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Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:24 PM

My privilege rant. It bugs the hell out of me to read these

privilege threads.
This only about me. I was born in 1946 a white male. That wasn't my fault. I grew up in the 50's and 60's. I lived through the civil rights era and the woman's movement. Most of my adult life I lived in the era the Equal Rights Amendment and the struggle for gay rights and immigrant rights.
How in hell can someone think I don't realize there wasn't a white male rights era? Why was there no white male rights era? Because we already had civil rights!
That wasn't my fault either. He'll yes I know I had privilege! The evidence was all around me all my life!
Privilege is something given to you by others. You don't create it for yourself. You have no control over that.
What you have control over is what you do with it.
Me I marched for civil rights when I was the only white person in the march. I went down South and learned what living there was like for young black teens.
I did everything I could to support the women's movement. There wasn't much action for men there but we helped other men to understand what it was all about. My mother-in-law was a NOW chapter president. I have a gay brother-in-law and a gay sister-in-law. Do I know what life is like for them? Not 100% but I know I never have and never will have to fight for the rights the Constitution affords me like they do. I worked with the anti Prop 8 groups I where an equality ring and had information booths at gay pride day gatherings.
I am not bragging but just showing that we understand we have privilege and that it is what you do with it that counts.
These privilege threads have something wrong with them and I can't put my finger on it other to say that those starting them haven't lived long enough to really understand the issue. Like many things here it is a cause seleb for them but please
Get it through your head that we know we have been given privilege and that it is what you do with that knowledge that matters.

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Arrow 110 replies Author Time Post
Reply My privilege rant. It bugs the hell out of me to read these (Original post)
upaloopa Feb 2013 OP
reflection Feb 2013 #1
ananda Feb 2013 #16
NCTraveler Feb 2013 #2
upaloopa Feb 2013 #4
NCTraveler Feb 2013 #6
pinboy3niner Feb 2013 #14
NCTraveler Feb 2013 #20
pinboy3niner Feb 2013 #58
seabeyond Feb 2013 #25
geek tragedy Feb 2013 #45
hfojvt Feb 2013 #98
Samjm Mar 2013 #105
hfojvt Mar 2013 #109
Frustratedlady Feb 2013 #3
upaloopa Feb 2013 #11
graham4anything Feb 2013 #5
leftstreet Feb 2013 #9
graham4anything Feb 2013 #21
leftstreet Feb 2013 #46
graham4anything Feb 2013 #56
Cali_Democrat Feb 2013 #7
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #8
leftstreet Feb 2013 #13
reflection Feb 2013 #19
graham4anything Feb 2013 #26
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #28
graham4anything Feb 2013 #31
leftstreet Feb 2013 #42
redqueen Feb 2013 #48
Starry Messenger Feb 2013 #52
graham4anything Feb 2013 #57
white_wolf Feb 2013 #93
Squinch Feb 2013 #64
redqueen Feb 2013 #65
1StrongBlackMan Feb 2013 #33
redqueen Feb 2013 #49
Jamastiene Feb 2013 #50
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #69
joshcryer Feb 2013 #101
snagglepuss Feb 2013 #37
HomeboyHombre Feb 2013 #92
LadyHawkAZ Feb 2013 #99
riqster Feb 2013 #10
Starry Messenger Feb 2013 #12
upaloopa Feb 2013 #15
Starry Messenger Feb 2013 #23
upaloopa Feb 2013 #24
gollygee Feb 2013 #38
Starry Messenger Feb 2013 #43
1StrongBlackMan Feb 2013 #17
redqueen Feb 2013 #22
upaloopa Feb 2013 #30
1StrongBlackMan Feb 2013 #36
upaloopa Feb 2013 #39
1StrongBlackMan Feb 2013 #41
upaloopa Feb 2013 #47
1StrongBlackMan Feb 2013 #51
redqueen Feb 2013 #53
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #72
1StrongBlackMan Feb 2013 #94
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #95
1StrongBlackMan Feb 2013 #96
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #97
1StrongBlackMan Feb 2013 #100
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #103
1StrongBlackMan Mar 2013 #108
HiPointDem Mar 2013 #110
oberliner Feb 2013 #86
RebelOne Feb 2013 #18
VA_Jill Feb 2013 #27
pinboy3niner Feb 2013 #35
quinnox Feb 2013 #29
redqueen Feb 2013 #59
stillcool Feb 2013 #32
Evoman Feb 2013 #34
upaloopa Feb 2013 #40
Sheldon Cooper Feb 2013 #54
upaloopa Feb 2013 #73
Sheldon Cooper Feb 2013 #75
Evoman Feb 2013 #79
Evoman Feb 2013 #55
redqueen Feb 2013 #62
Evoman Feb 2013 #66
redqueen Feb 2013 #68
upaloopa Feb 2013 #74
Evoman Feb 2013 #76
upaloopa Feb 2013 #83
lunasun Feb 2013 #80
upaloopa Feb 2013 #84
smirkymonkey Feb 2013 #67
valerief Feb 2013 #44
patrice Feb 2013 #61
redqueen Feb 2013 #63
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #70
Capt. Obvious Feb 2013 #60
upaloopa Feb 2013 #78
YoungDemCA Feb 2013 #71
upaloopa Feb 2013 #77
Skittles Feb 2013 #81
upaloopa Feb 2013 #82
Skittles Feb 2013 #85
upaloopa Feb 2013 #87
Skittles Feb 2013 #88
upaloopa Feb 2013 #89
Skittles Feb 2013 #90
HomeboyHombre Feb 2013 #91
Zax2me Feb 2013 #102
HiPointDem Mar 2013 #104
upaloopa Mar 2013 #107
Bosso 63 Mar 2013 #106

Response to upaloopa (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:27 PM

1. Nice rant.

Love this part: "Privilege is something given to you by others. You don't create it for yourself. You have no control over that.
What you have control over is what you do with it."

