Ugh, that’s enough. That turned out to be way more than I intended to write, but still not nearly as much as I could.

        • Nick

          >”stats he provides are very one-sided”
          >provides one stat
          Looks like everything OP wrote should be reconsidered, now that we have that info on the line! Good thing you saved the day with that statistic bro or we would have all thought systemic racism was real!

    • Nick

      I’m so glad you’re throwing the BS flag on white privilege. We need more people like you to ignore the big problems and focus in on the fact that if you work hard and do your best, you’ll only probably get treated unfairly by banks, police, and courts! And honestly, we all get along fine without those!

  • Tey

    Hi there, I am a student who was instructed to read this article for an assignment and I am in awe. I love that you took the time and effort to publish this article with soo much detail on a very relevant matter that may not be as favorable to you. I applaud your work and wish you the best.

    • Thank you for those kind words. I appreciate it very much. I’m also completely astonished that this is being given out as assigned reading in some sort of academic setting. Would you mind sending me a message via my Facebook page and letting me know what school you go to?

  • Martin Alexander

    THANK YOU SO MUCH! I’m white, and I’ve been homeless, but I know (and knew then) all the advantages I have been born with. Luckily, I could leverage those advantages to work my way out of the bottom.

    Unfortunately, the system of control and power seems keen on oppressing the darker-skinned people more than those with lighter skin. It’s part of the divisional tactic that goes along with “divide and conquer”, and it impacts everyone – even the privileged.

    I have such a difficult time expressing white privilege to my poor white friends who just don’t see it. They think they are now disadvantaged. They believe they are racially discriminated against, by minorities most of all – and likely they are. However, I believe it’s because the powerful have succeeded in building a system where we are divided and not united. And I believe it is because the majority of light skinned people in this country can’t yet even come to terms with the mechanisms that divide us: namely, White Privilege.

    Thank you again. This post is a tremendous resource for me to help enlighten, in love.

    • Steve Kamerman

      > And I believe it is because the majority of light skinned people in this country can’t yet even come to terms with the mechanisms that divide us: namely, White Privilege.

      I really think this is an ineffective way to make your (valid) point. White people are not the “problem” and “White Privilege” is not the problem. Systemic racism is the problem and white privilege is one of the symptoms – a symptom that is beneficial to white people.

      It may seem like I’m arguing semantics here, and it’s possible that we believe exactly the same thing, but if you want to get the “majority of light-skinned people in this country” to understand the problem, you can’t start the conversation by apparently blaming them all for possessing some unjust privilege. This tactic of shouting white privilege immediately breaks down communications because people feel like they’re either being attacked or told that they are ignorant. Now, ignorance is possibly the most accurate way to describe it, but the important thing is that they are not going out of their way to ignore it, they legitimately do not see it.

      I think it is important for white people, particularly in the conservative community (like me), to find way to *effectively communicate* the problem to others, and that means using empirical data to demonstrate the problem, as Tucker has here, while avoiding mechanisms that cause communications to break down, like blame and guilt.

      Regarding your poor white friends – I also have poor white friends and I myself have lived in a trailer park, albeit I never made it to the streets. They think they are disadvantaged and do not see white privilege because they are disadvantaged and barely benefit from white privilege. I believe the thing that underpins most of the stats listed above is income. This is also presented above, but we don’t currently have much income data to directly correlate to the other data. I believe, and am trying to prove (or disprove), that the primary cause of most of the racial disparities is racial wealth inequality, which was caused by systemic racism. Racial bias on the part of individuals is to blame for a majority of the remaining racial disparity, particularly when it comes to law enforcement and hiring. Why are blacks X% more likely to commit crime Y (or be arrested for it)? Largely because they make up a larger percentage of the poor people in that place, and why are the poor disproportionately black? Because of the systemic racism that afforded them less opportunity in their life, and the fact that their grandparents had virtually no chance of success.

  • Victor


    What a fantastic list. I have one more to add for the education section: whites make up 62% of the student population but receive 76% of the private scholarships. It comes from a report by an expert who hosts a college scholarship webpage. Google “black white myth scholarships”

    • Thank you for the tip! I did a quick search and already found what you’re referring to. Looks legit—after some further vetting, and digging deeper into the data, I think this will end up in the revised version of this post. Thanks!

  • waterhound

    Can’t make a silk purse out of a sows ear…….

  • Roelie Scheepers

    Siestog kry my jammer eks swart,!!!!!!! Hou op jammer voel vir julle self

  • Tucker, here’s a typo for you (“payed”):

    “Washington Mutual was the worst: 56.9% of blacks and 42.3% of Latinos payed higher prices, compared to 16.9% of whites.”

  • GodzAngel

    This is so shameful and evil, for the racism is the devil itself,, but do know they will be punished, for there is a heaven n a hell, for I’ve died n seen both, it just wasn’t my time, judgement day will come n they can’t get out of that ! This is sad cuz it’s all for really the love of money at the end,see money can’t give life but it can take a life!!! God will get the last laugh!!!

  • Scott Klair

    Mr. Tucker,

    Excellent article. I’ve come across, individually or in small groups, most of the statistics you cite doing my own reading on the subjects you address. I encountered this information piecemeal, mostly on a subject-by-subject basis, and came to the same conclusions that you have once I had encountered and digested enough information to create a critical mass in my own mind. That said, it’s commendable that you’ve taken the time to produce such a holistic explanation. Your narrative has a particularly broad and unshakable historical foundation which you’ve constructed and used to great purpose by clearly showing how these systemic disadvantages have manifested into shockingly widespread and effective policies and procedures of institutionalized discrimination, primarily based on race, but also very much aware and effective with regards to class.

    I applaud your willingness to engage people in the comments section, many of whom seem to want to challenge your very thorough and evenhanded remarks or suggest the significant amount of reliable source material you site is somehow skewed or not representative. I certainly wouldn’t be able to stomach being as pleasant and accommodating as you are, especially when hearing, almost word for word, the standard propaganda easily found and discredited by tech-savvy toddlers.

