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This diary started as a comment in another thread where one of my fellow white people wrote a diary making some remarks which indicated a profound lack of understanding about race and privilege -- things that most Kossacks have come to understand, but some Kossacks (and perhaps most white folks in America as a whole) have not, and sometimes stubbornly and even angrily reject for reasons.

People in a couple replies to the comment exhorted me to turn the comment into a diary, and I later received a couple private messages further pleading for it to be turned into a diary, and I'm finally caving in and doing it.

I don't feel I'm adding anything new to the conversation, but sometimes there is value to repeating a message that needs to be repeated.

This diary is about the difficulty that people in a privileged class -- in this case, being white in America -- have accepting that the class is, in fact, inherently privileged, regardless of other factors in our lives. Many of us, confronted with our privileged, might feel put upon, accused of being racist (NOTE: Privilege and racism are NOT THE SAME THING in the same sense that crops and rain are not the same thing), or offended by the perceived or actual "tone" of the person doing the confronting.

If you'd like to read it, please hop over the Great Orange Pouf.

Can we engage in a mental exercise?

Seriously. I mean it. Let go of preconceptions and, just for the moment, accept something as true something which you may not believe, or may only partially believe with heavy caveats. Just for the moment, accept it as the unqualified truth.

Accept, for the sake of argument, that whiteness in America inherently carries privilege irrespective of wealth, region of origin, inherent intelligence, or how much you'd like to have more than what you do.

If you don't like the word "accept", then replace with the word "pretend."

So for the sake of this argument, stop trying to explain why you don't have privilege and pretend that it's a given that you do, but you cannot yet see how. (Think of it as a mental analogue to a scavenger hunt. Find the privileges!)

Start by imagining someone with the same relative wealth as you, with the same family, with one difference -- they're black.

Think about the things in your life that you can take for granted that black-you cannot.

Like not being presumed to be a criminal by the police or by strangers simply because of how you look.

Like not having to overcome racial prejudice to get a job.

Like living in a society where most of the people with power, authority, and/or prestige are of your race.

Like living in a society where you can spend much or even all your day in public surrounded by people who are mostly of your race.

Like where if you watch television, most of the people on the shows you watch will be of your race, rather than the occasional token, or the occasional show which is most likely to exist specifically to be focused on your race.

Consider some more. You truly have no idea how even the people occasionally termed "poor white trash" (a term I loathe because it carries the implication that "trash" is normally nonwhite) have a large number of privileges their nonwhite counterparts don't -- and one of those privileges is to be unconcerned with those privileges to the point where they don't even realize those privileges aren't enjoyed by everyone else.

Now this is a starting point. Privilege takes many forms. White privilege, male privilege straight privilege, wealth privilege, and there are others. That leads down a whole path of what's called "intersectionality" which you can Google if you want (but later!). For now let's just focus on the white vs. nonwhite.

Take some time and think about it. Then see what you discover, and see if this assumption which you made for the sake of argument turns out to actually be true.



As I said at the time this was just a comment, part of the reason I was reluctant to make this diary is that we do have, here on DKos, just like everywhere else in America, a number of people who do not want to accept their privilege, and who react with anger and derision to diaries like this -- and to be honest, I didn't want to deal with that. So I may not deal particularly well with people who choose to react to the diary in that manner; fair warning.

Originally posted to Rappy's Ramblings on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Support the Dream Defenders, Barriers and Bridges, White Privilege Working Group, and Black Kos community.

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Comment Preferences

  •  While I think (221+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poco, a2nite, Kitsap River, Wordsinthewind, shanikka, Ebby, Safina, CwV, JoanMar, Its the Supreme Court Stupid, HudsonValleyMark, Vita Brevis, swampyankee, tardis10, karmsy, Richard Lyon, Knockbally, just another vet, dov12348, Glen The Plumber, peregrine kate, blue jersey mom, awesumtenor, Hey338Too, Thinking Fella, Brecht, serendipityisabitch, Boston to Salem, kathny, wide eyed lib, Fabienne, Onomastic, pixxer, zerelda, boadicea, fcvaguy, wader, clubbing guy, Free Jazz at High Noon, mallyroyal, janmtairy, Yasuragi, Ian Reifowitz, lunachickie, Catte Nappe, 2thanks, leftist vegetarian patriot, Penny GC, doroma, blueyedace2, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, chrississippi, Eyesbright, marina, roses, worldlotus, socal altvibe, Meteor Blades, More Questions Than Answers, bfitzinAR, virginwoolf, farmerhunt, greenbastard, Mnemosyne, Skyye, AnnetteK, emelyn, science nerd, timewarp, kenwards, Involuntary Exile, Chitown Kev, vixenflem, porchdog1961, kimoconnor, Matt Z, enhydra lutris, bobswern, FG, shopkeeper, Mimikatz, cpresley, glendaw271, GoGoGoEverton, dotsright, ArthurPoet, siduri, Spirit of Life, high uintas, your neighbor, FogCityJohn, greycat, Mindful Nature, lao hong han, Lily O Lady, Truza, poligirl, SilverWillow, Dave in Northridge, missLotus, Jakkalbessie, smartdemmg, smoothnmellow, moviemeister76, TokenLiberal, DKBurton, LinSea, smileycreek, HedwigKos, pat of butter in a sea of grits, TomP, Arilca Mockingbird, scribe, Sylv, Tonedevil, Denise Oliver Velez, vemito, mollyd, TexMex, blueoregon, Ozy, JBL55, grover, basquebob, stegro, Sapere aude, MKinTN, Caneel, Terri, NetminderElite, SaintC, howabout, Statusquomustgo, earicicle, isabelle hayes, petulans, TheMeansAreTheEnd, freerad, EdSF, Cassandra Waites, slowbutsure, Eric Nelson, Steveningen, jazzizbest, paulitics, citisven, asindc, Got a Grip, Diogenes2008, CA ridebalanced, fumie, cardboardurinal, kishik, avsp, ord avg guy, shesaid, never forget 2000, Laurel in CA, also mom of 5, rebereads, GenXangster, Wee Mama, etherealfire, JDWolverton, Red Tom Kidd, raina, Bongobanger, most peculiar mama, greengemini, splashy, OllieGarkey, jdsnebraska, Vetwife, meg, no way lack of brain, duhban, glitterlust, ATFILLINOIS, countwebb, jimraff, misshelly, TFinSF, Bill in MD, rapala, WakeUpNeo, PapaChach, Tortmaster, klompendanser, BenderRodriguez, sviscusi, kalmoth, tytalus, NBBooks, emeraldmaiden, MBNYC, middleagedhousewife, tofumagoo, rlharry, nomandates, Patango, koosah, underTheRadar, oceanrain, Skaje, niteskolar, Urban Space Cowboy, Meurglys, tubacat, sngmama, Kristina40, Imhotepsings, StrayCat, MrJayTee, Oh Mary Oh, aitchdee, Old Sailor, churchylafemme, LSmith, ZhenRen, fou, Larsstephens

    that without living the experience of being without privilege, that we can never truly grok everything about what it means, we can become more aware and more understanding of our own privilege, and the systemic and cultural structures that grant us that privilege.

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

    by raptavio on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 05:49:02 AM PST

  •  Aji can't get onto DKos right now (85+ / 0-)

    So she's asked me to tell you she'd tip and rec your diary if she could and she's posted it on Facebook, which is where I saw it.

    I've tipped and recced it myself and am off to share it with Facebook myself. I'll check back to help if you get unwanted attention. Great, great diary. Well said, raptavio. You rock.

  •  Tipped and Recc'd (94+ / 0-)

    Thank you.  For being willing to step up as a true ally, thus keeping manageable the blood pressure of those like me who really are out of patience with whitesplaining (of the type that occurred in the diary comments you originally commented in) and the ongoing refusal of so-called progressive folks to just accept white privilege and try to understand how they can make a difference in minimizing its adverse impacts on us all.  

    (PS Aji also says tipped and recc'd!)

    Love Africa? Love Opera? Love documentaries? Then you will love the The Tenor from Abidjan

    by shanikka on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:22:34 AM PST

  •  I was a Democrat, now I am a "white person" (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Johnny Q, MHB, joesig, Tony Stark, montanaguy

    who is apparently supposed to feel really, really uncomfortable in the Democratic Party and go around constantly apologizing for my "privilege".

    Just how many white voters are you trying to lose?  

    What's in this argument for me?  I don't join a party to feel guilty.  I became a Democrat because I believed Democrats would work to maintain and enhance the best government for me.  

    I just returned from one of those white privileged vacations where we white folks go off to a warm foreign country and hang around with other non-foreign white folks, well we should be the foreigners since we aren't here but let's face it we never feel like we are the foreigners anywhere.  But the point being I can tell you that the girlfriends liberals, centrists and Republicans are not going to support anything that screws this up for us.  

    Now, if you could just do something with the climate so it's not 80 degrees colder in the USA than it is elsewhere, now that would be something I'd support.

    •  Well, you certainly seem to have totally (105+ / 0-)

      missed the point of this diary.  If you think it is about guilting people about privilege, you have totally misunderstood it.  

      With the Decision Points Theater, the George W. Bush Presidential Library becomes the very first Presidential Library to feature a Fiction Section.

      by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:54:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  really, whut? (69+ / 0-)
      who is apparently supposed to feel really, really uncomfortable in the Democratic Party and go around constantly apologizing for my "privilege".
      On its face, the diary is about whether white privilege exists, not about whether you are supposed to feel uncomfortable, or constantly apologize, or experience guilt.

      What's up with that?

      "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

      by HudsonValleyMark on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:04:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  But now that we know it exists, (9+ / 0-)

        what are we supposed to do about it?

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:37:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

          •  But is that really how it works out? (13+ / 0-)

            Our Site Leader tells us that more attention to security state abuses than he feels proper is an index of "white privilege."  Then what?

            Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

            by corvo on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:54:45 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's Not Quite What Markos Said (43+ / 0-)

              What I took his comment to mean (and have said myself repeatedly) was that there are many other issues for writing about and activism over that truly affect folks day-to-day lives, such that making the most central cause of the site constantly being hair-on-fire about whether the government or someone else is spying on folks (when this is truthfully no life-changing surprise to many POC; sorry if it is to most white folks) is indeed an indicia of white privilege.  

              Love Africa? Love Opera? Love documentaries? Then you will love the The Tenor from Abidjan

              by shanikka on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:54:10 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  And a lot of us countered (21+ / 0-)

                that it's the same police state that oppresses minorities that wants to collect everyone's data; and that perhaps we ought to fight the root cause and not the symptom.

                That was when Markos went from "two shits" to "half a shit."

                Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                by corvo on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:57:07 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes (27+ / 0-)

                  But your "countering" raising an obvious point still doesn't address the issue of prioritization and why now suddenly all y'all folks are concerned about minorities.  The nexus between the two subjects doesn't mean that oh, we should change our sense of priorities.  This issue of spying existed long before libertarian-minded progressives got up in arms about it thanks to the disclosures of Edward Snowden. And frankly as is too often the case arguing that we should reprioritize NOW when majoritarian folks weren't hollering before when they didn't realize that they too were targets (the marijuana legalization arguments coming from the white left in the past few years have taken a similar tact, with the sudden concern about how many of us are doing time because of pot).  It's the same old-same old self-interested cooptation and using race to give them increased credibility to address white folks' most important concerns that most of us POC have already seen for decades and don't take to very well, if you want to know the truth.

                  Love Africa? Love Opera? Love documentaries? Then you will love the The Tenor from Abidjan

                  by shanikka on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:07:28 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Actually, I think my own comments on this site (22+ / 0-)

                    demonstrate that I was concerned about matters such as racial profiling and unequal sentencing long before anyone had heard of Mr. Snowden.   But if you don't think so, then I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.

                    I guess the question at this juncture is whether it's more important to question or dismiss others' motives, or to elicit their support -- however johnny-come-lately it may or may not be -- in righting the wrongs you've been suffering, and perhaps raising consciousness in the process.

                    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                    by corvo on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:22:26 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  That's exactly how I feel (16+ / 0-)
                      I guess the question at this juncture is whether it's more important to question or dismiss others' motives, or to elicit their support -- however johnny-come-lately it may or may not be -- in righting the wrongs you've been suffering, and perhaps raising consciousness in the process.
                       There are some on the left that, while they often have perfectly good reasons for demanding redress for crimes against them, they are poor at going about that.
                         That's why I got such different responses from this diary. It's also why I've been mostly avoiding the subject of race ever since.

                        My point being that focusing on your pain and alienation to the point of not embracing natural allies is bad politics, and rarely accomplishes anything.
                         Seeking to have people empathize is a natural emotional response. But if you want to actually fix a problem you need more than that, and politics demands allies, especially when you are a minority.

                      None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

                      by gjohnsit on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:42:55 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  A Couple of Quick Points (35+ / 0-)

                      One, if you have in fact regularly been an ally on racial issues, then I salute you and appreciate you.

                      Two, that does not automatically mean you're coming at this particular issue in a good way in these diary comments.

                      Three, I don't think you realize that by even asking the question "what is more important" you are minimizing the significance of what it means to POC and what it means to white privilege when suddenly everybody's talking about our priorities now that they themselves can benefit from it. That behavior, in and of itself, is white privilege in action. Without acknowledging that and demonstrating by more than just words during these debates that the comparatively sudden concern about us and our lives from the libertarian progressive left is in fact going to last even if whites get ZERO benefit from the priorities and solutions that POC self-identify IMO we can't move past it.  Because it is still all about white folks' needs being the driver of action.  About their privilege to define what's important, regardless.  All unconscious, all intentional, yet same old same old.  The late Derrick Bell wrote a great deal about the "interest convergence principle" where addressing racism in America is concerned.  You should check him out - he definitely was far more articulate about the problem and where the solutions lie if we truly want to move forward collectively on issues affecting us all than I ever will be.

                      Love Africa? Love Opera? Love documentaries? Then you will love the The Tenor from Abidjan

                      by shanikka on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:44:52 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  you are on a roll (19+ / 0-)
                        it is still all about white folks' needs being the driver of action.
                        About their privilege to define what's important, regardless.

                        Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
                        DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
                        Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

                        by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:10:13 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Well, ya know (6+ / 0-)

                          the guy who made that idiot connection about white privilege awhile back was a white guy, last time I looked. He wanted to define that, regardless.

                          Then again, you could make the argument that he never needed to invoke "white privilege" there at all in order to do the driving. This is his website. So what does that make him?

                          Not to belabor the point, but seriously, you cannot call the comparison poorly-made. As gjohnsit states so eloquently a little further along:

                          Seeking to have people empathize is a natural emotional response. But if you want to actually fix a problem you need more than that, and politics demands allies, especially when you are a minority.
                          We don't have to agree on everything  But we should be respectful enough of each other that we can all agree that regardless of the kind of abuse, we're all being abused in some way by our government. That is institutional and it takes MANY forms. At the end of the day, the only thing that would seem to really matter is that we find a way to stop it. So we damn sure better learn how to be better at things like "working together" and "empathy", all of us, for each other, or we're just going to continue tearing each other apart.
                           

                          This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

                          by lunachickie on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:51:04 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Markos is a White Guy? (15+ / 0-)

                            You could have fooled me.

                            Or, are you talking about somebody else?

                            Love Africa? Love Opera? Love documentaries? Then you will love the The Tenor from Abidjan

                            by shanikka on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:56:09 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  OK, is he not a white guy? (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Johnny Q, joesig, Kombema

                            You'll have to forgive me if I don't know that personally. I don't spend any time talking to him directly, so I don't know what he identifies as. If that's a bad assumption it's a bad assumption on my part, and I take full responsibility for it.

                            The point about not having to make the point about "white privilege" stands. Bottom line, it IS his website, he can make this shit about lollipops and rainbows if that's what he feels like doing. His argument that any of the "National Security Administration" stuff had much to do with "white privilege" is ludicrous, even more so now, if you consider what that argument does to the argument here. I don't see one scrap of empathy on his part, insofar as he could make that shit about "white privilege" the way he did.

                            This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

                            by lunachickie on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:02:56 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  OK Fair Enough (12+ / 0-)

                            But now look at your assumption that he was.  And examine what that may mean for why you're so upset about his viewpoint.

                            Thanks.

                            Love Africa? Love Opera? Love documentaries? Then you will love the The Tenor from Abidjan

                            by shanikka on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:24:23 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  That is easy (0+ / 0-)

                            insofar as what I think he identifies himself as, racially or ethnically. My assumption that he's white--or not--is beside the point. Period. My objection to that "reasoning" of his was always--always--about The Big Picture of "cheapening or minimizing the concept of white privilege" by trying to shove it into a box it had no business being anywhere near.

                            I am in full agreement with this diary, in case that's escaped you.  

                            This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

                            by lunachickie on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:40:56 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  /Sigh (21+ / 0-)

                            When you say things like "that's besides the point" you are engaging in the very behavior that me and a whole lot of people have been trying to educate you about.

                            You do NOT get to define what is important to anyone BUT YOU.  And the fact that even as we're dialoguing you keep just trying to assert as fact "what's important" based upon what you think is important and impliedly insist that anyone who disagrees with you from Markos on down is "missing the big picture" is you exercising white privilege.

                            Jesus.

                            Love Africa? Love Opera? Love documentaries? Then you will love the The Tenor from Abidjan

                            by shanikka on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:50:52 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Before we go any further, (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            marylrgn

                            I think it would be helpful to know how you feel about what Mr. Snowden did. Because I have work to do and I'm not gonna sit here for the next hour and defend myself when I'm in agreement with this diary.

                            In the meantime, all I'm gonna tell you is that when I say "That's beside the point", it's because it is. Trying to fit "wholesale unconstitutional spying" into the box called "white privilege" is just unbelievable crap.  It has nothing to do with "white privilege". In fact, IMO, that argument cheapens that which you're trying to "make others understand". It has not a fucking thing to do with it.

                            It was a ludicrous point to be made, and I truly don't know why he even tried. But he runs this place, so he can say whatever he wants.

                            Of course now, I'd like to go back and reread that diary--only thing is, I can't find it. Maybe we should just go back to the horse's mouth and put this baby to bed for good, huh?

                            This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

                            by lunachickie on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 12:02:56 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I've been Crystal Clear About That Subject (27+ / 0-)

                            Not that it is relevant here (and you've been told it's not by at least one other person but you persist...........go figure).  Feel free to look up my comments (but please actually read them, unlike most folks who have been making assumptions around here this past 9 months based upon clear skim jobs of what I've said just because they aren't thrilled with what I said.) But in a nutshell:

                            I believe that Ed Snowden's disclosures relating to NSA spying did an important service to the country.  The dialogue is necessary and important and the practices needed to have stopped yesterday.  The country owes him its thanks.

                            I also believe Ed Snowden the man wants to have his cake and eat it too when it comes to claiming to be acting solely from moral imperative. Or for a moral cause.  He is self-serving and his primary mission is to do whatever it takes to avoid punishment.  To further that, he does everything from let himself be compared without objection by his fanboys to the likes of heroes like John Lewis, folks who were acting from a moral imperative and willing to die for it to claim that "if only" he weren't scared of prosecution, he'd be more forthcoming about what he knows and doesn't know, disclosed and not disclosed.  I believe that Ed Snowden speaks out of both sides of his mouth sometimes. On the one hand he insisted he wasn't running from the law, yet has declined to come back and face it.  

                            I also believe that his libertarian, almost paranoid viewpoint about government as a whole and his willingness to sign onto racist ideas espoused by racists like Rand Paul just because it furthers principles of libertarianism, was recently discussed at length in New Republic in an article that, to date, Mr. Snowden has not refuted, speaks volumes.

                            In other words, I believe that like most he is a hero with feet of clay, who I can both be grateful for yet not put on a pedestal.  Nothing I haven't said many many times - to be called basically a fascist in response.

                            Hopefully that's clear.  Not that it's relevant one bit to this discussion, but since that is what seems to be what you care about, I'm accommodating you.

                            Love Africa? Love Opera? Love documentaries? Then you will love the The Tenor from Abidjan

                            by shanikka on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 12:16:03 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  What "racist" ideas has Snowden signed on to, (6+ / 0-)

                            in your experience? Are you just smearing him because he agrees on some issues that Rand Paul also does, or do you have evidence that he's a racist?

                            his willingness to sign onto racist ideas espoused by racists like Rand Paul
                            This guilt by association crap is frequently dished out on these pages by Obama "fanboys" (your word, not mine) and "fangirls" who want to cover for the president's stance on violations of the the Bill of Rights that were exposed by Snowden.

                            And you are incorrect that he's not "hiding from the law." He's admitted as much that he has no desire to return to the United States if he will be exposed to Obama justice -- which is to say, a sham Espionage Act military trial with no ability to defend himself against the state secrets gambit. Nelson Mandela sought to evade capture and prosecution, too. Is he less "moral" for it? NO. It's asinine to claim that Snowden would be more pure or devoted to his cause if he's sitting in a federal solitary confinement jail cell being tortured.

                            If pointing out violations of the Constitution are white privilege, then what the hell are opponents of stop and frisk? Your crude assumption that everyone only cares about themselves and their issues is transparently wrong. People can walk and chew gum at the same time, and believe that ALL violations of human rights and law are wrong, and work against ALL of them. Get off your generalizing high horse, please.

                            "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

                            by Kombema on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 01:53:08 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Did You Read the New Republic Article? (16+ / 0-)

                            After all, it contained Snowden's own "welfare queen" thinking from his own posts in forums in addition to many other things he's said.  I don't know you can call that "guilt by association", unless you're claiming he was disassociating somehow at the time he wrote those things?

                            And when it comes to racism, running with and not affirmatively repudiating racists just because you like them in other ways isn't called guilt by association.  It's called guilt.

                            Love Africa? Love Opera? Love documentaries? Then you will love the The Tenor from Abidjan

                            by shanikka on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 02:01:22 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  And PS (17+ / 0-)

                            Since you implied it, putting me in any category even remotely in the same state as someone who has behaved as or thinks like an "Obama Fanboy" shows you have not been paying any attention to what I actually write.  As many who brutally disagree with me about the above, completely irrelevant to this discussion, subject of Mr. Snowden can confirm.

                            Love Africa? Love Opera? Love documentaries? Then you will love the The Tenor from Abidjan

                            by shanikka on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 02:02:53 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You're the one who tossed around the "Snowden (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            DeadHead, WisePiper, Patango

                            fanboy" epithet, not me. Even if Snowden does have notions that are wrong, or even racist, my point is that even if you don't do it, there are many Obama supporters on this blog who are eager to associate critics of Obama's civil liberties violations with Rand Paul and the libertarians. That, then, if you are not among the former, I'm sure you would agree is a bunch of crap. Progressives are not libertarians, despite the sometimes overlap of views about the sanctity of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

                            "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

                            by Kombema on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 02:13:08 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  well said (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            shanikka, Onomastic, doroma, poco

                            but i doubt the message will get through

                            Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
                            DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
                            Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

                            by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 02:25:33 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You Are Right Sis (10+ / 0-)

                            I honestly don't know why hope continues to spring eternal in my heart, but it does.

                            Love Africa? Love Opera? Love documentaries? Then you will love the The Tenor from Abidjan

                            by shanikka on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 02:39:19 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  we go around and around over the same ground (9+ / 0-)

                            it gets more disheartening every time we try to have this discussion.

                            but maybe someday the light bulb will go on and we can point back to these comments and say: see, this is what we were trying to show you all along!

                            Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
                            DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
                            Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

                            by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 02:48:46 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  It stuns me (6+ / 0-)

                            That you still come to this site. The amount of bullshit thrown at you is astounding. Props to you.

                            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 Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 04:26:04 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Actually... (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            corvo, Catte Nappe, Dr Swig Mcjigger

                            he is a white guy according to the Census Bureau.  A white male of Hispanic descent.  

                            "[I]n the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone...They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand."

                            by cardboardurinal on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 01:54:24 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  why don't we let Markos decide what he is? (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            raptavio, jiffypop, shanikka, doroma

                            KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                            by fcvaguy on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:04:35 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You missed my point... (0+ / 0-)

                            because Hispanics are so diverse racially, it is difficult to say that all Hispanics are similar.  Look at Dominicans, most are darker skin while Northern Spaniards are very fair skinned and there are many in between.  Of course he does not have a "Western name" and that can be problematic.  But there is a reason that the Census Bureau identifies "Hispanic" as an ethnic background and not a "race."

                            "[I]n the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone...They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand."

                            by cardboardurinal on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 09:23:20 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  i think i missed the comments by kos you refer to (12+ / 0-)

                            but I don't think of him as white, and neither does establishment culture

                            how he views himself, I'm not sure

                            Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
                            DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
                            Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

                            by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:00:24 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Forgive my ignorance on (0+ / 0-)

                            what he views himself as. That might change how I view that whole argument he made to a certain extent.

                            Though it won't change my point about "empathy" to that end. Cuz I don't care if he's polka-dot, that shit never cut it for me on any level, and he did folks that feel like our diarist here a major disservice with it.

                            This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

                            by lunachickie on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:06:43 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Markos has called himself "some white guy" (8+ / 0-)

                            when he mentioned the Ted Rall cartoon. It's on the record. As in:  he didn't think black people wanted to have "some white guy" (himself) make a judgement on whether the cartoon was offensive.

                            To thine ownself be true

                            by Agathena on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 12:28:12 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  The NSA issue, as we're just NOW learning... (20+ / 0-)

                    ...far greater details about, is very DEFINITIVELY much more about institutionalized racism and defending the inherently racist status quo (whether it's their stranglehold on the economy, which only benefits the top 10% these days, or the so-called "war on inner city youth drugs").

                    Angela Davis and her colleague-in-arms, Henry Giroux, very much "get this" and write about it.

                    The light is just beginning to be shed upon the REAL extent of the NSA's impact on the war on drugs, and social oppression in general (i.e.: the much more sophisticated--than it was in the days of MLK--undermining of social activism, in general), and everything in-between.

                    It is FAR MORE NEFARIOUS than we've been led to believe (i.e.: with the war on drugs, our nation's intelligence agencies have cut deals with South American drug cartels; our nation's banks have laundered well north of $1.5 trillion of their money, and these are done with the tacit support of the government; what else may one call it when banks receive the equivalent of traffic tickets for this behavior?), as in RIGHT NOW, and as in THIS WEEK, coming under the SPOTLIGHT], despite the very white privileged MSM, and even some efforts in the blogosphere, to either MISCHARACTERIZE this travesty and/or quash/ignore/avoid this reality. Some sources that don't always get it "right" are being helpful in bringing this to the fore.

                    So, I'd argue that there's some conflation here which is selling this NSA story very, very short, in terms of the truly devious, institutionalized racism that is practiced by not just the NSA, but their domestic law enforcement colleagues that use their data on a daily basis--contrary to government propaganda--to "maintain order" for the inherently racist status quo.

                    These inconvenient truths about the NSA story are going to be around, getting more and more press/traction as days go by, until this changes.

                    And, as sure as the inherently white and inherently privileged status quo is racist, so are the more sophisticated tools they're exercising--even when we're not aware of them or refuse to acknowledge their existence--IMHO.

