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Tue Sep 29, 2015, 01:36 PM

 

Study: White people react to evidence of white privilege by claiming greater personal hardships

http://www.rawstory.com/2015/09/study-white-people-react-to-evidence-of-white-privilege-by-claiming-greater-personal-hardships/

Researchers at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business have found that white people respond to evidence that they are privileged by their race by insisting that they face greater hardships in life.

In a study published in the November issue of Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, L. Taylor Phillips and Brian S. Lowery point out that progress on racial equality is limited by the fact that many whites deny the existence of inequities.

“Despite this reality, policy makers and power brokers continue to debate whether racial privilege even exists and whether to address such inequity,” the researchers noted. “One reason for this inaction might be an unwillingness among Whites to acknowledge racial privilege — acknowledgment that may be difficult given that Whites are motivated to believe that meritocratic systems and personal virtues determine life outcomes.”

“However, claiming personal life hardships may help Whites manage the threatening possibility that they benefit from privilege.”

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Reply Study: White people react to evidence of white privilege by claiming greater personal hardships (Original post)
KamaAina Sep 2015 OP
Glassunion Sep 2015 #1
cyberswede Sep 2015 #2
randys1 Sep 2015 #4
Anansi1171 Sep 2015 #8
La Lioness Priyanka Sep 2015 #10
Starry Messenger Sep 2015 #24
randys1 Sep 2015 #3
blackspade Sep 2015 #71
kelliekat44 Sep 2015 #85
Maedhros Sep 2015 #5
Egnever Sep 2015 #40
laundry_queen Sep 2015 #50
lumberjack_jeff Sep 2015 #6
Solly Mack Sep 2015 #7
Zorra Sep 2015 #9
La Lioness Priyanka Sep 2015 #11
JI7 Sep 2015 #15
Zorra Sep 2015 #17
blackspade Sep 2015 #77
La Lioness Priyanka Sep 2015 #113
randys1 Sep 2015 #26
Number23 Sep 2015 #48
bettyellen Sep 2015 #52
gollygee Sep 2015 #62
bettyellen Sep 2015 #91
blackspade Sep 2015 #72
Starry Messenger Sep 2015 #86
Major Hogwash Sep 2015 #93
La Lioness Priyanka Sep 2015 #112
Baitball Blogger Sep 2015 #12
olddots Sep 2015 #13
Skittles Sep 2015 #27
bettyellen Sep 2015 #46
Skittles Sep 2015 #54
bettyellen Sep 2015 #58
Skittles Sep 2015 #64
bettyellen Sep 2015 #65
Skittles Sep 2015 #81
bettyellen Sep 2015 #90
qwlauren35 Sep 2015 #60
Skittles Sep 2015 #61
qwlauren35 Sep 2015 #67
Skittles Sep 2015 #80
Nye Bevan Sep 2015 #79
KamaAina Sep 2015 #114
LittleBlue Sep 2015 #14
Warpy Sep 2015 #33
jeff47 Sep 2015 #16
KamaAina Sep 2015 #19
tishaLA Sep 2015 #44
jeff47 Sep 2015 #45
tishaLA Sep 2015 #47
jeff47 Sep 2015 #49
tishaLA Sep 2015 #51
jeff47 Sep 2015 #53
tishaLA Sep 2015 #57
haikugal Sep 2015 #83
jeff47 Sep 2015 #106
haikugal Sep 2015 #107
jeff47 Sep 2015 #108
haikugal Sep 2015 #111
TalkingDog Sep 2015 #18
randys1 Sep 2015 #28
underpants Sep 2015 #20
KamaAina Sep 2015 #23
underpants Sep 2015 #38
Glassunion Sep 2015 #30
underpants Sep 2015 #43
geardaddy Sep 2015 #31
LineLineLineReply +
underpants Sep 2015 #37
Starry Messenger Sep 2015 #35
underpants Sep 2015 #41
geardaddy Sep 2015 #42
marym625 Sep 2015 #73
deathrind Sep 2015 #21
TipTok Sep 2015 #22
randys1 Sep 2015 #29
Scootaloo Sep 2015 #55
uponit7771 Sep 2015 #101
Shandris Sep 2015 #25
jalan48 Sep 2015 #32
Fearless Sep 2015 #34
Burma Jones Sep 2015 #36
tularetom Sep 2015 #39
AppalachianAmerican Sep 2015 #56
KamaAina Sep 2015 #82
AngryAmish Sep 2015 #59
Binkie The Clown Sep 2015 #63
Nye Bevan Sep 2015 #66
qwlauren35 Sep 2015 #68
Nye Bevan Sep 2015 #74
gollygee Sep 2015 #94
Nye Bevan Sep 2015 #98
gollygee Sep 2015 #116
blackspade Sep 2015 #69
Shandris Sep 2015 #75
blackspade Sep 2015 #78
TipTok Sep 2015 #87
marym625 Sep 2015 #70
valerief Sep 2015 #76
RandySF Sep 2015 #84
ismnotwasm Sep 2015 #88
cheapdate Sep 2015 #89
Mariana Sep 2015 #115
akbacchus_BC Sep 2015 #92
gollygee Sep 2015 #95
LWolf Sep 2015 #96
Orrex Sep 2015 #97
Nye Bevan Sep 2015 #99
uponit7771 Sep 2015 #102
Orrex Sep 2015 #109
treestar Sep 2015 #100
uponit7771 Sep 2015 #103
Nye Bevan Sep 2015 #105
treestar Sep 2015 #110
alarimer Sep 2015 #104

Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 01:38 PM

1. That never happens.

Especially here. They must be mistaken.

