Does White Privilege Exist?
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27-06-2017, 06:54 PM
RE: Does White Privilege Exist?
(27-06-2017 05:35 PM)Shai Hulud Wrote:  It does, and Morondog hit things pretty nicely. When I was in grad school, I went into a GNC looking for some supplements. The store was not organized to their corporate standards, so it was taking me a while and I was on a phone talking to someone. The only employee on duty followed me everywhere. It was a weird experience for me, because I know that person thought I was trying to shoplift. I normally don't encounter that, but my African American students often describe it in the Reaction Papers I do in 101 about various topics. They've also described watching a cop beat their boyfriend or brother into the hood of a car during a traffic stop, something else I don't have to worry about thanks mostly to the color of my skin. People assume, as Morondog said, that I speak English, and I'm not expected to learn a foreign language.

People don't assume I'm at where I am professionally because of my skin color, none of the cries of "he got into his doctoral program through Affirmative Action" that some guys I know have heard. People don't say about me, "oh he was hired to fill a diversity quota", they assume I'm here on my own merits. People don't assume I'll speak or dress a certain way due to my skin color. When I read a history book about my "national" history*, the people who share my skin color and male-ness will be disproportionately highlighted and given more room. When I read books in literature courses, with only two exceptions, they were white male authors; the exceptions being Ursula LeGuin, a female white author, and a Japanese author whose name I sadly do not recall.

Now don't get me wrong, class privilege is a very real thing too. In my home state, it's often far more about who has the money and power, than it is about race. NPR has referred to it before as the white equivalent of an Indian Reservation in terms of poverty. In the words of a family friend's father who worked in the coal mines, and put all seven of his kids through college after his wife died, when my dad asked about racism there, "Management gave a shit about race [dad's name], but us guys? We were all black when we came out of those mines."

The reason I bring this up, is that often in America, when people discuss white privilege, they often confuse or interchange it with class privilege. My dad was the first in his family to graduate high school, let alone college. Many times people talk about 'access to education', but that can often be a class issue as much as a race issue; that said, yeah, we do mainstream our educational system in ways that students of a Caucasian background receive an advantage. Which is a great example of how interchangeable the two can be. White students tend to do better on standardized tests not because they're smarter, but because we tend to design them with their 'culture'/upbringing/references they'll get, more in mind.

This idea that people can be privileged in some ways but not others, is known as intersectionality. Because I was born in the U.S., I have citizenship, this means I'll enjoy certain rights and privileges that non-citizens in the U.S. will not. By being born white in America, this means if I'm in one of the border states that have been passing 'papers please' type bills, I won't be asked to prove I'm a U.S. citizen based on my skin color or by having a last name that sounds Hispanic. By being a U.S. citizen and white, I have a better chance at not being 'randomly' selected by the TSA for "additional screening" when I fly home in about two weeks. That said, I'm far from wealthy. I pay exorbitant costs for healthcare. I haven't taken a 'vacation' in years that wasn't me taking a day out of a conference I'm required to go to for work, to see the local sights. If I were to end up in jail, I couldn't afford an attorney. So yes, I do have a great deal of privileges, but not a royal flush of them, and that's basically the core of Intersectionality as a concept.

Anyhow, just because there are poor white people, it doesn't invalidate the whole concept of privilege existing. "Privilege" as its commonly thrown around is a bit of a misnomer for a wide array of issues that are hideously complex and lead to a ton of arguments.


*Great book on the subject is Lies My Teacher Told Me by James Lowen. His thesis, which he heavily footnotes each thing he says, is that American history textbooks are propagandist, much of the time, and often very much racially so.

Including a talk by the author here, just because it's interesting to hear him discuss U.S. history textbooks (and he does touch on the race stuff)...like for instance, how most U.S. history textbooks don't mention the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921. During that riot, white civilians stole military biplanes and bombed Tulsa's affluent black district, destroying 35 city blocks, killing as many as 300 (if we use Red Cross numbers), injuring as many as six thousand, and dealing a blow that Tulsa's race disparity has never come back from.