                     

                    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

                    by bobswern on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:58:41 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Knowing What We All Know (24+ / 0-)

                      You and I agree on many things as you know, Bobswern.  But about Markos' comment, and the refusal of POC activists to be hair-on-fire about NSA spying when there are so many other pressing survival concerns in our communities which the majoritarian part of the Left seems ho-hum about UNTIL they can find a nexus between what they want and what we need, I am afraid we don't.  As you have acknowledged spying going all the way back to before COINTELPRO.  Certainly, since the disclosures about Bush's secret post-9-11 programs that occurred in December 2005, it has been (or should have been) crystal clear.  Yet I have to also look at the long rhetorical silence between the original known racist attack on organizations fighting for POC rights, and again after 2005 once it become characterized as only being limited to those "possible terrorist people" (largely perceived as also POC) and today's "OMG spying is EVERYTHING!!!" focus that people are angry with Markos about for having effectively said "it's privileged, that change of concern and demand that it be the end-all-and-be-all priority for activism". Perhaps if folks just upped and said "I'm sorry, you're right, this IS privileged and here's what I commit to doing to prove to you that it's not "all about me once again and I'm going to use you and your issues to get what I want for ME" I'd feel more sanguine. And I admit I am jaded.

                      Love Africa? Love Opera? Love documentaries? Then you will love the The Tenor from Abidjan

                      by shanikka on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:22:06 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Economic inequality, the war on drugs, the... (12+ / 0-)

                        ...even more effective oppression of social activism, and the increased sophistication of the now-greater-funded use of "crime-fighting" technology (and the state-funded personnel that implements that manages it), and corporatism in general, are very much and virtually quite exclusively about institutionalized racism--perhaps, the most inherently devious, "effective" and (willfully) taxpayer-funded racism of all--IMHO.

                        The public's been vaguely aware of the extent of the problem. But, whether the public wishes to acknowledge this or not, it has been the Snowden story which has kept this hidden truth (a truth that's becoming monumentally worse by the day) from being ignored.

                        For people of color--and people, in general--to argue that focusing upon this story is about "white privilege" is to do little more than to attempt to dilute the greater truths about the inconvenient reality of a virtually lily white status quo that is now maintaining a tighter and tighter grip upon our society.

                        The police state is now empowered, technologically and by the disproportionate level of taxpayer-funding that it now receives, to maintain this inherently racist hierarchy at levels--and at a level of sophistication--never before experienced in this country, or around the planet.

                        Perhaps (and I'm making an assumption here, so I could be wrong), if you were a person of color who also happened to be Muslim and living in this country right now, you'd be more sympathetic to what I'm talking about. I don't know.

                        Regardless, I know I am--and always will be--one of your biggest kindred spirits in this community (as much as that's possible, considering the inconvenient reality that I'm male, white and a secular Jew, and we've never met in the real world), whether some reading this realize that, or (as is too often the case) not.

                        "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

                        by bobswern on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:46:48 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Sad fact is that is Obama were white, this argumen (9+ / 0-)

                          would not be being made by his supporters. Obama is among the biggest apologists and facilitators for the white, wealthy power structure, including fossil fuel interests, bankers, Wall Street, and large corporations. It's pathetic beyond words that he's getting political cover from POC who think that his skin color makes him more sympathetic to their plight -- or the plight of the poor and middle class. It clearly does not.

                          "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

                          by Kombema on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 01:57:02 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  Talking about the NSA doing this sort of (6+ / 0-)

                        surveillance prior to Snowden was considered conspiracy theory at this site. I talked about it when I could but I got called CT for pointing this stuff out. We weren't allowed to talk about it, that's why it didn't get talked about. Some of us are hair on fire because now we have proof and people have started saying that it didn't get talked about because of privilege and it's just frustrating to no end.

                        I don't disagree with anything else you're saying, but the way this conversation has developed overall in regards to the NSA is incredibly frustrating.

                        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                        by AoT on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 12:09:04 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  It's like that never happened (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          snoopydawg
                           I talked about it when I could but I got called CT for pointing this stuff out. We weren't allowed to talk about it, that's why it didn't get talked about.
                          Correct me if I'm wrong, but if memory serves, some other people that tried aren't even here anymore because they got banned when they dared to try.

                          This is just infuriating. Like I said earlier,

                          The same police state that fucks over minorities--and women--in this country is the same one that made an Edward Snowden necessary. HOW do they not see that?  
                          After all the soul-baring around here today, after all the admission and reaching out and trying to make that understood--because for fuck's sake, we're all in this together at the end of the day--and that still isn't enough?

                          That's absurd. It's just absurd. By that measurement, nothing will ever be enough.

                          This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

                          by lunachickie on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:29:12 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  "Arrested for walking in the wrong place" STILL (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      raptavio

                      seems a bigger problem.

                      -7.75,-6.41 Time keeps on ticking, ticking, ticking...

                      by owlbear1 on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:05:22 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  say that again, sis shanikka (20+ / 0-)
                    This issue of spying existed long before libertarian-minded progressives got up in arms about it
                    majoritarian folks weren't hollering before when they didn't realize that they too were targets
                    the same old-same old self-interested cooptation and using race to give them increased credibility to address white folks' most important concerns that most of us POC have already seen for decades

                    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
                    DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
                    Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

                    by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:09:18 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Progressives are NOT libertarians. That is a (6+ / 0-)

                      "misinformed" perspective, at best, or cynically disingenuous lie at worst. Progressives who believe in the Bill of Rights -- which libertarians sometimes do also (except the selectively hypocritical ones like the Pauls and rest of the Teabaggers) -- also believe in government intervention in provision of a robust social welfare safety net, and government regulation of sociopathic business interests, and higher tax rates for the rich -- and the list goes on.

                      So PLEASE spare us this bullshit about how those who care about violations of the Constitution -- which happens to include issues that are highly race-based, like Stop and Frisk, and selective enforcement of the War on Drugs, etc. -- are "libertarians." Many of us have been in the trenches all along about race-based violations, as well as broader civil liberties and civil right issues, regardless, and just because a black man is in the White House does not make any of it alright.

                      "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

                      by Kombema on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 02:03:52 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  i believe the phrase used is (8+ / 0-)

                        "libertarian-minded progressives"

                        no one is equating the two groups.

                        but there certainly are differences between "libertarian minded progressives" and progressives who wouldn't touch Rand Paul with someone else's 10 foot pole, no matter how he feels about drones

                        Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
                        DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
                        Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

                        by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 02:11:04 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Rand Paul is a stopped clock: Right about drones (4+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          liberaldemdave, corvo, Choco8, lunachickie

                          and NSA, wrong about just about everything else. But to even insinuate that a progressive who believes drone strikes and NSA domestic spying are "libertarian-minded progressives," is a ridiculous distortion of the very definitions of both.

                          "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

                          by Kombema on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 02:17:24 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  speaking for myself, i make a distinction between (6+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Kombema, doroma, poco, Sylv, fcvaguy, Imhotepsings

                            a progressive who believes drone strikes and NSA domestic spying are bad (because that would be all of them)

                            and a progressive who believes Rand Paul or some other third party person is possibly worth voting for because drone strikes and NSA domestic spying are bad.  And there are people here saying that.

                            there are people here flirting with libertarianism and saying it would be cool except for [fill in the blank].  there are people here who are not.  the former are libertarian-minded progressives.

                            Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
                            DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
                            Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

                            by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 02:45:54 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I can't say I read enough diaries to make any (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            AoT, Patango

                            definitive assessment of that, but I have not seen very many progressives genuinely flirting with actually voting for Rand Paul. I would be genuinely interested to see statements like that here, but I'm not doubting they might occasionally happen.

                            That, I'm sure you would agree, is a very different thing from believing that common cause on those particular issues can be made with the likes of Rand Paul. That is just sensible politics, even if strange bed fellows. If Teddy Kennedy managed to find common ground with Orin fucking Hatch, FFS, on select issues, then it's not a sin for a progressive to agree with the Paulites on those particular issues. Stopped clock.

                            "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

                            by Kombema on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 02:50:49 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  common ground is one thing (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            poco, Imhotepsings

                            i have common ground with some odd people

                            but i would never consider voting for them or encouraging others to vote for them, and that happens here more than I am comfortable with

                            let's wait and see what happens when the 2016 candidates actually declare themselves

                            Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
                            DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
                            Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

                            by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 03:13:48 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  There is an intersection between the Pauls (5+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            raptavio, jiffypop, Imhotepsings, a2nite, poco

                            and some Progressives. Much has been written about it.

                            Example:

                            The Nation: Progressive Man-Crushes On Ron Paul

                            KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                            by fcvaguy on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:14:47 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  you do realize (0+ / 0-)

                            that the initial admission you make here

                            I can't say I read enough diaries to make any
                            definitive assessment of that
                            make the succeeding supposition
                            , but I have not seen very many progressives genuinely flirting with actually voting for Rand Paul.
                            irrelevant seeing you already admitted you are not sufficiently informed to be definitive... FWIW, they are... and have been doing so for quite some time...

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

                            by awesumtenor on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 05:28:32 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Are there? (8+ / 0-)
                            and a progressive who believes Rand Paul or some other third party person is possibly worth voting for because drone strikes and NSA domestic spying are bad. And there are people here saying that.
                            I haven't seen that coming from anyone who hasn't been banned already for saying such things.

                            And I most certainly haven't come across anyone saying they would actually pull the lever for Rand Paul because of those two issues.

                            Can you point me to an instance of that occurring?




                            Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ Garcia

                            by DeadHead on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 03:31:37 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  i've beens teering clear of those diaries (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            raptavio, a2nite

                            for the most part

                            so maybe you are right that all the Stand with Rand people have been banned

                            Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
                            DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
                            Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

                            by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 05:47:59 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  In other words, you haven't seen the comments. (4+ / 0-)

                            And you were just adding a little flare to yours, above, apparently.

                            I'm not sure how else to square your initial remark that people were saying those things, with your "steering clear of those diaries for the most part," in this latest one.




                            Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ Garcia

                            by DeadHead on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:36:10 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  all i remember was a flurry of folks (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            DeadHead, TheMomCat, a2nite, poco

                            praising Rand and "standing with Rand" and talking him up because of weed and drones and surveillance.

                            i'll take your word for it that they were run off the site.

                            Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
                            DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
                            Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

                            by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:42:41 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Well, I don't deny there was talk... (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            TheMomCat, TrueBlueMajority, Kombema

                            Along the lines of, "Wow. I actually have to agree with this dude and disagree with some Democrats on these specific issues."

                            It was a rather odd position to find oneself in, especially considering the fact that Paul is a real asshole on everything else.

                            It was a case of "strange bedfellows," in other words.

                            And I'm not so sure they, in particular were run off the site, my remark was in reference mainly to a couple of people who were, indeed, banned, but specifically for the "3rd party" thing, not necessarily for support of Rand Paul.

                            In any event, not important. Just clarifying my end of this exchange.




                            Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ Garcia

                            by DeadHead on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:42:08 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  ok that's fair (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Kombema

                            Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
                            DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
                            Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

                            by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 06:37:06 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I'm glad you make that distinction (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Kombema

                            And I really appreciate it, because there's a lot of deliberate distortion of "progressive" going on around here lately. Thank you!

                            This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

                            by lunachickie on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:30:55 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  TrueBlueMajority says (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Kombema
                          "libertarian-minded progressives"
                          From a "big picture point " Ron Paul is about the most popular and long lasting libertarian in America , to suggest he is progressive at all is ridiculous imo , it is all in the "details" of what these people really stand for , if you sit down and debate these folks , and get down to the nuts and bolts of how the Paul's would govern , you end up with bat shit crazy GOP every time , they have snake oil sales gimmicks that make them appear progressive , is all

                          One example is Ron Paul ended up being Romney's flag ship thru the 2012 race , we had a ton of young people promoting Ron and legal Pot here in Iowa in 2012 , Ron ended up telling all those folks to vote for Romney , who would be as friendly to pot as dick cheney

                          That goes for Randy Paul also , if the NSA told Randy they were going after the dirty hippies of OWS with drones , he would be all on board

                          Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

                          by Patango on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:24:55 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  There's a difference (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Kombema

                        between being a civil libertarian & a Libertarian (capital L there).  Consider that many conservatives despise the American Civil Liberties Union & that many liberals are members of said organization.

                  •  excuse me (12+ / 0-)

                    this comment is so condescending as to be offensive.  
                    "now suddenly" we care about minorities?  Just why the fuck do you think we've all been liberals and democrats all these decades?  It ain't about government snooping, it's about fighting against ALL injustice (and not just that injustice that affects POC, by the way).

                    And frankly, as someone with up close and personal familial experience with totalitarian regimes and the incredible danger that universal snooping poses, I have to say that Kos' attitude is as privileged and ultimately racist as anything I've seen on this site.  My family suffered mightily under governments that used precisely these powers to kill and imprison my family, but since they are white Europeans it is just "privileged" to take it seriously and can be discounted because it's only the experience of white people so he can't give two shits.

                    Frankly, as far as I am concerned kos has no more authority or credibility on these issues whatsoever.  None, zero, bupkiss.  The man runs a good site but is otherwise a total jackass.

                    •  You're Excused (14+ / 0-)

                      We both have our sources of being offended.  It's all good.

                      Love Africa? Love Opera? Love documentaries? Then you will love the The Tenor from Abidjan

                      by shanikka on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:14:55 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  that (5+ / 0-)

                        really didn't seem to be an apology or even a recognition of just how utterly off base you are.

                        •  Sorry (16+ / 0-)

                          Not sure why you're looking for an apology, though.

                          But it seems you're doubling down on one on my sources of offense, trying as a white person to tell me I'm wrong about something I've experienced all my life and therefore am an expert in.

                          Love Africa? Love Opera? Love documentaries? Then you will love the The Tenor from Abidjan

                          by shanikka on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:54:09 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  ha ha ha (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Kombema, lunachickie, Be Skeptical

                            Well, in your statements that progressives have not been concerned about these issues for a long time you are wrong.  And no, you haven't been subject to the Patriot act and the NSA surveillance your whole life unless you are under the age of 13.  So, yes, you are wrong.  The color of your skin or mine does nothing to change that one jot.

                            But you know what?  I've been around long enough to know that no facts are going to alter your sense of infallibility.

                          •  Just because you've been oppressed doesn't make (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            corvo, Bill in MD, Be Skeptical

                            you right about the motives of people around you. It's bordering on bigotry to assume either the actions or motivations of people based on their skin color. White privilege and structural racism are a cold harsh reality in this society, but your crude assumptions about your infallibility of perceiving that which you cannot know with certainty from a blog -- i.e., what is in peoples hearts, or what they do to promote justice as progressive activists -- is just lazy thinking.

                            "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

                            by Kombema on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 02:07:50 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  No, I think it's more like an (11+ / 0-)

                          acknowledgment.  Were you looking for an apology?

                        •  Mindful (6+ / 0-)

                          I'd offer up my opinion that that comment from Shanikka was along the lines of "agree to disagree."

                          Il est dangereux d’avoir raison dans des choses où des hommes accrédités ont tort. - Voltaire
                          Don't trust anyone over 84414 - BentLiberal

                          by BentLiberal on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:47:47 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I am sure it was (0+ / 0-)

                            but you know what?  I am not going to have any respect for that opinion regardless.

                          •  That's Cool, Mindful Nature (9+ / 0-)

                            Because the feeling is mutual.  Thus, I'm 1,000% OK with "agree to disagree".  (And thanks Smoothnmellow and BentLiberal for trying to bridge the divide; always appreciated even when futile as it definitely is here.)

                            Love Africa? Love Opera? Love documentaries? Then you will love the The Tenor from Abidjan

                            by shanikka on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 12:18:29 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Sure (0+ / 0-)

                            keep on thinking that white progressives are stupid naive people who have never done anything for minority communities.  That's a totally respectable attitude, as is your seeming view that white people have no actual right to have an indpeenedent of what you think they should have.

                          •  i don;t recall her saying that (9+ / 0-)
                            white progressives are stupid naive people who have never done anything for minority communities.
                            link, please?

                            you also might want to examine why you and others are reacting to intensely to generalizations that seem to mischaracterize you, and then consider that POC on this website go through the same thing multiplied by a factor of ten

                            Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
                            DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
                            Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

                            by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 02:32:16 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Oh, please. (10+ / 0-)

                            you were the one who hide rated a comment of mine (the only hide rate I've ever had on this site in nearly 5 years) because I said that others telling black people what is racist and what is not racist is in fact; RACIST.

                            It seems that you would be of the opinion that black people have no actual right to an opinion on race matters that you don't think they should have. Totally disrespectful attitude.

                            You should not lump all white progressives together for the purpose of generalization and hyperbole. Clearly only SOME white progressives are annoying, and stupid and naive when it comes to race matters. There are plenty of white people in this diary who are not like that and they are not brainwashed, stupid or naive for being on our side with this issue.

                            "It's not enough to acknowledge privilege. You have to resist." -soothsayer

                            by GenXangster on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 03:20:56 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Um no (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Be Skeptical

                            It is true that it'll be a cold day in hell before I do anything other than denounce a doctrine that says some people are entitled (dare I say "privileged"?) to an absolutely definitive and authoritative weight while other perspectives must be entirely discounted based solely on the color of the skin of the speaker.

                            The way you mid characterize my actual statement is very very typical of the defenders of this doctrine.  And it is utterly a mischaracterization.

                            However, I didn't lump all white progressives together.  Shanikka did that, and you seem to be defending it

                          •  She is NOT lumping all white progressives (11+ / 0-)

                            together. YOU are. You want recognition and appreciation for the entire white progressive body's accomplishments. You use the entire white progressive body to shield yourself personally from being called out for your racial ignorance. You're not all the same. Some of you have a long way to go when relating to actual black people although you may think your racial intentions are good.

                            And no, you, especially YOU will not tell me what is NOT racism. There are white people who have taught me a thing or two about racism (like Tim Wise). You're not like him. You don't get to tell me shit about racism.

                            The very next day, an LGBT diarist wrote in a recommended diary that " straight folks telling gays what is homophobic and what is not is fucking homophobic". Everyone agreed. Don't you agree that gay people know more about the hate directed towards them than MY privileged straight ass? You betcha they do. If you don't agree with that, you're gonna have a bad time here.

                            Next you'll be saying that women have no right to tell men what is or isn't sexism and men's opinions can't be discounted based solely on the genitalia that they were born with. A person with no uterus or ovaries telling me what to do with my body or what to be offended by? Please, honey, you would hit the roof if that were the case. But for some reason, you have this thing with blacks not being able to say what is or isn't racism or privilege. It's so transparent.

                            "It's not enough to acknowledge privilege. You have to resist." -soothsayer

                            by GenXangster on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 04:00:41 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I am sorry (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            lunachickie

                            Did you find ANY white progressives who say that white progressives only recently started caring about race issues?  Please show me a single link

                          •  If finding ONE white progressive (8+ / 0-)

                            who actually said that would prove a point for you, you are clearly some kind of generalizing person who can't help but to generalize. How does ONE white progressive represent them all?

                            There are definitely some that never hear of issues that occur in the black community until they branch out and start infecting the mainstream. Predatory lending is one. Police brutality and unlawful surveillance and violation of 4th amendment rights is another. If the world (including more progressives) would hammer on these things that happen to blacks and Latinos and poor whites, the problem may be solved before it infects the entire country.

                            We ignore the poor communitites issues at our own peril. By the time these issues become part of the mainstream news, it's already too late. What we've been doing is working on our issues from the opposite of a grassroots method. We seem to be waiting for shit to hit the fan first and then start working from the top down. We have to listen to poor people, especially poor black folks to take our cues about where issues will end up. That's what I did as a community organizer. We knocked on poor people's doors to see what their problems were and how can we help them to solve them. We didn't wait until some white guy in the suburbs lost his house through bank fraud. By the time it gets to him, it's an epidemic, believe you me.

                            Grassroots. I am the root of the grass. If you aren't listening to a black atheist liberal woman's issues, you're missing a lot. Whatever befalls me, if left unaddressed will end up on YOUR doorstep. The only id I am not is LGBT. When it comes to LGBT issues, I STFU and LISTEN. Like you ought to do.

                            "It's not enough to acknowledge privilege. You have to resist." -soothsayer

                            by GenXangster on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 04:15:02 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Oh good god (0+ / 0-)

                            You said many white progressives agree with Shannika's statement that white progressives only recently realized these are issues.  I asked you to provide an example of someone who agreed with this statement.  It isn't about generalizing it is about asking your to provide an example of the kind of person you claimed existed in this discussion

                            Frankly as someone who has been involved in issues related to access to education in minority communities for decades you don't need to lecture me.  I dare say I am one I the generation that taught you how to work for change.  Contrary to Shannika's condescending statement I was tutoring poor black kids in the murder capitol of the US and and working on funding policies since the 1980s.  I do other things in other ways now

                            Why is it so hard for you to comprehend why a statement that completely ignores decades if not centuries of effort and work is a slap in the face to those who have been working in the trenches?  I worked in redlining way before this latest crisis and no, I didn't need to have a white guy foreclosed on to see it was and is a problem

                            Let me ask this: what is it about your View of white progressives as being totally clueless and uninvolved that makes you defend this revisionist history to the death.   Is it that painful to you to simply acknowledge that a lot of white people have worked for justice in this country for a long long time?  Are you so wedded to the idea that all white people are racists or something that you refuse to see this?

                          •  SOME. Do you know the difference between (7+ / 0-)

                            "some" and "all". Yes, there are SOME white progressives that don't have a flying clue and don't give a flying fuck. MLK and Malcolm X both said it. Our progressive white friends are definitely NOT a monolith of perfect racial clarity. They are all very different people. You are a great example of how different they are. A lot of them are disagreeing with you.

                            "It's not enough to acknowledge privilege. You have to resist." -soothsayer

                            by GenXangster on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 05:13:35 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Did I say all were (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            lunachickie

                            No I didn't.   You are the one defending the proposition that all white progressives are insensitive and stupid.  

                            Again you say "a lot disagree" and yet you have NOT ONE EXAMPLE.  None.  Zero. bupkis.

                          •  Why don't you look and see who (5+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            fcvaguy, a2nite, poco, doroma, churchylafemme

                            recced this diary. I bet a lot of them are white. Why don't you go through all the names and personal message them and ask if they're white or not if you want names so badly. I already know a lot of the ones who are white. They recced. That means they agree.

                            "It's not enough to acknowledge privilege. You have to resist." -soothsayer

                            by GenXangster on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:44:29 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Dude (0+ / 0-)

                            I recced this diary.  This isn't about privilege at all and never has been.  It is purely about this. Lain that white progressives have only recently cared about minorities and only take up issues that affect minorities when they affect white people.  That is all it has ever been about

                          •  The only buzz I ever heard about (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Nahuja, poco, novapsyche, doroma

                            predatory lending was from the early victims of it (black people, elderly black people, poor elderly white people who lived in redlined areas) and white hippie community organizers.

                            Now we have a housing disaster 10 years later. Why? Because the progressive mainstream wouldn't pick up the story. Now we've got diaries about Goldman-Saks and bailouts and shit. Top down instead of grassroots up.

                            The only buzz I ever heard about police brutality and violations of 4th amendment rights were from blacks and Latinos who were the targets of it.

                            Now we have NSA, Snowden and waterboarding diaries and gawd knows what else. Where was the mainstream progressive community when the war on drugs was raging and killing all my teenage peers? Again, top down rather than grassroots up. Now we have all these problems.

                            You can keep wording the situation however it most offends you but the evidence is clear, the mainstream progressive community needs to do more grassroots investigating of issues like their white hippie organizer counterparts do. We clearly have a problem because we're not doing anything but being reactionary once the shit hits the fan and everybody's affected, ie white people. It's too late by then. It has grown into a clusterfuck by then.

                            Now how does that relate to white privilege? The people who are making issues popular are the majority of the white people in this political body because they outnumber everybody and bless their hearts, some of them don't have to deal with being black and we become invisible. Then, they see a rising trend in the media (that also ignores blacks) about something like a housing value collapse and they flood the site with thousands of diaries about it, meanwhile some obscure little diary that nobody saw had all the foresight to see that coming and nobody saw it because it was about black people. The rest of us are shaking our heads in dismay because we TOLD you that shit years ago.

                            This happens over and over. There is a pattern of the mainstream progressive community not catching fire with an issue unless the MEDIA covers it first. That is the worst way to be a progressive. Progress is about being proactive, not reactive to the media that ignores stories about the underdog because it's not about them. Or at least it's not about them YET.

                            And we're screwing ourselves with that. We're so right but we can't win? We obviously have major infrastructure problems. Republicans aren't that amazing, we're just weak and reactionary, they keep creating the shitstorms and we keep reacting to them. We can't change anything that way.

                            I know this is long as shit. I don't care if it gets read. I feel pretty spent. I've said all I can say. Goodnight, fellow progressive. Don't forget that we're on the same side.

                            "It's not enough to acknowledge privilege. You have to resist." -soothsayer

                            by GenXangster on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:00:12 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Just because you were unaware (0+ / 0-)

                            Doesn't mean it didn't happen. Predatory lending an redlining was a big issue in my community as police brutality always has been. (You probably don't Remeber the white outcry over Rodney King). I mean my awareness of these issues goes back to the 1980s.  I was part of Jesse Jackson's rainbow coalition for crying out loud.  I even ran for office on that platform. Sigh!  Long time ago

                            Actually one informative comment is the distinction between white hippies and mainstream progressives.  I've always thought hippies ARE mainstream progressives but if we aren't then that explains my confusion.

                            Anyway, we are definitely on the same side.  I'll argue with you here, but against the outside world I'll always have your back

                          •  I know that. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Mindful Nature

                            I know you have my back.

                            I suppose I shouldn't make that distinction because every time I see pictures of Kossacks, there are so many that I can tell are hippies and real ones too, from wayback.

                            Maybe I should say the hippie ORGANIZER types that labor in the grassroots community organizing realm. That place is all about knocking on the doors of poor people and getting their insight. If they didn't constantly stay in the community talking to poor blacks, they wouldn't have anything to do because everything they see as a vital and disturbing issue that is going to cause problems later comes from there.

                            But that's just my opinion. I've been brainwashed by Alinsky to believe that's how to change things. You start with the most oppressed people and work from there. I see us as a whole, missing so many opportunities to win and I think that's where the frustrated, generalized language comes from. When I say "White people don't care about what happens to us until it happens to them" I'm expressing my frustration with the media-reactionary-driven approach we've been taking as a political body. I do not have an opinion about white progressive people in general; just the ones who have distribution power. Plenty of white progressives are shaking their heads with me, trying to understand why the mainstream won't listen. When they don't listen, we end up with a heavier workload. ALL of us, not just black people.

                            "It's not enough to acknowledge privilege. You have to resist." -soothsayer

                            by GenXangster on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:12:50 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I certainly agree (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            GenXangster

                            With all of this.  There is a lot of ignorance in the mainstream, but I don't think of those folks as progressive really, which shows up another definitional issue

                          •  I know I said I wasn't going to say (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            joesig, Mindful Nature

                            anything else lol but hell, I try to end on a decent note when it seems we have found some common ground and agreed that we're still team mates in some capacity. When it all boils down, neither one of us would vote Teapublican. We need all the damn votes we can get, regardless of the nuances of disagreement.

                            "It's not enough to acknowledge privilege. You have to resist." -soothsayer

                            by GenXangster on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:16:30 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  It also occurs to me (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            joesig

                            That my references go back three decades so maybe I have too long a persoective

                          •  Here is my very first comment in this diary (0+ / 0-)
                          •  And quit saying that's my "world view" (6+ / 0-)

                            of white progressives. Stop projecting your generalizing crap on me.

                            The civil rights movement involved plenty of white people who marched and stood with us. Cut it out. Stop trying to mischaracterize people as if they're like you. And stop trying to get a pass for being called out for your racial ignorance by pointing to the accomplishments of white progressives that you never even met. Some of those people would never stoop to what you're doing, which is going toe to toe with blacks and trying your mightiest to prove that they're some kind of anti-white racists when nobody's generalizing about whites, blacks or anybody. YOU'RE doing that by claiming that blacks don't care about issues that don't affect them. What blacks? Who the fuck are you talking about?

