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Real Talk about White Privilege

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posted on Mar, 14 2007 @ 04:11 PM
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Thanks for that info, Ceci. Pretty insightful.

As far as the apathy of the white kids who hung the black doll as a "prank," I think to photos and videos I've seen of lynchings and Klan rallies. Not only do you see lynchers grinning with glee (as your one source states), but you see CHILDREN present at both lynchings and Klan rallies.

I mean, if your daddy took you to watch them hang a black man, likely explaining to you that there's nothing wrong with killing him because he's only a n.igger, you would most likely not give a damn about what happens to black people. I mean, if you've WATCHED them get killed before, so what if you hear other stuff about them?

Same with the Klan rallies. If your daddy dresses you up in a mini Klan suit (awww, how cute
), telling you that it's your DUTY to protect the white race from the vile members of the other races, same thing.

Of course, these things don't happen today (well, the lynch mobs, anyway), but the apathy can still be passed on in a less violent fashion. As some white friends have told me, their parents TAUGHT them that blacks are naturally inferior to whites, are to blame for all their own problems, and would NEVER be as good as whites are. Obviously, not everyone succumbs to this indoctrination (how would you explain the friends that told me this?), but the fact that some white people are still taught this speaks volumes.

Thanks for an interesting read, Ceci.




posted on Mar, 14 2007 @ 06:27 PM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
I began to wonder (as I went about my day) why is there such a hard time in the dominant culture believing our experiences and sources about white privilege. Although the final analysis is long from being concluded, I think that I might have some clues to help explain this.

(mind you, this is from a socio-cultural perspective)

I think that it has to do with four things:

1)A stunning lack of empathy.

2)A lack of identification with people of color, their ideas, their thoughts and their lives.

3)No discernable conscience when concerning the historical past and the present society.

4)A predilection to rendering the uncomforable "invisible" under the mask of cool superiority.

[edit on 14-3-2007 by ceci2006]



Every single one of those could also be applied to blacks (or any other group in this country) as well.

Simply put;
to feel empathy,
to identify with the other,
to understand how the past effects the present,
to face the uncomfortable eye to I

are not things we, black, white, male, female (or any other distinction you can devise) are taught to do in this society (or I dare say any other as well) because to do so exposes the lie of black and white, us and them, male and female duality. When you stop buying into that duality what is left is us; you and me fades away and the continuum of we takes its place. This specific thing has absolutely nothing to do with race relations or privilege per say but as an attitude saturates society, it is the nature of duality thinking.

Each individual has to untangle that knot (or not) themselves as part of their education as a human being and the development of truly spiritual life.

[edit on 14-3-2007 by grover]



posted on Mar, 14 2007 @ 07:29 PM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
(mind you, this is from a socio-cultural perspective)


Which is then followed by several HIGHLY emotionaly loaded phrases!
Yeah, you're being socio-cultural, all right. Just as you were when you said a similar thing about the dominant culture many moons ago:


Originally posted by ceci2006
Why do Whites don't want to deal with the more problematic issues of race? Do they just skate right over them and ignore them? Or do they want to create their own concocted notions about what isn't racism and try (through the infiltration of the dominant culture) make a certain society believe them to get off the hook from believing the past harms done to people of color?

Or do they have something in their biological make-up that makes them ignore the things that people of color have been trying to tell them?


[sarcasm]
Yes, Ceci, it's in our biological make-up.
We have a stunning lack of empathy, STUNNING! We just can't identify with people of color, their ideas, thoughts and lives. They're just all so strange and primitive, you know? And we're just so stupid and uncivilized, how can we be expected to ever understand the "people of color"? We have no conscience that anyone could recognize. And we feel cool and superior and just can't deal with life when things are uncomfortable.

What can I say? You have us all figured out! Socio-culturally speaking, of course.
[/sarcasm]


Originally posted by grover
Every single one of those could also be applied to blacks (or any other group in this country) as well.


Or just to people! Humans. And disagreeing with someone doesn't mean we lack empathy, etc.

There is no big explanation why some don't AGREE with you, Ceci, but your socio-cultural perspective and analysis is complete and utter hogwash!



posted on Mar, 14 2007 @ 09:21 PM
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I can't believe this thread, you are all argueing about Skin Color. I don't see black and white, I see idiots and I see people that are willing to work for what they want. My father is from Southern Mexico, My mother is Cherokee, so I don't apply to either catagory. If you think you are getting a tough deal work twice as hard and show them what you are made of. I had to work twice as hard to become a State Trooper, you don't see me complaining.



posted on Mar, 14 2007 @ 10:34 PM
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Originally posted by grover
Every single one of those could also be applied to blacks (or any other group in this country) as well.

