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Real Talk about White Privilege

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posted on Feb, 24 2007 @ 03:22 AM
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Yes I don't doubt for a minute that white privelidge exists as does male chauvanism, homophobia, class division and numerous other inequalities but the extent and impact of these things are always open to interpretation, it's impossible to draw any hard and fast conclusions, where do you draw the line between racism and self interest , do you acknowledge affirmative action, anti racist legislation, equality laws or simply dwell on the negatives... or try to keep a sense of balance and perspective.

Truthseeka do you post this topic because of a real passion and desire to achieve equality for all in our society, or is it guided by the need to promote the black community only. I'm asking this not to be confrontaional or accusatory but because as a gay man some of the worst examples of intolerance, bigotry and hostility I've experienced or seen came from the black community-not all but many-a lot of these same people would be the first to shout the odds about inequality and persecution when it was a black/white issue though. Likewise as a gay man I've seen radical homo's who shout about injustice and bigotry but only as it occurs to their own while being pretty complacent, even indulging in such acts themselves against other groups. Thats what concerns me. Do these issues stem from altruism or a need for a level playing field or a desire to flip the situation in reverse.




posted on Feb, 24 2007 @ 10:30 AM
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The thing that I disagree with about the whole white Privlege concept is that it becomes an excuse for failure. The cards are stacked against you if you are black because of something that is invisible, that can't be measured and in my mind is just an academic construct.

It does not take into consideration all the factors that are holding poor people back. Poor people in general tend to not place a high value on education. They tend to have children out of wedlock. They tend not to plan for their future instead concentratng on their immediate needs. This cuts across racial barriors.

If you want to be a benefit to all economically disadvantage people you need to consider how to help them overcome a number of hurdles sothat they can enter the mainstream.

You can't just come up with an excuse for failure.



posted on Feb, 24 2007 @ 02:03 PM
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I'm white and I live a rather normal life. My neighbors are black, and hispanic. We pretty much have a cornucopia of varied traditions, and lifestyles. I grew up this way, and I don't remember any "group" getting special privileges except when we got older and minorites got scholarships just because they weren't white.

PS Yes the Eyes of Texas are upon you. Both Colt McCoy and Jamal Charles will fight for the Heisman this year.



posted on Feb, 24 2007 @ 03:33 PM
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Two Stories

One time when I was like 13 or so, me and some friends were skating in the middle of the street when a firetruck turned the corner heading straight towards us with lights/siren blazing, and we, like the obnoxious punks that we were, stayed skating right in the middle of the street.

When the truck approached and honked it's horn we reluctantly got out of the way and flipped them the bird whilst yelling obscenities. A few minutes later a sherriff pulls up besides us, pulls us over, and informs us that he got a call from the fire engine about us.

After lecturing us he turns to me ,the only brown person in the group, and asks me if I am a gang member. When I told him no, he then tells me to get against the hood, starts to frisk me, and then made me pull up my shirt to see if I had any "gang related tattoos". Mind you, he did this to no one else.

Fast forward to a few years ago and I am just returning from the neigborhood store when I run into a few of the boys hangin on the block, smoking a blunt. After saying what's up and hitting the blunt a cop pulls up and orders all of us on the hood. He pulls me aside ( this time I am the lightest person in the group) and asks if I am trying to buy drugs.

I tell him no, that I just ran into a friend, and that everything was cool. He told me to get on, didn't ask for any kind of I.D., and proceded to interrogate the others in the typical fashion. Once again I said everything was cool, and he told me not to worry about it, and to get on.

What was the point of those two stories? I don't know exactly. I always thought they were examples of how skin tone can play a part when dealing with pigs. I think I have seen white privilege from both sides of the spectrum...weird really.


[edit on 24-2-2007 by phoenixhasrisin]



posted on Feb, 24 2007 @ 03:55 PM
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posted on Feb, 25 2007 @ 08:15 AM
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What is the point of this thread?
Is it to call attention to this theory of white privilage?
Is it to use the theory of white privilage to justify aa?
Is it to argue if the theory is fact?