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Response to Glassunion (Reply #1)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 01:40 PM

2. LOL

Right?

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Response to Glassunion (Reply #1)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 01:41 PM

4. Never, right! LOL

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Response to Glassunion (Reply #1)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 01:54 PM

8. Thank you and be blessed!-nt

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Response to Glassunion (Reply #1)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 02:14 PM

10. ..

 

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Response to Glassunion (Reply #1)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 03:58 PM

24. *snort*

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 01:41 PM

3. Denying privilege is something most white folks do, out of ignorance.

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Response to randys1 (Reply #3)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 08:32 PM

71. In many cases, yes.

But for many who should know better, I think that admitting that there is such a thing as White privilege is such an assault on their world view that rabid self denial and obfuscation are all they have to psychologically prop themselves up with.

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Response to randys1 (Reply #3)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 09:38 PM

85. This is never more apparent than with the recent heroin epidemic. nt

 

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 01:46 PM

5. Rationalization is the easiest response.

 

Easier than admitting one has a problem.

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Response to Maedhros (Reply #5)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 04:44 PM

40. How do they have a problem?

 

Now it's a problem to have advantages?

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Response to Egnever (Reply #40)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 07:16 PM

50. Now that was a freeperesque twist of words

It's a problem to not ADMIT that one has advantages.

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 01:48 PM

6. I think that the Ahmed Mohammed story is illustrative.

 

Like millions of kids, Ahmed was subject to stupid zero tolerance school rules. In his case race may have played a significant role.
His story was published far and wide because his family has economic resources.
The right wing reaction has definitely been about bigotry.

My son was treated by his school and the police in a similar manner (including a suspension), for simply passing notes about a hypothetical airsoft gun team. I don't have the resources or support network to make a nationwide issue about it, but if I had, it would not have resulted in an invitation to the UN... but it would not have brought the wrath of GOP racists down on his shoulders either.

The differences between the two experiences illustrate the intersection of racial and wealth privilege. Both are real, neither negates the other.

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 01:49 PM

7. K&R

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 02:01 PM

9. Simply put, conservatives just aren't generally all that empathic and/or perceptive,

and lack in critical thinking skills. Resorting to claiming personal hardships is a defense mechanism used by people who have difficulty perceiving the world around them honestly and objectively.



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Response to Zorra (Reply #9)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 02:15 PM

11. denying white privilege is not just a conservative thing. look all over du and you'l see examples of

 

this phenomenon.

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Reply #11)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 02:30 PM

15. yup

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Reply #11)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 03:23 PM

17. It is difficult for people who do not exist in certain conditions to comprehend

what it is like for those who do exist in those conditions.

Even when white people realize (and care), to the greatest degree they possibly can, that they exist in a condition of white privilege, they generally have no idea how to go about changing it. They often see the only option open to them for creating a more egalitarian condition for everyone in their environment as passing laws that they believe help equalize privilege in some way.

It generally takes a long time to change institutionalized cultural consciousness, and the process is slow.

Do you have any suggestions for how white liberals can correct the problem of white privilege in America, other than helping them recognize the degree to which they experience white privilege, and by passing laws to make the country more egalitarian?

Conservatives are very serious obstructions to leveling the playing field of cultural consciousness. Personally, I believe that limiting their power to control our conditions is a big step toward injecting cultural egalitarianism into the collective consciousness. Relatively soon, non-white minorities will become the dominant majority in the US.

White privilege may begin to wither more quickly soon after.


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Response to Zorra (Reply #17)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 08:57 PM

77. I think that Liberals need to start with themselves.

Heartfelt introspection is where it starts.
At what points have white privilege changed the directions in your life?
Can you think or incidents where you have un/consciously used privilege to achieve a goal, avoid an outcome, or taken some aspect of life for granted?
It won't be the same or equal for anyone, but if you are white it is there, underpinning your social interaction.

I should point out that this self awareness is not to create a self loathing of yourself.
Rather it is to understand who you are in your complexity.

For myself, it is a continual process and always will be.
It will be a truly great event in our society when some measure of equality is achieved.
To get there I think that those who understand themselves can reach out to those around them and attempt to impart lessons learned. Talk to your children, parents, friends, etc about the topic of inequality.
Listen to the African American and other minority communities either in person or media.
Keep it fresh on your mind.
And push back against the tide of racism.

Whew.

