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Thu Feb 27, 2014, 04:25 PM

 

Yes, acknowledging privilege is hard work.

It's difficult to admit that through no fault of our own necessarily, our race/gender/sexual orientation/sexual identity/religion/caste/ level of education gives us a certain access that we would necessarily not have had if we were members of that particular privileged category.

However, without knowing how your particular social group membership privileges you, it becomes impossible for you to see how others are equivalently oppressed by their group memberships.

For instance, I am queer but gender conforming, which means that on a daily basis I don't get harassed for being queer. However, my wife does.

To understand oppression, one needs to understand the opposite of oppression (privilege).

No one is seeking to make you 'confess' your privilege, but being aware of your privilege makes you more likely to understand how the lack of it effects other people.

It's really your choice whether or not you want to be defensive about this privilege, or understand how your privilege works in a society. However, I really doubt that you know better than the oppressed group how they should go about talking about their oppression.

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Arrow 114 replies Author Time Post
Reply Yes, acknowledging privilege is hard work. (Original post)
La Lioness Priyanka Feb 2014 OP
KamaAina Feb 2014 #1
Laelth Feb 2014 #2
Cali_Democrat Feb 2014 #3
La Lioness Priyanka Feb 2014 #9
eridani Feb 2014 #42
Cali_Democrat Feb 2014 #56
El_Johns Feb 2014 #45
Iggo Feb 2014 #4
JJChambers Feb 2014 #5
seveneyes Feb 2014 #6
La Lioness Priyanka Feb 2014 #8
seveneyes Feb 2014 #10
AverageJoe90 Feb 2014 #28
MrScorpio Feb 2014 #7
bettyellen Feb 2014 #11
AverageJoe90 Feb 2014 #15
bettyellen Feb 2014 #18
AverageJoe90 Feb 2014 #21
bettyellen Feb 2014 #23
AverageJoe90 Feb 2014 #25
bettyellen Feb 2014 #27
AverageJoe90 Feb 2014 #29
bettyellen Feb 2014 #30
AverageJoe90 Feb 2014 #32
bettyellen Feb 2014 #36
AverageJoe90 Feb 2014 #39
bettyellen Feb 2014 #43
AverageJoe90 Feb 2014 #46
lumberjack_jeff Feb 2014 #49
bettyellen Feb 2014 #51
lumberjack_jeff Feb 2014 #53
bettyellen Feb 2014 #54
AverageJoe90 Feb 2014 #72
bettyellen Feb 2014 #73
AverageJoe90 Feb 2014 #76
BainsBane Feb 2014 #12
lumberjack_jeff Feb 2014 #13
LiberalAndProud Feb 2014 #17
AverageJoe90 Feb 2014 #31
LiberalAndProud Feb 2014 #37
stevil Feb 2014 #80
nomorenomore08 Feb 2014 #92
nomorenomore08 Feb 2014 #91
Capt. Obvious Feb 2014 #19
bettyellen Feb 2014 #20
AverageJoe90 Feb 2014 #24
lumberjack_jeff Feb 2014 #41
bettyellen Feb 2014 #47
Waiting For Everyman Feb 2014 #100
bettyellen Feb 2014 #105
AverageJoe90 Feb 2014 #26
lumberjack_jeff Feb 2014 #44
jeff47 Feb 2014 #55
AverageJoe90 Feb 2014 #60
lumberjack_jeff Feb 2014 #61
jeff47 Feb 2014 #113
Zorra Feb 2014 #14
Capt. Obvious Feb 2014 #16
myrna minx Feb 2014 #22
Texasgal Feb 2014 #33
Capt. Obvious Feb 2014 #35
bettyellen Feb 2014 #38
AverageJoe90 Feb 2014 #40
bettyellen Feb 2014 #52
AverageJoe90 Feb 2014 #59
bettyellen Feb 2014 #65
AverageJoe90 Feb 2014 #68
bettyellen Feb 2014 #74
AverageJoe90 Feb 2014 #75
bettyellen Feb 2014 #77
AverageJoe90 Feb 2014 #81
bettyellen Feb 2014 #83
nomorenomore08 Feb 2014 #94
jeff47 Feb 2014 #57
geek tragedy Feb 2014 #107
Zenlitened Feb 2014 #34
El_Johns Feb 2014 #48
bettyellen Feb 2014 #50
AverageJoe90 Feb 2014 #62
LiberalAndProud Feb 2014 #63
AverageJoe90 Feb 2014 #64
bettyellen Feb 2014 #66
AverageJoe90 Feb 2014 #67
El_Johns Feb 2014 #78
bettyellen Feb 2014 #79
El_Johns Feb 2014 #82
bettyellen Feb 2014 #84
El_Johns Feb 2014 #85
bettyellen Feb 2014 #86
El_Johns Feb 2014 #87
bettyellen Feb 2014 #89
El_Johns Feb 2014 #95
bettyellen Feb 2014 #97
El_Johns Feb 2014 #98
Waiting For Everyman Feb 2014 #88
bettyellen Feb 2014 #90
Waiting For Everyman Feb 2014 #93
bettyellen Feb 2014 #96
Waiting For Everyman Feb 2014 #99
bettyellen Feb 2014 #104
LiberalAndProud Feb 2014 #69
AverageJoe90 Feb 2014 #70
Starry Messenger Feb 2014 #58
Solly Mack Feb 2014 #71
hfojvt Feb 2014 #101
La Lioness Priyanka Feb 2014 #103
hfojvt Feb 2014 #109
kwassa Feb 2014 #108
hfojvt Feb 2014 #110
kwassa Feb 2014 #111
JustAnotherGen Feb 2014 #102
closeupready Feb 2014 #106
Redford Feb 2014 #112
La Lioness Priyanka Mar 2014 #114

Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Original post)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 04:31 PM

1. Hear, hear!

 

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Original post)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 05:41 PM

2. Hear, hear!

This is the precise problem I have with a few women who absolutely refuse to acknowledge the privileges women enjoy in this society.

Well said.

-Laelth

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Original post)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 05:46 PM

3. A good example is Trayvon Martin

 

Last edited Thu Feb 27, 2014, 06:52 PM - Edit history (1)

Had he been a young white girl, he would have had the privilege to walk home without being profiled and gunned down by a racist with a gun.

Walking home without being viewed as suspicious is a privilege he wasn't able to enjoy.

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Response to Cali_Democrat (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 06:05 PM

9. yup. to understand how that was racism, is to also aknowledge

 

the number of people that would not happen to (including me, and i am not white)

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Response to Cali_Democrat (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 10:28 PM

42. But not the privilege of avoiding being raped n/t

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Response to eridani (Reply #42)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 11:05 PM

56. Yup

 

good point....some folks are privileged in ways others are not.

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Response to Cali_Democrat (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 10:35 PM

45. yeah, he might have just been raped instead.

 

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Original post)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 05:52 PM

4. "...I don't get harassed for being queer. However, my wife does."

That's a perfect example.

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Original post)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 05:57 PM

5. Your voice is one if the many voices quickly combining into a roar that won't be silenced

 

I love it.

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Original post)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 05:58 PM

6. Even harder is working to correct those giving privilege

 

As daunting as it is, it would serve the greater good more than browbeating those being offered unsolicited privilege.

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Response to seveneyes (Reply #6)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 06:01 PM

8. not really. we can all admit that racism is bad.

 

what's harder to admit is that it benefits some of us.

hence, the defensiveness around privilege and the universal acknowledgement that racism is bad.

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Reply #8)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 07:13 PM

10. Both Racism and giving priviledge are bad

 

Both exist. Getting rid of both is the goal.

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Response to seveneyes (Reply #10)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 09:06 PM

28. How about just *eliminating disadvantage*?

 

I realize this is going to be a rhetorical point, but it's a good one: how would an average ordinary white person feel if he were subjected to being pulled over for no good reason, or targeted by a racist hate group and nothing is done to help them, etc.?

My point is, to the uninitiated, it often gives off the impression that we want to make them suffer the problems that People of Color do sometimes face on a daily basis, that we want them to be brought down to their level. For goodness sakes, that's not what we want! At all! We want NOBODY to have to worry about being arrested for a bullshit reason, or worrying about being murdered by a racist asshole just because they aren't certain skin tone. All we want is for People of Color to be able to have the same quality of life that white folks do, which means leveling UP the playing field.

But that's not the impression that many people get, and that's part of the problem.

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Original post)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 06:01 PM

7. Bravo! nt

Kickage!

This is the DU member formerly known as MrScorpio.

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Original post)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 08:09 PM

11. AWESOME OP. The new BS meme is only young snotty white folks call it "white privilege" . LOL.

 

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #11)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 08:26 PM

15. Which does, unfortunately, have quite a bit of truth to it.

 

Don't believe me? You might want to look at Tumblr sometime.....full of examples. And not all the snotty kids are white, either(many of them are, though, but not quite all); it seems to transcend ethnic boundaries to an extent if anything.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #15)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 08:37 PM

18. It's a term coined by academics to describe a phenomenon..... and many many people who discuss race

 

use it without issue. People on Tumbler? LOL. Like the original poster who said it's mainly whites using the word, I'm thinking this has more to do with where YOU are finding your sample than it does with real life. All this means is neither of you have had real life conversations with African Amercians about the issue. Yet you both spout off as if you know better. That should give you pause.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #18)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 08:52 PM

