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Dyab Abou Jahjah:

“Next to defining the identity of the other as “problematic” and giving it an essentialist pejorative qualification as “whiteness” and hence silencing every debate by pointing out features of that “whiteness”, and imposing the “shut up and listen” relationship pattern, these POC and intersectionality activists are abusing the concept of privilege and using it in an absurd manner.

Not being discriminated is considered to be a privilege enjoyed by whites in the context of racial discrimination and by heterosexual men in that of gender discrimination. So instead of putting the emphasis on the plight of the discriminated and the wrongdoing of the discriminator(s) they are pointing the finger to those who are not discriminated and calling their privilege out, asking them to take distance of it.

Not being discriminated is not a privilege, it is the default status that should be enjoyed by everyone. When we are calling for equality and advocating measures to eliminate discriminations, the emphasis must not be on targeting the group that is not discriminated because of it enjoying an imaginary privilege. The true privilege in society does exist, but it is not the absence of discrimination on racial and gender features. The real privilege is that of people who can get away with wrongdoing, tax evasions, major crimes and who can abuse power. No regular white person can get away with wrong-doing because of their color. Only elites can, and elites come in all colors and ethnicities. The only privilege that exist is elite privilege and yes it must be abolished. Moreover, male heterosexual members of the majority in any country are all discriminated on age, on disability, on social status and financial situation. That they are not discriminated on their ethnicity or on their gender does not mean they are privileged, and they cannot and must not take distance of that. “ (

Privilege and Solidarity


"Privilege as first iterated by W.E. B. Du Bois was a concept created to explain why lower class whites often did not act in solidarity with lower class Black workers. Unlike how it is seen now, however, the idea was that it could be resolved by class consciousness: showing the poor whites they had more in common with poor black people than they did with their white bosses.

Privilege now is seen as an “original sin” that cannot be resolved. If you are born with white skin in an abled-male body and only have heterosexual sex, you are seen as automatically guilty of oppression towards everyone else. By complete accident of birth, through no choice of your own, you are the victimiser and never the victim.

The original concept was created in order to find a way to create solidarity among all lower class people. The concept as it stands now in practice prevents the possibility of full solidarity, because it takes the blame away from the capitalist system and puts it all upon accident of birth.

The results of this shift have been catastrophic. The far right increasingly gains power because it says to the white person, “you’re not evil; in fact, you’re superior.” This of course will always appeal to poor white people who are told by identity politics, “you are evil by virtue of being white/male etc.”

The key to fixing this problem is re-injecting class into identity politics (despite how this will get even Black female Marxists accused of being “class reductionists”) and removing the monotheist concepts of original sin and determinism from identity. Materially, a poor white cis-het (etc) person has much more in common with a poor Black trans (etc) person. That poor white person has nothing in common (except race) with his boss, in the same way that the poor Black person has nothing in common with a rich Black person except race.

So ultimately, solidarity requires people to see their material conditions as more important as a basis of solidarity than race. A poor white “trailer trash” person must be convinced that they have a natural solidarity with a poor Black person living in “the ghetto,” and also the other way around. This isn’t as hard as we imagine it to be: both are much more likely to be thrown in jail for property crimes than a middle class Black professor or a middle class white tech worker, let alone a CEO of a corporation (be that Jeff Bezos or Oprah Winfrey).

Unfortunately, focusing on class relations and material conditions needs to apply to all racial affinities in order to work. To get white people to stop favoring race as a basis of solidarity, it doesn’t work to tell them that all other racial categories are viable for solidarity except theirs. Otherwise, the allure of fascism stands as a resolution of hypocrisy: the white supremacist can truthfully say, “if others are allowed to favor their own race, whites should be allowed, too.”" (

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