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Member since: Thu Jul 24, 2008, 05:59 PM
Number of posts: 5,018

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Nate Silver 538 Update: National Polls Shift To Obama, Align With State Polling


Makes a Romney victory seem even more unlikely if that's the case.

Another horribly poor way of talking about privilege....

If the point is to get straight white males who deny privilege to accept it, well then, it's a poor way to go about it.

First, what is the point of focusing on three types of privilege only? Namely, sexual orientation, race, and gender. If the topic is privilege, which encompasses far, far more than just those three groups, why the focus of privilege on just these three?

These articles always go about saying "everything else being equal" as well, but what's the point? Might as well address privilege for what it really is, a very complicated issue with all sorts of factors, some which are much more impactful than sexual orientation, race, or gender, but aren't even discussed for some reason?

Then, specifically going after the "straight white male", over and over again, will of course put people on the defensive. I understand the temptation to generalize grandly about such topics, but it's counterproductive and not a great way to start discussion.

I find that the vast majority of people, regardless of their race, sexual orientation, or gender, do not recognize their own privileges. I think people quickly notice the privilege of others, and the relative disadvantages they have, but no one wants to recognize their own privileges, at least not easily. So to just focus on the "straight white male" seems rather silly, when everyone needs to recognize privilege, and it seems to miss the point. Indeed, I think the weird concentration on just the "straight white male" makes any other combination feel like they don't need to examine their privilege, since they are not the "most" privileged.

I think it is this strange sort of need to pick a combination of only three factors and come to some sort of definite conclusion of "who has it easiest" which seems to miss the whole point of understanding privilege, which is simply to have empathy and understand that we don't live in a perfect meritocracy, and hopefully work towards more of a meritocracy that provides equal opportunities to all. It seems to scapegoat one group of people as the ultimate purveyors and benefactors of privilege, when in reality, many in that same group lose out on a lot due to privilege, just maybe not privilge derived from just those three factors. Why alienate people that suffer from the same system?

I think discussing and understanding privilege is great and needed, but the needling of just "straight white males" makes no sense and isn't a good strategy to get people (much less straight white males) to examine their own privileges, much less accept that we don't live in a perfect meritocracy. The whole "American exceptionalism" of the right is based on such a myth, but even people on the right complain about their lack of privilege and disadvantages, they just have a hard time recognizing the system of privilege is the reason why. Privilege is about a lot more than race, sexual orientation, and gender, much less saying "who has it easiest" in grandly generalized, subjective pronouncements.

No, you're not excused...

I can understand your anger at some of the media and especially those on the right who do play up black opinions on gay marriage, but why are you directing that anger at DU? Seems you are doing exactly what they want you to, lashing out at allies and people who agree with you.

You are arguing a strawman, no one said that all blacks are homophobic or bible-thumpers.

But there is nothing wrong with discussing certain disparities in opinion between groups to try to understand them and fix them. I constantly ask why so many working class whites vote Republican. Nobody here is blaming blacks as a group for these laws. The people to blame are all those who voted for it, no matter their color.

Obama doesn't support gay marriage...

almost certainly for political reasons.

But still, very sad when the guy I will vote for puts his political strategy before the civil rights of others, and in all honesty, I don't see it as a good strategy anyways.

Kinda makes his speeches about other civil rights ring especially hollow and make him seem incredibly hypocritical.

MSNBC hurts the liberal/progressive cause

I know many on here like some of the shows on MSNBC. Heck, I even like to watch Rachel every now and again, she is pretty much the only one that I can kind of stand. But MSNBC, like all corporations, wants to make profit. That is its priority.

In this country, 40% of people identify as conservative. Fox saw this and saw a business opportunity. Corner the conservative 24/7 news market with biased entertainment reporting. Done. MSNBC came later to the game, and saw the untapped (though relatively smaller market) of liberals (only 20% of the country identifies themselves as such). Well, they have cornered it, and with a lot of success. Indeed, as their viewership has risen, it has driven them to take a more biased tone.

Is it quite as biased or partisan as Fox? No, but then again, the left in this country is relatively moderate and small, so it doesn't need to be. But MSNBC isn't doing this out of the goodness of its heart. It is doing it for profit, pure and simple.

Increasingly, I find myself having to battle false equivalencies with others. They are everywhere of course, that the Democrats are just the same as Republicans, that Fox is the same as MSNBC, etc. The thing is, I kind of agree (to a point) with this argument anymore. No, Democrats aren't just the same as Republicans, but they aren't far apart on a lot of issues, and in terms of tactics and strategy, well, Obama just got a Super PAC. And I don't want corporations like MSNBC to represent liberals, because their motives are wrong as are their tactics. I don't want to be the flip side of Fox News, even if it's not quite as heavy handed about it.

I don't want entertainment/opinion shows that stretch and bend the truth to fit a partisan bias to represent liberals. Or that have bombastic/rude hosts that appeal to emotion to win out over logic and facts. And some MSNBC hosts do this quite a lot now, even my beloved Rachel at times. The fact that it is all motivated by profit really underlines it for me as well. That this is a corporate strategy to pay shareholders, pure and simple.