Simply put;
to feel empathy,
to identify with the other,
to understand how the past effects the present,
to face the uncomfortable eye to I


True, grover. Someone could. And on this board, there have been many posters who have. But, Black people are not the focus of the thread. The focus is on white privilege: the definition, the causes, and--by extension--why it happens. And when looking at it analytically, one has to try and trace how such a phenomenon occurs in society and why it affects so many people.


are not things we, black, white, male, female (or any other distinction you can devise) are taught to do in this society (or I dare say any other as well) because to do so exposes the lie of black and white, us and them, male and female duality. When you stop buying into that duality what is left is us; you and me fades away and the continuum of we takes its place. This specific thing has absolutely nothing to do with race relations or privilege per say but as an attitude saturates society, it is the nature of duality thinking.


I agree. In a idealized world, people would cease to think in terms of socio-political categories. But, the America of today is not an idealized world. There is a problem with white privilege, institutional racism and the attitudes of those who benefit from "unearned entitlements". That is why one has to de-emotionalize the subject and try to find a cause to why this happens.

And in this case, it is best to treat it as a research question and to work on finding some answers that way. It does not matter whether anyone agrees with the assessment. It is a given in any research that is done that you have a pro-side and a con-side.

However, in that disagreement, one must realize that there must be a good working basis to have a dialogue on both sides of the issue and to account for all aspects of the question, good or bad.


Each individual has to untangle that knot (or not) themselves as part of their education as a human being and the development of truly spiritual life.


Yes, but this is not a spiritual question. This is a question (and issue) that has a concrete basis in society. And finding out why it happens points to a lack of conscience and empathy. Like it or not, this is an occurrence. And, it might help others who are able to apply an analytical mode to white privilege and its effects, to see why this is the case.

Or else, there will be answers that will continue try to ridicule, disparage and deny the subject matter instead of embracing it as it is and trying to work toward solutions in this way.

No one truly wants to see the world in these terms. There must be research so that people can change intellectually with heart and soul. Not to mention, attain some growth in the perspective of this issue.

But there is a problem here with trying to analyze the phenomenon in its stark terms. And unfortunately, that is too bad.



[edit on 15-3-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Mar, 14 2007 @ 10:40 PM
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Originally posted by JamesMcMahn
I can't believe this thread, you are all argueing about Skin Color. I don't see black and white, I see idiots and I see people that are willing to work for what they want. My father is from Southern Mexico, My mother is Cherokee, so I don't apply to either catagory. If you think you are getting a tough deal work twice as hard and show them what you are made of. I had to work twice as hard to become a State Trooper, you don't see me complaining.


You have a right to your opinion. But, I want to ask a question, since you brought up the fact that you are part-Cherokee.

If skin color is not important, why does the Cherokee Nation want to throw out anyone of Black blood off their tribal rolls (i.e. the Freedmen)? Why don't they get so riled up about those of European Blood in their midst?



[edit on 14-3-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Mar, 14 2007 @ 10:46 PM
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You have voted JamesMcMahn for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have one more vote left for this month.


You really deserve it JM, for bringing some REAL truths to the table here and not emotional baggage and victimization...

But good luck in here my friend...

Semper



posted on Mar, 14 2007 @ 11:01 PM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
If skin color is not important, why does the Cherokee Nation want to throw out anyone of Black blood off their tribal rolls (i.e. the Freedmen)? Why don't they get so riled up about those of European Blood in their midst?
[edit on 14-3-2007 by ceci2006]


What does the Cherokee Nation have to do with me I lived in Virginia most of my life. Its lumping an entire race together.



posted on Mar, 14 2007 @ 11:06 PM
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But it affects you because you are part of the Cherokee Nation. And it should interest you why others of the Cherokee Nation might engage in such actions because it affects you unwittingly. They are interested in tribal status. In fact, if they do get their way, they would be successful in legally wiping the heritage of some away.

It is the same as White privilege. Whether you believe it or not, white privilege affects you--especially with your attribution to Native American descent. Lest, you want to believe that reservations, genocide and wars against indigenous people in America happened in a historical vaccuum.

Unfortunately, white privilege reared its ugly . there as well. Out of all of us, Native Americans were horribly treated by some of the dominant culture in the past. The effects of white privilege still affect all of the Nations today--to the point of trying to strike some of their members (who share Black blood) off of their tribal rolls. It has to do with identity.

So, yes, it does have an effect on everyone because of skin color.

Lest you don't think of yourself as Cherokee as well.


