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Fri Apr 6, 2012, 01:57 PM

 

On white male, hetro privilege.

I'm white, male and straight, and yes, I recognize that I have, without my realizing it at the time, somehow, someway benefited from being white, male and straight. Perhaps that happened when I was homeless for those couple of years. Or when I was poor for so long. Or when I got pulled over by cops in a SW Missouri city eight times in four years for the standard hassle. Or when some people, including some women, found by size and height threatening.

It really doesn't matter when this happened, just the simple fact that it did happen.

The question is, what do you want me to do about it? Do you want me to dye my skin? Give part of my paycheck to somebody? What?

Never mind that I've fought for women's right, gay rights, civil rights. Never mind that I got the shit beat out of me defending two of my friends(who were drag queens) so they didn't get the shit beaten out of them. Never mind that I've donated money and time to helping inner city youth.

None of this matters, because I still have white, male, straight privilege.

So what should I do to expunge this collective guilt? What should I do to make up for something that I didn't ask for?

Because I'm really tired, after decades of helping those who don't have white, male, straight privilege try and achieve equality in this society, of carrying this guilt around for something I didn't do.

134 replies, 10096 views

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Arrow 134 replies Author Time Post
Reply On white male, hetro privilege. (Original post)
MadHound Apr 2012 OP
seabeyond Apr 2012 #1
MadHound Apr 2012 #3
mzteris Apr 2012 #5
seabeyond Apr 2012 #7
DutchLiberal Apr 2012 #62
hfojvt Apr 2012 #116
Skinner Apr 2012 #2
MadHound Apr 2012 #6
redqueen Apr 2012 #18
MadHound Apr 2012 #23
redqueen Apr 2012 #51
MadHound Apr 2012 #79
redqueen Apr 2012 #84
HiPointDem Apr 2012 #107
hfojvt Apr 2012 #121
mzteris Apr 2012 #4
MadHound Apr 2012 #8
1StrongBlackMan Apr 2012 #29
MadHound Apr 2012 #34
mzteris Apr 2012 #38
SomethingFishy Apr 2012 #45
1StrongBlackMan Apr 2012 #49
MadHound Apr 2012 #67
1StrongBlackMan Apr 2012 #76
MadHound Apr 2012 #77
1StrongBlackMan Apr 2012 #81
MadHound Apr 2012 #90
mzteris Apr 2012 #96
TriMera Apr 2012 #9
MadHound Apr 2012 #14
TriMera Apr 2012 #19
redqueen Apr 2012 #20
noiretextatique Apr 2012 #39
HiPointDem Apr 2012 #108
noiretextatique Apr 2012 #111
HiPointDem Apr 2012 #112
noiretextatique Apr 2012 #114
varelse Apr 2012 #73
TriMera Apr 2012 #82
Cali_Democrat Apr 2012 #10
bart95 Apr 2012 #11
Ecumenist Apr 2012 #26
noiretextatique Apr 2012 #56
Ecumenist Apr 2012 #57
noiretextatique Apr 2012 #97
noiretextatique Apr 2012 #40
redqueen Apr 2012 #85
noiretextatique Apr 2012 #98
RDANGELO Apr 2012 #12
TriMera Apr 2012 #13
bemildred Apr 2012 #22
uponit7771 Apr 2012 #30
noiretextatique Apr 2012 #41
Marrah_G Apr 2012 #15
Cali_Democrat Apr 2012 #16
LanternWaste Apr 2012 #17
DefenseLawyer Apr 2012 #21
DLevine Apr 2012 #24
msongs Apr 2012 #25
DefenseLawyer Apr 2012 #28
1StrongBlackMan Apr 2012 #31
uponit7771 Apr 2012 #32
Marrah_G Apr 2012 #35
noiretextatique Apr 2012 #43
joshcryer Apr 2012 #60
LadyHawkAZ Apr 2012 #27
doh1 Apr 2012 #33
eek MD Apr 2012 #36
noiretextatique Apr 2012 #50
uponit7771 Apr 2012 #53
eek MD Apr 2012 #58
ElboRuum Apr 2012 #70
noiretextatique Apr 2012 #99
eek MD Apr 2012 #100
noiretextatique Apr 2012 #103
eek MD Apr 2012 #104
noiretextatique Apr 2012 #113
eek MD Apr 2012 #122
noiretextatique Apr 2012 #123
HiPointDem Apr 2012 #115
noiretextatique Apr 2012 #118
HiPointDem Apr 2012 #124
1StrongBlackMan Apr 2012 #78
eek MD Apr 2012 #87
1StrongBlackMan Apr 2012 #105
eek MD Apr 2012 #106
1StrongBlackMan Apr 2012 #125
SomethingFishy Apr 2012 #37
noiretextatique Apr 2012 #54
DutchLiberal Apr 2012 #63
joshcryer Apr 2012 #66
DefenseLawyer Apr 2012 #75
Egalitarian Thug Apr 2012 #42
sudopod Apr 2012 #44
noiretextatique Apr 2012 #46
uponit7771 Apr 2012 #52
joshcryer Apr 2012 #61
fishwax Apr 2012 #80
redqueen Apr 2012 #86
closeupready Apr 2012 #132
JonLP24 Apr 2012 #47
noiretextatique Apr 2012 #48
obamanut2012 Apr 2012 #89
quaker bill Apr 2012 #55
YoungDemCA Apr 2012 #102
joshcryer Apr 2012 #59
DutchLiberal Apr 2012 #64
joshcryer Apr 2012 #65
DutchLiberal Apr 2012 #71
joshcryer Apr 2012 #72
CreekDog Apr 2012 #68
ElboRuum Apr 2012 #69
WRabbit Apr 2012 #74
Obamacare Apr 2012 #83
MadHound Apr 2012 #91
HiPointDem Apr 2012 #110
lunatica Apr 2012 #88
MadHound Apr 2012 #92
ecstatic Apr 2012 #93
MadHound Apr 2012 #94
ecstatic Apr 2012 #95
YoungDemCA Apr 2012 #101
Bluerthanblue Apr 2012 #120
stlsaxman Apr 2012 #109
Honeycombe8 Apr 2012 #117
Bluerthanblue Apr 2012 #119
redqueen Apr 2012 #126
noiretextatique Apr 2012 #127
redqueen Apr 2012 #131
closeupready Apr 2012 #128
closeupready Apr 2012 #129
closeupready Apr 2012 #130
Whisp Apr 2012 #133
Zorra Apr 2012 #134

Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 01:59 PM

1. "The question is, what do you want me to do about it?" understand, recognize, acknowledge

and pass that forward.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 02:01 PM

3. I think that if I worked for the betterment of women, minorities, and the LGBT community,

 

It was implied that I do "understand, recognize, acknowledge and pass that forward."

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Response to MadHound (Reply #3)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 02:02 PM

5. if you did "understand, recognize, and ackowledge"

then you wouldn't have posted the drivel you did.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #3)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 02:05 PM

7. i dont see it. maybe you do, maybe you dont, i do not know. but no....

fighting for rights is easy. clear. black and white. recognizing privilege is a different animal.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #7)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 07:22 PM

62. Fighting for rights is easy? Then why is it called 'fighting'?

 

When something is easy, people generally don't call it 'fighting'.

So African-Americans in the 1960's had it "easy" when they were fighting for their rights?

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #1)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 02:24 PM

116. understand what?

Does understanding work both ways? Because I would have you understand this, I don't FEEL the slightest bit privileged.

When I hear a phrase like "white male hetero privilege" is sounds like I am being told "You live the life of Riley because you are a white, straight male." Like I am some kind of Lucky Ducky.

When I hear something like that, I try to set the record straight. The grass on this side of the fence, is not really that green, and unfortunately, it seems to be duck season. (or as Norm put it on Cheers "It's a dog eat dog world and I'm wearing milkbone underwear")

Further, from a progressive stand point, we often try to tell the working class - "you should vote for us because we are on your side".

