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I've been reading some stuff about privilege and privileged attitudes. One of the things that makes me the most angry is when the privileged person says "It's not fair that you say that I have privilege! That makes me uncomfortable! You're so angry and you should just have a reasonable conversation!"

First, this is a tone argument. Cut it out. It makes you look like an asshole. It makes me angry for quite reasonable reasons, your ignorance and resistance being two of the primary reasons, and you do not get to tell me not to be angry about that.

Second, so you're a little (or a lot) uncomfortable? Aw, poor widdle you. Where is it written that you get to be comfortable all the time? Growth and change don't come when you're comfortable. Grow up.

Third, "fair"? You don't get to have "fair." That's not a word that happens in reality. You get to have "reality" instead.

Make those arguments (tone, uncomfortable, fair), and all it does is make you an asshole. So cut it out.

Come over the jump to see how being an ally (instead of an asshole) works.

If you're male, shut up and listen to what women are telling you. Even if you don't want to believe it. Even if it makes you uncomfortable. Even if changing things so that their reality becomes a little less unequal means that you're going to lose a little bit of your power or prestige.

If you're white, shut up and listen to what non-white people are telling you. Even if you don't want to believe it. Even if it makes you uncomfortable. Even if changing things so that their reality becomes a little less unequal means that you're going to lose a little bit of your power or prestige.

If you're straight, shut up and listen to what the GLBT population is telling you. Even if you don't want to believe it. Even if it makes you uncomfortable. Even if changing things so that their reality becomes a little less unequal means that you're going to lose a little bit of your power or prestige.

If you're cisgender, shut up and listen to what the transgender people are telling you. Even if you don't want to believe it. Even if it makes you uncomfortable. Even if changing things so that their reality becomes a little less unequal means that you're going to lose a little bit of your power or prestige.

If you're rich, or middle-class, or well-heeled enough that you don't have to live paycheck to paycheck, shut up and listen to what the poor and disadvantaged are telling you. Even if you don't want to believe it. Even if it makes you uncomfortable. Even if changing things so that their reality becomes a little less unequal means that you're going to lose a little bit of your power or prestige.

If you're employed, shut up and listen to what the unemployed and underemployed are telling you. Even if you don't want to believe it. Even if it makes you uncomfortable. Even if changing things so that their reality becomes a little less unequal means that you're going to lose a little bit of your power or prestige. Oh, and remember, you also have a chance of being exactly where they are. With the current economy improving for Wall Street and tanking for Main Street, you are not immune to the possibility of being jobless.

If you're abled, shut up and listen to what the disabled and mentally ill are telling you. Even if changing things so that reality becomes a little less unequal means that you're going to lose a little bit of your power or prestige. Even if changing things so that their reality becomes a little less unequal means that you're going to lose a little bit of your power or prestige. Oh, and remember, someday you have an 85% chance of being exactly where the blind man, the deaf woman, the autistic person, or the person with cancer is standing (or sitting) right now. You're not immune. Not even if you're white, straight, male, cisgender, rich, and employed.

I could go on, but you get the point. If society privileges who you are, or what you are (and I didn't even mention religion, education, or monogamy), that means that you have privilege. You probably didn't ask for it, but you have it. That means you have two choices. You can be an asshole, or you can be an ally.

You've been given more? You've earned more? You think you worked for what you have and now you're better off? No matter which of these conditions applies, it's your damn job to be an ally. There's a concept called noblesse oblige which has unfortunately gone by the boards in our Ayn-Randian greed-is-good-and-selfishness-is-better world. It's like the old concept of chivalry. If you got blessed with privilege, it is your duty (not your option) to protect and help those who did not get that lucky.

Sure, you're struggling. We all struggle. But think about where you got to start this race. Now think about where the female, lesbian, transgender, disabled, poor, unemployed person of color had to start this race. Don't you dare whine about your taxes going to help the poor or disadvantaged. Don't you dare complain about trangender people getting medical coverage, or gays and lesbians and bisexuals getting the legal right to marry their same-sex partner under the law. Keep your mouth shut when a pagan group holds their esbat in the park which their tax dollars are paying for just as much as yours are. Don't even start a conversation about blacks and other nonwhite minorities having an unfair advantage through affirmative action when you started the race half a mile ahead of where they did.

Don't you dare wave the "fair" flag to me or to anyone else who isn't in your privileged position. What they're going through is unfair. What you're having to deal with is, at best, an inconvenience.

Originally posted to Killer of Sacred Cows on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 02:23 PM PST.

Also republished by Barriers and Bridges.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (127+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ojibwa, Horace Boothroyd III, Black Max, Chrislove, boriskamite, Drewid, JeffW, petral, Hammerhand, earicicle, lotlizard, Meteor Blades, Safina, Lilyvt, SilverWillow, skip945, SoCaliana, slowbutsure, bleeding blue, Smoh, churchylafemme, cheminMD, yoduuuh do or do not, pasadena beggar, poco, TrueBlueMountaineer, AJayne, No one gets out alive, Wife of Bath, millwood, Catte Nappe, rugbymom, Chaddiwicker, Dave in Northridge, MrJayTee, FriendlyNeighbor, ArthurPoet, Michiganliberal, commonmass, tegrat, stevenwag, marina, elziax, Eyesbright, Danno11, Chitown Charlie, marleycat, ApostleOfCarlin, scribe, old wobbly, deha, anodnhajo, ladybug53, gardnerhill, CA Nana, emmasnacker, mollyd, skybluewater, AJ in Camden, tofumagoo, jacey, bluesheep, Onomastic, pvasileff, doroma, Wee Mama, Lost and Found, mommyof3, MKSinSA, moviemeister76, virginwoolf, eyesoars, susanWAstate, Jakkalbessie, Oh Mary Oh, Matt Z, BoiseBlue, minnvoter, WiseFerret, kamarvt, Steveningen, pixxer, BeninSC, Mortifyd, Themistoclea, peptabysmal, Josiah Bartlett, petulans, jasan, begone, CJB2012, annan, fiddler crabby, eagleray, TrueBlueMajority, postmodernista, dksbook, Wes Lee, Sassy, Diogenes2008, DrWhk, poliwrangler, Eileen B, thanatokephaloides, Dontstopbelieving, nomandates, Sandino, FogCityJohn, bobswern, chimene, Santa Susanna Kid, NJpeach, left of center, roses, MrsTarquinBiscuitbarrel, MA Liberal, wader, ZhenRen, Tonedevil, worldlotus, Stripe, Shadowmage36, Skyye, dannyboy1, fcvaguy, raptavio, edrie

    "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." - Hubert Humphrey

    by Killer of Sacred Cows on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 02:23:02 PM PST

  •  Where's the 'Rec 1000x' button? (24+ / 0-)

    This is fantastic, Killer of Sacred Cows. Well *&%^ing said!!!

    Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

    by earicicle on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 03:09:18 PM PST

  •  Thank you.... (18+ / 0-)

    Very well said.
    Thank you again.

    I think, therefore I am........................... Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose....AKA Engine Nighthawk - don't even ask!

    by Lilyvt on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 03:16:29 PM PST

  •  I was going to say (19+ / 0-)

    Nice Rant.  But I am not quite sure this is a rant.

    Thanks for saying what needed to be said.

    I think one of the hardest things is for people to recognize that they do have privileges others don't have, just by being born into the family/circumstances/body that they arrived in.  Especially when they have worked hard to achieve what they have achieved.  

    What many fail to understand is that recognizing the disadvantage that others have, does not negate the success that you have achieved.  

    We are just asking that everyone take some time/energy/effort to listen and help level the playing field.

    Thanks for posting this.

  •  You have too many enemies (20+ / 0-)

    Straight white males are over-represented in power.  There is no denying that fact.

    At the same time, not all straight white males have power.  Absolutely no one is an exact representation of their demographic.

    If you see every member of some majority as the oppressor, you will fail to persuade anyone to your point of view.

    If persuading people isn't your goal, pick another hobby, because that is all there is to politics.

    Fight racism.  Fight sexism.  Fight homophobia.  Fight inequity.  Don't make people your enemies, because you simply become another hateful voice in the chorus.

    •  Definition challenge: (17+ / 0-)

      "Oppressor" and "Privileged" are not synonymous.

      Consider why you made an argument based on the assumption that they are.

      "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

      by raptavio on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 04:11:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I chose the context I read (17+ / 0-)

        I would never tell someone to "shut up and listen", as I view such language as hateful and condescending.  More to the point, it is self defeating.

        If you think that language is appropriate, then you most likely have a different idealism than myself.  I want an inclusive society and such hostility does nothing but harm.

        •  Yes, you chose the context you read (7+ / 0-)

          and everything you said had nothing to do with what I said. Don't evade. Why did you base your argument on the assumption that "Privileged" and "Oppressor" were the same thing?

          "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

          by raptavio on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 04:37:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Because the subject (4+ / 0-)
            Even if changing things so that their reality becomes a little less unequal means that you're going to lose a little bit of your power or prestige.
            Why would I see the context of oppressor and oppressed there?

            I dislike zero sum politics, because it makes social programs seem like charity rather than investment.

            •  Zero sum politics. (9+ / 0-)

              Yet you equate prestige or power with taking both from another.

              Let's try this. Divorce the concepts of privilege and being an oppressor. Think of privilege as being granted benefits and having rights recognized that are not granted nor recognized in others, by a power structure that oppresses.

              You do not need to be part of the oppressive power structure to enjoy the privilege.

              Now with that in mind, read the diary again. See if you view it differently.

              "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

              by raptavio on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 04:54:58 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  You are rude (15+ / 0-)

                I certainly haven't talked down to you in this exchange, so I don't appreciate being lectured on my inability to properly understand the hostile tone in this diary.

                If you want to imply I'm a bigot, because I don't see hostility as being a productive pursuit, then think what you wish.

                •  Didn't rec your comment (4+ / 0-)

                  because I didn't think raptavio was particularly rude, but the second part of your comment identifies something you'll encounter by the bucketful around here:

                  If you want to imply I'm a bigot, because I don't see hostility as being a productive pursuit

                  Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

                  by Mark Mywurtz on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 05:40:50 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  It's okay. (7+ / 0-)

                  You can call me rude if you like. It won't hurt me.

                  And I implied nothing of the sort. You infer what you like, but all I think you're being is A) defensive and B) unwilling for whatever reason to examine your privilege. Well, and perhaps a bit hostile, your complaints about the diarist's or my hostility notwithstanding.

                  "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                  by raptavio on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 05:42:09 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  And what do you think my privilege is? (13+ / 0-)

                    This is why I dislike this kind of diary.  Tell me what privilege you feel I am not acknowledging.  Tell me how easy I've had it.  Use examples from my life.

                    The problem with teaching people to hate straw men is that they eventually can't tell the difference between real people and their perceived enemies.

                    You know nothing about me, nor I you.  I would not pretend to be able to speak to privilege across millions of people, because it would be an exercise in gross generalization.

                    •  Here's what I can say with confidence. (6+ / 0-)

                      You're a white man. If you have any nonwhite blood in you, it's in sufficiently small quantity that for all social purposes, you're white. (Am I wrong? I'd put money on it that I'm not.)

                      There are a great many privileges that come with just that. Do you want to know what they are? Because to hear that requires that you do what you've indicated you really don't want to do -- shut up and listen.

                      "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                      by raptavio on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 05:54:24 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I am a white man (14+ / 0-)

                        And I guess everything else in my life is meaningless in the wake of such a revelation.  Cause after all, my humanity is dwarfed by the overwhelming privilege I am afforded.

                        •  See? (5+ / 0-)

                          You're not willing to shut up and listen. You're imagining persecution that doesn't exist (your humanity dwarfed? really?), the rest of your life is not devalued, and you're imagining both as part of your desperate gambit to internally rationalize doing anything -- anything, other than to shut up and listen.

                          "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                          by raptavio on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 06:26:33 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I have no idea what color you are... (10+ / 0-)

                            or what gender you are or what your sexual preferences are or what culture you come from or anything... and you do not know any more of my history than the limited quantity that I have chosen to share here on this website.  