21. "Yet you both spout off as if you know better." And you do? nt

 

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #21)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 08:56 PM

23. You definitely do not know better than the African American activist community or a diverse group of

 

feminist academics of the last 40 years. Nope- it's not for you to say Joe. Thinking you should control the conversation is a sign you just do not get it. I am embarrassed for you.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #23)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 08:58 PM

25. I'm afraid if anyone's been trying to "control" anything here, bettyellen, it's yourself.

 

As much as I hate to say that, it unfortunately *is* the case. Neither Jeff or I have been actively trying to force our views on you.....but it has been occurring the other way around.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #25)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 09:04 PM

27. You are the one hoping people reshape their conversations more to your liking.

 

You are actually trying to tell people what words are unacceptable to use. That is controlling.
Why it pisses you off to accept what is the basic facts of life, and to have a cogent discussion about it using the best descriptive words possible is a whole other can of worms.

I will not speculate why you think your discomfort should be issue #1 for anyone else but you. I'll just say it's hilarious! And not happening.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #27)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 09:09 PM

29. "I will not speculate why you think your discomfort should be issue #1 for anyone else but you."

 

You might want to find the nearest mirror.

You are actually trying to tell people what words are unacceptable to use. That is controlling.


I'm only offering advice. An opinion(albeit one based on fact-based observation) You, however, are trying to *command* people that we SHOULD use "White Privilege". Isn't that hypocritical? Or are you so blind as to not be able to comprehend that?

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #29)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 09:12 PM

30. Um, no- people already DO use the word, and I think that is just fine. See how that works?

 

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #30)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 09:16 PM

32. You may think it's fine.....

 

But I've been all over the place in all sorts of venues, gauging reactions from the general public. And unfortunately, from what I've seen, a lot of people have had issues with the term, including some progressives even, even if a few people may have embraced the term.

Simply put, all I'm saying is that you might want to leave your bubble once in a while and take off the rose-colored glasses. Was a bit difficult for me, but I managed.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #32)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 09:31 PM

36. "some progressives even" say it ain't so Joe- you've left your bubble and talked to a few? WOW.

 

Did you just out yourself?
I have never seen anyone except the privileged in denial or push back, even here at DU.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #36)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 10:09 PM

39. Nice try. But no dice.

 

I don't claim to be omnipotent but I've done enough balanced observation and kept an open enough mind to know what I know now: "White Privilege" doesn't work as an informational tool for the general public and never has.

We need to think of something better, and it isn't just white people saying this, either. People from all sorts of backgrounds are realizing this.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #39)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 10:32 PM

43. Who is this "we" Joe? Because I don't see anyone interested in your permission or input, LOL.

 

And maybe that's something you and your mostly conservative (but a few liberal) friends need to get used to.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #43)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 10:35 PM

46. Never asked to grant "permission". You're just tugging at straws now, Betty.

 

And maybe that's something you and your mostly conservative (but a few liberal) friends


Heh, LOL. Honestly, though, if you knew anything about me, you'd know I can't stand most conservatives(especially not anyone who's a Teabagger or Fundie). I'd say that perhaps about 80%(at least 75%!) of my friends are liberal or centrists who lean liberal, with most of the rest being apolitical.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #18)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 10:45 PM

49. Of course, and we never find "young snotty white folks" in academia, do we? n/t

 

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #49)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 10:48 PM

51. sound like classic RW anti-intellectual bias, LOL....

 

as well as "reverse racism", HA.
I am SHOCKED.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #51)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 10:54 PM

53. You're bringing your own strawman to life.

 

Not something one sees every day.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #53)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 11:00 PM

54. It's someone else's strawman- and "even a few progressives" like it, LOL.

 

I just trotted it out to swat it like a pinata, I can't help it if you actually took the bait!

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #54)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 12:38 AM

72. "I can't help it if you actually took the bait!" An admission of trolling, perhaps? ;-)

 

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #72)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 12:50 AM

73. I mocked the idea- but you guys took it up as if it was worthwhile, LOL.

 

not my fault, LOL. but quite funny.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #73)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 12:55 AM

76. Yep, it was a troll.....just like 99% of the other stuff you've posted lately. nt

 

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Original post)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 08:12 PM

12. I became most aware of my privilege living in a majority black city

in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil. About 90 percent of the population is what Americans would call black. There was a hotel down by the beach with a nice pool. I could walk down there, slip in and use the pool, and no one ever questioned me because I was white and foreign. Of course it manifests itself in all kinds of ways in the US as well.
This is the DU member formerly known as BainsBane.

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Original post)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 08:16 PM

13. In what way is "being aware of your privilege" materially different from acknowledging racism?

 

And why is the distinction a vitally important prerequisite to having a conversation about corrective action?