And yet, and yet, so many white straight males do not vote for us even when they are in the working class.

Could that possibly be because they hear us saying "you have white male straight privilege, (and we want to take that away)" or the reverse message - "we care about women, minorities and gays, and not about men, whites and straights. Vote for us, and you can carry water for the rest of the team while you sit in the back of the bus."

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 02:00 PM

2. Here's one idea.

Don't start OPs mocking the idea of white privilege.

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Response to Skinner (Reply #2)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 02:03 PM

6. I'm not mocking it,

 

I actually do recognize that it exists in this world, for a lot of people. But I also want to point out that it doesn't make a lot of difference in a lot of lives. I'm also serious in the question about what to do about it.

Sorry that you don't follow what I'm saying.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #6)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 02:21 PM

18. It doesn't only exist "for a lot of people". It exists, period. We all get to live in it.

It's not an accusation about anything you've done. It's just the way the world is, and recognizing it and not mocking it (you did mock it) is the first step to making everyone aware.

IMO you still don't get it. The fact that you rattle off a list of things that you think prove that you don't personally benefit shows you don't get it.

And by "it" I mean the very concept of privilege due to unearned status. You don't recognize that you mocked it because you still don't get what it is.

It's not something that dictates that all white people will have it easy and all non-white people will have it hard. It is just an extra layer of super fun oppression that society puts on people who are *not* male, white, straight, etc. You chose to get beat up to protect your friends, and that's admirable, but the issue you're missing is that you have the option to do that or not. Privilege means you get to have that as a *choice*.

You mentioned you got pulled over... was it for being poor? Driving an old car? I've been there. That's an experience of being oppressed, so extrapolate that to the experience of being non-white, driving a nice car, and being pulled over simply because of the color of your skin. For me, this doesn't make me want to jump into a game of oppression olympics. I know I have it easier than some people because I can "pass". I don't feel guilty about that, I didn't do anything to earn that status.

I blame the patriarchy that sets us all up to see each other as if a heirarchy is our natural state of being, with white straight men at the top.

Being reminded of the ways that minority groups are oppressed is not an attack on you or an attempt to say that you did anything wrong. If you're not oppressing people then pat yourself on the back and be glad you get it.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #18)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 02:35 PM

23. Well, first off, you assume a lot.

 

First of all, that I don't get what white, male privilege is. I do, very emphatically I do, despite whatever your believe to the contrary is.

Second of all, you assume that I'm mocking here, I'm not. I'm trying to actually bring up a serious point without banging people over the head with it. Namely that a lot of white, straight, males are turning away from us because they are tired of being blamed for the problems of the world. It is all nice and easy to say "Hey, if you're not oppressing people, then what is being said(over and over again ad nauseum) doesn't apply to you." But it does apply to us, it does effect us. You can consciously realize that you may not be part of the problem if you are white, male and/or straight, but the avalanche of articles, conversations, posts, what have you, demonizing white male privilege does eventually get to you, and finally some people just say "fuck it all" and drop out.

We need to find a way to talk about these issues without that implied load of guilt. We need to find a way to communicate that doesn't demonize whole groups. And as our society is and does become more tolerant, we need to recognize that and account for it. For instance, it is becoming harder to talk about white male privilege in higher education because more women are now graduating from college than men.

In some ways, white, male, straight privilege is still pretty clear, in others, not so much, and we need to adapt.

For your own information and edification, I didn't get pulled over driving a car. I got pulled over for either walking or riding a bike. The real reason I got pulled over? Because at the time I had hair down to my mid-spine. Yeah, I got pulled over for being a long hair(not to mention I got denied a job for being a long hair).

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Response to MadHound (Reply #23)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 06:49 PM

51. So it's the fault of anyone who doesn't STFU about this stuff

that white men continue to vote mostly for republicans.

OK got it, I'll STFU.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #51)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 12:31 AM

79. Did I say STFU? No.

 

In fact what I said was, "We need to find a way to talk about these issues without that implied load of guilt. We need to find a way to communicate that doesn't demonize whole groups."

But I suppose never mind the fact that I'm looking for ways to communicate, in your mind I'm wanting you to STFU.

OK, got it.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #79)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 02:28 AM

84. "Implied guilt" = bullshit. nt

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Response to MadHound (Reply #79)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 01:05 PM

107. +1

 

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Response to redqueen (Reply #18)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 02:54 PM

121. I do mock it

because I find it insulting.

The thng is, if one group is oppressed (and I still do not believe that - as a group), it is one thing to say "black people are oppressed" or "women are oppressed". It is another thing to say "white males are privileged". WTF? Why turn it around on me, instead of talking about oppression or discrimination suddenly now we are talking about privilege.

And doing it bass-ackwards. Now "not being oppressed" is a privilege. Again, WTF?

Take away those privileges then. Let's oppress everybody.

Further that line of "white straight men at the top" is simply not true and that does sound like "white people have it easy". If I am at the top, then I should have it easy, shouldn't I? And if I don't really have it easy, then how can I be said to be "at the top"?

Of course, I am at the top of the status chain now. I am prepared to strut and preen at my next high school reunion. I will lord it over my best friend and his mere medical degree. Yes, the former valedictorian is at the top of the status chain. No longer just a janitor. Nosiree. A janitorial supervisor. I can see people swooning at the honor of even knowing a person of such high stature. I should buy a class ring so people will have the honor of kissing it.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 02:01 PM

4. You use your white male straight privilege

to help others.

It doesn't mean that "bad things" don't happen to WMS people, but you're not targeted BECAUSE you're white straight and male.

Therein lies the difference.

You think the majority of young black males are in prison because they're all "bad"? You think they get pulled over, beaten, and more stringent sentences because they're really "worse" than white males who commit the same or worse offenses?

You don't understand and you can't understand because you have never been subjected to the type of discrimination and treatment that is endemic in this society. Institutionalized racism. Unconscious racism. Overt racism.

How many hate groups are out there targeting "white straight males", hmmm?

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Response to mzteris (Reply #4)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 02:05 PM

8. I already stated that I do just that,

 

Perhaps you weren't reading.

And yes, I've gotten pulled over for no good reason, as I mentioned above. I've also gotten the shit beaten out of me because a couple of rednecks thought I was gay, I mentioned that as well.

I think I understand quite well.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #8)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 03:49 PM

29. If you don't want, or are unable, ...

to distinguish the vast difference between: "I've gotten pulled over for no good reason" and "I've been pulled over because I am Black, or Female, or GLBT" ... Then, there is really no need for us to discuss white, male, hetero Priviledge with you.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #29)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 04:49 PM

34. Wow, more assumptions

 

Just because I was pulled over for no good reason does not mean I wasn't pulled over for no reason at all. The reason I was pulled over, eight times in four years, was for having long hair in a redneck city.

But hey, thanks for making assumptions based on nothing.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #34)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 05:48 PM

38. Aaaaaaaaaand . . . the difference IS

YOU CAN CUT YOUR HAIR! and assimilate.

You can't not be black or a female or gay. Understand. Every day, every hour, every encounter. Always wondering, did this happen because I'm "_________________"?

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Response to mzteris (Reply #38)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 06:13 PM

45. So then what the fuck is it you want from him?

He admits he's got white privilege, he understands it and recognizes it, he says he does the best he can to help as many as he can, and as you say he will never understand. So what is it you want? Maybe you should spell it out. You want us to leave? You want us to vote? You want help? You want us to ignore you? WHAT THE FUCK IS IT YOU WANT?



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Response to SomethingFishy (Reply #45)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 06:41 PM

49. How about stop ...

starting threads trumpeting his "I've Got itnesss" that demonstrate that he doesn't "Got it."

How about stopping trying to defend his "Got itness" and really listen to what others are saying?

How about if he really feels that he's "Got it", stop raising the topic and continue living his life, as he believes he should?

Any of those will do!

