• Waya
    1k
    I agree that a lot of wrongs have been done to a lot of people by various governments at various times, but that's life. Life isn't fair. If it was, then Germany would be paying the Jews for the Nazi era. (Yet everyone hates the Jews still...*shrug*)
    Again, I would agree that those needless injustices should be compensated for, except that it would be people like you and me indirectly paying for it, which would just cause more hardship for everyone.
  • TheWillowOfDarkness
    1.9k


    I wasn't saying about physical identifying attributes. My point was that a person, in how they exist within a social context, a material state of the world. That's to say, they are present in certain relations in a given society. The material state(s?) in question here aren't a particular feature of a person we might cite as a cause of some circumstance or another, it's the fact of a person existing in a given society.

    "Interpretative relevance" means nothing here. These aren't questions of merely taking the world a certain way or not, having some sort of whim about what people mean.The existing people and society from a objective relation.

    Regardless of whether we think about or accept it, it is true that black communities have, for example, been subject to economic disadvantage. The underlying people we are talking about have been affected by many things, often by polices which systematically affect their communities, which form a material social relation. A relation which exists even if we want to take the step on longer using racial concepts or posing them as a reason for anything.

    In other words, it's not a question of judging anyone in term of their race. The point of these descriptions is not to judge the character of anyone based on their race, it's to describe the material condition of society relation to people. White privilege is not to say any given white person is terrible. It's only a description of a material feature of society people find themselves in.

    "White privilege" does often get deployed accusations of character of white people, but that's on account white people denying or ignoring issues of racism within the material condition of society. The privileged have a tendency to ignore of dismiss the concern of the oppressed-- e.g. the poor white person who insists there cannot be white privilege because of their one terrible circumstances and forms defence of white supremacist identity.

    But to be born into an advantage of white (or any other kind) privilege isn't a judgement of character. People just get confused because of how privilege gets raised when they are trying to defend oppressive identities, traditions and social structures (which is why their character is judged to be poor).
  • T Clark
    4.2k
    I personally haven't done anything to a black person that would harm them in any manner. Why do I owe them anything? A lot of others are the same way, what is the point? During the War between the states, a lot of white people died to liberate black people just the same. Why do we owe them anything 200 years later?Waya

    Some reasons:
    • It's not 200 years ago, it's happening every day. Do you really believe that the brutality shown to black people went away with emancipation?
    • I don't know you, so I don't know your particular situation, but white people as a class are given benefits not given to black people as a class. In this thread, we've designated that as "white privilege."
    • Anyway, it's not any privilege given to white people that's the biggest deal, it's the handicap given to blacks.
    • As members of our society, citizens of our country, we share responsibility for the actions of our nation.
    • This isn't a question of whether you "personally haven't done anything to a black person that would harm them." It's whether our society, country, government has and should deal with the consequences of those actions.
    • Even if society weren't responsible for the negative consequences, there is benefit to addressing the issue in a constructive way.

    I am specifically talking about the United States. I'll let others speak for other countries.
  • T Clark
    4.2k
    I agree that a lot of wrongs have been done to a lot of people by various governments at various times, but that's life. Life isn't fair.Waya

    The government, society has a responsibility to address the consequences of it's past and present actions. "Tough toenails" is not a very satisfactory response.

    Again, I would agree that those needless injustices should be compensated for, except that it would be people like you and me indirectly paying for it, which would just cause more hardship for everyone.Waya

    As a wise man once said "But that's life. Life isn't fair."
  • creativesoul
    6.7k
    Sigh...


    'White Privilege'


    I will not deny the importance of focusing upon deep seated institutional racism. There is much knowledge capable of being gleaned about the justice system of the United States from/by looking at actual numbers/cases of police shootings and more movingly... the remarkable difference(s) between criminal sentences handed down along the lines of race to perpetrators of the same crime(s). There are patterns that cannot be permitted to continue. We need productive factual practical discourse regarding race relations.

    I deny that the notion of 'white privilege' is the best way to get there.

    On it's face, the notion itself smacks of exactly what it's purportedly against. Racism is what happens when one judges an entire group of people - on some personal *value* level. Based upon race alone some negative worth/value is attributed. It's - at best - the fallacy of gross overgeneralization, and it is at the heart of racist thought, belief, and/or statements thereof.

    The only thing that all people of the same race have in common is they're people of a certain race.

    The vestiges of full-blown racism is understandable given that cultural integration/acceptance is still new to many people. The overwhelming fear of others that comes is undoubtedly grounded upon the human penchant for war. The scarcity of resources combined with wanting what others have is a thread that binds human history. Brutal killers as rulers. There is a time when it is wise to fear certain people.