                            You aren't reading anything anybody wrote. Your responses are canned, based on shit that I never even said to you.

                            "It's not enough to acknowledge privilege. You have to resist." -soothsayer

                            by GenXangster on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 05:21:19 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Bullshit (0+ / 0-)

                            You have denied the existence of those whites who campaigned in comment after comment defending Shannika's stupidity.  You can't back out of it now.

                          •  Lies. (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            fcvaguy, poco, churchylafemme

                            And shanikka is not stupid. Now you're pissing me off. Shanikka has more intelligence and self awareness than I've seen in a lot of people in a very long time. I live for her comments, front page writing and insight.

                            The comment in my sig line was written by a white woman Kossack who no longer wanted to write here because of the palpable denial of concepts like "white privilege". I don't deny her existence or the others who participate in Black Kos diaries. I talk to them all the time.

                            I think you're getting my comments confused with somebody elses.

                            "It's not enough to acknowledge privilege. You have to resist." -soothsayer

                            by GenXangster on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:35:19 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Thanks for acknowledging Soothsayer (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            raptavio, GenXangster, poco

                            She is the best of DailyKos. Miss her a lot.

                            KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                            by fcvaguy on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:22:34 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Again (0+ / 0-)

                            Why do you cling to this idea that only certain perspectives can be listened to while others must be ignored and shunted aside.  Is it that hard for you to listen to points of view that aren't your own?

                          •  LGBTs definitely need to be (6+ / 0-)

                            listened to. I would shut my straight mouth up if they were telling me I was out of line and being homophobic. You don't seem to have that much self reflection. You just keep going and going. What would I sound like if I were you? Let's see....

                            "Fuck that shit! Straight people have been fighting for gay rights ever since the dawn of time! I am a straight ally of LGBTs and I'm so sick of them telling me that I'm not sensitive enough! What do they want from me? I should just tell their ungrateful asses to get lost for all the ungratefulness they show me!"

                            Shameful. I wouldn't be caught dead like that.

                            "It's not enough to acknowledge privilege. You have to resist." -soothsayer

                            by GenXangster on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 05:28:34 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Project much ? (0+ / 0-)

                            Actually that quote sounds a lot like you. You defend insulting things forever and never stop to reflect one whether there is truth to the complaint. Why?  Because a white person complained you don't have to listen.  

                            Yeah.  Not so credible on this one.  I never said that LGBT or anyone else shouldn't be listened to.  That is your position.  I would listen and exercise judgment and try to understand the logic.  However I do not surrender any human right to an opinion if what I am confronted with is simply nonsensical.

                            Frankly, I can tell you I am tempted to meet your claims of being offended precisely how you have met mine: by telling my I am stupid and infantile.  I suspect your don't like being treated the way you treat me. But then. I don't roll the way you do

                          •  I thought you were done with this discussion (5+ / 0-)

                            and weren't going to comment anymore. Please don't continue for our benefit.

                            ----------

                            I don't know about Chris Martin, but I do know why Saint Peter won't call my name.

                            by Bill in MD on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:11:30 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  No indeed (0+ / 0-)

                            I had forgotten just how much dailykos is very very much like Redstate. They are the Hamas to you Likud

                          •  Redstate, huh? (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            fcvaguy, churchylafemme

                            Yeah, like being black and having to argue with white people about racism. How the hell is that "progressive"? Maybe YOU belong on Redstate, while you're arguing with black people about white privilege.

                            "It's not enough to acknowledge privilege. You have to resist." -soothsayer

                            by GenXangster on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:40:59 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Umm (0+ / 0-)

                            I actually never said anything about racism at all.  I just talked about claims of infallibility and privilege

                          •  You don't know how I "roll". (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            AoT, fcvaguy, churchylafemme

                            If you think I give a crap about privileged people whining that they're misunderstood, you definitely don't know how I "roll".

                            I'm a VERY light skinned black woman. Before I listen to light skinned privileged people whine about how dark skinned people are so unfair to me, I'll shoot myself in the head first.

                            "It's not enough to acknowledge privilege. You have to resist." -soothsayer

                            by GenXangster on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:38:37 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  It would be a huge help (0+ / 0-)

                            If you would read what I actually write and not unleash some canned response that responds to some other person.  

                            And yeah I am as grassroots as you are, bud.  Don't ever forget it

                          •  "Canned" lol (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            poco, 2thanks

                            Projection. smh

                            "It's not enough to acknowledge privilege. You have to resist." -soothsayer

                            by GenXangster on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 05:09:17 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Lol (0+ / 0-)

                            When you are giving talking points unrelated to what I said what do you expect

                  •  and also (8+ / 0-)
                    This issue of spying existed long before libertarian-minded progressives got up in arms about it thanks to the disclosures of Edward Snowden.
                    Actually, those progressives, myself included, were outraged when they were going on under Bush as well.  I suppose you've forgotten or aren't old enough to remember the furor over the PATRIOT Act or Poindexter, etc.

                    Again, it might be comforting to make up facts to support your biases, but it doesn't help when they are so clearly wrong

                    •  Yes (15+ / 0-)

                      But how many of you reached across the aisle to POC and said "You know, now we get it finally"? How many were insisting back then that WE make it OUR community's priority just because now it's YOUR priority?

                      To ask the question is to answer it.

                      Love Africa? Love Opera? Love documentaries? Then you will love the The Tenor from Abidjan

                      by shanikka on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:57:08 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  and (6+ / 0-)

                        why the hell would it matter?  Somehow it is only an actual issue if subject to outreach to PoC?  And frankly, not even communities of color were subject to bulk data collection or the weakening of the fourth amendment that was the Patriot Act in particular, since it spanned all activist communities.  I didn't see PoC reaching out to environmentalists to say "gee, now we get it " either.

                        •  We're Going Around in Circles (13+ / 0-)

                          Because you keep asking "why does it matter" and I've already told you--you just don't like the answer you got because it doesn't satisfy YOUR needs.

                          So, since going around in circles is truly a fool's errand, you can have the last word.

                          (Oh, and BTW, if you don't see PoC "reaching out to environmentalists" you have no fucking clue what is going on as it relates to the urban environmental justice movements that have existed since long before it was fashionable for whites to care about the environmental impacts of our nation's conduct on PoC.  So get off the internet and go learn something.)

                          Love Africa? Love Opera? Love documentaries? Then you will love the The Tenor from Abidjan

                          by shanikka on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:26:53 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I wouldn't go there (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            TheMomCat, lunachickie, Be Skeptical

                            You know what?  On issue after issue after issue, you do NOT find people of color involved in issues that do not affect them.  I was very early on involved in getting EJ efforts off the ground in the Bay Area, so do NOT presume to lecture me on this.  But when it gets outside of EJ, you see zero faces except white progressives.  Climate change?  Van JOnes and almost no one else.  I remember pushing for gas taxes to support climate change efforts and the black community in California was instrumental in killing it.  Marriage equality?  I campaigned there too and again a lot of the people putting in the muscle where straight white progressives.  Take a look at immigration.  Same story.

                            So you konw what?  My family was brutalized by spying since the 1940s on and that gives me a RIGHT to talk about issues like the NSA in a way that someone like you with ZERO experience with it simply does not have.  That isn't white privilege.  It is simply the facts.  Get a freaking clue.

                          •  Oh (14+ / 0-)

                            So Van Jones (and the Ella Baker Center) aren't PoC? Since they are I guess what you are really trying to say is "not enough are involved for my liking.)  You wanted gas taxes but Black folks many of who have to worry about just having enough money to put gas in the car "killed it" because they didn't agree with you that the environmental impact of automobile use was more important than their needing to actually.....LIVE?  And of course even though Black people have routinely supported the rights of undocumented immigrants even as it was Black folks getting rolled in the low-skill employment market (most surveys until a couple of years ago showed that we were collectively more sympathetic than legal immigrants of Latino descent here in CA), you believe we haven't been supportive enough.

                            On Marriage Equality, if your comment is intending to make any false comment about the mythical role of Black voters relating to Prop 8, just say so.  So I can HR the fuck out of it as I have been doing now since I first promised in 2009 as the racist lie it is.

                            I'm so sorry about your family's being brutalized by spying.  I clearly see why in your life this is an issue of expansive importance.

                            But since mine has been brutalized since, oh I don't know, the 1600's by racism and white privilege and the never-ending preservation of institutionalized racism in America please forgive me for not seeing it the same way as you do when it comes to things like who has been there for who.

                            Love Africa? Love Opera? Love documentaries? Then you will love the The Tenor from Abidjan

                            by shanikka on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:47:09 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The point is (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            TheMomCat, lunachickie, Be Skeptical

                            that the black community is concerned with issues that affect the black community.  Fair enough.

                            However, to turn around and attack the one community that probably has the longest record of standing up on issues that do NOT affect them directly is ridiculous.  Even beyond the obvious LIE that that is (from John Brown on down there have been many many white progressives tackling civil rights and equality for ages. There are many today.  This is NOT a new issue in the white progressive community and it is a false and ridiculous slander to pretend otherwise.)  Want to criticize white progressives for only caring about issues that only affect them?  Then try tackling issues that don't affect you.  

                            As for the rest, you know what?  Slavery isn't spying or erosion of civil rights.  It's a different thing.  Yeah, so some of your ancestors where slaves 150 years ago.  You know what?  My DAD was a former slave.  Yep.  The man who raised me was a former slave.

                          •  diary this, please. or flesh it out: (12+ / 0-)
                            My DAD was a former slave.  Yep.  The man who raised me was a former slave.
                            you've certainly piqued my curiosity.

                            This comment is dedicated to my mellow Adept2U and his Uncle Marcus

                            by mallyroyal on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 12:51:43 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  he didn't say a slave in the US (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            fcvaguy, mallyroyal, churchylafemme

                            so it could be something involving another country

                            Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
                            DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
                            Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

                            by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 02:39:37 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  TPM nailed it (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            lunachickie, Be Skeptical

                            Here is a hint:  Czechoslovakia 1943-45

                            And yes, the relatives who didn't escape were subject to government surveillance and imprisonment and murder because of the ability of two different governments to snoop on everything done by their citizens

                            So when you or kos or anyone else tells me my strong opposition to government surveillance is "white privilege" I am going to tell you to go to hell in the memory of my grandparents and uncles who suffered.  It seems totally fine for others to derive their politics from their experiences but when a white person does the same thing it gets dismissed as "privilege" because of the color of my skin.  

                            I have deleted the rest of this. I am done. Good bye

                          •  as I said elsewhere: (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            raptavio, poco, churchylafemme

                            I recognize my privileges.  I don't get bent out of shape when they're pointed out.  

                            would that some followed suit.

                            This comment is dedicated to my mellow Adept2U and his Uncle Marcus

                            by mallyroyal on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 07:33:27 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  as a coda (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            TheMomCat, lunachickie, Be Skeptical

                            Here are a few poll results.

                            While 70% of Democrats favor marriage equality, apparently only 50% of PoC do. Republicans are 30% in favor.

                            http://www.gallup.com/...

                            On immigration, white liberals disagree with the statment that immigrants threaten American values by an overwhelming 14%-84% margin.  Blacks meanwhile agree with the statement by a 61%-34% margin.  Republicans also agree by a 60%-32% margin.

                            www.people-press.org/2012/06/04/section-8-values-about-immigration-and-race/

                            Me thinks there's some data that you ought to acquaint yourself with.

                          •  I'm Quite Acquainted with the Data (12+ / 0-)

                            And don't believe they say what you are arguing they say both because other surveys show differently on the immigration issue entirely, and because in our community there is a very real difference between WHY admittedly unlightened Black folks feel as they do on the marriage issue and base homophobia.  Since in neither case has it been Black folks actually bringing all the lawsuits and putting all the initiatives on the ballot or electing fuckheads to office to get in the way on either issues, no matter what their collective personal opinions, I'm not sure what else to say to persuade you that your analysis is about as superficial (and thus wrong) as I've seen in a long, long time.

                            Love Africa? Love Opera? Love documentaries? Then you will love the The Tenor from Abidjan

                            by shanikka on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 12:21:41 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  ok, please show me those (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            lunachickie, Be Skeptical

                            Please, post your evidence.

                            The fact of the matter is it sure as hell isn't white progressives bringing up the anti-marriage equality ballot measures, while a lot of us are overwhelmingly against them.  I don't know of any poll that has shown that black democrats on the whole are as fervent on this issue as white democrats are.  

                            My point being that if you are going to chide white progressives for being concerned about issues that affect them, you ought to have some evidence that black progressives ARE concerned about issues that don't affect them directly.

                            What I see far more commonly is that when there are issues that white progressives are more active on, that issue gets dismissed as being some kind of outgrowth of "white privilege" instead of acknowledging that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being concerned about important issues, even if the black community hasn't taken up the same issue.  Failing to act on climate change is wrong, full stop.  The fact that the environmental movement that is doing the lions share of the work does zero to change this.  Opposing marriage equality is wrong, full stop.  The fact that white progressives are doign the lion's share of work here too is not white privilege in any way shape or form.  And it is incredibly wrong to undercut or dismiss those efforts simply because minority communities haven't embraced them.  Similarly, the concerns about civil liberties is incredibly important, and that does not change whether or not minority communities take a similar view or not.  Again, being hugely troubled about the erosion of civil liberties is in no way, shape or form white privilege.

                          •  and finally (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            TheMomCat, Be Skeptical
                            But since mine has been brutalized since, oh I don't know, the 1600's by racism and white privilege and the never-ending preservation of institutionalized racism in America please forgive me for not seeing it the same way as you do when it comes to things like who has been there for who.
                            You have completely twisted my objection to your statement that white progressives only recently cared about issues affecting minorities and tried to turn it into some statement that I don't think that privilege exists.  This is a totally typical redherring strawman argument and completely undermines your credibility.  You know what? Disagreeing with you does not equate to thinking there's not such thing as privilege.  It's a cute rhetorical trick, but it is ultimately bogus.
                          •  Whoa (4+ / 0-)

                            There's alot to unpack in your comment here.

                            But I think I'll just say that you took knowing you had the last work to a new height (or depth)

                            Il est dangereux d’avoir raison dans des choses où des hommes accrédités ont tort. - Voltaire
                            Don't trust anyone over 84414 - BentLiberal

                            by BentLiberal on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:50:22 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Sorry (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            TheMomCat, lunachickie, Be Skeptical

                            if I don't kowtow to the prevailing wisdom.  But I get really fucking sick of people dismissing the decades and centuries of work white progressives have done to right wrongs and fight on behalf of OTHERS in ways virtually no one else in the US has.  I am fucking sick of being told that because I am white my experience doesn't count for shit and I do NOT have a legitimate right to be outraged about the things I am outraged by because Kos or whoever simply doesn't fucking get it.

                            So, you know what?  You think that's a depth?  It isn't as low as the ridiculous self-righteousness and hypocrisy that the notion that it is somehow privileged to care about civil liberties.  THAT is low.

                          •  Do You Have Links to (12+ / 0-)

                            Proof for the following statements here by anyone at Daily Kos that you claim you've been "told"?

                            1.  That PoC dismiss the importance of the work of white progressives to right wrongs on behalf of others?  (In other words, someone saying that the work didn't matter? And by work, I mean work, not expressions of sentiment.)

                            2.  That your experiences "don't count for shit?"

                            3.  That you DON'T have a right to be "outraged about the things you are outraged about?"

                            Because if you don't, I'd recommend you do some serious study on the concept called "defensive projection."

                            Love Africa? Love Opera? Love documentaries? Then you will love the The Tenor from Abidjan

                            by shanikka on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 12:24:50 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  yes (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            lunachickie, Be Skeptical

                            Sure, here you go

                            http://www.dailykos.com/...

                            why now suddenly all y'all folks are concerned about minorities.
                            Nope.  Not sudden.

                            and here:

                            It's the same old-same old self-interested cooptation and using race to give them increased credibility to address white folks' most important concerns that most of us POC have already seen for decades and don't take to very well, if you want to know the truth.
                            Which of course it isn't a sudden coopting as I've been saying.  It has been a long, long concern of the left to worry about government intrusion since at least the HUAC days and the era of COINTELPRO.  So, pretending that white progressives are new to this is to totally ignore history, including mine.  Sure, I can point to the fact that my own family directly was affected by this kind of spying, but somehow that's negated by slavery or something.

                            This entire comment of yours tries to portray the concerns of white progressives as somehow new, naive, or ignorant.  That simply isn't true.

                          •  So In Other Words (9+ / 0-)

                            You interpreted that to say that stuff that had been done didn't matter at all?

                            As I said, defensive projection.  Look it up.

                            Love Africa? Love Opera? Love documentaries? Then you will love the The Tenor from Abidjan

                            by shanikka on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 12:57:45 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Um yes (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            lunachickie, Be Skeptical

                            It is pretty clear that you were saying that white progressives haven't been involved.  It is what you said.  But of course you try to use my race to delegitimize my view point.  There is a word for that.  It isn't "projection"

                          •  That's not what this diary did imo (7+ / 0-)

                            And the depth I was talking about was you going completely overboard n all the things you were blaming POC for.

                            I happen to not have liked Kos's comment very much, especially because it was made without much followup to clarify what he meant.

                            But I don't think it justifies your comment.

                            I hesitate to continue, because I don't want to be seen as speaking for someone else.  

                            But I think you were out of line.

                            Il est dangereux d’avoir raison dans des choses où des hommes accrédités ont tort. - Voltaire
                            Don't trust anyone over 84414 - BentLiberal

                            by BentLiberal on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 12:39:28 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I wasn't responding to the diary (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            lunachickie

                            I was responding to shannika's statements that white liberals
                            1) only recently started caring about minorities
                            2) that white progressives only care about civil liberties only affect white people

                            To these two points my responses are three fold
                            On point number one, history clearly shows that to be utter bullshit.

                            On point number two there are two responses: first, so what?  Some of us have been in fact deeply affected by these issues and delegitimizing that concern on whatever basis is wrong.  (I don't think anyone is going to contest that accusing someone of showing white privilege for caring about what they care about is anything other than delegitimizng are they?)

                            Second, white progressives have a far better record of taking up the fight on behalf of groups of which they are not a part than any other group of activists in the US so until some other group shows a similar track record it is wrong to attack white progressives for caring about what they care about as insufficiently following what the speaker (in this case shanikka) cares about.  Here I'd say it isn't privileged to care about different things, it is just being different

                          •  The comment you cite (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            cks175, montanaguy, lunachickie

                            Is part of my third point.  If white progressives care about particular issues that PoC don't feel are important, they  nevertheless have an overwhelmingly stronger concern about *other people's issues" than almost any other political group

                            I still think that is true. Take a look at those individuals (the allies, if you will)who are involved an issue but aren't directly affected by that issue and you'll find a ton of white progressives there.  Look at the men who campaign for women's rights or the non-Hispanics who fight on immigration. Look at the straight people who fight for gay rights.   Who are those people?  A lot of them are white progressives.   And then ask yourself if there are a lot of non minorities who fight for minority rights.  Yes, there are and this site is full of them, including me.  I am tired of having people tell me that I have come late to this when I've been at it for the better part of three decades.  Frankly, if the contributions of white liberals are so completely invisible to minorities then I would have to ask why the fuck should we bother.  Frankly, after enough of being told how stupid and small minded I am enough, I really have to ask what the point of all that work was

                          •  Why are you so defensive? (8+ / 0-)

                            "Why the fuck should we bother?" Who the fuck is "we"?

                            Who do you think you are? You're coming off like you're trying to claim hero status for all the things that nice white people have done. You seem to be generalizing that black people have generally been ungrateful to you and these other great white heroes and therefore, you should put your cape on and fly away, never to return. That'll show us to be ungrateful!

                            You're a piece of work, cuz. Just cut it out. This shit is really immature and intellectually beneath this community as a whole.

                            "It's not enough to acknowledge privilege. You have to resist." -soothsayer

                            by GenXangster on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 03:43:46 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Remind me (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Be Skeptical

                            To quite that to you next time you complain of a slur against your community.  I'll just say that it is intellectual beneath you to decry slurs against your group.  I can only imagine the reaction THAT would get!   Didn't we decide at some point that saying to people "get over it, you are overreacting" is beyond the pale?  Or wait. That principle only applies to the RIGHT kind of people. I forgot.  

                            Of course, I am talking to the guy who just asserted that the definition of a racist is "someone who disagrees with a black person" so maybe I shouldn't expect any better behavior from you than I would from, say, Bill OReilly

                          •  Nobody generalized all white progressives. (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Bill in MD, poco, fcvaguy, churchylafemme

                            Nowhere did that happen. Please put away the fainting couch. Most of the people who's comments some of us black folks are reccing are WHITE progressives.

                            Stop trying to pretend like you're outraged that someone slandered your damn ethnic group. lol

                            We are in a white progressive man's diary who agrees with me and shanikka for fucksake. Cut it out.

                            "It's not enough to acknowledge privilege. You have to resist." -soothsayer

                            by GenXangster on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 04:31:01 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Please reference (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            lunachickie, Be Skeptical

                            http://www.dailykos.com/...

                            Especially the generalizations bolded

                            But your "countering" raising an obvious point still doesn't address the issue of prioritization and why now suddenly all y'all folks are concerned about minorities.  The nexus between the two subjects doesn't mean that oh, we should change our sense of priorities.  This issue of spying existed long before libertarian-minded progressives got up in arms about it thanks to the disclosures of Edward Snowden. And frankly as is too often the case arguing that we should reprioritize NOW when majoritarian folks weren't hollering before when they didn't realize that they too were targets (the marijuana legalization arguments coming from the white left in the past few years have taken a similar tact, with the sudden concern about how many of us are doing time because of pot).  It's the same old-same old self-interested cooptation and using race to give them increased credibility to address white folks' most important concerns that most of us POC have already seen for decades and don't take to very well, if you want to know the truth.
                            There is no qualification "some" or anything like it.   It clearly is directed at all "libertarian minded" progressives.  So, there is your answer about the generalization about white progressives.  Shannika's is the one who started framing it this way

                            And I haven't seen any quotes from our diarist saying he thinks that libertarian minded progressives have only recently started caring about minorities?  This is the second time I ask you for a link to such a comment

                          •  And you countered with (5+ / 0-)

                            the idea that "all" blacks aren't concerned with issues unless they are specifically black issues. And that they don't care to fight for people who are not themselves.

                            You don't get to generalize in the next paragraph about blacks and then imply that shanikka lacked a qualifier. What's your response to that? "Well SHE did it first!"??

                            This is juvenile.

                            "It's not enough to acknowledge privilege. You have to resist." -soothsayer

                            by GenXangster on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 05:53:49 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Not hardly (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            lunachickie, Be Skeptical

                            I talked about aggregate trends and polling day and communities in a way Shannika's did not

                            But you no what?  There is no dealing with self righteousness.  As long as you feel entitled to insult and degrade there is no point in discussing anything

                          •  Mindful Nature (8+ / 0-)

                            So I'm scrolling thru these comments and get caught by your back and forth w/GenXangster. I got called away and came back and for a second forgot what diary this was

                            BECAUSE THIS HAS DICK TO DO WITH WHITE PRIVILEGE.

                            Jeebus. All this neener neener white progressives think this and show me a link and let me tell you and other BS.

                            Raptavio did a great job of addressing something that exists, that had an effect on the lives of those who have it and those who don't and why the fuck can't we talk about that?

                            And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County Down by the Green River where Paradise lay. Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away. John Prine

                            by high uintas on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:17:39 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Good question (3+ / 0-)

                            You are right it has jack all to do with it.  I took exception to one stupid comment and then got taken in by the trolling.  

                          •  "Trolling". You are really something else. (6+ / 0-)

                            "It's not enough to acknowledge privilege. You have to resist." -soothsayer

                            by GenXangster on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:30:59 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Sorry (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            raptavio

                            You are right. Just very fristrated

                          •  +1 for class in admitting error (0+ / 0-)

                            and apologizing.

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

                            by raptavio on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 02:48:59 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Rather that looking at disagreement (6+ / 0-)

                            as trolling, take it for what it was and toss it off.

                            srsly. There is a good conversation to be had here about WP and how it impacts our politics along with our choices, priorities, all of it. It's worth talking about and disagreement is part of conversation.

                            But, first just accepting the existence of white privilege and understanding it is what Rappy wrote about. I know that I've benefited from it and long for the day when being white is not an automatic leg up.

                            And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County Down by the Green River where Paradise lay. Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away. John Prine

                            by high uintas on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:34:41 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Admittedly it was quite a tangent (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            lunachickie, Be Skeptical

                            You may notice my other comments completely agree with the diary.  I only object to this characterization of white progressives as never having noticed these issues before

                          •  Thank you (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Be Skeptical

                            Because I just couldn't find the words after a certain point I completely rejected that essential assertion earlier, that's exactly how I read it.

                            this characterization of white progressives as never having noticed these issues before
                            Absurd is the only word I have left at this point. You do tangents well, you should do them more often.

                            This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

                            by lunachickie on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:43:09 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Aggregate trends and polling does not (7+ / 0-)

                            a monolithic black opinion make. That doesn't prove a damn thing about what blacks are historically concerned about.

                            You don't believe that blacks are concerned with LGBT issues enough to fight for them, for example? Did you forget that a lot of gays are black? Ever heard of James Baldwin?

                            Do blacks get to be in different groups or just white people?   Do their daily lives ever intersect with other underprivileged groups? Do they get to be progressive? Well that's what we are, the ones who are on this site. We are the liberals of our race and nationality. We believe in progressive politics and equality for all. That's why we're here. Do you think that the greater white progressive body is where we ALL belong? If so, you would be wrong. The mainstream progressive community is not a big draw for blacks for the reason that we all assume that white progressives are perfect. We generally only hope to find allies among you because you think the way we do for the most part and you don't seem to outright hate us. But when we inspect further, our feelings about how some of you are so stubborn about race is disheartening and disappointing. We have to struggle everyday to not feel alienated and remember that you're not all stubborn. When you've been betrayed as a race by white people for hundreds of years, it's a real let down to know that people as stubboen and offensive as you are among the flock of the good ones, the ones with their heads on straight, as we used to say in the south.

                            But we push it aside and move on, hoping to change your minds. In the meantime, we acknowledge and thank the ones that do understand and are grateful that they stand with us. The fact that you have to feel grateful that all the people who claim to be your friends aren't stubborn as hell is sad but it's the best you can do when you're drowning and hoping for any kind of ally that isn't trying to push your head back under water and silence your voice in favor of their own privileged, stubborn voice.

                            "It's not enough to acknowledge privilege. You have to resist." -soothsayer

                            by GenXangster on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:25:33 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  This is good (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Choco8, Be Skeptical

                            I actually wrote a long response but it didn't post.  

                            This I think is the first real communication here yet in this thread, and it rings painfully true to me in parts, though you still have me utterly wrong in some ways.

                            I think first recognize what I was ACTUALLY saying, and it was this:

                            1) The statement that white progressives have only recently come to care about minorities is wrong

                            2) The statement that that white progressives only care about issues of importance to minority communities when they affect white people is also wrong.

                            Actually, my belief is that you don't actually agree with either statement.

                            Now, for a little more back story.  Since this thread was in response to a comment expounding on kos' rather stupid comment that the fury over the NSA was merely an expression of white privilege, I will start there.

