by Eli Harman
Critics note that white privilege is unearned & conclude that it is therefore undeserved. But I have to pay for my white privilege, when it is extended to me, by not abusing it. E.g. if I’m not followed around by security, I’m being given an opportunity to steal.
To maintain my white privilege of not being followed by security, for myself and others, I have to pay the *opportunity cost* of foregoing opportunities to steal. Evidence suggests that enough white people are willing to pay for this privilege, in this way, to maintain it.
Some groups aren’t willing to forego opportunities to steal reliably enough to make the privilege of not being followed around by security worth giving them. By whining about white people getting this privilege (saying it’s unfair) they’re trying to obtain it at a discount.
The demand is basically that whites conduct all business and interactions with non-whites on ingroup terms. But this is not worthwhile if they are not ingroup, and won’t treat us as ingroup, by the standards we demand of ingroup members. It’s a parasitic demand.
The only other way to be uniform and “fair” (as these parasites define fairness) would be to conduct business & interactions w/*everyone* (even fellow whites) on low trust, out-group terms (have security follow everyone) but this is not optimal. It’s costlier for ingroup members.
I didn’t “earn” my white privilege. But I do pay for it, every time I am extended it and don’t abuse it, such as when I am not followed by security and nevertheless refrain from stealing. Payment of those *opportunity costs* is what maintain that privilege for myself and others.
Are all whites trustworthy and all non-whites untrustworthy? Certainly not. But it certainly pays to employ different risk management strategies with different groups, according to the risks, statistically, that they present. Accordingly, different out-groups get different terms.
Asians get better out-group terms in white societies than blacks, & whites get better out-group terms in Asian societies than blacks, even if none get ingroup terms, because whites and Asians are lower risk and higher benefit, relative to blacks. It’s not just ingroup/out-group.
There are 2 kinds of blacks who object to being mistrusted, the untrustworthy, b/c it makes it harder to abuse trust, & the trustworthy, for whom it’s costly & embarrassing to be lumped w/the former. But if we can’t tell the difference, demanding not to be lumped is unreasonable.
There are 3 main, honest, productive, ways to minimize the cost of being associated with an untrustworthy group.
1) Signal, with speech, dress, mannerisms, etc, to distinguish & differentiate yourself.
2) Offer more positive value.
3) Suppress the parasitism of your own group.
Don’t demand ingroup terms from outgroups. It is NEVER worthwhile to extend you those terms, and those demands are always dishonest and parasitic. But by employing the methods above, you can obtain better out-group terms from others for your group.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that ingroups and out-group are generally defined according to kinship because closer kinship makes trust and altruism, the mechanisms of ingroup privilege, evolutionarily self enforcing (they reward and propagate other instances of your genes.)
Conversely, kinship also makes defection, non performance, & irreciprocity (the basic mechanisms of out-group parasitism) evolutionarily unstable & self-punishing (they punish & therefore diminish & handicap other instances of your own genes.) This is why ingroup is kingroup.