    When talking about how to go about change, we can start by realizing that some people you just can't reach. Be very very careful who you place in such a group and how you further describe that group. Some people have hate filled thought/belief/minds/hearts. These people are not rational. They are angry. Walking volcanoes. The mark of rationality/reasonability is the ability to consider(at least temporarily) another viewpoint.

    However, there are minds to be changed and/or otherwise helped. Some reachable people are white. Some of those whites have been taken advantage of - by the system - throughout their own history. Many if not most of those people look out into the world and do not feel privileged.

    Some reachable white people have not been taken advantage of. Some have experienced much privilege. All of those non racist white people - regardless of socioeconomic circumstances - capable of being awakened to the deep seated racism still pervading many communities and governments ought be reached without appealing to fallacy.

    It has never been the case that all whites have equal 'white privilege'.

    There are many white people who could be swayed if they themselves felt better understood. There are many commonalities between the oppressed. Race is one. Not all white people have equal privilege. That's the way it is and the way it has always been.

    However, unless these less fortunate white people had legitimate well-grounded fear of being physically harmed by the police even though they have done nothing illegal/wrong, unless they've felt all alone and in immediate physical danger in a room full of strangers - from the same race, unless they have served much of a life sentence for a crime that they did not commit, unless you could feel the unwarranted unwelcomed stares and comments about your race, unless these things(and much more) were a part of your daily thought/belief and life not by choice...

    ...then you have had the privilege of being a white citizen in the US.
  • Bitter Crank
    8.4k
    If it was, then Germany would be paying the Jews for the Nazi eraWaya

    And they have been paying Jews and the state of Israel - billions of Marks.

    Unless, of course, you extracted it from those with the most resources -- the very small very rich segment of the population that controls most of the wealth in the country.
  • I like sushi
    1.7k
    When people, for whatever reason, choose to single out groups of people due to one arbitrary trait - that bears no real significance - then I choose to tell them they’re oversimplifying matters in order to suit their world view (be it a positive or negative one by my reckoning).

    I see no universal benefit in shifting prejudices and enforcing them in political discourse - it will no doubt remain a concealed weapon used for good and bad in the near and coming future until another kind of prejudice takes centre stage.

    Sadly extreme voices in the world today attract attention because people enjoy a little drama. If humanity as a whole isn’t completely stupid we’ll muddle through.

    Guilt and jealousy are dangerous beasts. The vast majority of people on the planet take their advantages for granted - I guess guilt and greed at least do good in keeping greed in check to some degree.

    The term “race” may be relatively new, but it is irrelevant given that humanity has lived with various internal and external prejudices and biases in all forms of societal interaction - both pre and post civilization. Different ‘religion’, ‘language’, ‘diet’, ‘geography’, etc., are all different iterations of the modern, and fashionable, slight ‘race’ used to undermine groups. It’s just ‘culture’. Culture is not ‘constructed’ by humans in any purposeful sense (other than being honed to serve tribalism - an exaggeration of the underlying nature of human nature put to political use).

    The general conflicts that arise are mostly due to people either wanting to be part of something greater than how they perceive themselves or to be greater than they perceive themselves - both positions seem to be part and parcel of ‘being a human’ and both, upon logical consideration, also seem to be equally futile ... kinda funny really :)

    The conflict of these two contrary perceptions of ‘being a human’ are what makes us both destroyers and creators of our own future, of our own dreams, and of our own hopes, wishes and fears.

    My message is simple enough ... Point the finger if we wish, but remember that whomever we wish to blame, whatever we perceive as ‘holding us back/down’ will cease to be one day. All the people alive today will die - it doesn’t make sense to me to measure my life against what others have and don’t have, about what is ‘fair’ and ‘unfair’. I’m here and that is my singular ‘privilege’ and with such ‘privilege’ comes a substantially greater weight of responsibility to myself and others that makes petty squabbles of skin tones, languages spoken and culinary preferences so mind-bogglingly unimportant it almost makes me hysterical.

    Note: I also find arguments based on individual cases to be pandering to the current sensationalism that perpetuates most media sources today - the age of ‘click-bait’. The generations coming through will hopefully grow up understanding such silly tactics and find themselves falling prey to a whole new set of silly political antics ... and thus the cycles continues :)

    Enjoy fellow humans, remember next time you walk down the street look at people and say to yourself, “They’ll all be dead soon enough as will I. Such is the curious mystery of ‘being human’ so why should I care about singular differences when we’re a myriad of the same thing in extraordinarily differentiated situations and moods.”