                            In my culture, it is extremely rude to tell someone to "Shut Up"  Maybe it isn't in yours.  maybe you are younger and are part of the culture that says "Shut Up" about everything and you do not see that it is rude.  I don't know.  You see, that is the beuty of this website and the internet in general.  We are only judged by our words.  Differences in cultures may make words seem offensive to one person that they percieve as completely innocent but it only takes a quick, "Sorry, I didn't mean to offend" and it is forgotten.  Instead, you continue to defend saying "Shut Up" and you continue to accuse people of "equate(ing) prestige or power with taking both from another" and you keep telling us about our "Priviledge" when you have no idea who we even are.  Do you know how presumptuous that is?

                            I know there are advantages to being white that do not have to do anything at all except "be white" to qualify for and receive and I know I have benefitted from them.  I also know that I have been there and called out racism and helped people to overcome racism and used my "White Priviledge" to help others as well.  You do not know me or Dr. Teeth.  You do not know if we were one of the Freedom Riders or if we marched next to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. or if we are married to an African American with children who are bi-racial or if we are members of a local black church or what.  You know nothing about us so quit telling us to shut up and listen!

                            If you want to have a serious conversation about racism in America, let's do it.  Not only am I ready, I was ready before I read this diary.  In fact, that is why I opened this diary and read it to begin with.  As I said in my first comment on this diary, I am in agreement with most of what the diarist said.  However, it does not open up dialog when the person writing the diary starts telling me to "Shut Up and Listen" over and over again.  It was rude when Killer of Sacred Cows said it and it is rude that you continue to repeat it over and over again.

                            "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

                            by Buckeye Nut Schell on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 10:43:08 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I hear that you say (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            churchylafemme

                            the phrase "shut up and listen" is offensive to you.

                            It may or may not be offensive to me, depending on context.

                            But people have said, in this thread, several things to me that I find offensive, and which were clearly intended offensively, and it hasn't stopped me from talking about what I want to talk about. I can ignore the remarks, I can acknowledge them and move on, or I can pivot and turn them into a stepping stone to press my point about privilege and about how the privileged have a natural aversion to examining that privilege.

                            Daily Kos is a site where full-contact debate is frequent. We all have faced less than polite behavior, most of us have engaged in less than polite behavior, and yet, most of us have also managed to have a serious conversation about issues which are important to us around, or even through, that less than polite behavior.

                            If you want to have a serious conversation about racism in America, even in this thread, nobody is stopping you. The phrase "shut up and listen" is not stopping you. Only your choice to focus on your offense instead of engage in that serious conversation is stopping you.

                            So I invite you to ask yourself this: Why are you letting it stop you?

                            And then I invite you to ask yourself this: Are you using your perceived offense as an excuse to avoid examining your privilege?

                            And by "ask yourself this" I mean that literally. I do not need nor expect you to give the answer to anyone but yourself.

                            In the meantime, if you want to have that serious conversation, then -- and I mean this without the Romneyesque implications in the phrase -- please proceed, Mr. Schell.

                            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                            by raptavio on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 08:15:11 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  So someone tells you hearing "Shut up and listen" (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            mconvente, angel d, TheMomCat, DeadHead

                            is offensive To Them...and you dismiss it while claiming:

                            I think you're being is A) defensive and B) unwilling for whatever reason to examine your privilege.
                            Hilarious.

                            Your discussion and team-building skillz are aWe50me!!1

                            Where do I sign to join your Judging and Labeling Others (for their own good) Committee?  

                            Pragmatic Centrists? meh. Clive all hat no horse Rodeo? He's cool ~ JV

                            by JVolvo on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 11:44:25 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  We put up a sign up sheet (0+ / 0-)

                            but you buried it under your Throw-Bombs-In-A-Diary-To-Amuse-Yourself-Committee sign up sheet.

                            And yes, I am far less concerned with privileged people upset by the "tone" coming from the diarist than you want me to be. I'll just have to live with your disapproval. Somehow.

                            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                            by raptavio on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 12:05:09 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  It must be such a burden having your infallible (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            TheMomCat, DeadHead

                            ability to see into the hears and minds of so many kossacks, knowing their true intentions and positions regardless of what they type.  What an inspirational talent you have.

                            Whew.

                            At least it explains why you are such a...what's the word...blessing to those you interact with.

                            heh    

                            Pragmatic Centrists? meh. Clive all hat no horse Rodeo? He's cool ~ JV

                            by JVolvo on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 03:22:40 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Right back atcha, JVolvo. (0+ / 0-)

                            One thing I've learned about you and your erstwhile allies-- you are masters of projection.

                            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                            by raptavio on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 05:09:36 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You know what I see? (5+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            mconvente, poligirl, triv33, JVolvo, TheMomCat

                            A blog hero.

                            You're badgering two different people in this comment section, both of whom actually appear to be on your side, in the hopes that, at the end of each discussion, you'll come out looking like your presumptions about them were true.

                            While some may indeed applaud your efforts, others think your approach sucks.

                          •  DeadHead, nothing you ever have to say (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            churchylafemme

                            is of value to me.

                            So please stop wasting your breath.

                            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                            by raptavio on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 06:04:39 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  That's fine. (0+ / 0-)

                            I'm not out to convince you.

                            That ceased being a goal of mine a long time ago.

                            My comments to you are for the benefit of others.

                            So it's not a waste of breath. In fact, it's time well-spent.

                            I also note you didn't actually address my comment. You never do.

                            Again, fine with me.

                            I know that if you were able to rebut them, you would. But you can't, so you don't.

                          •  DeadHead, I told you (0+ / 0-)

                            that my only response to anything you ever say to me will be to ask you to leave me alone.

                            That is not going to change. Ever.

                            Leave me alone.

                            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                            by raptavio on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 07:16:13 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

              •  A+, raptavio! (7+ / 0-)
                You do not need to be part of the oppressive power structure to enjoy the privilege.
                this needs to be said over and over in plain words as you have chosen so well here

                Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
                Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

                by TrueBlueMajority on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 08:10:05 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly because I feel like I was just told... (23+ / 0-)

      To shut up seven times and the odd thing is, I agree with most of everything else being said.  I am an ally.  I am not the enemy.  

      It is not the color of my skin or my gender or my sexual orientation or my physical abilities that make me an ally and you cannot know me by those attributes.

      Imagine if someone walked into a bar with a baseball bat and hit five people in the head and then kicked the sixth person in the nuts.  Yes, I would rather be kicked in the nuts rather than hit in the head with a baseball bat but that doesn't mean that the sixth person was lucky and has no right to complain about the guy kicking him in the nuts.  The people hit in the head cannot jump on the other guy and demand he shuts up about getting kicked just because they had it worse.  They are all victims and they should band together.  Now, if there was some asshole in the back encouraging the guy with the bat then he deserves scorn if not outright punishment.  

      That is the gist this argument.  It is not the guys hit with the bat vs. the guys hit kicked in the nuts.  It is the victims vs. the perpetrators.  It is the 99% against the 1% We are all in this together.  If the guy kicked starts acting like he had it worse and down talking the guys hit with a bat, he is an asshole and an idiot but that doesn't change that he, too, is a victim.  He is just too stupid to realize it.

      There have been a lot of these "white priviledge" diaries here lately and they are starting to piss me off.  Yes, I have benefitted from white priviledge.  I won't deny that.  But I bet a lot of people who fall into one of those minority categories benefitted from having two parents who loved them and not neglected their entire childhood (after 8 yrs-old).  I bet some, but not all of them, benefitted from not being tortured and shot and cut with razor blades as a small child.  I'll bet that most of them were not facing a lot of difficulties I was facing as a small child just like I didn't face the same difficulties they faced but do not presume that just because I am a white, male, straight, healthy and middle classed that I had it any easier than anybody else.  

      Unless you consider leaving home at 17, being homeless and hungry after doing drugs and alcohol since I was nine years old after being tortured by getting cut with razor blades while I slept, being forced to play russian roulette at nine years old after being forced to live with an alcoholic adopted father I barely knew is somehow hitting the genetic fucking lottery.  I could go on and I could tell you much worse things but what is the use, I'm white so everything I have accomplished has been because I am "priviledged" in some of your minds.  

      I do not blame any other race, gender or any other category for my life and in fact, I am damned proud of how far I came and where all of that led me to in my life right now.  I am an ally to everyone who wants a better country that actually cares about its citizens and I want fair treatment to everyone.  Why do so many people want to tell me to shut up?  I have no idea what other people have had to face in their life and no one can look at me and tell what kind of life I have had based on the color of my skin, my gender or my sexual orientation so I wish everyone would quit trying.  We are all in this together and we all better start acting like it.

      "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

      by Buckeye Nut Schell on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 04:31:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  For something, against no one (11+ / 0-)

        I don't like the position of being against any group of people.  That whole zero sum game mentality is how the right maintains its power.

        Tax policy should not be seen as a punishment or a reward.  We need only fund the services, which benefit our society.

        It is true that the wealthy need to pay more, but not because they are somehow unethical for their good fortune.  They need to pay more, because they have more resources to spare.

        The US has 5% of the world's population, so the notion of privilege places us all in the lucky to be born in the time and place category.

      •  Hi (9+ / 0-)

        I just wanted to say that I'm sorry those things happened to you. I'm glad that you made it through those years and are doing OK now.

        •  Thank you... (12+ / 0-)

          I am actually thankful that every single event in my life has happened exactly the way it has because if even one of them were changed, I would not have the wonderful wife I have now and the wonderful kids.  I held a lot of hate inside my heart for a long time and it was a like a cancer that ate at me.  I believe that I have come to terms with all of that now and I am actually proud that I am who I am in spite of all of it.

          I am not claiming my cross is any heavier to bear than anyone else's because I do not know their story.  It is not a competition.  I just do not want people to see me and say, "Oh look, he was born on third base and he thinks he hit a triple" because of what I look like.  I do not do that to other people.  I have had a long hard climb and I have tried to help as many people as I could along the way.  I am not perfect and I could fall back down that cliff at any moment but I try.  

          I see your name as orphan power which is pretty cool. Is it because you were adopted or you have adopted children or both (or neither).  I am in the "Both" category myself.

          "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

          by Buckeye Nut Schell on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 06:06:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I completely disagree (13+ / 0-)

        I'm white and grew up in poverty, had a miserable, miserable childhood, and ended up kicked out by my mom. I've been out of poverty so recently that I still think like a poor person.

        But I also don't get bent out of shape when these white privilege diaries pop up because I know for a fact that there were ways I benefited from having white skin growing up. Ways that didn't even occur to me until much too recently. I am pretty damn certain that if I had not been white I would be a felon right now, and my sister sure as hell would be. So unlike you, I didn't take this diary as telling me to shut up all the time. I just took it as sometimes it is better to listen to folks with much more direct experience than I could ever have.

        Of course, you have to come to the realization that you aren't the expert on everything that a lot of white people think they are, which is usually why so many white people get bent out of shape with the idea of white privilege. The very idea that maybe we should be silent and recognize that others know more than us, and therefore have more of a right to speak usually does not occur to white people because we were raised to be "colorblind," and that everyone should be treated "equally," which always seems to benefit white folks in the end.

        Every single time one of these diaries gets posted, white people who grew up poor come in and whine about how they are told to shut up and how angry they are, and how they are the real allies because they want everyone to be treated equally instead of how they think the rest of us want it.

        I think this diary went too easy on some people at this site. We've still got morons who blatantly support Rand Paul here. To think that the diary is telling you to shut up means, to me, that you are not willing to give up your privilege. You think that children of color who grew up living with loving parents had it easier than you because you had such a traumatic childhood. It never even occurred to you that, for black Americans, the Trayvon Martin murder was not some new event. Can you imagine a white female news host admitting that she was relieved that she was pregnant with a girl? Those are experiences, and stresses and pressures, no white person will ever understand.

        So quit trying to play the pity Olympics. I and my sister are still dealing with the fallout of our horrific childhood decades later, so I definitely know how it feels to be so traumatized. The fact that I'm not in prison after some of the stuff I did, and especially my sister did, speaks to how the system works quite well for white people.

        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 Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 06:11:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Pity olympics??? Really??? (16+ / 0-)

          I'm not sure why I am even responding to such a bull shit response to my comment but I am a sucker for trying to reason with jackasses so here goes.