                            You see, it isn't for many of us, and it is a pretty offensive and demeaning statement, frankly.  You see, my father's family is from Eastern Europe.  This meant that when I was growing up, we could not contact my grandmother because the Soviet authorities listened in and monitor all communications.  Any contact from her son or grandchildren could go very badly for her, so we never had any communication.  My father never spoke to his parents after he was dragged from home as a slave laborer by the Nazis at age 14.  My uncle did get in touch, and he spent 17 years in a labor camp in part as a result.  My grandfather was simply murdered.  So, your experience is important and that justice is important, but so to is my experience.  That experience should not and cannot be dismissed as stupid "white privilege" and in the memory of my family I'm going to take strong exception to anyone who tries to dismiss my concerns as mere "white privilege"  Even though I am white, I have experience and a perspective and I too am not going to stand for it being dismissed any nore than you would.  I am sure you ask for respect and for people to listen to your perspective.  Well, so do I, and that is all I've ever asked.  Consequently, I have no patience for "you're white, so we don't need to listen to you," which is what kos' comment essentially said to me.

                            Now, perhaps as a consequence of this awareness, fighting injustice and intolerance has always been the highest political and moral value for me, and racial injustice has always been among the key issues I have fought on.  I've tutored small kids in what amounted to a war zone because I believe in education.  I've registered voters.  I'm on the board of an education non profit now.  I've sued my state over inadequate educational funding for minority and poor schools.  

                            So, while you come here looking for allies, so too do I.  What I don't come here for is hippy bashing and being dismissed as, let's face it, a racist because I am a white progressive.  (Yes, I've been told repeatedly on these pages that all white progressives are racists, even by a frontpager)  So, these statements of Shannikka's go to the core of my beliefs and dismiss them.  Maybe you don't understand or care why that matters to me or why I won't stand for that, but there it is.  You see, I come here for shared values and for common effort.  I do not come here to be attacked for the color of my skin based on false assumptions about what I do or do not think, especially because most of the assumptions are based in broad stereotypes and fall exceeding wide of the mark.

                            Yes, I suppose I should just shrug at the stereotyping and resulting slurs that unthinkingly flow from them.  Often I do.  Somehow today it got away with me.  

                            So there it is.  

                          •  Who in the hell ever dismissed (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            churchylafemme

                            Russian people who were unjustly treated by Nazis as "stupid white privilege"? That doesn't even make sense. That's an AWFUL experience that I wouldn't dismiss for happening to anybody. Nazis didn't like negroes either. It scares me to think what Hitler may have had in store for us had he not been defeated eventually.

                            America welcomed those refugees of the war and fought for their liberation and won with the help of allies. The Jewish ones had their temples attacked in the south the same way black churches were bombed. Some Jews helped establish the NAACP. I'm sure they didn't stand around comparing the plight of their folks who were in Hitler's camps to the pilght of being black in America. We have to put these games aside and solve some problems and being on the same side and acknowledging that we have some common ground is a good way to start.

                            Yeah, I suppose my grandparents who were black and in the south were privileged compared to the poor souls that were living overseas and got caught up with the Nazis because my grandparents weren't in that part of the world.

                            Can we deal with America, though? My grandfather spent 3 years in the 1940s on a chain gang for resisting a police officer who was racist to him in the south. He almost died. He wasted away to nothing. My mother wasn't born yet. My existence would have been nullified and I wouldn't even be here arguing with you right now.

                            There are gays being tortured in public squares in Africa and Islamic countries right now or women being stoned to death somewhere in the world. We're all frickin privileged by not being there.

                            What does that have to do with the racial heirarchy in the United States? Does talk of privilege always have to end in Oppression Olympics? What do I look like going into LGBT diaries and derailing their discussion about oppression with my accounts of my ancestors being lynched? How does the Oppression Olympics help anybody? Can't you just let people air their grievances about oppression without making it about you?

                            "It's not enough to acknowledge privilege. You have to resist." -soothsayer

                            by GenXangster on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:35:53 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Estonian actually (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            orestes1963, Be Skeptical

                            And that was kos and another I will not mention here

                            But the point is this:  none of us should stop listening to why others have to say because of assumptions we make.  It is y about oppression Olympics it is about how kos and Shannika end up not listening and dismissing because they make assumptions and respond to stereotypes rather than the people in front of them.  When they dismiss my concerns as white privilege, they assume its because I have a parochial vision and only get troubled when things affect me but otherwise am blind.  In fact the opposite is true. I object because I have a wider perspective beyond the confines of recent US history.  Unlike most Americans I recognize how serious NSS spying is because of the foreign experience.  In fact, it is potentially far more dangerous than most issues faced by Anerican society even if few here recognize the nature of the threat.  So it is about me because I have an unusual perspective that should not be dismissed

                            So the point is, air your grievances and I will listen.  However, when anyone adopts the same tools as the oppressors, then I will speak up. Racists have always privileged one group over another and privileged one view point and dismissed another based on group membership. This was true in South Africa, but also in Bosnia and Rwanda. It is a human dynamic, so I will denounce it where I see it even if it is unpopular.  Resorting to the same tactics as the portraits is not noble but a very common move for the oppressed.  An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind

                          •  good point (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            GenXangster, raptavio, poco

                            notice the poll that was cited compares Democrats to POC to Republicans on the issue of marriage equality. For me, its an odd comparison; sort of apples and oranges.

                            A more apt comparison would be white evangelicals to black evangelicals.

                            KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                            by fcvaguy on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:43:43 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  no one has said those things to you or about you (7+ / 0-)

                            why are you saying them to yourself and putting those words in other people's mouths?

                            Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
                            DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
                            Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

                            by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 02:41:16 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Eww (6+ / 0-)

                            I hate it when white people demand a cookie for some white folks in the past not being assholes. As a white person, I would like to apologize to all people of color for this commenter. He or she sure as hell does not speak for this white person.

                            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 Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:05:20 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  are you serious? (12+ / 0-)

                            because the meetings YOU go to only have white faces, that means there are no POC involved in those issues?

                            suppose I say that the meetings I go to have no white faces, and then draw the conclusion that there are no white people involved in those issues?

                            oh but I should not generalize from my limited experience to the whole of experience?

                            but you can...?

                            some days I feel this is a lost cause...

                            Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
                            DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
                            Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

                            by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 02:36:39 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                •  1/4 shit. Get his condescension right! 1/4 shit (7+ / 0-)

                  :o)

                  "But I do apologize, JVolvo, for you are arbiter of all that can and cannot be discussed and I bow down to your supremacy when it comes to what can be written on this website." WinSmith 1/22/2014 - "OK" JVolvo 1/23/2014 (sorry, Clive)

                  by JVolvo on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:21:59 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  All true (8+ / 0-)

                  but you know what? I'm not gonna hold kos' stupidity on that one mis-appropriation against everyone else, insofar as their idea that "privilege" exists and should be respected and not ridiculed.

                  Although I will say it would be damned nice if they returned the give-and-take here, and stop ridiculing the idea that Edward Snowden is a fucking hero.

                  it's the same police state that oppresses minorities that wants to collect everyone's data; and that perhaps we ought to fight the root cause and not the symptom.

                  That was when Markos went from "two shits" to "half a shit."

                  Because you're right. The same police state that fucks over minorities--and women--in this country is the one that made Edward Snowden necessary. HOW do they not see that? Truly, I don't get it...

                  This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

                  by lunachickie on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:45:19 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  That exactly what I said (9+ / 0-)

                    when I wrote this diary.
                       I'm glad that some people here feel the same way.

                    The same police state that fucks over minorities--and women--in this country is the one that made Edward Snowden necessary. HOW do they not see that? Truly, I don't get it...

                    None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

                    by gjohnsit on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:48:29 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Damn (8+ / 0-)

                      You wrote that last August!

                      I definitely understand the diarists' frustration. There's so much that's wrong with "white privilege" and trying to pretend it doesn't exist is stupid.

                      The problem I see now is "cognitive dissonance" because I can count a lot of folks who rec'd this diary as people who think Ed Snowden is a traitor (to be fair, many more don't, I'm just sayin' for the sake of discussion).

                      So is that how they square these two concepts and get around the dissonance? By calling out "uncovering NSA abuse" as "white privilege"? Because it is the same police state that's responsible for both of these types of abuse.

                      It is. The argument that one is about "national security" and one isn't is just as dissonant. Because if you've got a nation of millions of divided people, divided over institutional racism, that's just as big a threat to security as A Foreign Terrorist is.

                      Dude, I didn't even understand where that was coming from when kos posted that idiotic "white privilege" shit. Now I do, and I'm just gobsmacked. It's like tying a boulder to a kite and expecting the kite to fly. Or something...
                       

                      This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

                      by lunachickie on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:58:38 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  psst (24+ / 0-)

                    this diary is NOT about Snowden. Please.

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

                    by raptavio on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:12:11 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I know that (5+ / 0-)

                      And I truly am not trying to "make it so". It IS, however, a good corollary of the larger point, only because kos himself mis-appropriated the mantra of "white privilege" to apply to Snowden.

                      The way I see it, with that in my hindsight to your POV here is that he did you and me no favors at all. He set back the argument of  "Privilege, Being White and "Getting It"" with that idiotic tie-in. That was just wrong. Because it IS the same police state abusing minorities, abusing women and now--abusing everyone else.

                      That large abuse had nothing--NOTHING--to do with White Privilege. At. All. Now I'm really pissed at him for that. Because you're still right about your diary here today.  

                      I just wish--with all my heart, sincerely--that you could see this connection we've made for what it is, and that it's not some "personal slag" against the President (or whatever you see Snowden as) or a diary hijack. It is truly not meant to be that at all.

                      This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

                      by lunachickie on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:23:50 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  If it's about white privilege (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      corvo, Tonedevil

                      then it is about Snowden, in one way or another.

                      But given the fact that the NSA "issue" is the most recent and most common place I've seen white privilege be an issue here then it inevitably is related in this context.

                      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                      by AoT on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 12:12:36 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

              •  X2 (0+ / 0-)

                nosotros no somos estúpidos

                by a2nite on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 12:08:06 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  How would know unless you are (0+ / 0-)

              willing to adopt that position and see?

          •  or, put another way, (8+ / 0-)

            am I guilty of white privilege because, as a white guy, I prefer Glen Ford to blackwaterdog?

            Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

            by corvo on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:55:50 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  and "aware" is insufficient. (8+ / 0-)

            Once one is aware, one can always choose complacency ("Yeah, I'm privileged. Sucks to be you!") or one can choose action.  It's another round in the battle between faith and good works, dontcha know.  Let's choose the latter; I was raised Catholic anyway.  So what action?

            Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

            by corvo on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:25:51 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Awareness is a complex thing (5+ / 0-)

              That is, you can think you are aware, but can be very, well, not-aware. It's part of action - I mean, you can go ahead and act, but along with it, awareness is key.

              I'm thinking maybe of a more Buddhist notion of awareness, which takes a lifetime (or more, ha ha) to cultivate.

              And now I know how Joan of Arc felt.

              by Knockbally on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:37:54 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Awareness (18+ / 0-)

              is a start. From there action can be initiated. Without it, action cannot.

              The diary's about awareness. What comes next? Well, hey, write a diary with your ideas.

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

              by raptavio on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:04:00 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  That will never happen (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                corvo, Johnny Q
                The diary's about awareness. What comes next? Well, hey, write a diary with your ideas.
                 Because it isn't white people that get to define what white privilege is.
                   So please don't hold it against white people for not feeling included in whatever the next step is.

                None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

                by gjohnsit on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:59:45 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Who said anything (7+ / 0-)

                  about holding anything against anybody?

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

                  by raptavio on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:14:06 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  If white people don't write about it then (5+ / 0-)

                  we will go nowhere. Writing about what to do as a white person needs to come from the perspective of a white person as well as from people of color because as white people we can talk about what we did and how we did it to encourage more white people to do the same. It has to come from all sorts of people.

                  If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                  by AoT on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:33:26 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I couldn't agree more (6+ / 0-)
                     If white people don't write about it then we will go nowhere.
                     For the issues of racism and white privilege to move forward (or better yet, go away), everyone must be included in the discussion. You got that 100% correct.

                       However, that is not the way the issue is being presented, and that is the problem.
                       For example, raptavio said this earlier in the comment section.

                    If one Black person tells me I am [racist], and another not, I'd defer to them to sort it out.
                     Seriously. Does that sound like white people have a say in the issue? That they are even welcome to have a say in the issue, except to repeat exactly whatever black people are saying? And if your opinions aren't even welcome in an issue, are you going to feel incline to do something about it?

                       Some minorities here probably don't see a problem with this statement, and that is a huge problem.
                      White people might be tone-deaf to white privilege, but that doesn't mean that minorities aren't tone-deaf on the issue as well.

                       Specifically, consider the audience here.
                    This is one of the most welcoming sites on the web for minorities to speak their minds. Yet they are consistently surprised and confused when some white people get a little defensive and speak about feeling "guilty" when the issue of white privilege is brought up.
                       Who do the minorities think they are talking to? This isn't RedState here. These are liberal, activist people. their natural response to someone pointing out a wrong that has been committed in their name is to feel some shame, and want to do something about it. That's a good thing.
                       But some minorities here are always surprised when the white people here talk about "guilt". As if they never expected that response. That's evidence of tone-deafness.

                    None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

                    by gjohnsit on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:48:51 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Um, I believe that was fcvaguy, not raptavio, (6+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      AoT, raptavio, poco, Terri, mconvente, Tonedevil

                      and from a slightly different perspective.

                      At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

                      by serendipityisabitch on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:16:06 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Sorry. It was fcvaguy (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        mconvente

                        My bad.
                           But I still stand by my statement

                        None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

                        by gjohnsit on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:28:39 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  That sounds like a white person talking about (5+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      raptavio, Terri, poco, Tonedevil, worldlotus

                      racism and how to deal with it and how they interact with people of color on the issue. That's white people talking about racism. I don't agree, although I see how people could get there. But leaving all the hard work of ending racism up to people of color seems like the worst way to go about it.

                      And I doubt that any person who is familiar with discussing race with white people is surprised one bit when white people talk about guilt. Because the first thing most white people do when the subject of race comes up is go off about guilt and how they don't feel guilty or they do feel guilty, it goes on and on. There's a difference between being surprised and being frustrated. Being frustrated when people do the same stupid thing every time is not surprise.

                      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                      by AoT on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:46:23 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Which just makes my point more relevant (4+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        mconvente, corvo, worldlotus, Mark Mywurtz
                        That sounds like a white person talking about racism and how to deal with it and how they interact with people of color on the issue.
                        Which means white people who actually care deeply about the issue are still incline to defer any decisions and actions about the issue to blacks.
                           Thus the issue is still "stuck".
                        But leaving all the hard work of ending racism up to people of color seems like the worst way to go about it.
                        Very true. And yet...
                        Because the first thing most white people do when the subject of race comes up is go off about guilt and how they don't feel guilty or they do feel guilty, it goes on and on. There's a difference between being surprised and being frustrated. Being frustrated when people do the same stupid thing every time is not surprise.
                        What you have said very, very clearly here is that you couldn't care less how white people, who are sympathetic to the problems of racism, feel about racism and how it effects their lives.

                           In other words, it's a black issue.

                         Do you not see the contradictions here? What is left for white people except guilt?

                        None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

                        by gjohnsit on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:59:12 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Look, we can disagree with one comment (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          poco, Tonedevil, worldlotus

                          without it being the end of the world.

                          What you have said very, very clearly here is that you couldn't care less how white people, who are sympathetic to the problems of racism, feel about racism and how it effects their lives.
                          I said no such thing. At all. And I would never say such a thing. It's frustrating to hear people the same thing again and again because it gets us no where. Not only that but it focused the attention yet again on white people and how horrible their lives are and how misunderstood their lives are. I think there's plenty to talk about there, but that's not what talking about racism is about and it distracts from the discussion of racism.

                          The problem is that white people are making this about guilt and then discussing guilt when it's not at all about guilt, it's about racism. And yes, it is an issue for people of color, not just black people.

                          Plenty is left for white people other than guilt. Like action. The only reason to feel guilty is if someone points these things out and you see the things and you're responsible for the things. Why the cries of "It's not my fault?" so often?

                          Just because I think white people should talk about racism doesn't mean I think they're always going to be saying the right stuff. I mean, there's plenty of pro-racist things you could say when talking about racism. So just talking about it isn't enough. The other side of that is to quit complaining about how no one is allowed to talk about this if they're white. The problem isn't being white, it's making it all about white people, which is what this whole guilt thing does.

                          And I'm white, I don't feel guilty for my privilege. I've got it, and that isn't fair to people who don't, but I'm doing what I can to change that so what would I have to feel guilty about. Some people just want to feel guilty about something rather than take action.

                          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                          by AoT on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 12:49:51 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I misspoke (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            AoT, worldlotus

                            I shouldn't have said you didn't care. I should have said that your tone was dismissive. For instance:

                            It's frustrating to hear people the same thing again and again because it gets us no where. Not only that but it focused the attention yet again on white people and how horrible their lives are and how misunderstood their lives are.
                             I think I get your point, but before you make a statement like this you have to take into account the individual.
                               The white person you are referring to may indeed have had a horrible life. They may have been abused. They may have lived in dire poverty. They may have even had to deal with discrimination.
                               I personally was called "trailer trash" when I was growing up.
                               Chances are you are talking to another working class person, so they almost surely have had to overcome a lot of obstacles.

                              The reason I say this isn't to diminish your point, or to distract away from the issue of racism.
                               I only say this because you simply can't bring someone around to your point of view while dismissing their emotions. They will always resent it.

                              As for the frustration your feel, I think I understand it. I feel a lot of it in this topic, although for very different reasons.
                              I personally (and this isn't going to win over any friends) feel that we should move on from the topic of racism completely.
                              There isn't a lick of scientific evidence that race, as we know it, even exists. Thus the entire concept of race is a cultural creation.
                               I believe the idea of race was created by the ruling elite as a method of dividing the working class (very effectively). I know for a fact that I have more in common with a worker who is black, latino, chinese, etc. than I do with some white guy in a mansion. And it frustrates me a great deal to hear people tell me how good I have it because of my skin color, because I know it isn't true.
                              At the same time I know it won't do me a bit of good to tell the black, chinese, indian, etc. worker that his idea of me is wrong. As a fellow member of my class I need them on my side, and getting in an argument about the condition of my life isn't going to solve anything.

                             The only reason to feel guilty is if someone points these things out and you see the things and you're responsible for the things. Why the cries of "It's not my fault?" so often?
                            It's good that you don't take it personal, but you do realize that a lot of white kids living in black neighborhoods have been the recipient of hatred and violence from blacks merely because of the color of their white skin, right? I have several members of my family that got very good with their fists because they had no choice.
                               So while you have moved beyond it, that doesn't mean that a lot of black men have moved beyond it.
                               Now before this point goes any further, consider that 31% of blacks think blacks are racist. Only 24% of blacks think whites are racist.
                              Yet the discussion of racism on this site is completely and totally about what whites can do to stop being racist against blacks. That leaves a huge blind spot when it comes to reality.
                               ALL racism is wrong. Yet the debate here is defined by blacks (not even all minorities) with the assumption that blacks are always the victims.

                              Could I make a post saying all this here? HELL NO! Not without being flamed to a crisp and probably banned for life.
                               Yet everything I've said here is true.

                            None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

                            by gjohnsit on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 02:58:14 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Plenty of white people have lived horrible lives (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            poco

                            Racism is not by any stretch our only problem. Classism and Sexism are two other huge ones, by population size. There is far, far more than just racism wrong in our country, and around the world.

                            It's good that you don't take it personal, but you do realize that a lot of white kids living in black neighborhoods have been the recipient of hatred and violence from blacks merely because of the color of their white skin, right?
                            Sure, but that's such a tony minority of white people. And lets not forget that most of those white folks are far more negatively affected by class issues than being the target of black kids.
                            Yet the debate here is defined by blacks (not even all minorities) with the assumption that blacks are always the victims.
                            The definition most certainly does not assume that the victims are always black. We have been discussing racism as directed against blacks, but that is far from the only kind. And neither has this debate been defined by black people. Plenty of people of different races have contributed to it.
                            Yet the discussion of racism on this site is completely and totally about what whites can do to stop being racist against blacks. That leaves a huge blind spot when it comes to reality.
                            The fact of the matter is that people of color are demonstrably worse off than white people, on average. No one here would dispute that, I think. So then why is that? If it's not racism then it's something else. What else would it be? And if it's not white people perpetuating racism, and they're the one's who benefit more from racism, then who is it? Black people are "more racist" under what metric? More likely to be? They regularly follow white people around stores? And seriously, I take any poll from a right wing pollster on race with a huge grain of salt.

                            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                            by AoT on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 03:11:44 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  You really believe this? (4+ / 0-)
                      This is one of the most welcoming sites on the web for minorities to speak their minds.
                      I strongly disagree. The demographics of this site sort of testify to that. But, the history of race discussions on DailyKos are proof of it.

                      KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                      by fcvaguy on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:58:33 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                •  We all need to come to an understanding and defini (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Tonedevil

                  definition of white privilege, regardless of our skin color.  I'm not speaking for the diarist here, but that's how I read it.

                  Dont Mourn, Organize !#konisurrender

                  by cks175 on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 01:01:57 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  You choose the action. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Tonedevil

              Since you brought it up.

          •  not really that simple (16+ / 0-)

            I am a white woman and for 20  years I worked in public service.   My first subordinate in a new department was a black man and it was really apparent early on that his life was much harder because he was black - just two examples of hundreds I could note:

            I routinely loaded and unloaded departmental computer equipment - replacing as much as 40 pieces a day and no one questioned me - when I sent him to do it he was treated like a criminal by the staff - questioned constantly on if he was stealing the stuff.  This happened after work also when we routinely unloaded our fleet vehicles - I did it for years - never questioned - he often had to deal with the police stopping and questioning him for the same activity.

            It wasn't hard to get locked out when you were moving equipment - the rule was never to get separated from your keys but mistakes happen - when it happened to me even if I encountered a staff member who did not know me - I was given the benefit of the doubt and let back into the building without question.  When it happened to him I had to drive across town to get him back in the building because no one would let him in to retrieve his own personal car keys so he could go home.

            Yet when I voiced my sympathy and empathy that his life was harder when trying to do the same job he was highly offended and acted like I was being condescending.   I was just trying to figure out with him how to minimize the hassles he was encountering.   But he would have none of it.   Never figured it out but I did learn not to voice any sympathy.   I too would like to know what I was supposed to do about it.   I want to help or aid not offend.    

            •  One thing you could have done is speak (13+ / 0-)

              to the people who were treating him poorly because he was black. I mean, people were treating one of your staff members demonstrably poorer than others. Don't talk to him, talk to them. He may not have even been aware that he was getting treated worse than other people. Sometimes people don't realize they are being discriminated against.  

              One of the great frustrations of being discriminated against is when people come up after the fact and say how sorry they felt. Sorry?  Why didn't you say something when I was in the middle of the battle?  Why is always the minorities job to confront racism?  One of the real frustrations I have with my white friends is when they'll point out an acquaintance or friend of theirs who says racist things.  "Okay thanks for the warning, but why are you friends with him?  Why can't you check him yourself?"

              •  good points all (8+ / 0-)

                but my boss would have never let me question the police or question the staff - I was there to fix the computers and not allowed to speak up -

                However when it happened in front of me I did speak up - however he would never call me in when this stuff was coming down for the most part - too proud and I found out years later he did want to take orders from a woman and did not want my help no matter how hard his life was - but that is a different subject entirely.  

                I gave up - he didn't want me involved.  

                But I will keep your suggestions in mind if it crosses my desk again - now I am retired I have no boss to stop my actions.

            •  There are a lot of black people who are (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              raptavio

              uncomfortable even talking about the underprivilege of being black in America. They don't want it in their heads, they don't wanna talk about slavery or racism and they can't wrap their minds around it. They haven't been versed in the vocabulary of it and they have no concept of what you're talking about anymore than somebody completely clueless on the subject. They know something's not right but they don't really want to deal with it. They go numb, their eyes glass over or they get all uncomfortable. It's amazing but that has been the case with so many black people I've encountered that it can't be ignored.

              They may lack a background in black history, I think. People don't really know how to deal with the rage of being discriminated against for being black without some foundation in black pride.

              But I'm a black liberal/progressive type that always studies black history and talks a lot about racism and how it is perpetrated systematically and every other way. We aren't all the same. I don't see how you were at fault at all for expressing what you saw him go through, he just didn't know how to deal with what you were saying.

              "It's not enough to acknowledge privilege. You have to resist." -soothsayer

              by GenXangster on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:19:16 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Just being aware is not good enough for some here (5+ / 0-)

            and that's my whole point about asking those with privilege to throttle. This diary specifically does not ask that, but others certainly have. I think of the whole "shut up and listen" diary a few weeks back.

            The goalposts are being continually moved by those who define "getting it." Do I only "get it" if I give up the privilege earned only through the color of my skin? Do I only "get it" if I choose not to buy better groceries because I can afford them?

            What actions must we with privilege take to prove that we "get it?" That's what frustrates me most about these diaries, because that question is never answered.

            •  you usually can't give up privilege (6+ / 0-)

              I'm sort of at a loss as to why anyone would truly think it a solution to anything.  Might as well try to stop the rain from falling.  Not to mention that most of what privilege even is, is a single group getting benefits that every single person should have as a matter of right ... I think only a very distorted person could seriously believe the best solution to that would be to have everyone treated like crap.

              So anyway, neither of those things.

              The action you can take, to me personally, has nothing to do with privilege directly, only indirectly.  A person who "gets it" quite probably also has some awareness of the more subtle forms of racism, quite probably also is aware of the ways in which whiteness as the default renders people of color invisible, or useful only insofar as they fit into white plans, and so on.  So a person who "gets it" might be more likely than someone else to push back against stereotypes of black criminality when they come up or are acted on by someone in their presence, might also be able and willing to discuss just why it is so harmful with other white people.  A person who "gets it", confronted with the eternal lament of the white-dominated liberal activist group that people of color don't want to join, might be more aware than most of the black-led groups already working on similar issues, and might be able to pose the question, "why don't we work with them?"

              Just -- all that sort of thing.  Privilege is just something that exists; it's not a moral judgment (or shouldn't be, IMO, though I have on rare occasions seen people trying to use it that way).  But awareness of it goes along with a whole host of issues surrounding white silence, white ignorance, white insularity and discomfort when confronted with the idea of black people as a group and in control (as opposed to one on one in white dominated spaces), and all of those can be acted against.

              I think I'm speaking with a bit more authority here than I really have, but as a white person, this is what it means at least to me.

          •  Exactly. NT. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            worldlotus
        •  that is a subject (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tonedevil, worldlotus, Be Skeptical

          for another diary.

          There's a ton that can be done about it, and many different aproaches (social, personal, political, economic).  But among those, I think feeling guilty is rather unproductive.

        •  What to do? Here's a suggestion ... (22+ / 0-)

          from a very wise woman, the late Judge Julia Cooper Mack:

          In my opinion it is time, therefore, that we stop recoiling in a personal sense of outrage at every suggestion of "racism." It is a time, not to think in terms of "blame" or "fault" or "guilt," but rather to make a calm and reasoned assessment as to whether there is in any given situation a residue of discriminatory "consequences" from the past, and if so, whether we can devise a remedy which might eliminate those effects with the least cost in human suffering.
          Newsweek Magazine v. District of Columbia Comm'n on Human Rights, 376 A.2d 777, 798 (D.C. 1977) (Mack J., dissenting from denial of rehearing en banc).

          Judge Mack wrote those words over 30 years ago, but unfortunately her advice has gone unheeded.  Perhaps if we white people could learn not to feel personally attacked every time a person of color discusses racism, this discussion could move forward.  As the diarist says, privilege and racism are two different things.  We should all try to bear that in mind.