What did you hope to accomplish with this thread?



posted on Feb, 25 2007 @ 09:47 AM
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Yes I have to admit, if you're rich and white you are most definitely privileged. But most white people are not rich. And because the middle class is rapidly disappearing, most are probably poor.

Now think about what that implies. Do poor whites get AA? Do poor whites get the same social tolerance for their status, making excuses for their unemployment, unwed Welfare mothers, illegal drug use and other crime. HELL NO! These people are universally viewed as white trash. You see , white people aren't allowed to fail the same way minorities are. They're expected to rise above their beginning or be despised. Can you imagine a civil service test giving poor uneducated whites bonus points? AA doesn't distinguish between the minorities who are truly oppressed and those who aren't. One simply has to be non- white to qualify.

White people as a whole, are far from privileged. Historically, their poor have been just as exploited and abused as any other group by those in power. The elitists are a very small minority, yet somehow because many are white, the entire white race gets grouped together with them, blamed for their sins and made the scapegoats.



posted on Feb, 25 2007 @ 12:58 PM
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Originally posted by truthseeka
The student opposes affirmative action, saying that he wants a level playing field for everyone. YET, he acknowledges that the playing field would NOT be equal, even if AA was abolished.


That's one student's opinion. I'm not sure what one person's opinion proves.




IMO, what this guy actually wants is an advantage over non-white people.


Again, one person's opinion (yours). Still not sure I see the point of this post.


Originally posted by truthseeka

In a world of white privilege, some of what we have is unearned.



In this world, some of what we all have is unearned, regardless of race. It's not just white people who benefit from others' actions (more on White Privilege below). If your neighbor remodels his house, YOUR property values go up. YOU benefit. YOU have the PRIVILEGE of enjoying higher property values with no investment on your part. You now have an unearned privilege, regardless your race. And you don't owe anyone a thing.
See?

White Privilege was best illustrated here by Open_Minded Skeptic:


Originally posted by Open_Minded Skeptic
In the US today, it is best to be rich and white.
Next is rich and black (or any non-Caucasion).
Next is middle class and any color.
Next is poor and white.
Next is poor and black (or other).


So, I (along with several others in this thread) agree that white privilege exists.
What I don't understand is what people think should be done about it, if anything... (other than the continuing move toward true equality, of course).

I'm sure if the guy in the example above could go around to his neighbors and try to collect a little money from each of them to offset the price of his renovation, he would. But he'd get a lot of doors slammed in his face because the people don't owe him anything for the benefit they enjoy. The point is we ALL enjoy unearned privileges in this life. So what?



Now, here's a point for those who like to deflect white privilege and call it rich privilege...


But, in the end, white people all have drawn on white privilege somewhere in their lives.



Jensen is simply incorrect here. I have never "drawn on" white privilege in my life. I have never thought, "Oh, I'll get it because I'm up against a black person." I have never tried to use my race to obtain privilege. I may have experienced white privilege because of the thoughts and actions of others, but never actively so and never that I have been even aware of.



In closing, Dr. Jensen makes these points:


White privilege is not something I get to decide whether or not I want to keep.


Agreed. I did not give myself white privilege, nor do I "keep it" nor "exercise it" and I cannot shed it. Just as I don't get to decide whether or not I benefit from my neighbor's renovation, I don't get to decide whether or not I have white privilege.

Edit to fix tags.

[edit on 25-2-2007 by Benevolent Heretic]



posted on Feb, 25 2007 @ 01:00 PM
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Originally posted by truthseeka

If one has reaped the benefits of those past injustices ... then whether or not one did the deed becomes largely a matter of irrelevance.



I strongly disagree and there's no basis for that statement.

I am not responsible for injustices done by someone else regardless of the benefit OR detriment that I may experience as a result. So, in other words, if my neighbor let's his house go to crap, and my home values plummet, I am not responsible for what HE did, any more than I am responsible if he renovated and I benefited.



white people have a race card, too!!