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Response to Zorra (Reply #17)

Wed Sep 30, 2015, 10:49 AM

113. i think liberals should stop pretending that they are not racist/dont see color etc.

 

yes, overt form of racism is more a conservative than a liberal thing, but subtle forms of racism is very much a liberal thing. denying white privilege is a more subtle form of racism, and therefore equally found in liberals.

i think in this case pretending exists in other people and not in ourselves, is very much the core of the problem

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Reply #11)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 04:03 PM

26. triple yup

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Reply #11)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 06:55 PM

48. That post actually made me laugh out loud. Only "Conservative" white people do this

Yeah. Okay.

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Reply #11)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 07:21 PM

52. thousands of examples over the years. one complained two black coworkers were friends....

 

and somehow this made a DUer feel "less privileged" than they. I shit you not.
This is the DU member formerly known as bettyellen.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #52)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 07:57 PM

62. Oh wait, I remember that!

Yeah, lots of examples here. And lots of examples among liberal people in general.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #62)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 11:41 PM

91. And he was completely serious. As if black people should't have friends or it's his loss, LOL.

 

that was some seriously weird shit.
This is the DU member formerly known as bettyellen.

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Reply #11)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 08:36 PM

72. I was about to make the same comment.

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Reply #11)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 10:26 PM

86. +1000

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Reply #11)

Wed Sep 30, 2015, 06:23 AM

93. Not so much anymore.

And I would venture to say that those that are examples are not liberals, but are conservatives.

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Response to Major Hogwash (Reply #93)

Wed Sep 30, 2015, 10:46 AM

112. i disagree with you. denying white privilege is almost as much a liberal thing as a conservative

 

position. i see this both on DU and in real life.

the word privilege annoys american overall because we like to believe everything we have achieved is based on our own merit.

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 02:16 PM

12. So true. Can you imagine the ridicule they must face when they fall in

any of the numerous trappings that exist in the privileged fast track? Why, walking into that sorority meeting in Uggs when the girls are into Jimmy Choos is grounds for automatic expulsion.

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 02:20 PM

13. I do this shit myself sometimes

 

but hopefully catch myself doing it .

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Response to olddots (Reply #13)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 04:04 PM

27. actually

I think what is happening is the word "privilege" is more associated with wealthy people, so the assertion a person's life has been a breeze SIMPLY because of their skin color can feel highly offensive to people who have indeed struggled

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Response to Skittles (Reply #27)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 06:47 PM

46. true but- 90% of the time people (and dictionaries!) happily admit words have more than one meaning

 

and usually obvious that someone is using one meaning and not the other. strangely when some people talk about racism here (in an institutional context) many claim it has only one meaning- personal bigotry. same with privilege- the conversation gets intentionally derailed by someone not "liking" the word- or being loathe to admit there are different meanings. The "misunderstandings" are largely intentional and intended to disrupt. It's one thing not to like the word, it;s another to pretend it isn't widely used a certain way.
This is the DU member formerly known as bettyellen.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #46)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 07:26 PM

54. true, but

*NO ONE* likes to be stereotyped, and I see that going on a lot on DU

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Response to Skittles (Reply #54)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 07:37 PM

58. I get it, but when you are noting patterns of behavior it's a trap that is hard not to fall into...

 

but I guess it's easily remedied by saying "some" first? it's something that is hard to remember to do, LOL.

I remember how rude it got when people were talking about touching the hair of POC. All my life I have been aware that it is a "thing" some white people do, have heard many people talk about how common it is. The hair touchers don't intend to be nrude, but it certainly is! (similar to touching a strange pregnant women's belly, just no!) Anyway, 1/3 of the conversation was about the word "some" being missing and 1/3 was denying it is at all a common thing- because they personally never heard about it.
All of that, to me was derailing and devaluing the conversation- even worse in a way, because it implied that POC were making up shit to "be offended". Seriously? There are like 1000,000 google hits on it, and it IS aggressive behavior.

And all those defensive reactions are pretty common here. I think people should take a step back and try not to make everything about them. YKWIM?
This is the DU member formerly known as bettyellen.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #58)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 08:03 PM

64. all I know is, if anyone tried it with me

they would be minus a hand

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Response to Skittles (Reply #64)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 08:06 PM

65. well, if you were used to it as a kid, which happens.... maybe not. Most of the people who have

 

described it to me were't angry but more like WTF is wrong with you (who touches my head)?!?
I remember someone saying they would put their hand up reflexively because they could NOT handle it, and people always thought SHE was the problem. Weird, right?
This is the DU member formerly known as bettyellen.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #65)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 09:09 PM

81. very strange

in my mind, you don't touch a person without their permission - I am completely freaked out by touchy-feely people - and yes, I wonder WTF is wrong with them

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Response to Skittles (Reply #81)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 11:28 PM

90. from what I recall it happens all the fucking time when they are kids- and they learn not to make a

 

big shit out of it because the other kids "mean well". Fighting back is a more dangerous option for black kids.
And with women in particular it really doesn't totally stop when they grow up. People can be such assholes.
It doesn't help that people here will mock that shit and say hey it's not sharia law, or make jokes about micro aggressions, etc.
This is the DU member formerly known as bettyellen.

