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View Diary: Barack Obama on White Privilege: And Why We Need To Listen (231 comments)

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  •  I said it was accurate (1+ / 0-)
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    Ian Reifowitz

    but its a horribly divisive name for the problem.

    You want to make progress on the actual issue?  Come up with a way to phrase it that doesn't immediately and irrevocably turn off the people who need to hear the argument most.

    You want to talk about how minorities don't get what everyone should get, and how to fix that problem-"I'm all ears".

    Insult me by lumping me in the same class as ACTUAL privileged twits like Romney- I'm not going to be open to anything you have to say.  

    Other peoples losses are most emphatically NOT my gain.

    You're cutting off a ton of potential allies by insisting on such hateful, divisive nomenclature.

    "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

    by Whimsical on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 12:11:25 PM PDT

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    •  Even when you name it (3+ / 0-)
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      Ian Reifowitz, Tonedevil, jaysunb

      no matter how pretty the name is, you have to define it...

      and the definition/explanation will strike many as ugly no matter how pretty you name it.

      If it has an ugly name and an ugly explanation, maybe it's some ugly shit.

      •  Or you can present your argument (1+ / 0-)
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        Ian Reifowitz

        in a way that doesnt insult me by lumping me in with ACTUAL privileged twits like Romney.

        I got this in my email a couple of hours ago:

        This is a much better, more respectful way to make the argument, and I nominate that the hateful, divisive "privilege" meme be replaced by it immediately.

        "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

        by Whimsical on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 12:28:05 PM PDT

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        •  You seem to have serious issues (2+ / 0-)
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          starfu, Tonedevil

          I, for one, am tired of pussyfooting around white people who can't deal with the fact that they do, in fact, lead a privileged life. Even the poorest of the poor.

          All you have done is ignore the points I and others have made which point out how even poor whites are privileged compared to poor folks of color in the same class.

          To give an example, I grew up in an extremely poor family. There was a lot of abuse, which eventually affected my schoolwork by the time I hit 8th grade. Now, because I was white, the only thing that happened to me was that the teachers just ignored me, writing me off as just another lazy teenager. Yet I saw black students of the same class behaving exactly the same way I was, but they got treated completely different. Many of them kept getting detentions, and eventually getting expelled.

          So you see, my life was shit, my family was dirt poor, but I was privileged by the color of my skin to get better treatment from the teachers.

          I am sick and tired of white liberals whining that they aren't privileged. We are. We all are. Because privileged is based on folks within your own class when it comes to racial privilege. So don't use the sorry excuse that you aren't as rich and lucky as Mitt Romney to avoid the fact that your skin color gives you some privileges, specifically the ones I listed up thread, which you chose to ignore for obvious reasons.

          And another thing: if you weren't so uncomfortable with the fact that you are privileged, and the anxiety is pouring out of your comments, you wouldn't give a shit about the word.

          The very fact that you are demanding that the vocabulary be changed is literally you trying to hold on to and propagate your white privilege. You feel you have the right to change the very meaning of words, and that we should cater to you. Only a white person who doesn't want to lose his privilege thinks like that. And I am done catering.

          Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

          by moviemeister76 on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 12:02:03 AM PDT

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          •  If you're done catering (0+ / 0-)

            You can't convince anyone. Catering, or, more accurately, showing empathy, is how you convince people to change. That's the whole point. Throwing up your hands means you aren't interesting in changing people's minds. That's fine, but you have to realize and accept that that's what you're doing.

            Poor white people ARE privileged because of their skin color. But that doesn't mean they are "privileged" if you just leave that word out there without explanation or context. Because their reaction -- a grammatically correct reaction by the way -- is to ask: privileged compared to WHOM? Just saying "you're privileged" is not going to be effective, it's going to provoke a defensive reaction. Poor people aren't "privileged" even though a poor white person does receive a privilege from being white. Privilege is a comparative word. In common parlance (since you talked about wanting to change the definition of words), "privileged" means wealthy. Period. That's what that word evokes. Think "a privileged upbringing." It means pipes and smoking jackets and prep schools. The scholars of white privilege are trying to change the definition of the word. Those scholars are right on the facts, but their rhetoric lacks empathy. That's my point.

            Since the poor white person predominantly feels their poverty, compared to how much they feel their privilege, you have to "cater" or show some empathy to that fact in order to be able to reach them on privilege.

            •  PS (0+ / 0-)

              This is why poor whites react against being called "privileged." That reaction isn't, by itself, evidence of their privliege. It results from the fact that those who talk about white privilege the way scholars of white privilege do are using the word privilege in a way that differs from common parlance.

              From Merriam-Webster's online, here are the only five examples listed of the word "privileged":

                  He comes from a very privileged background.
                  The town attracts people who are wealthy and privileged.
                  The President's adviser has a privileged position of trust.
                  She had privileged access to the files.
                  Only the privileged few can become members of the club.

              Nothing about racial privilege. Doesn't mean racial privilege isn't real. The point is about how people who are poor will react when called "privileged."

              •  PPS (0+ / 0-)

                Asking someone who is poor to give up anything at all is a losing strategy. Period.

                That doesn't mean that we don't tell a bigot who expresses bigotry that their bigotry is wrong just because that person is poor. A person expressing (or acting on) bigotry is different.

                But why focus on what feels -- to the poor white -- like taking from the have-a-(very)-littles to give to the have-nots (and not every black person is a have-not)? Doesn't it make more sense, politically, to focus on broader inequalities when trying to win allies among poor whites? This last thought isn't as honed as I'd like, b/c I've gotta run now, but I think you see my point.

                •  Of course you try diplomatically (1+ / 0-)
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                  But the folks I am ticked off with are not the poor whites. The folks I see resisting the most are actually the middle and upper class liberals. And there is also a big difference between arguing here at DailyKos and arguing in the real world when it comes to how I argue with folks. I have seen people here who know very well that people are using "white privilege" in an academic sense, and refuse to acknowledge it as reality.

                  Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

                  by moviemeister76 on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 12:13:09 AM PDT

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