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View Diary: A Reflection on Racism and White Privilege or My Experience at the Safeway Store (103 comments)

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  •  I can't agree with this. (1+ / 0-)
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    The vast majority of white people are certainly NOT privileged, and it's condescending to suggest they are.
    In comparison to people of color in their financial/social class, yes, they are.  And it's false to insist they're not.

    I mean sure, nobody wants to hear "It could be worse -- you could be suffering from grinding poverty, poor education, substandard housing options, insufficient health care, exploitative employers and/or unemployment, and constant counter-preferment because of your skin color," but that doesn't make it any less true.

    •  It doesn't really make you privileged though (0+ / 0-)

      No one would call a person who lost both of their legs in a car accident privileged because someone else lost both of their legs and several fingers on their hand as well. This is where these debates start to break down. You're never going to get far in trying to combat discrimination by telling people who lack jobs, healthcare, who are in foreclosure, who suffered child sexual abuse and are scarred for life by telling them that they are "privileged" with condescension.

      •  True; condescension never gets anyone anywhere. (1+ / 0-)
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        Dr Swig Mcjigger

        Discussing issues of privilege doesn't have to come with condescension, and indeed shouldn't.

        (I'm not sure how child sexual abuse got into this conversation.  That's a thing that can happen to anyone at any level of society, including the most unequivocally privileged.)

        •  my point (0+ / 0-)

          was that a myriad of bad things happens to people too many here want to blithely call "privileged." I know such a person in that circumstance. She's white, but came from a poor background, got a poor education, suffered sexual and physical non sexual abuse. You'll never get her on  your side by saying she has lived a "privileged" life.

          •  There is an enormous difference (1+ / 0-)
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            between being underprivileged by demographic circumstance and having suffered specific, individual misfortune.

            By your argument, a straight white male from a background of wealth and luxury and political influence can be considered non-privileged if enough bad things have happened to him.

            •  That's not my argument at all (1+ / 0-)
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              Batya the Toon

              My argument is that the term privileged is throw around too loosely here in these discussions. And many, if not most,  poor whites are that way due to demographics as well, rather than individual misfortune. These discussions overlook this.

              By your argument, a straight white male from a background of wealth and luxury and political influence can be considered non-privileged if enough bad things have happened to hi
              It's not my argument nor a logical extension to it. That said, that is proof that there are other things can that can work to counteract privilege.
              •  Oh, absolutely -- many poor whites (2+ / 0-)
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                Dr Swig Mcjigger, Tonedevil

                are underprivileged by way of demographic circumstance, especially those who live in rural areas.

                This is where I really should pause long enough to look up a better explanation of "intersectionality of privilege" than I can give.  Short form: it is perfectly possible to be part of a privileged demographic, and to benefit from that privilege, while simultaneously being part of a disadvantaged demographic and suffering thereby.

                It can be hard to explain and harder to accept.  That doesn't make it false.

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