Education

No Longer White Privilege, But ‘White Priority’

Professor Shannon Sullivan has just added to the white privilege lexicon by suggesting something she calls “white priority.” As The College Fix reports, the term is used to describe the alleged superiority that all white people feel over every other race and makes them think that they come first in every line.

“White priority concerns a white person’s felt conviction about herself (however egregious or misplaced, and often unconscious) that no matter the quantifiable, statistical details of her life, she is not on the very bottom run of society’s ladder,” writes Professor Shannon Sullivan, who is the philosophy department chairwoman at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte.

Sullivan, who is Caucasian, offered her discovery in the summer edition of the academic journal “Critical Philosophy of Race.”

Sullivan insists her new terminology is superior to the well-worn accusation of “white privilege” because the latter just doesn’t adequately capture all of the “advantages of whiteness.” If we talk of “white priority,” Sullivan writes we are talking about a white person’s “sense of coming before someone else.” The piece takes issue with the term “white privilege,” with Sullivan writing that it doesn’t quite hit the mark in describing the “advantages of whiteness.” But “white priority” describes a white person’s “sense of coming before someone else.”

Describing a phenomenon that was once identified as the foundation of segregation, Sullivan writes, “As a poor, struggling white person, I might not be financially privileged or very high up in social circles and many people might disparage me, but at least I’m not the lowest of the low. I come before someone else: people of color and black people in particular.”

Sullivan further dismisses “white privilege” because it implies some degree of affluence. With “white priority,” there is no need to be rich — just white.

The professor believes it is vial to make this distinction, in view of the “white backlash” against former president Barack Obama because white people couldn’t come to terms with a black man winning the presidency.

“It is as if a black intruder broke in and was allowed to stay, and we could say this almost literally given the white imaginary understanding of blackness as inherently criminal,” Sullivan writes.

She admits that she has not a shred of evidence for her contentions but that “white priority is not something that can be empirically verified or disproven.’

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