          "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

          by FogCityJohn on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:18:37 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Bingo (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mattc129, corvo, Johnny Q

          this has been my point all along.  I've been commenting all alone that I do indeed get it.  The diary author first hand admits in his tip jar:

          While I think (102+ / 0-)
          that without living the experience of being without privilege, that we can never truly grok everything about what it means, we can become more aware and more understanding of our own privilege, and the systemic and cultural structures that grant us that privilege.
          So then, how do we get to the point where prove that we "get it"?  This community has educated me and shifted my thought processes; you are the ones that have helped me get it.  And I thank you for that.

          What I'm telling everyone (and have been telling) is that I am extremely aware of my privilege - and I got absolutely destroyed in the "shut up and listen" diary.

          What do I have to do to pass your litmus test of "getting it"?

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

          by mconvente on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:37:23 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Start by (16+ / 0-)

            stopping with the making it about you.

            That'd be about halfway there all by itself.

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

            by raptavio on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:48:59 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  There is a disconnect between us (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mattc129, corvo

              Some members see it.  User serendipityisabitch is one, for example.

              I'm just trying to understand how you and I can say the exact same thing - that we as white people should work hard to be aware of privilege; that we have worked hard to be aware; and that even as we are aware of privilege, we know that we really can never put on the same shoes of those who are unprivileged (as you say write in your tip jar comment right in this diary, and that I commented on profusely).

              We deliver the same message, and yet you are applauded for bringing the issue to the forefront, and members like myself and some others are told not to "make it about [me]."

              And my whole point is - why?  At least I got moviemeister to finally admit it - it is because I'm too vanilla and tame about battling privilege.  But what are you doing more than writing diaries at Daily Kos and demonstrating your awareness?

              What's your reason?

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

              by mconvente on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:18:37 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  This diary isn't about that. (10+ / 0-)

                And I'm not really interested in comparing bonafides.

                I can only tell you that in this diary, what I have seen you write is a series of long-suffering posts about how wounded you are by how you were treated by the diarist in another diary, and how that is so very difficult for you.

                It comes across as defensive and thusly disingenuous in a manner similar to the phrase "I'm sorry but..." is.

                Now, with that defensiveness in mind, let me expressly state that I'm not looking to beat you up or tell you that you're bad; I'm seeking to answer your question about how we can say the same thing and get different reactions. I also don't pretend to know the content of your heart or your battle scars or your accomplishments in promoting a more equal and just society.

                I just see your tone here as excessively defensive, and that kinda puts me (and likely others) off, because most pushback by those who wish to deny privilege or not talk about it is in the form of defensiveness (see comments elsewhere in the diary talking about "guilt" or "apology" or the like).

                As to the exchange between you and the diarist in that diary, I have my opinions (both unfavorable to the diarist and to you) but would prefer to not relitigate that here.

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

                by raptavio on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:47:01 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Thanks (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  corvo

                  I feel like I am trying to get on the same page; I'm just trying to work through the logic in my mind.  I tend to be robotic in my thinking, sometimes this is good, sometimes this is bad.

                  It's interesting how you bring up tone.  I re-read my comments and I agree that I could appear as defensive to some, and this is putting off members whom I actually agree with.  Even though it's not my intention to be defensive, just inquisitive.  Perhaps it's my questioning that is part of the reason some may feel put off; at least one member seems to insinuate that if you agree with the content, a "hey, great diary, totally agree!" comment is all that is necessary.  I don't agree with that sentiment of writing a quick comment and that's all.

                  But, back to tone.  My tone is "kinda putting you off", even though I agree with your diary and it's call to awareness of privilege.  But, doing my logic thing again, how come when myself and others mentioned that the harsh tone of the "shut up and listen" diary may be off putting to people who agree with the message, that was a big no-no?

                  Having re-read your diary text, it seems that you wrote this in response to a different diary that I didn't read.  Perhaps that explains some things as well, re: my disconnect

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

                  by mconvente on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 12:08:41 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  It was in response (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    poco

                    to a different diary, yes. Though I was, obviously, an active participant in the one you brought up too.

                    Though to bring it full circle, I very deliberately added the words shut up and listen in the comments thread from which this diary was sprung.

                    Part of the reason you got pushback when you complained about the tone of the other diary is that complaints about "tone" or offensiveness or saying things the wrong way is a very frequent way that the privileged class tends to push back/fight against/dismiss diaries about fighting issues like racism, misogyny, homophobia, religious bigotry, privilege, etc. etc. -- when you fixate on tone, you carry the baggage of the fact that is frequently used as a deflection tool by those who would rather do anything than be confronted about these issues and actually THINK about them. And since the privileged class has the power structure behind them, progressives tend to be far more tolerant of any actual concerns about "tone" coming from the unprivileged rather than from the privileged.

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

                    by raptavio on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 02:08:08 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Um. It feels as though you are still blaming (6+ / 0-)

                raptavio for having a diary about something which someone else made an over the top comment to you about.

                Sorry if that sounds like mind-reading, but wtf? Your acceptance of the reality of inequality and attempts at fairness were never the subject of the diary.

                In any case, using my statements to you to imply that there is a "disconnect" here ain't gonna fly, and I certainly don't understand why you feel you have to establish that disconnect in the first place.

                At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

                by serendipityisabitch on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:56:30 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  it's a diary about the exact same subject overall (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  corvo

                  so, I figured it's a good opportunity to understand why those comments were said in the first place.

                  If someone says something about me, especially if I don't agree with the comment's assessment of me (at least at first), I want to know why.  From the explanation, I see where the user was coming from, and I agree with some of the sentiments, as I indicated in my comment history.

                  If some members interpret that as "dragging it out" or "not letting it go", they are free to do so.

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

                  by mconvente on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 12:17:26 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  It's unfortunate you ended up feeling "destroyed" (9+ / 0-)

            As an observer, and not a participant, in that episode I will note that it appeared that one person made a rude comment that s/he didn't want you as an ally if..... Other folk challenged that, on your behalf; as did you. In fact, the original commenter evenwalked it back somewhat.  But you would not let it go. You continued to bring it up in that diary. You still haven't let it go, adn keep bringing it up here. And people are increasingly losing patience with your dwelling on your injured feelings, and nursing your grudge.

            What you are doing is building a resentment candle. There's a technique for making candles where you dip the wick in hot wax, let it cool and harden, dip it again, and repeat until the candle is nice and large and ready to burn.  You are doing the same with this issue. And every time you dip your resentment candle, more unpleasant responses accrete to it, making it even fatter.

            “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

            by Catte Nappe on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:23:05 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I just wanted to find out the reason (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Catte Nappe, corvo

              why that user said what he/she said.  

              I remember things that are said about me.

              And in this diary, I have found out the reason why things were said.  And it's better, because I now understand why they were said, and I actually see their point of view when stated with more detail rather than the harsh statement alone.  It has made me think.

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

              by mconvente on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:38:12 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Sorry, I don't believe you (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                doroma, poco, Tonedevil, etherealfire

                If you "just" wanted to find out, and have a better understanding, you'd have left it at that. But you responded with having gotten the commenter to"admit" (which implies accusation, and something s/he should feel guilty about). Then seriously misread the explanation you were given, and put words like "vanilla" and "tame" in his/her mouth (although you yourself are the only one I've seen to apply those words to you).   Let it go, for your own sake.

                “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

                by Catte Nappe on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 12:00:51 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Believe what you want (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  corvo

                  What can I say, I have Kobe Bryant syndrome - I remember everything that is said about me, and it impacts how I go forward.

                  In any event, it's been resolved.

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

                  by mconvente on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 12:12:02 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  If so, (5+ / 0-)

                then it's all to the good, and maybe the diary did something valuable.

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

                by raptavio on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 12:02:40 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Bask in the awareness for a bit (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          poco, Tonedevil

          then perhaps doing something might become clearer.

          (Just a suggestion, since you did ask)

          Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

          by a gilas girl on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 01:00:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I started to type my sig line... (7+ / 0-)

          in the comments just to make it more visible. But check it out.

          I experience a privilege known to blacks as "light skinned privilege". I hardly ever worry about being pulled over by cops, being followed in stores by security, stop and frisk, being told that my grades are good because I cheated my way through school and plenty of other things that happen to dark skinned people. I'm still black but my life is relatively easier in certain aspects than that of somebody much darker than me and with curlier hair. I tend to not be terrorized for living as much as others. It's almost like white privilege except that they know I'm not exactly white but they also don't think I'm black so the worst stereotypes about blacks don't usually get applied to me.

          So, what I do is, whenever I'm in a dumb conversation where a person of color is clearly generalizing about dark skinned black people in a negative way, I pull out my proverbial soap box and tell them off a little bit. The effect and power that I have as a light skinned person to denounce this kind of colorism is greater than someone who is darker than I am making that same point. They can't call me "jealous" or "bitter". They have to shut up and listen to me, a light skinned woman, tell them off for exalting color privilege and dividing the entire black community with that shit.

          Of course, we understand that color privilege among blacks goes all the way back to slavery and was not initially invented by blacks but exists as a product of house slave/field slave privilege. It's gone on for so long that some white people who are racist to the core are genuinely shocked when they learn about this dynamic in the black community. They have trouble connecting the past with the present. They have trouble reconciling their racism with the effects it has brought to the black community. They definitely can't relate their own racism with the privilege that they live with everyday, even as they favor those who look like or more like themselves.

          Sometimes a progressive with nary a racist intention in his/her heart will identify with the struggle of blacks and other underdogs and feel rejected or left out in the cold when their white privilege is pointed out to them. If I took that same attitude towards other blacks when they tried to point out to me that I never have any police problems because I look more like a white woman, I'd always be upset. "But I'M black, too!"

          They're not trying to make me feel guilty, they want me to stand with them and fight for equality. The only way I can do that is by acknowledging that perhaps we are not completely equal in the first place. They need voices from the other side to make this chorus louder just as black people needed some white folks to show their faces and march with them against segregation. This kind of validation is important. It gives other white people who are standing by the sidelines watching a reason to believe that they should be fighting, too.

          "It's not enough to acknowledge privilege. You have to resist." -soothsayer

          by GenXangster on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 02:50:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Once acknowledged, work to (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          worldlotus, raptavio

          make everyone equal and act on that.  Call out actions that stem from privilege, and actions that stamp on others rights.

          I'm a blue jean and tee shirt guy living in a button down suit and tie world.

          by jimraff on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 03:52:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Your guilt (34+ / 0-)

      Is not my fucking concern.

      What is truth is truth regardless of whether you feel guilty about it and frankly I don't give a toss if the truth hurts your fee fees.

      If you want to hide from the truth because it makes you uncomfortable,  well that is your choice but let's also remember that, too, is a privilege.

      It's also a few other things but I won't detail them here.

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

      by raptavio on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:07:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Here's the truth, I have privilege and I don't (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mattc129, Johnny Q, MHB

        need to worry about you insulting me for it.  I've got it.  I'm not looking to get it.

        What you don't get is what a total loser this argument is.  

        You do NOT want to convince white voters that they have privilege because all you do is convince them that they have something they want to keep and that you are trying to take it away.  

        You double down with the Republicans and make this all about race and you'll find out you have a lot more white voters to lose.  

        •  No. You really don't get it. (47+ / 0-)

          If you did you wouldn't think that guilt had anything to do with it nor would you be concerned with whether or not the argument was a "Loser." The ultimate goal is to make what are privileges for us into rights for all.

          You don't get it, and that is precisely why you were determined to push back against this diary. You're exactly the sort I was referring to in my final paragraph.

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

          by raptavio on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:50:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  And you really do not get (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sparhawk, mattc129, MHB

            that if your argument is a loser you aren't going to achieve your goal.  You want empathy?  You can't take empathy to the bank.  You need votes.  You have a huge number of votes in the white community.  You have a huge number of votes you can lose if you keep insisting on framing issues as white vs brown.  People do not vote empathy.  They vote perceived self-interest.  The more you raise the consciousness of people about their whiteness, the more you motivate them to identify with a party based on their own race.

            •  I have a really simple question to ask. (24+ / 0-)

              On the basis that the only person you can really ever speak for is yourself, can you tell me how this diary will lose the Democratic party your vote?

              You don't have to walk even a step, much less a mile, in anyone else's shoes. And you don't have to feel guilty, or even upset, that you haven't.

              So, what about this invitation to the walk upsets you? That other people might get upset about it? It's an argument I expect to see in the RKBA diaries - that gun control might lose Democratic voters. Had I been following early LGBT diaries on this site, I'm fairly sure that it would have been one of the more easily stated (and totally fallacious, as it turns out) arguments against support for the LGBT population. Can you actually point to a single individual you know who currently votes as a Democrat who would feel compelled to become a Republican because they were invited to join in this exercise?

              At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

              by serendipityisabitch on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:49:07 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes, because it reinforces white consciousness (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Sparhawk, mattc129, Johnny Q

                and white identity which is counterproductive.  People in Minnesota, most of them white, and until recently almost all of them white, have long voted for social justice, safety net, liberal policies because they identify with the social good of the policy for their own communities.  We believe in education.  We believe in healthcare, etc. because we believe it helps US have a better COMMUNITY for ALL OF US.  

                BUT if you convince them that the reason they are voting for these policies is to help OTHERS NOT THEMSELVES, then you divide them and make them conscious of their WHITENESS and then a bunch of them begin asking, well, is this really good for ME?  

                This is one reason there is a tipping point on safety net issues when too many in the community are perceived to be DIFFERENT - by race, class, whatever.  As long as we believe the policy is good for all of us we support it.  But when we perceive there are winners and losers we don't want to be on the losing side.  

                If you keep telling people that the most important attribute they have is their WHITENESS, expect them to vote based on that attribute.

                •  Possibly, but that is not the question I asked. (11+ / 0-)

                  You are generalizing again, and I requested specificity.

                  Is this diary going to drive you away from voting Democratic?

                  Can you actually point to a single individual you know who currently votes as a Democrat who would feel compelled to become a Republican because they were invited to join in this exercise?

                  At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

                  by serendipityisabitch on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:21:34 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Not following the logic there. And I don't (6+ / 0-)

                  agree with your thesis that raising awareness about white privilege will cost the Democrats votes.

                  That's conditioned on the issue being incorrectly framed in the terms of something those white voters might be offended by.  The diary makes the point that this isn't about guilt, it's about awareness.

                  Remember, we aren't trying to win over white racists here.  We are trying to raise the awareness of basically good white folk who don't yet understand the residual impacts of institutional racism that have created an atmosphere of white privilege.

                  Diaries like this are an excellent starting point for the conversation.

                  Dont Mourn, Organize !#konisurrender

                  by cks175 on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 01:11:17 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Increasingly significant numbers of white people (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  poco, Tonedevil

                  including in Minnesota, do not identify purely with "white" anymore, and that is also for self-interested reasons.  You know, just saying.

              •  It's exactly like the RKBA diaries, but not... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                greenbell

                in the way you think.  Ever heard of Colorado?  How helpful was it to the status of Dems in government there?  Were successful recall elections enough proof for you?  There are people who voted against the Democrats because some of the provisions in the CO gun bill were guaranteed to be divisive and lose voters.  The magazine size ban is an example.

                Similar with this--you can say a million times you're not trying to make anyone feel guilty, or not asking for something in particular, but that's not the way it sounds to lots and lots of people.  It's used as a club, exactly the way Kos used it when he mocked NSA critics.  

                To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

                by joesig on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:31:45 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well, then, I'll ask you the same questions (11+ / 0-)

                  I asked greenbell.

                  Is this diary going to drive you away from voting Democratic?

                  Can you actually point to a single individual you know who currently votes as a Democrat who would feel compelled to become a Republican because they were invited to join in this exercise?

                  At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

                  by serendipityisabitch on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:40:44 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Sure, if I can modify your question to read: (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    serendipityisabitch

                    "usually votes as a Democrat.  Please note that I spent a long long time in the military and the south.

                    And I'll ask you the same question: Do you believe that gun control legislation in CO led either someone you know, or many people in CO, that had previously voted with the Democrats, to feel compelled to vote Republican?

                    And forgive me if this comes up twice: it seemed to have disappeared the first time.

                    To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

                    by joesig on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:09:33 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I can't answer personally, simply because (5+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      poco, Miggles, Tonedevil, etherealfire, shesaid

                      I don't know anybody in CO, and it hasn't been a matter that impacts me. Slightly less personally, I haven't seen any solid statistics that would lead me to believe that "compelled to vote Republican" actually applies. That there was a shift, in that particular election, I will not argue. That it will be valid on the national level, or even where the debate is not hyperfocussed on that topic, I do not know.

                      And my original question had to do with this diary, on becoming aware of white privilege, having those same repercussions for you personally or for anyone you know. Can you answer that now?

                      At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

                      by serendipityisabitch on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:36:45 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You're being a little disingenuous on CO... (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        greenbell, serendipityisabitch

                        Two Dems recalled, one quit.  The Governor's running scared and Udall (I'm from AZ and loved Mo Udall) doesn't want Obama to cross the state line.  And I think you'll admit it seems a pretty good example of legislation we backed, that backfired..

                        And of course, I'll answer your question.  First, just the phrase "on becoming aware" is loaded.  I probably "became aware" in 3rd grade, reading Huck Finn.  It assumes that you're enlightening people, who don't think they need to be enlightened.  Anyway, for me: no.  No way.  Too many much bigger issues. Do I know people that if discussing "white privilege" becomes a big part of the Democratic campaign would stop voting Democratic?  Absolutely.  I think people here are tone-deaf in not hearing that "Acknowledge your white privilege" is seen as accusatory....one step below, or before, calling someone a racist.  

                        I read above a statement from someone saying he's "black male American, in that order", or close to that.   If Obama had made that part of his campaign in 2008, we'd be bitching about President McCain.  

                        To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

                        by joesig on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:54:25 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Not disingenuous, merely uninterested for the (4+ / 0-)

                          most part. I read a lot of what's on Daily Kos, but my own interests aren't that eclectic. I spent a couple of minutes before getting to "oh, Colorado - that was where gun laws made such a stink". Ecology diaries I remember. State politics, not so much.

                          Let me check, please, on your answer. That this diary, or an invitation to explore the possibility of white privilege, wouldn't turn off you or anyone you know, but that an insistence on having it made a central part of the conversation, and obligatory for everyone, would? And that, possibly, such postings as this one are letting the camel's nose inside the tent, to be surely followed by having to put up with the whole camel? If so, I can see your perspective, even though I don't agree about the necessity of that progression.

                          At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

                          by serendipityisabitch on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 12:39:10 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  As an example.... (3+ / 0-)

                            I don't think I've ever particularly noticed either Shanikka or MindfulNature.  Reading their dialogue in this diary, I'm quite sure that on about 99% of all other diary subjects they're in reasonably close agreement.  On this one: the dialogue us brutal and mean and outraged.  Both sides.  And that's between two people who I believe (I may be wrong, but I doubt it) are allies on almost every other progressive issue.  Both smart, both compassionate, both on the same damn side on nearly everything else.

                            Now, picture Shanikka, or the diary author, and your average swing voter in your average swing state having this discussion, featuring a request for acknowledgement of white privilege.  

                            You think that's going to work out well?  Increase Democratic turnout?

                            People equate "unfair advantage" (which is how many hear "white privilege") with repercussions and a penalty.  People equate "acknowledge", the way it's used here, with "confess".  Not all people, no.  Many people, some people: who knows.  Enough to throw a close election?:  hell yes.  That I'm sure of.

                            And to be clear: "An invitation to explore the possibility of white privilege" does turn me off.  Not enough to vote GOP, or even close to it, but it's condescending to the extreme, and designed to divide, not unite.  

                            To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

                            by joesig on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 01:14:01 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

            •  It's not an argument. (10+ / 0-)

              It's a fact.  That's your problem right there in a nutshell.

            •  I don't think you really want to go there (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Tonedevil

              on the "this argument is a loser" thing.  Maybe I'm thinking of someone else, but aren't you big on the NSA/privacy issue?  A loser argument if there ever was one, that one is.  But it doesn't matter.  It doesn't for this argument either.

          •  Whether or not guilt should... (20+ / 0-)

            ...factor into the discussion at all, it does.  I've dealt with it myself just from watching peers with different naughty bits, different ways of enjoying said naughty bits, accents, and skin pigmentation have much less leeway when it comes to fucking up than I've had.  I got over it, but it took quite a long time to realize that like any other situation, I can't control how other people treat me (or others), but I can control and be mindful of my biases and how I treat others.  If someone's not there yet, denigrating them out of impatience (well-meaning or otherwise) isn't going to change minds.

            Trying to have this conversation without addressing that isn't likely to be productive.  People's feelings are inherently irrational, but they still need to be dealt with to change minds.

            Thank you for bringing up the discussion, though.  Personally, I'm aware that being a white male techie in SF bestows upon me a whole heaping helping of privileges.  What determines my character (and anyone else's, for that matter) is what I do with the hand I'm dealt.

            Much like poker, a good starting hand is a clear advantage to a bad starting hand, but that doesn't mean you still can't fuck up bad and lose the pot.

            Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. -- Clarke's Third Law

            by The Technomancer on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:48:40 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  This. "What you don't get is what a total... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvo, greenbell, MHB

          loser this argument is.".  Exactly.  

          The white privilege discussion/argument is guaranteed to chase away the people Democrats need to win.  Period. Sure we can discuss it here--why not some divisive shit that separates us into the sanctimonious and the angry?  

          To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

          by joesig on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:24:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  This need not be divisive and angry though. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            serendipityisabitch, poco, Tonedevil, Sylv

            It an awareness that comes one person at a time, and it's a liberating feeling to gain that awareness.  There's a side discussion going on here about losing Democrat voters.  

            What I see is a discussion about gaining advocates for social justice.

            Dont Mourn, Organize !#konisurrender

            by cks175 on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 01:15:16 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Do you think that non-white people (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          raptavio, poco, Terri, Tonedevil, etherealfire

          are looking to get it?  Is that what you think?

        •  I am curious (11+ / 0-)

          why is raising the awareness about white privilege a losing 'issue'.  And, why do you think trying to balance the scales going to take away anything from you?

          This reminds me of the argument about marriage equality.  Why would extending the right to marry to same sex couples take away anything from opposite sex couples?  The only thing they are losing is the privilege of being the only ones who can get married.  Their marriage would not be impacted.

          The same is true for white privilege.  The white folks would not actually be losing anything - except the privilege of being treated better than 'brown' people.

          Why is treating 'brown' people as well as white people are treated a losing issue?  Or why is that taking something away from white people?  Extending rights/privileges to others does not take anything away from the people who originally had the right - other than the feeling of being better/superior.

          This has always confused me, I would be interested if you could take a moment to help me understand your framing.

          •  Partly because it's an intellectual argument that (5+ / 0-)

            you cannot easily frame into simple messages and because you can't, you are not going to deliver the message you intend.  

            White people did CHOOSE to give up privilege in the form of the Civil Rights Act.  People can be persuaded to take specific actions to right specific wrongs because it is the right thing to do.  But people need to feel they are making the CHOICE.  

            The "white privilege" argument is generally framed in a way that says "you have more than your fair share" with a laundry list of ways in which you are getting unfair advantage.  If you replaced race with something else, age, class, religion, weight, attractiveness, etc. in the diary list you'd cover a lot of people for other reasons and I'm not saying that invalidates the white privilege argument but I'm saying that when delivered the argument isn't received simply because who is ever truly an adult if they don't understand that life itself is unfair?   The white privilege argument wraps up all this unfairness under race and expects people to have a simple response and they receive the message in a much more complex way. People have a multiplicity of various unfairnesses and disadvantages and set backs and they can't so simply label them and they resent you for trying to simply wrap it all up and call it "white privilege".  

            People know that you cannot ever balance the scales in life.  It's never balanced.  So they don't trust your argument.  "What do you want me to do about being white?  I've got my own problems.  My kid's sick and my boss is a jerk and my mother is driving me crazy and my husband won't do his fair share and the kid's teacher is an idiot and the gas bill went through the roof and I don't understand Obamacare and why do they plow our street last and the property taxes went up but my house is worth less, and, and, and now you want me to think about white privilege?!!"

            No, you need to give people simple actions they can take not give them a great big angry ball of stuff you want them to carry around in addition to the load they've already got.

            •  Thanks for the response (0+ / 0-)

              I guess it is really a question of how this is being perceived.

              I do not hear anyone asking for 'white privilege' to be fixed tomorrow, but to understand that it exists.  Not to 'own' the situation, as they did not cause it, but to acknowledge that it negatively impacts others.

              To consider that there is such a thing as white privilege, and that minorities face challenges that white people do not.

              I think you hit on it when you said white people gave up something for civil rights.  From my perspective, white people did not loose anything by extending rights to other people.  But you do bring up a point that many people see that they lost their privilege.  They had to give up their right to be more special than others.

              It is really sad (in my opinion), in a nation that was created on the founding principal that all men are created equal, that we have people who want to keep 'all men' as a subset of the population, and not live up to the words themselves.

              ps yes, I am aware that at the time, women and blacks were excluded from 'all men' (and possibly others that I am forgetting or are not aware of)

      •  and ^this^ is why (14+ / 0-)

        I, as a general rule, do not discuss race on DKos. And Im talking to both of you! raptavio and greenbell both. Sheesh. ;-)

        (note... Im still debating with myself whether or not to take the time and effort to compose & post my thoughts in response to the diary.)

        ... sigh... one thought....  we "progressives" have got to stop fighting with each other over some of this stuff ... oy vey ... an awful lot of people (esp on blogs) tend to make an awful lot of assumptions about their fellow progressive bloggers and end up wasting an awful lot of time (imho) faux-debating stuff when the reality is they actually agree with each other, at least on the most essential social-political stuff. Seriously.

        None of us is equal until all of us are equal.

        Agree?

        Of course there are many many deeper layers to that, both socially and politically, that I oftentimes enjoy exploring & discussing in meat world but rarely do I do it here.

        There is always room to learn and grow, always.

        If I can't dance I don't want to be part of your revolution. ~ Emma Goldman

        by Lady Libertine on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:02:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  We have a disagreement over motivation (6+ / 0-)

          Where I disagree with raptavio is on what factors motivate people to vote for change.  I don't think it has much of anything to do with empathy at all so I don't think trying to get people to feel what someone else feels is of any use at all when it comes to getting their support on issues.  The Republicans figured that out when they captured Reagan Democrats.  While we, then young liberals, all had our heads in the lofty clouds about eliminating racial inequality with tools like forced busing, they figured out the simple truth that virtually no white parents were going to willingly put their 6 year old on a bus to the inner city ghetto.  Just wasn't going to happen.  They were going to move to the suburbs instead.

          It's like when a now not so good friend of mine, who had always been a social liberal, responded to my support for Obama with a comment that the black kids were giving her kid a hard time in middle school.  Didn't matter that Obama had nothing whatever to do with those kids in middle school, she was going to vote based on her perception of what was good for her middle school kid.  That's where the empathy pretty much begins and ends, close to home.

          •  The Republicans tried to turn voting into (22+ / 0-)

            white vs {everyone of colour, especially black people as symbolized by Obama}, but he actually took those attacks head-on in the first election and made it obvious that we might generally live or die together as a nation . . . but, people within that nation are still clinging to outdated views which cause nothing but schisms and even hatred towards others - so, he helped raise awareness by simply addressing reality on the ground in a way that national candidates typically didn't do.  For his troubles, he didn't lose the election - he even got about the same % of white votes that Clinton did in 1996.

            In terms of this diary and repeated attempts to raise awareness of white privilege within at least the USA (i.e., I mention the USA because actual privilege seems generally region/society-specific, IMHO), maybe consider that this is a white, hetero, middle class, cis-male speaking with you, here: people of colour in the USA have every right to educate, and even show immense frustration, with the unfair state of how white privilege affects their very existence as peers in this country, I feel.