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Response to Skittles (Reply #27)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 07:52 PM

60. You came up with the word "breeze".

A black, one eyed, one limbed poor person with schizophrenia will have a harder time in life than a white, one eyed, one limbed, poor person with schizophrenia. Both will have major struggles. Unimaginable struggles. But the white person will still experience white privilege.

Maybe, for example, someone could do a study on who earns more money, white street beggars or black street beggars...

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Response to qwlauren35 (Reply #60)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 07:54 PM

61. you completely missed my point

I am not saying privilege does not exist - I'm explaining why that word alienates so many people

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Response to Skittles (Reply #61)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 08:09 PM

67. Maybe

we should call it white advantage.

But I think whatever we call it, some white people refuse to believe that it applies to them when they are going through hard times, or have health issues.

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Response to qwlauren35 (Reply #67)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 09:04 PM

80. exactly what I was thinking

well we know racists will always deny they have any privilege or advantage, but I think most people understand when they have an advantage as opposed to the upper-crust association to the word "privilege"

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Response to Skittles (Reply #61)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 09:01 PM

79. Perhaps this is why President Obama has never once used the phrase "white privilege"

in any of his many excellent speeches about race and racism.

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Response to Skittles (Reply #27)

Wed Sep 30, 2015, 11:19 AM

114. Holy Skittles! You made 100,000 posts!

 

Now that's kicking some you-know-what!

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 02:27 PM

14. I think it's motivated by personal gain

 

Many whites don't want to come out and say it, but they know that upper middle class and 1% whites have it good. The belief that society is purely meritocratic is a delusional mechanism they use to compartmentalize their positive self-image while holding elitist views.

The system will keep their kids going to Harvard, and keep good jobs accessible to them. "White privilege" is just a term to describe it here. In China it's Han privilege. In Arab countries, it's Arab privilege. Economic tribalism becomes structural in heterogeneous societies where one group is economically dominant.

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Response to LittleBlue (Reply #14)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 04:20 PM

33. You're right about the privilege in other societies

but do recognize that few whites here have their kids go to Harvard.

White privilege is a little more subtle than that. It's being waited on first at the deli counter. It's being asked for your opinion first. It's being listened to. And it's having your neighborhood have faster police and fire department response times---and a lower risk of being shot or unfairly jailed when the cops do finally turn up because they don't listen to people at the scene.

Yes, I see it and I've benefited from it. I also wish it were not the case, because I've also seen the resentment it causes. I could live well without both.

Just realize that what's glaring privilege to a POC might be invisible to the white person who is benefiting at any given time. Most of them don't analyze stuff to death and walk through life half asleep. Do keep pointing it out, though. Some can be educated, although they'll resent the attempt at the time.

Rub our noses in it and don't worry about the rationalization. Those of us who are capable of getting the point will get it and that's the only way to get it out into the open.

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 02:55 PM

16. Wish they had broken out the people by political leanings too.

Since breaking it only by race means "white people" lumps together white conservatives and white liberals. Since white conservatives are the vast majority of the Republican party, especially the insane parts, that makes it harder to see if it's an ideology problem, a "white people" problem, or both.

Anyone got a link to the actual paper to see if they have such crosstabs?

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #16)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 03:48 PM

19. It appears to be a subscription journal.

 

Which is why I stuck with the Raw Story link in the first place.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022103115000852

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #16)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 06:23 PM

44. I skimmed it just now

There are no ideological identifiers in the paper. I don't think, however, that ideology has much to do with self-perceptions of privilege.

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Response to tishaLA (Reply #44)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 06:30 PM

45. When one ideology is dedicated to furthering privilege why would that not have an effect?

If every Republican is shouting about "welfare queens" and implying Real Americans™ are white, then the people open to that ideology are going to be far less likely to believe white privilege exists. They're also going to be much less receptive to any efforts to change the situation.

Basically, it could provide a hint on what remedies may be effective. If one sub-group thinks different than the other, then perhaps that would point to a different approach.

Kinda like other studies have shown the least racism in areas that are utterly dominated by one race. That pointed to where more work needed to be done.

And note I'm not saying it's impossible for white liberals to react as in the summary of the article. (Hi VanillaRhapsody! Thanks for the email stalking!)

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #45)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 06:54 PM

47. because I see progressives who deny they are the recipients of

privilege as much as any conservative could, and often that denial comes with even greater dismissiveness precisely because they see themselves as the "good guys" who believe in abstract notions of equality. Rather than being dismissive in their denials, conservatives just don't give a fuck.

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Response to tishaLA (Reply #47)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 07:11 PM

49. Anecdotes are not data.

Which is why I was hoping they'd have data.

