• Bitter Crank
    8.8k
    How actually privileged are poor white trash? Definition: White, but broke for the last dozen generations; lacking in education, job skills, or helpful social connections. Down and out. Uncultured, untutored, untaught. Lumpen.

    They may think themselves better-by-way-of-skin color than middle class blacks, but nobody--white or black--would consider them "privileged" or would want too much contact with them.

    Real privilege requires wealth--either wealth in hand or wealth in usable heritage. A monk may have taken a vow of poverty, but he has access to a great store of cultural wealth. An indigent person, minimum 5th generation of poverty, like as not has a access to a far poorer store of cultural wealth. Real wealth, usually gained in the dirty pits of wealth accumulation, provides the power to project privilege. No wealth, no projection of high status.

    Getting wealth is a game with a stacked deck. Major accumulation usually requires access to capital, or requires useful inventiveness. Bill Gates, for instance, had both--else he would not have become a titan of software. It takes privilege to gain access to capital. To paraphrase scripture: Those with privilege get more privilege. Those without privilege lose what little they thought they had.
  • Ciceronianus the White
    1.1k
    You really think so? I believe that if the approach is correct, as in those who do not have the privilege ask to work together instead of demanding to strip the privilege of others, a lot could be accomplishedAlejandro

    Consider the enormously rich. The so-called 1%. That presumably will include those with assets worth a billion U.S. dollars or more. According to Forbes, there are about 2100 of them. That presumably also includes those worth mere millions; perhaps that would make the percentage figure larger. I mean those that possess wealth far beyond what they or their families need to live very comfortable lives indeed.

    With few exceptions, they show no sign of sharing their wealth voluntarily. Rather, they accumulate even more. They have so much more than they could reasonably need that I think it would be appropriate to consider them similar to gluttons and hoarders; people from whom little is to be expected but they will continue to accumulate and consume more and more resources and think themselves right to do so. Perhaps I'm too cynical.
  • unenlightened
    5k
    Prive - private or personal.
    Lege - law.

    So if it is the case, for example, that having black skin is in practice reasonable grounds for suspicion, whereas white skin is not so treated, that is an example of law operating differently according to the person, and that would constitute white privilege in the same way that a citizen of Rome had the privilege of appeal to the Emperor whereas the non-citizen did not.

    The notion that simply because the state pays lip-service to equal rights there cannot be in practice any privilege is laughable. As is the notion that poor people cannot have privilege.
  • Ciceronianus the White
    1.1k


    Roman citizenship was extended to all free men in the Empire by the Emperor Caracalla (best known for his baths constructed in Rome) in 212 C.E., by the way. Fun fact.
  • unenlightened
    5k
    Roman citizenship was extended to all free menCiceronianus the White

    But not slaves, so it remains a system of privilege. Oh the irony of your pedantic and irrelevant historical diversion. Never mind understanding what's going on right now, as long as we get the ancient history right.
  • Ciceronianus the White
    1.1k


    Oh the self-righteousness of your pharisiacal and peevish response, your High and Mightiness!
  • Banno
    8.9k
    How do you know that he and his family hadn't earned their position?Hanover

    And if they had, that relieves them of their privilege?
  • Bitter Crank
    8.8k
    Is privilege a burden from which one needs to be relieved? Why would anyone in their right mind wish to relinquish their privilege?

    I've got a little privilege here, got by luck, got by effort, got by the good graces of low-cost state university education, got by immigrants, got by the subjugation of a few aboriginal peoples.

    Celebrate my privilege a little? Sure. Give it up? Nah.
  • Judaka
    708

    How to refer to the groups of race, gender and sexual orientation? They're characteristics and relatively meaningless ones at that. Their meaning, their importance, opinions on them, a responsibility given to them, issues blamed on them, all of it is senseless. There's not much that you can reasonably say about a person based on their skin colour and I don't think races mean much at all in any context.

    Groups are really difficult because characterising them is very subjective and the leftist characterisation is particularly malicious. It promotes the senseless discrimination I despise and there's no payoff.
  • creativesoul
    8.4k


    Serious question here...