I'll rec that.

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Response to reflection (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:47 PM

16. Yeah.

I don't like to take credit for, or be exploited by or for, things that aren't my fault either.

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Response to upaloopa (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:31 PM

2. Not all people do.

"Get it through your head that we know we have been given privilege and that it is what you do with that knowledge that matters."

Not even here.

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Response to NCTraveler (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:35 PM

4. I disagree. You'd have to be deaf dumb and blind not to

see the inequality around you if you are a white heterosexual male.
My guess it is something you feel strong about but I also think you are way off base.

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Response to upaloopa (Reply #4)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:38 PM

6. I think many would say.....

one would have to be deaf, dumb, and blind to not see people don't understand privilege.

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Response to NCTraveler (Reply #6)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:44 PM

14. Privilege deniers...like the SC Justices who see no need for VRA Sec. 5

There are more than a few who see our society as 'post-racial' now.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #14)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:55 PM

20. Or those who think affirmative action is reverse-racism.

No. No such thing as a privilege denier.

I mean, we could just go on an on with a list of deniers.

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Response to NCTraveler (Reply #20)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:09 PM

58. The denialism boggles the mind

We still have privilege based on race, class, gender, sexual orientation, even religion. There have been gains, but it's a struggle just to maintain them.

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Response to upaloopa (Reply #4)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:00 PM

25. seriously? on all these privilege threads, you do not hear the men insist it is not true?

you do not go into mens forum where they have threads saying there is no such thing as male privilege.

as hard as it is to believe, yes, we have SOME men argue that today, there is no white male privilege.

personally, i know what white privilege is. seeing how i have it, recongize it, acknowledge it. not a tough one.

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Response to upaloopa (Reply #4)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:42 PM

45. Then there are plenty of deaf dumb and blind people here at DU. nt

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Response to upaloopa (Reply #4)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 11:11 PM

98. I see lots of income inequality

am I supposed to believe that a white male like myself has privilege and that a black male like Obama, or Tiger Woods does not have all the privileges that I have? Or closer to home, do I have more privilege than my boss's boss, who is female?

And my name is Tom, and this deaf, dumb and blind kid sure plays a mean pinball.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #98)

Fri Mar 1, 2013, 03:34 AM

105. It's not what you have

It's the obstacles (or lack thereof) you had to overcome to get where you are. As a white male you had fewer obstacles than say a black woman. It doesn't mean you were handed everything on a platter. It means you had a slightly (and in some cases significantly) easier path to success. It doesn't mean you were guaranteed success or "stuff".

A black male who made the exact same choices you made over the course of his life would not be in the same position you are now, due to the inherent privilege you have of being a white male.

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Response to Samjm (Reply #105)

Fri Mar 1, 2013, 11:22 AM

109. isn't it amazing then

that I am such a failure?

There I was with a clear, almost obstacle free path to success, and I still ended up as a janitor, unmarried, childless. In spite of all my advantages.

You see why I find this notion so insulting? It's like insult to injury. First, I have the injury of being a low income, low status grunt, and then I get the insult of being told how very privileged I am.

Also, when you say that "it does not mean that a white male is guaranteed of success or status" you are basically saying "white male privilege is pretty darn insignificant, especially compared to many other factors".

Which is not all that different from my own argument. If, after all, you have a set of 'privileges' which do not even necessarily result in actual economic benefits, then you have privileges which do not really exist for all practical purposes. They don't amount to a hill of beans.

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Response to upaloopa (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:35 PM

3. I grew up during the same period of time and saw the same conflicts as you.

I think that what is hard for us to understand, having these life experiences, is why others of the same time period didn't get it! Why do they still hate so much? Those are the people we are still fighting. They are the ones who stood and booed/sniggered at the strugglers and the struggles. They still do. In all those years, they never improved their minds/attitudes. Wouldn't you think that all that hate would have done them in a long time ago? It's not good for ones health.

Some people just can't be helped. Not by us...not in this world we live in.

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Response to Frustratedlady (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:42 PM

11. Hatred and bigotry is learned. It is taught to you.

Kids were told segregation is in the bible and the gay lifestyle is sin.
My father was a bigot but he did not teach me to hate. He only was looking for support among his peers.
You can unlearn hate but you need a significant emotional event to change the paradigm you see life through.
My point is we know we have privilege because we can see inequality around us. Even if you live the hate yourself you know you have privilege it's just that you choose to use it in a bad way.

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Response to upaloopa (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:36 PM

5. + a whole lotta thousands for the last paragraph+

 



sometimes I wonder what age group it is.

absolutism, burn it down
but have no idea what the day after might bring.

the HAVES and the HAVENOTS protested together in the 1960s and 1970s.
Business was in on it along with those not.
It is why the protest movment was successful in the civil rights issue and later protests

and this is not then and 2013 there are different rules, different things, but
the absolutists are losing their causes by being just that

good money
bad money
good workers
bad workers
good cops
bad cops
good ceo's
bad ceo's

Maybe one has to be older to realize that things were a helleva lot worse in the recent past, and much worse in times longer past.

