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At least they didn't quote Brother Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. out of context.

Schools are one of the primary places where political socialization takes place in a given society. They are indoctrination centers that reproduce the values of a culture. Most folks do not want to think of "education" in that way.

In "post racial" America this poses a dilemma: do you teach young people the truth about this country's history and the semi-permanence of the colorline? As an educator, do you discuss how American society is structured hierarchically and where race, class, and gender over-determine life outcomes?

It would seem that if you are a teacher at Delavan-Darien High School in Wisconsin, you should not dare to broach such questions.

Over the last few decades, there has been an Orwellian turn in American education. It extends from grade school to the university level.

What counts as educational content is being dictated by the logic of the capitalist marketplace, teachers are being subjected to onerous surveillance and harassment, intellectual freedom is being made subject to the political aims of outside actors, and the value of teachers is being undermined by destroying public unions, eliminating tenure, and forcing college professors into a permanent contingent labor force.

In total, the response to Delavan-Darien High School's course "American Diversity" is indicative of the impact of hyper-conservatism on public schools. Ultimately, the students (and by extension all of us) lose because they are not being given the critical thinking tools to be active, reflective, and engaged citizens.

Ideally, any controversy over teaching students about an obvious fact--such as how "race matters" in American society--should be dismissed as silliness.

However, conservatives are prone to authoritarian thinking and a binary worldview that is highly resistant to change and new information. Any critique of their personal mythologies--such as the idea that America is a true meritocracy--is bound to cause howls of complaint, and cries of "indoctrination." When personal mythologies intersect with self-serving narratives about colorblindness, Whiteness and Conservatism cannot help but to overreact in the form of a manufactured crisis.

The Fox News story about Delavan-Darien High School's discussion of White Privilege is also a rich object lesson in the magical thinking and anti-intellectualism which has infected the Right, and America's public discourse, more generally, since the Culture Wars of the 1990s (and which reached a fever pitch with the election of President Obama in 2004 through to the present).

Conservatives have repeatedly complained about the nefarious field of "anti-white" scholarship known as Critical Race Theory. However, they cannot define its range of study. Nor, have those on the Right likely done any vigorous research about its intellectual terrain or scope.

Moreover, there is a deep suspicion of the Academy and "intellectuals" by those on the populist Right. Hostility to Critical Race Theory is really about an unwillingness to discuss racial inequality coupled with a disdain for any type of trained expertise in matters of the mind or intellect.

The ability of outside agitators such as the Tea Party, Young America's Foundation, David Horowitz, and the Koch Brothers to monitor educational content, to bully and harass teachers and professors with whom they disagree, and to interject their "learning materials" into classrooms, is part of a decades-long project  to remake education (on every level) in the service of a neoliberal, far-Right agenda.

The lie of false equivalency, where all sides of an argument are considered legitimate and of equal merit, is a product of a corporate news media entertainment complex that has rejected any responsibility for truth-telling. Fox News has become a professional outlet for distorted information that is legitimated under the guise of being "fair and balanced."

The other news networks reinforce the fact free universe of the Right by engaging the latter's distortions as truths. The lie of false equivalency has been disseminated down to the public as a type of common sense. In turn, this has hamstrung the American people's capacity to engage in critical thought on matters of public concern:

Superintendent Robert Crist says there is merit to parental concern.

“A lot of red flags go up in my mind when I look at the materials," Crist told Fox News. "Ideally, you would want to present one theory that might be way on the left and another theory that may be way on the right and if you find one in the middle you can present that too … now you have a well-rounded discussion, in my opinion."

There is a priceless irony when complaints about discussing the reality of White Privilege demonstrate the very fact that said concept is both true, and an accurate description of social reality. Whiteness is universalized and normalized in the complaints about Delavan-Darien High School's course on diversity in America.

Could it be that there are students of color who do not share these objections? Alternatively, could there be white students who are benefiting from an active discussion of the relationship between race and privilege in this society?

The language of "white guilt" and "oppression" is itself a reflection of the power held by the white racial frame, where any critical discussion of racial inequality is seen as "racist." Because Whiteness must always be  normalized and protected in American society, discussions of White Privilege are immediately recast as unfair to white folks or a means to practice "reverse discrimination."