If someone wants, and is ready to have a conversation about the corrective actions justified for self-mediated, internalized and institutional bias, stereotype and bigotry in the realm of race, why can't it begin unless accompanied the magic words?

More importantly, why can't the conversation start *even after* the magic words have been spoken?

It's because fixing the problem isn't the goal. Blame, and extrapolating that blame into other realms is the goal.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #13)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 08:28 PM

17. It isn't about blame.

We are being asked to examine the fabric of our lives. We are being asked to understand that those things which we take for granted aren't there for everyone.

I never had to consider walking an extra 10 blocks to shop because 'people look at us at that store'. That is my granddaughter's reality. I didn't ever consider my privilege until I saw someone I love very much live without it.

It's not my fault. It's my granddaughter's reality.

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Response to LiberalAndProud (Reply #17)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 09:13 PM

31. I understand what you're saying, but why do we need to call it "privilege"?

 

This is a question that I have never received a satisfactory answer to.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #31)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 09:37 PM

37. Honestly, I can't think of a better word.

Language so often gets in the way of communication. I understand why the word can be off-putting. But I can't think of a better way to communicate this. I had the luxury of being only peripherally aware of this thing that we're talking about -- allow me to call it privilege for now -- for the greater part of my life. It is the *absence* of this quality in my granddaughter's life that has so poignantly underlined, for me, the pernicious, never-ending, forever-grinding, soul-crushing nature of it. And no part of it has anything to do with who she is or what she does. It is about the skin she's in. I share lumberjack jeff's desire to confront this head on and to achieve something better. Today, though, the best that I hope for is an understanding that it is.

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Response to LiberalAndProud (Reply #37)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 01:36 AM

80. This is conversation

Great post!

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Response to LiberalAndProud (Reply #37)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 03:04 AM

92. Great post. And I'm sorry your family has had to go through this.

As much as I want to believe that a better world is not only possible but on its way, there's all kinds of evidence to the contrary...

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #31)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 03:03 AM

91. No offense, but maybe the question itself is "unsatisfactory" -

i.e. to quibble over semantics is to miss the point. If you, and others, agree totally other than the use of a single word, then why is that single word so important?

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #13)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 08:38 PM

19. I would separate the two issues

as I think they operate in completely different spheres.

Plenty of people claim to not be racist as they don't act in malice towards people of color. Yet many of these same people can't ever begin a story involving a person of color without describing the difference between them ("So I was talking to this black guy" "I'm just like that black football player who came out". It goes beyond race too ("So my Jewish neighbor..".

That is privilege. When they speak of white people just like themselves there are never any qualifiers. "So I was talking to this guy" "I'm just like that football player who came out" "So my neighbor.."

That is just one aspect of broad range of privilege. I'm guilty of it and I try to be aware of it and not do it.

And I'm ignoring your effort to make this a blame issue.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #13)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 08:46 PM

20. "magic words" WOW- who the heck would want to have a conversation with someone so contemptuous?

 

And so controlling.
You don't get to write the script for once in your fucking life. And you appear really angry about that.
You should maybe meditate on that, it would do you some good to realize exactly how unimportant your concern is in the scheme of things. Seriously.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #20)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 08:56 PM

24. "with someone so contemptuous?....And so controlling." Really?

 

I'm sorry, but how exactly is Jeff trying to "control" the conversation?
In fact, he made a very good point: why exactly do we need "white privilege" to discuss the very real problems with racism and social stratification? Because it hasn't helped us educate the public, that's for sure.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #20)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 10:28 PM

41. "Contemptous and controlling"?

 

Projection much?

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #41)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 10:42 PM

47. When you don't actually understand a concept(see"guilt") it's time to stop trying to educate others.

 

"magic words" is very contemptuous. Too bad you still can't wrap your head around their meaning.
All the more reason why no one would want to consult with you about it! You are being openly hostile and having nothing more than an emotional reaction. Useless.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #47)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 05:09 AM

100. So you want to quibble over his word choices

but when he objects to a term being used, OH THAT'S DIFFERENT!

This is hilarious!

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Response to Waiting For Everyman (Reply #100)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 10:47 AM

105. Quibble over his hostile words. Nope. They are what they are. Telling.

 

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #13)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 08:59 PM

26. Good point.

 

I do realize that the original intent of the term was meant to provoke some thought, but unfortunately, it has, in this day and age, been *badly* abused by a few people wishing to control(and yes, that's exactly what it is, control and nothing less) the narrative as it were, for whatever reason, including those who claim to speak for an entire ethnic group.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #26)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 10:32 PM

44. Frankly, I think that racial privilege isn't necessarily a bad framework to visualize the problem.

 

But I don't think it's the only one, and I sure as hell don't think that universal conceptual agreement should be a prerequisite to discussions of "Okay, so... what do we do about it"?