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #49)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 08:42 PM

67. Speaking of listening to what others are really saying

 

Perhaps you should

Perhaps then you might "get it".

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Response to MadHound (Reply #67)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 12:11 AM

76. Whatever ...

The exemplar of white priviledge is the expectation that your voice should be heard above those of others'. You clearly hold this view so ... you do you; I'm done.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #76)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 12:16 AM

77. LOL!

 

You truly don't know me now, do you.

I long ago accepted the fact that in the larger scope of this world, my voice means exactly diddly and squat. That isn't because I'm white or black, that is because I do not have the money nor power to make my voice heard on any meaningful level. That is the way of this world, for all of us.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #77)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 01:48 AM

81. And ...

Do you really believe that money and/or power, with a Black face would allow you to be heard on any meaningful level?

But that asked, let me ask you another question ...

It seems that because you claim to get it, you feel you are owed something by those that actually experience that racism and toil under the yolk of white priviledge.

Assuming that you really do understand white priviledge and racism, what did you want?

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #81)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 08:39 AM

90. Well, let's take President Obama

 

Or Clarence Thomas, or Bill Cosby, or any one of dozens of others who are rich and/or powerful and black. Yeah, they get heard on some very meaningful levels.

Psst, I also recognize that the ranks of minorities that walk the corridors of power are much fewer than the ranks of whites, but still and yet, you can't say that there aren't any.

Nor do I feel that I'm owed anything by African Americans or any other minority group, nothing except to be judged fairly as a human being. Most of the time I get that, sometimes I'm judged as a white man first. That truly is a shame.

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Response to SomethingFishy (Reply #45)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 11:44 AM

96. Stop trying to compare

his "inconveniences" to what non WSM experience every single second of every single day of their lives.

It just ain't the same, not at all.

BTW - I AM white.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 02:07 PM

9. Here's the problem...

You are internalizing a problem that is institutional. There is nothing to feel guilty about; you already acknowledged that you have benefited from INSTITUTIONALIZED privilege. Now, just keep doing what you're doing - helping those who have not benefited. It's not about you, it's about the institutions.

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Response to TriMera (Reply #9)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 02:12 PM

14. Thank you, that is the most concise, coherent answer so far

 

The trouble with that is that it keeps getting personalized sometimes. That somehow I should feel guilty for being who I am, never mind that my life has been far worse than many people who are African-American, gay, and/or female.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #14)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 02:21 PM

19. Individual circumstances vary.

But, internalizing and feeling guilty about a situation like this is a huge waste of energy that can be used to fight inequality on a higher level. I'm not belittling how you feel, I'm just saying that we all suffer differently. You (on some level) can understand some of the problems that I have had as a member of the LGBTQ community because you've been mistaken for being gay and payed a price. Just carry that knowledge with you and try to apply it in other situations. You don't need to feel guilty or misunderstood.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #14)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 02:23 PM

20. " my life has been far worse than many people who are African-American, gay, and/or female."

If the trouble is that it keeps getting personalized, stop personalizing it.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #14)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 05:54 PM

39. guilt is nothing more than self-serving mental masterbation

of the kind that allows too many people to sit on their asses and accept the status quo. clearly you are not that type of person. i *really* hate the notion of "white guilt," which has really been promoted by the same people who use terms like "crying racism." white guilt is actually an insult, and an attempt to minimize a real problem. whether or not you have been poor or victimized, the reality of life in our country is that white males still control most of the institutions in american society...that's just the institutional reality of our society. and: it has always been the reality. does that mean all white males are powerful? no. does that mean all white males are guilty? no. does that mean white males should feel guilty? no.
what is does mean is this: until we can talk about institutional isms, we cannot ever have any hope of changing them. and we cannot have a meaningful discussion about or institutional racism or sexism or homophobia if everyone personalizes the discussion. look at what is going on in the republicon party right now. a bunch of mostly rich, white, male heterosexuals have declared a war on women because they have the POWER to do so. it is not about their skin color or gender, it is about power. and power-sickness because that group has held ALL THE POWER in this country since its inception, and they know their hegemony is coming to an end. it's not about you...they don't give a shit about you, just as they don't give a shit about me, a black, homosexual, female. if you don't identify with those in power, you shouldn't have any reason to feel guilty.

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Response to noiretextatique (Reply #39)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 01:20 PM

108. "if everyone personalizes the discussion."

 

I see lots of folks personalizing this discussion right here - by answering the OP poster hostilely, putting words in his mouth, and lecturing him like a child as if he'd not already stated that he recognizes the existence of white/male privilege and has actively opposed it during his life.

Not saying you're doing that; I don't think you are. But some folks in the thread are.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #108)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 01:53 PM

111. i agree

not all white men are, nor have they ever been, a part of the oppressive power structure that is comprised of mostly white males. it is a real no-brainer, imho. class has always been an issue in america, just has race has always been an issue. when i see an all white, all male congressional committee refusing to hear the testimony of a woman, i see that as the white male power structure in action. however, that doesn't make me angry at my white, male allies who are fighting against that structure just like i am.

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Response to noiretextatique (Reply #111)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 02:02 PM

112. thanks for hearing what i said and responding civilly. to more of that kind of discussion. cheers.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #112)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 02:12 PM

114. no problem

in a country that has been, and continues to be dominated by white males, i don't understand why stating that reality is a problem.

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Response to TriMera (Reply #9)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 10:21 PM

73. another reply I'd rec if I could

well done

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Response to varelse (Reply #73)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 01:53 AM

82. Thank you. n/t

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Response to MadHound (Original post)


Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 02:10 PM

11. 'So what should I do to expunge this collective guilt? '

 

simple

just participate in '2 minutes apology'

and your guilt will be expunged

for that day

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Response to bart95 (Reply #11)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 03:01 PM

26. You know what Bart? You've got a problem. Noone is asking you to walk around in sack cloth & ashes

only to recognise and understand that there are members of your race,,,,THE HUMAN RACE,,,who don't have to option to enjoy a life where one finds oneself vilified for even daring to defend oneself against something that someone in your position could without so much as a second thought.

Why would or should you feel guilty for something you haven't done? The sardonic manner that you so easily display makes me wonder and I'm sure places some into the minds of others who read your post. Guess what Bart? MOST black Americans have ALOT of white ancestry. In my case, I have 3 greatgrandparents who were white. My husband is. But because most of us who wear alot more Africa on our faces are AUTOMATICALLY suspected of being something nefarious in one way or another. Perfect example was Katrina when the water breached the levees.
When people went into the stores to try to find food and clean water to survive, the headline was completely different depending on what color the face was carrying the supplies.

For whites , they were FINDING FOOD AND SUPPLIES TO SURVIVE THIS CATASTROPHE but for people who looked like me? WE WERE LOOTERS, CRIMINALS AND ANARCHISTIC! The most ironic thing is that, at least in one instance, these people were coming out of the same store. These were people who were just trying to survive a natural disaster in a situation where the government was days away for most but that was how we were portrayed...as criminals, even though we were dong the same thing as a last resort. Of course there were criminals, there ALWAYS are but there was a a photos that showed black folks and white people both suffering equally and just trying to hold onto to something.

No, noone is asking for your guilt. Obviously, you don't believe that you have something intangible, yet as valuable as a trunk full of gold. It's America's shame but it's something that absolutely fact. My caramel brown skin stamps me with a genetic Scarlet letter, something that really was the luck of the draw, a biological spin of the roulette wheel, not based on anything I've ever done to anyone. If this isn't true, why is it when someone like me commits a crime, a brad brush is applied to everyone who looks like me, "well, blacks commit more crime, sell more drugs," etc ad nauseum. However, when the latest serial killer is captured, NOONE ever says, well, that's what white people do, they're cannibals, (j.dahmer),love hunting human prey, etc. I don't buy into either screwy viewpoint but it's the truth.