But I do have hope that it really is only the 10% on our side and that 90% on our side are not like that. Vocal yes, but big numbers? No.

IMHO thanks for your thoughtful post.
Rant is a more recent term. Has a negative connotation, and your post is a positive, not a negative.

Your post reminds me of the old days in the park where people got up and spoke.
And people listened.

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:40 PM

9. The 'haves and the havenots protested together' in the 60s?

What the hell are you talking about?

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #9)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:55 PM

21. the rich and the poor

 

this absolutism on money is ridiculous, historically speaking

makes for quick snappy 140 word soundbytes, but in the end soundbytes are meaningless as is hating all the rich

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #21)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:46 PM

46. This is a thread about working class people

The subject of privilege on DU concerns race, gender, economics, etc as it relates to NOT RICH PEOPLE

Your routinely overzealous defense of the wealthy doesn't belong on this thread

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #46)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:07 PM

56. I don't understand...economics is about money isn't it?

 

Being that I am agreeing fully with the OP and you didn't write the OP did you?

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Response to upaloopa (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:38 PM

7. "we know we have been given privilege"

Many privileged people don't even acknowledge it.

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Response to upaloopa (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:40 PM

8. What's wrong with the 'privilege' meme is that it 'disappears' the role of the ruling class in

 

Last edited Wed Feb 27, 2013, 07:07 PM - Edit history (2)

creating social and economic divisions and discriminatory practices, policies and institutions that maintain them.

"Privilege" also 'disappears' the fact that elites are and were the prime beneficiaries of those policies and practices.

Elites prefer a meme that makes all whites, all men, all straight people, all -- whatever -- equally responsible, equally 'guilty' for these policies and practices, even though the 'privilege' for most individuals, and their ancestors, was slight & fleeting, while gains for the ruling class were large and multi-generational. Even though discriminatory attitudes and practices were maintained and fostered by institutionalized practices imposed by the ruling class.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022429092


and i'll add to that the historical role of the ruling class in destroying any mass movement or leader who attempted to create multiracial coalitions focused on economic justice.

MLK is just one recent example. What happened to the "Poor People's Movement" after he died?

It died with him and a good chunk of the civil rights leadership was coopted, that's what. Money and position for the 'talented tenth,' jail and continuing poverty for the proles.

There have been many such attempts through history; it seems to be the one thing the rulers will not tolerate.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #8)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:43 PM

13. +1

Very nicely stated

These 'privilege' threads are always trainwrecks

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #8)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:53 PM

19. Another great point.

This thread has got some good stuff in it. Thank you.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #8)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:01 PM

26. ruling class is one of those soundbyte words that alas are meaningless

 

another form of absolutism

ruling is majority rules in the USA
that means 50% of the people or more vote

those that don't like it LOST
and what makes America work is that politics should end after elections, and then the people should work together

not obstruct
not whine
not campaign for next time to overthrow the revolution that was just won in 2008

and the US was built on compromise and slow forward movment
never attained all at once
never all or nothing

Ted Kennedy knew that.
most people in the 1960s came to know it
most of the superstar protesters came to know it too

not all 60s tactics worked
blowing things up and not knowning what would be after doesn't work
especially when that leads back to what lost the revoultion just won


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Response to graham4anything (Reply #26)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:04 PM

28. that's the ticket, graham. there is no ruling class and never was. and they didn't aggregate

 

wealth and power by controlling the slave trade, slave labor, and its production.

that's the ticket.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #28)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:09 PM

31. the revoultion was won in 2008. Most don't want to go back to times prior

 

even if one doesn't like today, to think those would want to go back to what was just prior
boggles the mind.

and it could be worse than that.

BTW, also, those that want to tear the highest earners down would need, to be fair,
to also completely tear the middle class down. So that everyone is equal and starts again.
See the fallacy in asking to tear the rich down, but neglecting the second step?

because otherwise it still doesn't help the poorest if the middle still is alot better than the lower.

See?

and when you tear it all down, what happens the day after? NO life is not super great the next day.

See the USSR
the got their freedom
it was damn hard
so they got rid of Gorby
and went slowly back in Russia to what they got rid of
nothing makes it clearer than that

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #31)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:38 PM

42. Thanks for bringing the Ruling Class perspective to DU

We so rarely get a chance to see it here

Truly the Admins should set up a protected forum where no one is allowed to 'tear the rich down'

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #42)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:53 PM

48. No shit...

WTFingF?!

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #42)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:00 PM

52. Occupy Main Street!

Tired of being oppressed by tiresome proles? This is what plutocracy looks like!

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #42)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:08 PM

57. You don't agree with the OP? I do.

 

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #31)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 05:16 PM

93. I swear are you getting paid to be a mouthpiece for the 1%?

Please tell me they are paying your or that you are at least a member of the 1%. Otherwise I don't see why you keep spouting their propaganda.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #28)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:16 PM

64. The 1% got ninety five percent of the value of all productivity gains of the last few years

because they work harder than the rest of us. No other reason. None at all.

We ninety nine percent didn't get any of it because we're lazy. Not because there is a ruling class. Don't be silly.

Uh huh.

(Too obviously sarcasm to merit the sarcasm thingy, right? Please, right?)