          Of course, you have to come to the realization that you aren't the expert on everything that a lot of white people think they are, which is usually why so many white people get bent out of shape with the idea of white privilege. The very idea that maybe we should be silent and recognize that others know more than us, and therefore have more of a right to speak usually does not occur to white people because we were raised to be "colorblind," and that everyone should be treated "equally," which always seems to benefit white folks in the end.
          Exactly where do you get off making this statement?  You say you are white and yet you can chastise me for being white and thinking I am an expert on everything and yet you say:
          and how they are the real allies because they want everyone to be treated equally instead of how they think the rest of us want it.
          Who exactly is "US"? and Who exactly is "They"

          I never claimed to know anyone else's burden and I never denied white priviledge as evidenced by these statements:

          Yes, I have benefitted from white priviledge.  I won't deny that.
          and:
          I have no idea what other people have had to face in their life and no one can look at me and tell what kind of life I have had based on the color of my skin, my gender or my sexual orientation so I wish everyone would quit trying.
          and:
          I am not claiming my cross is any heavier to bear than anyone else's because I do not know their story.  It is not a competition.
          The real point of the comment is that the diarist shouldn't be making this into an "Us vs. Them" type argument.  We are on the same team.  We are fighting for the same rights.  We are here at this website because we have common struggles and common beliefs and we are here to help each other.  

           As I said in closing:

          We are all in this together and we all better start acting like it.
          I have no idea why you felt it necessary to jump all over me for pointing that out.  You do not have the right to tell me what SHOULD offend me.  As has been discussed many times here at dkos, the person offended has the right to determine what it is that offends them.  I explained very clearly what it was that offended me without attacking the diarist in anyway.  You jumping on your white horse to come to the rescue is more like what you described here:
          Of course, you have to come to the realization that you aren't the expert on everything that a lot of white people think they are, which is usually why so many white people get bent out of shape with the idea of white privilege. The very idea that maybe we should be silent and recognize that others know more than us, and therefore have more of a right to speak usually does not occur to white people because we were raised to be "colorblind," and that everyone should be treated "equally," which always seems to benefit white folks in the end.
          and bringing you and your sister's history seemed to be making it a "Pity Olympics" and turning into a competition.  My point is you cannot know my life by looking at me and I cannot know yours by looking at you so we should respect each other and the burdens we have all carried and work together for our common good.

          Nobody has any more right to speak than anyone else in a free world, not you, not me, not the president of the United States.  I respect the diarists right to speak their mind but I have a right to speak mine in response as well.

          "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

          by Buckeye Nut Schell on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 06:53:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  all in this together (3+ / 0-)
        We are all in this together and we all better start acting like it.
        Methinks the diarist was trying to get us all to consider where all the other of us are coming from for that exact purpose.

        I do not see the malice so many of my fellows apparently see.

        But, Buckeye Nut Schell, methinks also that you hit the nail on the head here. It's either mutual love, kindness, and compassion, or the same oblivion, for us all.  

        "We shall either hang together or we shall, most assuredly, hang separately." -- Benjamin Franklin

        Keep your Powder Dry and your Data Local!

        by thanatokephaloides on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 10:00:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you for speaking up. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Buckeye Nut Schell, JVolvo

        And a hearty congratulations on overcoming those unbelievable hardships, making something of your life, and creating a loving home for your kids.

        I, too, am bothered by the growing anti-white, 'reverse'-racism on this site, including the tolerance shown for it (and sometimes even contributions to it) by two of the most powerful voices here. It is a cancerous tendency, and an Achilles Heel of DailyKos and its mission to elect better and more Democrats.

  •  Bernice Johnson Reagon says (15+ / 0-)

    "If you're comfortable, your coalition isn't broad enough."  (I may not have the quotation exactly right but something like that.)

    Wise words from a wise woman.

  •  i'm going to say something unpopular... (25+ / 0-)

    "Shut up and listen" does not, and should not, replace healthy skepticism.

    Most folks here laugh when conservative actions or reactions are described as "because FREEDOM", "because BENGHAZI", or "because TAXES," but it disturbs me greatly that this community is developing its own set of kneejerk "because [insert-hot-button-word]" reactions:

    "...because RACISM."
    "...because MANSPLAINING."
    "...because WHITE PRIVILEGE."
    "...because MISOGYNY."

    I'll be more than happy to "shut up and listen" - but I think we've all seen enough over-the-top assertions and manufactured outrage to suggest that healthy skepticism has its place.

    So, how can we best balance the two?

    The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

    by wesmorgan1 on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 03:55:46 PM PST

    •  quoth: (12+ / 0-)

      "but I think we've all seen enough over-the-top assertions and manufactured outrage to suggest that healthy skepticism has its place."

      I've seen more than enough factual assertions and genuine outrage be labeled over-the-top and manufactured that I'm willing to presume assertions of racism, mansplaining, privilege or misogyny to be true first, and shut up and listen, and then, once I've listened fully, evaluate what I've heard.

      Because it costs me exactly nothing to do so.

      "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

      by raptavio on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 04:14:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  True (9+ / 0-)

        You are correct until it crosses over to just mindlessly and falsely attacking other Kossacks as bigots, which absolutely happens around here.

        Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

        by Mark Mywurtz on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 05:50:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sure. (4+ / 0-)

          But I would suggest to you that it happens not nearly as often as actual bigotry gets justified/splainawayed/rationalized.

          "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

          by raptavio on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 08:20:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  all kinds of splaining here (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JVolvo, angel d, TheMomCat, DeadHead

            But demsplaining is the most common.  "He doesn't have a magic wand.  It's the Republicans fault."  Etc. Etc.

            Also, as a left handed person, I'm sure you will shut up and listen to my grievances about how all you right priveleged people talk down to us.  Being left handed in a right handed world has real consequences.  We suffer discrimination everywhere we go and yet no one will do anything about it or even acknowledge it.  When is the last time you saw a left handed school desk?  Card reader?  Gas pump?  scissprs?  Can opener?  I could go on and on.   The last three presidents were left handed, yet name one piece of legislation that deals with it.  

            Or, we could stop subdividing ourselves by grievance and get down to the business of taking action on behalf of all of us.  

            Any diary that repeats the phrase "shut up" is not interested in dialog.  

            "It rubs the lotion on its skin" is not effective coalition building.

            by Nada Lemming on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 11:43:25 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Shove a left handed pen up your... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              churchylafemme

              (And I only say that to you because I know you'll take it in good humor.)

              You're right on one very important thing, but you take away the wrong implications.

              This is NOT a diary about generating dialogue. That's the point. Sometimes things just need to be heard. They don't have to be then discussed as part of some back and forth. Sometimes, it's okay to just listen to something, consider it, and draw one's own conclusions about it. A dialogue is not necessary.

              You might also consider that, when the subject is the unprivileged speaking to the privileged about privilege, the unprivileged may not want that dialogue, because the dialogue so very often takes the form of either:

              "Let me splain to you why you're wrong about your experience without the privilege I take for granted";

              or,

              "I want to discuss the matter with you until I have achieved a full understanding, and I will reject your claims if you decline, or if during the course of the discussion your 'tone' becomes something I don't care for."

              Sometimes, people just want to be heard, and not have to defend the reality of their experience. I'm sure you can empathize with that.

              "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

              by raptavio on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 12:01:21 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  True (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                angel d, Radiowalla, TheMomCat, DeadHead

                I learned all of that in therapy and some other classes.  But that's therapy.  This is a political blog.  And as Markos says, its about elections.  

                But that's actually the reason I don't normally comment in such diaries.  Dialog isn't solicited nor is it welcomed.  But I do read and try to learn.

                The reason I popped here was the "shut up" part.  I see it as unhelpful and it got some negative responses from people I would normally count as allies in the privelege discussions.  

                "It rubs the lotion on its skin" is not effective coalition building.

                by Nada Lemming on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 12:48:24 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  In the years I've been here (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  churchylafemme

                  there are a great many people who, at times, are arguing when they should really shut up and listen. At times I've been one of them. I'm sure at times you have too.

                  One of the most frequent times, perhaps even the single most frequent time, I see this behavior is when people are upset about being confronted with their privilege, no matter how "tactfully" it's done.

                  Sometimes it's okay to deliver that message bluntly. Even if it ruffles some feathers.

                  "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                  by raptavio on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 01:02:38 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  And in that environment... (12+ / 0-)

        ...anyone who DOES express healthy skepticism is attacked as an apologist for [whatever], insulted with something like "of course YOU can't see it or understand it"...or simply ignored.

        I've seen more than enough factual assertions and genuine outrage be labeled over-the-top and manufactured that I'm willing to presume assertions of racism, mansplaining, privilege or misogyny to be true first, and shut up and listen, and then, once I've listened fully, evaluate what I've heard.
        In other words, you effectively require anyone who "suggests otherwise" to prove a negative?

        The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

        by wesmorgan1 on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 08:11:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nope. (4+ / 0-)

          But your response exemplifies why I presume such assertions are legitimate -- because of the natural impetus of the privileged, who lack the experience or perspective of the unprivileged, to demand (often unrealistic levels of) proof before they will even consider that there may be legitimacy to such assertions.

          It costs me nothing to grant such consideration.

          "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

          by raptavio on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 08:20:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  So it's a head you win, tails I lose situation? (17+ / 0-)

            Either we acquiesce to you being right or your assertions are justified and we are bigots? Wow, just wow.

              •  "The endgame." (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Diogenes2008

                How far down the rabbit hole do you have to go to imply it's all a big conspiracy to silence you?

                "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                by raptavio on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 08:38:21 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  You're the only one who is seeing conspiracies (5+ / 0-)

                  and your tendentiousness is betrayed by your insertion, based upon nothing but your own folly, that somehow I see some form of conspiracy.  It reminds me of the red scare where your progenitors in thought fantasized communists under beds.

                  Endgame refers to the fact that the discourse on white privilege devolves to  the cant that either you agree with me or you are the problem, as the commenter pointed out.  If you were capable of simple comprehension you wouldn't be seeing conspiracists everywhere.

                  •  Everywhere? (0+ / 0-)

                    No, just you.

                    "Endgame" means that it's an objective, a goal, the final step in a much larger stratagem. Perhaps you chose a word that carries meanings beyond what you intended. Would you like to amend? Or would you like to attack me some more instead?

                    "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                    by raptavio on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 10:26:25 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  How befitting (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      TheMomCat, DeadHead

                      you want to adopt the victim mantle when it is you who attacked.  Of course, if one responds to your attack, they are victimizing you, right?  At least your consistent in your preference for circular reasoning.  

                      Endgame is a chess metaphor.  It is the final stage of the game, when there are few pieces on the board.  It is the natural end of playing the game.  Beckett utilizes endgame as a unifying metaphor in his play of the same name.  To spell it out for you, since you are prone to ignore the plain meaning of words, my comment was a statement that the end result of discussions of white privilege is that either you agree with the proponent or you are a bigot (the point made in the comment to which I responded).  I suppose I can "amend" (I got a chuckle out of that) to say "one endgame" as your comment illustrates another to be- project hostile thoughts onto your opponent without any basis.  

                      •  Oh, dear orestes, (0+ / 0-)

                        I'm no victim. I find your attacks pitiable, not harmful.

                        So good that you know what endgame means and its chess etymology. But you've also confirmed for me that you're down the rabbit hole on this one, albeit in a modestly different manner than I originally thought -- but you're still claiming persecution.

                        "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                        by raptavio on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 01:31:24 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  There's that endgame again (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          TheMomCat, DeadHead
                          •  There's that peresecution complex again (0+ / 0-)

                            You claimed the "endgame" (scoff) was to get you to agree or say you're a bigot.

                            In this entire thread, I called nobody a bigot. Nor implied anyone was a bigot. So why do you imagine otherwise?

                            Like I said. Rabbit hole.

                            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                            by raptavio on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 01:43:29 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You really only see what you want to, eh? (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            DeadHead

                            Please note that I "amended" my original comment to state that there is more than one endgame, notably, that one is to project hostile thoughts onto your opponent, which you seem intent to continue to do.  That is the referent of my last comment.  You either cannot comprehend an argument or, more likely, are so blinded by an obsessive need to be right that you must resort to unfounded personal attacks to deflect from your inability to respond.  Your irrational tenacity argues for the latter.