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Response to Ecumenist (Reply #26)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 07:03 PM

56. in order to feel american, if not human

i had to leave this country. while i was in italy, i had this amazing out-of-body experience that i recall reading about...it was something written by richard wright or some other black expatriate. the experience was: feeling normal. the experience was: the absence of the weight of being black in america. i was walking down a street in rome, when suddenly, i had the feeling of seeing myself...as if my soul had escaped and was watching me from above. and what i remember thinking was this: this is what it feels like to be a person, not a black person.

and just as suddenly, my bubble was burst. i happened to walk by an older, white american couple. i brushed by the woman, and accidentally hit her tacky, vinyl purse, and she snatched it away as if i was trying to steal it...as if! i wouldn't be caught dead with a tacky, white vinyl purse but it brought me back to the reality of my black self. still...i am glad i had the fleeting experience of not feeling the weight of my blackness, because it was something i never felt in america.
and i never felt american...never really knew i was american until i left this country.

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Response to noiretextatique (Reply #56)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 07:06 PM

57. And that's a damn shame. I have blood family in France, Spain and Italy and I have heard the same

thing from others who have lived abroad. It's the reason why so many black folks chose to stay overseas following both wars. Are you still living stateside now?

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Response to Ecumenist (Reply #57)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 12:41 PM

97. sort of...i live in the bay area, california

republicons don't consider this area stateside

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Response to bart95 (Reply #11)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 05:56 PM

40. here's another idea: stop identifying with the white, male power structure

that has had all the power in this country since its incpetion. the vote was initally given only to the landed gentry, not the peasants.

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Response to noiretextatique (Reply #40)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 02:30 AM

85. "stop identifying with the white, male power structure"

There's an idea.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #85)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 12:43 PM

98. yep

perhaps it is easier said than done?!

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 02:10 PM

12. I don't think most minorities expect us to go around apologizing for being white.

Just try to show some empathy for their position.

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Response to RDANGELO (Reply #12)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 02:11 PM

13. ^^This^^ n/t

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Response to RDANGELO (Reply #12)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 02:34 PM

22. +2. nt

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Response to RDANGELO (Reply #12)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 03:56 PM

30. +1

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Response to RDANGELO (Reply #12)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 05:58 PM

41. i don't...and i appreciate the contributions of white people

who have fought against oppression in this country since its inception. there were white people who were opposed to slavery, jim crow, internment, indentured servitude, etc.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 02:15 PM

15. It's not about guilt

It's not about you having to do anything.

It's about realizing that something exists and that it is not fair so we can hopefully someday rid our society of it.

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Response to Marrah_G (Reply #15)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 02:16 PM

16. Well said.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 02:18 PM

17. And we are compelled to ask a series of questions

"just the simple fact that it did happen..."

And we are compelled to ask a series of questions: Does this happen more to blacks than to whites? Does this happen more to women than to men? Does this happen more to gay people than to straight people. Does this happen to atheists more than Christians? And from these answer, we find a much more relevant, much more comprehensive answer than mere anecdotal experience allows us, regardless of what we may have or have not fought for.

Because "just the simple fact that it did happen..." is in and of itself, an invalid statistical inference.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 02:25 PM

21. Let me speak up as another white anglosaxon straight male

and say that my burdened friend from Missouri does not speak for me. I have achieved some modicum of success in life. I'm not saying that ultimately I haven't gotten where I am based on merit, I'd like to think I have. I certainly did not come from money or some upper class social position. But as a white male, I have never once in my life started from a position where it was assumed that I would fail, or that I didn't belong or that I didn't deserve what I had achieved. That's what white privilege is to me and any white male that doesn't see that reality needs to look again.

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Response to DefenseLawyer (Reply #21)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 02:37 PM

24. Well said. n/t

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Response to DefenseLawyer (Reply #21)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 02:59 PM

25. load of baloney...

"But as a white male, I have never once in my life started from a position where it was assumed that I would fail.."

hate to pop your bubble but there are millions if not billions of "white" men who have been in positions where it was assumed they would fail. that part of your argument is not particularly valid IMO.

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Response to msongs (Reply #25)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 03:15 PM

28. There aren't billions of white men in the United States.

That's really what we are talking about, at least what I am talking about- white privilege in America. If you are extending it to Bosnia or Latvia or "billions" of white men on the planet, I can't really speak about that. I'm not sure what you mean by "popping my bubble" either. What bubble is that? Who exactly has ever heard anyone say "white men can't be doctors" or "white men can't be lawyers" or "white men can be anything"? The answer? No one. Of course there are white people that fail, lots of us fail. I've had my share of failure. But no one, ever ever ever ever said "he's going to fail because he is white" . No, in fact, the default position is that I am going to succeed because I am white.

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Response to DefenseLawyer (Reply #28)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 04:00 PM

31. You get it ...

But to make your statement more clear:
But no one, ever ever ever ever said "he's going to fail because he is white" . No, in fact, the default position is that I am going to succeed (Striking this part: "because I am white".


Because the "because I am white" part is never, ever, ever said; but presumed. That is the part that since those white, hetero, males have never heard it said ... they can happily go about life believe that it is not in effect.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #31)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 04:02 PM

32. Some folk honestly don't know, they've never been exposed to other cultures enought to have

...that engraved

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Response to uponit7771 (Reply #32)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 05:00 PM

35. I think that is very true

I never really "got it" until I had a black friend explain it to me- though our life's on the surface were much the same, she had many more things to deal with just due to the color of her skin. It really hit home when speaking of our sons. As a mother I don't have to constantly worry that my son might be arrested or shot.... as a mother, she does.

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Response to msongs (Reply #25)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 06:05 PM

43. i do not think white skin exempts anyone from classism

and i believe class does present a real and valid hurdle for some white americans. however, i do not believe that centuries of white supremacist indoctrination had no effect on american white people. so even some of the poorest white people in america may still believe they are "better" than someone else with darker skin. that is one of the privileges of being white in america. and unfortunately, the republicons have understood this far better than democrats, and they continue to use race to convince some white americans that their lives while be better by voting for rich, white, male heterosexual interests than their own interests, which are the same interests as many darker skinned people.

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Response to DefenseLawyer (Reply #21)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 07:16 PM

60. Nor does he speak for me. And I grew up extremely poor.

Below poverty. Bottom 1%. Family of 6 living on $6k a year. Food stamps, HUD, charity, whole nine yards.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 03:12 PM

27. Do what you know to be right,

keep fighting for rights for everyone, and don't abuse your position.

If you are already doing that, then just ignore the criticism- it's not meant for you.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 04:23 PM

33. nothing.

 

plain and simple.

you have to live with this fact, and pretty must like it. nothing you can do will change it.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 05:35 PM

36. The point is that they want you to shut up.....

Face it... because you're a member of a class that has advantages over another class, you should never have the right to complain about anything. Your life is gilded. You walk on water. You wake up every morning to breakfast in bed, and have servants to wipe your ass with $100 bills after you crap. Your black country club parking valet parks your Lexus in its own private garage so that there's no chance of errant pigeon crap.

And if you dare to complain about anything, you just "don't get it" because there are so many others that have it so much worse than you. Since your life is gilded, you trivialize their injustices when you complain. So just SHUT UP and feel guilty for being such an oppressive bastard!

Straight White women can still complain about crap that happens to them.... because they're not men and men have it so much better. Forget the fact that they have privilege over black women or gay white women. That doesn't count because all of the crap that happens to them is because of men. How dare you trivialize their suffering by talking about your difficulties?

Straight black men can still complain about crap that happens to them...... because they're not white and white people have it so much better. Forget the fact that they have it better off than gay black men or black women. That doesn't count becuase all of the crap that happens to them is because of whites. How dare you trivialize their suffering by talking about your difficulties?

Gay white men can still complain about crap that happens to them...... Because they're not straight and straight people have it so much better. Forget the fact that they have it better off than gay black men or gay black women. That doesn't count because all the crap that happens to them is because of straight people. How dare you trivialize their suffering by talking about your difficulties?