Of course they do! It's the SAME card, regardless which race plays it. Black people don't get accused of playing the "black card". It's the "race card" and anyone can play!

In my opinion (which is worth no more than any other single person) Tim Wise is kind of talking to hear himself speak. When he says stuff like the previous excerpt about reaping benefits of past injustices - he has no basis in saying that other than it's his opinion. It’s really just another opinion. In fact, his commentary is just that. A bunch of comments. Here’s another baseless opinion of his:


Those of us who are white remain thought of as sober-minded, and never as given to underestimating the extent of racism, making a molehill out of what is, in fact, often a mountain, or playing our own race card, the denial card, which far and away trumps whatever pallid alternative people of color may occasionally find in their own decks.


That’s BS. The denial card is the “Denial Card” and anyone can play it. And it doesn’t naturally “trump” the race card. That’s just a bunch of useless opinion. Granted he’s allowed to have and express his opinion. But it doesn’t MEAN anything.

And again:


In other words, privilege is not merely about money and wealth...[r]ather it is the daily psychological advantage of knowing that one's perceptions of the world are the ones that stick, that define the norm for everyone else, and that are taken seriously in the mainstream.


He’s assuming that all white people daily experience this “knowing” that our perceptions of the world are somehow more valid. That’s ridiculous! Speak for yourself, white boy! I never think about that crap and if you do, you should be taking a good close look in the mirror. I think this guy is carrying a great deal of “white guilt”, myself and writes about it to assuage it.



While people of color bear the burden of disproving negative stereotypes regularly--when interviewing for a job, taking a standardized test, or merely driving in the "wrong" neighborhood, where they are presumed not to belong--whites rarely if ever have to worry that the actions of others like us, no matter how horrible, will stick to us or force us to prove that we are somehow different.


I call BS!!!
Whites (like myself ) definitely bear the burden of disproving negative stereotypes and proving that we are not like other whites! I have spent page after page after post and post trying to do JUST THAT and STILL, I am grouped in with the most racist and most guilty of them all. IN FACT, the very idea of making a thread on White Privilege or Reparations groups me in with the guilty because I’m white!

I don’t deny that this is the case for black people too, but whites carry the burden too.




If the President of the United States mispronounces every fifth word out of his mouth, none of us white folks have to worry that someone will ascribe his verbal incompetence to some general white illiteracy.


Sure we do! Have you noticed how people of other countries think about Americans? They think we’re as stupid and useless as our president. And have you never heard the terms “white trash” and “redneck”??? Do you think they’re talking about Asians with those terms???



Strange. People here on this site support the slop eating police harassing me because I'm black, yet don't have to worry about me not trusting my money to white people in a financial institution.


And there, you’ve proved my point. You just credited ATS members (AKA “white people”) as supporting the police harassing you because you’re black. Don’t take offense if I don’t bother to try to disprove the negative stereotype and prove that I am not like other whites that may support that.

Edit for clarity and to fix tags.



[edit on 25-2-2007 by Benevolent Heretic]



posted on Feb, 25 2007 @ 01:01 PM
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For me white privilege has turned out to be an elusive and fugitive subject. The pressure to avoid it is great, for in facing it I must give up the myth of meritocracy. If these things are true, this is not such a free country; one's life is not what one makes it; many doors open for certain people through no virtues of their own.


Peggy McIntosh talks about HER experience of white privilege. She says ”For me…” I happen to disagree with her world view. For me, the subject of white privilege is easily acknowledged and discussed. It’s nothing I have to “avoid” or “face”. I still believe that one’s life IS in fact what they make of it and that all doors are open to those with the strength and perseverance and will to go through them. Because I see this in practice every day.




This is the crux of the matter. In all aspects of American life, being white puts one at an advantage over non-whites.