[edit on 14-3-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Mar, 14 2007 @ 11:25 PM
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Originally posted by JamesMcMahn

What does the Cherokee Nation have to do with me I lived in Virginia most of my life. Its lumping an entire race together.


the Victim Culture does this all the time..

It is there preferred method of fooling the general populace into accepting their victimology..

Ignoring comments that do not fit within their bubble of confusion and double talk is also very prevalent..

Semper



posted on Mar, 14 2007 @ 11:36 PM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
But it affects you because you are part of the Cherokee Nation. And it should interest you why others of the Cherokee Nation might engage in such actions because it affects you unwittingly. They are interested in tribal status. In fact, if they do get their way, they would be successful in legally wiping the heritage of some away.


Who cares, you know where you came from that is all that matters. I could care less about the politics of the Cherokee Nation.


It is the same as White privilege. Whether you believe it or not, white privilege affects you--especially with your connection to Native American descent. Lest, you want to believe that reservations, genocide and wars against indigenous people in America happened in an historical vaccuum.


It doesnt affect me.


Unfortunately, white privilege reared its ugly . there as well. Out of all of us, Native Americans were horribly treated by some of the dominant culture in the past. The effects of white privilege still affect all of the Nations today--to the point of trying to strike some of their members (who share Black blood) off of their tribal rolls. It has to do with identity.
[edit on 14-3-2007 by ceci2006]


How does white privilege affect Native Americans, how does it cause them to strike people (who share black blood) from the tribal rolls?

This falls into the category of "deal with it".



posted on Mar, 14 2007 @ 11:39 PM
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Ceci, it's a shame you wasted so many words in your last post.

I stopped reading when he said skin color doesn't matter in America...:shk:



posted on Mar, 15 2007 @ 12:00 AM
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There are a few more texts which discuss the lack of empathy and white privilege. To add to the frutifulness of the discussion, there are some highlights here which demonstrate others are studying this problem in American society.

The first text is from Dr. Robert Jensen. He examines this phenomenon in connections with white privilege:


The Death of Empathy

One of the most devastating consequences of unearned privilege -- both for those of us on top and, for very different reasons, those who suffer beneath -- is the death of empathy.

Too many people with privileges of various kinds -- based on race or gender, economic status or citizenship in a powerful country -- go to great lengths not to know, to stay unaware of the reality of how so many live without our privilege. But even when we do learn, it's clear that information alone doesn't always lead to the needed political action. For that, we desperately need empathy, the capacity to understand the experiences -- especially the suffering -- of others.

Too often in this country, privilege undermines that capacity for empathy, limiting the possibilities for solidarity.

[...]

Because it's the way I was raised as a white man of European heritage with U.S. citizenship. Comfortable in my privilege, I spent much of my life wondering why so many other people who didn't look like me complained so much. I understood there was inequality and injustice in the world, but life seemed reasonably fair to me. After all, my hard work seemed to be rewarded, which suggested to me that those not so well off should just work a little harder and stop whining.

Looking back, I can see that even though I don't come from the wealthy sector of society, the unearned privileges that I enjoyed had diminished my capacity for empathy. I had access to lots of information, but I was emotionally underdeveloped. I could know things, but at the same time not feel the consequences of that knowledge. That meant I could avoid the difficult conclusion that would have come from a deeper knowing and feeling -- that the inequality and injustice in the world was benefiting me at some level, and therefore I had a heightened obligation to confront it.

The struggle to know and to feel is never-ending, because my privilege continues. The way in which privilege insulates us can't simply be renounced and then easily transcended. For me, it takes continual effort, marked by moments of real connection with others that deepen my sense of life, as well as continued failures to empathize deeply enough that remind me of the need for humility. It is part of the endless struggle to be human in a world saturated with so much suffering.


Kristen Lavelle and Joe Feagin try to undercover the lack of empathy experienced with white privilege/racism especially when it had to do with Hurricane Katrina:


Hurricane Katrina: The Race and Class Debate

We argue that race and class have always been used as tools by the white elite and have usually been supported by the white citizenry, first and foremost, to maintain white supremacy and white privilege. We view race and class as inextricably intertwined categories because of this country’s centuries of racial oppression. The reason the Katrina disaster seemed like a race issue was because it was. The reason it seemed like a class issue was because it was. In reality, race and class are deeply intertwined in New Orleans primarily because of a long history of well-institutionalized racism.

Despite many (mostly white) commentators’ and onlookers’ tendency to lay blame on residents’ character or intelligence for not abiding by the mandatory evacuation notice, race and class conditions linked to past racial oppression were major determining factors in whether people were able to evacuate. Comparisons between poor whites and poor blacks in New Orleans got little publicity but clearly showed that poor whites were much better off overall. For example, only 17 percent of poor whites lacked access to a car, while nearly 60 percent of poor blacks did. Evacuees themselves frequently said the reason they did not leave prior to the hurricane had to do with lacking resources, yet few white officials or media pundits valued their voices.