----------The problem with groups is that they divide people when we need to be working together against a common enemy.... (The 1%) who rules over all and whose only requirement is money and the nerve to stomp over anyone who stands in the way of their power and greed. All of the division only serves to drive people further into the groups that "define" them.........which for straight, white, hetero men (sadly) means toward the republican party. Even more sadly, it seems that many on DU seem to want it that way.

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Response to eek MD (Reply #36)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 06:47 PM

50. and who is this 1%?

are they black, gay, women, etc? if they are, they certain aren't reflected in the people who are doing their bidding. their minions are overwhelmingly white and male. so really...does stating that fact make you my enemy? i don't think so. if you are posting here, i would say you are a part of the solution, not a part of the problem.

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Response to noiretextatique (Reply #50)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 06:52 PM

53. +1!

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Response to noiretextatique (Reply #50)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 07:09 PM

58. Who are they?

I don't know.... I know that they're not all straight white men. I'd say it's a pretty good bet that Herman Cain is a member of the 1%.... I know that the Walton family (not all are men) are members of the 1%....I'm sure that their numbers are probably made up of mostly white straight men, but does it really matter whether a wealthy white man is oppressing you, a wealthy black man, a wealthy white woman?

There are a whole lot more of "us" than there are of them. I just know that it pisses me off that we can't band together as a group and work to level the playing field so that everyone benefits in this society instead of corporate fatcats and people who have lobbyists. And the reason that 99% of the population can't overcome 1% of the population is because we are not united. The reason we are not united is directly related to the OP. We dismiss everyone outside of our "groups" because they can't possibly to understand what we're going through. Their "privilege" or "lack of privilege" (whatever the degree) prevents them from knowing how difficult other groups have it. News flash.... we're all in the same boat. Some of us may be in the front of the boat, and some may be in the back of the boat, but we're still all going to drown when it sinks.

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Response to eek MD (Reply #58)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 09:02 PM

70. +1000 n/t

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Response to eek MD (Reply #58)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 12:57 PM

99. you are preaching to the choir

however, i disagree that "dismissing" people is the problem. i think the larger problem is that some people identify with the 1%, eho ARE mostly white and male and wealthy. i cannot understand why stating that reality gets conflated into "dismissing everyone outside our groups." that's just nonsense, frankly. if you are here, you are my ally. but far too many in your racial and gender demographic indentify with, and vote for the 1%. there is nothing "wrong" or "dismissive" about stating that reality either. you can be sure that obama will get 90+% of the black vote, and probably a large percentage of the female vote. and a far too large % of the white male vote will go to the 1%. again...there is nothing "dismissive" about stating that reality.

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Response to noiretextatique (Reply #99)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 05:32 PM

100. Thank you for being an ally....

Last edited Sat Apr 7, 2012, 06:08 PM - Edit history (1)

Yes, I feel bad that so many white men vote with the party of the 1%. However, they're not the only ones voting with the republicans (something that's implied often in DU when talking about white men), and there are many that don't (and would never) vote for a republican (like the majority of white men on DU). They are also not the only "group" that statistically votes with republicans more often (Cuban-americans also come to mind). What is the point in mentioning it over and over again? It's not being said just to make a statement. It's being said to imply something... (Namely, that white men are oppressors who deserve to be shunned). Instead of embracing the white men who regularly support the democrats, the repeated association of "white men" with "republican" simply makes white men feel unwelcome. and alienated.

My mother is the staunchest republican you would ever meet. (one of those single-issue "abortion" voters). She is proof that not everyone that votes republican is doing so because they "identify with the 1%". The republicans rely on wedge issues to garner their support. The majority of white men who vote for republicans also do so because of wedge issues. Whether it be the "keep my taxes low" crowd, or the "abortion is murder" crowd, or the "guns for everyone" crowd, or the "rape the environment for cheap gas" crowd, or the "muslims are a threat" crowd. It's our job (as white men) to make these people (other white men) realize that the 1% doesn't care about their "wedge issues" which keep them voting republican. And we can't make them realize that if we ourselves don't feel welcome in the democratic party. Since humans spend so much time in our own "groups", who better to convince white men to vote democratic than other white men? As for me, I'll never convince my mother to vote democratic, but I have gotten close to convincing her that the republicans don't care about abortion except to garner votes, and political apathy from republicans is almost just as good as a democratic vote.

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Response to eek MD (Reply #100)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 06:03 PM

103. really...who are we, as allies fighting against?

herman cain, bachmann, palin, etc., aside, the reality is: our political system is STILL dominated by white men. does that mean all white men are oppressors? no. i do not understand why simply stating that reality, a reality that has existed since this country's inception, is offensive to anyone. it is the truth.

of course there are others who continue to support the 1%, e.g., evangelicals. and looking at the numbers...you are correct. white women are a part of the problem too. wedge issues are the big issues that republicons use to get poor and working class white people to vote against their best economic interests.

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Response to noiretextatique (Reply #103)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 06:26 PM

104. Cain, bachmann, palin aside?

You can't just ignore things that don't suit your story. They (bachmann, palin, cain, the walton women, etc) are members of the 1%. Additionally, most of the "1%" white men are married. Hence, their wives (who are women) are also members of the 1%.... The ruling class. You are fighting against Herman Cain just as much as you are fighting against the Koch brothers.

If you rub a dog's face in shit often enough, the dog will start to resent and avoid you. The same with white men. If you lump them (democratic white men) in with powerful republicans and ignorant racist bastards often enough, you drive them away. PERIOD. Yes, it is the truth that most white men vote republican. Yes, white men have privilege over minorities. Yes, white men dominate many of the most powerful positions in this society. The reason it's said on here so often is not because they are facts. There are many statistical facts about women and other minorities that are NEVER brought up on DU because it would be considered racist or sexist even to mention them. These things (the "facts" said so often about white men) are said so often to imply that (all) white men are racist ignorant bastards. And many on DU find that offensive. Including myself.

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Response to eek MD (Reply #104)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 02:10 PM

113. talk to me when an all black or all female congressional committee

bars a woman from giving testimony about women's healthcare. what statistical facts do you want to bring up about women and minorities? please feel free to do so. stating a reality of a statistic does not mean all white men are racist bastards. there are, and have always been, white men who oppose the white male power structure that has existed in this country since its inception. i am sorry if the reality of an oppressive, white, male power structure makes you feel bad. i don't like it either.

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Response to noiretextatique (Reply #113)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 03:38 PM

122. ...............

What the congressional committee did was absolutely abhorrent. But do you mean to tell me that it would have made everything a-ok if they had put Palin and Bachmann and any number of other rabidly anti-choice women on the panel that things would have gone differently? If anything, the stark contrast with the lack of women giving testimony brought attention to the fact that the committee was rigged to come up with a finding to suit the views of the Republicans.

To the point of bringing up statistics that show women and minorities in a poor light, the point is that I "DON'T WANT" to bring them up. They are divisive and serve no purpose other than to divide people. Some examples are below. I don't want to talk about them. They are simply here for illustration purposes. If you want to discuss them rationally, feel free to post a thread (which I won't be participating in).

Violent crime is high in inner-city communities. However, I know that urban minorities on DU aren't the ones committing the acts of violence, so there would be no point in bringing it up. People on DU aren't the ones committing those crimes, and they would denounce the violence as being terrible. Additionally, there are many other reasons behind why it happens. The point is, it would just put others on the defensive for terrible acts that they don't support. We all know violence is wrong.

Islamic terrorism is a travesty, and innocent people die as a result of it. However, I know that people practicing that faith that are on DU abhor the violence committed in the name of their religion. There would be no point in bringing it up except to put them on the defensive and cause division. We all know violence is wrong.

