Robert Sherard demonstrated in his 1897 book, The White Slaves of England, how his own countrymen were being enslaved by terrible masters in their own country.
He notes in the preface, "
"It is my - a pleasant duty - in republishing these articles descriptive of the horrible slavery to which so many thousands of our country men and women are subjected, to express in the foremost place my obligation to Mr C. Arthur Pearson, in whose magazine these life-stories appeared."*
These are the real life accounts of how British men and women were being exploited by an "underground" slave trade, through working conditions that were deadly and inhumane.
This Spectator piece about the book in 1897 is fascinating,
"Under 'any circumstances the statements he makes as to the conditions under which the members of six trades in England—the alkali workers, the nail-makers, the slipper-makers, the wool-combers, the white- lead workers, and the chain-makers—labour, even if they appear here and there overstrained, deserve the most serious considera- tion, because they are based upon minute personal investigation. Take, for example, one declaration regarding the workers in the chemical trades by a medical authority :—" If the published statistics show but a small death-rate in the chemical trade, it is because the chemical yard only kills a man three parts out of four, leaving the workhouse to do the rest. The men are dis- missed before they are actually dying. As a general rule, the men go from forty-five to fifty years of age. The tubes become blocked up and asthmatical:; the gases destroy all elasticity of the tubes. The lime-men get soft stone. All get more or less ansemic. Asthma, kidney disease, chronic cystitis, are the per- quisites of many." Worse things than this are said of the alkali workers, but we forbear to quote them. The tales told of the other trades are not a whit better. Writing of the slipper-makers of Leeds, Mr. Sherard says :—" I am convinced that their circum- stances are at least as bad as those of the sweated tailors in London. They all work on a weekly wage, and from twelve to seventeen hours a day. Here may be seen, in some filthy room in an old dilapidated factory, fifty people (men, women, boys, and girls) all huddled together sewing as for dear life. A girl may be earning 6s. a week, a man from 22s. to 30s. The stench in the room, its uncleanliness, surpass description. The finished garments are lying peil-mell on the floor in the filth and the vermin." If possible, still worse things are related of the wool-combers and the chain-makers, while the examination that Mr. Sherard has made into the condition of the white-lead workers of Newcastle has made him tell one of the most appal- ling stories of poisoning, stomachic agony, and drunkenness we have ever read. It is, of course, quite possible that many of Mr. Sherard's statements may be exaggerated, or that he may have been misled by some of his informants. But now they have been made, they ought not to be allowed to rest. The most effectual criticism of this book would be a Parliamentary inquiry into the alleged facts which it contains.
Forget whatever narrative you have heard about slavery from your school, T.V., or academic institution. The truth of the matter is that slavery knows know ethnic boundaries, and white people have suffered just as badly under slavery as any other people. Especially the Slavs of Eastern Europe, from which we get our word 'slave', who suffered at the hands of various invading peoples from the east for centuries, if not millennia.
What we call 'white privilege' today, or more accurately, what progressives call 'white privilege' is really just the European people having advanced their societies so far that they could protect themselves, their own people, and even many other nations, from the ravages of slavery that they faced throughout history. The advancement of European powers far ahead of Islamic or Oriental powers, allowed them to put an end to slave traders coming near their shores and many other shores. The decline of the European nations will see such barbaric conditions return. It likely will not be too long before the beautiful coastal towns of the Mediterranean and other parts of Europe, become hunting grounds for Islamic slave traders looking for European slaves, just as they were in the past, for groups like the Barbary pirates.
To advocate for policies which drive the living standards and technology of the Western nations down, is to invite the kinds of terrors which Europeans faced not that long ago, from various different quarters around the globe. It is a foolish and evil exercise. In other words, 'white privilege' might be something you really miss, when European peoples are returned back to a status in the world that makes them vulnerable to slave traders and other dangers. Because the Western nations extended that privilege to many other people's, to their benefit as well.
* Robert Sherard, 1897, The White Slaves of England, P15, https://archive.org/details/whiteslavesofeng00sheruoft/page/14/mode/2up