Again, I don't believe 0 liberals behave as you describe. I'd like to know if it's 10% or 80% or some other number. Because if it's 10% of liberals and 90% of conservatives, it's more an ideological problem. If it's 60% of liberals and 90% of conservatives, it isn't.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #49)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 07:18 PM

51. No they aren't but

you keep promoting a theory for which you have no data either. For example, there is no data to support this assertion:
If every Republican is shouting about "welfare queens" and implying Real Americans™ are white, then the people open to that ideology are going to be far less likely to believe white privilege exists
or this one:
They're also going to be much less receptive to any efforts to change the situation.
Intuitively. both sound true, but I know intuition is not the same as data, either.

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Response to tishaLA (Reply #51)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 07:22 PM

53. Which again, is why I asked for data.

And even the data I asked for wouldn't make those ideological assumptions "true" either.

Again, they found a result. I'd like to move from that result to doing something to change it. Figuring out what we have to do to change it requires knowing with more specificity what is causing it. I hope they get follow-on funding.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #53)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 07:36 PM

57. from the study...

Our work suggests that privilege reduction efforts might need to focus not only on convincing or educating advantaged group members about privilege, but also on reducing the feelings of self-threat this information induces. Another approach may be to address cognitive fallacies and misunderstandings of privilege: privilege requires a comparison to someone of another group membership with the same life circumstances. The existence of hardships does not reduce racial privilege, since racial privilege entails comparison to someone of a different race with equivalent hardships. People may erroneously think privilege entails complete ease in life and that the presence of any hardships denotes an absence of privilege. Future work should explore ways to correct these fallacies.

Our work further reveals the motivated nature of hardship claims in response to evidence of privilege, as supported by the fact that self-affirmation reverses Whites' hardship claims. While we focus on threat to self here, it is also possible that threat to social structure, including the racial hierarchy, also motivates hardship claims. For instance, Whites may claim increased hardships to maintain not only a positive sense of self, but also the material benefits associated with racial privilege. Whites' claims of hardship might also serve to legitimize the racial advantages they enjoy, and thereby justify a system that benefits their group.

Our results suggest that people may distinguish between group and personal privilege. However, we found these variables to correlate; in fact, it seems a prerequisite to believe some existence of group-level privilege in order to believe that privilege extends to oneself. And, although people may be able to strategically separate group from personal privilege beliefs, it does not mean this is always the case. Future work should further explore the nature of this relationship, and how it manifests across outcomes, such as group versus personal hardships or support for group-relevant versus personally-relevant policies (cf. Crosby, 1984 and Taylor et al., 1990).

<...> The current work demonstrates that individuals exhibit a previously unknown response to evidence that they benefit from group inequity: people may accept that in-group privilege exists, but change their perceptions of their own lives in order to deny the role of systemic advantages in their success. In particular, when provided evidence that their group has benefitted from privilege, Whites suggest that they have instead suffered the hard-knock life by claiming increased personal life hardships. This may serve to bolster their sense of legitimacy and reduce the negative attributional implications of privilege (e.g., Feather, 1992 and Knowles and Lowery, 2012). Such a response has the potential to erode acknowledgement of racial inequity, and support for policies designed to reduce such inequity. To successfully address inequity, understanding the privileged is likely as important as understanding the underprivileged.<...>

I'd also say there's a great essay by law professor (and prominent Critical Race Theorist( Chery Harris called "Whiteness as Property" that explores this stuff in ways that are, to my mind, more fulfilling than this study. I'm almost positive you can find a pdf of it online.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #45)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 09:28 PM

83. Holy shit, you too?!

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Response to haikugal (Reply #83)

Wed Sep 30, 2015, 08:42 AM

106. Me too what?

Or are you among the people emailing me who think "More data/studies would be interesting" is the same as denying white privilege exists?

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #106)

Wed Sep 30, 2015, 08:58 AM

107. I was email trolled by the same person....

Hell no I'm not one of them...you're getting email about that also? Interesting. Has it always been like this or is this something new. I'd never received any email like that before.

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Response to haikugal (Reply #107)

Wed Sep 30, 2015, 09:10 AM

108. It's new for me.

I've received a few emails in the past from people wanting to talk a little more about something but not in public. One or two over years.

There's been a lot more recently. IMO, it's largely due to the number of people who can't manage to discuss an issue without being enough of a jerk to get a hide.

I'm not exactly a shrinking violet with my posts, and I've had 1 hide in my entire DU "career". You can argue without getting them.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #108)

Wed Sep 30, 2015, 09:39 AM

111. That has been my experience as well.

It gets more interesting as we go along...

Thanks for your response.

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 03:47 PM

18. "I'm white and I assure you, you're wrong."

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Response to TalkingDog (Reply #18)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 04:05 PM

28. That is like saying "it is midnight and pitch black outside but the sun is shining"

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 03:51 PM

20. Growing I used to hear a lot of "Well the Irish were treated horribly"

And everyone saying it claimed some bit if Irish in them. Same thing here.

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Response to underpants (Reply #20)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 03:55 PM

23. Precisely the point.

 

The Irish were treated horribly. Today, not so much. For African Americans, there has been some progress since slavery, of course, but it has been glacially slow by comparison.