This just isn’t true. Not anymore. It’s not as simple as that. Today, black people benefit in the realms of sports and music, and some modeling and acting. It pays to be black in a lot of areas these days. Of course, many are hesitant to admit that because it would blow white privilege out of the water, but that doesn’t change the fact that blacks are enjoying advantages they’ve never had before. In many areas, it pays to be black and have the credit that goes with having black skin.



These have been 3 insightful articles discussing white privilege in America.


Well, that’s certainly a matter of opinion. I didn’t gain one insight from them. I have always known that some white people feel very guilty for white privilege. These articles just reinforce that.



Unfortunately, they detail a phenomenon that shatters any notion of a "color-blind society where we are all equal."


Hmmm… You put that phrase in quotes as though someone actually said that, although I don’t remember ever seeing it. I know someone else that does that, too.


So, “truthseeka”, what is the purpose of this thread? To show that this thing called “white privilege” exists? To get 100% of people to acknowledge it? To make people feel bad about it? To somehow justify AA or reparations? Or what? Because yes, it exists. Not everyone agrees, but that’s what having an opinion is about.

Now what?



posted on Feb, 25 2007 @ 01:04 PM
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Originally posted by XphilesPhan
Ok, the biggest argument I have with this "white priviledge" is that it ISNT something tangible, i.e. the government doesnt give me money for it. yes, there are stereotypes such as the guard following a black man and leaves the white man alone. Well, they may have something to do with blacks affinity and fondness for crime.

Here is something I call black priviledge: The ability to be hired for a job wheteher qualified or otherwise. The ability to sue for wrongful termination on the basis of race. The ability to be subsidized by the government for housing, education, and other public services.

Whistes do not receive this. So, I think this is more of a case of hatred and jealousy moreso than about "white priviledge."



You forgot the most important privilege of the blacks, the ability to scream race in any case and have it blown out of proportion. Duke case anyone?



posted on Feb, 25 2007 @ 01:27 PM
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Originally posted by truthseeka
Strange. People here on this site support the slop eating police harassing me because I'm black, yet don't have to worry about me not trusting my money to white people in a financial institution. White people can assume a Muslim/Arab on their plane may be a terrorist, yet they are not assumed to be members of the oldest terror group in the US, the KKK.

Slop eating police? Your ignorance and immaturity shine through and through. You are disgusting.



posted on Feb, 25 2007 @ 05:19 PM
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Originally posted by jsobecky

Originally posted by truthseeka
Strange. People here on this site support the slop eating police harassing me because I'm black, yet don't have to worry about me not trusting my money to white people in a financial institution. White people can assume a Muslim/Arab on their plane may be a terrorist, yet they are not assumed to be members of the oldest terror group in the US, the KKK.

Slop eating police? Your ignorance and immaturity shine through and through. You are disgusting.


That it does. Where do the racist posters come from anymore? .. Man.. seems like a sudden rush of them over the past few months. Truthseeka it would be best to bring about your arguments in a more mature and .. adultly fashioned way.. other wise in my eyes you are nothing more then a bigoted racist.



posted on Feb, 25 2007 @ 05:53 PM
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How does labeling the police as "slop eating" equate to racism?

Cops are known as pigs in many cultures, and it has nothing to do with race.

[edit on 25-2-2007 by phoenixhasrisin]



posted on Feb, 25 2007 @ 05:59 PM
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White privilege? No reverse discrimination in my son's case. It was back in the fall of 92 when my son, who is white, got arrested and taken to jail in the middle of his college football practice.

Turns out that he and some of his black friends were involved in a violent fight at a party one night. Everybody was fighting , everybody was equally guilty. Many people were hurt and there was plenty of property damage. Yet my son was the only person arrested, the only one who spent a year in the maximum security section of county jail at the tender age of 18, the only one who had to pay back $5,000 in restitution, the only one who has a felony on his record for life. My son was also the only white person involved in that fight . The Oakland Superior court judge decided it was time to set an example with a white boy it seems.

