This article could easily be titled: "The Problem with Talking from One's Privilege," because your take is disappointing, shallow deflection--strawmaning from thesis to conclusion. Is this sort of empty rhetorical nitpicking and shoehorning of fact and truth into a narrative that disparages the fringes of an issue rather than tackles the heart of it exemplary of the sort of thing one can expect to find in "Give Them an Argument"?
If so, I confess that I'm relieved I held off on that purchase. This sort of vapid, misleading gaslighting--slightly exalted by a THIN veneer of tortuously pretzeled informal argumentation--from a good ten miles-off, so I can AVOID THEM.
Do you REALLY not get that calling it a privilege is EXACTLY the point? That the point is identifying and highlighting that these things that should be HUMAN RIGHTS are merely PRIVILEGES certain humans get because of skin color or gender or whatever societal advantages have been conferred? It's not that well-meaning people think these things SHOULD BE privileges, though some folks who don't mean so well clearly do. It's that to the people who have little ACCESS to such RIGHTS, it is PLAIN that they ARE privileges in our society. And I can understand, I suppose, that a white person--especially a cis male--not wanting "white" or "cis male" attached to the PRIVILEGES that those enjoy when so many others don't. But facts and truths DON'T CARE about your wants and feelings.
The right to LIVE even if you're apprehended by cops right after shooting up a church full of elderly Black parishioners is YOUR RIGHT. Whereas a Black person, male or female, doesn't have the PRIVILEGE of jaywalking or falling asleep in their car without being arrested, possibly tased or beaten, or even dying.
When YOU'VE lost that privilege of being overwhelmingly unlikely to die with a knee on your neck, maybe then you can advise those of use at VERY MUCH INCREASED RISK of that on what SHOULD BE a right and WHAT IS a privilege.
Until then: If EVERYONE has it/can get it, it's a right. If we can pick out those who do and don't? It's a privilege. Bottom line and how it IS, no matter what SHOULD BE. How do you not understand this? That, until we identify and admit WHAT IS, we'll NEVER have a shot at making WHAT SHOULD BE happen? Strawmaning the ENTIRE point of the civil and human rights work/struggle/sacrifice of the past century-plus won't change that or make anything better. Won't save lives. So, keep tilting at these windmills of white rhetoric, while those of us whose lives hinge on turning YOUR RIGHTS into rights for ALL not just privileges for a few, struggle and risk our lives to secure and maintain civil and human rights. While we and our ACTUAL ALLIES grab lances and slay the real dragons.
Keep fighting a fight that NO ONE WITH SKIN IN THIS GAME HAS TIME FOR WHILE WE'RE DYING OUT HERE. With this article and its premise you've done nothing but assuage some white guilt (falsely) and validate many minorities' misgivings about white liberals and progressives, as well as their conservative counterparts. Cheers for that reminder and reality check, and for clarifying where you stand and what you choose to prioritize regarding this matter of life and death: in the spectator-stands of tone-policing and semantics. At least you'll have plenty of company in those stands, historically and demographically speaking.
A (Yet Again Disappointed) Black Progressive