Facebook helps manufacture consent around the idea of white privilege

Want to write on Facebook about “white privilege” and how “It’s for sure a white man’s world in America. … All you got to be is white in America to get whatever you want”? (see Being There) Go for it!

What about disagreeing with this, however obliquely? A Facebook friend wrote the following:

There are tens of millions of racists in america but most are white trash who don’t make any decisions that matter.

His account was suspended.

A friend’s post, quoting “Jeff Jarvis: ‘As an old, white American man, I must confess it’s people like me who got us here'”:

Soon, by 2050, the white majority in America faces the reality that it will become the white minority and that scares them. The most frightened are the uneducated, old, white men who hold privilege and power and realise how tenuous that hold is because it is based on what they had in the past — who they are — rather than what they contribute to the future — what they can do.

I responded with the following:

If they’re uneducated and old, how are they privileged? If they’re over 40, they wouldn’t even be able to get a job absent government coercion (see https://www.eeoc.gov/age-discrimination ).

My friend:

Because things would be even harder for them if they were uneducated, old, and not white. I think Jeff does a good job of defining privilege: when you get things others don’t because of who you are, rather than because of what you can do.


Let that uneducated unemployed old white guy go out on Tinder and see how far his privilege takes him….

(if he is successful on Tinder and his partner chooses not to abort the resulting child, see Real World Divorce to calculate the cash flow in various states)

His friends piled on about how wrong I was. Me:

Only a few years ago, these same men were being featured as victims by our media. Now they are “privileged” and “powerful”? From 2016, CNN: “Nearly one-quarter of white men with only a high school diploma aren’t working.”

As of 2017, they were dying even if the police didn’t have enough energy to kill them. ‘The Collapse of the White Working Class’ (Atlantic)

Readers: Why is the idea that all whites, however poor, uneducated, and old, are privileged suddenly so important that Facebook needs to censor dissenting points of view?

(Another Facebook friend was blocked for 30 days due to his attempt to make a point via sarcasm:

White men are the only rapists in the world. How can I disagree with the consensus view of the Ivy League elites?

See also “The Question of Race in Campus Sexual-Assault Cases” (Atlantic). Regarding the Obama-mandated on-campus sexual assault tribunals: “Black men make up only about 6 percent of college undergraduates. They are vastly overrepresented in the cases I’ve tracked.”)


18 thoughts on “Facebook helps manufacture consent around the idea of white privilege

  1. The first comment got in trouble because it contains the phrase “white trash” (and someone it reported it?). The second comment got in trouble because the Facebook moderator (and someone else who reported it?) read it as saying that white men are more likely to be rapists. You’re sort of proving the opposite point that you’re trying to make, which is that the rules around insulting white people on Facebook are intended to be the same as insulting people of any other race.

  2. Privilege is based on class, not race. And class in modern America is largely based on how much money you have, where you went to school and whom you want to live with. So the white people in Hillbilly Elegy are hardly privileged. Barrack and Michele when they added to their exotic home collection bought an estate in Martha’s Vineyard. https://www.mansionglobal.com/articles/barack-and-michelle-obama-reportedly-close-deal-for-11-75-million-marthas-vineyard-estate-209977
    They could have bought say a rundown apartment building in the south Bronx so they could live with their purported people. But Barrack a Harvard man and Michele a Princeton gal want nothing to do with their people. You don’t hear them talking about “defunding” the police on the Vineyard any more than you hear about Nancy Pelosi advocating that the police be defunded in Napa — otherwise who would protect her gated mansion from the riff raff?

    • How do you explain the fact that, outside of your cherry picking of exceptions, that a certain race (African Americans) tend to be severely underrepresented in the upper classes? Esp. when we know that there have been laws and other systematic attempts to discriminate against those folks.

    • Obama and Pelosi are being perfectly consistent. They’re not advocating defunding police anywhere.

  3. You’ve got the polarity flipped. It’s not about what white people are allowed to do. It’s what black people aren’t allowed to do. They aren’t allowed to walk around free from harassment and abuse from our police.

    That is white privilege. And you’re proving the point by not even being aware of what your privilege is.

    • Black people in my town walk around all the time doing whatever white people do. I know, I shoot guns with some of them at my local Rod and Gun Club.

    • Most Blacks in the work place have more privileges than whites just because they are black. I have seen many times where a Black person wasn’t punished or fired for their conduct because they were Black while a white person with the same conduct was punished or fired.