My son had a promising football career taken from him. My son learned how to be bitter and still has a chip on his shoulder. He's made lots of money, bought big houses and expensive cars trying to fill a void. Outwardly he's living the American dream along with his beautiful wife and four healthy children. Still he's never satisfied with himself or his life. Nothing is ever good enough for him. Happiness eludes him.

My son hasn't been happy since his young spirit was broken leaving him empty. His soul sickens more with each passing year and now at 32 he's completely lost. My heart breaks for my child whom I'm completely helpless to nurture and heal. Meanwhile I pray one day he'll learn to love himself and find his happiness from within, as we all must.

My heart goes out to all who've suffered because of discrimination and the mother's helpless to heal the pain.



posted on Feb, 25 2007 @ 07:08 PM
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Let's Please Try To Go Easy On Each Other

I wrote this today because I was inspired by what's been going on in this and some other "lively" threads lately:

Yet Another Long-Winded But Heartfelt Monologue On Courtesy

You don't have to read it if you don't want to, but I hope you will, because it does explain some things.

Just sayin'.



posted on Feb, 25 2007 @ 08:32 PM
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Does anyone know the Top Ten White Priviledges?
I would just like to check off the one's I'm taking advantage of so I can find out the one's I'm missing.



[edit on 25-2-2007 by rocknroll]



posted on Feb, 25 2007 @ 09:11 PM
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So white people build modern society and now there are priveleged?



posted on Feb, 26 2007 @ 02:44 AM
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With all due respect, many of the questions in the McIntosh survey are highly biased and speculative, and some even constitute logical fallacies. Here`s a few of the ones that were brought up, and some responses:





I can avoid spending time with people whom I was trained to mistrust and who have learned to mistrust my kind or me.


Anyone can arrange anything they want. This is not indicative of any sort of 'priviledge'; rather, it`s called free will.




If I should need to move, I can be pretty sure of renting or purchasing housing in an area which I can afford and in which I would want to live.


If one wishes to move, they would need to choose an area that fits both criteria. This is called 'economics'. It has nothing to do with bias.





I do not have to educate my children to be aware of systemic racism for their own daily physical protection


Logical fallacy; this statement is structured so as to convey the assertion that the existance of 'systemic racism' is an undeniable fact. This is nothing more than an underhanded attempt at indoctrination.





If I declare there is a racial issue at hand, or there isn't a racial issue at hand, my race will lend me more credibility for either position than a person of color will have.


The author is leading the respondant with a heavily weighted question.





I will feel welcomed and "normal" in the usual walks of public life, institutional and social.


McIntosh saves the most loaded and leading question for last; the author is playing with the emotions of the respondant and allowing any sort of concievable example to be brought up and then reduced to fit into the equation of 'systemic racism'.



posted on Feb, 26 2007 @ 07:11 AM
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Originally posted by wagnerian21
many of the questions in the McIntosh survey are highly biased and speculative

I agree, but I have to concede that they were 'trail-blazing' a bit with the concept. A survey like this had never been done before. Maybe they'll get it right the next time around.



Anyone can arrange anything they want. This is not indicative of any sort of 'priviledge'; rather, it`s called free will.

Not true. In order to participate fully in the economy, black people have to spend time with "people whom I was trained to mistrust and who have learned to mistrust my kind or me," or however you want to phrase it.

Whites have no such restriction. If they so chose, a white person could live and die in this country without ever seeing a black person in real life.



If one wishes to move, they would need to choose an area that fits both criteria. This is called 'economics'. It has nothing to do with bias.

Talk about missing the point. He was trying to address instances in which the hypothetical "you" can afford to buy the house, wants to buy the house, but is 'discouraged,' if you know what I mean. I can imagine that that only happens very rarely to white people, if at all.



this statement is structured so as to convey the assertion that the existance of 'systemic racism' is an undeniable fact.

Yes, it is. I don't know where you studied, but in every sociology class I ever took, that was a given. Just because a lot of people choose to live in ignorance, the facts don't change.

Evolution isn't going to stop just because the Creationists are gaining ground in foisting their questionable conclusions on impressionable kids.





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