When Being Privileged Means Being Neglected

Like the United States, Great Britain has historically been a place where white communities are the more ‘privileged,’ as the political left has taken to calling it. And as such, equity movements, such as Black Lives Matter, have made it their goal to undo that privilege, offering additional funding and opportunities to minority groups in all facets of life.

But it would seem that their movement, as well as its working for minority groups, isn’t doing anything but turning that ‘privilege’ on its head.

As the Commons Education Select Committee of the British Parliament has just reported, it is now officially white children who live in the poorest neighborhoods and receive the lowest grades of any ethnic group in the nation.

Per the U.K. Daily Mail, the Committee said, “white working-class pupils are one of the worst-achieving groups in the country, and ‘feel anything but privileged.”

In fact, the report notes that the term ‘systemic neglect’ should be used to describe the situation.

And I’m not sure that I can argue they are wrong.

According to the report titled, “The Forgotten: How White Working-Class Pupils Have Been Let Down, and How To Change It,” the only ethnicities to score lower than white British children in school are those who identify as Gypsy/Roma, white Irish, or Irish Travellers (a nomadic indigenous Irish ethnic group).

The report points out that only 17.7 percent of poor whites in Britain receive a C average or better in English and mathematics. However, when all races are considered, that average rises to 22.5 percent. Additionally, poor white students make up only 16 percent of those attending college, the lowest of any ethnicity besides the Irish Travellers.

And according to the Committee, this is not exactly new information. In fact, this learning gap has proved evident for years now, with reports of such ‘systemic neglect’ going all the way back to 2008.

As Committee chair Robert Halfon says, “For decades now white working-class pupils have been let down and neglected by an education system that condemns them to fall behind their peers every step of the way.”

No doubt, this was not the intention.

But when such an emphasis is made, and nationally so, that minority groups are being treated as underprivileged, and such ideas as critical race theory, which teaches that whites are inherently evil for the part their ancestors played in slavery, the division is sure to occur. It doesn’t teach students or anyone for that matter to forget about race. Instead, it only turns the attention to a different one.

And that’s no better.

But, of course, the political left, which in Britain is known as the Labour Party, doesn’t exactly see it that way.

Take Labour MP Fleur Anderson, for example.

She told the Daily Mail that while the report made many good points and brought to light some issues that certainly need to be addressed, she and the rest of her party say it has little to do with race and more about the location of where these neglected children live.

Liberal Democrat MP Daisy Cooper seems to agree, tweeting that these “disparities have far more to do with where a child lives” than race.

Both Anderson and Cooper seemed to have missed the numbers explaining that whites in every neighborhood perform poorer in school than nearly any other ethnicity. So no, it’s not based on location.

Halfen says it’s time those numbers change, and not to flip-flop them again, but to make schools and a child’s education less about the color of their skin and more about giving them a real opportunity to succeed. And that means forgetting about ideas like “white privilege” or systemic racism.

While this may be happening an ocean away, it’s something we should take note of and learn from.

As it stands in America now, we aren’t quite to the point where white children are being neglected in such numbers yet. But if things continue as they have been, those days are coming and coming soon.

Wouldn’t it be far better to never reach that point? To stop with all this division and simply teach children based on their needs and not where they come from or what they look like?

If America were astute, we’d recognize the dangerous road we are on, and that something needs to change now. Otherwise, we will still find ourselves with race being a primary concern.

And shouldn’t we be past that already?