                            To explain by example, you accuse me of a persecution complex, but provide no rational basis for this assertion.  Apparently, in your warped reasoning, my commenting that you attacked me, offered solely in response to your own claim that I attacked you, somehow means that I have a persecution complex.  What does that say about you, the person who actually made the claim?

                            If all you have to offer is an unsupported supposition of the character of your opponent, you've got no argument to make.  Somehow, I think this will be one of those statements that you simply fail to see.

                          •  Right back atcha. (0+ / 0-)

                            You didn't even acknowledge, for a moment, that in fact I never stated nor implied that you or anyone else in this thread was a bigot, and that your previous comment's assertion was flatly false. Instead you pivot to another assertion, angrily denouncing me for making an accusation you say is false while simultaneously making more accusations toward me with, at best, no more foundation than I have.

                            Show a little integrity and retract your previous, absolutely, demonstrably false statement, before you get on your high horse about my (insert torrent of disjointed pop psychology pejoratives here).

                            Seriously. This is ridiculous.

                            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                            by raptavio on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 05:08:18 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

            •  Nope. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              churchylafemme, Diogenes2008

              I did not say that. You did. And that is not my argument. You are inventing that argument as a strawman. See previous remarks about the natural impetus of the privileged.

              "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

              by raptavio on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 06:09:37 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Now you're just being racist... (0+ / 0-)

              in 3, 2, 1...

              Pragmatic Centrists? meh. Clive all hat no horse Rodeo? He's cool ~ JV

              by JVolvo on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 11:49:18 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  And, right on cue... (11+ / 0-)

            ...we have the "you wouldn't understand because you're privileged" implication.  Thanks for proving my point.

            As far as "levels of proof" are concerned, I'd just like to see something more than the 'gut feeling' diaries/comments and the "undoubtedly [racist/sexist/whatever]" pronouncements with no supporting information whatsoever - both of which seem to be growing in both numbers and frequency.

            In such cases, it's entirely appropriate to ask for additional information.  That's part of my "consideration" of the author's statements, and that's what I consider "healthy skepticism."

            Tell me something - if, as you suggest, you presume such accusations to be true at first glance, how often does your evaluation lead you to conclude otherwise?  When that happens, doesn't that mean that they didn't meet your "level of proof"?

            The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

            by wesmorgan1 on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 11:57:25 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's not an implication. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              churchylafemme

              It is, whether you wish to accept it or not, a simple, irrefutable fact that you cannot truly understand what it is to live without privilege you have never lived without.

              The best you can do is -- of course -- to shut up and listen when someone who lives without that privilege tells you about it.

              Asking for more information, asking for elaboration, is one thing. Demanding more evidence , i.e. expecting the unprivileged to validate their reality in your eyes is not. And what the privileged often term "healthy skepticism" is, in my arrogant opinion, far more often the latter than the former.

              There will, of course, as you suggest, always be someone who makes claims that aren't true about their experience dealing with prejudice, bigotry, or oppression. Someone can claim to have grown up in Cabrini-Green and later it be revealed they came of age before 1940, or actually grew up in suburban Minneapolis. Someone could claim to have been an unwitting part of the Tuskegee syphilis experiment but also be 30 years old. That's always possible. But those are matters of cold, hard facts, not interpretations and inferences.

              "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

              by raptavio on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 08:05:09 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Two words are particularly relevant here... (5+ / 0-)

                ...confirmation bias.

                You wrote:

                Asking for more information, asking for elaboration, is one thing. Demanding more evidence , i.e. expecting the unprivileged to validate their reality in your eyes is not.
                OK - and the difference between the two is...in the eye of the beholder?

                It's one thing when someone writes or speaks from their own firsthand experience, but quite another when someone half a world away starts playing armchair analyst. When a diarist or commentator sitting in California reads a single news report of an event in South Carolina and pronounces it racist/sexist/whatever, based on nothing more than their 'gut feeling', whose reality are we talking about? (I live in Kentucky, and was raised in an Appalachian county; I can tell you that it's both sad and amusing to read all the diaries/comments that presume to tell us "what it's like" and "what they're like" in Kentucky and/or Appalachia.)

                Remember when Bill Frist watched a recording of Terri Schiavo and provided us with his medical opinion of her condition, diagnosing her brain function with nothing more than a videotape?  He was widely ridiculed here...but how does that differ from what I just described?

                It has been suggested (in discussions here) that if 1000 [ABCs] witness an incident but only 1 of them deems it [XYZ], everyone should close ranks and join in the condemnation - including the 999 [ABCs] who DIDN'T consider the incident [XYZ].  So, you tell me - do I "shut up and listen" to the 999 'unprivileged' who shrugged and said "meh", or do I lock on to the one who raised the "-ism" flag?

                All too often, we see what we want to see - and that may not be supported by the facts. The only way to guard against that--and thus stay in the reality-based community--is to ask questions.  That's skepticism, and it's a necessary ingredient.

                The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

                by wesmorgan1 on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 10:51:42 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  You're growing the scope. (0+ / 0-)

                  I'm talking about people who are unprivileged talking about privilege. You're expanding this to any scenario where bigotry is accused. (And by the way, privilege is not a subset of bigotry. They overlap, but neither is required for the existence of the other in any given individual.) No; that's not reasonable.

                  As to your "it has been suggested" claim in your penultimate paragraph -- let me respond with a flat "No, it hasn't" -- at least not to any extent that it matters, and specifically NOT by me, nor the diarist, and I am totally uninterested in defending the assertions of some anonymous person or persons which are not my assertions and are outside the scope of what I'm talking about. In fact, I'd ask you to consider the question of why you're putting on me all these other affronts to your dignity you've perceived at the hands of those ostensibly opposing bigotry -- and consider that in the context of your phrase "we see what we want to see".

                  "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                  by raptavio on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 11:20:17 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yeah, OK, we're done here. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    TheMomCat, DeadHead

                    I'm not putting anything "on you" at all.

                    As you'll recall, my very first comment ended with the question "so, how do we balance the two?"  You're the one who started down this path.

                    Your responses to several folks--not just to me--have made it quite clear that you don't really have any sort of coherent answer.  Trying to draw some razor-thin boundary between "asking for information" (good!) and "demanding evidence" (bad!) is just one example - and you can't/won't even answer a direct question about your own argument; instead, you shift to playing semantic games.

                    Have a good evening.

                    The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

                    by wesmorgan1 on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 02:02:49 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  There's your problem... (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            triv33, mconvente, poligirl, JVolvo, TheMomCat

            You're presuming too much.

            In fact, by my count, we're up to three different people in this diary you've pretty much turned-off because of it.

            Surely you've broken-through to at least double that number of lurking readers who, prior to reading your comments, were completely unaware of their unwillingness to examine their privileged status.

            Maybe they'll de-lurk and attest to the effectiveness of your approach.

    •  It's like the diaries almost write themselves now. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nada Lemming, Radiowalla

      Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

      by Mark Mywurtz on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 05:48:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have listened (12+ / 0-)

    Some folks need to shut up and listen to the responses they get from people who have listened and not fail the perspective test they are asking others to take.

    I sing praises in the church of nonsense, but in my heart I'm still an atheist, demanding sense of all things.

    by jbou on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 04:00:39 PM PST

  •  Noblesse Oblige (6+ / 0-)

    I have a hunch this concept has to do with those with privilege using their sense of duty towards the poor as a justification for their retention of privilege and absolutely nothing to do with them being told to shut up by those without privilege.

    It's not all bad.  It's why the British princes serve and go to war while Chelsea Clinton and the Bush daughters avoid service but it's got nothing to do with empowering the powerless.

  •  cool diary (10+ / 0-)

    I get the woman one here quite a bit. People, mostly  men but probably sometimes women (can't always tell) do it. For example, if you think about it, calling a woman  you don't like a bitch can be disturbing to some, if not many, women because that negative word is only used for one sex and contains a steryotype for that sex. I try to explain to the people who aren't taking me/my feelings seriously that I'm not just making an intellectual argument around that...I experience a pang whenever I hear a woman called a bitch by a man especially or someone who might be a man. I feel the judgment that many men have...as oftentimes in our culture a woman is "bitchy" when a man, behaving the same way, is just irritable or angry or whatever. I'm a member of another minority-in-power group besides being female. The pang when my other "group" has slurs used at it's members that denote one way my group has been historically an currently denigrate is exactly the same as when a woman is called "bitch" by a man. The pang I get is exactly the same.

    Every single time, I am pretty sure, I explain this on DK at least one man comes back with a snappy judgemental comment that basically says to suck it up, or I'm just being foolishly "PC" and heck, my MOTHER calls women bitches too. See, it doesn't feel the same when a woman calls other women a bitch. Just like it does not likely feel the same when a Jew tells a Jewish joke to other Jews or Black people call other Black people the N word...so different than if a White person (not a member of that group) did, and rightly so.

    •  Well, I find the use of the "N" word (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      raptavio, ozsea1, BvueDem

      offensive no matter who uses it. But there is some value in reclaiming offensive language. We do it in the LGBT community all the time, or some of us do. It's one thing to be camping it up with my gay friends and someone calls the other the "F" word, and it's another thing when a straight person calls me the "F" word with the intent to degrade and dehumanize me.

      It is something of a double standard though. I try to avoid those words unless I am making a point. I have been known to refer to myself as the "F" word here at DK from time to time in response to some bigot's hate speech. There IS some power in that, but I think it should be used very sparingly. If at all.

      Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

      by commonmass on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 04:29:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I've never liked a certain class of (0+ / 0-)

      Jewish jokes even when they are told by Jews.  Especially at a dinner where the one person who laughs the loudest is the one non-Jew.

      Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

      by AaronInSanDiego on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 02:19:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is good, KOSC (12+ / 0-)

    Firist, because you're correct, and second, because it helps us identify the people here who don't understand what privilege is. One donut used.

  •  as an older, straight, married, financially stable (21+ / 0-)

    mostly white male, i find myself strangely not offended by this diary...as a matter of fact, i recommended it, and i don't recommend many diaries

  •  People get awfully touchy about privilege if they (29+ / 0-)

    have it. I've worked for people for years who enjoy enormous amounts of societal, economic and educational privilege and while most of them are perfectly nice people, they have absolutely no idea about how the rest of us live (you know, those of us who do not live in million dollar homes and don't make 6 figures a year and worth far more than that). Most of them share my liberal politics. But some of them have never had to live on what I make a year, have never had to go without health insurance or experience the fear--terror is more like it--of being unemployed long-term, as I have.

    People also get awfully touchy about being at a disadvantage, and rightfully so in my opinion. The trouble with your advice--and I tipped and rec'd this diary--is not so much with the "shutting up" part, the trouble is with the "listening" part. The trouble with the nice (over)privileged folk I talked about in the preceding paragraph is that they lack the life experiences to actually hear what we tell them. They can get it theoretically, but they can never "get it".

    The end result of any dialogue should be empathy, in so far as it can be engendered, but there will always be a gap because people's experiences are vastly different.

    Therefore, it is my sincere belief that we, as a society, must make up our minds to level the playing field as much as possible, and commit ourselves to creating a socio-economic environment in which the baseline of what we are willing to tolerate in terms of injustice of all kinds is as high as possible, rather than as low as possible as it seems to exist today.

    We have got to decide, as a society, to put our humanity before our quest for advantage. Listening is part of it, but the real work is done in the action we take in response to what we hear.

    Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

    by commonmass on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 04:21:54 PM PST

  •  Hmmm... (19+ / 0-)

    I belong to some of groups you mention as being "privileged" and I also belong to some of the groups that you describe as being "not privileged."  

    What I miss in your diary is any recognition that the people you are telling to "shut up and listen" are human beings.  Most human beings don't like to be  threatened with "don't you dare do this" or told to "keep your mouth shut."

    There are Kossacks of every stripe here and everyone likes to be valued.  

    It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

    by Radiowalla on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 04:25:21 PM PST

    •  I'm in very much the same boat, however, (10+ / 0-)

      the anger and frustration in this diary is real, and I think sometimes it doesn't hurt us to get in touch with it.

