Author Topic: A Great Piece on "The fallacy of white privilege"  (Read 1506 times)



gfp

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Re: A Great Piece on "The fallacy of white privilege"
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2020, 11:20:09 AM »
I'm not sure if you are contending that "white privilege" doesn't actually exist in the US currently.  I can illustrate how it exists in my community instantly and very easily.  I am a basic looking white guy.  I am usually dressed in a t-shirt and carhartt pants.  When I enter the CVS a few blocks from my house, I will not be asked to leave my bag, backpack, etc at the front of the store by the manager.  A black individual, of almost any age, will absolutely be required to surrender their backpack while they shop - most likely by a black employee.  Sometimes they will be trailed through the store without much concern that it is obvious.  Similarly, if I go out onto the street right now and start using an angle grinder or large bolt cutters to cut a bicycle lock, the police will not be called on me.  In fact, nobody will even stop to question me.  It will be assumed that I have lost my bicycle key and this is in fact my bicycle.  I think you can guess the other side of that story.

I look at property to buy regularly.  I walk down side alleys, sometimes I crawl under houses.  If a black man does that in my community, the police will be called for either trespass or suspicion of copper theft.  In a worst case scenario a private citizen may pull a gun on them or shoot first and get the details later.

If I crawl under a vehicle and start cutting with a hack saw, the police will not be called on me.  If a black man in my community is found underneath a vehicle cutting with a hacksaw the police will be called for suspicion of catalytic converter theft.

Despite being dressed in work clothes after a day of carpentry, I will not be questioned as to whether the car I am approaching is too nice for my station in life and must not belong to me.  It will be assumed that it is in fact my car.

You can say this is because I live in a racist city in the Deep South of the United States.  But this is still a modern city in the United States.  It is 2020 and this can be easily demonstrated at any time.

This is what practical white privilege looks like on an every day basis.  I am given the benefit of the doubt and I have never had the police called on me despite routinely trespassing, using tools used by thieves right out in the open, etc etc.

The article was written by a 19 year old and sounds like it.  Focusing on what he believes white privilege is so he can show with statistics that it isn't so.

Think about what this statement says about the author's understanding of reality -

"Had I been in a different economic circumstance, I would’ve been forced to immediately attend college or spend a substantial portion of my time working in my gap year."
« Last Edit: July 11, 2020, 11:25:58 AM by gfp »

LC

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Re: A Great Piece on "The fallacy of white privilege"
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2020, 12:28:11 PM »
I don't think the term white privilege is accurate. It is not a "privilege" to be free from harassment as gfp posted, I think of this as a civil right. It should not be thought of as "being given the benefit of the doubt". Denying this to a Black person based on their skin color is plainly racist.

But the other side of the argument holds true as well:

-Indian Americans are one of the most successful racial groups - certainly they do not benefit from "white privilege".
-Other racial groups have a history of exploitation in America, notably the Chinese in the late 1800s/early 1900s, and the Japanese in the early-mid 1900s. Now these are two of the most successful racial groups in the US.
-Within the black community, certain groups (specifically Ghanaian-Americans and Nigerian-Americans) are more successful than the average American (including all segments of British-Americans).

IMO there is certainly racism in America particularly towards Black Americans, but on the flip side I don't think there is a "privilege" which ensures the success of White Americans.
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Spekulatius

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Re: A Great Piece on "The fallacy of white privilege"
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2020, 06:36:31 PM »
I am guessing there aren’t many here who would identify as blacks here in this forum and who actually have “skin in the game” with respect this matter. I certainly wouldn’t and neither would Gregmal.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2020, 05:10:26 AM by Spekulatius »
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cubsfan

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Re: A Great Piece on "The fallacy of white privilege"
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2020, 07:06:49 PM »
How about some "Black Privilege"?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ugoYxNPnZs


gfp

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Re: A Great Piece on "The fallacy of white privilege"
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2020, 08:56:14 PM »
I am trying to describe the every day minutiae that makes up what you guys deny is something real that exists in the United States in 2020.  And the reply is "how about some black privilege."  Like Pence refusing to utter the words Black Lives Matter, some folks just can't bring themselves to acknowledge that this exists.  Like it is somehow an affront to your entire world view.  You don't have to feel guilty about it - this is just a description of some of the tiny things that add up to a ton of tiny things that make up this term called white privilege.  There is nothing to argue against.  It is what it is.  Donald Trump and his Father both faced charges for ignoring apartment applications for colored folks.  I am telling you this still happens today in 2020.  It's not up for debate.  Black people have their apartment applications ignored today.  Back people - wealthy black people - are not shown all the houses by realtors.  Black families are not welcome to move into certain neighborhoods - still in 2020.

