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View Diary: Trayvon Martin, White Denial and the Unacceptable Burden of Blackness in America (279 comments)

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  •  No, I'm not (0+ / 0-)

    Again, you are distorting what I'm saying.  I do not think that the fact of massive white privilege can be disputed whatsoever.  It is stunningly obvious.

    What I am objecting to are persistent statements that cast white people in general in negative terms personally, just as I object to similar statements made about black people, or hispanics or Asians or anybody else.

    These two issues are entirely independent of each other.  It is entirely possible to make statements about white privilege without smearing white people generally at the same time.


    White people in the United State hold disproportionate power, influence, access and wealth, and being white in America grants you favorable treatment from other white people (and some minorities) in nearly all, if not all, areas of life.

    Ta da!  See?  A very straightforward assertion of the existence of white privilege without making any statement that implies, connotes or assumes that all white people approve of this situation, like it, condone it, or are cupable for it.

    Where people run into trouble is with statemetns like (at the most obvious) "All white people are racist" or even "white people can't stand an educated black man"  (both are statements as close as I can remember made by kossacks both of us know well.)   In these examples, there is a statement not about the nature of the US as a racist society (which is undeniable) on the one hand, and a statement that makes negative attributions about a whole group of people on the other (which needs to be called out).

    Now, I will freely admit that I misinterpreted the last line of Tim Wise's essay to be the latter, but I was wrong about that

    Compare these two:

    Black men are disproportionately imprisoned in the US.
    black men are criminals.

    The first is a simple statement of fact, and we can discuss that.
    The second makes a blanket statemetn about a whole group (in part based on taking stereotyped aspects that apply to some members and applying that to all group members).

    The first one is unobjectionable as a statemetn of fact, while the second is heinous.

    I try to be cler about the distinctions here, but I know from experience that I'm pretty much a clod in trying to express myself in these areas.  Maybe that helps.

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