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Member since: Wed Jul 24, 2013, 01:10 PM
Number of posts: 1,062

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why I don't think it's (necessarily) about white privilege

There's been a lot of discussion about the protestor who jumped on the stage featuring a discussion with Kamala Harris. This person - a white male - grabbed the microphone out of Senator Harris' hands and started to talk about an issue other than what was being discussed. That this person is a white male, and Senator Harris is a woman of color, has led a lot of people to point at this as an example of white privilege.

I'm not going to say it isn't - but I AM going to say it might not be.

Case in point - there was a "town hall"-style forum with our University president, who had been hired less than a year previously. Of the finalists for the position, he was the only one with no academic administrative experience whatsoever. A lot of us felt that the Board of Regents organized a sham interview process to hide this person's direct hire. Hence, his presence on campus was controversial, and the forum was not as even-tempered as one might hope.

Toward the end of the forum, a young man walked to the front of the lecture hall. There was no stage per se, but he walked right past a line of people patiently waiting their turn to use the microphone, stepped up to the podium, and began a lengthy and, frankly, meandering soliloquy.

I thought it was extremely rude. But some of my colleagues told me I should not think so badly of it. The person who cut in front of everyone was African American, and he was interrupting a white male. My objection to his behavior, I was told, reflected my own white privilege.

No, it didn't. It reflected my concepts of courtesy and decorum. Want to say something? Wait your turn, like everyone else.

What I saw in the incident with Senator Harris reminded me a lot of the incident at my university. A protestor who wanted to call attention to his cause interjected himself at the expense of others. That he's white, and the woman he interrupted is of color, didn't necessarily enter into my reading of what happened.

I fully acknowledge that, being a white guy, I'm less likely to pick up on subtle racism. But I honestly think this reflects a sense of entitlement held by activists lacking the ability to se beyond their own causes. Male/white privilege may or may not have played a role, but I've seen people act this way who weren't white men.

antisemitism vs criticism of Israel

Rep. Omar did the right thing by apologizing for what she said. It crossed the line from being critical of Israel to using antisemitic stereotypes.

That being said - the conflation of Israel and Judaism that Rep. Omar seems to have made is not unique to antisemites. Although I haven't encountered it here on DU, I've experienced it elsewhere from people who are otherwise very progressive.

I have been accused of antisemitism as recently as last week. My transgression? Expressing disagreement with Israel's policy of building settlements in the West Bank and sympathy with Palestinians who feel oppressed.

I find it offensive. I was raised Gentile, but my wife and daughter are Jewish.

Judaism is a vibrant, diverse group of communities bound by religious and cultural traditions dating back centuries or even millennia. It has tenaciously survived repeated attempts at extermination and genocide, and its gifts to the world - cultural, literary, philosophical, artistic, scientific, and (in my case, at least) personal - are tremendous and outsized compared with the size of the Jewish population worldwide.

Israel is a nation state founded in 1947. It has long been a staunch US ally, and (based in part on my own experiences in Israel) its people have built and defended a remarkable national infrastructure in a hostile region during its short existence. But that doesn't mean I have to agree with everything its government does.

I speak up frequently against US policy. That doesn't make me anti-American. Same principle.

I realize I'm probably speaking to the choir here, but I can't imagine I'm the only one here who feels trepidation when criticizing Israeli policy. Israel is not the same as Judaism.

Added on edit - I should have added "culinary" to the broad list of Jewish contributions. I've managed some success with my efforts to adopt them. Evidently, one or two of my in-laws called me "Latke Goy" over the holidays.

Am I the only one who feels this way?

I'm actually glad Trump cancelled his cemetery visit yesterday.

I don't want his presence to besmirch such a place.

How does one post jpegs?

Just curious. I want to put up some photos in the birding community.

My wife and daughter are on lockdown. UPDATE

Update 2 - it was a swatting hoax. If I catch the miscreant responsible, he or she will be drinking his or her meals for a few weeks.

Update - the all clear has been issued for my daughter.

My wife works at Northwestern University, and our 2 year old daughter is in day care very close by.

Shots were reported on the NU campus, so they’re both on lockdown. Latest reports suggest it may be a false alarm, but they’re treating it as though it’s not.

I’m not liking this.

Remind me how having guns in classrooms is supposed to be a good thing?

what was your first bird?

I've been on DU for a while, but didn't realize they had a birding group until just now.

Random question for fellow birders - what was your first bird? I don't necessarily mean the first bird you ever saw (probably house sparrow or pigeon for most of us) - I mean the bird that got you started in the avocation.

I can still clearly remember the bird that did it for me - white-breasted nuthatch. During my freshman year in college, I was snowed in with my grandparents (who lived in the same town as my university) for Thanksgiving break. They had feeders set up in their back yard. I was struck by the handsome blue-gray and white bird that scooted along tree trunks and came in for suet. My grandparents had an old copy of Peterson's field guide, so I looked it up. A red-breasted nuthatch showed up later that day, and the fact that two such striking birds could be found in a populated area really grabbed me.

Is this a thing?

I came to parenthood late - I'm 50, and my daughter is 2.

All three of us ended up with the flu last week. And my daughter insisted on watching one show - and only one show - for the two days she was down.

It was Moana. I actually liked it at first. The animation was stunning. Interesting approach to Polynesian enthography (basically making a fictional community by borrowing aspects from several real ones), and enough biology and geology to keep a scientist like yours truly interested. And who knew the Rock could sing?

Two days later, I was ready to confess to pretty much anything.

Is this a common feature of children that age - to fix onto a single movie or tv show and watch it repeatedly?

Anyone else try to get a copy of Fire and Fury?

I showed up at a local Barnes and Noble this morning. They'd sold out of the book before it was even on the shelves.

I need to find a way to piss off Lord Dampnut in one of my academic papers. My citation rate will skyrocket.

who should read the audiobooks?

Recently, some people have recommended that Hilary Clinton narrate the audiobook version of Fire and Fury.

I think that's an excellent idea. But other books will be forthcoming from the current crisis. Who should narrate them?

For example, on another thread, I suggested that Gilbert Gottfried read any book written by Bannon.

I also think that if Kellyann Conway or Sarah Huckabee Sanders write a book, it should be narrated by Fran Drescher.

Other ideas?

I'm a birder, so I take this one personally...

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