Rarely have I seen an illustration of what is wrong with “woke” culture that is more pertinent than this. Not only is Baroness Jane from an elite Hollywood family (the modern American equivalent of the aristocracy) but she has been a political lightning rod for 50 years (I actually agree with her position on the Vietnam War, btw). And she’s the former wife of media oligarch Ted Turner no less.
This is the equivalent of some medieval aristocratic baroness lecturing the serfs about how much more privileged they are than the slaves, and how they need to go to church and confess in their sins. From a historical vantage point, we can see that such a thing would have been absurd. In fact, if we did enough research, we could probably find that there was royalty and nobility like that back then.
Obviously, there are some individuals and groups in the USA today that have more reasonable claims than others of being oppressed, whether now or in the past. I’ve encountered upper-middle suburbanites who think they’re the equivalent of Third World peasants because they pay income taxes, gun nuts who claim oppression because they can’t have a tank parked in their driveway, religious nuts who claim to be oppressed because they can’t broadcast a prayer over a loudspeaker in the town square at 6 am, nativists who think they’re oppressed merely by the existence of immigrants, and whites who think poor blacks on food stamps in public housing are privileged. In other words, “SJWs of the Right” have their “microaggression” fetishes as well.
But nothing is more antithetical to the building of solidarity against the system than this. Tolerance, solidarity, and mutual aid are not only a two-way street, but they are also a multi-laned highway. Whatever her acting talents, Baroness Jane clearly has no sense of political prudence.
Jane Fonda has addressed white privilege amid anti-racism protests that are currently playing out across the US.
The actress, 82, who is an avid activist, is calling for people to ‘recognise’ their privilege and stressed that even ‘the poorest of white people have privilege’.
Appearing on CNN Tonight, Jane discussed the demonstrations that have taken place in LA, following the death of George Floyd – a 46-year-old black man who died after he was arrested and a white police officer knelt on his neck for over eight minutes.
Highlighting the injustice of systemic racism and calling for change, Jane said: ‘Because we’re white, we have had privilege. Even the poorest of us have had privilege. And we need to recognise that.