[...]

At a trip to a Houston arena shelter, Barbara Bush, the elder president Bush’s wife, made a comment that reflected a lack of empathy for the hardest-hit hurricane victims and the stark social distance separating whites from blacks generally: “So many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this—this (she chuckles slightly) is working very well for them.”48 Some out-of-touch whites convinced themselves that the poor, black evacuees, without even resources to afford a hotel room, were better off after the hurricane than before. This kind of flippant reaction to suffering by thousands reveals the deeper dynamic of alienating racist relations, where racist notions have for centuries impeded empathy, understanding, and solidarity across the great American color line.



What is fascinating about their article is that they hit the nail on the . when it has to do with lack of empathy and white privilege--especially when it has to do with perceptions of Hurricane Katrina. Their insights reveal a pretty bleak picture in how white privilege affects the treatment of people of color in American society:


Mainstream media portrayed poor African Americans who did not evacuate New Orleans as criminals from the first days. Many media-fueled notions—such as rampant looting, shooting at rescuers, and countless rapes in the convention center—turned out to be unsubstantiated and false. Still, many media outlets continue, months after the hurricane, to vilify the displaced and characterize them generally as criminals or deviants. An article in City Journal, which touts itself as responsible journalism and “the nation’s premier urban-policy magazine,” titled one recent article “Katrina Refugees Shoot Up Houston.” The article refers to a “uniquely vicious New Orleans underclass culture of drugs, guns, and violent death,” explaining that “it’s bad news for cities like Houston, which inevitably must struggle with the overspill of New Orleans’s pre-Katrina plague of violence.”

These grossly overstated, often inaccurate, representations play upon white notions of the combination of blackness and poverty being pathological—crime-for-crime’s-sake, inner-city, ruthless gang violence. Most of all, the white-washed images are of young black men dedicated to committing crimes against innocent bystanders and civilized (white) society generally. These images mask a long history of racial oppression and, disturbingly, mirror crazed white notions of black inferiority that have proliferated since Reconstruction.

Even now, these powerful tools of white racism are used to justify racial inequality and perpetuate the still fundamental racist relations of the United States. Under the watchful eyes of white elites, New Orleans and the United States generally, have developed structurally over fifteen generations now to maintain these alienated and alienating racist-relations in major societal institutions. In this manner, white elites, as well as rank-and-file whites, have kept a large proportion of our African American citizens in unjust poverty—with chronically underfunded schools, diminished job opportunities, and limited housing choices. This unjust impoverishment takes place within a continuing framework of well-institutionalized racism, which provides most whites with the current benefits and privileges coming from many generations of unjust enrichment. In the history of most U.S. cities and rural areas, whites have imposed racial oppression so long and so often that it has long been a foundational and undergirding reality routinely shaping both the racial dynamics and the class dynamics of U.S. society.


There's more to say, but these articles are great to add on to investigating the lack of empathy that occurs when experiences, sources and insights of people of color are not to be absorbed by those in the dominant culture as a result of white privilege. It also is worthwhile to know that people care enough to look into this phenomenon and try to devise some solutions to stop it.


------------------------

Truthseeka, it's okay. In the words of Kurt Vonnegut, "So it goes." He said what he said.




[edit on 15-3-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Mar, 15 2007 @ 12:59 AM
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But it affects you because you are part of the Cherokee Nation. And it should interest you why others of the Cherokee Nation might engage in such actions because it affects you unwittingly.


That is quite a statement. Why do you keep trying to make one responsible for the actions of another? He is no more responsible for the actions of others of his race than you are for the actions of oj simpson. Earlier in this thread your "white privelege" was described as "calling someone a credit to their race" or "having someone speak for their race". By saying the actions of the "cherokee nation" will affect him "unwittingly" you are doing no better. Either your "theory" is full of it or you are a hypocrite.



posted on Mar, 15 2007 @ 01:16 AM
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Originally posted by shooterbrody



But it affects you because you are part of the Cherokee Nation. And it should interest you why others of the Cherokee Nation might engage in such actions because it affects you unwittingly.


That is quite a statement. Why do you keep trying to make one responsible for the actions of another? He is no more responsible for the actions of others of his race than you are for the actions of oj simpson. Earlier in this thread your "white privelege" was described as "calling someone a credit to their race" or "having someone speak for their race". By saying the actions of the "cherokee nation" will affect him "unwittingly" you are doing no better. Either your "theory" is full of it or you are a hypocrite.


