Does someone hate you and mean to thwart you for no good reason?
This question can be solved by two other questions:
1- Are you human?
2- Do you live among other humans?
Note that the first is optional. If you live among humans, someone might be out to get you/thwart you even if you’re oh, a termite, a rat, or even a cat. Euclid cat is very upset I thwart his hobby of finding ever new and interesting places to pee and poop, for instance.
BUT if you answered yes to both those questions, yeah, there is someone who is out to get you.
The insanity is not in thinking that someone is out to get you. Insanity consists in becoming obsessed by it, thinking you are doomed and THINKING THERE IS SOMEONE WHO ISN’T. Particularly that last one.
Part of the insanity of the people who believe in white privilege is thinking that some people in the world — white people — aren’t discriminated against.
Sure, some people are more discriminated against than others, in some fields and circumstances. It is provable with numbers, for instance, that right wingers (for this purpose anyone to the right of Lenin, really) are discriminated against in creative, communications and artistic fields. It is provable because most people in those fields are aggressively leftist and because — no matter how much the left keeps insisting that’s the cause — such talents were never restricted to one political side of the divide. (As indie is proving for writers, btw.) And some people are more discriminated against in certain areas/places.
Look, it’s not even racial, but it is tribal. Because human beings are tribal. By evolution and inclination, humans associate most with people they’re used to, and they feel safe amid a small number of people they know well.
The insanity of all the “your baby is racist” studies is thinking that babies prefer people who look like THEM. This is not the case. They prefer people who look like those they identify as parents. Take a Chinese baby, at birth, and have him raised by Maori and they’ll react badly to people who look Chinese. Think of it in terms of the band of human (or pre-humans.) If a baby found himself amid a group that didn’t look like its caretakers chances were it was dead and/or lunch. Sending up a distress signal in the form of wailing is its only hope its caretakers will come and rescue it. (It because i’m including pre-humans. This applies — with bells on — to baby chimps, btw, who are just human-adjacent.)
Same signals and instincts persist in adult humans. Except of course, we have many many more ways to distinguish tribe other than skin color and general resemblance.
Until my politics are known, I fit in perfectly well in places where college professors/vaguely artsy types lodge. My grooming, attire, body language and general interests (up to and including the fact I often forget there’s an outside to the house for months on end) make me, on site a “member of the tribe” and no one finds me strange.
I never felt so out of place, and I’m fairly sure there was a gossip circle entirely devoted to me as when we briefly lodged in a suburb filled with self-employed small business people in the trades. For whatever reason (and I didn’t even know that was a thing in the US) their wives behaved much like village housewives. As in, they didn’t go outside the house without full makeup and business attire (my mom was shocked I went to the store with no lipstick on, when she visited, let alone in my paint-spattered clothes, when I ran to home depot halfway through a job.) My rare appearances from indoors, usually with headphones and wearing jeans and ratty t-shirt occasioned disapproving looks, and also groups to congregate and talk. Eh. Even though I probably had a ton more in common with them, my appearance and habits identified me as “not of us.”
Note none of this had anything to do with race. Both suburbs referenced were primarily white/blond. But the reasons I fit or didn’t fit were… more peculiar.
The solution is to move out of the field, area, etc. and find one more congenial. This is more difficult with people inclined/trained to work in fields dominated by their political enemies. Most people still take it, mind, which accounts for fields becoming mono-political. (usually skewed left. Mostly because the right has principles that don’t allow hiring/promoting for political reasons. Or it did. This might be changing in self-defense.)
What if you can’t? Well, you have my sympathy. I can’t, and I’ve paid the price.
So, stop obsessing that people are out to get you. Knowing they are is beneficial if you can thwart them. Or be aware of their bias and countervene it. Or whatever.
But if there’s nothing you can do about it, becoming locked in the certainty they’re out to get you will only destroy you.
Sure they’re out to get you, but when people are out to get you at that level, they’re out to get a lot of people. Find ways around them and cheerfully ignore them.
In the end, people who absolutely discriminate for no good reason other than politics, race, appearance, sex or whatever — note for no good reason. There is reason for instance for churches to discriminate against those who believe otherwise; for sex-restricted sports clubs to discriminate by sex; age restricted groups to discriminate, etc — are only destroying themselves.
As we’ve had ample evidence with traditional publishing, stupid hiring or firing on politics, not competency, leads to an ascendance of the less than competent and in the next round of the frankly incompetent, until you have people who could rival the monarchs of Europe for cheer dysfunctionality.
It’s not that people on the other side aren’t competent. It’s just that if you’re picking for reasons other than competence enough of those less than competent get in, who then feel out of place/threatened and hire those less competent than themselves. Give it a few iterations and the entire field are roaming around in the wilderness, without a clue of where the real world is. Which goes a long way to explain much of our publishing, news, academic and other establishments.
The good news is that they’re stunningly ineffective. It’s not that they’re not malicious, it’s that they are so incompetent at it they mostly fail, just in the same mode as most dictatorships fail. I.e. inability to do anything coherent or sane.
The other good news is that most of these fields are on the slate to be beaten hard with the tech stick. I.e. alternate markets already exist, or are about to exist, so if you’re shut out of them you have access to the public anyway.
Yes, it sucks to see incompetents get lauded and advanced. Meh. They have their own challenges. For instance, most of them, in their heart of hearts know they suck.
What if you’re discriminated against for other reasons: Appearance, race, sex, etc?
Same applies. Do not delude yourself into thinking that other humans don’t. Sure, if you’re a minority woman you might think that straight white males have no challenges. But the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. (Just like most people think I’m an optimist — ah! — a lot of people think husband and I live golden lives with no challenges — ahah! — because mostly they aren’t inside our heads/lives.) Straight white males aren’t an uniform group and I’ve never met one without some severe challenge, be it of background, birth, education, health or other issues.
If you’re human, you struggle. It’s what you do.
There is a reason envy and despair are both mortal sins. Stop worrying about how tough you have it, and how easy others (you think) have it.
Worry instead about how you can optimize your situation and go forward. Nothing else works to keep you human and sane.
Shut up and do. Everything else is a distraction.