I'll watch the video when I get time. I know what you mean about education. I'm the first of my family, to include even second cousins, some as many as 10 years older, to get a 4-year degree, and in fact, none of them did even after me. My dad quit in the 8th grade, and my mom in the 9th. In both cases, their fathers died when they were 12. Poverty was something I grew up with. But I didn't have it as bad as many people did. That bit about Tulsa is disgusting, and indeed, I never heard anything about 'til now. Dodgy My area of focus was not history, so I missed that.
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27-06-2017, 06:59 PM
RE: Does White Privilege Exist?
(27-06-2017 06:40 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  
(27-06-2017 06:31 PM)OmniConsUme Wrote:  Actually "Idiotic Lefties Are Responsible for the Trump Effect" thread Dark light is mostly correct except he Generalized too much. It's not Liberals Persay, just the insane wing of the party. Hobo

Nonsense. Trump captured votes because he appealed to base emotions: fear, pride, and insecurity.

The blame for Trump's Administration rests squarely on the people who voted for him.

When he screws them.over too, I won't shed a tear, because I'll be too busy keeping my head above water with his government in charge.

Yes If ALL of the polity had voted, Facepalm we wouldn't be having this discussion. [crosses fingers behind back that the non-voting people also were not the type to support Bonnie & Clyde]
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27-06-2017, 06:59 PM
RE: Does White Privilege Exist?
(27-06-2017 06:53 PM)Ruby Crystal Wrote:  Only because I'm white and so 'Privileged' means I am shit and should die.

Who's saying you should die?

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27-06-2017, 07:01 PM
RE: Does White Privilege Exist?
(27-06-2017 06:59 PM)Fireball Wrote:  
(27-06-2017 06:40 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  Nonsense. Trump captured votes because he appealed to base emotions: fear, pride, and insecurity.

The blame for Trump's Administration rests squarely on the people who voted for him.

When he screws them.over too, I won't shed a tear, because I'll be too busy keeping my head above water with his government in charge.

Yes If ALL of the polity had voted, Facepalm we wouldn't be having this discussion. [crosses fingers behind back that the non-voting people also were not the type to support Bonnie & Clyde]

If our candidates weren't such shit, more of the polity would have voted.

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27-06-2017, 07:01 PM
RE: Does White Privilege Exist?
There was a lot the case in the video presented that it wasn't a perfect experiment, some variables were changed. They weren't two of the same people just with different skin color.

Which is why I find videos on youtube to be hard to trust.

I hate to sound like I'm just being ignorant, but I can't take everything a person says to be the truth. Everyone has an agenda. If it means lying or changing minor things to get that agenda they would do it. But that's just an opinion of mine.

What I hate about people who will telling me how privileged I am or my friend is they are the same people who will tell me I should bend over backwards for people I don't even know just because they are white or black.

"Governments don't want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking That is against their interests.
They want obedient workers people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork And just dumb enough to passively accept it."

- George Carlin
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27-06-2017, 07:05 PM
RE: Does White Privilege Exist?
(27-06-2017 06:59 PM)GenesisNemesis Wrote:  
(27-06-2017 06:53 PM)Ruby Crystal Wrote:  Only because I'm white and so 'Privileged' means I am shit and should die.

Who's saying you should die?

No one, it was an example of something that happened to a good friend of mine. Not pretty. She disagreed with something a black lives matter person said, and they told her she was so privileged. (Even though she was poor and going off of Financial Aid to try and get somewhere in life.)
I've read cases also of people chanting 'Kill all white people'. This was on some news source of youtube video. IDK if it was real or not, but certainly scary either way.

"Governments don't want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking That is against their interests.
They want obedient workers people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork And just dumb enough to passively accept it."

- George Carlin
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27-06-2017, 07:06 PM
RE: Does White Privilege Exist?
Don't worry, Ruby, we get it. You didn't really start this thread to get other people's input or even learn anything about it - you already have "just your opinion", and, after all, we can't take everything a person says to be the truth. Everyone has an agenda.

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderĂ²."
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27-06-2017, 07:06 PM
RE: Does White Privilege Exist?
I have little I can add to Shai Hulud's excellent analysis, other than to agree that there are intersections between class privilege and racial privilege, simply because of the US early 20th-century history of helping white neighborhoods/areas with everything from federally-backed low-rate loans to education programs (and more) that were not available to nonwhites, lifting big chunks the former into the middle class while leaving the latter in the dirt. Those who have parents who can help them with things like car insurance, "taking care of" little problems that crop up (oh, no dad, I got a ticket... I need $500), and who are not aggressively overpoliced and get the benefit of the doubt in most exchanges with the authorities over little infractions, will do better in life than those who don't. You can see the proof of this "police interaction" disparity in every study that has been done on outcomes like being kicked out of school at disproportional rates for infractions that would not have caused a white kid to be kicked, and in disparate sentencing rates for the same sort of infractions. And so on, and so on.