    Would any one of you like to be treated in the exact same way as blacks are known to be treated by police and the criminal justice system in the United States of America?
  • Bitter Crank
    8.8k
    Why would anyone want to be treated like blacks are treated on a bad day in the criminal justice system?

    One of the benefits of having some sort of privilege (wealth, education, good environment, etc.) is that one isn't subject to the worst indignities available. It isn't my privilege that is wrong; it's the way the criminal justice system treats blacks that is wrong.

    I'm not so wealthy, so white, so educated, and from so good an environment that I haven't gotten the crappy end of the stick on more than a few occasions. I think I have a pretty good grasp of how blacks have been subjected to not only the criminal justice system. Further, I have a pretty good understanding of how black poverty and disadvantage has been engineered and maintained by contemporary (20th century) systems of real estate, banking, city zoning, urban "renewal" (negro removal), education, and so on.

    The "white privilege" of working class/middle class people like me (and a couple hundred million other white folks) isn't the cause of discrimination against black people; it's the relative result. it isn't white privilege that puts more than 1 in 4 black men in prison (According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, at current levels of incarceration a black male in the United States today has greater than a 1 in 4 chance of going to prison during his lifetime, while a Hispanic male has a 1 in 6 chance and a white male has a 1 in 23 chance of serving time).

    The coordinated 'management' or 'control' of black people grows out of the logic of slavery and post-civil war suppression and exploitation of blacks.

    Over time the consequence was a black population that was deemed essential to industry (off and on) but personally irresponsible and dangerous.

    All that was engineered. It didn't happen by accident. Who did it? The usual suspects: powerful ruling class operators who had and have the capacity to write housing policy (back in the 1930s and following), for example, that was as much about race as it was about square footage and construction codes. It was no accident that whites were sent to new housing in the suburbs, and that blacks were sent to new rental high rises in the city. The policy was to keep the races separate. Putting blacks in even quality rental housing helped insure their lack of wealth later on.

    It was no accident that housing segregation increased after WWII. The federal government coordinated segregation by financing policy and housing codes. State, federal and local planners, zoning boards, city councils, county governments, and states followed suit. So did real estate companies, banks, S & Ls, construction companies, developers, et al.

    It is stupid for us white folks to beat ourselves over their heads for having "white privilege". Our "privilege" is just people's misfortune. If white folks want to do something useful, we can at least try to change the way this fucking society works, and stop nattering about our dubious "privilege".
  • Banno
    8.9k
    Is privilege a burden from which one needs to be relieved?Bitter Crank

    There was a certain ironic intent behind the word.
  • Judaka
    708

    That's not a serious question, it's a dishonest one.
  • creativesoul
    8.4k


    Questions aren't the sort of thing that can be honest or dishonest. It's a serious question. Do you have some issue answering it?
  • Judaka
    708

    Yes, why don't you spell out for me what your question is trying to insinuate?
  • creativesoul
    8.4k


    Would you want to get treated the way blacks in America have been and still are, in many ways, being treated?
  • Judaka
    708

    That's pretty much the same question I just refused to answer.
  • creativesoul
    8.4k


    Do you not know how blacks have been historically treated?
  • creativesoul
    8.4k
    What grounds the refusal to answer?
  • creativesoul
    8.4k


    I'm getting a sense of frustration about the topic coming from your words. No one's asking for white people to beat themselves over the head. Rather, what's being asked for is for everyone to do everything in their power in order to stop the racial injustice towards black people whenever and however we can. Coming from an openly proud and outspoken gay man like yourself, certainly you share much common ground with anyone who has been treated horribly as a result of public norms that did not accept you as you are because of that. I know you can relate to unjust discrimination on many different levels than me.

    So we both know of some problems regarding how blacks have been treated throughout American history. Surely we're also both aware of how other minorities(aside from white males) have been treated here as well. We agree that no one should be subject to such treatment and grave injustice.

    As you well know, white privilege is the result of policy meant to benefit whites. A large part of which meant keeping blacks from being able to freely and publicly intermingle between whites, talk to whites, befriend and/or love whites, etc. This was done under the auspices of freedom of choice and liberty. The freedom to choose the kind of people one wants to be around. In fact, that sentiment of separation ran(and still currently runs) so deep as to be shared through different individual family and/or community members throughout generations in such a way that any individual family member thought and/or believed to be 'too close' to any particular black person would find themselves ostracized from the family as a direct result from breaking with/from the accepted norm. Such belief persists in practice.