Increasingly, it's a jawbone being used to avoid practical discussions while perseverating about blame and collective guilt.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #13)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 11:04 PM

55. Acknowledging racism is acknowledging the harm done to others.

(For a white person).

Being aware of your privilege is acknowledging the benefits you receive from other's racism.
(For a white person)

That's quite a different thing. And why so many white folks react so strongly against privilege.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #55)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 11:17 PM

60. "Acknowledging racism is acknowledging the harm done to others." That much is true.

 

But why use the term "privilege"? How does it add to most people's understanding? I can understand that it may "click" for people who have adopted a certain worldview, and that's fine. My personal problem is, is that some of them keep telling the rest of us that adopting their language is mandatory, and that if we don't, we cannot possibly fully understand the realities before us. And more importantly, it has not, unfortunately, worked all too well as a public teaching tool, outside of perhaps a very few cases. And I do mean *few*.

And even from a practical standpoint, there's going to be some problems; not every white person actually benefits from racism(even though it can be argued that the possibility that such may happen is always there, which may be true). I haven't, not even indirectly, and neither have many others around here. And there are certainly individuals like Clarence Thomas and Allen West who have reaped personal gain from assisting the perpetuation of the old order, as it were.



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Response to jeff47 (Reply #55)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 11:21 PM

61. It's a distinction without a difference.

 

Acknowledging the harm done to others requires a frame of reference. The harm done to others is relative to ones own experience.

Being aware that life is in some ways easier for you than the person disadvantaged because of his or her skin color is the same; It's an A/B comparison in which you fundamentally and inherently understand "A" but not "B"

Don't think so? How much energy to you expend evaluating the privilege/disadvantage that native americans experience relative to hispanic people? Not much I'd wager because you don't live in one of those poles. You don't have a frame of reference. Acknowledging privilege and understanding bias are equally alien because they're both the same concept.

My new truck is nice compared to the neighbor's dented Dodge. (acknowledging privilege)
My neighbors truck is pretty mundane compared to my new one. (acknowledging disadvantage)

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #61)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 04:31 PM

113. Then why are you so desperate to bury discussions about privilege?

If they're the same thing, you wouldn't react so strongly against discussions about privilege.

Instead, you are in every single one, fighting against any discussion of privilege.

Being aware that life is in some ways easier for you than the person disadvantaged because of his or her skin color is the same

No, it isn't. "They have it harder" generally causes someone to react differently than "I have it easier". That's why there's a large number of DUers who try to shut down any talk of privilege, and instead talk about harm.

"Racist assholes make my life better" isn't a happy thought for most people.

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Original post)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 08:21 PM

14. Well said, thanks. nt

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Original post)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 08:27 PM

16. I hope this thread gets more recs than the other one

I replied but I really wanted to say something that may have gotten hidden.

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Original post)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 08:53 PM

22. K&R - thank you.

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Original post)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 09:18 PM

33. It's so weird that DU seems to have

such an issue with this topic. It's maddening and disappointing.

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Response to Texasgal (Reply #33)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 09:28 PM

35. Weird?

No.

In fact, discussing the issue of privilege is pretty much accusing some members of burning crosses on black families' lawns.

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Response to Texasgal (Reply #33)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 09:40 PM

38. well apprently some are discussing this with conservative folk - and asking them what words make

 

them unhappy, and then they report back to us. I learned this up thread. Seriously.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #38)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 10:13 PM

40. Not just "conservative folk", Betty. The public in general.

 

And yeah, that includes plenty of liberals and centrists, too.(most conservatives wouldn't even want to consider listening in the first place, so that's moot, anyway)

Whether we may like it or not, DU isn't totally representative of Democrats as a whole, or even all activist Democrats. We are just another slice of the pie. The truth is, for every liberal who believes in white privilege theory, I'd say there's roughly about a hundred(give or take some, maybe) who don't.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #40)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 10:52 PM

52. "a lot of people have had issues with the term, including some progressives even" Mmmm, okaaay.

 

Sounds like you outed your darned self, bringing *mostly not progressive* opinions here, LOL.
NO THANK YOU JOE.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #52)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 11:09 PM

59. I'm afraid you've only outted yourself, Betty.

 

It's become clear that you have a bit of problem with dissenting opinions on this subject. Why? I dunno.....you tell me.
And honestly, the fact that you seem to be unwilling to accept that a progressive could possibly disagree with the use of the term "white privilege" while simultaneously accepting the realities of social stratification only adds to that.


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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #59)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 11:52 PM

65. I am out and proud as far as disliking narrow minded conservative doublespeak. Those that engage in

 

that BS are not people I take lessons from.

