From my own experience, privilege manifests primarily in two ways, which apply equally to all people of every demographic:
- Incuriosity: Not feeling obligated to understand what your fellow citizens are trying to tell you. “I see clearly that I see things the right way, and that your view is distorted.”
- Imperiousness: Not feeling obligated to win the assent of your fellow citizens before doing things that affect their lives. “I don’t have to convince you.”
Privilege is not something that automatically deludes certain categories of people, nor does disprivilege enlighten other categories.
The epistemological and ethical self-privileging of our own inexhautibly irritable illiberal left fringe was in fact an effect of privilege (or perceived privilege). A set of folks thought they possessed sufficient political power (due to numbers and the thrust of history, not to mention the overwhelming privilege of the social status one gains from a degree from an elite university) to steamroll anyone who disagreed with them. They “checked their privilege” when “dialoguing” with token representatives of their favored categories, but when talking to examples of “privileged” categories, took the most privileged position possible and condescendently lectured them on how great they actually had it compared to other unfortunate categories. Or they just discharged their resentment on any demographically qualified human lightning rod that happened to be handy when it was time for lightning to strike.
Our illiberal Left did not care how people felt about “finally having the tables turned on them.” They didn’t bother listening to opposing views because their vulgar marxoid false consciousness theories explained away the objections of dissenters to their own personal satisfaction.
The sole difference between this gang of ideologues and any other gang of conspiracy theorists is that this gang sort of favored the same people and policies we left-liberals did. Their passion was useful, so we accepted them as allies. We ought to feel ashamed that fewer of us called out their “calling out” — until it cost us what might be the most important election in this nation’s history. Now we are full of remorse and desire to self-reflect on what we were doing wrong. A year ago this self-scrutiny would have gone much further.
So we can complain all day about the Right not being vocal enough about denouncing their fringe, but how did the Left do when we felt secure in our power?
If the Right stands up to marginalize the KKK, they will have demonstrated true moral superiority to the Left, who did far too little to marginalize our SJW.