White Privilege: A Misnamed Truth by Guest Blogger James Smith

Welcome James Smith, guest blogger and middle aged MAN gone wild.



I define privilege as having something one should not have: a rich man’s son evading the draft, a powerful man evading prosecution for crimes he has committed. As a middle class (just barely) white man, I do not have this type of privilege. However, I do enjoy the basic rights and freedoms afforded me by the U.S. Constitution – I know how fortunate that makes me. Not because I have something I should not have (privilege) rather, because so many of my fellow Americans do not have these basics. Because of matters as trivial as gender, race, age, disability, sexual orientation etc. far too many Americans have a lesser subset of rights and freedoms, and this is wrong. Wrong not because of what I have, rather, because of what they do not.

Therefore, the phrase “White Privilege” is a misnomer. White Baseline is a more accurate term. Human Baseline would be better still. Sadly, for the time being, white baseline better reflects the truth of the matter. Even as a disabled vet clawing my way through the VA, I am emboldened in my battle by the knowledge that I have the basic rights and freedoms afforded me by the U.S. Constitution.

Resenting white people for having what they should have is wrong. Hate, and fight the system that does not afford you the Human Baseline. My fellow white people, please do not fail to recognize how fortunate you are, and never except a nation where your fellow Americans have less than you.

James Smith is a 55 year old father of three grown children and a disabled vet who advocates for other veterans.  He is active in the Denver amateur film scene in several roles and an avid photographer.