    Anyway, was fun writing that now I’m going to depart.
  • T Clark
    4.2k
    it doesn’t make sense to me to measure my life against what others have and don’t have, about what is ‘fair’ and ‘unfair’. I’m here and that is my singular ‘privilege’ and with such ‘privilege’ comes a substantially greater weight of responsibility to myself and others that makes petty squabbles of skin tones, languages spoken and culinary preferences so mind-bogglingly unimportant it almost makes me hysterical.I like sushi

    Yes, petty squabbles such as slavery, disenfranchisement, violence, police brutality, inequitable court systems, generalized suspicion and distrust, job and housing discrimination, etc.
  • Bitter Crank
    8.4k
    They’ll all be dead soon enoughI like sushi

    There are a few who definitely won't be dead soon enough for my satisfaction. I won't begin naming names. Everyone, supply your own list.
  • T Clark
    4.2k
    There are a few who definitely won't be dead soon enough for my satisfaction.Bitter Crank

    Hey, I thought you liked me.
  • Bitter Crank
    8.4k
    May your obituary remain unwritten for a long time.
  • Bitter Crank
    8.4k
    One of the Guardian's list of 10 best jokes at the Edinburgh festival:

    Ken Cheng: The other kids all called me “token” growing up. At least that’s what they put at the top of my Christmas cards. Sure, there was a space between the “to” and the “ken” but the point remains the same.
    Ken Cheng: To All the Racists I’ve Blocked Before is at Bedlam theatre
  • Judaka
    435

    Well, I was not talking about white privilege but identity.

    For white privilege, it's a pernicious and toxic term.

    The first important point is that "white privilege" is not a fact, it's an interpretation of facts. As far as the facts go, they are what they are. Just in the 1960s and 70s blacks were being subjected to very real and overt racism from the government with deprivation of their rights, persecution by police and so on. Opportunities are low, poverty is high, things were very bad only 50 years ago. No matter how good their situation is now, they couldn't possibly now equal the average in America - and the situation now isn't very good anyway.

    Actually, if white privilege was said just like you and I have said it that's already most of the controversy gone. There's still the issue of ignoring all races besides white which are doing as well (or better) than whites.

    Most of the advantages listed in "white privilege" even if they're BASED on facts are malicious in nature. If you're going to talk about the economic advantages of being born white, you've stopped dealing in facts and you've entered the realm of interpretation. White people can be born rich or poor, there's no innate economic advantage in the colour of your skin. There are many such examples of this.

    People talking about white privilege are usually more than happy to throw in unfalsifiable, baseless claims about unconscious racism, hyperbolising the threat of police, including conspiracy theories etc.

    Nobody should ever take "white privilege" as a reputable sociology term, it's rarely offered that way either. The implications are pessimistic and ugly, the term is obnoxious and it's the term is used with unfalsifiable claims and has either depressing or nasty interpretations. It's doing nobody any favours to be introduced to the term and it has literally no value of any kind.

    People only offer sob stories for why the word is needed, when I hear a practical argument for why I should tolerate the term then I'll listen but mostly it's just people giving moral imperatives or being in denial about how the term is not simply describing the facts. I googled " list of white privileges" and took a look at every link on the first page. It's really not hard to find that "white privilege" goes beyond what's factual for many. It's not just white people refusing to accept the facts.

    http://crc-global.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/white-privilege.pdf
    https://www.yesmagazine.org/peace-justice/10-examples-that-prove-white-privilege-exists-in-every-aspect-imaginable-20170724
  • I like sushi
    1.7k
    Are you playing devil’s advocate or making an attempt to mock me? Funny response either way. Thanks for reinforcing my point better than I ever could :)
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k


    So were you going to pony up and suggest a falsifiable claim to talk about, or?
  • T Clark
    4.2k
    Are you playing devil’s advocate or making an attempt to mock me? Funny response either way. Thanks for reinforcing my point better than I ever couldI like sushi

    I'm comfortable that others understood what I was saying, even if you didn't.
  • I like sushi
    1.7k
    I guess ignorance is a soothing balm
  • thewonder
    412

    Okay, I found that interesting. Thanks for going on about it i like sushi.
  • TheWillowOfDarkness
    1.9k


    I already did in my previous post. A social state of privilege or oppression is falsifiable. We make observation of whether it exists on society or not. You could pick any such instance or claim. It's a relation of existing society. We observe in society to test whether it is present.

    Remember, we aren't talking giving some kind of reason as to why a specific causal event occurs, but rather describing the existence of particular social condition. As such, we aren't asking how, for example, one group came to be disadvatged is a certain way or not, but rather making the observation that they are in the given social context. (with respect to specific causes, there are many and varied, but none of them the specfic fact we are talking about here. Just as the cause of a tree growing or not is distinct from giving a description of whether a tree is present).
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    A social state of privilege or oppression is falsifiable. We make observation of whether it exists on society or not.TheWillowOfDarkness

    So "Privilege exists" say. What are we claiming that we are observing or would observe, exactly?
  • ZhouBoTong
    571
    I’m here and that is my singular ‘privilege’ and with such ‘privilege’ comes a substantially greater weight of responsibility to myself and others that makes petty squabbles of skin tones, languages spoken and culinary preferences so mind-bogglingly unimportant it almost makes me hysterical.I like sushi

    Yes, petty squabbles such as slavery, disenfranchisement, violence, police brutality, inequitable court systems, generalized suspicion and distrust, job and housing discrimination, etc.T Clark

    Are you playing devil’s advocate or making an attempt to mock me? Funny response either way. Thanks for reinforcing my point better than I ever could :)I like sushi

    I think maybe you missed something here Sushi? You referred to 'petty squabbles of skin tones'.
    T Clark's response was along the lines of, 'you mean petty squabbles like slavery, etc?' which implied that he thought, that you were saying, that issues like slavery and disenfranchisement were 'petty squabbles'.