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Response to Squinch (Reply #64)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:18 PM

65. Right.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #8)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:11 PM

33. I disagree ...

as most discussions of priviledge are not intended to address the cause ... just point out its existence. I, as a Black man, can do nothing to affect white priviledge, other than to help white people to acknowledge/understand its existence.

However, I as a man, can affect gender priviledge by acknowledging/understanding it and then working other men that acknowledge it, work to end it.

It is the denial of its existence, the denial that I am a beneficiary of it, and my promoting the narrative that acknowledgement is somehow accepting guilt/responsibility for priviledge that gives the "ruling class" its power to continue exploiting it.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #33)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:56 PM

49. Exactly.

As a woman who can pass, I can acknowledge the advantage that gives me. Failing to do so would be assisting in propping up the system which oppresses minorities.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #33)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:57 PM

50. +1

Great post!

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #33)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:57 PM

69. which would be fine, if it weren't the only narrative on racism. but it is, in the dominant

 

discourse.

the ruling class creates that discourse, and it's no accident that its own role is almost completely invisible to history, except for some bad 'southern slave owners' who are all dead and gone.

today the ruling class is -- on the surface -- all multiracial and down with civil rights, and whether or not i 'acknowledge and accept' my 'white privilege' makes not a bit of difference to their continuing creation and exploitation of racial, ethnic, economic and other differences among the proles.

only by exposing the historical manifestations and modern channels of that exploitation does. something that is basically not on their agenda, as controllers of the mass media and other channels of communication.



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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #33)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 11:35 PM

101. Indeed, and the ruling class is perpetuated by this privilege.

The ruling class depends on the privileged in society to maintain business as usual. If we were to simply "focus on the ruling class" we'd be ignoring the very reason the ruling class exists.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #8)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:21 PM

37. Absolutely 100% bang on.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #8)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 05:09 PM

92. Thank you. Brilliant analysis. nt

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #8)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 11:21 PM

99. +1000

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Response to upaloopa (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:41 PM

10. I think the point is

"Don't assume everyone with a privilege is an asshole."

We shouldn't assume that about anyone.

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Response to upaloopa (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:42 PM

12. You sound like a great guy. There are tons of folks who fight the concept of privilege here though.

Take it from some of us who have been here for years and seen the board fights about it. Usually it comes down to questions of intersection of class, but all of us who talk about privilege generally acknowledge class as an intersection, so...

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Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #12)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:47 PM

15. I was one of the first people on this board. I have left and changed my name twice

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Response to upaloopa (Reply #15)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:56 PM

23. Didn't know. Sorry.

I'm the same account though, and I've seen what I'm talking about. DU search any convo on privilege and you'll get multi-day discussions on the subject where several people say that because there is a chance of a single white, one-armed ditch digger who eats pebbles for lunch, the whole concept of privilege is null and void.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #23)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:59 PM

24. No problem no one knows who I am or could know

I agree with you

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Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #23)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:23 PM

38. Don't forget Beyonce!

If any black woman at all can be rich, there is no privilege! /sarcasm

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Response to gollygee (Reply #38)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:40 PM

43. Oh right!

Or "The Oprah Maneuver". These have replaced the earlier "Margaret Thatcher Dodge" in these discussions.

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Response to upaloopa (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:48 PM

17. I appreciate what you write ...

However, you are one of the very few that are "the hell bugged out by" threads about priviledge that is, unqualifyingly willing to aknowledge the existence of, and being the receiptent of, that priviledge ... Do you think that might be why there are so many Priviledge threads?

But that said, no one is asking/expecting you to feel guilty for priviledge, just acknowledge its existence ... that and don't presume to lecture, define, attempt to refute, or provide dismissive commentary to a member of the non-priviledged group for describing his/her experience in dealing with "isms." (Not saying that you have). And recognize that the discussion of priviledge are directed at those that deny its existence or that they benefit from it ... when it is given by those others, that deny its existence.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #17)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:56 PM

22. Outstanding

as usual.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #17)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:09 PM

30. I am trying to say that you can't help but see

that you have privilege if you live among others that don 't have it. There is an undeniable contrast there.
The privilege threads are started by people who for some reason or other don't get that and feel the need to teach what we already know.
Even if you see someone as a privilege denier you are seeing someone who understands privilege but chooses to accept it without reservation. But they still know they have it.

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Response to upaloopa (Reply #30)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:21 PM

36. I think this ...

topic, like the "Males that Rape" threads, are populated by people that see a need to defend the indefensible by interpreting the threads to include myselves as the target of the thread. Here: "I see it. I get it. Stop talking about those it." Rape Threads: "I don't rae. Stop talking about rape."

When the target audience are the several that Don't see it/Don't acknowledge it.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #36)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:25 PM

39. Ok for me I don't need a lesson on privilege

I do on the other hand have a lot to learn about rape and to learn it from the victims.

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Response to upaloopa (Reply #39)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:35 PM

41. Not to put too fine a point on it ...

But, if you don't need a lesson on priviledge; don't you see how this thread you created is giving those that do need a lesson, space to argue?

Just like on the Men that Rape threads, whenever a male writes, "I do not rape" or "Not all men rape", it gives those that wish to dismiss the rape thread, or the issue of rape, space to operate.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #41)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:49 PM

47. My whole point is that there aren't any privileged

people who don't know they are privileged even if they chose to say it doesn't exist. And no one is going to get them to change that but themselves.
I feel that those who start the privilege threads have a non existent motive for them.