Male, white, hetero privilege is in a different category since it affects the power structure of society at large. Therefore, it's more acceptable to discuss on DU. However, much of what's being said on here has nothing to do with acknowledging that power disparities exist. Instead, much of it has to do with people who don't like white men passing us all off as knuckle-dragging wife-beaters. We all (or at least the vast majority) know and acknowledge that privilege exists, and we are all working for equality in society in our everyday interactions, and in the voting booth. It just seems that many in DU want to rile up white men, and as a result, it just drives away allies.

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Response to eek MD (Reply #122)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 03:58 PM

123. i don't have a problem with discussing any ill in society

and point i was making about the congressional committee is that is was in fact comprised of white males. that doesn't mean that fascist asshole females or black people would be any better. take a look a the demographics of congress...it IS comprised of mostly white males...and it has always been. again...stating that reality is not some personal attack on you or any other white man. it is the truth. we live i a country with a horrible history of racial and gender discrimination...and a horrible history of class exploitation. until we can discuss that as a reality and not as an indictment of white men, we will not progress.

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Response to eek MD (Reply #104)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 02:16 PM

115. "Yes, it is the truth that most white men vote republican." But they didn't always. For example,

 

Kennedy won a majority of the white male vote.

The reasons for the shift are worth looking at.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #115)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 02:31 PM

118. the southern strategy

wedge issues, e.g., abortion, affirmative action, guns, etc. and the 30+ year rw assault on liberalism by the rw.

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Response to noiretextatique (Reply #118)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 04:18 PM

124. Yes; and the acceding to that strategy by the Democrats. Which includes the gradual withdrawl from

 

themes of economic justice for *all* to "this is all we can get," bringing us to the point we're at today -- fighting over pieces of a shrinking pie (shrinking not because the country is poorer, but because the ruling class is taking bigger & bigger pieces) -- and using a "Democratic" discourse in which the dismantlement of the public sector and the turning over of the wealth it created is taken for granted, the only debate is about how much.

And that's part of the reason for the fall-away of "white men" from the Democratic Party.

Here at DU I've several times brought up the fact that black workers are disproportionately employed in education and the public sector, and are disproportionately affected as that sector is dismantled. Even out of proportion to their greater representation in these professions, as, for example, schools first targeted for "reform" tend to be poor and black-majority, with higher percentages of minority teachers than even in education as a whole.

Many people here don't seem to want to look at this kind of structural/systemic analysis -- particularly when the policies in question are being supported by a black President. I'll also note that some of the people most vociferously and personally attacking posters over their "white privilege" are, on other threads, promoting the neo-liberal free trade line and attacking American workers for their poor work ethic, poor skills, poor education, etc.



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Response to eek MD (Reply #36)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 12:27 AM

78. No ...

Face it... because you're a member of a class that has advantages over another class, you should never have the right to complain about anything. Your life is gilded. You walk on water. You wake up every morning to breakfast in bed, and have servants to wipe your ass with $100 bills after you crap. Your black country club parking valet parks your Lexus in its own private garage so that there's no chance of errant pigeon crap.



That's not it at all ... We, or rather I, just tire of you thinking/acting like your hard row is somehow tougher than another's simply because you are white.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #78)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 08:02 AM

87. Yes.....

Where have I said that life is more DIFFICULT for me because my skin color is white? In fact, point me to any threads on here that claims that white people (as a group) have a tougher time in life that minorities? Granted, I haven't read through them all, but if you do find one, I'd be surprised.

Most people on here have acknowledged that white skin color gives people an advantage over other people. Those who haven't acknowledged that would probably agree with the statement if it was qualified with the statement "all other things being equal, white skin color gives people an advantage over other people" (since many people throw such a fuss because there are also many other factors at play in how successful people are in society, such as gender, sexual orientation, disabilities, general appearance, etc).

To take your last line and turn it around......... We, or rather I, just tire of you thinking/acting like everyone with white skin is equally well-off in this society. There is a huge difference between the Koch Brothers, and the White homeless guy I saw sleeping in Dupont Circle yesterday. Yes, that homeless guy probably has it better off than a black homeless guy in the same situation. But he's still poor and homeless, no?

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Response to eek MD (Reply #87)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 10:30 AM

105. I think ...

Most readers of would have been satisfied with your comment, if it was just the second paragraph.

Yes, that homeless guy that probably has it better off than a black homeless guy in the same situation, but is still poor and homeless. But why is that relevant in a discussion of white priviledge?

White priviledge does not mean "without pain/struggle/discomfort" ... It means ... well you, your homeless example shows it.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #105)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 12:38 PM

106. Quote

"White priviledge does not mean "without pain/struggle/discomfort""

THANK YOU for acknowledging this. That's where I think the division amongst everyone in the threads over the past few days has been. White people (those of us on DU who aren't 1%'ers) see pain/struggle/discomfort in our lives. When we see threads like many over the past few days talking about "how great it is to be white", it doesn't resonate because we live with pain/struggle/discomfort on a daily basis. I don't think that's taking anything away from Minorities who see more pain/struggle/discomfort than us. We truly are all in this together in that we are all fighting for everyone to be equal regardless of race/gender/religion/sexual orientation, etc

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Response to eek MD (Reply #106)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 10:54 AM

125. I think we are arriving at a meeting of the minds ...

But one more thing ...

Maybe it's a matter of perspective ... Are the threads discussing white priviledge talking about "how great it is to be white"? Or, are they talking how great it must be to NOT be burdened by race/gender/sexual orientation, etc.?

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 05:45 PM

37. Forget it man.. you can't possibly win.

As already seen with the "drivel" response.

I too am a white male. Jewish, but that makes no difference.

I know I got lucky in the gene pool lotto, not much I can do about it.. except, use what I have to take care of as many as I can. I am carrying 8 people right now. I adopted 2 kids, one with Autism and one with Muscular Dystrophy, plus my two other kids, my wife who is disabled, a friend of hers who lost her home in the collapse and my ex-wifes mother(don't ask)...

Does that matter here? Does it matter if I stand up for minorities, women, the poor? Nope. Who I am and what I do matters not to people who are angry at white men. You can't change their minds, you can't debate, you can't win. If you are a white male you are scum unless you spend every day acknowledging how great you have had it all your life and how you have been oppressing everyone around you.

Personally I responded to this "white man" thing once, and gave up after that, I could see where it was going. Apparently some people don't want any help. If you are a white man you cannot possibly be of any use to anyone because YOU ARE THE OPPRESSOR.

I know they make it hard to stop feeling guilty when there are 10 posts on the front page telling you what a horrible person you are, but all we can do is do as much as we can for as many people as possible, all the while ignoring the people who tell you your thoughts and your guilt is nothing but DRIVEL.

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Response to SomethingFishy (Reply #37)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 06:54 PM

54. i think even the OP recognizes, at least now he does

that internalizing institutional concepts, e.g., white privilege is the problem. i am a black woman. if i internalized all the bullshit this culture spews about black women, perhaps i'd feel guilty about not fitting the stereotypes. however, in a country that has been domininated by white men since its inception (and still is pretty much), i don't think it is unreasonable to comment on that reality. and it doesn't make you or anyone else a bad person, unless you chose to internalize the commentary.

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Response to SomethingFishy (Reply #37)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 07:31 PM

63. + 1,000!

 

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Response to SomethingFishy (Reply #37)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 08:22 PM

66. Who is "angry at white men"? I'm a white man, I'm not angry.

I do not think you are scum nor do I consider myself scum, and I frankly have not felt treated as scum by those who have been advocating for minorities, women, and the poor. In fact, the people who call me scum here are more the authoritarian variety who have dismissed this practical progressivism that attempts to fix these various racial, gender, and orientation issues.

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Response to SomethingFishy (Reply #37)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 11:29 PM

75. Get over yourself

No one is angry with you buddy. No one thinks you personally are oppressing anyone. No one is telling you to feel guilty. White guys have a leg up, that's all anyone is saying. And it's true.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 06:03 PM

42. I don't know you, but it sounds like you're doing what you can.

 

It's all any of us can do.