Yes, MSNBC hosts do tell the truth as well, and some might say it is best to fight fire with fire in a sense. In our broken political and media system, they may be right from a purely tactical viewpoint. But in the process MSNBC is doing a lot of harm to liberal causes by supposedly representing them. It breeds cynicism if you ask me.

It's always interesting to see...

the prejudice and double standard of some on DU with their jumps to conclusions before anything is really known about the story, including whether it's true or not, simply depending on whether it messes up their world view or reinforces it.

Another crappy article that misses its audience completely...

Starting off with "dear white folks" equal complete failure, because many "white folks" already know and understand the idea of white privilege, and the vast majority of people, of any color, fail to acknowledge their own privileges.

Now, I wonder how many minds this article will change or open up? Not many. Not with this sort of bumbling rhetoric.

Also, to assume saying "we're all Martin" means that white people think they would be treated the same in the same circumstances is a mighty crazy presumption to make.

Anyways, as usual, an author articulates the idea of privilege in probably the least effective way possible, and overgeneralizes while doing it.

If you want to start convincing people to examine their privilege, whatever it is, try to do more good than harm please. These terribly written articles aren't helping at all.

Hell, at least address the arguments your opponent makes. The biggest rebuttal from conservatives I see about the Martin case is that there is far more black on black crime that the black community doesn't seem to care about at all. Hell, that deserves quite a rebuttal as well as an explanation of privilege. I wish we had smarter, more savvy people on our side. This shit just makes it worse.

Your friend seems narrowminded and bigoted...

I mean, whites just can't wait to say the "n-word" with glee in any context? Really? I mean, it's like she's got a certain broad-brushed, negative stereotype about whites in her mind here.

As for "so and so can say this but others can't", the logic of such an argument is poor.

Now, if somebody from the KKK uses the n-word, will it have a powerful effect? Only to the extent the power the word is given. Now, by hoping that only black people will use it, but whites won't, how does that take away from it being used as a racial slur by racists? It doesn't at all as far as I can tell.

And what about other races saying it? The discussion from your friend just seemed a little simple I guess.

I am white, and have no inclination to say the word. I understand the incredible sensitivity to it. But I also understand context.

Really, telling whites they can never say it in any context, even quoting other people, seems to only give the word more power to racist whites who do say it, since they have now broken this "taboo". The oversensitivity to it, and to race in general, by some is part of the problem in many ways. Some whites now "refuse to see race" and won't partake in discussions about race because they have been told that it is offensive to even talk about it. How is that addressing the problems of race and racism? It doesn't. The whole n-word oversensitivity by some is just a subset of that idea. I've seen some black people, like your friend, who seem to assume that all whites really want to say the word and actually care about wanting to say it. The truth is, many white people could care less about ever using the word. To me, it's giving the word a lot more power to racists who do use it.

I have seen comedic sketches of this numerous times, where a white guy and his black friends are standing around, and the black guys are using the word with each other, and the white guy, wanting to fit in, uses it in the same way, and then everyone looks at him like what did you just say? I gotta say, I find the whole thing kinda juvenile. It seems to promote a sort of playground "no girls allowed" attitude of exclusion and a "nana boo boo" sort of logic. If the white guy is really that "seperate" from his friends that he causes offense so easily, it makes you wonder what the point of being offended in such a case is? Besides exclusion for the sake of claiming a privilege. I guess I find it funny that many instances where the white person using it is criticized is simply a case of the white person wanting to fit in and be accepted. The reaction basically says, "you aren't one of us, never will be, and are not accepted". Of course, this only applies to black people who use the word among themselves. I realize there are many black people who don't and find it offensive regardless of who says it, which actually seems consistent at least.

I remember way back on a reality TV show, a black guy would good naturedly make fun of a white guy by calling him a "white ass", when the white guy called him a "black ass" in the same good natured way, the other guy was incredibly offended. Again, what is the point of being offended in that context other than exclusion, seperation, and to claim a sort of privilege?

Such attitudes would seem to only make white people be extremely uncomfortable and overly sensitive around black people at all times, always on their toes. Gotta wonder how our already segregated society will more easily come together with that sort of "on the razor's edge" attitude.

Not at all...

class privilege trumps all in many cases. Many white males get very little privilege from being white or male depending on location etc. etc.

Class privilege pervades everywhere and has the most real, tangible, and very noticeable privileges.

Saying that being a white male...

is like playing T-ball and insures you'll get on base. That's not true in all situations.

It seems to ignore all the other privileges out there, of which there are many, that can have even greater impacts on a persons life than their race and gender.

I agree with the point that being a white male, all other things being equal, will generally be the race/gender combo to get you the most advantages.

But how much advantage each individual derives from such privileges vary widely, and certainly don't alone insure that you'll do well.
Many white males are disadvantaged in other ways, and telling them they are privileged in this way seems the least effective means of getting them to see their privilege. And not acknowledging that white males can have less privilege in other ways is a great way to not get them to become allies.

The thing is, many white males aren't part of the privileged class. And the sooner they see that, the better. The sooner they understand how privilege works against them, the sooner they'll be willing to admit the privileges they do have afforded to them.
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