            Yes, there is absolutely nothing we can do about being born white, but there is much we can do about ensuring we are sensitive to what that stupid colour difference means beyond skin tone: in most places within the USA, that still means we are traditionally afforded more positive considerations and allowances (at the very least) compared to any random person of colour, at first sight.  And, even beyond first sight.

            I was shoveling the ridiculously heavy, wet and icy snowfall from my driveway yesterday in our suburb and happened to notice a fellow was walking up the street during my workout - but, I was concentrating on the task at hand.  Not much later, I suddenly heard a, "hey" in a casual tone nearby and looked up: it was the young guy - who was now briefly glancing my way - and I waved in response, then went back to work.  Folks aren't that voluntarily sociable around here, so it got me thinking . .

            He was black, which is not so usual in this part of town (i.e., it's mostly hispanic and white folks).  Maybe he's from a nearby town, which has far more black folks?  Maybe he moved nearby, recently?  Maybe he simply acts like publicly friendly people in towns I used to know from 30+ years ago?

            Or, as my implicit awareness of white privilege kicks in while I'm still shoveling . . . maybe he's (also) trying to show white neighbors that he's not a "scary black guy."

            And suddenly, I felt more empathy for that fellow's implicit position, because there's an awareness of so much stacked against him which I can only help with by being aware of and acting accordingly in the public square as a member of the still-unfairly-privileged.  That is, I generally treat everyone the same unless I know that they are personally jerks, etc. - but, when around "minorities" in a larger group, I tend to observe how MY demographic is treating them.  And, I do speak up and/or act more considerate+defensive on behalf of anyone not in MY demographic, if my privilege-radar starts going off.

            I think those are notions that diaries like this can help sensitize us to.  Not to feel guilty, but perhaps to feel better enabled for consideration of those who don't deserve being implicitly pushed down or aside due to our inherited privilege.  Helping can simply take the form of doing no harm in any given situation, or educating our white demographic peers so that they realize how unfairly lucky that "tradition" has made them, 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 Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:07:07 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I feel like you're looking at this through (17+ / 0-)

            a purely political lense.  I don't know why.  There is nothing in the diary directly about politics. But if we are going to address politics...

            The truth is if you ever want to fully confront the Republican party, you have to confront racism.  Because racism is something that drives their voters.  We don't get to live in a vacuum.  Just because you choose to ignore race doesn't mean the other side will.  Democrats ignore race constantly, that doesn't stop Republicans from bringing it up and appealing to racist.  John McCain isn't exactly a civil rights leader.  That didn't stop Karl Rove from setting up robocalls claiming he had a black baby.  Racism is central to Republican politics.  I don't know how you can ignore that.

            If you don't confront your friends inherent racism, than it will be easy for her to believe that Obama or Dems are going to do more for black people, when that is inherently untrue.  She will believe they are trying to privilege immigrants over whites.  She will hold that opinions close to the vest and she will vote to cut social security, cut welfare, cut employment because she doesn't want to help those undeserving brown people.  How can you talk politics and ignore the elephant wearing robes in the room?

            And frankly your story of avoiding the topic of racism is classic white privilege.  That women and that kid don't stop acting racist because you ignore them.  That racism will reverberate in the lives of the people they meet for years to come.  Black people don't get to ignore that.  

        •  I knew I wouldn't react well (6+ / 0-)

          to this sort of response, so, y'know, it's a fair cop.

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

          by raptavio on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:05:32 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  With respect, I could hardly disagree more (11+ / 0-)

          with this:

          we "progressives" have got to stop fighting with each other over some of this stuff
          I can think of only three lines of reasoning that would justify that sentiment, none of which seem valid to me.

          The first potential justification for not fighting over "this stuff" is that "this stuff" isn't real, which of course would debar it from being a matter worthy of discussion at all. From what you wrote, I do not ascribe this view to you.

          The second would be that in matters as sensitive as this, it is easy to misinterpret words and motivations, especially online. Hence, they should only be discussed in "meat world", where confusion can more easily be avoided. It is, of course, all too common for online words and motivations to be misinterpreted. That should not debar certain subjects from being discussed online. It merely means that we should take extra care and consideration. I would argue that if we do so, it is actually easier to talk about certain subjects online, in that it is easier to escape the heat of the moment. In this particular case, the diarist pointed no fingers at any individual in the diary itself. He asked readers to perform a gedankenexperiment. Surely this is well within the bounds of civil discussion.

          The third and final potential justification I can think of is that whether "this stuff" is real or not, it simply isn't as important as the other things we could be talking about. That appears to be the thrust of this section of your comment (emphasis added):

          ... an awful lot of people (esp on blogs) tend to make an awful lot of assumptions about their fellow progressive bloggers and end up wasting an awful lot of time (imho) faux-debating stuff when the reality is they actually agree with each other, at least on the most essential social-political stuff. Seriously.
          If most of us here actually agree on a great deal of "the most essential social-political stuff" (leaving aside exactly who gets to decide "most essential"), then we would not really have that much to discuss at all, would we? In fact, we would need only occasionally reference our shared beliefs in the course of sharing action items, news stories, or pictures of pooties and woozles. It is precisely those things about which there is not a consensus that we actually have something to talk about.

          My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.
          --Carl Schurz, remarks in the Senate, February 29, 1872

          by leftist vegetarian patriot on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:16:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  completely valid point (6+ / 0-)

            I agree:

            It is precisely those things about which there is not a consensus that we actually have something to talk about.
            Is racial (ethnic, LGBT, etc) equality something on which Dem's or progressives lack a consensus? #news.to.me

            Anyway I just get tired of it (the infighting I mean) and think sometimes we are just spinning our wheels. BTW, I had not read your comment when I wrote mine downstream.

            If I can't dance I don't want to be part of your revolution. ~ Emma Goldman

            by Lady Libertine on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:57:43 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  To some extent, we may be talking past each other (4+ / 0-)

              I think you are quite right that among the posters on this site and among progressives in general there is (largely speaking) consensus on racial/ethnic/LGBT/etc equality. I am less convinced that this is universally true of Democrats in general. The Democratic tent is pretty big and some of the corners are pretty dusty.

              However, my agreement above is somewhat beside the point. Most of the discussion and nearly all the heat in these diaries isn't regarding our shared consensus re: racial equality or even whether white privilege exists (although I've seen that last discussion in other diaries. The posters who seem to have the greatest trouble with this diary certainly aren't professing any belief in racial inequality. The strains of protest I think I have seen so far include the following:

              • People rejecting the idea that they should feel shame for or be judged guilty of white privilege, something about which they had no choice in receiving.  
              • People who believe that this subject is too divisive to support fruitful discussion.
              • People who feel that privilege, while a real phenomenon, is frequently used as a dodge or deflection from other subjects.

              Regarding the first bulleted item, neither of these sentiments is propounded in the diary itself.

              Regarding the second, it seems to betray a cynical or hopeless approach to human interaction. If we believed that it is not worthwhile to try to talk to people with whom we largely agree on the few points in which we do not because we risk alienating them, we would never disagree with our friends and allies at all. At which point we stop being friends and allies.

              Regarding the third, there is a valid differentiation to be made between the fact of privilege itself and attitudes deriving from, enabled, or empowered by privilege. Acknowledging the fact but being resistant to the idea that one has such attitudes does not make a person wrong or morally inferior. It is statistically as certain as death that many people are falsely imputed with attitudes they do not possess and it is perfectly understandable that most of these people will resent the imputation. However and contrariwise, being resistant to and resentful of such an imputation does not, in itself, mean that a person does not have such attitudes. If we know that some of us have beams sticking out of our eyes, it really does behoove each of us to at least consider the possibility that, when someone else complains of getting whacked, it may be we doing the whacking.

              My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.
              --Carl Schurz, remarks in the Senate, February 29, 1872

              by leftist vegetarian patriot on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:22:36 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  And the first thing to learn LL (10+ / 0-)

          is that progressives ought to be able to discuss this topic and not run away from it.

          Even when it's not a pretty discussion.  It needs to be had.

      •  rec'd for "I don't give a toss" (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        raptavio, Onomastic, etherealfire

        sounds faintly British!

        Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
        DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
        Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

        by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:15:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  raptavio's not asking you to feel guilty. (38+ / 0-)

      What's being asked of you is to become aware. I assume you're white. So am I. I don't know whether you're male or female, queer or straight, disabled or normative, middle class, upper class, or lower class. I don't know any of that. And I don't care.

      What it comes to is this. We're white and we live in a society where white is and has always been considered as the norm. Anything else, no matter how rich your ethnic background, and you're automatically "other". For us to blend in the way we do is in itself privileged. Everybody else stands out, and in the great societal mind, is seen as "not blending in, thus not like me", and that's outside the comfort level of the great societal mind.

      I happen to be female, disabled, queer, and Pagan. We're living from paycheck to paycheck. That doesn't matter. None of it does when it comes down to whiteness. I am white. I am more likely to be hired than someone who is Black, assuming that that Black person has the same or even slightly better qualifications. Why? Because I "fit in". Go and read raptavio's thought exercise again and take it in again, please, and ask yourself, "where do I fit in where an American of a different race may not?"

      One more thing. I find your reason you became a Democrat interesting and potentially revealing. You said

      I became a Democrat because I believed Democrats would work to maintain and enhance the best government for me.
      .

      Why did you say "for me"?

      •  White people know we are privileged (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mattc129, Johnny Q

        whether we openly acknowledge it or not.  This is not new information.  But it's also something we had absolutely no power over whatever.  It does no good whatever to beat this into people.  All it does is push them to more strongly identify by their race which is not what you want.  

        As for my comment about best government for me, that is the primary point of democratic government.  "No taxation without representation".  When you lose sight of the fact that most people vote in their perceived self-interest, you've the lost plot.  Again, this is why this argument is a total loser.  

        •  Uh, no; I know several who are clueless; I stick (19+ / 0-)

          To talking about sports.

          nosotros no somos estúpidos

          by a2nite on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:45:42 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  The message isn't for the ones that know (23+ / 0-)

          It's for the white people, the ones who are supposedly intelligent and claim to be unbigoted, who stridently decry the very concept that their whiteness grants them any kind of advantage whatsoever.

          These same people are usually the ones griping over affirmative action programs because they feel they are unnecessary.

          We like to pretend we currently live in a strictly merit based society.  We don't.

          The Cake is a lie. In Pie there is Truth. ~ Fordmandalay

          by catwho on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:47:55 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  No, we don't all know. (24+ / 0-)

          and being asked to acknowledge it is not asking to apologize for it.

          For real Texas Kaos, you want texaskaos.net, not .com. Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us

          by boadicea on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:26:20 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Being asked to acknowledge it is being asked (0+ / 0-)

            to apologize for it--if someone is not ready to acknowledge it.  People not ready to acknowledge it hear this discussion as "You didn't earn what you got."  And disagree with that, often vehemently.  

            To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

            by joesig on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:48:15 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  That is such a fundamentally specious (6+ / 0-)

              statement that I think I'll just leave it there where  you put it down.

              For real Texas Kaos, you want texaskaos.net, not .com. Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us

              by boadicea on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 03:42:40 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Excellent. Well thought-out and well-argued. (0+ / 0-)

                Thank you for your condescending privilege of condescension.    I completely understand and accept the principle of white privilege, while at the same time understanding that it is the adult white liberal equivalent of the suburban white teen-age wearing of baggy pants and listening to gangster rap.  Yep, you're pretty damn cool.  

                To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

                by joesig on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 04:35:31 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  No, you don't. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  poco

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

                  by raptavio on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 06:03:39 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Coolest you've ever been, isn't it? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    orestes1963

                    That feeling of omnipotence and omniscience, the power to declare who gets it and who doesn't.  Ah, the feeling of bravely calling out those less enlightened, telling truth to power, the withering scorn.  

                    Dude, your pants are falling down.  

                    To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

                    by joesig on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 10:24:26 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Maybe if you keep lashing in blind fury (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Old Sailor

                      you'll convince somebody you get it.

                      Anything's possible.

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

                      by raptavio on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 11:54:41 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Can I laugh AND be in blind fury? (0+ / 0-)

                        While lashing, of course?  Don't need to convince anyone, and don't want to.  

                        I would be genuinely curious, though, about your answer on something I posed above.  Can you picture another issue on DK that actually would create lashing in blind fury, like we saw between Shanikka and MindfulNature, both smart empathetic progressives?   This was the point I, and others, were making.  I know whose side you were on, but my question is: what other issue would cause such anger and rabid disagreement?  And if it's only this issue....on a site dedicated to electing more and better Dems....could that possibly be a problem?  

                        Deep thinking required.  Good luck.

                        To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

                        by joesig on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 12:47:42 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Interesting. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Old Sailor

                          Most people embed the sneering in the middle and the seriousness on the ends. You inverted the sandwich. Points for originality.

                          Other issues that cause rabid disagreement:

                          I/P (less than it used to by far, though)
                          RKBA
                          Obama Sux/Rox

                          However, I don't consider hurt feefees, whether mine or yours or anyone else's, to be in and of itself a reason to not talk about important issues. Even if people respond to their hurt feefees with anger, outrage, or old-fashioned trollery.

                          Sometimes people have to deal with these things in order to arrive at difficult truths.

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

                          by raptavio on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 01:03:49 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Oh, I'm original, all right. (0+ / 0-)

                            And I'm writing this from Africa, which is another layer of white privilege even your exalted racial consciousness would find mind boggling.  

                            Your choices are interesting.  Especially in my context, which is thinking about losing elections.

                            I/P: Potential, I suppose, to scare off swing voters and send them to the GOP.  Doubt it, though. They already have the Christian right, and everyone knows they back Israel only for Armageddon purposes.  Not likely to siphon our Jewish bloc!

                            RKBA: Also discussed above, and a beautiful example, thank you.  I'm not a huge fan of the RKBA'ers here, but I do grant their point that it's an election loser.  Not even debatable now that CO has made that abundantly clear--2 recalled, 1 quit, Gov and Udall running scared.  White privilege as a campaign plank would outdo even RKBA in producing the next GOP president.  Your poutrage can reach epic proportions at that point.

                            Obama Sux/Rox: No.  Zero electoral implications.  The Sux faction wants him to be more liberal, not less.  

                            And "feefees", really?  As an adult, doesn't that make your skin crawl?  And can a sandwich actually be inverted?  And I do stand by my disdain of the "cool" factor in white people insisting on talking about white privilege.  I get you're loving it.  

                            To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

                            by joesig on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 01:32:14 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yeah, you know what? (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Old Sailor

                            It's been depressing seeing the number of people determined to be outraged, or troll, or insult, rather than discuss the issue.

                            I really don't have patience for any more of it. Bye.

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

                            by raptavio on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 01:50:32 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yep. Exactly. You commented to me....that (0+ / 0-)

                            as the arbiter of who "gets it" and who doesn't: I don't.  Made me laugh, sincerely, since it typified why this discussion is an election loser and so quickly gets heated.  It's a charge of racism-lite, and if you don't get it: privilege.  If you disagree: privilege.

                            And I know you don't understand what I'm saying, or why I'm saying it.  I know you don't "get it".  You don't get how quickly it becomes a club (in both senses of the word), and how dismissively it's often used to disparage others.  You care about, say, website design: privilege.  Care about NSA: privilege.  Care about anything but racial issues: privilege.

                            And because nothing concrete can be done about it....it frustrates everyone involved.  You and me both.  

                            To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

                            by joesig on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 02:12:04 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

        •  ALL of white people know that? c'mon. (25+ / 0-)

          what would even make you say such a ridiculous thing but defensiveness?

          This comment is dedicated to my mellow Adept2U and his Uncle Marcus

          by mallyroyal on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:42:34 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  disagree-ie push them to identify more strongly (11+ / 0-)

          with their race. In me an the people I've talked to/introduced the concept to, it made them more aware and more sensitive. It does have a utility. Being more sensitive and understanding of what Black people are up against makes White people less judgmental. Think about how many white people think Black people are lazy and that is the main reason why they struggle to be financially successful as a group of people compared to whites. Remember that the Republican argument against SNAP, WIC, Welfare, even extended unemployment and state subsidized healthcare for all, is that it makes people lazy ..and the people Many people are thinking about are predominantly Black people.

          Understanding white privilege makes you understand one main reason why it is easier for whites to succeed in the US than Blacks.

          •  How many of those people (0+ / 0-)

            were poor whites v. bourgeois whites?  I would bet the response differs between the two groups.  The socio-economic privileged white person has an interest in adopting white privilege because it reduces their substantive privileges (in schooling, housing, employment opportunities, etc.) to an emanation of privilege related to being white, not their socio-economic circumstances (a good deal for them).  The poor white person, enjoying far fewer socio-economic privileges than their wealthier counterparts, is made to bear the burden of the privileges that wealthier whites enjoy.  

            •  They also have their own privileges (8+ / 0-)

              that their poor minority bretheren don't share.

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

              by raptavio on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 12:05:06 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  And in turn... (7+ / 0-)

              ...many poor whites have an interest in reinforcing white privilege. Which is why so very many poor white people repeat the mantras of the welfare queens with their Cadillacs even though they more than wealthy people should know better.

              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 Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 03:43:39 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Notably (8+ / 0-)

                They repeat the mantra even though the "welfare queen with a Cadillac" that was the foundation of their/Reagan's unconsciously racialized stereotype of "welfare queen" was a white woman.

                /sigh

                Love Africa? Love Opera? Love documentaries? Then you will love the The Tenor from Abidjan

                by shanikka on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 04:20:10 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  And here it is again (0+ / 0-)

                Yes, poor white people should know better "more than wealthy people" that the welfare queen effigy is false even though it was devised by wealthy white people.

                Yours is the second comment that stresses the privileges of poor whites while ignoring the actual point being made about the benefits of the white privilege framework to wealthier white people.  Why is that?  

                •  Yeah (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  poco

                  You're not acting in good faith. You were the one who deliberately tried to frame it that poor white people wouldn't exhibit the same privileged attitudes, albeit for different reasons, as rich people in a lot of the same circumstances.

                  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 Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 04:32:44 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  That's your prejudice showing (0+ / 0-)

                    I made no such comment.  You appear to have inferred something that I did not say and which I cannot rebut because I do not understand where you are coming from.  I responded to a post that said that s/he was successful in enlightening white people to white privilege.  I inquired as to the class of those people.  My point, albeit tacit, is that I believe poor white people would be less likely to adopt the privilege view for the reasons that OllieGarkey eloquently expounded further below.  

                    So, please provide the basis for your accusation of bad faith.  

                    •  You know (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      orestes1963, raptavio

                      I think I actually did misunderstand what you were saying. However, I also think part of what you are saying is wrong. I know many poor white people who are fully on board with the idea of white privilege, who understand that though their lives suck, they are pretty lucky they are white.

                      And, yes, poor white people sure as hell should know better. I knew better when I was in poverty. I knew the welfare queen myth was a myth because I actually acknowledged how much life freaking sucked being poor and how most people, white and black, actually just wanted a job and weren't out to defraud anyone.

                      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 Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 05:44:13 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I appreciate your comment (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        moviemeister76

                        I don't doubt that there are poor white people who recognize the advantages of being white.  Indeed, I would posit that poor white people are probably more aware of this because they are more likely to have witnessed it directly (eg, police activity, housing, school, etc.).  And I am sure some poor white people adopt the white privilege framework.  However, I would bet that bourgeois whites adopt it at higher rates.  Based upon your experience, do you think poor white people who are not already cognizant of racial inequity are likely to be reached by using white privilege as the learning tool?  Based upon my poor/working-class background, I would say, no.

                        I do not disagree that poor white people should know better about racist dog whistles, but so should everyone else.  I took issue with your inclusion of "than..."

                        •  I can see that (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          orestes1963

                          One of the things that upsets me is when white people complain that some black person is being a bigot. As if black people should somehow know better just because they experience it themselves. But from that perspective, white women should have always known better as well, but they clearly did not. Because in reality, bigotry involves thinking that isn't logical, if understandable in a depressing way.

                          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 Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:19:32 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  I still don't understand "adopt the white (0+ / 0-)

                          privileged framework". We are born to it. Either you use the term differently or I do.  You keep saying it is something white people take on or choose, it seem to me.

                          •  Well (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            AoT, orestes1963

                            I think that the point was that more folks in higher socio-economic classes take up the idea of white privilege because it only benefits them to do so and they have to give up nothing.

                            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 Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:38:09 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  you dont' "take up the idea" of w.privilege! (0+ / 0-)

                            It can't be taken up. You are born to it just by being white

                            . I think you are getting the term wrong. Please listen to what we are saying. You are using the term differently so some of the conversations you are having are not based on the same thing.

                            All whites are born to white privilege no matter if they are born to a homeless drug addicted couple or the Romney family.

                            Only difference is the Romneys have a huge economic privilege that overshadows their white one. But they have both.

                          •  Erm (0+ / 0-)

                            I think you are responding to the wrong person. I didn't write what you are responding to, I was just trying to explain how I (eventually) understood it.

                            I agree that you don't "take it up." You are born with it. However, I think this commenter was essentially saying that liberal white people in the middle class and upper classes have no problem latching on to the idea that they have white privilege because they don't actually have to give anything up, and it makes them look like good little liberals. It's poor white people who have issues with it.

                            Keep in mind, I don't agree with this completely. I just spent a couple hours arguing with two different people about it. I think white liberals in the upper classes are far more likely to just redefine white privilege to what they want it to mean rather than to actually completely agree that it exists, which is why there are so many arguments about it here and everywhere else.

                            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 Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:12:00 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  sorry if my aim was wrong (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            moviemeister76

                            I get confused by things like..."take up the idea of w.p".. I think you mean richer whites have much less of a problem owning up to the truth of w.p. than lower income people?

                            I agree with your argument against this. Raised lower middle class, now poor. I see w.p. and economic p. as two separate things. I cannot see what poor whites lose...they are not economically privileged and that helps keep them down. When you feel like you are barely making it I think having the word 'privileged 'assigned to you may feel bad. I see people react that way and it is as if they do not get that the word privilege is being used relative to others..ie Black/nonwhite people... and also that it is being used narrowly to describe only one attribute people have....ie race in the case of white p., or socioeconomic group in the case of economic p. It is as if they are stuck in having this black and white all or nothing interpretation of the label/word...as if they think we mean they are privileged, period, or are not.

                          •  actually I did respond to the correct person. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            moviemeister76

                            Your use of "take up the idea of w.p." threw me. Seems each time you said it you meant something like the well off have less trouble understanding and owning that w.p. applies to themselves, and in fact are quick to grasp onto and use the concept because it enhances their liberal bona fides.

                            I'd not understood how someone could take up the idea of something they already have, ie were born with/into-white privilege. I get it now. Shouldn't have jumped in,sorry.

                          •  No problem:) (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            jplanner

                            I was just glancing at the diary as a whole, and I don't know how anyone can follow some of the threads as they get pretty complex.

                            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 Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:56:03 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Not at all (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Choco8, worldlotus

                            It is a rhetorical device or framework for addressing the issue of otherness.  It was used effectively in academia (although I think its usefulness there has also diminished), but is too facile, IMO, to apply to the social justice movement.  What I refer to as the framework is the set of practices whose purpose is to make people aware of the privileges they enjoy based upon group status in relation to other groups (but usually a binary other:  white-black; male-female;hetero-homo-sexual; etc.).  

                            The problems with this approach is that, from the start, the experience of the listener is replaced with the experience of the group more generally.  This denies the agency and humanity of the listener as their experiences are irrelevant (and are reminded of that fact), but more troublingly, it assigns the experiences of the entire group to the listener.  So, for example, a poor white person in an interracial marriage with interracial children, living in a mixed community is not differentiated from a rich white person who associates only with white people, lives in an all-white gated community, and is a member of an all-white country club.  Most people would not agree with this conflation in the real world.  

                            In simpler terms, the white privilege framework addresses race at a high level, on a plane above individual human experience.   Yet, it is employed to try to generate greater sensitivity towards human experience.  I find that confounding.

                            I would argue that a more effective means of addressing issues of race (and other isms) is to educate people with actual stories and a dialogue around those stories, in a manner that acknowledges the humanity of both speaker and listener.  It moves the discussion from the theoretical plane of white privilege to the human level of lived experience.  

                            I hope this explicates my use of the term.

                  •  privileged attitude is not what we are discussing (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    poco

                    necessarily. Every single white person in the US is born into white privilege just by virtue of being white. Doesn't matter their gender, sexual orientation, race or religion. They can be under privileged for any of those latter things but still have white privilege.

                    Sure people can then have a superior attitude, if that is what you mean by "privileged attitude", but that is layered on top of the foundational white privilege, a state of being that  they are born into.

                •  Confusing Privilege with Racism Here (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  poco, raptavio

                  Once the threads go straight line down, it's hard to follow who's answering who and what the response is.  That said, a poor white bitching about welfare queens is more an expression of blatant racist sentiment than it is evidence of white privilege crossing class lines.

                  Dont Mourn, Organize !#konisurrender

                  by cks175 on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 04:47:27 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Not really (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    cks175, AoT, worldlotus

                    although I agree with your point.  The purpose of my comment was to highlight that the poster had assigned greater responsibility to poor white people for buying the welfare queen dog whistle because "they more than wealthy people should know better" while ignoring the fact that it was those wealthy white people who designed and manufactured the whistle (to belabor a metaphor).  

            •  What "burden of privilege" is that? n/t (0+ / 0-)

              If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

              by AoT on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 05:24:04 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  The burden that wealthy white people (0+ / 0-)

                morally should bear for the ways in which their socio-economic privileges advantage them to the detriment of others.  

                •  What is the burden though? (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  poco, raptavio

                  I don't understand what the actual burden is?

                  You mean that the more well off white people are morally culpable for the way the poor are treated? Because I could see that. Or do you just mean that poor white people are oppressed because they're poor? Because I think everyone here would agree with that.

                  No one is saying that poor whites aren't oppressed. They clearly are. So I'm not sure what that has to do with talking about privilege.

                  If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                  by AoT on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:07:33 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The former (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    AoT

                    Wealthy white people enjoy most (if not all) of the fruits of our society.  IMO, white privilege allows them to evade responsibility for the role their privileges plays in maintaining the inequitable system we live under (eg, nepotism, entree to the halls of money and power, etc.) by generalizing the problem to a generic "white privilege."  Yes, let's talk about taxi cabs instead of legacy admissions policies.  Let's talk about being stopped by police instead of their guarded (and sometimes gated) communities in which blacks can barely show their faces without opposition.  Let's talk about resume names, instead of the fact that connections got them a significant job.  Or the freedom of movement and opportunity their money affords them.  Ad nauseum.  (This is not to say that the issues being deflected to are not valid, but they are used to deflect attention.)      

                    •  But the things you don't want to talk about (0+ / 0-)

                      matter very, very much to a lot of people. I mean, the resume thing along has a devastating effect. So basically you'd be avoiding talking about some of the worst things for the black community if you avoid talking about those things.

                      Let's remember that this was a diary about race wherein class got brought into the discussion, so talking about race isn't deflecting at all, it's part and parcel of what's wrong. I only point that out because it seems that we will never get to talk about race is talking about race is deflecting in a diary about race.

                      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                      by AoT on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:30:04 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Yeah, inartfully expressed (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        AoT

                        I did not mean to imply that these issues are not valid topics of discussion.  In fact, I think they are compelling, real life phenomena that expose the insidious effects of racism.  I was trying, without much finesse, to juxtapose a topic that is acceptable to address to the exclusion of an issue that directly implicates wealthy white people in the propogation of the race divide.  I hope this clarifies.

