One of the tropes that bothers me in political discourse follows the form "this person whom I categorize in a particular political category says something which conflicts with something another person whom I categorize the same way, therefore people in that category are hypocrites
." I, too, however, am often too lazy to go find the same actual person, preferably not a random crank who has never run for city council, making both conflicting statements, and certainly wonder about things I hear. I'm therefore going to make an observation that might imply that some people are hypocritical, without making the accusation about anyone in particular.
Let's put forth four statements:
|God Bless America
||God Bless Everyone, No Exceptions|
|Black Lives Matter
||All Lives Matter|
I agree with all four; if your response to any of the statements is that it negates or strongly calls into question your support for the other statement in the same row, but do not feel approximately the same way about the other row, I ask you to evaluate your consistency.
I certainly don't begrudge people chanting "Black Lives Matter", though I do object to implications that police violence against black people — or, construing it about as broadly as I think it gets construed, racial disparities in the administration of criminal justice in general — is the only thing anyone is ever allowed to talk about, which is at least very nearly a position some on the left have been taking recently. I do think it's a mistake for them to push back against "All Lives Matter", not only because, let's be honest, it's offensive to object to the idea that someone's life matters if he's of the wrong race, but because, let's be honest, it's very problematic for these people to object to the idea that someone's life matters if he's of the wrong race
. As with the people calling for Darren Wilson not to receive due process, you are stepping very hard on the very heart of the message you are trying to convey (unless the message really is that some people should be privileged on the basis of race, and that it's just the wrong people being so privileged right now, in which case I ask you to move to Latin America or some pocket of Africa where democracy operates that way. Actually, Latin America probably isn't even as bad as it was in the middle of the twentieth century.)
I don't know the etymology of the term "White Privilege"; I hope it was intentionally sardonic, at least at first, in which case it's the sort of sardonicism I traditionally support, but it seems to be used straight an awful lot these days. If I got to choose its origins, and it wasn't sardonic, my next choice would be that somebody didn't know what "privilege" means; "Institutions aren't treating black people as well as white people; that's terrible; we should treat white people much worse, to bring them in line with the way we treat black people" is my very bottom choice. Just as with objecting to "All lives matter", this locution implies that black people are asking for special privileges; the language of rights used by our grandparents was much more compelling.