You do not disagree with the usage of the term, you disagree privilege even exists. You say as much elsewhere.
And that opinion is out of mainstream progressive thought, not worth wasting anymore time with now that we know where it is coming from.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #65)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 12:06 AM

68. "And that opinion is out of mainstream progressive thought" I'm afraid not.

 

Hell, I only found out about the white privilege theory when I was on the outer fringes of progressive-dom about ~5 years ago. I don't recall hearing a peep out of DU in that regard until last year and I'd been active since June of 2011.

So I dunno what else to tell you, Betty.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #68)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 12:53 AM

74. Gosh, you need to get out more. Maybe go back to school? 3 years at DU, LOL....

 

isn't a substitute for a well rounded education.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #74)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 12:54 AM

75. Are you honestly kidding me? nt

 

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #75)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 12:59 AM

77. Not at all- if you heard of it/ believed in it 5 years ago, and have not heard much since...

 

possibly because the majority of your acquaintances are not liberal, I'd say you need to get out more, expand your horizons.

well gosh, most of us were pretty aware and discussing the concept by HS. It's not at all controversial in liberal circles. Never was. Sorry to disappoint you.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #77)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 01:45 AM

81. Well, you said it as if you believed it was for certain....not that it was possible.

 

Perhaps I can give you the benefit of the doubt here. But that is definitely what it sounded like.


well gosh, most of us were pretty aware and discussing the concept by HS. It's not at all controversial in liberal circles. Never was. Sorry to disappoint you.


If that's really true, it honestly sounds like that you're not that much older than I am, or you went to a super-liberal school, or both. For full disclosure, I did attend school in the suburban D/FW area, so maybe that might help explain it a little, but you'd think that at least some members of the general public would have a better understanding if "white privilege" actually was taught or even discussed in many high schools.....but this doesn't seem to have been the case, apart from perhaps a few rare exceptions.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #81)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 02:18 AM

83. I was aware of politics and social issues pretty young I suppose. And though my family and church

 

school were both conservative leaning, I was not ever. I was a commie atheist in fourth grade, and I haven't grown up all that much since. It's been part of my vernacular for so long, I can't even guess when I first heard about it. It;s a thing- and there are small degrees of it and big ones- with life changing consequences.

Someone here tonight said- the only advantage he gets is the millisecond extra back, that it takes a black person to be "stopped" by a cop. It's a go to jail card, not a fucking millisecond. Unfucking believable to see that here.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #83)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 03:08 AM

94. I think most everyone tends to exaggerate their own problems and downplay others'.

Classic self-centeredness, I would say.

*Edit: I wasn't trying to make a false equivalency. I was speculating on one possible reason for the defensiveness here.

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Response to Texasgal (Reply #33)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 11:06 PM

57. It's acknowledging that one receives a benefit from other's racism.

That's a pretty uncomfortable situation. You're not racist, but you receive perks from people who are. You'd prefer that this did not happen, but since you aren't applying those perks you can't stop it.

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Response to Texasgal (Reply #33)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 10:52 AM

107. Some white people of all ideological stripes resent talking about race.

 

It's more pronounced amongst the GOP base, but there's plenty of "stop rubbing that in my face, I didn't do anything to you" sentiment on the left too

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Original post)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 09:25 PM

34. "To understand oppression, one needs to understand the opposite of oppression (privilege)."

This.

And, I'd add, it's not enough to say, "But I oppose ALL oppression," to insist that the discussions be about ALL oppressions at once.

Insisting that we ought to act as if we live in a color-blind world, when the world obviously isn't color-blind? Yeah, that's white privilege right there, folks.

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Response to Zenlitened (Reply #34)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 10:43 PM

48. how is privilege the opposite of oppression"

 

who is insisting we live in a color-blind world?

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Response to Zenlitened (Reply #34)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 10:47 PM

50. "to insist that the discussions be..." is how people here derail. They derail, then blame the word.

 

And it's bullshit. When we say we are fine with continuing to use the best words, the ones currently used- instead of discarding them so they will be more "comfortable" it's us controlling the discussion? No, it;s people who do not like the message diluting it- and doin git quite on purpose. Transparent.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #50)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 11:22 PM

62. "it's us controlling the discussion?" It most certainly is!

 

For goodness sakes, bettyellen, are you actually truly oblivious to what's going on here?

It's not controlling to point out that "White privilege" hasn't really worked out as a teaching tool. If you want to keep using it, for whatever reason, heck, that's fine. But just don't expect that people won't have legitimate reasons to disagree with this.....they do.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #62)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 11:32 PM

63. How would you frame the discussion?

If your goal is to remove provocative words, will you also dilute the message? Also, I suggest "theory" might not be a good word to use in the discussion.