The beating heart of the White Right's complaints about discussing White Privilege is a sincere belief that white people are oppressed or somehow disadvantaged in post civil rights America. Such attitudes do the work of polite white racism and day-to-day white supremacy.

Polite white racism in the Age of Obama works through an inability by some to connect the realities of structural inequality with individual life stories. For example:

“This teacher has free reign to pick the material that he wanted to use,” she said. “He chose extremely radical left thinkers. He didn’t give those kids alternative information.”

The parent said last summer her son got a job washing dishes – working sometimes 10 hours a day.

“I was so proud of him,” she said. “And then to have a teacher tell you that you have these unearned privileges – that because you are white somehow you infringe on other people’s rights. It’s really just awful.”

Sometimes you can't make this stuff up. White Privilege does not exist because a white mother's son got a job washing dishes over the summer. The House that Race Built, and centuries of social and political inequality are quite literally washed away, because a white teenager got a job as a dishwasher?


His mother probably believes such a thing. I hope he knows better.

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Comment Preferences

  •  sounds like a pretty good class (14+ / 0-)
    According to handouts obtained by Fox News, “white privilege” was defined as “a set of advantages that are believed to be enjoyed by white people beyond those commonly experienced by non-white people in the same social, political, and economic spaces (nation, community, workplace, income, etc.”

    Students were also given a handout from University of Texas professor Robert Jensen arguing that people don’t have complete control over their fate.

    “There is not space here to list all the ways in which white privilege plays out in our lives, but it is clear that I will carry this privilege with me until the day white supremacy is erased from society,” he wrote.

    Students were also instructed to visit the toy aisle at Wal-Mart for a hands-on illustration of white privilege.

    “They were told to go and count the number of dolls that were representative of blacks as opposed to whites,” the parent said.

  •  So, the white kid got the job? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    To My Colonoscopist

    I think that I shall never see
    so far up you as you up me.

    by shieldvulf on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 01:02:02 PM PST

  •  Zero sum thinking (10+ / 0-)
    because you are white somehow you infringe on other people’s rights.
    She can't grasp the concept that maybe we can all have rights, and nobody needs to lose any of theirs in the process?  Unless she's got an investment in the notion that her white kid is "better than" non-white kids, and should have more privilege. That would make for an interesting conversation with her.

    "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

    by Catte Nappe on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 01:04:32 PM PST

    •  there is research which suggests that white folks (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      antimony, Catte Nappe, mungley, luckydog

      tend to see racial progress as zero sum game where racial equality means that they are "losing." on one hand there is a denial that racism exists, and white privilege exists, but there is a keen instinct to protect said advantages.

    •  its not zero sum, (0+ / 0-)

      which is why I don't have any objection to my white privilege.  the problem isn't that I'm privileged, but that others aren't similarly privileged.

      •  you can try to think yourself out of that puzzle (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        if you like; your framing holds some very problematic implications for the ethics of justice.

        hopefully, there are some folks more philosophically inclined who can parse out your logic.

        •  is/ought gap. (0+ / 0-)

          the mere existence of white privilege doesn't necessarily compel any particular ethical position towards it. or: I can believe that the lack of privilege possessed by others is a bad thing, but at the end of the day its pretty low on my list of priorities.

          I think your discomfort here belies your position in the diary that the white privilege session is just about conveying a set of facts about the world.  of course it isn't: its about pushing people to political action.

          •  i know it is pretty low on your list of priorities (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            exterris, luckydog

            that is the point, no? as i said maybe a philosopher or ethicist can unpack how to reconcile a particularly narrow set of self-interested claims and priorities with the meaning of a good society, one that is supposed to be pluralistic and meritocratic.

            "a set of facts about the world.  of course it isn't: its about pushing people to political action."

            of course. but the former exists separate and apart from the latter. tools in a box to be used for what ends?

      •  Define "privileged" (0+ / 0-)

        To me, it means you get more, are allowed to do more, and are able to get ahead more.

        Otherwise, it's not privileged.

        When I Google it, this comes up:
          1. Having special rights, advantages, or immunities.
          2.  Having the rare opportunity to do something that brings particular pleasure: "I felt privileged to compete in such a race".

        Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

        by splashy on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 03:14:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Last example is a great one (18+ / 0-)

    A little story: freshman year at college - 38 white guys, 2 African-Americans on the hall. Came back sophomore year - 30 white guys only.