Notice this was not a post from me. Also notice that white privilege is not "my" theory; I am FAR from the first to point out the reality of white privilege in America, much less the person who first described white privilege.



posted on Mar, 15 2007 @ 01:17 AM
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Originally posted by shooterbrody

That is quite a statement.


Thanks, I think.



Why do you keep trying to make one responsible for the actions of another?


If there is a belief that we are all connected in society, people should be concerned what their fellow citizens are doing.


He is no more responsible for the actions of others of his race than you are for the actions of oj simpson.


You are right. But that doesn't mean he does not possess the ability to care as someone of Cherokee Heritage what others of his Nation are doing. And also, with that knowledge, to have a perspective about it, for good or ill.


Earlier in this thread your "white privelege" was described as "calling someone a credit to their race" or "having someone speak for their race". By saying the actions of the "cherokee nation" will affect him "unwittingly" you are doing no better.


It has to do whether he has the conscience to realize that even his heritage has the propensity to use skin color (via the effects of white privilege) to even subjugate its own.

I was curious how he felt about the Cherokee Nation using this methodology in their fight to strike the Freedmen from their tribal rolls even when some of them shared as much Cherokee Blood as he.

And he answered that he doesn't involve himself in the politics of the Cherokee Nation. He said he wasn't affected. Enough said--even though it is very sad.


Either your "theory" is full of it or you are a hypocrite.


White privilege is not "my theory". I had no hand in creating the terminology. However, I have an interest in why it occurs. I am doing my part to be analytical about this to find out what I can.


[edit on 15-3-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Mar, 15 2007 @ 01:41 AM
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It has to do whether he has the conscience to realize that even his heritage has the propensity to use skin color (via the effects of white privilege) to even subjugate its own. This is a part of white privilege--especially when it establishes that some races are better than others when considering one's heritage.

So when darker skinned blacks treat lighter skinned blacks differently it is "white privilege?

And when,for example, a sports journalist asks a successful black athelete a "racial" question it is "he is speaking for his race" and when you asked your question "since your a cherokee" it is "because you are curious"?

I guess I am the only one to see the irony there. Both questions were racialy motivated, and both questions are asked in a public forum. One is an example of "white privilege" and one is not?



posted on Mar, 15 2007 @ 01:49 AM
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Originally posted by shooterbrody

So when darker skinned blacks treat lighter skinned blacks differently it is "white privilege?


Yes, as a result of colorism.


And when,for example, a sports journalist asks a successful black athelete a "racial" question it is "he is speaking for his race" and when you asked your question "since your a cherokee" it is "because you are curious"?


I can only speak for myself. Yes, I was curious. However, I cannot speak for a sports journalist.


I guess I am the only one to see the irony there. Both questions were racialy motivated, and both questions are asked in a public forum. One is an example of "white privilege" and one is not?


They are both acts resulting of white privilege. After all, it didn't begin with people of color going around telling others that they "were speaking for their race". It had to come from somewhere, don't you think?



[edit on 15-3-2007 by ceci2006]



posted on Mar, 15 2007 @ 03:02 AM
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Originally posted by JamesMcMahn
If you think you are getting a tough deal work twice as hard and show them what you are made of. I had to work twice as hard to become a State Trooper, you don't see me complaining.

I don't think anyone will disagree with you, especially since, from what I know of them, most of the people posting in this thread are either professionals of some sort, or in grad school and, I'm certain, have worked quite hard to get there.

More to your comment, though, why do people always think that, if you take the stance that ceci, truthseeka, and others have taken, you're poor? What an assumption!

Think about it for a minute, James. Why did you automatically assume that?



posted on Mar, 15 2007 @ 05:00 AM
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Hi JamesMcMahn




I can't believe this thread, you are all argueing about Skin Color. I don't see black and white, I see idiots and I see people that are willing to work for what they want. My father is from Southern Mexico, My mother is Cherokee, so I don't apply to either catagory. If you think you are getting a tough deal work twice as hard and show them what you are made of. I had to work twice as hard to become a State Trooper, you don't see me complaining.



No but maybe you should be compalining. If the reason you had to work twice as hard was because you were from those nations, then you should be complaining, because something in the system is not balanced. You should be also working to make it easier for future generations, so that they too don't have to work twice as hard.

If this was the reason that you had to work twice as hard and you see idiots then maybe you don't get it. Pointing out iniqualities in society that exist still in many places is also not necessarily bitching and complaining, it's pointing out facts, and sometimes figures, and it's bringing awareness.



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