I think my biggest problem with this op-ed written by Virginia Senator James "Jim" Webb (D) for the Wall Street Journal is in the title. "Diversity and the Myth of White Privilege".
In this op-ed, Webb tells how he believes that affirmative action for "people of color" as opposed to just African Americans, needs to end. He believes this because such policies go beyond the original intention of affirmative action - helping African Americans who suffered from the effects of slavery. More importantly, it leaves certain groups of whites at a disadvantage.
I will leave you all to discuss Webb's opinions about affirmative action if you please. What I want to discuss here is his use of the term "white privilege" in the title of his op-ed. Calling white privilege a myth is a rather controversial statement coming from a white writer, and more importantly to me, in his piece Webbs seems to misunderstand the idea of white privilege. White privilege is not a myth, but Webb's apparent misunderstanding of the concept had me distracted every time I read his piece.
Webb seems to believe that only those who are best off financially and educationally possess any form of privilege. Yes, wealthy people and those with higher education are privileged, but to argue that because whites no longer have almost exclusive access to wealth and education that there is no such thing as white privilege demonstrated a narrow and unproductive understanding of privilege.
The whole problem lies here: even in this world where, according to Webb, whites are being set back by policies meant to benefit people of color, if a person of color has a particular job, they may be questioned about their qualifications (did they get it only to meet some diversity quota?). This is evidence of white privilege. A white person would not have the same assumption made about them. It would be assumed that they hold their job on their own merits. I bet Webb would assume things like this. And Webb is white.
[Thanks to Tyler for the link.]