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Does Jessica Krug Disprove White Privilege?

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Jessica Krug, a history professor at George Washington University, admitted recently to falsely claiming to be black. In her confession, she accepted responsibility for her deception while making note of her mental health issues.  This incident has been something of a gift to the right—I learned of her life of deceit from a Facebook post contending that this was proof that there is no such thing as white privilege. While the post simply asserted this claim without any argument, I will present what I take to be their likely reasoning using, as always, the principle of charity. If there is an advantage to a white person masquerading as black, then white privilege must not be real. After all, if a rational person were seeking an advantage by masquerading as another ethnicity, they would take on the role that would be most advantageous. Since the white Krug masqueraded as black and though she is a liar she is clearly intelligent, then it follows that being white is not more advantageous than being black. Therefore, white privilege is not real (or so one might conclude). While Krug does refer to mental health issues, she does not claim she took on the black identity because of mental illness. So, it would seem to be a mistake to try to counter the above argument by contending that Krug was crazy and thus gave up her real white privilege. In fact, I think that while her choice was morally wrong, it was a clever choice—a case can be made that her masquerade was advantageous while also arguing that this is consistent with white privilege. The statistical evidence for white privilege is overwhelming. The idea of white privilege is not that white people have it easy or get everything for nothing. The idea is that a white person will generally enjoy statistically significant advantages over a black person because they are white. Or, rather, that other people give wBut this does not entail that there are no circumstances in which appear black can yield an advantage. To use an. . .

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News source: A Philosopher's Blog

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