LETTER: Privilege cannot be defined by race

LETTER: Privilege cannot be defined by race

This letter is in reference to “It’s time for Canada to confront its own racism,” in the June 18 Victoria News.

The editor asks about Canadians’ reaction to civil unrest in the U.S. and references the protests between the Wet’suwet’en Nation, Coastal Gaslink and the federal and provincial governments, “Where were those same people when the Wet’suwet’en Nation needed their support?” Did it ever occur to the editor that some people might condemn the actions of a few bad police officers in the death of George Floyd and yet support Coastal Gaslink because they understand how vital energy is to Canada’s economy and national security?

The editor writes, “Racism doesn’t have to be blatant or intentionally mean-spirited: it can be as simple as a poor choice of words, or an assumption made.” Would that be the assumption that, as the editor writes, “The best thing that people can do is to check their privilege at the door…”? Of course this is a reference to the nonsensical concept of “white privilege.”

A quote about white privilege from Dr. Jordan Peterson from the University of Toronto:

“The idea that you can target an ethnic group with a collective crime regardless of the specific innocence or guilt of the constituent elements of that group, there is absolutely nothing that is more racist than that. It’s absolutely abhorrent.”

I suggest reading “Hillbilly Eligy” by J.D. Vance and see if these people have “privilege”?

In any debate on any issue, either one’s argument is good or it is bad. This has nothing to do with one’s melanin, genitalia, sex or sexuality. This concept of “white privilege” is what leads to racist practices such as black-only graduations and housing at U.S. universities. Life is about choices and personal responsibility, not “white privilege” that, when internalized, leads to a permanent victim class that cannot accept responsibility for their own decisions. Two actual privileges are first, being born into a two parent household and secondly, being born in any Western liberal democracy with their emphasis on human and individual rights.

If the Western liberal democracies like Canada and the U.S. are such racist places, why do people from other countries want to immigrate to the West? Of course there are racists in Canada, the U.S., Great Britain, Australia, etc. But the actual truth is that these countries are the most tolerant, least racist, least sexist, least homophobic, multi-ethnic countries on earth.

Grant Giles

Victoria