## Privilege

• 21
There has been quite a lot of talk about privilege for some time now and what should be done with it. It has been argued that it should be dismantled so everyone can get the same chances at life. Some have gone as far as denouncing it, citing that the idea of privilege only exists for the white, straight, male. I believe that is important to consider every point of view when talking about this reccuring issue.

Firstly, I firmly oppose the idea that of those who have it, for any reason really, should let go of it. The reason for this is that I see privilege as a truly powerful tool that may very well change the tide when it is harnessed in a way that can create a positive impact. Take, for example, a 100 meter race, in which the first one who crosses the line gets $100. Initially, everyone is standing on the same starting line, however, just before the race starts, those who have privilege (money, race, gender, etc...) get a head start. We have then created our first gap for no apparent reason other than privilege. We are not discussing how was the privilege acquired, some just have it. Now, this is one of the sources of much discussion. If someone gets a head start based on something they had nothing to do with, I would reasonably cry injustice. Now, consider this. Those who get the headstart may very well be slow and lose against their opponents. It is true that they still have an advantage, but this does not determine the winner. Everyone wants to win the$100, and some may have to run less. But we have not determined who the fastest runners are. For all we know, the individuals standing on the same, unprivileged starting line, may be faster and thus, win. This is where I inject my question: What if me, a privileged and slow individual, trade $50 with anyone that teaches me how to run faster and win? I still have my privilege, I am not renouncing it, but now I am using it as a tool from which someone else may benefit. The other 2 ways that I can see this issue being solved is to renounce privilege (in which we all stand on the same line and may the best win the$100) or to let the other groups have the privilege.
This is a repost!
• 28
It's sometimes difficult to see the problems when they don't affect you directly. I would say if you aren't denying that historically people have been the target of systemic repression in some way, you're not being harmful. But the issue falls upon those who do actually deny that it exists. As for the cis white male part, these are the people who have been "the powers that be" for a long time in American history, and it's no secret how it became that way. And that's why I believe diversifying is extremely important.
• 8.9k
What if me, a privileged and slow individual, trade \$50 with anyone that teaches me how to run faster and win? I still have my privilege, I am not renouncing it, but now I am using it as a tool from which someone else may benefit.

Trickling down on the unprivileged... That'll work.
• 560
As for the cis white male part, these are the people who have been "the powers that be" for a long time in American history,

Sure, and we can keep adding qualifiers here: Were these cis white men disabled? Were they trauma victims? Were they ugly? Did they come from single parent households?

There's bound to be at least one thing about everyone that qualifies as "oppressed" the question is whether you take that oppression and make it a part of your identity.
• 8.9k
the question is whether you take that oppression and make it a part of your identity.

Actually, the question is more whether others take that oppression and make it a part of your identity
• 28
I love how you're equating having a disability with being the target of systemic racism. Very American of you.

USA! USA!
• 560

Let's do neither, sound good?

That wasn't my point, but in any case do you think the disabled don't suffer systemic discrimination? Honestly, I think ugly people suffer a great deal of discrimination - is it systemic? Who knows, but it surely happens.
• 8.9k
Let's do neither, sound good?

There's bound to be at least one thing about everyone that qualifies as "oppressed" the question is whether you take that oppression and make it a part of your identity.

So you wish to perpetrate the myth that everyone suffers some form of oppression, and when called on that obvious fallacy you fall back on the pretence that all we need to do is play nice.

Systematic discrimination against people with a disability takes the form of stairs. Removing that discrimination requires that you remove the stairs.

Doing nothing will not suffice.
• 28
Don't misunderstand me here. I absolutely acknowledge disabled people suffer. I just think it's dishonest to lump all of these things into the same category. Especially since you also said ugly people (which is completely subjective) and is not analogous with a system intentionally built to exclude the success of a certain type of people, ie: people of color, women and LGBTQ, not to mention the ones who intersect (black, gay trans women.)
• 8.9k
What's the distinction you wish to make here - be clear; is it that disability is somehow inherent, rather than impose?
• 560
So you wish to perpetrate the myth that everyone suffers some form of oppression, and when called on that obvious fallacy you fall back on the pretence that all we need to do is play nice.

I'm saying that the vast majority - maybe all, I don't know - have at least one attribute which qualifies as "unprivileged." I'm not falling back on anything; I fully own this premise and I'll stand by it.

Systematic discrimination against people with a disability takes the form of stairs. Removing that discrimination requires that you remove the stairs.