      The diary has certainly sparked discussion.

      Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

      by commonmass on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 04:30:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  "Threatened." (9+ / 0-)

      Oy.

      The privileged don't need the unprivleged to reinforce their sense of humanity -- precisely because they're privileged. To demand that is, well, see the "poor widdle you" argument.

      "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

      by raptavio on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 04:31:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, we saw what happened when Occupy (14+ / 0-)

        "threatened" privilege. It was a very, very ugly response.

        But it goes to what I said in my comment upthread about the ability to actually hear what's really being said. They saw mobs with pitchforks, and I saw a massive, peaceful, national protest against inequality, economic and social injustice, and greed. What happened the other year was very close to a national strike (which is what has to happen next time, and believe me, it WILL happen). The ugly reaction did nothing more than to demonstrate to everyone who was really paying attention that the "1%" really is capable of being as nasty as Occupiers thought they were.

        In my opinion--and as a gay man who has a long experience with activism--there will always be some people who will refuse to listen, or incapable of hearing, but I think effective dialogue and subsequent change and progress depends upon being able to "speak into the listening" of the person or person's you're trying to communicate with. This is how successful negotiations happen. Sadly, our society is rapidly approaching the point where negotiation is futile. When that happens, that's when you demonstrate.

        Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

        by commonmass on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 04:47:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Activist listening (11+ / 0-)

          I was fascinated that the leaders of the marriage equality campaign in Minnesota chose a strategy of proactive listening in their effort to change minds and mobilize support.  Almost the opposite of what I'm hearing by the diarist here.  I don't know how often that would work on other issues but it seemed designed to lower the temperature, avoid conflict, minimize fears and appeal to people's better selves.  In any case, it worked.

          •  I think there is a place for the anger (9+ / 0-)

            I see in the diary, but I agree with you: negotiate first, demonstrate second. One of the things that irritates people is the responses they get when they are trying to communicate how they feel. "Mansplaining", for instance, may be irritating, but listen to that man and determine where his "listening" is. You don't get very far lecturing in English when the person you're talking to only speaks Cantonese.

            What you describe in MN is exactly the tactic Equality Maine took this time around. They lost in '09, but decided to take a different tactic--the one you describe--last year, and we were successful: we now have marriage equality here in Maine, and we got it at the ballot box. The choice of the movement to use the personal stories of straight people who have LGBT family and friends worked. It humanized the community, and at the same time, did not demonize the opposition.

            Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

            by commonmass on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 05:24:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Bingo. (4+ / 0-)

            Had Minnesotans for Equality taken the diarist's approach, we would absolutely have a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage right now.  Fortunately, they were smarter than that.  

            Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

            by Mark Mywurtz on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 05:58:58 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Oy? (14+ / 0-)

        Really now?  So if a person has the misfortune of belonging to one or more of the so-named "privileged" groups, it is quite proper to tell them to "shut up" and "don't dare.." before the conversation even starts?  That doesn't seem very conducive to discussion or very conducive to community building.

        If we go by these rules, quite a few Kossacks would be invited to "shut up."  Maybe that doesn't bother you, but it bothers "poor widdle me."

         

        It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

        by Radiowalla on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 05:32:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sometimes (6+ / 0-)

          you do need to shut up because if you don't, you can't listen.

          If you shut up and listen, you're LISTENING, not seeking a way to rebut or refute what the other guy's saying.

          If you shut up and listen, you're not trying to drown out the guy saying something you don't want to hear.

          If you shut up and listen, you're giving a measure of respect to someone who's telling you about all the respect you get and they don't.

          So shut up and listen.

          And for God's sake, don't use the words "shut up" an excuse not to.

          "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

          by raptavio on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 08:37:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I accept your invitation to shut up (4+ / 0-)

            and consider that you and I have nothing more to discuss.

            Have a good life.

            It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

            by Radiowalla on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 08:41:07 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Too bad. (4+ / 0-)

              There are two steps to shutting up and listening. Too bad you chose only the first.

              "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

              by raptavio on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 08:47:24 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  May I ask, what gives you the right... (15+ / 0-)

                to keep telling everyone else to "Shut Up"?  Have you ever thought that maybe you should take your own advice?

                If people didn't respond then you would have to "Shut Up" because there would be no one for you to talk to.

                Try this next time:

                1.) Say this is how I see it.
                2.) Wait until someone comments (hopefully they won't be rude and they will respond based on the merits of your argument.
                3.) Respond to their response using curteous words and logic to defend your position and show the flaws in your opponents point of view.
                4.)  Repeat steps one through three until either person sees the logic of the other or you agree to disagree.
                5.) Thank the other person if the provided a civil, thought provoking argument whether you agree with it or not.

                It is not complicated and it works some much more effectively than telling people to "Shut Up and Listen" over and over again.

                "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

                by Buckeye Nut Schell on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 11:11:11 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  What gives me the right? (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  churchylafemme, Diogenes2008

                  The same thing that gives you the right to react to that statement by ignoring it, considering it, or being butthurt about it, according to your own choices.

                  It is not my responsibility to spoonfeed to you details about the issue of privilege in a manner that makes you as comfortable as possible. It is also not the responsibility of the unprivileged to do so. (The expectation that you are entitled to such is, in fact, a manifestation of that privilege.)

                  I'm springboarding off the diarist's use of the phrase to try to illuminate the value in shutting up and listening. Too often we humans want to do nothing more than argue against information that makes us uncomfortable. It requires a conscious choice, usually, to choose to -- in consideration for your feelings, to remain silent and listen, without arguing about it, but simply to consider what's being said.

                  But people are choosing to focus on the phrasing rather than the message. Of course, even if the phrasing did not include the words "shut up" there would still be nearly as many people outraged about being told they're privileged.

                  "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                  by raptavio on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 07:01:14 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  you are on a roll, raptavio! (5+ / 0-)

                    count the money quotes!

                    It is not my responsibility to spoonfeed to you details about the issue of privilege in a manner that makes you as comfortable as possible.
                    It is also not the responsibility of the unprivileged to do so. (The expectation that you are entitled to such is, in fact, a manifestation of that privilege.)
                    Too often we humans want to do nothing more than argue against information that makes us uncomfortable.
                    Of course, even if the phrasing did not include the words "shut up" there would still be nearly as many people outraged about being told they're privileged.

                    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
                    Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

                    by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 07:04:23 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  I get it (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    mconvente, JVolvo, DeadHead

                    When raptivo agrees with the message of the diary the tone is to be ignored but when someone you disagree with on message writes a diary that you don't like the tone of you get to accuse them of all sorts of nonsense.

                    You have the 2014 dailykos clueless hypocrisy award wrapped up Already. Might be time to vote you into the hall of fame.

                    I sing praises in the church of nonsense, but in my heart I'm still an atheist, demanding sense of all things.

                    by jbou on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 09:06:52 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Speaking only for myself, (0+ / 0-)

                    that wouldn't be the case for me. It's also clear that there are several critics that have acknowledged their privilege, yet that part of their commentary is ignored or dismissed.

                    Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

                    by AaronInSanDiego on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 12:40:35 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Forgive me waxing Socratic for a moment: (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      churchylafemme

                      Why do you suppose that is?

                      "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                      by raptavio on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 12:44:23 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  My impression is similar to my impression of (0+ / 0-)

                        a number of conversations, here and elsewhere. People construct in their minds, perhaps on the basis of personal experience, perhaps for other reasons, a small number of categories into which points of view have to be placed. So if two things a person says don't both fit in the same category, one has to be dismissed.

                        Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

                        by AaronInSanDiego on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 12:53:46 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Try placing yourself (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          churchylafemme

                          in the shoes of the diarist, or perhaps an unprivileged person talking about privilege.

                          You hear in response "I know I have privilege, and I recognize it, but your tone is abrasive and offensive and I don't like it. You should express yourself differently."

                          How might you take that response?

                          "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                          by raptavio on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 12:58:52 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I'm not sure it's possible for me to do that. (0+ / 0-)

                            I imagine I would be defensive, as many people would be if told they should express themself differently, regardless of privilege.

                            Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

                            by AaronInSanDiego on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 01:00:29 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Might you see it (0+ / 0-)

                            as the person so responding trying to change the subject from privilege to something else?

                            If you did, might you view the first part of the statement as a token acknowledgment that is insincere, in the same vein as an apology that begins with "I'm sorry, but" might be seen as insincere?

                            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                            by raptavio on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 01:05:00 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  That's one possible interpretation. (0+ / 0-)

                            Can't say whether I would see it that way. As it is, with some comments I think that's likely, and with others, I don't. If I had seen a comment with the literal wording you gave, I'd think it was either poorly expressed, or your interpretation was correct. But that's me as I am, not imagining myself in someone else's shoes.

                            Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

                            by AaronInSanDiego on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 01:12:02 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  As with most people waxing Socratic, (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            churchylafemme

                            I'm oversimplifying a bit.

                            But I think I'm not far off in describing the way that some of the complaints are coming off.

                            Also, as a grizzled old veteran of many a conversation about privilege (you understand, being a grizzleder older veteran of the GOS), I'm used to seeing people engage in these tactics to turn the conversation away from one of privilege and towards one of the "tone" of the complainant, no matter how polite or tactful the complainant tries to be. As such, I'm more than a little cynical.

                            In the world of the GOS, a general "Shut up and listen" is pretty mild on the scale of offensiveness of commentary. And I strongly suspect that if the subject matter were one where one might find less controversy among Kossacks (say, marriage equality, or extending unemployment aid), that there would be few to no complaints about "tone."

                            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                            by raptavio on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 01:21:36 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You could be right. (0+ / 0-)

                            The question rests in part on whether people feel the "shut up" remarks are directed at them or someone else. If it appears to be based on a person's political stance, rather than their identity, there seems to be more tolerance toward that kind of tone.

                            Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

                            by AaronInSanDiego on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 01:33:57 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yes, but (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            churchylafemme

                            if it's directed at everyone (much as this diarist directed it) but what they're asked to listen to is something utterly unobjectionable, suddenly, almost nobody minds.

                            "Everyone, shut up and listen -- Utah struck down the gay marriage ban!" for a hypothetical example.

                            "It's MLK day. Everyone, take a moment, sit down, shut up and listen -- REALLY listen -- to Dr. King's immortal speech...." for another.

                            Like I said. Maybe I'm just cynical, but I don't think the Tone Police would have showed up in such force for those two.

                            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                            by raptavio on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 01:40:50 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Sure, but those examples don't actually (0+ / 0-)

                            connote the same tone. They aren't saying "shut up" in a confrontational way, just a way of getting people's attention. If someone said, "if you don't agree with me, shut up and listen", a lot of people might object to that, regardless of the topic. I'm not saying that's the way KoSC is using the phrase, just saying the tone is not just conveyed by the phrase used, but by the context. Of course, when people do agree, they're less likely to take issue. That's not surprising, but it doesn't mean that objecting to the tone implies one doesn't agree with the position.

                            Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

                            by AaronInSanDiego on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 01:50:56 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  No, it doesn't, necessarily (0+ / 0-)

                            but given the data points I have -- namely, that any talk about privilege will cause an emergence of the "tone police" regardless of actual impoliteness, and that the tolerance for such coarse dialogue seems to be a lot higher when the message is about something less divisive -- I tend to believe it is a large, perhaps even driving, factor to the
                            ersatz outrage.

                            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                            by raptavio on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 01:54:01 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I prefer to evaluate individual comments (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            churchylafemme

                            on their own terms. I've seen too much lumping people together and judging based on association. Any sort of "xxx police" response is one I'm likely to be skeptical toward.

                            Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

                            by AaronInSanDiego on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 01:58:55 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  That's fair. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            churchylafemme

                            No really -- that's fair.

                            Which is why I acknowledge some cynicism is influencing my attitude.

                            Yet cynicism or no, the pattern remains.

                            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                            by raptavio on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 02:22:06 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

        •  But you missed the point of the diary (6+ / 0-)

          It is: when a person tries to explain their lack of privilege compared to the privileged person, the privileged person rejects their privilege being pointed out, instead of examining the concept of privilege and how the person who lacks privilege may have a point.

