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View Diary: Maybe if we take “White Guilt” out of the equation it will be easier to understand? (172 comments)

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  •  I find it bizarre (35+ / 0-)

    when folks get worked up by talk of white privilege, as if they're being called racist.  It has nothing to do with people's beliefs or what's in their heart.  It has to do with how others treat you if you're white.  Getting bent out of shape out of this is like getting bent out of shape about talk of "wealth" privilege.  It's a simple fact that if you're wealthy you're situated in the network of society in a way that confers all sorts of advantages independent of your merit.  Likewise with being white.  The point is to promote fairness and equal treatment, not to make people wear a hairshirt.

    •  Wow...it took me a diary to say what you said in a (15+ / 0-)

      comment. I get wordy when I get emotional.

      - The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood. Martin Luther King, Jr. -

      by FreeWoman19 on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 09:37:09 PM PDT

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      •  We need all (13+ / 0-)

        those words and many more besides!  I get so worn out by this crap.  These are basic sociological truths with mountains upon mountains of evidence to support them.  It's not about quilting anyone, but simply about treat all people with dignity and according to merit and trying to point out that we're not there yet.  These things have to be said again and again so that people on juries, conducting interviews, clocking cars for speeding, etc, reflect a bit and stand up against this shit.  Thank you for the kind response!

      •  I liked all your words. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FreeWoman19, candid psychiatrist

        You have answered a question I have had in that I wanted to know what was thought by the people looking in at white privilege.  What is their view of success and how to achieve it?  The right wingers I speak to claim that racism is over because we elected a black president and that all people in America can succeed because education is available.  They say it doesn't matter if they have to work harder to get a good education, if one wants it, it is achievable.  I, of course, have boatloads of arguments against these observations but I always end up with the proverbial bloodied head from beating it on the brick wall.  There is no changing bloated egos' minds. So, I thank you for the insight.

        Everyone! Arms akimbo!

        by tobendaro on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 06:34:16 AM PDT

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      •  this piece was excellent, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FreeWoman19, Brecht

        please don't knock yourself!

        "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

        by sidnora on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 07:44:31 AM PDT

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    •  Yeah, well the reality is it has that effect.. (0+ / 0-)

      So if you want to communicate in a totally ineffective manner, which turns off some of your listeners, and importantly many of the listeners you need to convince, then you can go ahead and keep using it.  

      If you want to actually be effective, on the other hand, you can say the same thing with different terms that don't have the effect of making people less open to your message.  

      You've obviously seen for yourself the effect this term has on some people.  So, rather than saying people shouldn't be offended, it's more important to realize that they are.  

      It doesn't matter whether the term is totally accurate, it has a negative impact when used.  

      •  I wonder about that (7+ / 0-)

        I don't object to the premise that words can be chosen ineptly.

        It seems to me that "white privilege" is a pretty good name for something that a lot of whites understandably aren't predisposed to think about, and I'm not sure that replacing it with a different name would help. The phrase doesn't seem inherently so inflammatory that it obviously should be avoided.

        Better Know Your Voting System with the Verifier!

        by HudsonValleyMark on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 06:36:11 AM PDT

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      •  I think that if you're "turned off" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FreeWoman19, pitbullgirl65

        by the term "white privilege," using different terminology is not going to "convince" you of anything or make you "more open" to the reality of white privilege.  Furthermore, using the term "white privilege" does not equal "communicat[ing] in a totally ineffective manner."  I think rather that the opposite is true.  That term is effective precisely because it does make some uncomfortable.

        It makes me wonder what "effect" that you think language about white privilege should have.  To make everyone feel comfortable?  The truth is often controversial and uncomfortable to someone but what's more important?  The truth or the comfort of those that might be offended in some way by what the truth reveals about them?  And in what climate is the status quo more likely to prevail over change, in a climate where everyone is made to feel comfortable or in a climate where some are uncomfortable?  And whose comfort is more important?  The comfort of the privileged or the comfort of the victims of that privilege?

        Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

        by democracy inaction on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 08:06:32 AM PDT

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      •  In other words, you're saying: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mlle L

        If you want to be liked, don't tell the plain truth. Beat around the bush, because after all the goal here is not to communicate your perceived truth, but to gain favor.

        Funny--I'm white, and found this diary to be insightful, thought-provoking, warmhearted, even enlightening. And some of the commentary here has been among the best I've ever seen at DKos. I was not offended in the least. But then again, I've never minded anybody telling me what their problem was.

        I think accuracy of speech is essential to successful communication. I don't think upsetting people who are less open to your message is more important than successfully communicating to those who are open. And I don't think that "turning off some of your listeners" means that your communication is "totally ineffective." It simply means that some people don't want to hear what you have to say.

    •  I think that's right (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sidnora, FreeWoman19

      There's also an aspect of denial; if you're white and you are insulated from black culture for whatever reason (and there could be a lot of reasons, i.e. grew up in an upper middle class suburb or in rural small-town America), I think it would be easier to be in denial about white privilege.   Whereas if you aren't insulated from black culture and you actually see white privilege play out on a regular basis in real time with your own eyes, you can still be in denial about it but not without a lot more cognitive dissonance.

      Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

      by democracy inaction on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 07:25:40 AM PDT

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