    • Being able to walk around without fearing being followed, hounded and eventually shot by the police is not a privilege. It’s the baseline everyone should enjoy, but seemingly only black people are denied.

      Asking white people to demand from politicians that their black fellow citizens enjoy the same baseline is legitimate, as without the majority nothing will get done. Guilt-tripping them into thinking unchecked police wantonness is the normal is not, and is counterproductive because it raises hackles.

  4. I’ve warned people for years about the coercive power of the FAANGs and nobody really listened. Their dominion over speech is greater than any other threat to people’s freedom in that domain in the history of humanity, and it’s not an exaggeration. And they collect data about you even when you’re not using their system.

    The fact that they’re such a pillar of the tech. economy and our economy in general means that they’re impossible to escape, and being blocked by a moderator is just scratching the surface. They’re a surveillance system, and they have been from the beginning, and now they are also the most public manifestation of the Thought Police all around the world.

    Richard Stallman is right! He’s right about smartphones, he’s right about Facebook and Twitter, he’s right about every piece of technology that uses you and which you have no control over. It’s a pity that Stallman is so often a leftist, I’d still like to have lunch with him sometime.

    “Facebook is not your friend, it is a surveillance engine.” – rms


    I used to feel the same way about AOL, which had a tiny fraction of the power Facebook wields. I used to tell my friends: You buy into Ted Turner’s company, you’re going to be seeing what Ted Turner wants you to see. Well Facebook is a million times more powerful than AOL ever was.

    • And it’s amazing that I quote Stallman on this so often in one way, but not in another: he should know! He knows how to write code, for real! More importantly he deeply understands what it means to have a large segment of the world’s population depending on the whims of a huge company (or a huge government apparatus) not just for the “platform” or means of producing speech, but the accepted and tolerable and controlled content of the speech itself.

      It’s well past the time to break Facebook into teeny tiny parts. And it shouldn’t be done just because they control so much content: it should be based on the fact that no entity should have so much power and ability to conduct surveillance and analysis on free people, period.

      I wouldn’t be worth my salt if I didn’t try to at least give people some kind of alternatives to being watched in everything they do online, so for that I’m going to mention another person whose opinions I respect more than most, John Walker (former CEO, Autodesk, back in the Stone Age) at Fourmilab, Switzerland:


      He doesn’t mention Facebook specifically or any good alternatives to it. I have the feeling Walker is a little too smart and too busy with his own work and thoughts to have ever relied on it very much, but for people a couple of standard deviations lower on the moron scale, we absolutely do need one. And soon.

    • And don’t get me started about Microsoft, because as often as not, they’re still Evil too. And not just because they are still doing Patch Tuesdays that introduce more bugs and holes and flaws than they correct in Windows 10. I was astonished recently when I installed a new Windows 10 system and saw the behavior of OneDrive and how it defaults to uploading your files to the cloud. Who the ***k do they think they are?

      OneDrive should be an optional feature that you need to explicitly launch and configure if you want Microsoft’s servers to hold and sync your files.


  5. Soon, by 2050, the white majority in America faces the reality that it will become the white minority and that scares them. The most frightened are the uneducated, old, white men who hold privilege and power

    The most obvious flaw in this argument is that very few people who are currently old will live to see the year 2050. So they can just relax.

    • From what I’ve been able to tell recently using my very limited search powers, Abuelezam is at the approximate intersection of everything, from mask wearing to the language of “equity and justice” (current) vs. “diversity and inclusion” (deprecated), to the impact of COVID-19 on the Arab American population. And so much more.

      If you want to learn more about the language shift and see if you can pick up enough to not get banned or blocked on Facebook, google “equity and justice” and read up. It’s important to understand the distinction and why the former terms are current and the latter are being deemphasized.

      Why? Another one of the FAANGs, of course: Apple!


      I would imagine that pretty soon Google is going to roll out a new API devoted to equity and justice as it applies to search. You’ll be able to rank websites by an E&J index, etc., etc. You might not want to do business with someone who runs a website that ranks low on their equity and justice scale, for instance.

  6. What is the deal with Alex on this blog? He/she writes five comments, sometimes replying to him/herself multiple times. It’s just an insta-skip when I see a person doing that.

    If you have something to say, go ahead. Then be done with it. If you feel the need to reply to yourself, take that as a hint that you need to edit yourself before hitting “post comment”.

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