Stigma of ‘White Privilege’ and ‘Toxic Masculinity’ Damaging White Working Class Boys: Report

GLASGOW, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 30: (Editor’s note – since these images were taken the street pictured has been demolished) Two young boys play football in the street, September 30, 2008 in the Govan area of Glasgow, Scotland. A report by the Campaign to End Child Poverty suggests that millions …
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

The prevalence of leftist concepts such as “white privilege” and “toxic masculinity” in British society further disadvantages white working-class boys, a professor has told a Parliamentary committee.

In a meeting of the House of Commons Education Select Committee, Professor Matthew Goodwin, a political scientist from the University of Kent, said that white working-class boys face a “status deficit” as the national conversation typically focusses on “historic grievances” and other issues facing black and other minority groups.

“We have inadvertently legitimised a view within some communities that they are not treated with the same status, respect and recognition as others,” Goodwin said, according to The Telegraph.

“My fear now with the onset of new terms — toxic masculinity, white privilege — this will become even more of a problem as we send a signal to these communities that they are the problem, it is not the system more generally that has let them down, they are the problem and they should make amends for simply being who they are,” he told MPs.

Research submitted to the committee in September found that working-class white students are 50 per cent less likely than minority groups to achieve strong passes on the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) tests used by universities to determine a student’s academic aptitude.

White students are also the least likely to enter for GSCE subjects that have traditionally counted towards the English Baccalaureate award, with just 37.5 white pupils entering for the award, the lowest of any ethnic group in the country.

As to why working-class white students are fairing worse than their minority counterparts, Professor Goodwin suggested that “cultural” factors are likely to blame, explaining that it has become “taboo” in British society to discuss issues facing poor white boys.

In an interview with Breitbart London, mixed-race educator and political and social commentator Calvin Robinson confirmed the disparity. Mr Robinson said: “I saw first hand that black children of African descent excel throughout their time in school, and are far more likely to go to university.”

“On the flip side of that coin, working-class white boys are the most disadvantaged and very few people seem brave enough to address the problem. The evidence suggests that if the UK is racist, it’s not in the way the hard-left would accept,” he explained.

Emeritus professor of education at Cambridge University, Prof Diane Reay, warned the committee that she fears the lack of national attention given to poorer white communities is resulting in anger and division within society.

“I think there’s growing levels of social resentment and a sense of being left behind among white working classes,” she said.

“Research shows us very high levels of polarisation particularly between highly credentialed groups, those of us with degrees, and those people who leave school with very few qualifications,” Prof Reay added.

“There’s a lack of understanding and empathy for the class ‘other’ among all class groups, but I think that it has the most power to injure and to have a detrimental effect on those with the least power in society, those who see themselves as educational failures and losers,” she concluded.

The inquiry was established in April by the chairman of the Commons Select Committee for Education, Robert Halfon, in order to study the reasons for some ethnic groups falling behind in society, such as the Roma and the white working-class.

Confirming Prof Goodwin’s assertion that it is “taboo” to discuss the issues facing white boys, the Conservative MP for Harlow said that by merely establishing the inquiry, he was accused of being racist.

“The whole premise of the committee is to look at left behind cohorts, those who are falling way behind,” Halfon explained, adding: “One of those groups sadly is white working-class pupils from [a] poor background, and within that group, boys do worse than girls.”

“I have been accused of racism, which I find really hard to fathom. Other ethnic groups are outperforming white, so I can’t see why this is racist,” Halfon said.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here: @KurtZindulka


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.