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Response to KamaAina (Reply #23)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 04:41 PM

38. (Hand pointing at the new guy who's different) he's worse than me

He even LOOKS different. Don't you want to hate him more?!?

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Response to Glassunion (Reply #30)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 04:45 PM

43. Sorry about that

Good luck in the next lifetime

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Response to underpants (Reply #20)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 04:16 PM

31. +1 million

That's exactly what I was thinking when I read the OP.

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Response to geardaddy (Reply #31)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 04:38 PM

37. +

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Response to underpants (Reply #20)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 04:35 PM

35. I am Irish-American and think that people who use that as a deflection suck.

The Irish in the US made their peace with their place in whiteness a long time ago. I saw some snotty comments from Irish on Irish Central about Black Lives Matter to the tune of "We never rioted or used violence to get rights!!11" Like fuck we didn't, lol. Some people have short memories.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #35)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 04:44 PM

41. Well said. The Irish are an unseemly dirty violent lot

I'M KIDDING!

I always that I was mostly Irish or Scotch-Irish but one of my aunts did a genealogy search and we are pretty much English white. My friends even joke about how "white" I am.

Anyway, about those nasty Irish hooligans......

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Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #35)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 04:44 PM

42. Yes.

I'm not Irish-American, but a lot of non-Anglo immigrants can point to a history of abuse...back when they first arrived. Now it's a different story, but not for PoC.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #35)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 08:40 PM

73. in 1910

When my grandmother came from Ireland to Boston and wrote home to her sisters, "its a terrible thing to be a slave to the Yanks," okay. She could complain. Us, nope. Not one iota.

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 03:53 PM

21. So does this mean...

The whole monologue I used to get about walking to school in knee deep snow, uphill no less was really a lie?


Edit: this "I had it bad so I deserve xyz" is the same dynamic that happens when discussing and injury with someone. Very rarely can you tell a person you got hurt doing something with out hearing back " oh that's nothing you should have seen what happened to me" reply.

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 03:54 PM

22. People become defensive when attacked...

 

In other news... Water is wet...

Tonight at 11...

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Response to TipTok (Reply #22)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 04:07 PM

29. What/who was attacked? White privileged people? Who attacked them?

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Response to randys1 (Reply #29)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 07:31 PM

55. It's perceived as an attack for a number of reasons. Are you interested in why?

 

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #55)

Wed Sep 30, 2015, 08:10 AM

101. yes, very interested... tia

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 03:58 PM

25. Study: Kafkatrapping seems to annoy people!

 

I can't imagine why.

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 04:17 PM

32. Makes sense.

It's almost impossible to know what other people go through until you have the same experience.

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 04:34 PM

34. It's not a contest, we're all in it together!

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 04:35 PM

36. When White Folks claim there's no White Privilege....

I tell them they obviously haven't taken advantage of it........

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 04:41 PM

39. It exists and I probably benefited from it at some point in my seven plus decades here in the US

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 07:34 PM

56. If anyone understands privilege, it's the good people at Stanford. nt

 

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Response to AppalachianAmerican (Reply #56)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 09:20 PM

82. Actually, African American students view Stanford as more friendly than Cal

 

ever since Prop 209, promulgated by self-hating AA Ward Connerly, skewed the racial equation at UC.

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 07:50 PM

59. In other words, white people are acting like people

 

Most white people hold the belief that there is no such thing as white privelege. And people, all people, do not change their beliefs.

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 08:02 PM

63. I'm never giving up my white privilege

I do, however, demand the SAME privilege for EVERYONE.

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 08:07 PM

66. When a cop treats black people worse, I prefer to think of it as "racism" than "privilege".

Being treated professionally and courteously by the police should be considered to be a right, not a "privilege".

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #66)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 08:15 PM

68. The flip side

is when a police office/judge treats white people better. Gently escorting them away when they commit crimes, giving them warnings instead of tickets, giving them the benefit of the doubt, saying "boys will be boys" when they are destructive or go on sexual rampages or gang rape girls... giving them community service or probation instead of time in jail....

Using the word "privilege" is an attempt to call attention to ways that white people get over.

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Response to qwlauren35 (Reply #68)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 08:49 PM

74. Any time a cop treats a black person worse than he would a white person, that is racism.

It is undeniable that many cops are racists and that racism exists in the criminal justice system, and needs to be fought against. However, we have seen time and time again that the phrase "white privilege" is extremely unhelpful in terms of having a productive discussion and tends to annoy people (for example, white people who are poor, being evicted or unable to pay medical bills tend not to take kindly to being lectured to about their "privilege". It's interesting that in his many masterful speeches about race and racism, President Obama has never once used the term.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #74)

Wed Sep 30, 2015, 06:33 AM

94. President Obama doesn't say it because he'd get too much backlash

Not because it isn't true, and not even because he doesn't agree with it.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #94)

Wed Sep 30, 2015, 07:13 AM

98. Exactly. President Obama is a grown-up who genuinely wants to end racism.

Many of those who throw the term "white privilege" around are more interested in provoking backlash than having a serious and productive discussion.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #98)

Wed Sep 30, 2015, 03:23 PM

116. President Obama is a black man dealing with racism

He can't talk about it because people would respond in petty, childish ways. However that doesn't mean no one should talk about it. People should get over their petty, childish responses.