          The diary is pointing out the psychological defensiveness of privilege.

          •  And it does a very p*ss poor job of it. (5+ / 0-)

            I have no problem whatsoever discussing privilege.  I just don't like being told, ahead of time, before the discussion begins, to "shut up" and "don't dare."  Somehow that makes me feel like an infant, a naughty child sent to the corner, just for being me.

            Frankly, I think this diary is one of the most divisive I've read in a long time and I think it bodes very poorly for coalition building to elect more and better Dems.  

            It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

            by Radiowalla on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 07:25:43 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  My problem.... (6+ / 0-)

    ....is trying to figure out what the author is writing about. Not the myriad of issues related to privilege, listening, etc, but rather what the person is responding to. The intro suggests reading "some stuff about privilege and attitudes". What "stuff" is that? I'm genuinely curious to read what clearly set this person on what reads like a rant. If this is more a responding to the state of the world and a certain subsegment of people in it, well, I guess that is more meta- but also is possible but carries with it a different overall message.

    Anyway, I hope the OP finds some more happy vibes out there from people/writings/whatever. I am pretty much completely privileged according to the post and would like to think I am always listening. I hope we cross paths.....

  •  I am surprised that so many kossacks are willing.. (20+ / 0-)

    to make an "Us vs. Them" category of the members of this site not over idealism or behavior but simply because some of us are of a certain color, gender and sexual orientation.  Many of you are using reasoning that sounds just as horrible as the bigots I believe you are actually lumping us in with.  

    You do not know me except for my words here and I have written a lot of them over the years.  If you have a problem with my words then by all means, call me out.  But if you want to start bashing me for what others who share the same attributes such as color, gender, etc then I have a right to get upset.  If I see someone bashing anyone else here for their color or their gender or anything else not related to their words then I promise you, I will call them out on it as well whether I share that particular attribute or not.  That is what "WE" are supposed to do if we truly are a "WE" instead of an "US & THEM".  The progressive movement and democracy itself will never survive if we continue to see people (especially people right here who we know are on our side) as "US" and "THEM".  

    "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

    by Buckeye Nut Schell on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 04:55:41 PM PST

    •  Thank you. I reject the idea that only victims (12+ / 0-)

      should have their rights respected. I don't think this site was ever intended to be restricted to victims. I find the idea repulsive.

      I could be wrong, but I think the diarist is claiming special privilege for himself. Herself?

      I'm a Vietnam Era vet. I'm also an Erma Bombeck Era vet. When cussing me out and calling me names please indicate which vet you would like to respond to your world changing thoughts.

      by Just Bob on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 05:22:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I do not know if they are claiming special... (15+ / 0-)

        priviledge or not but I take offense with the repeated "Shut Up"s and the implication that my "priviledge" somehow makes me a legitimate target for scorn and abuse.

        Write a diary about how people are being racist and I will join in and try to help find a solution.  Write a diary about how a woman is being denied her rights and I'll sign a petition or write a letter or help in whatever way I can.  Write a diary about gay civil rights and I'll respond with hope and encouragement and do whatever I can to support the good fight.  Write a diary promoting a tax plan that is more fair to everyone and I'll support it even if it means that I have to pay a little bit more myself.  But don't write a diary telling me I should simply shut up because I am (pick one or all: white, male. straight, middle class, healthy).  

        I am not sure why so many people I consider virtual friends here on this site would stand for these points of view.  If I were to recommend a diary that told (Black, women, gay, handicapped, poor, etc...) people to "Shut Up" because they are lucky to have (affirmative action, title nine, earned income tax credits, etc...) then I would hope my virtual friends and fellow kossacks would call me out on it and ask me if I had lost my fricking mind.

        "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

        by Buckeye Nut Schell on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 05:36:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  "they" (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BvueDem, Radiowalla, poligirl, JVolvo

          I don't know who "they" are, but I'm saddened that so many people seem to agree with the poster.

          I'm a Vietnam Era vet. I'm also an Erma Bombeck Era vet. When cussing me out and calling me names please indicate which vet you would like to respond to your world changing thoughts.

          by Just Bob on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 05:39:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  "They" as in the fact that I do not know... (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Just Bob, BvueDem, Radiowalla, poligirl

            if the diarist is a male or a female.  You said, :

            I could be wrong, but I think the diarist is claiming special privilege for himself. Herself?
            I was responding to your use of himself/herself by substituting the plural, "they", which is usually considered more acceptable than assuming "He" as it used to be done and less combersome than continued use of the he or she wording.  I was not attempting to make an "Us vs Them" use of the word.

            "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

            by Buckeye Nut Schell on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 05:56:24 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm partial to (s)he. ;-) (4+ / 0-)
              In fact, the use of plural pronouns to refer back to a singular subject isn’t new: it represents a revival of a practice dating from the 16th century.
              Both are awkward. Since we're speaking of the 16th century usage, it's only appropriate to add, with tongue deeply inserted in cheek, that we are not amused.

              I'm a Vietnam Era vet. I'm also an Erma Bombeck Era vet. When cussing me out and calling me names please indicate which vet you would like to respond to your world changing thoughts.

              by Just Bob on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 08:02:46 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  I'm an Asian female (23+ / 0-)

    I've lived a lot more of a privileged life than a lot of straight white males I know. And certainly most of those I grew up with.

    I certainly wouldn't tell them to shut up and listen to me (well, maybe if he was my bf). And I certainly wouldn't expect them to do it just because I'm an Asian and a woman. And I never thought of my gaining power and prestige in life meant that they had to give up some of theirs.

    I do agree that those of us who are privileged have an obligation to help those less privileged. I just never based who I helped based on their race, gender or sexual orientation.

    Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

    by Pi Li on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 04:59:36 PM PST

    •  thanks for the chuckle (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Buckeye Nut Schell, BvueDem

      for "maybe if he was my boyfriend".  thoughtful comment besides, too.

    •  I don't agree (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tonedevil, BvueDem, Skyye, churchylafemme

      that any of us have an obligation to help those who are less privileged. I assert we have an obligation to change the factors in society that make some people more privileged than others. I assert that there is also an obligation to politically and socially reject the privilege that is granted and assumed. It is only when the privileged reject privilege, on principle, that we will get somewhere. It is only when the privileged admit that they really are no better than anyone else, and not separate themselves out as the 'helpers' that we will get anywhere.

      •  These two comments (0+ / 0-)

        (Pi Li and bluehammer) encapsulate the impasse over the white privilege discourse.  One advocates an approach that values increasing privileges (leveling the playing field by bringing people up) and one advocates an approach that values stripping privileges.  I don't think one can reconcile these differences in approach and perhaps that's okay.

  •  My mantra to myself to unlearn racism: (15+ / 0-)

    "Sit down. Shut up. Listen. And learn."

    I think those of us who are white have an especially hard time with the shutting up part, because we're so used to being the ones talking.

    Some of the responses are from people unfamiliar with the concept of intersectionality ("I'm gay, therefore I can't be privileged!" - yeah, but you're white and male, still higher on the food chain). Most people are privileged in some aspects and less-privileged in other aspects of their being.

    As a woman I understand male privilege bright as day - but it took me much longer to understand and acknowledge my own white privilege, cis privilege, able-bodied privilege, employed privilege. Learning and thinking about them didn't make me feel guilty - it gave me a sense of control because I can think about it, learn about it, learn from others, and increase my understanding of the way the world works.

    Thank God, the Bob Fosse Kid is here! - Colin Mochrie

    by gardnerhill on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 05:09:59 PM PST

  •  So if I read this right (17+ / 0-)

    I need to be an unemployed, transgendered, minority, pagan before I'm allowed to speak?

    Um, great, thanks. Glad to know we're so inclusive here.

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 05:13:38 PM PST

  •  May I add one more category of privilege? (13+ / 0-)

    If you live in a western, industrialized nation, shut up and listen to what those in the developing world are telling you. Even if . . . .

  •  The problem is (9+ / 0-)

    that the burden of persuasion is on the person who is trying to get the other person to change.

    This is a principle that applies all across the board in life.  You might think that's unfair, and you'd be right, but that is how it is.

    You can say "tough shit" to the privileged all you want, but if the message makes them "uncomfortable", then they just won't listen to you.  The result will be that no change will occur.

    Since they are privileged, they are all too free just to ignore you.

    I am a Democrat BECAUSE I am a progressive.

    by darboy on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 05:41:05 PM PST

  •  What makes people uncomfortable? (5+ / 0-)

    So many things can. I agree with a lot of what you write in this diary. It is always important to support eachother and think about the experience of others. Not sure what diaries prompted you to write this one. Haven't been around here much lately due to depression.

    Some people may respond badly to diaries about white privilege because they are jerks. Some may respond badly due to bad writing. Some may respond badly to writing about white privilege because the author is an affluent white male. Some may respond badly because they were molested as children or raped or neglected or beaten and they don't feel privileged at all.

    I guess what we all need to remember is to be kind and thoughtful, to recognize when others are suffering, to always do our best to try and understand eachother's experience. And if we fail, apologize and try to be better.

    •  One key to one of the many doors of understanding (2+ / 0-)

      is...

      if you were beaten as a child and you are white and you can hide the psychological scars and cope and appear 'normal', would you be more likely to get the apartment rental, the job, not get pulled over, not get followed in the store and suspected of shoplifting, be able to walk down the street late at night without arousing suspicion, etc.?

      Child abuse is not an argument against privilege. It's horrible. It should not have happened. It impacts all lives who were subjected to it. But... it does not negate societal privilege.

  •  This diary made me uncomfortable. (8+ / 0-)

    Thank you.  Recommended.

    Why do I have the feeling George W. Bush joined the Stonecutters, ate a mess of ribs, and used the Constitution as a napkin?

    by Matt Z on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 06:22:25 PM PST

  •  I definitely feel this one (6+ / 0-)

    My one tiny criticism is that there is no mention of intersectionality, which in my opinion is essential to dialogues about privilege.

    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 Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 06:26:25 PM PST

  •  There is always someone less privileged than you (6+ / 0-)

    Always.  

    So when does the chain of telling people to shut up end?  Maybe when a widow with AIDS in Africa, a child being sold as a sex slave in Thailand, or someone who is an amputee as a consequence living under of Sharia Law tells the privileged American diarist complaining on internet to shut up or risk looking like the asshole he itches to call so many others.

    Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

    by Mark Mywurtz on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 06:27:41 PM PST

    •  Whenever you have a privilege that they do not. (4+ / 0-)

      That's when it ends.

      I admit I was angry as hell this morning when I wrote that. And right afterwards, I had to go away from distraction sites like Kos and Facebook, in order to do my work today. I did not expect this to explode the way it did. In answer to the many questions above, which I am far too tired to deal with, it's both a rant and a calling-on-the-carpet for the people who have privilege and pretend it isn't real.

      This morning, on Facebook, I had several different people, in different ways, straight-splain, rich-splain, man-splain and class-splain to me and to several of my friends how privilege isn't real and we should just work harder and, of course, shut up because we were making them uncomfortable. That's probably why the term "shut up" emerged so often in this diary.

      Disclosure: I'm a middle-aged, working-poor, college-educated, white, male, gay, divorced, disabled, atheist person. I have an enormous amount of privilege (white, male, college-educated, middle-aged) and an enormous amount of places where I am disadvantaged (gay, disabled, atheist, working-poor, underemployed).

      And I would never, EVER tell a woman to shut up about male privilege, or a nonwhite person to shut up about white privilege, or a person without an education to shut up about educated-people privilege.

      But if you're better off than me, then shut up and listen to me when I tell you what it's like to live paycheck to paycheck and hope that you'll still have a job next month. If you're straight, shut up and listen to me when I tell you about being gay-bashed, or shamed by a doctor for my orientation, or having to deal with people like the Westboro Baptists, who would love to burn me at the stake if they could get away with it. If you're abled, for god's sake shut up and listen to me about how impossible it is being disabled in today's society when every time you ask for accommodations you're treated like you're a drain on society.

      Recognize the places where you have privilege. Own them. And then when you are talking to someone who doesn't have the same privilege, shut up and listen to them.

