Whenever this topic comes up - and it's obviously always going to be a contentious and difficult one - I always think of something Dave Chappelle once
said. "You may not be racist yourself... but you do benefit from racism."
That's a very boiled down, non-academic, non-sociologically nuanced way of describing privilege. Privilege, whether one wants it or not, exists. That
doesn't make me responsible for it, but it does mean I want to acknowledge and understand how it affects others, whether I intend for it to or not.
And then there's false equivalency. "Well I don't feel very privileged because I have X Y and Z challenge in my life." I get that - I'm very burdened
myself as well, I have a lot of problems, physically and otherwise. And yes there are all sorts of challenges and stigmas that come with those, too.
But if you take me, and someone from a minority ethnicity, and give them the exact same problems I have... statistically, they're still more likely to
be at a greater disadvantage than I am right now. That's why it's false equivalency.
If you talk about these things though, at least on the internet, you get called an SJW special snowflake expecting special treatment and "safe
spaces," and all sorts of assumptions and instantaneous, automatic labels and categories get applied to you, complete with a full list of expectations
and judgments about who you are, what you advocate, what you want to "take away" from the "other side," etc. Even if none of that is true of you as an
individual. Even when all you're really doing is acknowledging what you
perceive to be your own privilege and suggesting that the denial of it
is an example of said false equivalency... not saying anything/demanding anything/asserting anything about anyone else but yourself.
This has an immediate chilling effect and makes all of this virtually impossible to discuss with any level of civility or honesty.
To me therefore, the most important thing on all sides is to say, "I hear you, and I do care what happens to you regardless of where you fall in the
spectrum of intersectionality. What can we do together
to change this?" rather than continually blaming one another, let alone doing one
another harm... which is what it's begun to escalate to lately as change has not been forthcoming as substantively or quickly as many - justifiably -
want it to.
That's my two cents and I'm too sick and delirious right now to debate it or be drawn into a prolonged discussion about it. Those are my feelings
about it. Note I haven't insulted anyone, labeled anyone, or advocated doing anything in any way shape or form other than... talking.
edit on 9/26/2016 by AceWombat04 because: (no reason given)