    In particular I’m referring to one comment that, undoubtedly, had one of the highest percentages of on-message keywords and coded phrases of anything I’ve ever read. I almost felt the need to praise the comment’s author for being able to maintain a theme while utilizing so much right-wing trope.

    As you pointed out, the concept of privilege is very hard to understand when conceptually it is defined by white people as something a select few of us (usually not in any significant number) enjoy. Basically, white people understand privilege only as it relates to economic privilege afforded to the upper class. The result is more difficulty for most white people to visualize their privilege. I think this is an unfortunate result of the name given to the concept, but not something that could have been predicted, and far less problematic as an impediment to understanding in any other circumstance. I’m sure it is understood on a very gut level by everyone else. I often tell people white privilege is best understood from their perspective as a lengthy list of BS they don’t have to deal with that everyone else does. The very essence of white privilege is driving home and not consciously knowing that nothing happened on your way home. You have no idea the car behind you was pulled over instead of you. You were both speeding, the other driver was black. You didn’t even see the lights. It is strictly abstract to white people because it is transparent.

    A few commenters put forth their personal experience as representative or normal. The biggest hurdle I’ve encountered in discussing political issues both economic and social, with any kind of efficacy, is adequately communicating the necessity of understanding, conceptualizing and remaining conscious of scale.

    In the context of economic discussions with people its clear to me that, even though they are fully aware of how much money they make and fully aware of how much CEO’s (generally) are making, there is a very stubborn logical hiccup which makes the actual realization of how extreme the two numbers are in relation to all the other variables difficult to induce. Maybe it’s because huge numbers are so regularly discussed we’ve all become desensitized to thinking of what they represent and process them just as labels instead of the actual numbers that they are. In reality, it’s hard to really understand how much one million dollars is if the most you’ve ever made in a year is forty grand. Forget about a half-descent understanding of how huge a number like 50 million is, or 400 million, or 36 billion. I truly believe if the magnitude of such huge numbers were effectively communicated it could have a huge impact on people understanding of how immoral, and to be honest, unnecessary, it is for cooperative human societies to allow any human to possess that much money / power / resources. Period. I can’t think of a valid argument against any individual being limited to one billion dollars, at least until homelessness, hunger, war and disease have been addressed. Freedom or Liberty are not arguments I’m willing to accept for what is essentially murder via pathological greed.

    In political discussions focused on social issues such as white privilege, scale also seems to be the most difficult intellectual element because of how drastic its effects are. When people relate to me experiences they have had which are put forth as valid justification for their actions or beliefs, its very hard to explain that on a granular, small-scale, low frequency data set each, or any or every result has to be considered atypical. Only when the sampling frequency is sufficiently large is the data set robust enough to be subjected to statistical analysis. That’s what determines what’s pretty normal, or typical. I tell people even if they could compile every interaction in their lives and effectively analyze it all, it would still be far short of a sample size considerable enough to produce typical results. I tell them a coin flip, over time, has a probability of heads about 50% of the time. That in no way means that I could sit here and flip a quarter 100, 200 times, and not come up with very some very surprising outcomes . . . maybe 175 tales, 25 heads. That doesn’t seem to be a 50% probability over time. Really, the problem is the sample size is insignificant. This is a distilled reason why casinos make money.

    There are definitely many other difficulties involved in acknowledging and understanding the truth of what America is and isn’t, accepting the situation, and then working towards change that is significant enough to be truly meaningful.

    I constantly remind people that society is nothing more or less than what we say it is. Anyone that is quick to tell me “that’s just the way it is” or “life’s not fair” isn’t thinking hard enough.


    • Thanks for this. What an extremely well thought out comment.

      I encountered this information piecemeal, mostly on a subject-by-subject basis, and came to the same conclusions that you have once I had encountered and digested enough information to create a critical mass in my own mind.

      Quite so, and same here. That has been my experience not only with regards to issues of race and privilege, but social and political issues in general, as well as issues of ideology. Many of my perspectives have changed dramatically in the last five years, and in virtually every case, it has been a question of discovering an increasing amount of evidence until it reached a point of critical mass.

      Freedom or Liberty are not arguments I’m willing to accept for what is essentially murder via pathological greed.

      This resonates a lot, and I may quote you on that, someday. The idea that we overvalue freedom is one that has been developing in my mind for some time—and needs a good bit of further development, still, before it is ready for public consumption. We often treat it as an unquestioned good that exists in a vacuum, failing to recognize that there are equally important values and principles that often need to be weighed against the value of freedom. If ultimate freedom were to lead to overwhelming injustice and widespread suffering, would we not question its inherent value?

      I agree with all that you point out, and it is well said. But do not underestimate the utilitarian motivation for privilege denial. It is often said that pride is at the heart of all sin, and in that vein, it is worth noting that privilege denial is almost always tied to a desire to see ourselves—whether “we” be defined as the individual in question, whiten people, conservatives, or America—as in the right, exceptional, deserving, and justified. In particular, we are heavily invested in seeing America as the shining beacon of light in the world, the City on a Hill—and that narrative is hugely threatened by the reality that oppression and injustice is massively widespread in our nation, and has always been so, and in fact is the very foundation of our society and indeed, the reason for our success.

      In any case, thank you for the insightful and thought provoking comment. It was refreshing to read.

  • Douglas Anderson

    Your very first statistic cited shows your own deep desire to prove white privilege, but it fails miserably. It has no context centered around percentage of crimes committed etc. Articles like this just show the real issue is that the author needs to deal with their own racism and self-hatred.

  • nathan

    To be clear, the above chart deals with people being arrested by the police. In other words, police shoot and kill black people they are arresting far more often than they shoot and kill white people they are arresting.
    this is what you said but the chart showed that 31 percent of people shot on arrest where black and 52 percent people shot where white? can someone help me?

    • nathan

      not being rude just confused

    • No problem, glad to explain.

