Chamblee54

Privilege

Posted in Library of Congress, Politics, Race, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on October 26, 2017







PG had heard the phrase “white privilege” a few times, and decided to ask Mr.Google about it. The top choice was White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack. “This article is now considered a ‘classic’ by anti-racist educators.” It is four pages long, which might not break the attention span.

A document like this is almost impossible to read with an open mind. You are a member of a group, such as a white male like PG. There are a lot of things here which PG agrees with, a few his disagrees with, and a few that are dependent on the reader’s point of view.
The sentence that PG felt obliged to copy was ” I was taught to think that racism could end if white individuals changed their attitudes”. It is as if the attitudes of black people did not matter.
There are more headshakers in this article. In a list of privileges white folks take for granted, number 18 was
” I can be pretty sure that if I ask to talk to “the person in charge,” I will be facing a person of my race.”. That might have true once, but is not today.
Getting back to White Privilege (and ignoring the White Privilege Conference results), there are lots of people thinking about this subject. The University of Dayton contributes Defining “White Privilege”. In the text, the author mentions starting a site, Whiteprivilege.com. This site is currently under construction. It does give you the opportunity to buy “Privilege Car Insurance”.

A feature, What is white privilege?, compares every person with pale skin to the Palin family.
“White privilege is when you can get pregnant at seventeen like Bristol Palin and everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of your family is a personal matter, and that no one has a right to judge you or your parents, because “every family has challenges,” even as black and Latino families with similar “challenges” are regularly typified as irresponsible, pathological and arbiters of social decay.” This runs counter to line 21 of the Invisible Knapsack list, ” I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group. “
PG went looking for answers, and got more questions. He does not deny that being caucasian has advantages in our society. These advantages do not mean that one should lay down quietly and let black people get their revenge. We are all G-d’s children. You should be proud of who you are, without taking advantage of your neighbor.





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After publishing a feature about white privilege , PG thought it would be fair to look into black privilege. When you visit Mr. Google, some of his suggestions are black privilege checklist, black privilege furniture, and black privilege fact or fiction. The top result is a feature in American Thinker.
“Personally, I have never had a moment of white guilt in my life. Now this is a significant statement given that I am Jewish and from New York. I feel guilty about pretty much everything!”.
NPR has an audio file called Black Male Privilege? . It is downright fascinating.

Prof. LEWIS: I think youve unfortunately identified one of the central issues of black male privilege. So often, black men are used to being under attacked that when it comes to being accountable for the actions we may have, we quickly say, well, I couldnt possibly be doing anything wrong. Look at all the ways in which Im oppressed. Look at all the ways in which Im at the bottom of the barrel. What that does is rob us of an opportunity to actually build stronger community and it robs black men of a chance to actually take hold of the actions that they have so that we can empower the community.
MARTIN: What reaction do you get when you talk to people about this?
Prof. LEWIS: Among black women, in particular, I get a lot of amens and saying, thank for actually exposing this. Among black men, one of the most common ones I get is, well, this seems ridiculous. Its an oxymoron. How could black men be privileged? Its like jumbo shrimp. It doesnt add up. … And they say, you know, what did my black male privilege get me? Im unemployed. … : Initially, my first exposure was actually around the Million Man March. I felt that I was transformed by the Million Man March, and I thought it was one of the most powerful events ever. And I was having a conversation in class with a professor, Dr. Beverly Guy Sheftall, and she said that she couldnt support the Million Man March because it was very patriarchal and it put black men at the center. And I said, well, it doesnt always have to patriarchal. You dont always have to put black men at the center. And if she said, isnt it an amazing privilege to tell someone else what they dont have to take seriously? And that paused me for a moment. And I said, wow. What is it in my past that makes me say I can define what someone else would think of as important? (Here are more thoughts on this subject by Dr. L’Heureux Dumi Lewis )

Times are tough in the US of A. To an unemployed white person it is easy to say, what good has this privilege done me? And isn’t it a form of privilege to label anything you don’t like about someone as being due to privilege? Has privilege become a catch22 for anything you don’t like about a person?

This feature is not a complete recap of the google results for black privilege. There were a couple of white racist sites that are best ignored. Two wrongs do not make a right. This is a double repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress. This is written like H. P. Lovecraft.














There is a lot of chatter about privilege these days. Where people used to talk about racism, today the buzzword is privilege. Chamblee54 has tried to contribute to the dialog (polylog) with recent posts about black privilege and white privilege. This is a repost.
One day recently, PG was exercising his vehicular privilege. The thought occured to him about another form of privilege. This privilege is stronger than race based privilege. In fact, many of the people, who whine about white privilege, benefit from this privilege. The president of privilege in America is Christian Privilege. (CP)
If you ask Mr. Google about CP, you get 3.6 million results. The first few give us plenty of text for this feature. A report about CP from About.com Agnosticism / Atheism has the traditional list of examples. The last few paragraphs tell more about the story.