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Response to upaloopa (Reply #47)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:00 PM

51. So ...

we should just stop talking about it. Right?

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Response to upaloopa (Reply #47)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:00 PM

53. Strongly disagree. There are many people who don't seem to get it at all.

I see plenty of 'I make minimum wage, how can I be privileged?' type comments

Do you mean to say that they actually do get it and they're just being disingenuous?

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Response to upaloopa (Reply #47)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 07:09 PM

72. i find it interesting that these privilege threads always get lots of play, but threads which

 

examine the historical role of the ruling class or even the intricacies of their role in the present day generally get few comments or recs.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #72)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 09:14 PM

94. That might be ...

because some might believe that before we address the "historical role of the ruling class or even the intricacies of their role, we might want to see who is on "our side" and who might subject us to "friendly fire" the moment the believe the ruling class is sufficiently weakened as to surplant them.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #94)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 09:24 PM

95. i'm not getting your meaning. the sentence is clear, but for some reason i'm not getting it.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #95)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 09:39 PM

96. If ...

(the generic) you, as one that could be seen as a beneficiary of priviledge (something that is very real to me), deny or minimize its existence, how much confidence can I have that the minute you gain the upper hand on the ruling class, with my help, you will not turn on me.

IOWs, we might be fighting the same foe; but for, not the same reasons ... me to end oppression that we both feel ... you to topple (maybe, surplant) the foe. For you, once the ruling party is toppled, the battle is over; for me, once the classist fight is over, the fight for racial equality continues.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #96)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 11:01 PM

97. so you're saying black people who participate in privilege threads at DU don't participate in

 

class threads because that they're afraid, come the revolution, that posters in class threads will turn on them when they seize power in the name of an anti-class rev?

that seems kind of unlikely. unlikely that the revolution is coming anytime soon, unlikely that DU posters will meet in real space when it does, unlikely that if we did we'd know each other as DUers, etc. What does a discussion at DU have to do with any of that hypothetical?

also unlikely that 'once the classist fight is over, the fight for racial equality continues'.

as all the 'isms' are created out of the 'need' to get others to do the scutwork and heavy lifting and then steal the fruits, and the rationalization for that oppression. so if class is actually extinguished in all its manifestations, racism is extinguished as well.

The origins of 'racism' are clear in the historical record.

Also there are non-racial correlates of the same phenomenon; e.g. in Japan there is a caste-like group (burakumin) that occupies a social & economic space analogous to the place of blacks in the US; yet they are racially and ethnically Japanese.

The origins of their status are well-known, and fairly recent, and it was state power that transformed them from Japanese who happened to do certain work into a hereditary caste of despised persons who *had to* do certain work, couldn't live outside their ghettos, couldn't marry outside their caste, were considered dirty, criminal and stupid, were very poor, etc.

And there are many such cases.

The privilege meme seems to me a ruling class creation, actually. Because it disappears those who instigated and profited from the slave trade most, profited multi-generationally, down to the present day, created the institutional practices that held this construct in place, attacked interracial attempts at solidarity, etc.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #97)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 11:30 PM

100. No ...

I'm saying that Black people don't (or at least THIS Black person doesn't) participate in those type of threads populated with/lead by people that refuse to acknowledge the exist of, being the beneficiary of, and/or attempt to minimalize priviledge because it is likely that we are fighting very different fights. I short, you want me to fight with you to fight our mutual foe; but you are not even willing to recognize that my fight would continue ... hell, you don't even recognize my fight as a fight, as evidenced by the below:

so if class is actually extinguished in all its manifestations, racism is extinguished as well.


I disagree ... unless one considers race a class. There is race and there is class ... the two can be or are not mutually exclusive, depending on one's perspective.

The origins of 'racism' are clear in the historical record.


Please share.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #100)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 11:51 PM

103. "you don't even recognize my fight as a fight" = not the same thing as questioning the

 

conceptualization of 'privilege'.

"I disagree ... unless one considers race a class." = I explained the reasoning; that racism has an economic basis, it's not a freefloating thing in itself.

Please share. = If you're really interested in that discussion, we'd better have a common definition of racism.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #103)

Fri Mar 1, 2013, 10:55 AM

108. I agree ...

we do need a common definite of term and concepts.

What is "questioning the conceptualization of 'priviledge'," if not "not recognizing my fight as a fight"?


"I disagree ... unless one considers race a class." = I explained the reasoning; that racism has an economic basis, it's not a freefloating thing in itself.


And I, as the target of racism, argue that it IS a free floating thing, that exists outside of economics. And this is where priviledge comes in ... your school of thought minimizes my struggle.

I really don't expect you to recognize (but hope you will consider) that your framing of the struggle requires that I join you in your struggle; whereas, your framing of the struggle requires nothing of you, but to continue to fight your fight ... while, even, allowing you do suppport/ignore a racial status quo.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #108)

Sun Mar 3, 2013, 05:29 AM

110. The "popular" conceptualization of white privilege focuses on the fact that white people can

 

Last edited Sun Mar 3, 2013, 06:22 AM - Edit history (1)

take certain things for granted (like the air they breathe) -- being able to rent an apartment in any neighborhood, walk down a street without being harrassed by police, etc. etc. -- from the mundane ('flesh' crayons) to the life-threatening (lynching). I'm not saying that's the only conceptualization of white privilege that exists, but that's what it boils down to a lot of the time in popular discourse. I would link examples from DU but my aim isn't to point fingers. And I agree with that analysis, as far as it goes.