      This is meant to preemptively respond to a common objection. The objection is, “Well, of course black people are killed more often than white people, because they commit crimes at higher rates than whites!”

      The response is that this data does not support that. Blacks are 12% of the population. In that year, they accounted for 28% of arrests (this statistic will be included in an updated version of this post). And yet, the rate at which they are shot does not correlate to their proportion of the population, or to their proportion of arrests.

      They were 28% of arrests in 2012. But they were 31% of all those killed by police. That’s a modest increase, but it’s in the second and third categories that it really gets bad. They’re 39% of those killed by police who were not attacking. And they’re 42% of those who were not attacking and also were not killed with a rifle or shotgun. (This matters because experts say rifles and shotguns usually indicate SWAT or other highly dangerous situation; so 42% were killed while not attacking, in situations that were less likely to be extremely dangerous, “hot calls.”)

      Now, let’s focus on the third bar, since it’s the most damaging one that involves the least speculation (about reasons for rifles and shotguns and all). Blacks were 28% of all people arrested, by 39% of all those killed while not attacking. That means they were killed while not attacking at a rate 39% higher than the rate at which they’re arrested. Meanwhile, whites were 69% of those arrested, but only 46% of those killed while not attacking. That means whites were killed at only 67% of the rate at which they were arrested.

      This means that blacks were more than twice as likely to be killed by police during an arrest in which they were not attacking. (To be precise, 2.07 times as likely.)

      And that’s the most optimistic version. Because if you read the rest of this post, you’ll see that you need to consider two other factors:

      First, as I mentioned in the same section, these are self-reported and self-classified stats. The police officers doing the shootings are the ones classifying the shootings, and yes, we do have an abundance of evidence demonstrating that police frequently misclassify the people they interact with to make themselves look better, less racist, etc. In addition, reporting to the FBI is optional for departments. If a police department doesn’t want to report their data to the FBI, they don’t have to. More than half of police killings are unaccounted for. Is it unreasonable to suspect that the worst offenders might be less inclined to send in their data? I think that’s a fairly reasonable and conservative assumption—in all things, not just in policing. So it seems highly likely that if shootings were objectively classified, the stats are probably worse than what we’re looking at; and it seems at least plausible, if not likely, that if we had all data from all departments, the data again might be even worse, by virtue of including the very departments who have reason not to want to be included.

      Second, as you read down into the rest of the police-related data, you’ll see an overwhelmingly consistent trend that demonstrates that blacks and latinos are disproportionately targeted for arrest. Poor, minority neighborhoods are over-policed by cops, and minorities are consistently arrested at much higher rates than whites, even for crimes at which they consistently offend at lower rates! This means that the whole original claim, that black people are being shot more because they commit more crimes and are therefore arrested at higher rates, is false.

      In reality, a higher percentage of black people are arrested that don’t deserve to be. And yet, even despite that, they are still killed by police at twice the rate of white people, when not attacking.

      So, to summarize: Even though blacks are less likely to deserve their arrest than whites, they’re twice as likely to be killed during that arrest.

      Hope that clarifies the matter a bit.

      • Gumbercules TheThird

        How can you be the judge and determine that “blacks are less likely to deserve their arrest than whites.” I would say that sentence alone shows your bias. At the end of the day it is the community and the culture that perpetuates and creates the people. Black culture is and has been ingrained with violence and crime. As Ben Shapiro says in response to white privilege “it has nothing to do with privilege and everything to do with culture. Can you explain to me why the single motherhood rate in 1960’s for blacks was 70% and now it’s 20% in the same time the civil rights movement has made such great victories? Can you explain why black kids aren’t graduating high school?”

        • How can you be the judge and determine that “blacks are less likely to deserve their arrest than whites.” I would say that sentence alone shows your bias.

          I can say that because I have literally proven it to be true with extensive data from a wide variety of sources. When I say they’re “less deserving,” I mean that those arrested for a given crime are less likely to have actually committed the crime they are accused of. This fact is statistically proven, over and over and over and over. This was demonstrated at length in my post. I would say your confusion on this point shows your failure to read.

          Ben Shapiro is an idiot and a bigot. And yes, I can in fact answer those questions—or I could, if they made any sense. But your quote just claimed that black single motherhood has dropped from 70% in the 1960s to 20% today—and I struggle to see how such numbers would support your point. So either you continue to struggle in your handling of even the most basic of statistics (see below), or you also suck at quoting. Or perhaps Ben Shapiro is as bad at handling data as you are.

          Assuming either you or he meant the two numbers to be switched, yes, I can in fact answer that question. To a certain degree, I already have. Read that; I’m not going to rehash it.

          But even that is incomplete. What I didn’t mention, for example, is that one of the core principles of American slavery was to deliberately destroy the black family—intentionally separating families by selling them to different owners. From slavery to convict leasing to the War on Drugs, white society and white power structures have deliberately imposed a near-continuous policy of breaking up the black family, from the 1600s to the present.

  • yodit101

    I just want to say i love this post, thank you for putting it together and doing such a great job at it.

  • CEO Daffodil

    “That’s still overly simplistic, because blacks killing blacks is but a symptom of mass incarceration, mass poverty, mass disenfranchisement, and mass segregation wrought by housing discrimination, all of which are the direct result of the War on Drugs, a racist criminal justice system, and decades of housing discrimination—which are themselves the heritage of 250 years of slavery, 90 years of Jim Crow, 60 years of “separate but equal,” and 35 years of racist housing policy.”

    None of this is true for the London black community, so explain why 67% of those accused of gun crime in London are from the African-Caribbean community, when they are less than 13% of the population? (2010 figures) Other crime statistics from London paint a similar picture.

    Similarly out of the British national prison population, 10% are black, which are 2.8% of the general population they represent (2014).

    • At this point, I’m really not equipped to explain any of that. My focus is specifically on racial issues in America. Our racial history is very different than yours, as you’ve pointed out. To go into a bit more depth, this is our story—it’s not yours.