I believe and could be wrong as I often am, just ask my GF, that the best thing we can do is concentrate on changing our economic system. By that I do not mean bringing back the 50's or the 90's, I mean fundamentally changing it like FDR avoided doing in his time.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 06:08 PM

44. No one asked you to be guilty about white privilege any more

than they asked you to be guilty about the theory of evolution or the law of gravity.

All anyone asks is that people acknowledge reality.

Racial injustice is a real problem in this country. One of the first things an engineer learns is that in order to solve any problem, one must be able to pose the problem to be solved with sufficient accuracy. You must establish the "boundary conditions," so to speak, and validate all assumptions made in its formulation. Otherwise, any attempt to solve the problem will fail.

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Response to sudopod (Reply #44)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 06:21 PM

46. +1000

very well stated! try having a rational discussion about reparations here.

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Response to sudopod (Reply #44)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 06:51 PM

52. I think part of the "guilt" is the unwillingness to acknowledge the reality or the lack of knowledge

...of it.

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Response to sudopod (Reply #44)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 07:17 PM

61. Boom! Brilliant reply. +1

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Response to sudopod (Reply #44)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 12:34 AM

80. +1

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Response to sudopod (Reply #44)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 02:31 AM

86. Brilliant. nt

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Response to sudopod (Reply #44)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 01:59 PM

132. And arguing as he does, he points a finger at gay and non-white people,

implying that it's THEIR fault he feels guilty.

bunch of bullshit.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)


Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 06:28 PM

48. i am a black woman who grew up in a middle-class household

Last edited Fri Apr 6, 2012, 07:06 PM - Edit history (1)

i went to college and graduate school. none of that sheilds me from racism. it is a reality i face, regardless of my rather privileged background. i don't feel guilty when i am discriminated against, and neither should you. and if some claim you have some privilege you don't, i would consider that discrimination. however, you cannot simply and magically erase centuries of gender, racial, and class discrimination that benefited, for the most, white men either. nor can we pretend those centuries have no impact on the socirty we live in today. nor can we forget that there have always been white men who have not benefited from those centuries of oppression. stop taking it personally and think beyond yourself.

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Response to noiretextatique (Reply #48)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 08:30 AM

89. Michelle Obama is an attorney and First Lady, is she shielded from racism?

Definitely not.

Will she be in the future? No.

Is she shielded from sexism> No, and never will be.

Your post raised a good point.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 06:58 PM

55. I have no doubt benefitted

I am actually pretty well situated. I am better off than most white males I know. Did being white, hetero, and male open doors for me? I do not know, but it did not close them.

Do I feel guilty about it? Not in the least. I have worked hard to be where I am at, and work hard at it most every day to stay there. I support whom I can, I donate what I can.

When in a position to hire, I hired mostly women who have gone on to succeed professionally.

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Response to quaker bill (Reply #55)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 05:47 PM

102. "It did not close them" That's the key...

nt

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 07:14 PM

59. No one is saying "none of this matters." No one.

No one is saying "be guilty." No one.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #59)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 07:35 PM

64. Not outright, but it IS implied a lot by a small, but very vocal minority.

 

To some, it doesn't matter how much feminist and gay rights you support, if you don't agree with them the full 100% on every. single. issue. you will get attacked for being an enabler of the oppressing patriarchy. Dissent on even one issue and all your credentials on support for feminist and gay rights will be shoved aside to vilify you as a ...gasp!... MAN!

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Response to DutchLiberal (Reply #64)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 08:18 PM

65. One may feel it is implied if they are too sensitive, I think.

I mean, I've been there before. Grew up poor, when I started realizing these things, it really sucked because I didn't think it really applied to me! It does apply, though. Accept it, try to be considerate of others and minimize the effect it has. Recognize other people deserve the same level of respect and consideration that you yourself enjoy just by being you. Pushing back against it only helps to prevent egalitarianism. Some feel it's basically saying "but you're hurting my feelings why should I respect yours!" You shouldn't view it that way at all.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #65)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 09:05 PM

71. Okay, scratch "implied", sometimes it's outright SAID.

 

Like above in this thread, where somebody feels it's neccessary to belittle the OP's fights for womens' and gays' rights, just because he's a ...gasp!... MAN! And that's not the first time that happens on DU, far from it. There is a small contingent on DU which will accuse a man of everything that's evil and ugly in the world, unless that man agrees with them for the full 100% on every single issue. Otherwise, he's fucked.

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Response to DutchLiberal (Reply #71)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 09:46 PM

72. They said he should "be guilty" or that "none of this matters"?

I don't see it. Some people are annoyed with the dismissive attitude, but other than that...

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 08:52 PM

68. i don't have white guilt, even if i do have white privilege

those who are talking about white privilege aren't asking you to feel guilty (well most of them aren't).

they're asking you to understand the present station of society. if you understand that, great!

if you're fighting against that, great!

so what's to feel guilty about? if you're doing well economically and don't face unending discrimination, then that is a privilege.

keep working to make sure nobody is discriminated against or economically oppressed and there won't be anything to feel guilty about.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 09:00 PM

69. For what it is worth...

I got halfway through reading through the replies and, well, I don't know what to tell you.

You have brought up a point that I have yet to screw up the courage to broach here, which is odd, because of all the people in the world, I would expect those here to come to my side. That is, if I hadn't see this sort of thing often with my own eyes first.

See, I am of the impression that fairness to all people, under the law, and within the society at large, is an overarching goal of liberalism. So, you can probably understand my confusion when I come here and see claims that sexism and racism perpetrated against WMS wouldn't or can't be considered racism or sexism. According to those laying claim to the definitions it is a question of power. We have it, and underlyingly, that's what the -ism is all about.

Now, maybe its my own misunderstanding that is coming up here, but I was always under the impression that all of these -isms were about the act of conflating what is a superficial state of being present from birth, but saying nothing specific about the person possessing the trait, into some statement of worth, usually pejoratively or negatively. This, however, is neither here nor there. People here have redefined their terms to suit their needs since time immemorial. Personally, this in and of itself is not a problem. If DUers want to amend those definitions in creative, yet reasonable, ways, I've got not issue.

What is a problem is the blatantly obvious hypocrisy evinced by otherwise fair minded people in their mind-boggling refusal to acknowledge the problem of singling out any group as being fair game for any sort of of negative relativism.

I know how you feel. You want to be a part of the solution, but you feel weary of having to sit at the back of conversations, regardless of whatever enlightenment you may feel you can bring to it because, in some way, you've been made to feel like you are the problem, not WMS in general, YOU. It does become personal, because when they say YOU don't get it, it IS personal. Your post has no mocking to it. Those who say it is clearly don't see the difference between a mocking tone and an exasperated one.

And people can say what they want about this. I too understand the privilege. But my conjecture is that if society is to look past the privilege to an equitable society, it's got to start locally first. That means here. Amongst those who claim to understand what a poison it is. Why would people who want equity maintain this inequity and claim, in essence, that it is fair? Oh, it won't necessarily be in those words, or it might be, but at least an implication will be there. You will feel it, just as sure as you do now.

My advice to you is as follows:

1. Speak your mind, whatever that entails. You are a member here, apparently in good standing. You deserve to be heard even if every person at DU puts you on ignore.

2. Be consistent in your opinions on this matter. Keep working for fairness and equality, even if you feel that the point is missed by those who should be in your corner.

3. Stiff upper lip. Until this attitude changes, you're going to feel like a bit of a punching bag. You are going to want to hold back your opinion because you just want to avoid a confrontation. I've been guilty of this myself, and I understand. Use your judgment, pick your battles, and remember point number 2, but never let DU bully you into silence when you feel like you have something to offer.

4. Don't feel guilty about being what you are. You had as little choice in the matter as those who are not W nor M nor S. That society confers an advantage on you because of this accident of birth is also NOT YOUR FAULT. In fact, knowing what you know now and would you have the ability to do so, if such advantage could be foregone, you'd probably give it up, like the albatross around your neck that it probably feels like. You never asked for it, probably don't want it, but it sticks to you no matter how much you "get" anything. Stop any apologism, direct or implied, for BEING.