    Most of the 30 white guys as to why the 2 African-Americans didn't come back: "didn't really fit in, did they?", "didn't think they'd be back, their GPA was really low wasn't it?", "what did you expect".

    Why the 8 white guys weren't back: "I think his mother was gravely ill, stayed home to take care of her", "taking time to work to make money", "didn't he transfer to Yale"

    Reality: Mike transferred to NYU - was so happy when he was accepted, he threw a party, let everyone on the hall know 10 times a day back in April and May of our freshman year. Jim had to go home and take care of his family as his father had passed, and his mother was the sick one - had breast cancer.

    8 white guys: biggest shit for brains assholes you ever met. You could count on one hand the number of nights all year that they weren't drunk, and the # of times they actually went to their 8:00 am classes. Laughed about how low their GPA was.

    Most of the 30 other white guys: today, they are VP at major banks, insurance companies.  Partners at major accounting and law firms. Own their own business or upper management at major companies.

    Maybe they have wised up over the years, but really, what chance does an African-American have in their workplace? At organizations on which they serve? At getting a little help from that bank for a refinance loan? A leg up in the recruiting process at that company, or learning of an opportunity from that lawyer or accountant?

    Yeah, I worked shit jobs too, and I've worked hard for my success. No one's taking that away from me by pointing out that someone of a different color skin who does the same may not have the same opportunities I did.

    Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

    by absdoggy on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 01:05:15 PM PST

    •  and that is white privilege in action isn't it? (7+ / 0-)

      great examples.

    •  It depends (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      johnny wurster, misslegalbeagle

      Many bigger lawfirms, for example, have diversity committees specifically designed to help recruit and maintain minority attorneys.  It may be the proverbial drop in the bucket but there are concerted efforts to level the playing field.

      •  absolutely. things change slowly, sometimes (0+ / 0-)

        small steps forward, others backward.

        there is a great book called Some of My Best Friends are Black by Tanner Colby which has a great section on efforts to integrate ad firms in NYC during the 1970s. you would find it interesting.

      •  Hah! See, no white privilege, black privilege only (0+ / 0-)

        Yes, these exist. Problem is, to the woman in the diarist's story and the guys in my story, this is evidence of reverse discrimination and how a less qualified African-American got the job, even if that's not true.

        Also, yes, the diversity committee exists, okay. But I think my point remains valid - with a certain number of white partners who deny white privilege and think this way, when do we ever get to the point that the diversity committee isn't needed?

        Not that we'll ever end racism entirely, but when will it be the norm to recognize versus deny white privilege and act in a more inclusive manner to begin with? To make sure you cast the net wide, have diverse contacts in Linked-In or friends in your professional Facebook pages? To accept that people with a different skin color, different backgrounds and different speech patterns can still "fit in", and can be "team players" even if their uniform isn't white?

        Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

        by absdoggy on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 01:45:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Maybe we're talking past each other (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Diversity committees aren't reverse racism because no quotas are made and preferential points aren't awarded.  They are simply designed to make sure that minority - and women and LGBT applicants - are included in the mix.  And, once they get to the firm, there is a institutional system designed to provide support and a feedback channel to make sure that those lawyers are given the same means to a successful career.  And, this applies interfirm as well as intrafirm.  Ultimately, familiarity breeds acceptance that skin color or sex or whatever doesn't determine what makes a good lawyer, or a good project manager, etc.

          Obviously, it would be great if diversity committees weren't required but we're probably still decades away because the real issue is securing that kind of support starting in elementary school.

          •  diversity committees even when assembled with (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            the best of intent still encounter tons of resistance when they bring in great candidates. ironically, broadening the pool of talent is in the interest of the companies involved, but the rank and file, and some in mid mgmnt don't seem to get that fact.

            •  "Tons of resistance"? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Where are you getting that?  Again, I'm talking about law firms - I can't speak for other businesses.  There are firms that aren't making any effort at diversity, but at those who do, I've never heard of tons of resistance or widespread resistance and I've been doing this for 20+ years.  And I've seen the evolution from no recognition of a problem to hiring a minority is enough to we need to enough to keep people we've hired.

              It's one small success story and maybe it won't transfer to other types of businesses but success tends to lead to imitation.