But that's generally as far as it goes in the 'popular' discourse, and when you ask, 'ok, i'm privileged, now what? What am I supposed to do with that fact?' -- what you get is (and you can see it on this thread and others) -- 'well, you need to pass that analysis on to others, treat others with respect, be a nice person....' And in fact I asked that very question in one of these threads & was given more or less that answer. Which to me was like -- well, I already try to do those things, so how does my saying 'I'm privileged' further that effort?

So in what sense is this concept of 'privilege' an advance over conceptualizations and terminologies that made more or less the same point, if the only goal is to get people to 'treat others with respect,' etc? As we see on these threads, the word 'privilege' gets some people's backs up, since it signifies some exceptional benefit -- whereas most people don't consider, e.g., walking in public without being attacked by police an exceptional 'privilege,' as it implies that getting harrassed by police = baseline normal state. Even on this 'progressive' board, a lot of the tension boils down to that *word* -- not the underlying idea of white experience being assumed to be normative.

So if that dynamic exists even at DU, how does telling a racist that he's privileged help change his thinking? Especially the stereotypical lower-class 'white trash' racist, who already feels class-based resentment?

Which brings me to my second problem with the conceptualization. The person who originally coined the term (1965) did so in the context of a larger historical & economic analysis:

Key Components of Theodore W. Allen's Analysis in
"Class Struggle and the Origin of Racial Slavery: The Invention of the White Race"


When the first Africans arrived in Virginia in 1619, there were no "white" people there; nor, according to the colonial records, would there be for another sixty years.

Throughout much of the seventeenth century conditions in Virginia were quite similar for Afro-American and Euro-American laboring people and the "white race" did not exist.

There were many significant instances of labor unrest and solidarity in Virginia, especially during the 1660s and 1670s, and it is of transcendent importance that "foure hundred English and Negroes in Arms" fought together demanding freedom from bondage in the latter stages of Bacon's Rebellion.

The "white race" was invented as a ruling class social control formation in response to the labor unrest in the latter (civil war) stages of Bacon's Rebellion of 1676-77.

The "white race" was developed and maintained through the systematic extension of "a privileged status" by the ruling class to European-American laboring people who were not promoted out of the working class, but came to participate in this new multi-class "white" formation.

The non-enslavement of European-American laborers was the necessary pre-condition for the development of racial slavery (the particular form of racial oppression that developed in the continental plantation colonies).

The "white race" social control formation, racial slavery, the system of white supremacy, and white racial privileges were ruinous to the class interests of working people and workers' "own position, vis--vis the rich and powerful . . . was not improved, but weakened, by the white-skin-privilege system."

http://www.jeffreybperry.net/_center__font_size__3__font_color__sepia___b_4__theodore_w__allen_br___font_size_86151.htm



I understand that this kind of analysis still exists -- but not so much in the popular discourse. People often speak as though racism were a purely individual characteristic -- without any reference to the way power & perception is structured by elites, through the state and through economic control.

To me, this kind of larger context is what renders the use of the word 'privilege' sensible -- whites are 'privileged' because the *real* baseline 'normal' condition of labor v. capital without resistance *is* a harrassed, oppressed condition -- from which whites were given some relief "in exchange" for their participation (active or passive) in the black 'super-degradation' of slavery below the lowest white prole.

Whereas Allen distinguished between the white ruling class and white labor, the modern popularized version loses this nuance and 'disappears' the ruling class -- all whites are equally 'privileged' and so, by implication, equally responsible for current conditions.

And far from just "treating other with respect" his thesis was that things would not change unless whites actively renounced their 'white privilege' which meant far more than listening respectfully to black people -- it meant being willing to risk the nice job, the nice house, the respect of fellow whites, etc.

I don't support a 'racial status quo,' I don't consider these two separate struggles, but completely interconnected struggles, e.g. WEB Dubois:

The race element was emphasized in order that property-holders could get the support of the majority of white laborers and make it more possible to exploit Negro labor. But the race philosophy came as a new and terrible thing to make labor unity or labor class-consciousness impossible. So long as the Southern white laborers could be induced to prefer poverty to equality with the Negro, just so long was a labor movement in the South made impossible.

I don't consider that blacks are the only party injured by racism -- and not only economically.

I don't think this 'privilege' narrative is very effective at reaching its supposed targets.

And also, it seems to me, there's a thread in the 'white privilege' narrative about racism -- where racism just *is*, free-floating, ahistorical & unconnected from economics, politics, class, etc -- that equals "things can never be different in any crucial way".









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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #17)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:18 PM

86. For future reference: privilege, not priviledge

A common error to be sure.

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Response to upaloopa (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:51 PM

18. I was born in 1939 and was taken to Miami, FL., from PA, when I was

a child of 5. I am a while female, but I have witnessed many travesties against blacks and women. I was a woman in the working world dominated by males, but over the years, I clawed my way up.

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Response to upaloopa (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:02 PM

27. What REALLY bugs me

are the young white punk conservative males, almost all children of privilege who think they somehow EARNED it and are determined that nobody else, especially unworthy (read, not conservative) females and people of color, should have ANY privilege at all. They're the absolute worst of the young know-it-alls.