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Response to LiberalAndProud (Reply #63)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 11:52 PM

64. One way I'd do it is just by being straightforward.

 

Just by pointing out the statistics behind it all.....the fact that black men are incarcerated falsely at several times the rate of white folks, the fact that Women of Color are paid even less than their white counterparts, amongst other things.....we can say, "Hey, there *is* an issue with disadvantage here. Wouldn't you think it was unfair if you had to worry about being judged as a criminal or being paid less money on the dollar just because of your skin tone?".

I do apologize if this explanation may not be satisfactory, however; it tends to be tough for me to really flesh stuff out unless I really practice, you know? Hopefully it may help you understand my position a little better, though.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #64)

Thu Feb 27, 2014, 11:56 PM

66. Oooh, pithy. Replace one word with a woefully incomlete laundry list. Yeah, maybe not.

 

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #66)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 12:03 AM

67. Well.....I guess we'll have to just agree to disagree then. nt

 

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #66)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 01:03 AM

78. Ridiculous comment. If you're trying to get people to understand what you mean, the pithy

 

label won't do the job.

But if your motive is just to alienate them and then pat yourself on the back for being among the enlightened in comparison to the "racist" cretins, good show.

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Response to El_Johns (Reply #78)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 01:17 AM

79. it makes no sense at all not to use a phrase only because it needs a super long explaination-

 

it's a necessary word -exactly because it describes a very complex (and varied) set of conditions.
Do you expect everyone use three or four paragraphs every time they are discussing it? If you don;t understand terminology, look it the hell up.
He doesn't like the word because he denies it exists and is hoping to trick people into using words he prefers. It;s bullshit, and....He's quite a few decades too late for that.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #79)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 02:11 AM

82. Without an understanding of the very complex and varied set of conditions, what use is it? As

 

an introduction to the topic, it starts things on the wrong foot.

I don't know the motives of the person you're talking about, and neither do you.

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Response to El_Johns (Reply #82)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 02:23 AM

84. You have a completely useful term for something- that aptly describes a complicated concept-

 

you use it. It was coined to describe the idea many years ago. There is no need to reword it, especially not at the "suggestion" of someone who also doubts it's very existence. On manys a thread. It's like asking an atheist what you should call god!

It's a great term used by social scientists for years, and commonly known.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #84)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 02:27 AM

85. Social scientists are not the population you claim to want to educate and enlighten.

 

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Response to El_Johns (Reply #85)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 02:40 AM

86. It is a pretty familair term, and you are allowed to explain it when needed!

 

But you'd still need the term to refer to it again in a sentence afterward. (without substituting his laundry list of injustices) That's how it works sometimes. Not everyone has such a hard time with it.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #86)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 02:52 AM

87. I don't have a hard time with it at all. I just think it's useless as the educational tool

 

its proponents claim it to be.

In fact, it seems it was designed to foster division rather than solidarity.

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Response to El_Johns (Reply #87)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 02:56 AM

89. I think the word is a necesary part of any deep conversation about race and gender issues.

 

It's a facet that has significance to many of us, and should not be swept away at the request of some who want to pretend it doesn't exist. That's not right. As I said, it's not exactly being used in a PSA to recruit people.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #89)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 03:08 AM

95. I think it promotes superficial conversations about race and also misunderstanding about race.

 

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Response to El_Johns (Reply #95)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 03:12 AM

97. that's pretty funny. yeah it's racist to acknowledge the many facets of racism. Okay Bye!!

 

(where have we heard that before, LOL!!)

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #97)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 03:16 AM

98. But it doesn't acknowledge the many facets of racism. That's why it leads to superficial

 

conversations about race, and misunderstanding.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #79)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 02:54 AM

88. Discrimination is one word. nt

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Response to Waiting For Everyman (Reply #88)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 02:57 AM

90. that is not at all interchangable, try again?

 

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #90)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 03:07 AM

93. True, "discrimination" is more accurate.

And less distorted and less divisive, with an established history of widely understood and accepted usage.

What it does not do, that "privilege" does, is allow some to pick on people who are not part of the problem.

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Response to Waiting For Everyman (Reply #93)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 03:11 AM

96. it describes a different thing- and is a smaller, more quantifiable part of explaining privilege.

 

not everyone who acknowledges it exists takes it too personally to handle the discussion. if it bothers you, move on.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #96)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 03:48 AM

99. Your statement to El_Johns is simply not true.

My pointing that out is part of the discussion. You don't have a way to answer that, so you resort to the usual change-the-subject "hail mary" snark.

The one bothered by it and taking it personally, is you.

As to "move on", that is up to me, not you. Clearly you're annoyed that you are not able to dictate what can, and can't be said here, but... too bad, so sad, you don't have that right.

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Response to Waiting For Everyman (Reply #99)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 10:42 AM

104. So... You're rubber, too bad so sad and those who seek to stop some words here

 

Are doing the opposite of trying to control others conversation. Oh my!