              •  i also know lawyers who have shared stories (0+ / 0-)

                of resistance to hiring people of color and the significant challenges said folks (and women face) in the profession, especially when it comes to making partner or senior associate.

                there is quite a bit of data on job discrimination in hiring and promotion in the legal and financial sectors. those great candidates are often held to a far higher standard than their white counterparts.

                •  Historically, that is accurate (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  All I'm saying is that there is a concerted effort today (and in the last 10 years) to reverse that trend, and you see it in the number of minority and women partners in bigger firms these days.

                  Again, when I started, a black judge would have been the sole African American at his or her law school; same with women.  Women were not hired to do litigation work, etc.  Heck, when I was interviewing, I was told to my face, "we don't hire [out] gay or lesbian lawyers."  So, I've personally witnessed the change.

  •  "dishwasher" is seemingly one of those jobs... (7+ / 0-)

    ...that has an extra layer of significance for some white folks. As in, it shows something truly remarkable about their character when or if they do it, suddenly the act is imbued with both grit and altruism.

    'Course, that's only when they do it.

    I'm hoping that the students got the lessons & discussions better than these parents did.


    •  also, there is little discussion of class here (6+ / 0-)

      and how so many young people have to wash dishes to support themselves and their families. for the privileged middle class and others such choices are "hardships" as opposed to something done to survive.

    •  I was a dishwasher in High School (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      luckydog, 4mygirls, jaysunb

      I first washed dishes at a little Italian place, and then a Nursing Home.

      Actually, it was a somewhat sobering experience. Most of the other dishwashers were kids like me, both black and white, but there was one Jamaican immigrant man who worked it as a second job, because his first job did not pay enough.

      We used the job for money to go out and such. He needed to work a second job to pay for his family to have a better life here in the US. I very much appreciated that and respected him.

      It taught me about the immigrant experience. My family is working class (Postal Service) and we were not rich, but compared to my coworker, I was privileged.

      "If you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing!" (on a sign at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans)

      by ranger995 on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 04:25:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  huh? (0+ / 0-)
      "dishwasher" is seemingly one of those jobs that has an extra layer of significance for some white folks. (...) then or if they do it, suddenly the act is imbued with both grit and altruism.

      'Course, that's only when they do it.

      Are you even aware about how racist that sounds?  You can't even really define what "white" actually is, but you make generalized assumptions?

      "Und wer nicht tanzen will am Schluss - weiß noch nicht dass er tanzen muss", Rammstein, "Amerika"

      by cris0000 on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 03:29:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Circular (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johnny wurster

    "...complaints about discussing the reality of White Privilege demonstrate the very fact that said concept is both true, and an accurate description of social reality."

    So, self-validating on all sides.

    •  no, there is actually empirical data, tons of (5+ / 0-)

      it to support the existence of white privilege as a social fact.
      racism is not an opinion...although in post civil rights America it has been reduced to such a thing in "colorblind" public discourse.

      •  Empirical data (0+ / 0-)

        There may be all sorts of social science data—what conclusions it actually supports is another matter. Oddly enough, I hadn't thought we needed social science in order to certify the observation that racism has not vanished from American life.

        According to critical race theory, apparently we do. And, even more, it is not the case that racism today is a remnant of views that have come to be socially and politically unacceptable to the society at large. Instead, we must realize that such views are part and parcel of something called "white culture" (defined as the culture of white people).

        Therefore, the only way to extirpate the racism is to extirpate the culture. The road to that is to first and foremost indoctrinate the young (i.e. young whites), teaching them that this culture of theirs is poisonous in and of itself, apart from any particular act they or anyone they know may have committed. Amazingly, some parents and educators have problems with this as a school curriculum—go figure. Clearly, they do not understand that their very objection to the program is proof that the program is needed.

        It may be the case, as the diary says, that some people have difficulty saying what it is they object to in these courses, but that reflects, IMO, the tautologies and essential incoherences of what is billed as critical race theory.

        •  okay color me confused, incoherencies of (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          critical race theory? please explain. i would hope that is a field with a pretty broad literature which you have thoroughly gotten into before making such a claim.

          •  Why, yes (0+ / 0-)

            thank you—I have gotten into it. I will confess, I found it so intellectually vacant that I wrote it off at least a decade back. I see nothing here to signal any advance in basic principles. It remains a self-referential, tautological, over-determined explanation of human actions and motives. I am unsurprised that teaching it to lower school students arouses suspicion.