      What I would venture to guess is that there have likely been other forms of white supremacy at play in British society and culture over the last half-millennium, not the least of which would be colonialism, imperialism, and Britain’s own involvement in the slave trade. I can’t speak to the specifics of the situation in Britain, but I can say that if—in one of the oldest vestiges of colonial oppression, no less—there was no trace of systemic racism in Britain over the last several hundred years, it would be the exception to a worldwide rule that has played out in the U.S., in South Africa, and everywhere that the British Empire established a colony.

      But I can’t speak to the specifics of your context; my focus is here in the United States. That said, the implications in your comment are troubling to me. You seem to be saying, “None of the historical factors that have destroyed the black community in America are present in Britain, and yet they’re still prone to more criminal activity—so the only explanation must be that black people are genetically predisposed to violence, crime, etc.” That view has not only been extensively proven wrong, but in fact has been wholly discarded by all civilized people in the western world. And it’s just really troubling. I really do hope that implication was unintended.

      What are the factors that led to the current situation, described in your statistics? I do not know. But I can assure you, whatever they are, they exist.

      • CEO Daffodil

        I thought that you would say that.

        The problem with the “white supremacy in Britain” argument is that, in comparison to the 1.1 million black population here we also have a 1.4 million Indian population, some of whom have skin which is just as dark as that of a black person, and yet they don’t commit crime at a higher rate than the white average. So why aren’t whites in Britain discriminating against Indians or otherwise indirectly causing Indians to commit crimes at a higher rate than whites?

        And even if you start arguing that “alright, it must then be due to what Africans and Caribbeans experienced at British hands before they arrived in Britain”, then I can just point out that Britain’s colonialism in India is just as famous for its atrocities as its colonialism in Africa was. We also wrecked a lot of China, and the Chinese community in Britain has a lower rate of criminality than the white population does.
        So, to say the least, there’s a bit of an explanation gap between colonialism and high crime rate among the, generations previously, colonised.

        The last thing I’ll point out, which is a serious problem for the argument of “white supremacy in Britain is caused high black crime rate” is that blacks actually overachieve education compared to whites ( They are getting higher grades in secondary school and being admitted to university at a higher rate than white people – so why the disproportionately high crime rate?

        Arguing that black crime is 100% genetic wasn’t exactly what I was going for, no. I would more lean towards culture as an explanation, but genetics could also be a part of it. I mean — men commit more crime than women, and men are genetically different to women, right? And one of the genetic differences between men and women is the amount of testosterone they produce, and testosterone is known for a fact to influence aggression. So, at least between males and females, genetics explain some of the difference between aggressive behaviour. But I’m curious what the evidence is that the idea that variation in racial aggression is genetically influenced has been extensively proven wrong, though? Regardless of whether civilised people discard such a view. I’ve seen some evidence to the contrary, which I can show you if you like.

  • Gumbercules TheThird

    I found your article the other day and so far, the first four sources I’ve looked in to have not held up to scrutiny whatsoever. Just now, I got some free time and started to look up source [4] and [5]. For [4], which is the racial composition of NYC, that’s fine. You got that from the Census information. Now, for the fifth reference, you got that from NYCLU, an arm of the ACLU, and an extreme left leaning organization. Their information is not credible, not to mention that their source for the information they are referencing is not credible in the slightest. They reference data from the police about stopping/frisking. The actual data from the police on shows the number of stops from each precinct, not the race, hair color, et cetera that the NYCLU claims to have information from. This is just one of your sources and I do not have the time to delve in to how you, and the organizations you get your information from, have a prior agenda you seek to reinforce.

    I notice that you conveniently leave out the fact that although blacks are about 13% of the US population, they commit about 50% of the murder. This is an old number but the quickest I could reference: In 2011 – “Concerning murder victims for whom race was known, 50.0 percent were black, 46.0 percent were white, and 2.6 percent were of other races. Race was unknown for 175 victims. (Based on Expanded Homicide Data Table 2.)”

    Here’s another one from the Bureau of Justice that shows between 1980 and 2008, black people committed 52% of homicides:

    How do you respond to this in a non-round about way that does not blame the actions of black people on white people?

    • “How do you respond to this in a non-round about way that does not blame the actions of black people on white people?”

      I don’t, because everything about your comment is absurd—from the way you deal with the data to the way you beg the question. I’ll break up my response into individual comments so that you can respond appropriately to each, which experience tells me you won’t do. You’ll prefer to ignore all my points and move on to the next cliché, rehashed talking point, hoping that you can shift attention and no one will notice the points you lost.

      I’m not going to respond to you “in a … way that does not blame the actions of black people on white people”—because you don’t get to dictate the way I use the data, the arguments that I make, or the conclusions that I draw. You don’t get to predetermine the results of the discussion. Here’s how absurd your “question” is: Imagine an atheist making claims about the historical accuracy or authenticity of the Bible, and then asking, “How do you respond to this in a way that does not claim the Bible is accurate and authentic?” Sorry, you don’t get to do that.

      • Gumbercules TheThird

        wow, hit a nerve did I? You’ve really acted entitled, angry, and come as pretty arrogant in your responses.

        Love this part:

        “Even if you were correct about violent crime—which you’re not [even though the FBI data says otherwise]—the idea that that would invalidate what I have presented here is invalid. Your argument here is the equivalent of me proving that the favorite food of elementary school children is spaghetti, and you saying, “No it’s not, because elementary school children hate pizza.” It’s a non-sequitur; it does not follow. The one does not disprove the other. The issue of whether or not blacks commit murder at higher rates than whites has exactly zero bearing on the fact that they are arrested, charged, convicted, and incarcerated at higher rates for drug crimes. That is injustice, regardless of anything else. Period.

        You literally just wrote that the amount of violent crime that a person, or race, commits has no bearing on how often they are arrested, charged, convicted, and incarcerated from drug related offences. There is a direct correlation between drug use/sale and murder. Are you denying that?

        How does my challenge that you can’t blame white people for black murder statistics make that a round about argument? It has nothing to do with white people and 100% to do with culture.

