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Laurie Childers takes me to task in her recent letter, informing me that white privilege is real and must be recognized and argues that this “privilege” must be extended to all in order for this country to be considered fair.

Far from it for me to disagree with the idea of fairness, but instead of granting anyone race-based privileges, we should eliminate them altogether — for everybody. This would include being rejected for school admissions with SAT and ACT scores that automatically admit blacks; or being excluded from a plethora of scholarships to which only blacks may apply; or white-owned companies being denied contracts for which they had the lowest bid, because they are nonblack; or being denied jobs that require qualification exams even though they scored higher than blacks who got the jobs, due to “test norming.” In return, I would gladly put any white guy in jail for just as long as the next black guy for the same offense. Trust me.

As for people’s perception of who’s most likely to commit crimes, show up for work and do a good job, I’m afraid that isn’t a “privilege” any one need to recognize. Those perceptions may or may not universally exist but they are present because they are often true. Eliminating these perceptions is a two-way street and lumping these perceptions solely on white people isn't going to get the results you want; it will, instead, just gin up more animosity. So please, keep the guilt trip to yourself.

Harry Mallory

Corvallis (Nov. 21)

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