        •  What the heck is "White Culture?" (0+ / 0-)

          Right there you created a myth, and then used it to defend racism.

          Do you mean the traditions of white Europeans?
          Do u mean the culture that whites enjoyed while African Americans, Chinese Americans and Hispanic Americans broke their backs to build America's infrastructure?

          Just because white people have insulated themselves from other races (we call that segregation) does not mean that white people own the culture or the experiences of our Nation and our society as a whole.  

          "Hey person of color, You can dig the ditch. You can lay the pipe. You can work on the crew that dams the river, but you can't by fuck drink from the god damned water fountain!"  That's white privilege.

          Take back the House in 2014!!!!!!!!!!!! (50 state strategy needed)

          by mungley on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 03:22:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Would you be happier (0+ / 0-)

            if I just said "dominant culture?" Does that change things for you? Is there a critical race theory complaint about something beside the dominant culture and its most egregious racist manifestation, white privilege? How about we go to, "culture of white privilege?" That sounds so much more intellectualoid.

        •  I didn't know (0+ / 0-)

          there was a casting call for someone to play the cop telling people "move on; nothing to see here" in order to limit, if not to shut down altogether, that which hmi finds objectionable...apparently, it is his mission to bollocks up the topic by moving the goalposts...

          Fear doesn't just breed incomprehension. It also breeds a spiteful, resentful hate of anyone and everyone who is in any way different from you.

          by awesumtenor on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 03:44:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You're correct (0+ / 0-)

            Not about what I posted, but about what I take to be your self-declared "spiteful, resentful hate of anyone and everyone who is in any way different from you."

            •  Thou hypocrite (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              first take the beam from thine own eye... your insistence that your perspective of what others say be held as authoritative even by those who have made the statements in question  only proves the diarist's point and is a pointed example of the very privilege you are insisting is nothing but a fabrication.

              Quid erat demonstratum.

              Fear doesn't just breed incomprehension. It also breeds a spiteful, resentful hate of anyone and everyone who is in any way different from you.

              by awesumtenor on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 09:19:08 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Fundamentals (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Therefore, the only way to extirpate the racism is to extirpate the culture. The road to that is to first and foremost indoctrinate the young (i.e. young whites), teaching them that this culture of theirs is poisonous in and of itself, apart from any particular act they or anyone they know may have committed.
          Whatever the shortcomings of critical race theory, it's difficult to dispute that any minority within a larger social structure is subject to the paradigms established by the majority. It follows that any such minority population will have a vital interest in combating the ruling assumptions of the majority where they are destructive to the minority. Particularly when such assumptions are enshrined and expressed in the social, political and economic institutions of the society.

          Whether or not it is accurate to describe this as a "culture" of dominance is a more complex question dependent upon the specifics of the society being examined. That such dominance exists is a matter of demonstrable fact.

          Nothing human is alien to me.

          by WB Reeves on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 11:26:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  sounds like a great class (5+ / 0-)

    Man, I wish I'd had a class about privilege in high school; I grew up as a white girl in an ex-sundown town among mostly white liberals who thought themselves post-racial, and I had no framing to understand that no, no we weren't.  I remember the things I thought, not understanding what was going on during the near-riots in the hallway during the OJ Simpson trial between groups of black and white students.  It wasn't until college that I started to get exposed to the whole concept as a concept and thus could start unlearning my own prejudices.  

    •  with the bullying by Kochs, the Horowitzs, (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      antimony, exterris, mungley, luckydog, ranton

      and the right-wing media/faux populist conservatives our educational system is in a real crisis. the types of conversations that should occur in school are being eliminated and good teachers forced out of the profession.

      •  Here in FitzWalkerstan, I constantly wonder if (0+ / 0-)

        today will be the day that a wing-nut complains about the mini-topics within my history class.  One of these will be me.  

        Someone is going to object to Protest Music as an American Tradition and the use of Woody Guthrie, Bruce Springsteen, and Tom Morello; or the historical photographs we use during the Gilded Age and our study of reform movements; or the clips of the Anti-War Movement during the Vietnam War.  