So I'll end with a brief anecdote about something that happened just a couple of days ago.

I live right on the edge of a "wealthy white" neighborhood and a poor black one, literally right on the "good" side of a "red line" street, here in the city. I have a car but the old (black) lady in the next apartment does not. She asked me if I would take her to a food pantry just up the street which makes sure the elderly have decent food, and I agreed. On the way back, a couple of cops pulled us over. It turned out my tags had expired, last month, and I forgot all about it in the move up here to Kansas City.

As the cop approached the vehicle, I made sure to get my license out ASAP so I could have my hands in view, and I unbuckled my seatbelt so I could reach around to my back pocket. The cop said he was going to ticket me for not having my seatbelt on-- but he immediately believed me when I told him I had just taken it off. He never asked me any questions about guns in the car, etc. He never asked me to step out of the vehicle, and was completely cordial.

When I went to get my insurance, I remembered that it had also expired, but that the new insurance I got had been mailed to my parents' address (since they got my first batch of insurance when I got out of prison, so I could have a car ready to drive on exit, the insurance company still mails stuff to their address, which they forward to me), and the officer believed me about this, as well. He said he would write a ticket for no insurance-- but he did not flag my car as uninsured, which requires them to put a bright neon orange sticker on the back of the car, making you park it on the spot until such time as insurance coverage is proved. He even stood with his stomach in my open window, head above the car, where he was in easy range that I could have knifed him if I was so inclined, while he wrote a number down on the back of my ticket to give me a way to call and get that ticket dropped once I established over the phone that I did actually have insurance.

Three strikes-- no seatbelt, no tags, and no insurance. And I got out of it with a $53 ticket and a $10 fine when I renewed my tags, for having let it expire.

As we drove away, the old lady was wide-eyed, and I realized she had not said a word the whole time. I asked if she was okay, and she said that she had "never seen what officers were like when stopping a white person".

That is one of the many forms of white privilege. And I just benefited from it.

Yes, it exists.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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27-06-2017, 07:34 PM
RE: Does White Privilege Exist?
(27-06-2017 07:06 PM)Vera Wrote:  Don't worry, Ruby, we get it. You didn't really start this thread to get other people's input or even learn anything about it - you already have "just your opinion", and, after all, we can't take everything a person says to be the truth. Everyone has an agenda.

Alright, now that's just harsh of you. I did start this thread to get an idea of what everyone thinks. And I'm trying to understand it, even if it feels like I'm reading an English paper with words I have to goggle to understand what they are saying.

It feels like to me your screaming at me to 'Believe my way or you are ___!' You also are coming off as a person who is telling me something I just find a hard time to believe.

I have a right to distrust what you say, I may take bits of what you say and agree with you time to time. But yeah, no need to be so passive aggressive about it, if you hate what I stand for, disagree with what I think, or both then just say it. Give me a damn reason why I should take everything you say to a holy merit when you're only one side of a coin.

I started this topic to get every view side. Not just hear what I hear all people of Left and Right say to me. Which is why I'm skeptical about this whole 'Privilege' thing, when it seems more like 'Entitlement'. Dodgy

"Governments don't want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking That is against their interests.
They want obedient workers people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork And just dumb enough to passively accept it."

- George Carlin
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27-06-2017, 07:41 PM (This post was last modified: 27-06-2017 08:48 PM by Vera.)
RE: Does White Privilege Exist?
Ruby, do you even read your posts? Do you think this UNBELIEVABLE degree of defensiveness is warranted or a sign of you wanting to hear "both sides"? For crying out loud, after the long, calmly argued posts with plenty of examples by quite a few members, you just said: then I should die? You think this is a normal reaction? The reaction of someone who doesn't already have a formed "opinion" on the subject and wanted it confirmed and when that didn't happen, couldn't handle it?

You can talk about passive-aggressiveness all you want, but you don't seem to have read or considered anything anyone said. It's okay, it's your right to cling to your already existing opinion, people do only see what they want to see.

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderĂ²."
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