I adopted a white Mexican teenager who came from the absolute lowest of white trash horrible people - If I told you 50 details you wouldn't believe me how bad these people are.  He went to New Orleans public school so all of his friends were black kids.  New Orleans schools are completely segregated so my kid was the only white kid in every school he attended here.  White kids don't go to public school in New Orleans.  I put my kid in public school because he had never been to a day of school in his entire life and I adopted him at age 15.  My kid's best friend Keenan signed up for one of those jobs selling knives door to door and nobody would open their door when he rang the bell.  If Eddy went with Keenan - a punk 18 year old white pothead with a bad skater haircut and pimples - every one of these people opened their doors and listened to Keenan's pitch.  It's just a fact of life for now.  Denying that it exists just makes people wonder what planet you are living on.  What about someone's personal world view makes someone unable to acknowledge that this is still reality?

This phenomenon whose name bothers you is present in every little subtle difference in assumptions, behavior, do I get a call back on this lease application, if I drive a nice car do they assume I'm a drug dealer, why is everyone staring at me because I brought a white girl on this date, why are ignorant white trash assholes permitted to bring automatic weapons into a state capitol and scream into the face of legislators and security officers without consequence?

If you don't realize it exists, you are probably working awfully hard mentally on that.

Does it help you to bring up black privilege?  For instance, my friend Aaron's mother looks almost exactly like my mother.  Pale, British blonde lady.  But Aaron's father was from Nigeria.  So Aaron is permitted by society to sing along to all of the lyrics of A Tribe Called Quest.  But my father was a Belarusian jew so I am not permitted by society to, nor should I, sing along to all of the lyrics of A Tribe Called Quest.  I can only sing along to some of the lyrics.  This fact does not have anything to do with what I described earlier or what people are calling white privilege.  You can accept that both are the case and move on.  Denying they exist is bizarre.  But that is the world we are living in at the moment. 

Gregmal

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Re: A Great Piece on "The fallacy of white privilege"
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2020, 12:09:55 AM »
I don't think its denying the existence of problems as much as it is acknowledging everybody, in 2020, has issues. Who do you think has a better shot at getting into a college or landing a job these days? A white kid with an 1100 SAT and a 3.0 GPA or a minority with the same?

Stereotypes exist everywhere and yes, even normal people struggle to overcome them. Where I grew up, it was a running joke, admittedly juvenile, but nonetheless real, that whenever we saw a guy driving an excessively expensive car, that he was a loser in school, had a 3 inch dick and a trophy wife that cheated on him regularly. It was funny, but a pure stereotype.

Some of the better advice Ive ever received was at a charity event in NYC, from a guy with the last name Musk. Not God Almighty, but a blood relative. He said very simply, "Everybody has problems. Nobody cares about your problems. Dont fret them. More past them, and solve bigger ones that effect more people and you'll do well in life." Additionally, I had a good, if not great friend in school. He was an African American. His father was a neurologist. We'd play ball together, and, this was the 90's. So I did at that point in my life dress as certain way. My friend's father would regularly joke, "Greg, pick up your pants and find a reasonable shirt to wear. If my son can dress like he's white, so can you." And it was funny, but also in hind site similar to some of the stuff Barack Obama used to say about speaking properly or emulating what society deems "proper". Many times, the stereotypes and preconceived notions are a two way street.

Jurgis

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Re: A Great Piece on "The fallacy of white privilege"
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2020, 05:55:25 PM »
I am guessing there aren’t many here who would identify as blacks here in this forum and who actually have “skin in the game” with respect this matter. I certainly wouldn’t and neither would Gregmal.

Yep, this is a forum of rich - or soon to be rich - white and Asian males*. So you have to take the ruminations that apply to not-represented populations with a huge barrel of salt.

Though most people here will argue that they are "rational", have no biases, and know pretty much everything about everything.


* Yeah, I know there are exceptions. Very very few.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2020, 05:59:27 PM by Jurgis »
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LC

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Re: A Great Piece on "The fallacy of white privilege"
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2020, 07:02:10 PM »
I really hate that argument. I didn't realize I needed to be poor and black to have an opinion worthy of debating on its content.
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Gregmal

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Re: A Great Piece on "The fallacy of white privilege"
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2020, 08:48:04 PM »
I really hate that argument. I didn't realize I needed to be poor and black to have an opinion worthy of debating on its content.

Yup. Its substance-less crap used to mitigate a lack of a qualified response(said of course with all due respect to Spek who is a top notch contributor). Its the same argument I get(I am a trustee/director for the HOA in which I have multiple investment properties) about how "you dont live here so you dont know what its like" when one of the old lady's disagrees with what I am saying but cant make a legitimate argument against it.

One of Americas biggest problems is that few can put themselves in another persons shoes. I learned very early on that this is a valuable exercise in thought and its has been immensely helpful. You can very easily put yourself in the shoes of others. And often, solutions are pretty obvious. Or maybe almost all of the black folks Ive met in my life are an anomaly. The vast majority of the ones who are successful and wealthy have followed a certain path, and the vast majority of the ones who arent have also followed a certain path. I'd extend this to almost all the people I know, regardless of race. A kid on my high school hockey team, white, parents; mother a lawyer and member of the school board and father a regional manager for a multi billion dollar firm, barely graduated high school, messed around with drugs, ended up doing gay porn. Dont need to get into more detail but the situation at home was far different than my friend with the neurologist father and stay at home mother(both black)...