A radio interview turned awkward when a CNN analyst rebuked a black Fox News contributor for capitalising on 'white privilege'

Fox NewsDavid Webb, a Fox News contributor.
  • Areva Martin, a CNN legal analyst and civil-rights attorney, was criticised on a radio show on Tuesday after she accused the Fox Nation host and Fox News contributor David Webb, who is black, of capitalising on “white privilege.”
  • “David, by virtue of being a white male, you have white privilege,” Martin said.
  • “Areva, I hate to break it to you, but you should have been better prepped,” Webb responded. “I’m black.”
  • The subject of white privilege – how the social construct of race affords white people preferential treatment – has been widely debated and is often misunderstood.

Areva Martin, a CNN legal analyst and civil-rights attorney, was criticised on a radio show on Tuesday after she accused the Fox Nation host and Fox News contributor David Webb, who is black, of capitalising on “white privilege.”

During a spirited debate on his Sirius XM show, Webb talked about his career in media.

“I’ve chosen to cross different parts of the media world, done the work so that I’m qualified to be in each one. I never considered my colour the issue – I considered my qualifications the issue,” Webb said.

Martin suggested Webb’s opinion was influenced by his race and gender. “That’s a whole other long conversation about white privilege: the things that you have the privilege of doing that people of colour don’t have the privilege of,” she said.

“How do I have the privilege of white privilege?” Webb asked.

“David, by virtue of being a white male, you have white privilege,” Martin said.

“Areva, I hate to break it to you, but you should have been better prepped,” Webb responded. “I’m black.”

Areva Martin during one of her previous appearances on CNN.CNNAreva Martin during one of her previous appearances on CNN.

“See, you went to white privilege,” Webb said. “This is the falsehood in this. You went immediately with an assumption. Your people, obviously, or you, didn’t look. You’re talking to a black man.”

He added: “You come with this assumption, and you go to white privilege. That’s actually insulting.”

“It is, and I apologise, because my people gave me wrong information,” Martin said.

The subject of white privilege – how the social construct of race affords white people preferential treatment – has been widely debated and is often misunderstood.

The Washington Post columnist Christine Emba argued in a column in 2016 that some commentators may have misunderstood one of its core concepts.

“Commentators quickly jump in to remind us that ‘not all white people are privileged,’ a clear (and perhaps willful) misreading of the term,” Emba wrote. “Obviously not all white people are wealthy, and yes, there are minorities who have achieved wealth and other marks of status.

“But white privilege is something specific and different,” Emba added. “It’s the idea that just by virtue of being a white person of any kind, you’re part of the dominant group which tends to be respected, assumed the best of, and given the benefit of the doubt.”

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