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #64)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 12:13 AM

69. Man of goodwill. That's you.

I mean that truly. But you're still not understanding. I wish I could remove the umbrage caused by the words so that you could have an insight into what we mean when we use the words. Wishes and horses, I guess.

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Response to LiberalAndProud (Reply #69)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 12:14 AM

70. Thanks, I do try. nt =)

 

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Original post)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 12:17 AM

71. K&R

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Original post)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 05:31 AM

101. groups are not really oppressed

otherwise Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey and Serena Williams are all part of an "oppressed group".

Okay, take away the fame, how are the 3 million plus black households with over $100,000 in net worth, part of an "oppressed group"?

Go even further than that, how is my black co-worker part of an "oppressed group"? He's got almost the same job I do. In fact, he has the job that I wanted. How is he any more oppressed than I am?

And, once again, to claim that "privilege is the opposite of oppression" is to say that "everybody should be oppressed".

Life, I would say, is often like a long walk through a minefield. Some people for whatever reason, have more mines to dodge than others. But having 20% fewer mines to dodge really isn't a privilege when one still has a long, tiring, and dangerous walk to go on. My walk, is NOT a cakewalk. In fact, it is a harder walk than Michelle Obama's. She, after all, is privileged to fly right over that minefield while most of the rest of us have to walk.

That, being able to fly above, would be a privilege.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #101)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 10:38 AM

103. they are still oppressed by their race in a way that a similarly place white person is not. nt

 

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Reply #103)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 03:00 PM

109. "a similarly placed white person"

ah, but what about ALL of the millions and millions of white people who are NOT similarly placed. Who are, in fact, placed well BELOW those three? So what if Oprah is more oppressed than Bill Gates? She is still far LESS oppressed than some white guy who goes down into a coal mine every frigging day, or who slings tar on a hot roof, or who works in a meat packing plant, or a foundry.

But also, I invite you to explain, if you can, how my similarly placed co-worker is "oppressed". He does NOT complain every day about being followed around in stores. He does NOT get a ticket more than ONCE in the eight years I have known him for DWB. So where is his oppression?

He drives a nicer car than I do. He owns a motorcycle. He eats out a lot while I brown-bag, he's eating McDonalds, Subway, buying from the vending machine, etc. Seems to be enjoying the hell out of life.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #101)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 12:54 PM

108. Having 20% fewer mines to dodge really is a privilege

even if the rest of the walk is dangerous.

Michelle Obama did her walk growing up on a path from very modest circumstances that took her to Princeton. She is still part of an oppressed group, judging by some of the unfounded critical remarks about her made by conservatives that are based on racist stereotypes of black people.

Oprah came from a terrible background, and was raped as a child.

Serena is straight out of Compton, also from very modest circumstances.

Black people are judged differently than whites. That is white privilege.

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Response to kwassa (Reply #108)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 03:06 PM

110. it's not

if, despite having fewer mines to dodge, you step on one and get blown up.

Regardless of where Oprah or Michelle or Serena came from, they've been walking now for decades on a pretty smooth path.

Actually, they are being driven around by limos.

While others, who are walking, and stepping on mines, are being told that they are the privileged ones.

Oprah was raped. Well I know some white guys and white girls who did not live to see their 21st birthday. Isn't surviving to become a billionaire a little bit better than dying?

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #110)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 03:16 PM

111. If the white guy has to cross a minefield with 80 mines ...

and a black guy has to cross a field with 100 mines, the white guy has a privilege. A serious privilege.

What we are discussing are different privileges. Oprah is far more privileged, now, because of her vast wealth. She still doesn't get white privilege, as revealed in the shopping incident in Switzerland, but her wealth and celebrity, both extremely rare for black people, insulate her from most of that.

Blacks have to put up with a level of suspicion and denigration that whites don't, by virtue of being black in America.

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Original post)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 05:32 AM

102. This is a quote by BainsBane

I agree with her - and you.


It's disappointing to see "liberals" deny the existence of white privilege

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Original post)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 10:48 AM

106. K&R for my friend, Lionness, and for truth.

 

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Original post)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 04:11 PM

112. I guess one would need to believe that privilege is really the opposite of oppression

As I dare to "prairie dog" up at the Fortune 50 cube farm, I am seeing plenty of white, black, asian, hispanic, men, women, fat, thin, old and young people just as privileged as me to have a job. Oh, and we all make the same amount of money because it is there for everyone to see. Well, except for the bi-linguals. They make a little more.

We have all arrived to the same station in life, more or less. I have a PoC for a boss and I am pretty sure he is gay, too. Not feeling oppressed or privileged - just happy to have a job.







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Response to Redford (Reply #112)

Sat Mar 1, 2014, 02:40 PM

114. a job is only one aspect of life.

 

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