        Don’t worry little guy, I’m gonna spend some time reading your long winded apologist article and I’ll be back.

        • If their involvement in drug use/sale leads them to commit violent crime, then they can be arrested for the violent crimes they commit. But whether or not blacks commit violent crimes at a higher rate does not justify blacks being arrested, charged, convicted, and incarcerated at higher rates FOR DRUG CRIMES. How is that hard to understand?

          It’s a teacher giving boys detention for talking in class more often than girls, even though they actually talk in class the same amount or less than the girls, and then justifying it by saying, “Well, boys get into more fights in the schoolyard.” What does that have to do with talking in class?

          Even if you could prove that kids who got into more fights were also more likely to talk in class—say, because they lack respect, or manners, or whatever—it wouldn’t change the fact that the teacher is punishing the boys for a specific offense more often than girls, even though they don’t commit that offense more often than girls.

          How is that difficult to understand?

        • How does my challenge that you can’t blame white people for black murder statistics make that a round about argument? It has nothing to do with white people and 100% to do with culture.

          Again, you’re predetermining that assumption. The claim that it has nothing to do with white people is an assumption. And you’re demanding that I operate based on the assumption that there is no possible way that white people have had any impact on the black community—which is an absurd assumption. And yet you cling to it. Clearly, you’re operating on a prior assumption that you’re unwilling to give up.

    • The irony, though, is my favorite part of this comment—the irony of you claiming that I have a prior agenda that I’m seeking to reinforce, all while attempting to predetermine what conclusions I may and may not come to. You accuse me of a hidden agenda in one breath, and then reveal your own painfully obvious, not in the least bit hidden agenda by demanding that I not use any data, or any arguments, which reinforce the validity of white privilege. In the process, it becomes clear that you have already discounted any data, and any argument, which recognizes white privilege. And you’ve got the stones to accuse me of seeking to reinforce a prior agenda? That’s rich.

      It’s also incorrect. See, you assume that I’m some leftist, guilt-ridden hippy, cherry-picking data that supports assumptions I already held. What you don’t realize is that I’ve been a staunch conservative all my life. I voted for Bush, and then Romney—unfortunately. In fact, I’ve never voted for a Democrat, in any office… yet. And as a conservative, I blamed black poverty on cultural failures, just like any other conservative. But as you can tell, my views on those issues have changed—and the data I present here was one of the major factors that caused me to change my mind on these issues. You project onto me this idea that I go out looking for cherry-picked statistics to reinforce my worldview, probably because you can’t fathom doing it any other way. But the truth is the exact opposite. I didn’t select my data to fit my views; I changed my views to fit what the data say.

      The person cherry-picking data to support their prior agenda is you.

    • On to your actual claims.

      Your handling of the NYPD (NYCLU), FBI, and BJS data leaves much to be desired. First, the NYPD data that you’ve tried to discount by impugning the ACLU.

      You’re simply incorrect about the NYPD stop-and-frisk data. Yes, the data is presented by the NYCLU—but it is not the NYCLU’s data. This is the NYPD’s own data. You’re also simply wrong about what the data includes. You claim the NYCLU’s “source for the information they are referencing is not credible in the slightest”—I don’t know how much more credible you can get than the NYPD’s own data. And you don’t have to take the NYCLU’s word for it; they provide links to all of the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk reports. The reports have the NYPD’s official letterhead/logo on the top-left of every page! But here’s the worst bit:

      “The actual data from the police on shows the number of stops from each precinct, not the race, hair color, et cetera that the NYCLU claims to have information from.”

      This is where this really starts to be embarrassing for you. Because you’d be right… if the document were only 4 pages long. But it’s not—it’s 331 pages long. And if you had read even just a little bit past the part that you thought reinforced your predetermined conclusion, you’d have found that not only does the NYPD data that the NYCLU cited contain race, and yes, hair color too, but it has much, much more than that. Gender, age, weight, height, build, eye color, and much more.

      Not only that, but if you scroll a just a little further down on the NYCLU page that I cited, you’ll find a spreadsheet containing the all of the data from the NYPD’s database, with specific details on every single stop, for the year 2012. The database contains 101 different data points for each individual stop, for a total of 45,788 stops.


    • Next, you cite FBI murder statistics for 2011. But once again, you bungle the data. The point you’re trying to make is that black people commit a disproportionate percentage of all murders—but the data you provide is data on the race of the victims. That doesn’t mean your claim is incorrect—there’s some truth to it, though it is far from as simple as you’d like to make it—but you struggle so much to handle even the most basic data properly (even to the point of failing to, you know, scroll and read) that I’m disinclined to concern myself with your evaluation of my sources or how I have handled the data.

      You did manage not to bungle the BJS statistics. Congratulations, I guess?

    • Beyond your bungling of what little data, there’s an even bigger problem: The point you’re trying make by citing murder statistics is a classic case of a red herring fallacy. You’re attempting to distract from the validity of my argument by making a separate point that seems relevant but is in fact unrelated to anything that I have presented. I’ve actually already had this same discussion in these comments, so some of what follows will be copied and pasted from above:

      Even if you were correct about violent crime—which you’re not—the idea that that would invalidate what I have presented here is invalid. Your argument here is the equivalent of me proving that the favorite food of elementary school children is spaghetti, and you saying, “No it’s not, because elementary school children hate pizza.” It’s a non-sequitur; it does not follow. The one does not disprove the other. The issue of whether or not blacks commit murder at higher rates than whites has exactly zero bearing on the fact that they are arrested, charged, convicted, and incarcerated at higher rates for drug crimes. That is injustice, regardless of anything else. Period.

      You see, I never claimed to prove that blacks commit less crime than whites in all areas. I never claimed to prove that blacks do not deserve to be incarcerated at higher rates than whites in all areas. You’ve implied that that is my argument, and in doing so, have employed a straw man fallacy—setting up a false version of my argument so that you can more easily knock it down. But that’s not my argument. My argument is that white privilege and systemic racism are real, and they are rampant. I have provided well over 100 statistics, in 12 different categories, that prove that to be true. You finding one, single area where black people might not be disproportionately targeted by our criminal justice system does nothing to discount all of the other areas where I have demonstrated systemic injustice.