Something doesn't become unproductive or untrue just because it is uncomfortable. And discomfort can lead to growth.

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 08:25 PM

69. In order for our culture to move beyond racial inequity...

White privilege must be realized and accepted by White people.
Just because you have had to eat a shit sandwich at some point in your life doesn't mean it isn't there and you haven't benefited from it.

Some people are fucking clueless.

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Response to blackspade (Reply #69)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 08:51 PM

75. Once white people realize how evil they are, we'll all get along better!

 

And you think other people are clueless.

That's cute.

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Response to Shandris (Reply #75)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 09:01 PM

78. It's not about evil.



It's understanding who you are.
Your privilege doesn't make you a bad person, it just means that you receive benefits from it in social interactions both large and small.
But it's what you do with that privilege when you become aware of it.
Change the culture.

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Response to blackspade (Reply #78)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 10:30 PM

87. Why would I care?

 

I can't control it... I can only control my own actions... I treat people as they deserve based on their merit and regardless of skin color.

Good enough for me...

It's like telling me there's a little gremlin on my shoulder and he's the reason that I am how I am...

K... If you say so... moving on...

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 08:32 PM

70. idiots

Reminds me of a Roseanne episode when Dan tells Chuck and Leon he's as discriminated against as they are

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 08:52 PM

76. Any white people who deny white privilege has their heads up their asses. nt

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 09:36 PM

84. Certainly in this post-meltdown economy.

The greatest Republican accomplishment is to squeeze many to the point where it gets more difficult to be sensitive to the experiences of others.

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 10:52 PM

88. K&R

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 11:17 PM

89. This is spot on. Completely true.

I was a white kid brought up in the public schools in Mobile, AL. I've seen racism from almost every angle. From brawling with our racist neighbors who called our family "nigger lovers", to seeing my black friends busted, arrested, and generally fucked over for petty stuff that me and my white friends always got away with.

Reconnecting on Facebook with old friends from back home I've mentioned the racism that was a constant fact of life growing up -- and the weird thing is that most of these old classmates will say, "what racism?" My mind is fucking blown! For crying out loud -- the ugly in-your-face racism that was a constant fact of life in Mobile, Alabama! They are totally blind and/or delusional. I don't know.

Today I live in Tennessee -- Tea Party land. Like the racists in Alabama, before integration. The attitude here is "I worked for everything I got! I'm sick and tired of Al Sharpton playing the race card!"

The study perfectly captures all of this. Most of these people probably won't be reading it, though.

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Response to cheapdate (Reply #89)

Wed Sep 30, 2015, 01:36 PM

115. I went to public school in Mobile, too, from 1978 to 1984.

I still have a few friends there. I know exactly what you are talking about.

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Tue Sep 29, 2015, 11:47 PM

92. That is so not true, go to Appalacia with Lisa Ling, lots of Americans are suffering there.

John Kennedy brother was appalled at the living conditions there and it is still going on.

Poor blacks and minorities are still suffering in the US. One day, a politician will come along and root for those people, the best we ever had was Edwards but he messed up!

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Response to akbacchus_BC (Reply #92)

Wed Sep 30, 2015, 06:40 AM

95. Of course there are white people who are sufferering, for a variety of reasons

And you can have difficulty in one or multiple areas and still have privilege in others. Someone in Appalachia who is able bodied has an easier time than someone in Appalachia who has a disability, for instance. So the able-bodied person from Appalachia has privilege in that he or she is able bodied.

I don't know how many African Americans live in Appalachia, but they would suffer what the white people from Appalachia suffer, and also be oppressed by our racist society.

And if both a white person from Appalachia and a black person from Appalachia moved elsewhere, the white person would have a much easier time getting a job, finding a place to live, etc.

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Wed Sep 30, 2015, 06:57 AM

96. This white person doesn't,

but I know many that do.

It's not that whites don't face hardships of one kind or another; many do. They sure as hell aren't "greater" than institutionalized racism. And whatever hardships we face, PoC ALSO suffer from those, as well.



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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Wed Sep 30, 2015, 07:12 AM

97. I think that "privilege" is a poorly-chosen word

The phenomenon is real, obvious and undeniable, but referring to "white privilege" is 100% guaranteed to elicit a defensive response, rather than fostering a receptive attitude in the listener.

This, in turn, might predictably incline the listener to "claim greater personal hardships," rather than to hear and consider what's actually being said.

The phenonemon should certainly be discussed and addressed, but it's unfortunate that its description provides an obstacle to that discussion.

