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View Diary: Dear White Progressives: (344 comments)

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  •  I'm white. This diary is pretty much spot-on. (4+ / 0-)

    I recognize the defensiveness that diaries such as these inevitably engender -- I was defensive like that back in college when I was first confronted with the concept of white privilege and my own participation therewith.  It took a lot of the same forms, too: the "I don't care if you're purple" form, the "it's appalling you should mention race at all" form, the whole bit.  I wasn't Archie Bunker; I hated people who were Archie Bunker; I thought that was good enough; people told me otherwise, and I got upset.  But they were right.

    Privilege is real, and it shapes and changes privileged people's thinking without their knowing it.*  One of the ways it does is by convincing them that their privileged kind isn't a "kind", with any identifiable character as per that "kind", but is in fact a kind-less default, an objective standard by which all (other) "kinds" are to be judged, and that the perspective they inhabit is one that transcends all mere "kinds", the vanilla to all the "flavors".  Thing is, vanilla damn well is a flavor, both literally and as per this metaphor -- there is a characterizable way we white Americans think about certain things as a consequence of our privileged perspective, and it's perfectly legitimate to call us out on it as per our habitation of that perspective.  Yes, even with diaries addressed to "white progressives".

    Anger and frustration may have led this diarist to phrase this message and subsequent commentary in ways that aren't optimally helpful, but ultimately that's small potatoes.  The message has to get through at some point.

    *Non-privileged people's, too, but that's not the focus here.

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