            •  Maybe you confound two kinds of privilege that (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              poco

              both exist? I don't understand your last sentence, ie "bare the burden of the privileges...". We are talking about white privilege. Poor whites have the same white privilege as rich whites and bear no burden. However, they Do bare the burden of a lack of economic/financial privilege that rich white people enjoy, and are oblivious to.

              It seems like are thinking of white privilege differently than I and I think most people. It isn't something you "adopt". You are Born to it just by being white. Sure, some wealthier whites can then have some superior attitude, or whatever you are describing, layered on top of that.

              There also exists economic or wealth privilege. I wrote about in an above comment. People born into upper middle class and rich families have connections and since they are young have learned skills and even expectations and self confidence than others might not have. They are hugely privileged in myriad ways. I find they have no idea of their privilege, usually. (this is why many of them--say in Congress where most are rich, nowadays--think they got what they have  through Merit alone and thus think the poor must just not have Merit)

              I am currently  poor...as in I am paying 3/4 of my disability check for rent and didn't turn my heat on until last week (in New England) and I get SNAP. I was raised working class/lower to middle middle class--my Dad was a blue collar worker but they owned their own small house which was more possible forty years ago than now for people like my parents.

              I recognize that I am NOT privileged by my current financial status (don't take even coffee for granted...or gas to drive fun places). I recognize that I was in some ways economically privileged over some, comparatively, growing up but in no way privileged compared to others, such as my cousin who got a job with Daddy's friend the lawyer after high school.

              And I was born with white privilege, just as you were if you were white. We all were. Remember that the word "privilege" in this context we are all using has the concept of "relative" built into. Whites are privileged compared to non-whites. ANd the well-off are privileged less than those who are not.

              I find that some white people who are struggling are having trouble with calling themselves "privileged" because they feel the opposite way...under privileged and burdened and dragged down. What they are missing it seems to me is that though they are not economically privileged they still can be racially privileged as well as, for that matter, privileged by gender etc. 2 That privilege is relative.

              •  I understand the concept (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Choco8

                You expound upon it well, but white privilege is a construct used to explain phenomena.  It is not something one is born into, but a framework (or philosophy, if you prefer) one utilizes to explain or understand disparate treatment on the basis of race.  So, the adoption of which I speak is the adoption of that framework.  Acknowledging the fact that this is a framework, it should be noted, does not equate with denying there are privileges that white people enjoy in relation to non-white people.  There are other frameworks that can be used to explain and understand the same phenomena.  By example, structuralists and semioticians both analyze texts, but they use different frameworks in their analysis.  Each believes theirs is the more effective approach, but neither can claim to be the only method.    

                •  I get it now, thanks. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  orestes1963

                  It's simpler for me. When I first learned about w.p., well into adulthood, I was suddenly able to see it all around me and also gave voice to a nameless sense I had had. It is so obvious in my life, perhaps more than for some as I live in a mixed income and race community, that it does not functionally feel like a framework. Rather it feels like a fact, a truth, that explains what so much of what I repeatedly see...ie experimentally within my own experience, "n" is quite high.

        •  hmmm (12+ / 0-)

          you think all white people know they are privileged?

          do you even read this blog?

          Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
          DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
          Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

          by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:19:26 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Most white people I know deny their privilege (14+ / 0-)

          as much as they possibly can. Openly acknowledging it is important. You seem to think we should never talk about it? How can we get rid of it if we don't talk about it?

          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

          by AoT on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:38:23 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Well, that is where you are wrong. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          high uintas, poco, Tonedevil, etherealfire

          Privilege and power goes hand and hand.  And I'm not talking about the 1% power.  I'm talking about the power you alone can control and that's yourself.

          If you persist in saying, 'Oh well, that's just the way it is', then you are guaranteeing more of the same inequalities that this society has institutionalized for centuries.

      •  Myself, I don't feel guilty, I feel grateful (10+ / 0-)

        and sorry others don't have the relative advantage I do. I" kinda like you in my situation but not Pagan (but born into a minority religion) and have a disability check instead of a paycheck. I don't feel in general privileged in my life but know I am relative to people who are not-white.

        I agree that no one is trying to "guilt" Whites. It is attempt to make us realize why things are harder for  non-whites. It makes us understand why it is harder for them to get ahead and why affirmative action is needed. It refutes the Republican argument that they don't say out loud anymore but seems to be in part underneath their aversion to SNAP, WIC, the ACA, Welfare etc. They think people all start the same and have the same advantages so if you don't do well you are lazy or stupid. They are oblivious to the other reasons and their own privilege that helped them get ahead in life.

      •  Kitsap River, well said, especially so this: (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tonedevil, poco, OllieGarkey, Sylv, shesaid
        Anything else, no matter how rich your ethnic background, and you're automatically "other". For us to blend in the way we do is in itself privileged. Everybody else stands out, and in the great societal mind, is seen as "not blending in, thus not like me", and that's outside the comfort level of the great societal mind.
        In my decades on this world, I've found perception has played a huge part in
        "not blending in, thus not like me", and that's outside the comfort level of the great societal mind.
        Not necessarily just confined to the USA.

        Chance or karma gave me a life of privilege -the result of being adopted from another country by white Americans.  This happened during a time of extreme prejudice of my ethnicity in both my country of birth and the USA.

        I happened to have had a life of economic & class privilege growing up.  I also happened to "look" the part & blended in standing alongside my blonde & brown haired blue eyed adoptive parents.

        Take me outside of those trappings of privilege and inform those around me of my ethnicity- perceptions & affect radically alters & assumptions are made.

        Typically asinine assumptions based on individual perceptions with a palpable alteration of affect that has ranged from outright prejudice to mouth dropping ignorance.

        My opinion about the role perception plays in a society is based upon my own experiences & observations during the decades of the 50's through the 90's (and the unique "mind sets" of some across the planet).

         I learned at a very young age what it felt like to be an "other".  However, in my case I always had an out-aside from gender bias-because I could blend in and knew how to "talk the talk" of class privilege.  Which in itself is a privilege many do not have at their disposal.

        Perceptions, mindsets, prejudices and bias has altered in my lifetime on this world.  But not as quickly or as globally as the youngster I once was had dreamed to see.  

        To grok that this conversation brought forth by the diarist is even still necessary today breaks my heart & makes me despair that I will live long enough to see what I once dreamed of.

    •  Somebody a tad defensive this morning? nt (23+ / 0-)

      It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

      by karmsy on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:39:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Did you purposely misread this diary? There is no (32+ / 0-)

      mention of apology or Democrat or guilt. I have to wonder about the self-perception or the motivation of anyone who gives your response to this thoughtful and balanced diary.

      "Everything can be found at sea, according to the spirit of your quest" Conrad

      by Captain Marty on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:02:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  No one has asked you to apologize (24+ / 0-)

      They've asked us (white folks) to try to understand.

      If you do not see the difference, perhaps you need a closer read of this diary.

      For real Texas Kaos, you want texaskaos.net, not .com. Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us

      by boadicea on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:24:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Diary doesn't say this (20+ / 0-)
      go around constantly apologizing for my "privilege".
      and racism in America and climate change is sort of a false analogy. We're capable of working more than one problem at a time without saying that one issue is more or less important than another.

      KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

      by fcvaguy on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:25:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Uh, please tell me this was snark (10+ / 0-)

      Please.

      This isn't freedom. This is fear - Captain America

      by Ellid on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:35:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  you were always both. (13+ / 0-)
      I was a Democrat, now I am a "white person"
      plus some other things.

      This comment is dedicated to my mellow Adept2U and his Uncle Marcus

      by mallyroyal on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:51:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's not like (4+ / 0-)

      it doesn't exist. It really does. I'm not saying it's more important than climate destruction. Christ, after all the time I spent in the Ed Schultz diary in the last day, that ought to be obvious. But it's just wrong to try and minimize this.

      I don't know, maybe I won't explain this correctly, but being a woman, I feel like I know a little bit about being made to feel "not privileged" simply because I don't have a penis. This shit exists, this "white privilege" thing. If it didn't, Native Americans would still be roaming the countryside in major numbers.

      Mind you, I found that the concept of "white privilege" was mis-appropriated by our Fearless Leader to blow off l'affaire du Snowden awhile back, but other than that, it's out there. How can you not see that? It's not about "guilting" you. It's about awareness.
       

      This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

      by lunachickie on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:39:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  IIRC (0+ / 0-)

        Markos said that it was a "1st world problem" did he say more?

        And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County Down by the Green River where Paradise lay. Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away. John Prine

        by high uintas on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:03:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  How utterly fascinating (0+ / 0-)

          Dangit, I have work to do but I took the time to search for this diary. And...I can't find it. I'm no slouch with a search engine in general, though the one here is another story ;)

          So...if you can find it, let me know, and let's just refresh everyone's memory, hm? I hope all it is is that he pulled it cuz he had a change of heart after due consideration. He can actually take the time to tell folks that or not, I don't care, long as he gets it himself. I could respect the hell out of that...
           

          This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

          by lunachickie on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:30:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I searched the shit out of the site (0+ / 0-)

            and came up with comment but didn't find teh original source comment.

            And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County Down by the Green River where Paradise lay. Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away. John Prine

            by high uintas on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 12:26:45 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Are you... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              corvo, high uintas

              looking for his initial comment on the matter, or another one?




              Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ Garcia

              by DeadHead on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 01:32:52 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not that one but (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                DeadHead

                thank you for the link. The one I remember included a reference to "first world problems". I have no idea where it was and I could also be mistaken, it happens.

                And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County Down by the Green River where Paradise lay. Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away. John Prine

                by high uintas on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 02:13:06 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  It is about empathy, not guilt (11+ / 0-)

      There is a difference, and the Democratic Party has historically been the party that stressed empathy while the GOP has been the "I got mine, screw you" party since at least William McKinley.

      It is possible to recognize things like white, male and wealth privilege without having to feel guilty about why this is so.  The point is how you treat other people and whether you recognize the extent to which at least some of how you are treated reflects privilege or the lack of it.  And trying to do what you can to mitigate the situation.

      Don't bet your future on 97% of climate scientists being wrong. Take action on climate now!

      by Mimikatz on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:52:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why do you think (9+ / 0-)

      That acknowledging and noticing that white privilege exists amounts to apologizing?

      I'm white, have been all my life, I know that I benefit from WP but that doesn't cause me guilt, only understanding. It didn't cost anything to learn of this except the loss of some blinders.

      And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County Down by the Green River where Paradise lay. Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away. John Prine

      by high uintas on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:06:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  two separate things (4+ / 0-)

      one is simply recognizing the state of the world, which is what this diary is.

      The second is deciding how you feel about it.  

    •  I wasn't going to engage but no one (13+ / 0-)

      ever said I wasn't hard headed.

      Why is it a win/lose  for you? If seen in terms of win / anything, why can't it be a win win?

      Any guilt here is self inflicted and that's an entirely different discussion. If you've done nothing, what do you have to feel guilty about? No one's saying that being born white = guilt trip.

      Being asked to understand that something exists and has a real impact on people's lives ( whether they realize it or not; whether they acknowledge it or not) doesn't cost you anything.

      Suffice it to say that I love my son dearly and there is nothing I wouldn't do for him. But there are things I know I will never ever understand that he will experience as a gay man. I have nothing to lose and everything to gain by appreciating the things he sees through his eyes that I don't and can't. I am enriched by learning from his experiences. How is that a bad thing?

      And you seem awfully concerned about losing white votes. Why do you assume that to be the case? I'd give the benefit of the doubt to those voters, the majority of whom likely already get it. Yes, just as we have a portion here in our little microcosm who don't  that may to be the case in the broader electorate. That's a risk I'm willing to take.

      Not to take that risk really comes across to me a lot like get in the back of the bus.

      We view "The Handmaid's Tale" as cautionary. The GOP views it as an instruction book.

      by Vita Brevis on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:07:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The mission of this site is votes (0+ / 0-)

        So I'm coming at it from a political perspective.  If you want an academic exercise fine.  Fun.  Reminds me of my college days.  Lots of academic exercises on social change.  Then I got to vote for the first time and was thrilled that my university dominated county voted for the social change guy until I discovered that the other 98 counties all voted for the other guy.

        And I don't mind a bit if people see my responses here as defensive because I think that's the response you'll get from the general public if you keep insisting on making issues racial.  When people vote defensively, they vote conservatively.

        •  Then we should never discuss or (13+ / 0-)

          take on any progressive issues because by definition that's offense vs defense.

          Women's issues...might lose men
          LGBT issues...might lose religious voters
          Issues that concern people of color...might lose white voters

          See the thing is , it's not about making issues racial. It's about the reality of life in America where race IS an issue. I don't get to opt out of that.

          We view "The Handmaid's Tale" as cautionary. The GOP views it as an instruction book.

          by Vita Brevis on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:44:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  We choose our battles (0+ / 0-)

            If people want to choose race as their battle, it's a worthy battle, but I'm saying you have to recognize that you are making a political choice when you choose that battle.  

            Part of my "white privilege" makes it not my battle of choice, so you don't engage me positively when you choose that battle over others I'd like you to fight.  You need to be aware that I'm not alone.  

            I'd caution that in choosing race, our country's "original sin", as we Catholics might describe it, you're choosing the most divisive battle possible.  

            I'd prefer to address issues of economic inequality without blinding people with the heated focus on race.  It's hard enough to fight the battles when they aren't overtly racial.

            •  Indeed we do choose our battles (13+ / 0-)

              And this comment, whether you intended it to or not, proves why this is a discussion that those of us who are willing to have it continue to find it necessary:

              Part of my "white privilege" makes it not my battle of choice, so you don't engage me positively when you choose that battle over others I'd like you to fight.
               

              It gave me a chuckle. I assume you see the irony of posting something like that in a diary like this?

              You need to be aware that I'm not alone.  
              I'm not naive. I'm well aware from discussions here and a lifetime spent as a POC in this country that you're not alone.  You do understand that this is not new news to us right?

              If you want to approach this as a hostage negotiation, go ahead. "Don't bring this up or we won't vote ". Isn't that exactly what the Tea Party does?

              We view "The Handmaid's Tale" as cautionary. The GOP views it as an instruction book.

              by Vita Brevis on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 01:25:12 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Of course it's not new news to you! (0+ / 0-)

                I do get the privilege thing.  I'm just saying obsessing about it is pointless and counter productive.   You change things by making specific changes not by talking about root causes.  People just don't care.  They don't go around wanting to feel your pain.  I'm just one of the few honest enough on this thread to admit it.  But you've got my vote as long as what you're changing works for me.  Someone said people don't willingly give up their wages to someone who is less privileged.  Well of course we do!  It's called TAXES.  I'll vote to be taxed.  Just don't drive me crazy telling me it's about white privilege.  I don't need to know that.  

            •  That is a tough row to hoe (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              poco, Tonedevil

              A really tough row to hoe, when so much of the dysfunctional attitude toward economic inequality in this country is intimately entwined with lies about race.  These lies are a huge part of the reason why so many white people are going to blow right past your "economic justice for all" cry with a smug assurance that the poor (black) people are just bringing it on themselves and it's the rich (white) people who deserve more and more; and never mind that they and their neighbors and everyone they know are seeing their prospects diminish by the year.

              I don't think you fight that by continuing to pretend that race has nothing to do with it.  At best you'll get something like the 40s - 60s, where things improved enough for the average white person that they could forget about economic justice all over again, and send things back downhill on a steady pace ever since.

    •  For the life of me, I will never understand (20+ / 0-)

      this kind of reaction.

      It never ceases to amaze me how an attempt at a conversation about "structural" issues, how the system that we all exist within is built and functions to shape us all, is instead immediately assumed to be one seeking to shame and blame.

      Just once, once, I'd love to see an analytical discussion about the privilege rooted in our system and not have it derailed by assumptions of efforts to guilt someone.

      Such things leave me tempted to say -  It's not all about you. It's about the damned system. It's about the industrial prison system, It's about stop and frisk, It's about the damn "welfare queen" racist stereotype, it's about how the children of POC are treated differently than their white classmates in school, it's about neighborhoods decimated, it's about history, it's about now, it's all about how things happen because of privilege - our unexamined assumptions.  

      We can't claim to be for justice and equality for all unless we can name the forces that prevent justice and equality for all.

      Privilege -  white privilege, male privilege, straight privilege, are some of the forces that must be named.

      I don't know any problem that can be solved without naming the factors involved first.

      This is much bigger than you or I or anyone on this blog.

      It goes to the heart of our nation and who we want to be as a people, no matter what our color, sexuality, or gender.

      As long as our sense of self and its context is unexamined than we are never free to be all that we can be.

      As long as our society and its assumptions are unexamined, it will never be all that it can be.

      Discussions on privilege, whatever form that privilege takes, is a necessary part of that examination.

      There is something in us that refuses to be regarded as less than human. We are created for freedom - Archbishop Desmond Tutu

      by Onomastic on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:08:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Actually you are a person (9+ / 0-)

      who clearly refuses or are just incapable of understanding the point of this diary.

      So if instead, you want to play the 'oh woe is me' card instead of -- I dunno -- maybe asking some questions or asking people to help you understand, it could go a long way around these parts.

      Instead, I guess there is nothing left to discuss with you.

    •  way to degrade the discussion... n/t (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      raptavio, fcvaguy, shesaid, Onomastic
  •  A thorny issue. (24+ / 0-)

    I come from a lily white town. My mother and her family are white as you can be. But my dad was tan, Eastern European, technically caucasian, but several shades darker than anyone else in town.
    I grew up keenly aware of my tan-ness.
    And have been the stand-in for whatever the locally hated minority is. I guess I look Mexican to SoCal Anglos and Black to Boston Brahmins, Native American to MidWestern farmers...
    And White to Black people.
    So it's no surprise, no question that there is a significant pecking order of privilege here.
    Remember the book "Black like me"?
    Remember the thing about walking a mile in another man's moccasins?
    All it takes is being on the downside of the equation a couple times for it to sink in.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:03:19 AM PST

  •  Thank you, Raptavio. (33+ / 0-)

    Have rec'd, tipped and republished.
    This is a conversation we need to have.
    We are not healed. There's just a thin scab covering a nasty mess. We need more - many more - pin pricks to start the healing process.
    Will rejoin the conversation a little later on.

    Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

    by JoanMar on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:06:34 AM PST

  •  Tipped, rec'd and thank you for getting it (41+ / 0-)

    While I've been married to my husband ( who is white) for almost 23 years, it's really been since our biracial son started college that he has fully understood what I've been talking about for those 23 years.

    He's seen that although our son is his flesh and blood he lives a very different reality in subtle and overt ways.  Not saying everyone needs to be the parent of a biracial child to get it :)

    We view "The Handmaid's Tale" as cautionary. The GOP views it as an instruction book.

    by Vita Brevis on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:20:12 AM PST

  •  One thing I'm very aware of (25+ / 0-)

    is members of privileged groups, e.g., white straight males, pontificating about the experiences of those who don't share their social privilege. Sometimes, they drone on and on, full of themselves, even in this venue.

    You get impatient with it. You want to interrupt people who indulge in this, to be rude.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:32:09 AM PST

  •  I'm white and I know it exists. (19+ / 0-)

    In the mid '80s We once drove through a small town in a huge, old used 1978 Cadillac El Dorado (we'd gotten from a relative), at night.  We were driving slow and carefully.

    As we entered the city limits a police car followed us up close and at every single turn and when we drove up at my in-laws, one came up to the door - then saw I was white.  He still asked some questions, then left.

    Best Scientist Ever Predicts Bacon Will Be Element 119 On The Periodic Table

    by dov12348 on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:38:50 AM PST

  •  It is a circular trap. (22+ / 0-)

    Racial and gender privilege is something that you are born with. People who have benefited from it all their lives often make the assumption that it is something they have an inherent right to. When other people start talking about ways to achieve greater equality they react as though their rights are being taken away from them. A lot of them seem to me to just be incapable of seeing it differently. It will probably require a demographic shift to reset the privilege.  

    •  wealth privilege is similar (16+ / 0-)

      Born upper middle class or rich, and then becoming reasonably successful, many think they got to success on their own and the less successful are less worthy

      The are oblivious to their own privilege. When they talk about the "takers" being lazy I want to scream. My cousin, born into relative wealth, wasn't great in school and didn't want to go to college at 18. One of daddy's friends was a partner in a law firm, so she got a good job. Eventually she rose to a para-legal level at 60K/year at that firm. Sure, she has talent but my daddy, for example, didn't know lawyers since he was a draftsman and mostly knew blue collar people.

      Yes this cousin of mine was one to post on FB about "why should her taxes go up to support the lazy people on Welfare". Ughh....!

    •  They aren't something you are born with (4+ / 0-)

      They're something given to you by society. There's a huge difference between society deciding that you deserve something because of some situation of your birth and you being born with something.

      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

      by AoT on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:43:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Perhaps better language (6+ / 0-)

        would be born TO them. They are not biologically essential in nature but most of the sources of privilege in US society have endured over multiple generations. For most people race, gender and economic status don't change as they grow up. That makes it easier for people to convince themselves that they are entitled to them when they result in privilege.

        •  Ah, yes. As in "born to the purple". (0+ / 0-)

          Much as I don't like it, that's a very old and very common phrasing of the matter. It goes along with the great popularity of Georgette Heyer romance novels and what seems to be a wistful longing of many Americans for the titles and trappings of royalty.

          It would be so much simpler if only one could be secure in his/her status, and not have to constantly reassess it.

          And no, this isn't snark, unfortunately, nor is it a put down of your comment. It's a very real part of the overall situation that has to be coped with when discussing inequality, or even perceived inequality.

          At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

          by serendipityisabitch on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 12:16:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I think it takes concrete examples (21+ / 0-)

    to get people to realize their privilege. For me it was growing up and seeing the difference in how the police and teachers treated me as compared to those with darker skin. I could get off with a warning for things that my black and Hispanic friends got busted for. And it continued into adulthood.

    Having had this conversation ad nauseum, I find it works best (at least with people I know) to say remember that time...and point out how the situation ended for those involved based on their 'race' (I hate that word but we seem to be using it here). Who got in real trouble? Who got their wrist slapped? Now this obviously doesn't work in every scenario but sometimes it makes the point a little clearer.

    It's much harder with someone I don't know because I end up talking about things in general, or offering 'made up' scenarios, which are not as personal for the person I am talking with. This seems to allow the person to fall back into defensive mode.

    Anyhow, great diary.

    "The next time everyone will pay for it equally, and there won't be any more Chosen Nations, or any Others. Poor bastards all." ~The Boomer Bible

    by just another vet on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:47:30 AM PST

    •  I know that for me (6+ / 0-)

      it took leaving my nice white town and going to Alexandria VA in the summer of '68 (yeah, that summer) and having my eyes blown open.

      Leftover ignorance got chased away when my already somewhat mixed family got more integrated. You learn when you experience it.

      And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County Down by the Green River where Paradise lay. Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away. John Prine

      by high uintas on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:12:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thoughtful and thought-provoking (21+ / 0-)

    Thanks Raptavio.  I think this conversation is really important for all progressive folks to have.

    I'm white, and I feel like I'm on a constant journey to, if you will, "let go" of assumptions and expectations.  I can't know what I don't know, so that means I need to listen to other people of other races, religions, sexual orientations, etc. about their experiences.

    And now I know how Joan of Arc felt.

    by Knockbally on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:48:58 AM PST

  •  in addition to TV shows, I would point out that (26+ / 0-)

    most advertisements are color coded as well, so when the fast food restaurant is featured, not only is the staff only one color but the customers are also of the same color (unless diversity is the point of the ad)  Note the outrage over a recent ad which showed, without comment, a mixed race couple and a biracial child.  This reflects reality for many of us but for much of the US, the topic is still verboten in ads.

    Consider the outrage over the recent version of our "national anthem" and the multi-lingual version aired during the Super Bowl (I know it's not the national anthem but don't tell our RW FB buddies).  The RW is still sputtering in outrage over the "insult" by having the song translated into a language other than English

  •  I tracked back to see the diary you referenced (29+ / 0-)

    indirectly in your own diary here. Hoo-boy, that's some serious denial going on there.

    I appreciate your interest in speaking out about white privilege; it's a real problem that will take a long, long time to resolve.

    Back in 1965, advocating for affirmative action programs, LBJ said:

    You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say you are free to compete with all the others, and still just believe that you have been completely fair.
    That's a good analogy as far as it goes. But I think that white privilege in the same analogy translates into having a head start. It's not merely a matter of being at the starting line without interference; it's about having had benefits and advantages simply by being white. And yes, that accrues no matter how poor and downtrodden (though the question of why is illuminating): there's a reason why DuBois posited a "psychological wage" boost for lower-class white workers, who could still feel superior to their black counterparts simply by being white.

    Anyway, this comment is meant to buttress your argument, not detract, so I'll stop here. Thanks for the diary. It and others like it are going to be needed for quite a while yet.

    Support Small Business: Shop Kos Katalogue If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

    by peregrine kate on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:05:27 AM PST

  •  Tipped and Rec'ced (15+ / 0-)

    for the truth of the matter.

    KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

    by fcvaguy on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:23:28 AM PST

  •  Hey, this is cool! A privilged white male (10+ / 1-)

    pulls lint out of his privileged white belly-button and blogs his findings and encourages other white people to do the same.

    Meanwhile, Latinas all over the internet are laughing so hard they're crying into their frijoles.

    I feel privileged to be Mexican woman.  

  •  Can't we get cherry pie? It's my favorite. (4+ / 0-)

    flees

    This isn't freedom. This is fear - Captain America

    by Ellid on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:34:20 AM PST

  •  Well done, rap! (19+ / 0-)

    Sadly, I see most of the people who rec'd this already get it...  Sad that those who don't would never even open it.

    But very well said.  May it be spread far and wide.

    If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to. -- Dorothy Parker

    by Yasuragi on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:34:51 AM PST

  •  excellent explanation, and (18+ / 0-)

    I will admit it. Somehow I reached middle adulthood not even having Heard of white privilege (blush). I'm white.

    Thanks to DK, I found out what it is. I got it instantly. And when I did I saw it everywhere. I also see Male privilege and Christian privilege and Straight privilege, to various extents.

    I've noticed too a few people here have a problem with considering themselves "privileged", especially when they are struggling themselves or feel very un-privileged in other ways (say, income, for instance if they are poor)

    I couldn't help not understanding that the would privilege is relative. We white people are privileged compared to people who are not white. I think the ones that bristle at being called privileged don't get it is relative

    I'm pretty poor right now without immediate family, and disabled. But I have some white privilege and I know it helps me. There still are some bigoted people around, and even if not horribly bigoted some people, especially older ones, are more comfortable interacting with white people than Black, it seems. For example, the older white male owner of this diner I go to (to get warm, mostly) takes the initiative to make conversation with me. He' even refilled my coffee for me for free a few times (it is not free). There are 2 Black women who have often been there when I am--to the point we say hello or nod--but he does not talk to them. They do not get free coffee. He's polite with them but that's it.

    Could be something else, but I suspect it's my white privilege. I'm a woman and still look relatively young, so in that way with older white men I think i have white female privilege. Of course, men in general have more privilege over women than vice versa but there are ways being a white woman can be an advantage if you are young when interacting with white men, who have the most power in our society.

  •  Here is my question about white privilege: (9+ / 0-)

    Is it anything other than merely the absence of racism?  What I see in this diary, and everything else I read about white privilege, is that when you enumerate what these supposed privileges are, they are simply NOT having to be subject to the racism that people of color experience.

    In other words, I do not see how white privilege has have any independent existence from racism; it is just the negative corollary to racism.  So a fitting metaphor, rather than crops and rain, would be drought (=racism) and rain (=white privilege).

    Am I missing something here?  And if not, then is "privilege" really the right term for what we are describing?