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Response to Orrex (Reply #97)

Wed Sep 30, 2015, 07:18 AM

99. Mostly the word is used by those who have no interest in having a productive discussion,

but actually want to provoke a backlash and stir the shit.

Of course saying "we need to work together to end racism" is a better way of framing the issue than "you have white privilege, don't deny it!" Which is why grown-ups who genuinely want to end racism (such as President Obama) do not use the term "white privilege", while up-and-coming bloggers desperate for pageviews and controversy love it.

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Response to Orrex (Reply #97)

Wed Sep 30, 2015, 08:11 AM

102. what term should be used!? tia

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Response to uponit7771 (Reply #102)

Wed Sep 30, 2015, 09:30 AM

109. Broadly speaking, it should be a term that does not inspire defensiveness

This isn't simply a matter of white dudes not wanting their feelings hurt; it's a legitimate concern about the framing of a discussion as it pertains to the intent.

If the discussion starts by claiming that one party is "privileged," then it is reasonable to expect that the party will first respond to that claim, rather than immediately and openly considering the underlying issue. What is the value of using a term that predisposes the listener to reject the proposed discussion? Frankly, it seems as though the term was calculated to yield exactly that effect.

Proponents of the term might claim that the intent is not to belittle or harass, and this truly may not be their intent, but that's subordinate to the real-world reaction engendered by the term. Regardless of their intent, the term creates a barrier to discussion. To what beneficial end?

Alternatively, they might claim that the term is intended to provoke a strong response in hope of kick-starting the discussion. That's not an unreasonable expectation on their part, if indeed that's the case, but again it creates a barrier to discussion. To what beneficial end?

I recognize white privilege, and more specifically white male privilege or even white cis male privilege. Hell, off the top of my head I can list a dozen ways that I've benefited from it in the last 48 hours. But my own understanding of the concept was initially hindered by the term, and--as we've seen many times over--my reaction is far from unique.


I'm not sure that a quick soundbyte of a term is needed or appropriate here, especially if that term sabotages the subsequent discussion. But if we must have one, how about "institutional discrimination" as an alternative? Rather than inspiring defensiveness, that term would invite the question "what do you mean by institutional?" and the conversation will be off and running.

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Wed Sep 30, 2015, 07:29 AM

100. That's why the whole meme just doesn't work

Tell white people this all day and only a few of them get it and accept it. It is damaging in that is causes more resentment and racism. Focus on something else. We want white people to treat others equally and feel the others are equal. Why do people think this "white privilege" thing will do that?

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Response to treestar (Reply #100)

Wed Sep 30, 2015, 08:12 AM

103. What words should be used then?!

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Response to uponit7771 (Reply #103)

Wed Sep 30, 2015, 08:27 AM

105. Try reading one of Obama's speeches about racism.

He has never used the term "white privilege" but his speeches have bedn highly acclaimed.

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Response to uponit7771 (Reply #103)

Wed Sep 30, 2015, 09:33 AM

110. Focus on how people of color are equals

and deserve to be treated like equals by white people. Very few white people at this point don't accept that. (The ones who don't probably think white people ought to be privileged, or that it is due to their innate superiority they think exists)

Listen to people of color's stories about how they were followed in a store and question yourself - are you doing things like that in your daily life? Be aware of possible prejudice and don't just other people unthinkingly and maybe judging people of color more harshly than you do white people for the same things.

Integration was the focus at one time and I think there they had it right. If people don't know each other, it is easier to generalize. Try to have some black friends (I know that's unpopular too, but I really think it helps members of the privileged group see others as equals - I've even known of anti-gay people who once they know someone or someone in their family comes out - suddenly they are all gay rights supporters. People identify with the people they know).

It's not easy - and I don't have necessarily good answers. but I see the white privilege meme does not really convince white people and a lot of them do just what the OP article says.

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Wed Sep 30, 2015, 08:24 AM

104. There are many types of privilege.

Race, gender and wealth being but three of them.

A smart guy once likened privilege to video game difficulty settings and I think it's a very good analogy. In that analogy, straight white and male is the lowest difficulty setting (easiest to play) and it goes up from there.

http://whatever.scalzi.com/2012/05/15/straight-white-male-the-lowest-difficulty-setting-there-is/

On edit:

I forgot to say that white men are basically the default human being. Women and people of color are basically not seen as people, or treated as such, in many areas. I think most people who object to the term "privilege" are white men. I know that I myself have had advantages because of my background that I might not have had otherwise. But as a woman, I also know that some avenues would be closed to me (or at least made much more difficult), no matter how hard I worked. But I can't entirely blame my failures on the "system"; some of them are personal failings.

This is where it gets tricky. People think they work hard and that hard work is rewarded, but it often isn't true. For anyone. People are excluded for a lot of reasons. Numerous studies have indicated that hiring is often biased. Older people certainly know this. It's insidious and I don't what the answer is. I don't know if anyone does.

But I think constantly asking people "to check their privilege" is kind of obnoxious and not really going to accomplish a lot. Maybe a less loaded way of talking about it would go further. I don't know.

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