      Beyond that, those statistics are irrelevant. I never claimed to be discussing all crimes. My only claim was to demonstrate a number of specific areas in which white privilege and systemic racism are rampant.

      What’s worse, your argument seems designed to justify the injustice that I have outlined. I point out that blacks are stopped, searched, and arrested more often, despite being less guilty of the offenses warranting such stops—and your response seems to be, “Yeah, well, even though they don’t deserve that, they do deserve it because of other things they do.” So let’s be clear on this: If they commit certain other crimes at higher rates than whites, then they should be arrested, convicted, and incarcerated for those crimes and those alone at higher rates. But while we’re being clear, that doesn’t mean much higher rates. It means that they should be arrested for those crimes at rates equal to the rate at which they commit those crimes. And as it turns out, this is yet another place where your argument falls apart—because first, even for those crimes, they are arrested, charged, and convicted at rates far beyond any increased rate at which they may commit those crimes, and second, none of that justifies discriminating against them for offenses which they do not commit at higher rates.

    • Finally, there’s the inherently problematic nature of all crime statistics: They are based on not just one, but several layers of pro-law enforcement, anti-minority bias. Take the stop-and-frisk data: The data for each stop is entered into the system by the officer who performed the stop. Cops have every incentive, and clearly every opportunity, to deliberately misclassify those they stop in order to appear less racist on paper. Do we have any reason to think they actually do this? Yes, in fact, we have specific examples of police officers doing this—not just a few bad apples, not just in some small town, but on a massive scale. So there is every reason to assume that the racially disparate numbers are even worse than they appear on paper.

      Or take your murder stats. Your data says 52% of murders are committed by blacks. But where does that statistic come from? It comes from arrests, which become charges, which become convictions. Well, that’s interesting—because if you read the rest of this post, you’ll discover that blacks are disproportionately discriminated against in each successive level of the criminal justice process. They’re more likely to be considered as a suspect, more likely to be arrested, more likely to be charged, more likely to be convicted. They’re more likely to have an overworked public defender, and therefore far less likely to get a quality defense. They’re more likely to be brought up on harsher charges, whereas whites are more likely to face lesser charges—perhaps manslaughter instead of murder. It has been thoroughly well established that the criminal justice system coercively forces poor people, especially people of color, to plead guilty to a crime they did not commit, out of fear of losing in court and going away for a much longer sentence. We know that it is common for police officers to stop looking for additional suspects once they have found one that looks good for it, and that it is disproportionately likely that they will look first at any black people in the suspect pool.

      And the result of all of that is that your 52% number is probably not 52%. Too many white people with excellent lawyers; too many black people with a public defendant.

      Does that account for all of the disparity in commission of murder? No way. Even with all that, blacks undoubtedly still end up committing significantly more murders per capita than whites. Why? White supremacy, the drug wars, the school-to-prison pipeline, redlining and white flight. I’m not going to waste my time explaining these things to someone who had his mind made up long before he ever arrived here. Instead, try reading. Read The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander. Read Dog Whistle Politics, by Ian Haney López. Read Ta-Nehisi Coates, at The Atlantic (especially his long form pieces, as well as his books). Read Slavery by Another Name, by Douglas A. Blackmon. Read my piece on the true history of white supremacy in America.

      Or don’t. And you won’t, of course. Because when you asked the question, you weren’t asking the question. You came here not with any interest in evaluating new information, but with your mind already made up. You admitted as much, yourself. You came here to drop a couple irrelevant and badly bungled statistics, to spout off a tired conservative talking point or two. You’re not interested in learning anything at all.

      But understand that if you’re not willing to put in a very small amount of effort to become better educated on a tremendously important human rights and social justice issue, then you forfeit your right to an opinion. A deliberately ignorant opinion is not, in fact, an opinion at all; it is willfully held prejudice. And that’s fine, you can do that. Just not here.

  • Gumbercules TheThird

    By the way, just reading some more of your stuff and it really is ridiculous how you justify racism against white people. The VAST majority of whites have done absolutely nothing negatively impacting race relations or with racist intent yet we get to be discriminated against, because, history? I do not want to resort to personal attacks but fuck you thinking you’re so much better than people who do not agree with you. Really though, fuck you. I’ll be back.

    • The VAST majority of whites have done absolutely nothing negatively impacting race relations or with racist intent yet we get to be discriminated against, because, history?

      Yeah, never said that. Never blamed individuals. It’s systemic—look it up.

      I do not want to resort to personal attacks but fuck you thinking you’re so much better than people who do not agree with you. Really though, fuck you. I’ll be back.

      Not anymore, you won’t.


    We The Muslim Family of Abdallah we give out loans to everyone in need of money, we give out different loans, we are here to help you get back to your financier feet of money, my company aim is to make sure we Preserve oneself from been scam, by evil loan lenders,if you need a loan contact us on our email:


    1. Full Names:………………………
    2. Contact Address:…………………
    3. Loan Amount Needed:……………
    4. Duration of the Loan………………
    5. Direct Telephone Number:……………

    Attention All RESPONSE TO OUR email:


    Alberta Permanent Trust Company,

  • Jane Fraser

    This is certainly interesting data, and it does indicate discrimination, but I think your conclusions are deplorable. Rather than using this data to invoke sympathy and create a drive for positive change through practical means, you have guilted white people who have done no wrong and apologised for racism. This sort of thing bears striking resemblance to the causes of the Rwandan genocide. You really ought to have a deep look at your self and whether the things you do and say will lead to positive change, because it seems to me that they will do the exact opposite.

    • Huh? Coming to understand the nature of systemic racism is vital to becoming motivated to change it. Tucker isn’t shaming or “guilting” anyone.

