Early this week, conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh visited popular progressive radio show The Breakfast Club to discuss the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis.
“I don’t buy into the notion of white privilege,” Limbaugh said. After a second of stunned silence, Breakfast Club co-host Charlamagne tha God told Limbaugh he was “being delusional.”
In response, Limbaugh doubled down, calling white privilege “a liberal, political construct … designed to intimidate and get people to shut up and admit they’re guilty of doing things they haven’t done.” Limbaugh then offered instances in his own life when he felt unjustly targeted with bad behavior — being fired, having his car keyed — as evidence that he was a victim and not a perpetrator of discrimination.
Many conservatives buy into the same fantasy that Limbaugh pushed in his Breakfast Club conversation: they don’t understand and refuse to consider that societies are made up of dozens of invisible systems that protect and support some citizens at the expense of others. When your ideology centers itself around personal responsibility, issues like racism, sexism, and economic inequality simply disappear. It’s a blissfully simple life philosophy: bad things that happen to you are your own fault, while good things that happen to me are achieved through hard work and clean living.
Of course, it’s simply not true. It’s incredibly easy to prove the existence of white privilege: look no further than the impact of coronavirus on Americans and you’ll see a clear delineation between white and Black Americans — one that favors the former at the expense of the latter…