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Response to VA_Jill (Reply #27)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:15 PM

35. But they're MAKERS, not TAKERS



Born on third base, think they hit a homerun...and that others would be where they are if they weren't so lazy and dependent on government...

Welcome to DU, VA_Jill!

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Response to upaloopa (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:07 PM

29. as another duer pointed out in that thread, it is black and white

 

thinking. It is simple minded and an easy way out to separate out and stick people in groups, neat and clean, but humans are far more complex than to fit easily in any group with such an ambiguous term such as "privilege". The whole concept is fundamentally flawed, from the beginning. Life is shades of gray, it is not black and white. Individuals are not the "Borg" collective. {Star Trek reference}

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Response to quinnox (Reply #29)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:10 PM

59. lol, why are you explaining a Star Trek reference?

Everyone gets that, right? Ok well maybe not... Anyway...

The thing is, it isn't black and white. I'm biracial, but I have white privileged because of my appearance. I'm able bodied, and straight, so those mean I'm privileged in those ways too. It doesn't mean I'm a bad person, or that anytime straight or white privilege is discussed, its an attack on me.

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Response to upaloopa (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:11 PM

32. I think there's a..

Cut & Paste emotional outrage to any and every thing. There's a buzz-word, or pet phrase to prove status. Must be a feel-good, be it monetary or emotional, that is gained by hyperbole. Anonymity brings out the ugly.

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Response to upaloopa (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:14 PM

34. There are deniers everywhere.

I'm not a white male...I'm latino. But I'm light enough to benefit from white, male, hetero-privilege. I personally don't get why it's so hard for people to get or admit they have privilege. It doesn't make you less of a person. It doesn't mean your life is easy. My life has never been easy....and since I have cancer, it's definitely not easy now.

Privilege threads and feminist threads don't bug me at all. I also don't get why it upsets so many people that others are offended by shitty language. I'm not sure why we can't just be decent people and stop offending each other instead of complaining about other people being offended....it costs me nothing to not use sexist language and treat the women here with respect.

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Response to Evoman (Reply #34)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:30 PM

40. Here is why it bugs me. I have spent much of my life trying

The best I can to learn what life is like for those without privilege. And to get a lecture on privilege from someone who could be my grand kid chaps my hide. There are many like me of my age and I bet we out number any number of deniers.

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Response to upaloopa (Reply #40)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:01 PM

54. Why are you so convinced that the people "lecturing" you are young enough to be your

grandchildren? I haven't done much lecturing on the subject, but I could, and I'm 55. Too young for you? And why are you taking it so personally? Just because you've lived through it doesn't mean that the young men around here can't benefit from being "lectured". If you're not part of the problem, then it's not about you.

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Response to Sheldon Cooper (Reply #54)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 07:30 PM

73. The threads are broadcast as if we all need the lecture.

That's pretty ivory tower-ish. There young because the OP's are so immature.

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Response to upaloopa (Reply #73)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 07:36 PM

75. lol

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Response to upaloopa (Reply #73)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 07:44 PM

79. Does anybody need the lecture? How do we do it without offending/irritating you?

Should we put as an asterisk and say

*this OP does not apply to old timer upaloopa, who is aware of privilege and doesn't want to be lectured

everytime someone posts on the topic?

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Response to upaloopa (Reply #40)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:06 PM

55. You make it personal, when it isn't.

Those threads are not directed at you or even me. They are directed at deniers, and good golly, there are a fuckton of em.

Why do you feel lectured?

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Response to Evoman (Reply #55)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:12 PM

62. +1

Criticisms of privilege are not attacks on privileged people.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #62)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:30 PM

66. Exactly. Why is that so difficult for people to understand?

It's not about making people feel guilty or bad. It's about understanding that the world is not a fair place, and maybe trying to ameliorate that as best we can.

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Response to Evoman (Reply #66)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:47 PM

68. I wish I knew.

It's basically just being a kind and considerate person, in a very detailed and conscious way.

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Response to Evoman (Reply #55)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 07:33 PM

74. The person doing the OP most likely has a problem

called reaction formation.

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Response to upaloopa (Reply #74)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 07:41 PM

76. Huh? You are doing the OP in this thread.....

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Response to Evoman (Reply #76)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 10:48 PM

83. I mean the privilege thread OP. Sorry for the confusion.

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Response to upaloopa (Reply #40)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 08:05 PM

80. Looks like ageism is alive and well when one is only defined by a single characteristic >

the number of years one has lived and ageism can confuse a discussion about rights and privilege.

......."The best I can to learn what life is like for those without privilege. And to get a lecture on privilege from someone who could be my grand kid chaps my hide ".........

please proceed !

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Response to lunasun (Reply #80)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:08 PM

84. All right I will. You can tell about what age, very roughly, that some people are by the way they

use today's context to describe things that happened before they were born.
The one that comes to mind is the debate about the Vietnam anti war protesters and whether they were liberals and progressives.

Back then we did not have the political divide we have today. So it is kind of irrelevant what a protester's politics was in the 60's and 70's. They all were against the war and most didn't see it as a liberal or conservative issue. We said we were anti-establishment.

The war was mostly promoted by Democrats until Nixon took over. The biggest two events were the Chicago police riots in 1968 and the Kent State massacre. One under a Democratic administration and one under a Republican one.