    • Steve Kamerman

      I *slightly* agree with you that the author’s tone does give the impression that white people are individually to blame (despite him also explicitly stating that this is not true). For example, the notion that the problem is white privilege is misleading in my opinion, and the term itself is understood mean many different things to many people.

      For many years, I have taken “white privilege” to mean “white people are intentionally keeping black people down so they can succeed”. To further complicate things, that sentence is actually sort of accurate (minus the intent), and it used to be quite accurate, but these days it’s very rarely the individuals being racist. In the places I’ve been throughout the far reaches of the US, I have only met a handful of people that were outwardly racist, and these people had very few things in common, even their own race. I think the problem today is primarily racial bias (implicitly judging people of color more harshly, hiring them at a lower rate, assuming bad intent more frequently, etc) and racial wealth inequality (poor people are disproportionately black, which is a huge disadvantage).

      In order to evoke a positive change, we need to find a way to convey this empirical information in a way that doesn’t blame white people for all the problems of black people. The problem isn’t white people – why should I apologize for the atrocities of the slave owners? All four of my grandparents emigrated to the US in the 1950s from Europe after the Nazis occupied their country and exterminated tens of millions of people. It seems a bit hypocritical to slump me into the guilt bucket due only to my skin color.

      To your point, Jane, I agree 100% with the notion that we need to invoke sympathy and create a drive for positive change. If we really want a widespread acceptance and understanding of this problem by the majority of Americans, we need it to be consumable and not so abrasive that they immediately stop reading. It seems that this was your perception of the conclusion, and I could feel that same feeling as I was reading it. The difficulty with perceptions is that even when they are factually false, they are still real perceptions, and they still evoke emotional responses in people. For this message to be widespread, it needs to either be perceived positively, or completely impossible to ignore. If you really want change, it needs to be both (enter MLK).

  • Danvers

    Like the lies about white serial killer? per capita, something you HATE using because it destroys your narrative

    Or the biggest lie. The justice system using other races to artificially inflate the white conviction rate.

    This destroys your entire lying cherry picking narrative. Go ahead and ban me, your white privilege lie is not even a theory, because if it was it would get destroyed in the real academic arena.

    Not the social “science” clowns.

    educated blacks earn more than educated whites per capita.

    Affirmative action in action. 12 groups, one including recent African immigrants make more money than white people overall.

    Your white privilege, not a theory, falls apart when you look at others besides blacks and Hispanics.

    But to racists like you, only blacks count, that’s the best way to signal virtue. You GOT DESTROYED.

  • Dean

    I’m sorry, but I do have to question the integrity of much of these figures. If such a drastically lower number of white people are being pulled over and/or frisked, of course they are more likely to have contraband on them considering the drastically smaller sample pool. Here are a few more facts to take into account. In spite of only making up 13% of the population, 52% of homicides in America were committed by blacks between 1980 and 2008, compared to 45% white. This number is staggering considering there are 5 times more whites than blacks in this nation. 38.5% of people arrested for murder, assault, manslaughter and rape between 2011 and 2013 were black. Again, staggering considering that blacks only make up 13% of the population. Despite the fact that black people commit an equal or greater number of violent crimes compared to white people annually, white people are nearly twice as likely to be killed by police. Between 1999 and 2011, 2,151 whites died as a result of being shot by police compared to 1,130 blacks. Blacks commit 8 times more crimes against whites than vise versa, and blacks are 40 times more likely to assault a white person than the reverse. Are these figures skewed by blacks being framed by authorities for crimes? Actually, National Crime Victimization Survey shows that the number of blacks arrested generally correlates with the number of offenders identified as black by victims. Meaning victims claimed their attacker was black, and that black person was arrested. Studies suggest that the reasons behind blacks being more likely to commit violent crimes are the dual issues of poverty (which exacerbates family breakdown) and a sub-culture among the black community that is tolerant of and glamorizes crime and violence. Also, look at the aftermath of the police shooting in Ferguson. The media spun a story of a hate crime and encouraged blacks to loot and riot, the white liberal media is helping to keep black communities in a cycle of destructive behavior that will lead to more police brutality targeted against black people. The facts and figures shown in the portion of this article show a severe disproportion between how whites and minorities, and yet the figures for violent crimes also show a severe disproportion of crimes committed by blacks compared to their population size.

  • Trallen

    Mr. Tucker, recently at the BET Awards show a speech was given that among many grievances spoke about ongoing cultural appropriation within the black music industry. Do you have any thoughts on that issue. It would seem mankind has benefitted from various types of cultural appropriation.

    • First, Jesse Williams’ speech was one of the most incredible things I’ve ever heard. The acclamation it has gotten is not undeserved.

      Second, for me personally, cultural appropriation has been a difficult concept to get my head around. I know that it is real and problematic. I know that there are two ends to the spectrum: On one end is what can clearly and undeniably be called cultural appropriation (I think a great example is early rock n’ roll music, which came out of black culture, but only met with any success when a white person, like Elvis Presley, was playing it); on the other end is the completely innocent and benign borrowing and intermingling of culture—what is often referred to as “appreciation.” The difficulty is where the line is between the two, and what it is that separates them.

      Is it giving due credit to the cultural inspiration for that which has been appropriated? That seems to be a part of it. Is it using any benefit, any influence and power, that may result from the incorporation of an oppressed culture, to speak up and stand up for that culture? That also seems to be part of it. Is it simply a willingness to be active in speaking out for justice for the community whose cultural identity you are either paying homage to, or appropriating? That much seems clear.

      Perhaps my biggest questions surround the question of what is required of those who do not create the system of cultural appropriation, but benefit from it. Because at its most basic, I believe that I understand that cultural appropriation is a cultural trend wherein the trappings of a minority culture are taken by the dominant culture, perhaps even at great profit, all while those same minority communities and individuals are denied, overlooked, chastised, even vilified, for the very same cultural elements. So, for example, when a white women wears a traditionally black hairstyle and is celebrated for it, all while black women are denigrated for their hairstyles, that’s cultural appropriation. When a white rapper is a talented musician, but black rappers are thugs, that’s cultural appropriation. When white artists find tremendous success in a musical genre that comes from black culture, while black artists struggle to even make it, that’s cultural appropriation. That is something we have been doing for decades, in this country—white society essentially mining black culture in music, fashion, and many other areas, but whitewashing it and selling it to white America as a primarily white product.

