Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

Class, Not Race, Divides America

Victor Davis Hanson // American Greatness

Nothing is stranger in these tense days than the monotony of the inexact and non-descriptive mantra of “white privilege” and “white solidarity”—as if there is some monolithic white bloc, or as if class matters not at all.

In truth, the clingers, the deplorables, the irredeemables, and Joe Biden’s “dregs” have very little in common with those who so libel them, but superficially share supposedly omnipotent and similar skin color.

In the past, we saw such tensions among so-called whites in CNN’s reporting of the allegedly toothless rubes at Trump rallies, in the Strzok-Page text trove about Walmart’s smelly patrons, in the callous coastal disregard for the five-decade wasting away of the American industrial heartland, in the permissible elite collective disparagement of Christian evangelicals, and in the anthropological curiosity about and condescension toward such exotic, but presumably backward, Duck Dynasty and NASCAR peoples. 

As a result, we have reached the surreal point at which the nation’s privileged whites on campuses such as Harvard, Yale, and Stanford, in the top echelon of politics, and the corporate and entertainment worlds, all deplore in the abstract something they call “white privilege” in others who have never really experienced it. 

Of course, whatever such a thing is, they possess it in abundance but give no hint they have any intention of giving it up other than rhetorically or through the medieval concept of hair-shirt penance and Twitter confessionals. On the other hand, they are furious that middle-class whites do not join their theatrics of bending the knee and offering abject apologies for original sins. 

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About Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services. He is also the Wayne & Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History, Hillsdale College, where he teaches each fall semester courses in military history and classical culture.

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