A nonconscious ideology is analogous to the water fish swim in: fish don’t think of the water as wet because this environment is all they know — it structures their experience of life itself. Water simply is. Members of privileged groups don’t have to think about their environment because, for them, that environment simply is. They don’t have to be concerned about others’ opinions because it’s safe to assume that most think like them.
Those who don’t benefit from such an environment do have to think about it all the time because they are so susceptible to being harmed by it. For members of less privileged groups, what others think matters a great deal because their opinions and actions control access to the larger benefits of society. Fish don’t have to think about the water; mammals must remain conscious of it at all times lest they drown.
In most of the examples here, we can replace Christian/religion with male/gender or white/race and come up with the same results: examples of how our social, political, and cultural environment reinforce the dominance of one group over others. Male privilege and white privilege are closely related to Christian privilege because they have all been undermined by modernity and have all become part of America’s Culture Wars.
Christians realize that many of the above privileges are in decline. They interpret this as persecution because privilege is all they have ever known. The same is true when men complain about the decline of male privilege and whites complain about the decline of white privilege. The defense of privilege is a defense of dominance and discrimination, but for those who benefit it’s a defense of their traditional way of life. They need to become conscious of their privileges and realize that in a free society, such privileges are inappropriate.

A blog called Shakesville weighs in with On “Real” Christians and Christian Privilege . It tells the story of being asked not to identify Ann Coulter as a Christian. PG totally understands being embarassed by Ms. Coulter. There was a radio show once, with Ann Coulter promoting a book and PG listening. Some famous person was mentioned, and Ms. Coulter started to make jokes about what would happen to this famous person when he died. The line was that when he gets to heaven, he is going to wish he had been a Christian. This assumption that your ideas about life after death are correct, and universally practiced, is one especially vile example of CP.
The feature at Shakesville (which is easier to pronounce than Shakespearessister) is about how many people deflect complaints about bad behavior by saying “He is not really a Christian”. This is unsatisfactory on a number of levels. Many of the “good” Christians support “bad” Christians in their evil work. This excuse is one reason why PG prefers to say Jesus Worshiper to describe the members of this tribe. Shakes addresses this issue:
“Frankly, it’s hurtful to me when Christians address what happened to me by saying, “Those aren’t real Christians,” expecting me to salve their discomfort about the baggage of privilege by not disagreeing. People who would never in a million years think to try to console a victim of a hate crime with “All [white/straight/cis/abled] people aren’t like that!” nonetheless responded that way to me when I was targeted and threatened by droves of self-identified Christians.”
Shakes is a good writer. She says things much better than this slack blogger. Maybe we should just let her explain a few things.

Christianity has a 2,000-year history that has seen countless iterations of the religion based on countless interpretation of the text and shaped to fit countless times and spaces and needs in disparate cultures all around the world. Christians have done great things, and not-so-great things—and anyone who makes the personal choice to carry the Christian mantle associates themselves with a history that includes all the good stuff and all the shitty stuff, too. One can’t say, “I only associate with the good Christianity—not the inquisitions and the genocides and the warmongering and the colonialism and the institutional misogyny … racism, anti-Semitism…”
That’s all part of Christianity’s legacy, too—and it just isn’t intellectually honest to say, “Well, those weren’t real Christians.” Yes, they were. And so are the Christians who do shitty stuff today. They might not be the same kind of Christian as you are, but they are nonetheless Christians.
Christianity, at least (and especially) in America, is a privilege—and, like any privilege, it can be uncomfortable to face the ugly reality of what other members of a privileged class can do to non-privileged folks, even if you don’t do it yourself. I’m white, I’m straight, I’m cisgender: I understand the impulse to distance oneself. But as a white person, I am obliged to acknowledge that the history of white supremacy in America is one of slavery, of lynchings, of segregation, of sundown towns, of internment camps, of genocide, and of all manner of institutionalized racism. I don’t get to say (nor do I want to) that the KKK aren’t “real” white people. They sure as hell are.
That Christianity is a chosen privilege does not mean its members can claim a lower standard of rigorous self-examination. And it doesn’t mean that less privileged Christians, i.e. progressive Christians, can claim a lower standard, either, just because the more privileged Christians marginalize them. Poor whites don’t get to disclaim their white privilege just because they are further marginalized by their lack of wealth.
In fact, chosen privileges demand, if anything, a higher standard of self-examination, because one has a choice whether to participate in the privilege. But so often, the fact that Christianity is a choice is instead used to deny the effects of that privilege altogether—”I’m not one of those Christians; I’m one of the good ones!”






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