You remarked before to another poster that this atavistic stick-poking keeps other WMS from being liberal or finding commonality with their goals, simply because it's hostile ground from go. I think this is oversimplifying a bit, but I think there is a nugget of truth there. Who wants to be a part of a group that doesn't accept them as equals? Really, life is lived in this fashion, not in some political abstraction. What is a person to make of a situation where the people they have the most in common with are the least accepting of who they are? Wild concept, and one which enjoys a disturbing amount of popularity here.

Anyway, it may not be of much comfort, but you are not alone.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)


Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 02:24 AM

83. Maybe you could join stormfront or vnnforum, good luck in your white priviledge journey!!

 

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Response to Obamacare (Reply #83)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 08:44 AM

91. Wow, you simply don't do nuance, do you?

 

How you get from what I said to basically accusing me of being a white supremacist is a journey I simply don't fathom.

But hey, thanks anyway. I think that you are illustrating the point I'm trying to make quite well.

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Response to Obamacare (Reply #83)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 01:47 PM

110. unwarranted & not funny. namecalling & personal attack.

 

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 08:07 AM

88. Well since I personally never attack anyone based on superficialities such

as skin color, sex, sexual orientation or size I don't 'want' you to do anything. But I'm not exactly happy with your generalized all-encompassing assumption that anyone not like you is just naturally demeaning you.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #88)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 08:46 AM

92. Another one who makes a huge leap,

 

A leap of faith, or some such.

It really is interesting, and enlightening, what people such as yourself are reading into my OP. At least you're not accusing me of being a white supremacist like the poster just above you. At least not yet.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 09:02 AM

93. Yes, we want you to give part of your paycheck to

"somebody." Perhaps the blah people? Geez



But on a serious note, is this how you feel in general, or is this a response to all the "white man" OPs lately?

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Response to ecstatic (Reply #93)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 09:11 AM

94. "The blah people?"

 

I don't get the reference, but whatever.

This is a thought experiment, in part in response to all the white, male, hetro privilege threads.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #94)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 09:21 AM

95. Santorum coined the term

Appearing on John King USA on Wednesday evening, Rick Santorum denied he said he didn’t want to make “black people’s lives better” during a pre-caucus campaign event Sunday in Sioux City, Iowa. “I’ve looked at that quote, in fact I looked at the video,” Santorum argued. “In fact, I’m pretty confident I didn’t say black. What I think —I started to say a word and then sort of changed and it sort of — blah — mumbled it and sort of changed my thought.”


http://www.mediaite.com/tv/rick-santorum-to-john-king-i-didnt-say-black-people-i-said-blah-people/

I don't think the intent of the threads was to attack you personally, although I can understand why you might feel offended. As others have stated, it's the institutions and ingrained beliefs that are the focus.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 05:45 PM

101. As a white straight male myself, here's what you (really, WE) can do....

Recognize the privilege of being ignorant of other people's struggles, recognize the racism, sexism, and homophobia that permeates our society, and do our best to be conscious and mindful of all this, and show courage in standing up, in solidarity with oppressed people.

As white straight males, we have the freedom to choose to be ignorant. Women, blacks, Latinos, Asians, the LGBT community...they don't have that luxury. Understanding this would be a good first step.

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Response to YoungDemCA (Reply #101)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 02:41 PM

120. very well said-

great point about the choice to be ignorant.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 01:30 PM

109. The greatest of good deeds go unnoticed.

Do what's right and expect nothing in return.

If you expect rewards for doing the right thing, you're doing them for the wrong reason.

and besides- no one really notices what you or i do anyways.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 02:25 PM

117. I hear you. But just imagine how worse off you would've been if you'd been female, black,

middleaged, and overweight. The lowest in our American class system.

You can't be blamed for what you do not know. You have lived a life where people listen when you speak, just because you're a white male. You got better grades than you earned, because you were a white male. You would've gotten hired for jobs that the overweight middleaged black woman wouldn't have gotten, because you fit in better than she would have. You got interrupted less all during your life, because of what you are. You are treated a tad better by cashiers.

It's the little things, all throughout your life, that you've benefited from and which you are totally unaware of. You really can't be blamed for what you don't know.

That doesn't mean your life has been easy, or that there is a paved street of gold in front of you. It just means it's been easiER for you. But if you haven't walked in someone else's shoes, it is hard to compare.

As a white female, I've benefited, too. I'm very aware of it. It doesn't mean life has been easy for me. Quite the contrary. But maybe I'm more aware of the advantages I've had from being white and female because as a female, I have encountered slights and discrimination and being treated lowclass by others, just because I'm female. It has given me a glimpse into the lives of the ones with true burdens on their backs.

There IS reverse discrimination, though. It exists and is just as wrong as other types of discrimination. So if you've experienced that, you have a glimpse of what it might be like to be black or female or whatever.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 02:38 PM

119. stop focusing on yourself- the "guilt" you feel,

the things that have been done to you- the ways in which you believe you've fought for the rights of others- the money you've given.

The Trayvon Martin murder shouldn't cause you to feel guilt, unless you defend the killing. Unless you deny that there is a very real and deadly prejudice still at work in our society.

Feeling guilty doesn't solve anything. Seeing injustice- being motivated to stop it from continuing and refusing to deny its existance is the only way to help end the cycle.

If you are tired, then rest. In spite of what you may have intended to say with your OP, what comes through to me is someone saying "hey, stop complaining about the fact that you are being treated unfairly- my struggles are just as difficult as yours.

The incidents you speak of in the first part of your post- being homeless, being poor, being pulled over by police would most likely have not resolved themselves as well as they did for you, were you not -by accident of birth- a white, hetro, male.

You can't change 'who' you are- nor should you feel the need to- but you, and all of us who make up this society can and should continue to work to change the unequal and unjust system that exists.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 11:04 AM

126. I'm suddenly curious about how many women agree with this kind of sentiment.



Hmmm.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #126)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 01:13 PM

127. i asked my friend kate about this

she is a 57 yo white female. she said she benefits from white privilege every single day of her life. she grew up in abject poverty, got a full scholarship to a private college, and ran a non-profit agency for several years.

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Response to noiretextatique (Reply #127)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 01:54 PM

131. Seems to me that most women would be more likely to get it...

having experienced oppression based on an immutable status (i.e. sex, skin color)

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 01:17 PM

128. How about if you just leave me the fark alone.

I'm gay, I like being gay and just leave me alone and tell your brethren and hetero sisters the same damn thing.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 01:19 PM

129. And you poor baby, tired of helping those less advantaged than you.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)


Response to MadHound (Original post)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 02:06 PM

133. you don't represent all men.

 

just as I don't all women.

it's the collective general we are talking about. and the collective general is that white straight males DO have privileges, on the whole, that the rest of us don't.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 02:42 PM

134. Brah...seems you are venting, and attacking the messengers.

Because, if your stated self analysis of your motivations, beliefs, and actions are truly accurate, as far as you can genuinely determine, then you are choosing to feel guilty over something that is not your fault.

No one can make you feel guilty about anything, it is always your choice. If you choose to feel guilty over what is said here at DU about White Male Privilege, please don't shoot the messengers.

Ok...

You seem to have a grasp on the problems that White Male Privilege poses for the non-white male rest of the world.

You seem to have taken steps to correct the situation because you don't think it is just.

No one is asking you to do more than that.

We have many totally justifiable reasons to bring up, and debate, the subject of white male privilege here.

Foremost of these are to raise awareness of this condition, and to try to get white males who don't really get it, to think about it, so that some of them will start to get it, or get a better grasp on the big picture, and help the rest of us, yourself included, apparently, create a more just and equal world.

Don't choose to feel guilty if you have no sincere conscience driven need for it.

Unnecessary guilt is worthless, crippling, and destructive.



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