Come on, you can do better. We're mostly talking about employment discrimination here - basically, employers not hiring disabled or ugly people because they see them as too big a burden or unfit for the position due to their disability. Of course the stairs are an obstacle and accommodations need to be made, but when we're tlaking about discrimination we're talking about discrimination mostly in the workplace involving employment and promotions, but also fair general treatment.
• 3.6k

In order to have privilege one must first be privileged, or in other words, someone must grant him a special right or immunity. If someone doesn’t grant him a special right or immunity, he is not privileged, and therefor has no privilege. The problem is not necessarily those who receive privilege, but those who grant it.
• 8.9k
Come on, you can do better. We're mostly talking about employment discrimination here - basically, employers not hiring disabled or ugly people because they see them as too big a burden or unfit for the position due to their disability. Of course the stairs are an obstacle and accommodations need to be made, but when we're tlaking about discrimination we're talking about discrimination mostly in the workplace involving employment and promotions, but also fair general treatment.

You might be; talking about employment; that you can ignore issues apart from those you list is your privilege. You get to pretend that the stairs are not the issue.

Others are not so fortunate.

The point here cuts to the bullshit of the OP. You will not recognise your privilege; it must be pointed out by those who do not share it.
• 28
I originally felt that OP was talking more specifically about systemic racism, based on his word usage, but I will extend the same sentiment to people with disabilities and others who suffer in a similar sense. I think saying "qualifiers" demeans the process of getting to the real social injustices when you want to equate very different issues, and that is what I meant to communicate to Carlos.
• 560
I absolutely acknowledge disabled people suffer.

It's not just about suffering, it's likely systemic discrimination as is the case with the ugly.

is not analogous with a system intentionally built to exclude the success of a certain type of people, ie: people of color, women and LGBTQ, not to mention the ones who intersect (black, gay trans women.)

When I hear "the system intentionally built..." I want to ask who made this system? Who can I point my finger at and condemn? What exactly is being talked about here? Capitalism? The legal system? War on Drugs? Policing in general? These are all different things, not one cohesive system. Please specify.
• 28
I guess we all read OP's post differently. Maybe some clarity would help.
• 28
Was there more of a specific issue you want to bring to light so that we can all speak to the same thing? I think there was some misunderstanding.
• 8.9k
I originally felt that OP was talking more specifically about systemic racism, based on his word usage,

How 'merican of you...?
• 8.9k
Irrelevant, as usual.
• 28
the idea of privilege only exists for the white, straight, male

OP started off saying this was the topic, so idk where else I'm supposed to go with it.
• 560
You might be; talking about employment; that you can ignore issues apart from those you list is your privilege. You get to pretend that the stairs are not the issue.

You said "Systematic discrimination against people with a disability takes the form of stairs." This is just wrong because it totally neglects the bigger picture which is the human element to it - the actual stigma held by people around disability. For example, the employer's impression of what people with disabilities are capable of or the potential costs involved to employing them.

For whatever reason you're also just defining "people with disabilities" to people who have trouble with mobility, also.

Stairs are not systemically ableist.

Are drive thrus systemically ableist for people who stutter or have difficulty speaking? How about just any speaking situation whatsoever? Are hills systemically ableist? Should the entire world just be thrown to the flames?
• 8.9k
This is just wrong

Stairs are not systemically ableist.

Bullshit. In the technical sense, of course. But you are perhaps beginning to think...
• 560

I like how you didn't address the rest of my questions because it would have led you to conclude that that basically everything on the planet is ableist.
• 8.9k
Oh, yes; I just cherrypicked your most outstanding errors.

Saying that stairs are not systematical ableist is... well, astounding in its lack of thought.
• 560

Stairs present an obstacle to a certain group of disabled people making them ableist, so is any man-made thing or human convention or practice that presents an obstacle to a certain group of disabled people also ableist?
• 2.8k
People having privilege isn’t a problem. Other people lacking it is. The solution to privilege isn’t to take something away from those who have it, but to give that same thing to those who don’t.
• 8.9k
What do you think? Stairs provide a simple instance of how the built environment systematically privileges certain body-types. It's not something the privileged would even notice were it not pointed out to them.

That's how privilege works.
• 560

Stairs provide a simple instance of how the built environment systematically privileges certain body-types.

True.

It's not something the privileged would even notice were it not pointed out to them.

Also true.

That's how privilege works.

Yes, having the ability to walk is absolutely a privilege. A lot of people don't notice it.

The thing about disability is that it's not only about people with mobility issues... it involves everything from mental disabilities to speech disabilities to emotional ones... all I'm asking for you is to keep flushing out your logic. Your basic logic seems to be "Well, if X (with X being something in society) is easier for those who don't suffer from some disability (let's call that disability Y) then it's ableist." Just formulate your basic logic, please.

By the way, upwards ramps also favor certain body types. Actually, so do normal flat surfaces.
• 5.9k
Some great Socratic instruction going on here @Banno.
• 8.9k
• 3.6k

It is relevant because if someone does not privilege you, you are not privileged. So it is not only unjust to call people who are not privileged “privileged”, it is stupid.
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