Areva Martin, a CNN legal analyst and civil rights attorney, was criticised on a radio show Tuesday after she accused Fox Nation host David Webb, a black man, of capitalising on "white privilege."
During a spirited debate on Webb's Sirius XM show, Webb talked about his career journey in the media business.
"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," Martin said. "The things that you have the privilege of doing, that people of color don't have the privilege of."
"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've been better prepped," Webb interrupted. "I'm black."
"See, you went to white privilege," Webb said. "This is the falsehood in this. You went immediately with an assumption. Your people, or obviously, you, didn't look. You're talking to a black man."
Martin apologised for the remark and said she was "given wrong information" prior to the interview.
"You come with this assumption and you go to white privilege," Webb, who sounded vexed by the comment, said. "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 with preferential treatment - has been widely debated, and is often misunderstood.
In a piece about white privilege, Washington Post columnist Christine Emba addressed the conservative argument in a column written in 2016, and explained how 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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