A Question of Personal Privilege

If you’ve heard about the bizarre campaign mostly led by the Breitbartians to charge that #BlackLivesMatter activist Shaun King is actually white, then you really really need to read King’s rebuttal, posted at DailyKos.

It ought to, but won’t, cause his tormenters to apologize, because nothing he says can definitely refute their claim that absent documentary evidence the man has to be white. A life of experience and the testimony of everybody who has known him doesn’t matter. And you know why? Because what they are trying to show in this and other cases is that black people are the ones with privileges in this society, so much so that white people are faking being black.

People who live in actual America know this is absurd, but it’s quite the fine weapon against any efforts to deal with white racism–much less white privilege. Just define it out of existence! And who cares who gets hurt? A lot of privileges are at stake.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.