Yet I've seen Duers proudly claim that the 60's anti war protesters were a distant part of our progressive movement of today. They most certainly were not around when the events they define took place. Which led me to come up with the idea that history is not written by those who lived it but becomes what the majority thinks it is.

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Response to Evoman (Reply #34)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:42 PM

67. Thank YOU! It's so refeshing to see that someone gets it.

I am terribly sorry about you illness. I do hope you are getting good medical care and will recover from your cancer.

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Response to upaloopa (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:41 PM

44. Only the 1% are privileged. The rest of us have varying degrees of oppression. nt

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Response to valerief (Reply #44)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:11 PM

61. K&RRRRrrrrrrrrggghh!!!

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Response to valerief (Reply #44)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:15 PM

63. That means some of us are more oppressed than others, which is just another way of saying

that some of is are more privileged than others... but in a more ego-pleasing way. People need to get the fuck over themselves.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #63)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 07:02 PM

70. that some are starving doesn't make anything better than starvation a privilege.

 


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Response to upaloopa (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:10 PM

60. I find your lack of guilt disturbing

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Response to Capt. Obvious (Reply #60)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 07:43 PM

78. Explain

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Response to upaloopa (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 07:08 PM

71. The fact that you acknowledge your social privileges as a white male exist....

...means you are more aware, or willing to admit that you are aware, than most other white male Americans.

Let me ask you something. Which presidential candidate did a solid majority of white male Americans support in 2012?

(Hint: It wasn't Obama...)

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Response to YoungDemCA (Reply #71)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 07:42 PM

77. Why is that relevant? Recognizing privilege

has nothing to do with who you vote for.

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Response to upaloopa (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 10:08 PM

81. um.....uploopa?

speaking as a female of 55 years, you are NOT the norm - you very much an exception

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Response to Skittles (Reply #81)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 10:45 PM

82. That isn't the point I was making. I'm saying we all know we have privilege, Some of us try

to use that privilege for good and others like having it and try to use to their advantage.

We don't need a lecture on privilege. Those who are like me don't want it and those who are not like me won't listen. It's what I like to call pissing in the wind.

It's obvious to me by this tread that 1. I can't get my point across and 2. people are using the privilege issue to stand in for their other issue which is to my way of seeing it vilifying white males because some of the white males deserve it.

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Response to upaloopa (Reply #82)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:12 PM

85. no they DON'T all know they have privilege

too many white men deny they got ahead using opportunities that were denied the rest of us

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Response to Skittles (Reply #85)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:18 PM

87. I think they say that openly but inside they know they have privilege. You can't grow up white male

without seeing the contrast. Especially if you are as old as I am.

I said about all I can on this and no one will change their point of view on it so good night and I hope you have a wonderful day tomorrow.

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Response to upaloopa (Reply #87)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:25 PM

88. you're a good guy upaloopa but you really don't know

they see the contrast but they think they EARNED it whereas the rest of us, well, we just don't work as hard.....believe me, we have heard it all

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Response to Skittles (Reply #88)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:29 PM

89. Ok. I was listening to Mark Tompson today on his show "Make It Plain" on SIRIUS.

The discussion was about reparations and a white woman called and suggested that reparations should be given to all poor people regardless of race. She said that giving reparations to only black people is singling them out for special treatment. Mark asked her who were the slaves. Who were the new voting restrictions directed to. She said African Americans. So Mark told her that when you talk about something you did not experience you should listen to those who experienced it and learn something.

So I'll listen to you.

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Response to upaloopa (Reply #89)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 03:05 AM

90. thanks - and I listen to my gay and black friends and coworkers / DUers

hoo boy have I learned a lot from them - they have taught me much more than I thought I knew!

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Response to upaloopa (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 01:13 PM

91. I agree with this post. nt

 

Last edited Thu Feb 28, 2013, 05:37 PM - Edit history (1)

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Response to upaloopa (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 11:39 PM

102. Too broad a brush. Privilege follows individuals first.

 

quote - I went down South and learned what living there was like for young black teens.

I see young white teens here in the south who were born into poor and/or drug infected parental (family) circumstances that were fighting for survival from age one.
In these same communities I see the teen children of my black friends preparing for college. Some working their way through, etc. While the white children I noted are in and out of juvenile for petty crimes.

Then i read white privilege threads.
And laugh.

Because I can go to another town and see it the other way around.

Breaking it down with a broad racial brush rather than looking at individual circumstances is an extremely low-accuracy gauge.

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Response to Zax2me (Reply #102)

Fri Mar 1, 2013, 12:33 AM

104. "privilege follows individuals first?" yeah, it's completely random that 1/3 of black americans

 

live in poverty, 40% of the prison population is black, and median black net worth = $5000 v. $120K median white net worth.

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Response to Zax2me (Reply #102)

Fri Mar 1, 2013, 09:37 AM

107. That was 1968 in Columbus Georgia. The black teens

could not cross the bridge into town to see a movie unless they were with white teens. They were not permitted to be there after dark.
You have no idea what I talking about.

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Response to upaloopa (Original post)

Fri Mar 1, 2013, 08:59 AM

106. White male, heterosexual, right handed, privilege

If I'm polite, I can pretty much go anywhere in the U.S. 24/7 with a reasonable degree of safety. That is huge!, and I don't think most people like me think about that. My wife feels a parking ramp at night is dangerous because the threat level is totally different for her than it is to me for example. On the other hand, if I fail to succeed . I have no one but my self to blame.

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