      "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." - Hubert Humphrey

      by Killer of Sacred Cows on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 01:04:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why do all of these "chits" have to come into play (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mconvente, JVolvo, DeadHead

        I read your comment broadly to say that people should not negate your experience.  I find such behavior to be the lowest form of disregard and concur with your outrage.  But why should your right to basic respect be conditioned in any way upon your race, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, etc.?  I don't understand how the basic truth of your right to be heard can/should be modified by the many facets of your person and experience.  

      •  That's the thing (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mconvente, JVolvo, DeadHead

        I don't think many of the people here on DK who didn't care for your diary deny the benefits of one or more privileges they enjoy.  I certainly don't.  I'm a straight, white male in the United States, am physically healthy, and I'm able to make ends meet.  When I get upset about things that go wrong in my life, I try to remind myself of how good I have it and that so many people endure hardships that are far worse than I have experienced.  

        I acknowledge my good fortune and I do not diminish the challenges that others face in society that I probably don't always even notice.  

        I think you may have picked the wrong audience for your "Shut up and listen or you're an asshole" theme.  If you are having political discussions on Facebook, you need to be aware that some of the stupidest things ever written are posted on Facebook every hour.  Even the dumbest among us are encouraged to share their political "wisdom" on Facebook.  

        Here on DK (most) people are different.  Like a lot of the objectors to your diary, I realize that there is an unfair power structure in society that confers advantages and disadvantages on people based on their demographic rather than their character.  

        Society does that.  So do some individuals.  But other individuals do not.  Your audience consists of a bunch of individuals, not society per se.  A bunch of individuals who read, "Shut up"?  "Asshole"?  Wait, what?

        Your audience here, generally, are Democrats of various stripes who are well aware that society works for the powerful and doesn't work for the powerless and want that to change.  That's kind of the definition of a Democrat if you ask me.  Speaking for myself, even though I'm a straight, white, male American who is physically able and employed, I know there are experiences that are difficult for me to understand (which is, why I read diaries here).  Even though I'm of a demographic that benefits from the power structure in society, many of the people I care about are not and even if I only knew straight, white men, I would still be concerned about elevating people I didn't know because they are human beings.  I support progressive candidates and causes with my votes, my campaign contributions, and my voice.  

        And unlike your real audience--the mouth-breathers of Facebook--I'm not alone in believing that I'm the last person who should be told to shut up because of the demographic boxes I check.  

        I will happily listen to you--I want to hear you; that's why I come here--but I also want the conversation to at least start with civility and understanding from both sides--and with you not automatically assuming that I won't or can't hear you or that I'm not trying in good faith to understand.  Save the harsh tone for the right-wingers...we know where they stand and they are deserving of our contempt.  

        There are some great diarists on here who write about privilege and inequality and do a great job of highlighting the difficulties that the powerless face using actual examples that challenge the reader to see another perspective.  (HBIII is one of my favorite writers on the site if you want an example of the types of diaries I think are effective and powerful without gratuitous anger directed at the reader.)  I don't think I'm alone in responding much better to diaries that tell a story and encourage me to empathize than those that tell me to shut up because I don't get it.  Or at least ones that clearly tell the right people to shut up.  That doesn't mean you can't be critical and write with full-on contempt when it's warranted; I do sometimes and many of the best writers are awesome at it--just make sure that it's clear who the contempt is directed at and that they are worthy of it.  

        Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

        by Mark Mywurtz on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 05:00:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Disagree (3+ / 0-)

      This is a discussion about macro-privilege. This insistence on particularity of experience derails the conversation. It is a discussion about what society elevates and denigrates. And, it is clear that even today white male privilege is still enforced.

      •  My comment is also about macro privilege (0+ / 0-)

        My "someone" really refers to MANY "someones".  Society elevates the challenges other Americans face over the challenges faced by people in less comfortable parts of the world.  That's very macro and it diminishes the sentiment of this diary that seeks to antagonize by pointing fingers at everyone else to say, "shut up--you are privileged" without the diarist examining his own vast privileges in the broad scale of things.  

        Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

        by Mark Mywurtz on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 03:55:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  a few comments (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AaronInSanDiego, Tonedevil

    Those with "privilege" of the sort discussed here (everyone knows the privilege associated with a million dollar lifestyle) simply do not see it as such and calling them names will, most of the time, simply leave them hurt and/or bewildered and/or angry. If I can apply for a job, or walk alone down a street in the dark, or go shopping in a store, or state an opinion, or make a complaint, or ask a favor of a stranger, and in each instance expect to be treated with seriousness and respect and consideration, and then receive that treatment, well that's not privilege that's just a civilized society where everyone is entitled to similar treatment. And this makes me privileged? For this I should apologize? For this I should be berated? Getting someone to see this as privilege is not easy, even getting someone into a serious discussion of privilege is pretty uncomfortable. Who wants to defend themselves for having been treated with basic human dignity, who wants to be put in a position of having to understand or else risk being called a name. It's hard to feel unless you can extrapolate from some personal experience. I was lucky enough to feel that for a moment, in the mildest of all contexts, risking nothing.
    And for those on the other side - it doesn't have to happen every day, just enough so that you don't know when it's coming, the look, the snide comment, the blank stare, the smirk, the "No", the unmistakeable sign that you are the Other, and do not deserve that treatment that everyone in this "civilized" society deserves. How to survive in a situation like that! How to learn not to go through life in fear and fury, because if you react it will be you that's the strange one. And then to imagine that those clueless privileged that have no idea what's going on and will tell you, you!, what's going on, and that you are imagining things and they are perfectly unprejudiced and supportive and you should leave them alone and why are you so angry?
    That is a chasm.

    Bold at inappropriate times.

    by steep rain on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 06:34:02 PM PST

  •  My mom always told me (15+ / 0-)

    "It's not what you say, it's how you say it."

    I feel that her motto is apt for this diary.

    Listen, I get why you're writing this.  I'm very self-aware of my privilege, and it's good to have reminders.  But don't be surprised if some take this diary the wrong way.  Because it is a bit grating.

    Some of us dislike the tone of this diary not because the subject matter makes us uncomfortable, but because the tone of this diary is very accusatory and divisive.

    I feel that a lot of people here at Daily Kos refuse to understand the notion that even if someone may agree with you, if you're an asshole about it many of us will not be as vocal in support of you.

    Some people may get a needed kick in a butt with the tone of this diary and react positively, but I feel like it could have been stated in a more unifying way.  I mean, honestly, it's almost as if you are saying that unless you are a non-white, transgender, poor, unemployed, disabled person then you need to "shut up".  What kind of message does that send?

     

    "Give me a lever long enough... and I shall move the world." - Archimedes

    by mconvente on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 06:37:36 PM PST

    •  Good comment. (10+ / 0-)

      'Specially this:

      I feel that a lot of people here at Daily Kos refuse to understand the notion that even if someone may agree with you, if you're an asshole about it many of us will not be as vocal in support of you.

      Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

      by Mark Mywurtz on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 06:40:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe. (5+ / 0-)

      And maybe someone writing with this tone about a topic that fewer people want to avoid thinking about wouldn't be scolded for his "tone."

      "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

      by raptavio on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 08:44:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You've been pretty snippy in this diary (8+ / 0-)

        Sometimes people need a kick in the ass to get with the program about reality.  I agree 100% with the premise of this diary.  And yes, I can understand the diary but never "get it" because I'm of the demographics that combined is the most privileged in the world.  But even still, I don't appreciate feeling unworthy of even being an ally.  Because that's how this diary makes me feel in the end.

        About this diary; I said kick in the ass, not beaten to a pulp.  Do you not see the irony in telling allies to "shut up and listen"?

        "Give me a lever long enough... and I shall move the world." - Archimedes

        by mconvente on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 10:11:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I see (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Diogenes2008, churchylafemme

          that people might find it ironic. But it's not.

          Also "allies" is a fact not necessarily in evidence. I've been around here long enough that when it comes to the battle for equality, not everyone on the GOS is an ally.

          If "shut up and listen" to you is "beaten to a pulp" I would, respectfully, suggest an adjustment in perspective is in order.

          "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

          by raptavio on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 07:54:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Bingo! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mconvente, poligirl, JVolvo

      It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

      by Radiowalla on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 08:56:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Tone (3+ / 0-)

      I don't get it. I'm 'white' (at least on my birth certificate, but you know ... a lot of folks lied back then). But, I'm not offended or put off by this diary, because I do get it.

      I've had a span of freedom in my life that a lot of folks don't have. I'm poor, but I know if I wasn't 'white' I would have had a whole heck of lot more strife just getting by and trying to negotiate life. I've seen god awful poverty and heard people talking about wanting to get out of the boundaries that have been enforced on them against their will. I know a lot of my boundaries are self imposed and if I wanted to play the game I could...

      I just have absolutely no feeling of defensiveness about my privilege. Yes, I've got it. I've consciously rejected it at times and tacitly accepted it at others. It's nothing to get bunched up about. It's real. I think it's disgusting to have it and I relinquish it when and where I can. And, the whole point of this diary is that someone does not have to tell me to shut up and listen because I'm already there: all ears. I'm not going to tell them, no you got it all wrong because my parents were shitty and I'm in a dead end job. I realize, yeah, shitty parents and dead end job notwithstanding, I've got general societal advantages.

  •  Ok words of one sylable here: (7+ / 0-)

    If you have any type of advantage: sex, race, cash, gender, education, class, nationality, high abilities, big vocabulary, lots of family and/or friends, an easy childhood, health, a positive attitude, dominant religion, attractive (per cultural norms): you get it now? if another who  does Not have That advantage says "you have it better" it is the truth, you do. They may not have your disadvantage but they Do have their own disadvantage. It is a lie to say they do not have that disadvantage. If they say "you have ignored my disadvantage and hurt me" and you deny their hurt, you have insulted them. Apologize. Listen. This is the start. Only then can you ask that they respect your disadvantages.  Let me refer you to the "Whatever" link at the top. Of the list of advantages above I have lots of them, but not all. I would be shocked to hear of a Daily Kos poster having all of them, or none. Go down the list: sober, would you say you have zero?

    •  This makes me think of a conversation I had (3+ / 0-)

      recently, where the person I was talking to seemed to suggest that we shouldn't complain about an African American expressing antisemitic ideas because Jews in our society are typically better off than AAs. I can acknowledge that I am more privileged than a black person in our society, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't be allowed to object when anyone engages in antisemitism.

      Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

      by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 11:18:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Conflation (0+ / 0-)

        You are correct that you can object at antisemitic statements coming from any segment of the population, including (but not anymore egregious than any other segment) African Americans. But, this does not counter that being African American in the U.S. is still the topmost indicator for lack of social mobility, employment, adequate education, wealth, and unjust levels of incarceration.

      •  Wow (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Oh Mary Oh, churchylafemme

        I've never seen any rational person say that anyone should be let off the hook for expressing anti-semitic ideas. I think it was James Baldwin who wrote an essay back in the 1960s explaining why some black people were anti-semitic. Spoiler alert: race is involved. But it was James Baldwin, so it was obviously a pretty complex and thoughtful explanation. However, even that was just an (old) explanation, not an excuse. It kind of creeps me out that anyone would even think that.

        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 Jan 20, 2014 at 03:11:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  You should drop the 'noblesse oblige' line, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    serendipityisabitch

    its like saying 'you are better than me so you owe me', and its hard to expect someone to not be condescending if that is the starting point of a dialog.

    And we love to wear a badge, a uniform / And we love to fly a flag But I won't...let others live in hell / As we divide against each other And we fight amongst ourselves

    by ban48 on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 07:13:37 PM PST

  •  where is it written (7+ / 0-)

    that you get to be comfortable all the time?

    in the big book of privilege, that's where!  they read that on the very first day in Privilege 101 class.

    remember you heard it here first:  TBM's handy basic definition of privilege:

    the essence of privilege is expecting to be comfortable all the time and being shocked/surprised on the occasions when you are not

    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
    Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 08:07:05 PM PST

  •  I try to listen. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mconvente

    I'm not always willing to shut up. That gets me into trouble, but no one has given me a convincing reason why I should, if I try to be respectful.

    Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

    by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 08:13:07 PM PST

  •  The trap of the tone police. (4+ / 0-)

    The tone cops that are constantly wagging our fingers at us would have us believe that there's some sort of Goldilocks zone between "Too quiet, you'll be ignored" and "Too strident, you're alienating people!"

    It would look something like this:


    ==too quiet=]
                [
    just right]
                           [
    =too strident==

    But the tone-trolls have it rigged like this:


    =
    too quiet=]
           [
    =too strident===

    There's no Goldilocks zone. That's how the tone-trolls like it, so you can't get your voice heard in a way that's "acceptable."

    There's but one strategy if you want to be heard: Tell the tone-trolls to go fuck themselves, and crotch-kick them every time they wail that you're offending them.

    Oh, does it hurt their pwecious widdle fee-fees? GOOD!

    •  Oh please. Right back at you. (6+ / 0-)

      Since you like flowcharts so much, why don't you read this one.

      -Diary lists all kinds of ways that someone can be privileged

      -If you are any of those privileged demographics (or fuck, even just one), you will never understand what it means to be unprivileged, so "shut up and listen"

      -But "shut up and listen" is really just a hollow statement on it's own (despite repeated usages by one raptavio some even with italics for some nebulous attempt for added emphasis...)

      -Ultimately, it's a heads you win, tails I lose situation.  I'm being told I can never understand what it means to unprivileged, so I should "shut up and listen".  But then you want me to be an ally?  I'm going to be an ally for fairness, equality, and leveling the playing field, but it certainly won't be to placate some condescending rant that this diary is (the good underlying message notwithstanding)

      Next time you want to recruit some people to be allies for your cause, rant at them and tell them to "shut up and listen" and see how well that works out.  I'm sure you will be sooooooo successful.  Because everyone who is made to feel unworthy in a positive movement is sure to back you up.  Yeah, uh huh...

      I find it very ironic that on the eve of MLK, Jr. Day there is a diary with a "Breaking Bad, you're goddamn right" divisive and inflammatory tone about privilege and understanding.  Because a core tenet of MLK's activism for equality was to garner support from the those very privileged groups in the first place.

      You should think about that.

      "Give me a lever long enough... and I shall move the world." - Archimedes

      by mconvente on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 10:39:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well that's good (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        churchylafemme

        Quite frankly, if this diary upsets you, I don't want you as an ally, since, you know, you're not. You're whole point is that in order to get more white folks to join they have to be catered to like special snow flakes. Well you know what? Screw that.

        And I love it when white people use the talisman of MLK in these discussions. I could practically make a drinking game out of it. Here's a history lesson for you for free: In his time, MLK was considered "divisive" and "inflammatory." Most white people in his time loathed him. You don't end up assassinated with no real investigation into the murder by being some great reconciler. It is only now that he has been sanitized for white history, and only now that what most white people think he stood for seems so obvious, that he seems like such a docile man rather than an agitator. Which is why you trying to say that he was anything but divisive is hilarious.

        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 Jan 20, 2014 at 01:28:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Being upset by the diary (7+ / 0-)

          automatically disqualifies someone from being an ally?

          Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

          by AaronInSanDiego on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 01:42:03 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, yes (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            churchylafemme

            This diary perfectly encapsulates the anger people feel when their explanations for their lives and their reality are dismissed all the time by people who have a bunch of privilege but no actual experience to base the dismissal on. If this diary pisses someone off purely over tone, then it's pretty clear that that person can't honestly be an ally because there's no recognition of that frustration, anger and pain the diarist and others like myself have felt numerous times. That pretty much disqualifies that person by definition. It is not permanent, of course. One can choose to try and learn, listen and empathize.

            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 Jan 20, 2014 at 02:09:17 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Being upset by this diary... (0+ / 0-)

            ...implies that the person upset lives a sad existence and needs to get a life.

        •  You can think whatever you want (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AaronInSanDiego, poligirl, DeadHead

          I acknowledge (and have acknowledged above in this diary) that I can never truly "get it" with regard to privilege, because I'm in the most privileged demographic group that exists.  I'm self aware of this.  It's not like I'm spouting off some teabagger rant about how non-white people have it the best in America, etc etc.  Not at all.

          I'm saying that the way to build coalitions isn't to demean anyone in your group of allies.  It's not about catering, so I have no clue where the hell you are getting that notion.

          Maybe you think I'm being too vanilla, too cautious; that I and others need to be more of the enraged, march in the streets type of individuals to qualify for our "allies to the unprivileged" medal.  That would be wrong, but think away if you must.

          I'm just of the mindset that you don't build groups of allies by striking a demeaning tone.  You just don't.  As was pointed out elsewhere in this diary, Minnesota definitely would not have marriage equality now if their tactic was to yell "shut up and listen" to every voter, instead of engaging a positive campaign.  That's a good lesson to take.

          "Give me a lever long enough... and I shall move the world." - Archimedes

          by mconvente on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 06:27:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  In case anyone was wondering (3+ / 0-)

          if anyone supporting the diarist goes too far for me, yeah, this one does.

          Quite frankly, if this diary upsets you, I don't want you as an ally, since, you know, you're not.
          If you're upset by the diary, I still want you as an ally. Because minds and hearts can be changed. And you can be upset by the diary and still examine your privilege anyway.

          For me, it took being upset and then thinking about the conversation in the back of my head for several weeks before I started to "get it" (and part of "getting it", paradoxically, was understanding that I will never really "get it"). Which is why I've got no problem with the cages being rattled in this diary. People might get defensive now and cogitate on it anyway, for a while, before having their epiphanies.

          "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

          by raptavio on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 08:50:58 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  As I explained eslewhere (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            churchylafemme

            If you are angry about this diary and responding the way this commenter did, and especially if you're name dropping MLK the way this commenter did, you aren't an ally. That doesn't mean you can't become one later, but you just aren't. And I don't want that person around until he or she has figured it out, not so much for myself alone, but because people like that cause a tremendous amount of pain to a lot of people.

            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 Jan 20, 2014 at 09:16:48 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Understand, please (3+ / 0-)

              that there is a big difference between "I don't want you as an ally" and "I don't want you as an ally until".

              IMAO, anyway.

              "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

              by raptavio on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 09:18:25 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  I'm not angry about this diary (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mattc129, JVolvo, DeadHead

              I've said around five times in this very diary that I agree with the statements 100%.  Now this makes six.

              I just find it really bizarre that it seems I must satisfy your ally litmus test in order to be an ally in your mind.

              Again, since you didn't respond to my earlier comment, I'll ask again - do you think I'm not an ally because I'm being too vanilla and too cautious?

              That because I'm even commenting about the tone of the diary author, I automatically get boxed into the "not an ally, don't want me around" corner?  And if I'm not "getting it", but can still "come around later", how am I supposed to do that if you "don't want me around"?

              See, we can just keep going in circles.

              Unless you say otherwise, I really think you are branding me "not an ally" because I'm not an Activist (with a capital A) with regard to these issues.  Basically, I feel in your mind I'm not doing enough to erase the injustices of the unprivileged; that merely acknowledging that I am very privileged is not enough.

              I really don't like that type of thinking because it's just not everyone's personality to be on the front lines of a protest.  Especially at Daily Kos, where I'd say we have many more self-admitted introverts than the general population.

              "Give me a lever long enough... and I shall move the world." - Archimedes

              by mconvente on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 10:03:49 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Thud. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mconvente, mattc129, poligirl

      What in the world is a tone-troll?  Is that like a strawman, only less based in reality?  That's what you've presented here.  I'm pretty sure that objecting to being told "Shut up or you're an asshole" over and over again doesn't make one a "tone-troll".  

      Fact is, if KoSC attempted to accomplish anything persuasive whatsoever with this diary (and maybe that's not the case--I guess I hope not), that mission was a complete failure.  No matter how hard you clap.

      Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

      by Mark Mywurtz on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 03:50:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Who is more privileged? (4+ / 0-)

    A rich, straight Black man or a poor, gay White guy?

  •  Oh no (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mconvente, gsenski

    Is tumblr making it's way to DKos?

  •  Good points, but I bristled at misuse of "fair" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mconvente, raptavio

    That word is not being used to connote actual fairness being denied in your diary, but instead the slanted (i.e., privileged) perception of being fair from a privileged standpoint.

    It gets to me a bit because I do strive for playing fair as much as possible in discussions and/or debates, in the sense that I treat everyone per the Golden Rule . . . unless they turn out to be an unmitigated asshole, then I just push back harder . . . fairly.  Treat them as best they seem to deserve, hopefully not going below the belt by accident, etc.

    "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

    by wader on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 12:24:49 AM PST

  •  The problem isn't tone, it's the discourse (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JVolvo

    It doesn't matter the tone one uses when promoting the discourse of white privilege because the rational framework on which it is based is too facile to be of productive use.  It's true purpose, I would posit, is antithetical to that which it claims:  it is intended to quell the anxiety experienced by the bourgeoisie for their undeserved privilege while also satisfying their accretive desire.  The discourse on white privilege primarily functions to deflect discussion from tangible privileges enjoyed by the bourgeoisie to a broader, less tangible and less justifiable group.  If all white people enjoy the same white privilege, there is no need to examine more closely the experiences of actual people exercising actual privileges.  The poor, disadvantaged white person is just as privileged as the scions of suburban corporate lawyers.  Whew- that's a real relief to the children of the corporate class.  

    The added bonus is that white privilege discourse also satisfies the bourgeois's need to assert their moral superiority over others, to the point of (unironically) throwing around their privilege to silence those who threaten the white privilege blanket that insulates them from reflecting upon their own lives.

    In real discourse at least as I recognize it, all parties share their stories, experiences, and intelligence and respect and learn from what the other parties bring to the discussion.  It holds as a fundament that the discourse of all others is to be respected (provided they act in good faith).  That is how one learns and how one educates.  Not through invective, condescension or moral superiority.  

    •  Erm, no (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      raptavio, churchylafemme

      The problem with your entire comment is that you see privilege as a number game, just like a lot of white people do. It's not a zero sum game. There's no competition to see who has more or less. We all have some type of privilege.

      The other problem is that, as is pretty obvious in this diary and others like this one, we are all at a different learning stage of what it means to have privilege and how to go about your life while acknowledging it. That tends to lead to difficulties with discussion. Some folks have lived this their whole lives, while others like me have only joined this discussion fairly recently. Makes it difficult as folks at different learning levels tend to speak different languages.

      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 Jan 20, 2014 at 01:33:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Where do you get the idea (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DeadHead, JVolvo

        that I see privilege as a zero sum game?  My position is that privilege is a complex issue, involving an interplay of many different factors, that defies the kind of simplistic argument that is the core of the white privilege discourse.  The kind of discourse I described in my comment cannot possibly occur within the white privilege framework.  My approach is the classic consciousness raising one.  

        As for your second paragraph, I agree wholeheartedly.  I will also add that the further down the privilege scale one slides, the greater one's consciousness of the many levels and forms of privilege.  This is part of the perniciousness of the white privilege discourse:  many of those who have come to acknowledge their privilege late in life (personally, I was aware of the presence and force of privilege before leaving elementary school) have the temerity to disregard the experiences of others and to often go so far as to tell other people what they think and feel, somewhat akin (on a different level) to your presuming to tell me how I view privilege on the basis of a comment that offers no data from which to make such a presumption.  

  •  Beautifully expressed, KoSC. (3+ / 0-)

    And from a disabled bi woman, thank you.

  •  righteous rant! you GO! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Diogenes2008

    and i'll be "going" right along side you all the way to change!

    EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

    by edrie on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 01:10:24 PM PST

  •  No one's denying the existence of privilege, but (0+ / 0-)

    no one is entitled to whatever they say on the matter being unquestioned or unchallenged.  What if, say, they're advocating some method you don't agree with to remedy that lack of privilege?

    Moreover, as someone mentioned above, are there degrees of lack of privilege?  Does a disabled person have to shut up and listen to what an LGBT person is telling them or the other way around?  Does an African American man have to shut up and listen to what a white woman is telling him or the other way around?

    The words "shut up and listen" are more likely to have the effect opposite to what's intended (much in the same way that telling someone to "calm down!" often does).  You're highly unlikely to compel people to listen to you from an immediately hostile position.

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