It would indeed seem that Marley K. judged an entire race…at least to those who look only at the words and fail to see (in historical and geographic terms) the larger point. You’re recently retired and judging by the photo, you and I seem to be of an age. We’ve both got a bit of mileage on us, and have seen things that younger people haven’t.

I don’t know how well traveled you are, but I can say this: everywhere around this world I’ve been, and particularly when I’m the only white guy for miles around, I’ve been given white privilege. My word is trusted more, the people adjust their conduct to keep from offending me, and they go the extra mile to make me happy.

Sure, one could with good reason claim that that’s all because my skin color in such places indicates to the locals that I have money. But why is my word trusted more? The perception of wealth doesn’t explain that. What does explain it is that we Whites have been on top for the past 500 years. Before then, it was the Chinese, or the empires of the Fertile Crescent — the ascendancy of European Whites is in historical terms a relative flash in the pan.

That ascendancy of European Whites on a worldwide scale (e.g. colonization) is what gave us white privilege on that same scale. We Whites experience it literally from birth, and so we don’t realize that the privilege you and I have had all our lives is not normal and is not experienced today by other races. You and I were born into white privilege that is the direct result of the colonial period, when white supremacy was not seen as an insulting reference, but as part of God’s divine plan.

This is what Marley K. is referring to. This will change — indeed, it is changing already, and that ongoing and inevitable demographic change is the source of much of the increase of overt racism in America today. Our white privilege is beginning to decrease, though it will still be prevalent long after you and I are dead and buried. Asia — and particularly China — is rising. Two centuries hence, Whites may well be referring to “Asian privilege”, pointing out all the little ways that Asians are given precedence in business and society…and Blacks will be saying, “you’re just now starting to understand how we feel.”

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Retired Navy. Inveterate contrarian. If I haven’t done it, I’ve usually done something close.

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