    Is that what you meant? How did he reinforce your point?

    Upon re-reading, maybe your point was 'life is tough and none of this crap will matter in a billion years, so EVERYTHING is just petty squabbles'...but that seems a meaningless point...?
  • creativesoul
    6.7k


    Check out The Innocence Project...
  • Waya
    1k
    It's not 200 years ago, it's happening every day. Do you really believe that the brutality shown to black people went away with emancipation?T Clark
    No, of course not. Some of the black people's actions increased racism though. I have found that Booker T. Washington's approach to the issue would have been the most productive and in the long run, reduced racism the most.

    I don't know you, so I don't know your particular situation, but white people as a class are given benefits not given to black people as a class. In this thread, we've designated that as "white privilege."
    Anyway, it's not any privilege given to white people that's the biggest deal, it's the handicap given to blacks.
    I strongly disagree with you here. White people are not given any more privilege than any other human in most places currently. It is more that society has been playing with the minds of black people making them feel like some kind of victim. Sure, they have had some hard times in history, but let's point out the other hard times of other races. In African history, white people were enslaved and severely disadvantaged. Should Africans be assisting white people who live there for all the setbacks they had?



    As members of our society, citizens of our country, we share responsibility for the actions of our nation.
    This isn't a question of whether you "personally haven't done anything to a black person that would harm them." It's whether our society, country, government has and should deal with the consequences of those actions.
    As a country, we must realize that the government is not the people. The actions the government made are now the past, and we must work to prevent it in the future. That is about all that we can or should do.

    Even if society weren't responsible for the negative consequences, there is benefit to addressing the issue in a constructive way.
    It will create more racism, and in fact, already has. We too should dream, as Martin Luther King did, of a day when we won't be considered for the color of our skin, but for who we are. Not all wrongs will be made right, but we can certainly work harder to prevent further wrongs from being made.
  • Waya
    1k
    Satisfactory or not, given the current economic status, that is the most practical solution. We should build people, regardless of race, up with hard work and better values instead of giving them a victim mindset and setting them up to fail.
  • T Clark
    4.2k
    I think maybe you missed something here Sushi? You referred to 'petty squabbles of skin tones'.
    T Clark's response was along the lines of, 'you mean petty squabbles like slavery, etc?' which implied that he thought, that you were saying, that issues like slavery and disenfranchisement were 'petty squabbles'.
    ZhouBoTong

    I'm 67 years old. I have friends who had to ride in the back of a bus. I graduated from high school in a town in southern Virginia in 1969, which is the year it became legal for black and white people to marry there.

    I think @I like sushi knows what I was trying to say. I just have a really different perspective on it than he/she does. That ignorance of or indifference to history infuriates me.
  • T Clark
    4.2k
    Some of the black people's actions increased racism though.Waya

    White people are not given any more privilege than any other human in most places currently. It is more that society has been playing with the minds of black people making them feel like some kind of victim. SWaya

    I can't think of any response to this. I'm just shaking my head.

    It will create more racism, and in fact, already has. We too should dream, as Martin Luther King did, of a day when we won't be considered for the color of our skin, but for who we are.Waya

    I'm sure you're a nice person, trying to do what you think is right, but it makes me sick to my stomach to see you quote that man who gave his life for us. You should be ashamed.
  • Waya
    1k
    Suit yourself. I do not believe I misquoted him. Until you give me something to actually work with, please refrain from merely insulting my person.
  • T Clark
    4.2k
    Suit yourself. I do not believe I misquoted him. Until you give me something to actually work with, please refrain from merely insulting my person.Waya

    You didn't misquote him, you misappropriated his beliefs. And no, I didn't "insult your person." I didn't say anything bad about you. I said something about what you wrote. I'm allowed to do that.
  • creativesoul
    6.7k
    I'm 67 years old. I have friends who had to ride in the back of a bus. I graduated from high school in a town in southern Virginia in 1969, which is the year it became legal for black and white people to marry there.T Clark

    In my own personal recent history, I've witnessed a group of co-workers stand up as a united front - arm in arm - against exactly that kind of unwarranted negative value placement upon another.
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