David Webb is a Fox News contributor and a columnist with The Hill; he is also a conservative political activist. On Tuesday morning Webb, an African American, was holding a debate on his Sirius XM radio show with CNN’s Areva Martin. Webb and Martin were discussing what makes some people more qualified for jobs than other, and Webb said that in general, experience is more important than skin color. That’s when Martin accused him of white privilege.
Webb replied, “Areva, I hate to break it to you, but you should’ve been better prepped. I’m black.”
Here’s what you need to know about David Webb:
1. Webb Argued That ‘Privilege’ Isn’t Necessarily Related to Skin Color
Webb and Martin were in the midst of a debate on Webb’s radio show over job qualifications when she accused him of white privilege. You can hear the clip here. Webb argued that jobs should be given out based on qualifications, rather than skin color. He cited himself as an example: “If people want to get into these fields, regardless of color, 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 color the issue. I considered my qualifications to be the issue.”
Martin argued back that Webb had had a smoother path than most because of his skin color. She said, “That’s a whole other long conversation about white privilege and things that you have the privilege of doing that people of color don’t have the privilege of.”
Confused, Webb asked, “How do I have the privilege of white privilege?”
“David — by virtue of being a white male you have white privilege,” Martin said. Webb replied, “Areva, I hate to break it to you, but you should’ve been better prepped. I’m black.”
Martin apologized, and Webb said, “See, you went to white privilege. You went with an assumption. You’re talking to a Black man who started out in rock radio in Boston…and went on to work for Fox News…but yet, you come with an assumption, and you go to White privilege.” As Martin again apologized, Webb said,
“My family background is white, black, indian, arawak, irish, scottish, it’s so diverse, I’m like the UN. when it comes to this, and this is part of the problem in drawing a narrative around a construct white privilege. privilege is one thing, where applied wealth, economy, various social factors, but not necessarily determined by color of skin.”
2. Webb Is the Spokesman for the National Tea Party Foundation
Back in 2009, Webb co-founded Tea Party 365 in New York City. The group has been described as a “non-partisan advocacy group for fiscal responsibility.” Webb is also the spokesman for the National Tea Party Federation.
In an interview with Politico back in 2013, Webb was quick to describe himself as an “activist,” rather than simply a commentator. “I’m an activist,” Webb said. “I’m not just a radio host … I’m looking at where we are in a year, 2014, what we need to do. I’m looking ahead to 2016. But I’m looking way beyond that where I can’t even see it. To what does this country need to do, just like a business, to run correctly? That can’t be done by thinking in two-, four- and six-year cycles.”
Webb told Essence magazine that he had co-founded Tea Party 365 because, in his words, “I agreed with the principles as far as reigning in government, having real accountability, transparency and fiscal responsibility.”
3. Webb Grew Up in New Jersey, the Son of Two Business People
n 2013, Webb sat down for an interview with Pete Dominick, the host of another show on Sirius FM. Webb told Dominick that he had grown up in Jersey City, New Jersey, which he called the “shadow of New York” and the “sixth borough” of New York. Webb said he attended St. Peter’s Prep, a Jesuit high school. St. Peter’s is the only Jesuit high school in New Jersey. The school describes its mission as follows: “As a Jesuit school, Prep seeks to form graduates who are Open to Growth, Intellectually Competent, Religious, Loving, and Committed to Doing Justice.”
Webb also told Dominick that, “having parents who were both “business people” and a mother who worked on Wall Street, he was encouraged from an early age to be knowledgeable of the current state of our nation and to make his own informed choices.”
4. Webb Graduated from a Jesuit College in Massachusetts
According to his LinkedIn profile, Webb attended the College of the Holy Cross, a highly selective Jesuit college in Worcester, Massachusetts. He graduated in 1985. Webb’s LinkedIn profile doesn’t detail his early work experience. By the early 2000s, he was working in the media, both as an on-air host talking about business and politics, and as a behind-the-scenes consultant handling press bookings and outreach. By 2008 he had his own show, the David Webb show, on Sirius radio. In 2013, he became a Fox News contributor.
5. Webb Was Selected as One of Time Magazine’s Persons of the Year in 2011
In 2011, Time Magazine dedicated its person-of-the-year issue of the magazine to “The Protester.” The issue was a portfolio of significant protesters of 2011. Webb was included in the issue because of his work founding Tea Party 365. The issue also included Occupy Wall Street activists and Egyptian anti-government protesters, among others.
“There is a difference between what I call leaders and leadership. The principles that come and grow from this movement are bigger than any one individual,” Webb said, in the quote featured in the “Protester” issue of Time. He is pictured side by side with Egyptian protester Nada Fadl.