      To be clear, white people have benefitted from various types of cultural appropriation. Minority communities—especially the black community, it would seem, at least here in the U.S.—have not benefitted from it at all. Quite the opposite, they have been harmed by it.

      The question, for me, is what is the individual’s responsibility? I think systemic cultural appropriation is fairly easy to identify. But Justin Timberlake didn’t create the system in which he has profited from the commercializing of black culture that is demonized when it is actually portrayed by black people. He simply made his music, and found success. The system of cultural appropriation that enabled that success existed around him, and before him, but he didn’t create it. It is systemic. So what is the individual’s responsibility? If he stands up for the black community, gives credit to his cultural influences and is openly honest about the fact that he benefits from his whiteness, struggles publicly with the appropriative nature of his success, etc.—does that make it not cultural appropriation? Or does that make it appropriation, but done in a manner that is acceptable?

      These questions bring me back to Jesse Williams’ speech. One of the powerful things about that speech is that, for someone who struggles to understand the finer points of cultural appropriation—what makes it appropriation, and where is the line?—Jesse Williams’ speech was a powerfully eye-opening moment. I do not yet fully understand the nuances of cultural appropriation—but I have never understood the idea of appropriation better than I did when watching Jesse Williams’ speech.

      There are details I’m still trying to figure out—and to be clear, I have every intention of reading and asking questions until I do understand. But while it may still be fuzzy around the edges, the picture of what cultural appropriation is, and why it’s a problem, is clearer to me now, after Jesse Williams’ speech, than it has ever been before.

      • Trallen

        It would appear Timberlake who by all accounts has made music from influences growing up in Memphis and who has payed homage to those artist was an innocent victim of this Twitter fed outrage. If we agree that Whites have the power then it would behoove black artists to in rational voices like Mr. Owens, educate the industry rather than alienate the white talented power base like JT who can join in and advance the cause.

  • Julianne Van’t Land

    I just stumbled across your post and I’m so grateful for the time you’ve taken to compile these statistics and examples to more fully flesh out the mountain of adversity and inequality our black and brown brothers and sisters push up against every day. Thank you for giving a platform to these issues that so many would like to ignore or dismiss.

  • Catherine Stier Howie

    Thanks, JBWT for such a well-researched original article, and just as thoughtful responses to comments. (I read about half of them.)

    I am a white female pastor in a suburban church that has been doing what we can to work on solutions – although, as you point out, if we all knew what the solutions were, we wouldn’t hesitate to implement them! But we are trying.

    The reason I give my background is so you understand my perspective, that I am not looking for a bone to chew.

    You mention several times that “white privilege” is not a good term – I whole-heartedly agree. This is the first place I have read that concern– thank you! The term angers me, honestly. I try my best to remain civil when people use it – often in heated and blaming rants – but it is difficult. The term connotes (for me) a wagging finger in my face that is at best inflammatory, and at worst divisive. The word “advantage” is more neutral. Way more neutral. “White advantage” describes the same condition and moves the rhetoric into a discussion instead staying in the realm of heated emotion. I suppose it’s unreasonable to expect a social term to be changed because it helps the discussion… yet it has happened if it’s PC. Maybe you could posit the idea? If we are truly interested in solutions, and a term is getting in the way, doesn’t it make sense to change it? (I have white friends who won’t even engage in a discussion because they find it so offensive.)

    Another point that you mention in the comments that struck me is that white people should not feel bad for being white or feel as if we need to apologize for our advantage. I understand the “should” of your statement, but that isn’t the reality or practical experience I have had. Some use “white privilege” as a blaming arrow, intending to wound and exact hurt for vengeance. Even moderate discussions, turn sour when I don’t offer the expected apology. And this all while I keep my mouth shut, knowing that anything I say (except an apology) will make the situation worse – and that is NOT my goal! Instead of engaging in unprofitable argument, I listen, hoping to garner greater understanding. When can someone who is privileged enter the discussion? In relationship the opportunities come up more frequently. And that is right. However, in the larger discussion – the blogosphere and social media – what I have commented here would create a fire storm. I think you understand my question, based on the negative comments you have posted. I assume there have been others, far less civil, which you have not approved for publication.

    Lest I leave you with a doom-and-gloom attitude, as I said at the beginning, our church is working to bridge gaps to find solutions. I will not be giving up because of a couple of minor frustrations. Thank you for a safe and courteous place to give voice to these concerns. Blessings to you. And thanks again.

  • Steve Kamerman

    Hi Tucker, I stumbled on your article while looking for original sources of data. You have done a ton of great work here, and I would love to see if there is some way that I can assist you. I have the competence, resources and means to be able to publicly host and analyze large amounts of data for you. I see no other obvious way to contact you, but I imagine you can see my email from Disqus. If not, you can also contact me via LinkedIn or just Google me and contact me through any of those sites. Also, you’re welcome to delete my post since I’m just trying to get in touch with you :)

  • DatBus

    Where on earth do you get to claim “conservative”? This is some of most regressive nonsense I’ve read yet. How do you measure statistics for a political construct like “people of color” when there’s no such ACTUAL thing in science? Tucker, you’ve been brainwashed by marxists.

  • DatBus

    This is some of most regressive “social justice” nonsense I’ve yet to
    encounter, and I’ve encountered quite a lot. More critical theory bullsh*t that takes us further and further away from the individual and his/her choices. How do you measure statistics for a deceptive Leftist construct like “people of color” when there’s no such ACTUAL thing? Tucker, please understand – you’ve been brainwashed by marxists. As a Black Men who grew up in the hood I want to be sure you understand that by perpetuating this SJW poision YOU ARE NOT HELPING.

Real Time Analytics