We’ve all heard the sophism by now: those on the left who refuse to cast a ballot for H.R. Clinton this November need to “check their privilege,” for it is this privilege that precludes the specter of President Trump from keeping them awake at night. In other words, since the Never Hillary camp is mostly white (like every other voting bloc in the US), they need not worry about being persecuted by the nativism and bigotry enabling Donald Trump’s success.
“A Trump presidency,” writes Quiana Fulton for the Inquisitr, “will likely have no impact on white folks’ lives, but for minorities, well, we don’t have the luxury of being ‘Bernie or Bust’ supporters. Our lives are in peril this election cycle.”
Elsewhere, Melissa Hillman puts it into interrogative form: “How privileged do you need to be to imagine that it’s a good idea to risk the actual lives of vulnerable Americans because you ‘hate’ Clinton so much that you vow to stay home if Sanders doesn’t get the nomination?”
And writing for Pajiba, Dustin Rowles asserts that “this whole Bernie or Bust movement is the self-serving, entitled bullshit of people who won’t have to worry about a Trump election because they’re not black, or Muslim, or a woman.”
The game of moral blackmail is a dubious one, but when in Rome….
One notes that the forgoing authors all fail to mention, or perhaps acknowledge, how convenient it is not to have to fear being maimed or killed by shrapnel from an American-made bomb; a privilege all of us, irrespective of gender, race or religion, share equally. Moreover, I’m not aware of an American citizen whose home is liable to be bulldozed to the ground by an occupying army so as to make room for more colonial settlements.
It’s a matter of truncated empathy, it would seem, or else plain racism. A world exists beyond the United States, and other human beings inhabit it. Millions of them—mostly brown people; Muslims—are currently living with and dying from the grisly consequences of American military aggression, of which the moral blackmailers’ favored candidate is very fond. Millions more live and die under the yoke of Zionist brutality, of which the moral blackmailers’ favored candidate is perhaps even fonder.
Not everyone is indifferent to the suffering endured by those unfortunate enough to be born into a region the American Empire saw fit to mutilate. It hardly needs to be said that those of us who aren’t cannot in good conscience bring ourselves to vote for a candidate who counts among her personal mentors a notorious war criminal, and who promises to invite Israel’s prime minister to the White House in her first month in office.
Privilege has precisely nothing to do with it; anyone who says otherwise is either intellectually dishonest or intellectually challenged.
One inevitably wonders whether those With Her who demand that we “check our privilege” have ever bothered to consider the extent of their own, particularly in relation to the people who actually have none at all. If they’ve indeed done so, they evidently don’t want us to know, preferring to come across as moral hypocrites.