        I refuse to "white-wash" history, but I do consciously try to include historical resources that reference both liberal and conservative points of view as they existed during the times we study.  Of course...ideologue parents will never be swayed from their liberal cleansing by those kinds of things!

        It is concerning, with today's technology, that a snippet of something a teacher says can be recorded on some student's phone, be taken totally out of context, and used to skewer any teacher because of pure political ideology and the fear of critical thinking and exposure to differing (challenging)points of view.  With no union contracts here in FitzWalkerstan to protect teachers from wing-nut ideologues, complaining parents will be pacified by the removal of "offending" teachers.    

        Robber Baron "ReTHUGisms": John D. Rockefeller -"The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets"; Jay Gould -"I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half."

        by ranton on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 06:59:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Would it not be a good idea to encourage... (0+ / 0-)

    ...intermarriage so that one day everyone will look similar and no one will be clear on their racial history.  Nor care.

    No more privilege.  No more racism.

    Boehner Just Wants Wife To Listen, Not Come Up With Alternative Debt-Reduction Ideas

    by dov12348 on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 01:56:20 PM PST

    •  what to do with the inequalities of resources (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dov12348, mungley, luckydog, starfu

      that were meted out over the centuries before and into the present? the problem is not acknowledging race or other types of "human difference." the problem is the values placed upon said categories by society.

      i like being African-American. My history, cultural experience, and legacy in the present has meaning for me. I do not want nor find any joy in a thought of a world where we are all the same. Even in the scenario you propose systems of hierarchy will find a way to assert themselves.

  •  I don't think that there is another area (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mungley, WB Reeves

    of white conservative revisionist fantasy American history that comes close to the distortions that have been produced about race and racism.

  •  The white teenager was given a chance. He was (0+ / 0-)

    trusted implicitly to do the job, and it was not suspected that he would steal or break the dishes, or shirk his duties.

    How many children of color were given the same opportunity and same level of trust??

    I believe the mother's story makes both your point and supports the need for the course at the high school.

    Awesome diary as always.
    Thank you.

    Take back the House in 2014!!!!!!!!!!!! (50 state strategy needed)

    by mungley on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 02:51:58 PM PST

    •  To be "trusted" to do manual labor (0+ / 0-)

      for presumably low pay is a very limited form of privilege. It's reasonable to say that while he was doing that job, the kid's white privilege was objectively outweighed by his lack of class privilege.

      "Think of something to make the ridiculous look ridiculous." -- Molly Ivins

      by dumpster on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 04:21:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Where was the job? Who is the employer? (0+ / 0-)

        What is the unemployment rate in that area?
        How many adults applied for the job? How many of them were people of color?
        There are many factors that could demonstrate that the kid's skin color still afforded him privilege.

        Take back the House in 2014!!!!!!!!!!!! (50 state strategy needed)

        by mungley on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 05:29:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  well, you wont like to hear it (0+ / 0-)

    but the whole point oif this intellectual humbah called the "privilege" theory is to silence opponents.

    Go to any place where it is discussed - feminist blogs, anti-racism site, wherever - and you will be pointed to a set of canned answers, a kind of holy bible text, that basically tell you

    - either you are with us. Then discord is unacceptable
    - or shut up
    - and even if you are with us, if you are male/white/able-bodied/whatever, shut up.
    - we talk, you listen

    (on feminist blogs, one of these texts is "Derailing for Dummies"; I have seen similar texts in other comparable contexts)

    The theory "Privilege" has become an elaborate ruse about silencing others.  The core argument is

    - I am right, you are wrong
    - I don't have to explain fuck to you. Doing so would validate your whatever privilege
    - If you disagree with me you will be silenced.

    That is not communication, and that is not human interaction. That is a stupid, short sighted ideologist totalitarian mindset. People have used this to silence others, to exclude others from debate, to evict others from conferences and gatherings, to refuse any dialog with others.

    So I would suggest to kindly abstain from the whole privilege debate, until those pushing it have found a way to do so in a friendly, open and inclusive manner.

    And yes, subjecting school kids to that totalitarian bullcrap is educational abuse. I applaud thos pushing against it.

    "Und wer nicht tanzen will am Schluss - weiß noch nicht dass er tanzen muss", Rammstein, "Amerika"

    by cris0000 on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 03:25:30 PM PST

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