    •  That's a really difficult question. (7+ / 0-)

      Is privilege the absence of racism?

      In some senses, yes. In others, it actually is the presence of racism -- being given preferential treatment over that of a minority, in employment, customer service, or law enforcement. You can directly benefit from racism directed at minorities.

      But yes, I would say that white privilege does not and cannot exist independent of racism. It is an effect of racism. The same effects which oppress and disadvantage the unprivileged exalt and advantage the privileged.

      In terms of rain and drought, hopefully not to overstretch the metaphor, think of the clouds as racism, and the rain as privilege. The rain falls down on some fields, but not on others. The fields with the rain grow much more easily than those without. Of course, clouds and rain are not manifestations of choices and cultural biases, so the metaphor breaks there.

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

      by raptavio on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:17:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  In a promo on the World Channel of PBS, (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        raptavio, corvo, tardis10, Sylv

        a man says something like, "The opposite of poverty isn't wealth. The opposite of poverty is justice."

        So perhaps in the same vein, the opposite of racism is justice as well. Perhaps justice, true justice is the antithesis of our social ills.

        "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

        by Lily O Lady on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:16:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  It's a good question. And I think it has a good, (10+ / 0-)

      or at least a thoughtful answer. I think it is possible to be totally unaware of any kind of inherent privilege and be totally neutral to or even supportive of people of different race, gender, sexual orientation, etc., etc..

      The key difference that I see raptavio pointing out is that when we are not aware of the inequality of that privilege, we tend to make the assumption that it does not exist. Thus, there is a lack of awareness of real problems that are created by that inequality, and a concurrent lack of any attempt to address them. This is not racist, or sexist, or homophobic, it is simply unaware.

      At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

      by serendipityisabitch on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:17:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  "Privilege" has bad connotations. (15+ / 0-)

      Your question is a serious one, and I myself have often wondered whether we couldn't come up with a better term for the phenomenon we currently describe as "privilege."  That word conjures up images of wealthy people sipping cocktails on the terrace of a country club, when in this case we're addressing something entirely different.

      You've hit on one of the reasons I wonder about this.  That is, I think in most instances privilege could be described in negative terms.  For example, white people in America most certainly enjoy "privilege" in the sense we're talking about here, but it does not necessarily guarantee them an easy life, financial success, or economic mobility.  There are many white people who live very hard, deprived lives despite their whiteness.

      So perhaps it would be best to think of "privilege" not in terms of what it gives us, but in terms of what it spares us.  White privilege is mostly a shield and not necessarily a sword.  It doesn't protect us from any of the general problems all people in America have to face.  But it does mean we get to deal with those problems without the very considerable added burden of race discrimination.  

      In the end, I think of privilege largely as a form of protection.  I'm not sure how I'd capture that in a single word, but that's my take on it.

      "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

      by FogCityJohn on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:41:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  exactly. when I hear "privilege" (5+ / 0-)

        ... I think it equates in my brain with "luxury".

        Also that currently rec listed post about that "Affluenza" kid - a level of "privilege" that, trust me, neither me or my kid would EVER get - THAT is "privilege". So the word itself puts people off, initially, I think. But more importantly, because of the word and its connotations, some people tune out the whole convo. The concept is spot on however. I dont have a better term to offer either.

        Rights, civil and otherwise, should not be a luxury in this country. period.

        If I can't dance I don't want to be part of your revolution. ~ Emma Goldman

        by Lady Libertine on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:31:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  They shouldn't. (4+ / 0-)

          And yet -- they are. What we take for granted is denied our brothers and sisters of color.

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

          by raptavio on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 12:09:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  This is precisely the problem: (4+ / 0-)
          But more importantly, because of the word and its connotations, some people tune out the whole convo. The concept is spot on however.
          There's no question the phenomenon exists.  My comment relates more to what you might call a tactical issue.  That is, if we want to get people to recognize and fight the thing we now call "privilege," is there a way of describing it that will make people more open to seeing it and opposing it?  

          In the end, the descriptor might not make a difference.  The resistance to acknowledging this fact isn't based solely on the word used to describe it.  Still, I think if we could find a better word, it might help at least a bit.

          "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

          by FogCityJohn on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 12:32:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Recced for (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        poco, mconvente, mattc129

        "White privilege is mostly a shield and not necessarily a sword."

      •  This is an excellent comment (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        serendipityisabitch, a2nite, mattc129

        Privilege is a shield, not necessarily a sword.  A very poignant and enlightening way to put it.

        Will use this for future discussions of privilege with my friends.

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

        by mconvente on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 01:16:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  You and I don't agree on much (22+ / 0-)

    but we do here. Nicely done. It never hurts to have the reminder, even if this doesn't 'say anything new". Some things just can't be said enough.
     

    This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

    by lunachickie on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:39:40 AM PST

  •  Thanks raptavio. Excellent diary. (20+ / 0-)

    Repetition is the parent of memory.

    White guy here.

    One white privilege that I see retrospectively that I had is this:

    I did not have to teach my child how to survive an encounter with a police officer.
    I did not have to teach her, I did not have to think about what, when, or how to teach her, and I did not have to consider what she should know as a woman rather than a man in dealing with a police officer.

    It chokes me up to think that minority parents do have to think about these issues.

  •  Here are my thoughts on how to talk about this: (18+ / 0-)

    I posted this in 2012.

    Here's the guts of it:

    This discussion – one in which the two sides agree on much and in which both speak important truths – crystallizes the chasm between the two ways of looking at race, class, and resentment: moralist and realist. To win elections we must bridge that rhetorical gap. It is not impossible. We need a rhetoric that recognizes the realities of racism but which also acknowledges the validity of how working-class whites feel. Fortunately, this is exactly the approach taken by President Barack Obama.

    Obama addressed these issues most directly in his Philadelphia race speech. On white privilege, he stated: “most working- and middle-class white Americans don’t feel that they have been particularly privileged by their race.” That doesn’t mean he believes that they haven’t been privileged, but that’s beside the point for the purpose of winning their support for his policies. The President also said “to wish away the resentments of white Americans, to label them as misguided or even racist, without recognizing they are grounded in legitimate concerns—this too widens the racial divide and blocks the path to understanding.” By this point he has, hopefully, established some credibility with the resentful whites he is trying to reach. He has established that he has empathy for their position.

    Having done so, Obama can then deliver some truths: “Talk show hosts and conservative commentators built entire careers unmasking bogus claims of racism while dismissing legitimate discussions of racial injustice and inequality as mere political correctness or reverse racism.” He added: “these white resentments distracted attention from the real culprits of the middle-class squeeze.”  This, I would argue, is a far more effective way to win white support both for universal measures to improve the lives of working-class Americans and for specific measures to counteract the all too real effects of discrimination non-whites still face.

    Berating the resentful among the white working class for their bigotry would, without question, lead any of them who were listening to stop, and to dismiss the speaker as someone who just doesn’t get them. Speaking the way Obama did is far less satisfying – as nuance always is initially – but his election suggests that it worked in 2008. We’ll find out more in November.

    As progressives, we must not dismiss the perspectives of white working class voters – even those who express racial resentments – any more than we do the perspective of non-white voters, because we need to win their votes. We have to convince these white voters that their interests lie not in allying themselves with the economic elites against minorities, but in coming together and creating a broad, multiethnic coalition of Americans united. This is the truth, and it is what Obama seeks to do. Such a coalition can be the driving force for real change, for policies that benefit members of all ethnic groups while ensuring equal opportunities for all Americans.

  •  I'm one of those privileged white guys... (19+ / 0-)

    I grew up in a nice, white, affluent neighborhood.  Went to a good public school, eventually went to college.  Now I work a good job and have raised two white children who grew up similar to the way I did.  But there's two things I've come to accept:

    First, I will never be able to quantify how much being white, male, blond hair, blue eyes, middle/upper class has helped me.  I consider myself intelligent and hard working; I feel like I have "struggled" and that I have "earned" my station in life.  But I will never know exactly how much of what I have was truly earned and not just a product of my race/class.  It's all about the opportunities you receive that others do not.

    Second, I will never be able to understand what someone who is NOT white, male, upperclass, etc. has had to go through in our society.  When someone else tries to explain the difficulties and hardships they have had to endure because they do not have the advantages of those privileges, I do not have the basis or understanding to disagree with them or to argue that their experiences are unique, non-systemic or - more disparagingly - of their own making.

    It doesn't mean I have to take what they say at face value; it doesn't mean I have to believe them unquestioningly.  It just means I don't have any grounds to argue with them.  And when all statistical and scientific evidence  seems to back up what they are saying about their experience, then I have to accept it as true.

    People like myself are gifted opportunities that others do not receive.  Job interviews, acceptance to college, invitations to meet and mingle with more successful people who in turn gift more opportunities to succeed.   It's as if people who have this privilege look at someone who does not and just assumes that they have failed to take advantage of their opportunities to succeed - failing to realize that perhaps "those" people never had them in the first place.

  •  Example of un-awareness: (20+ / 0-)

    White people protesting Black History Month, complaining "Where's our White History Month?!"

    Duh.
    And Grrrrr....

    •  That month is called (12+ / 0-)

      Everymonth.

      Oy. Yeah, right there with you.

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

      by raptavio on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:24:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'd like to think that's a pretty extreme example. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lily O Lady, Johnny Q, marina

      People who want to quash the free expression of diversity or identity really are just plain racist.

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:30:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, what about people who weren't (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        emelyn, worldlotus, marina

        admitted to the college or university of their choice and blame racial quotas for their failure? I think the lack of awareness is more of a continuum from as aware as you can get to completely clueless. Naming the various states might almost be counterproductive.

        "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

        by Lily O Lady on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:20:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's a more complex matter (4+ / 0-)

          as a determination relies not only on motives and attitudes, but data that may not be at our disposal, and of course the conflict of two principles: equal access for all versus the need to right historical wrongs.

          In that particular case, I might first ask why we as a society continue to tolerate inadequate access to postsecondary education to everyone who qualifies, and instead perpetuate a divide et impera culture in which those with a dearth of privilege are expected to duke it out among each other.

          Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

          by corvo on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:31:50 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That limited access may well be a feature (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            corvo, worldlotus, marina

            of the "divide and conquer" strategy of the 1%. This goes back to the idea of justice being the opposite of poverty and perhaps even racism that I posed up-thread.

            "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

            by Lily O Lady on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:42:27 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  oh, it's absolutely a feature. (5+ / 0-)

              Heck, you can trace it all the way back to Plato's Republic.

              It's insidious too; it's based on the assumption that there's not enough justice, or privilege, or wealth, or (etc.) to go around, and feeds in nicely to the various "zero-sum game" discussions elsewhere in these comments.

              Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

              by corvo on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:48:05 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  Good diary, thanks (11+ / 0-)

    T & R.

    I'd make an effort at a more substantive comment, but don't have time/energy today to deal with the professional I-dunno-it's-not-me types who invariably show up.

    Suffice to say that this, and much of the writing of people at Black Kos, has opened my eyes to how very fortunate and privileged I've been.

    Great Questions of Western Philosophy: How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

    by Mnemosyne on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:13:36 AM PST

  •  academically understand the theory (5+ / 0-)

    practically, in the non-academic world, it's too often used in divisive ways in ridiculous arguments, that I think harms progress. Usually by people looking for a cudgel of some sort for an argument. So it goes.

    Not the fault of the theory. It's apt. Explains so much blindness that we see demonstrated on a day to day basis, which is the intention of the theory, To explain a discernible phenomenon.  

    Either way, thanks for the diary. It's important for people to understand and learn.

    Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

    by greenbastard on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:13:41 AM PST

  •  Poor White Trash (11+ / 0-)
     "poor white trash" (a term I loathe because it carries the implication that "trash" is normally nonwhite)
    Actually, no. It doesn't.
    I suggest you stick to pointing out the privilege where it exists, and avoiding trying to find it where it doesn't.

    None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

    by gjohnsit on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:20:25 AM PST

  •  okay Im gonna give this a shot... (8+ / 0-)

    and Im talking about progressives, not "all" white people, lol.

    We have to keep fighting all of these battles, all of them. As far as race/ethnicity/gender/LGBT, etc equality goes, yes, of course!, and I support those efforts and am an ally.

    But... I see no value in having anyone scold me for not making those "issues" (feh) be my front burner top priority main issue.  I hate the sense of competition that goes on, even though to some extent I guess its valid enough because we are all fighting to be heard, seen, and to ensure we all get a piece of the pie... or a place at the table.

    I see white progressives (some) with a strong focus on income inequality, civil liberties, and stuff like that. On DKos I have seen those folks (I usually call those people "us" or "we", lol) get chewed out for, hmmm, well, it's "white privilege" to be concerned with such things, we've been told, right? And then.... we're off and running....pie!

    But here's the thing. If you look at it from the pov of Class War, then you're going to see that this whole "privilege" thing that we white ppl enjoy and that POC and minorities deserve as well, that itself is changing, its shrinking... for everybody. To borrow again Russell Means' line "Welcome to the Reservation." Thats what we are fighting against. Our fight and your fight, it's the same frikkin' fight ultimately, so shit.... can't we do it together arm in arm, shoulder to shoulder, and maybe just maybe we can gain or at least hold some ground?

    Lift one another up, in solidarity.

    /sermon

    If I can't dance I don't want to be part of your revolution. ~ Emma Goldman

    by Lady Libertine on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:32:30 AM PST

  •  My beloved older brother, a really (13+ / 0-)

    smart man, explained it to me in a way that made me understand. It was like a lightbulb went on for me.
    It was years ago, and I pointed out that our father had grown up sharecropping cotton on someone else's land, ploughing with a mule, etc. All true. My brother said something like, "Yeah, well I guess the American Dream worked for him."
    My Dad had it rough, but when opportunity presented itself, in his case military service and relatively well-paid oil field work, it was available to him as a white man. No one could deny him a job he was qualified for based on who his parents were, and do it legally and with impunity.
    That really helped me understand white privilege.

    ...and dropping a bar bell he points to the sky, saying "The sun's not yellow-it's CHICKEN!"

    by porchdog1961 on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:32:41 AM PST

  •  The problem with this fine diary (9+ / 0-)

    in a nutshell.

    As long as a white (or straight or male) is truly unaware of the privilege, then it is privilege and not racism.

    Once there is an awareness that said privilege exists then it really does become racism or sexism or homophobia.

    And (most) people would rather retain their innocence.

    Great diary. Tipped and recced.

  •  Large disconnect here in privilege diaries around (4+ / 0-)

    acknowledging privilege, actively taking advantage of it, and being proactive to lessen its impact. I think that causes more separation and defensive reactions here than necessary.

    This diary speaks to the first point, simply recognizing privilege if you have it. It accomplishes that well and to the point.

    But there are others here who claim that's not good enough. That if you're either proactively taking advantage of your privilege or not working to lesson privilege's impact, then you're somehow not a good liberal/citizen/human. I think that approach makes people less willing to acknowledge their own privilege, even if they were on the cusp of doing so.

    Let's look at wealth privilege. I sometimes find myself envious of wealthy people who are able to pay in full for expensive private school and college. But I think about if I ever have children and wealth, why wouldn't I do the same?

    TL;DR is often people ask those with privilege, whether acknowledged or not, to throttle that advantage, and that's just a hard thing to convince people to do.

    •  So much wrong with your wealth analogy (7+ / 0-)

      but we'll leave that for moment.
      I wasn't aware that the diarist was asking you to "throttle" your advantages; I thought he was asking that you at least recognize and admit that you have and are currently enjoying them. That honest assessment of where you stand in relation to poc, shows that you are prepared to start having the conversation that will lead to healing.

      Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

      by JoanMar on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:50:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Did you read the top of my comment at all? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        serendipityisabitch, mconvente, corvo

        "This diary speaks to the first point, simply recognizing privilege if you have it. It accomplishes that well and to the point."

        No, the diarist did not ask us to throttle our advantages, but others here certainly have. What about that whole "shut up and listen" diary a few weeks back? Where basically if you weren't in the smallest nested sub-sets upon sub-sets, you basically had no right to speak your mind.

        My wealth analogy is very apt. If I make $50,000 and have a child in public school, even a good one, I might wonder why all these rich people don't also send their children to public schools. "Why not?," I think. "These are great schools!"

        But given wealth, why wouldn't I take advantage of that privilege? That's my point. I can lament and be jealous of wealthy people all I want, but given their privilege I'd do exactly the same thing.

        And yes, I do believe there are people here who would actually ask someone to give up their privilege, like sending kids to private school, even if that parent has the ability to afford such a luxury. That's throttling.

      •  the "shut up and listen" diary didnt do just that? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mattc129, corvo, Johnny Q

        It may not have asked one to "throttle" their advantages, but the message I got from the diary and the comments was that people with privilege who are too "vanilla", too "tame" to challenge privilege need not apply to this community.  

        I was told, verbatim, I'm "not wanted as an ally", even though I spent several hours explaining that I "get it" and acknowledge my privilege.

        It's not my personality to be on the front lines with protests and all that.  And yes, I fairly admit that my privilege gives me to opportunity to be vanilla.  So I do get it.  But it seems that there is nothing that privileged people can do to "get it".  You guys keep moving the damn goal posts.

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

        by mconvente on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:17:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  So why are you relitigating that here? (4+ / 0-)

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

          by raptavio on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:29:20 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  And who do you mean by (4+ / 0-)

          "You guys"?

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

          by raptavio on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:29:39 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I apologize; should not have used that phrase (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            corvo

            and I should have been more clear to whom I was speaking about.

            I was referring to members who have engaged me by posting on my own comments in this diary and the "shut up and listen" one from a few weeks past.

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

            by mconvente on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:52:44 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  No (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tonedevil, etherealfire

          I didn't tell you that I didn't want you as an ally because you supposedly didn't want to do anything. I told you I didn't want you as an ally because you apparently have no ability to empathize with those who do fight the fight and are exhausted by it, which is why you argued in that entire diary about the tone of it. I don't care if you don't want to actively fight privilege. Most white people don't. But to not only admit you aren't up to the fight but to also criticize those who are burnt out by it? Yeah, no.

          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 Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:57:32 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, at least I finally got you to admit (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mattc129, Johnny Q, corvo

            why you don't want me as an ally.

            I was correct, it was because you think I'm too vanilla and tame.

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

            by mconvente on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:08:37 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Wow (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Tonedevil, etherealfire

              I specifically wrote that I don't care about that, and yet that's what you took from my comment? Let me repeat: NO. I don't care about you not wanting to fight privilege. What pisses me off is that you want to come into a diary written by someone who is exhausted from the fight and criticize how they do it without showing any empathy for how difficult the fight is. You seem to have no clue how exhausting it is, and no empathy for those who actually do it. Which, I believe, was what I wrote from the get go.

              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 Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:16:29 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I don't see where the author is exhausted (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mattc129, corvo
                But to not only admit you aren't up to the fight but to also criticize those who are burnt out by it? Yeah, no.
                If it's not your entire reason, it's at least part of it.  Your own words above.

                On to the point about exhaustion, I see this diary as a call for privileged individuals (and from the specific example in this diary, white people) to have a strong awareness of their privilege.  I do not see it as a point of view of an author who is exhausted.  Again, more of a heightened call for enlightenment about what entails privilege.

                Perhaps that is where our disconnect stems from.

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

                by mconvente on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:25:07 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  It's part of the same coin (6+ / 0-)

                  If you aren't willing to do the fight, but to criticize those who do it without showing any empathy or compassion, that's just wrong. On the flip side, if you acknowledged that you are not up to it but show compassion, or didn't say anything at all, I would have no problem whatsoever.

                  As to the diary I posted the original comment in, speaking as someone who has burnt out fighting, it came across to me as being written by someone burnt out from the fight, or at least close to it. You reach a point where you lose the ability to be polite and just want to scream at all the oblivious 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 Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:30:11 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

  •  You'll get pushback from those focused on class. (5+ / 0-)

    The same that wonder why nothing ever changes, even though they've been complaining for the past x0 years.

    The problem is that they don't realize that racism breeds inter-class division...great example today with the coal spill in the river, which if found to be a product of lax regulation would bear the question: why do COMPLETELY BROKE folks in the Appalachia regions vote Republican?

    Then, look at the racial demographics, and you'll get it.

    While you dream of Utopia, we're here on Earth, getting things done.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:50:00 AM PST

  •  Well said. (5+ / 0-)

    and I think that is an excellent exercise for everyone to do.... especially for me, as a white male ...... to imagine/pretend what it might be like if one were a different race (or sex) ... There is race privilege (and sex) privilege in our world, and the sooner we ALL become conscious of it, the sooner we will dissolve some of the most insidious injustices on our planet.

    * Move Sooner ~ Not Faster *

    by ArthurPoet on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:58:06 AM PST

  •  beautiful (5+ / 0-)

    simple, straight to the point, clear.

    Nothing to add, you said it

  •  Tipped and rec'd (9+ / 0-)

    I'm another middle-age white male who reached well into adulthood without hearing or thinking about white privilege.
    Then I served two terms on the local school board and was put on a committee dealing with diversity issues as a board liaison.
    The facilitator was a fellow school board member, who happened to be black, and did diversity training and awareness as his profession.
    A couple of the discussions of the group dealt with the issue of white privilege.
    I was initially resistant. After all having grown up middle class I didn't feel privileged. Nobody got me into a prestigious school, or a great job because I was a legacy or from a privileged family. So how was I the beneficiary of "white privilege".
    But it soon dawned on me how I was. I won't be followed around a store, automatically viewed as a potential thief. I won't be stopped on the road because I'm driving in the wrong neighborhood or look "out of place". If I knock on someone's door their first instinct is probably not to blow a bullet through the door because they feel threatened.
    And as has been pointed out elsewhere in the comments just about everywhere I look in this society I receive constant positive feedback and validation that I truly belong in this society. Just about every ad, display, movie, TV show, magazine picture is a reflection of me. Not too many people look different from me.
    How useful is this knowledge politically? Does it help or hurt the Democrats reach out to white voters? That I can't answer. But I do believe it is an important lesson and realization for people to have. Perhaps it's just the realization and message that some people don't start at the same place as I did.
    If opportunity and realizing your potential in America is a hundred yard dash, then perhaps look at it as a middle-class white male begins life at the starting line. Some people born into economic privilege may start ten yards from the finish line. And some people, due to race, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation or what have you are starting yards and yards behind the start line. So some people may look like their behind you and not working as hard, but have actually traveled twice the distance you have just to get to where they are.
    Again I don't know how you transform this awareness into political capital, that will require a thought exercise of its own.

    Blue is blue and must be that. But yellow is none the worse for it - Edith Sidebottom

    by kenwards on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:11:10 AM PST

  •  From the Top Comments archive... (10+ / 0-)

    Chrislove had a very nice diary on this a while back, and well worth reading again. It was the starting point for a number of discussions I had with well-meaning (mostly male) white friends who insisted white privilege didn't exist.

    I've made some progress with them since then, happily. But it's still hard, and I appreciate all the ways in which reading diaries like this and the comments help me to be more conscious and able to speak about it.

    "But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die." - - Cherokee saying

    by brillig on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:12:30 AM PST

  •  my thoughts: (16+ / 0-)

    unless you were well off, white, straight, Christian, and male in this country, there's always been privilege above you. always. everywhere.

    granted, white privilege was outright overtly institutionalized everywhere for a very long time, and still exists when you look at various things like police stops and jail sentences for things like possesion, but jeebus, females suffered from that underprivilege for a long time as well, and still do today when you look at how seriously issues like rape/date rape/birth control are handled today. and gays still outright suffer from underprivilege as well. as do people with invisible illnesses, especially mental illnesses.

    i feel like the whole discussion of privilege in the first place, unless it is a genuine teaching moment for folks who have no clue such as some of the older generation who haven't kept up like some of my parent's friends, exists solely to figure out who's got a "right" to whine about unfairness and who needs to just STFU - it's just another way to divvy folks up into an informal caste system, so some can feel more superior than others.

    the fact is that a great many folks in this country have suffered the effects of underprivilege for one reason or another at some point in their lives and many still do every day.

    most of us don't know each other well enough to lecture each other about privilege; we have no idea what another has been through enough to pass that kind of judgment. here at Dkos, the term 'white privilege' seems to be used more as a brickbat to shut up folks we disagree with, and i think that's detrimental to not only combating discrimination as a whole, but also breeds contempt among people who should be allies.

    "Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are." ~St Augustine "When it is dark enough, you can see the stars." ~Charles Beard

    by poligirl on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:13:05 AM PST

  •  How is this different from what I commented (4+ / 0-)

    in the "shut up and listen" diary?  And I was thrown into the gutter; even told verbatim that I'm "not wanted as an ally".

    The "shut up and listen" diary may not have asked one to "throttle" their advantages, but the message I got from that diary and the comments was that people with privilege who are too "vanilla", too "tame" to challenge privilege need not apply to this community.  

    It's not my personality to be on the front lines with protests and all that.  And yes, I fairly admit that my privilege gives me to opportunity to be vanilla.  So I do get it.  But it seems that there is nothing that privileged people can do to "get it".  You guys keep moving the damn goal posts.

    How do the privileged people demonstrate that we do get it?  That was most of my argument from the prior diary.  It is my assertion that unless us privileged are on the front lines all the time (protesting, etc.) than in your eyes we still don't get it.

    You can reduce privilege without having to be on the front lines all the time.  Like if you are in the position to hire people, you hire the best candidates paying attention only to the ability of the skills required for the job.

    We are listening, it's just that some of you don't think we are.

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

    by mconvente on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:24:42 AM PST

    •  It's hard to listen (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      doroma, Tonedevil, etherealfire

      when you're focused on your wounded pride.

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

      by raptavio on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:44:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's hard to be an effective teacher (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mattc129, Johnny Q, corvo

        when your diary and my comments express an identical sentiment, but one of us (that would be you) is applauded for it, while the other person (that would be me) is told to "focused on my wounded pride".

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

        by mconvente on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:11:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  And, I believe, raptavio supported you against (5+ / 0-)

      that particularly egregious comment.

      You don't have to demonstrate that you get it. There will always be people who think that once they have accepted a principle they are entitled (as a privilege granted by that acceptance) to put down anyone who shouts less loudly than they do.

      Fortunately for most of us, they are a small, though hyper-decibelled, minority. Working at being fair, one situation at a time, is a hell of a good beginning.

      At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

      by serendipityisabitch on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:55:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  A difference may be as simple as this: (7+ / 0-)

      You posted your comment around midnight on a Monday in January, and this diary was posted around 8 AM on a Thursday in February. What goes over well on this blog is often a random confluence of when it was posted, who was around reading it. what other issues or attitudes were under consideration at the time, etc.

      Given you see strong similarity between your comment then, and this diary now, why not then celebrate with, and for the diarist?  "Great diary! Couldn't agree more! Tried to make a similar point in a comment in another diary recently. This is an important issue - glad you made the rec list"

      “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

      by Catte Nappe on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:31:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't know the backstory here... (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, raptavio, poco, Tonedevil, worldlotus

      so I am only just responding on what you've written here.

      I am neither black nor white.  But I am a person of colour.

      A good friend of mine, who I met through work, one day was complaining to me about some work related BS.  But more particularly the white players at hand that we constantly had to deal with.  She is a person of colour, she's African American with roots down south and traced back to people enslaved and brought to this country.

      She said to me, her dear friend that she calls Sister from another mother, They will never know what it is to be Black.  They have never walked in my shoes.  They do not know what I have gone through in life and what I've faced.

      She was majorly pissed at the duplicity of people we encountered at work overall - and back then as it pretty much is now - mainly populated by white males who held all the positions that would thrust their careers up the ladder with little effort.

      While she wasn't aiming these commen