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

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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.
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