    We agree that something needs done.

    American society is evolving in that it's changing, bit by bit, into a more representative form of government. Slowly but surely. Acknowledging that the rules governing the American people were always written only by those with the power to do so is one step we need to take. The overwhelming majority of those folk, at one time, were racist. They nearly all held beliefs surrounding the intentional devaluation of black people based upon nothing aside from the fact that they were black. As before, many held up their own rights of freedom and liberty to value/devalue whatever and whomever they so choose. In the United States, so it is strongly believed, one is free to think and believe whatever they so choose. Acknowledging the fact that the policies enacted by those kinds of racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, homophobic, violent, people have had seriously harmful effects/affect upon those not white, not male, not American 'enough', not heterosexual, not 'us'(in their minds) is yet another step in the direction of the right kinds of change.

    Here's a suggested course of practical action/application...

    When a presiding federal judge first enters the courtroom, sees a black man sitting in the counsel's chair, and immediately assumes that he is the defendant, despite his being appropriately dressed, then it is clear that the system in place includes judges who think the worst about someone simply because the color of their skin is black. When that same black man finds himself arguing in front of the Supreme Court due to his legal acumen/skill, we can also most certainly know that we have judges who are utterly incapable of making fair, impartial, and/or sound judgments about a black man(most likely blacks in general). Such a person is unfit to wield such tremendous power over black people.

    Such a person cannot be granted the power to influence and/or outright determine the fate of any black man, ever again.

    Yes. Yes indeed...

    Let us change the way society works. Illuminating the deep-seated injustices is a step in the right direction. You've helped do this with your last post. Acquiring knowledge of white privilege requires discussion. What we do with it is another matter altogether. The need to shed light upon the racially charged hateful parts of American history, including the systemic racism imbedded into the criminal justice/law enforcement institutions remains until there are no racists. misogynistic, homophobic, xenophobic people left in power.

    Not all whites are racist. Not all racists are white. White privilege warrants careful and attentive discussion, not disdain for it's mention.
  • Judaka
    708

    Your point of view doesn't have a monopoly on sympathy towards the oppressed or hatred towards unfairness. You are not in a position to question my sympathies towards the victims of systemic racism, I believe your purpose is insidious.

    I know of no solution to systemic racism that benefits from the concept of privilege, you have no moral highground, you just have an ineffectual approach and that's me being kind.
  • creativesoul
    8.4k
    Changing the subject doesn't change the question. I'm puzzled here.

    What's so bad about the question? It's not an implied accusation, like when asking someone if they still beat their wife and kids.

    We do agree that racial and legal injustices towards blacks were/are commonplace and need to be corrected, right?
  • Asif
    208
    The vast majority of people I have seen peddling this privilege ideology seem to me to pretty well off themselves and are highly patronising to "victims" they claim to represent.
    Using butchered statistics bogus history and myths to create a problem when there isnt one. There are lots of low income white people who have nowhere near the lifestyle of a middle class black person. Are those black people privileged? Should they be aware and give back some of their privilege to white low income youths?
    The whole thing Is hypocrisy and identity politics so already rich folks can try to further their political aims.
    I dont trust folks who base every discussion on victim and identity politics,or rich celebs, politicians, the middle class and academics talking about oppression.
    Oppression is primarily to do with economics and class.
    And if your rich and middle class and support the elites and corporate capitalism then your arguments stand on thin air and hypocrisy.
  • Hanover
    5.7k
    It was no accident that whites were sent to new housing in the suburbsBitter Crank

    This assumes the work of evil manipulative geniuses. A better explanation is that whites simply chose to move.
  • Hanover
    5.7k
    Would any one of you like to be treated in the exact same way as blacks are known to be treated by police and the criminal justice system in the United States of America?creativesoul

    If I committed crime, no.
  • Judaka
    708

    The question isn't an implied accusation? Then it is simply a terrible question, it is like asking "would you like to be harassed and unfairly imprisoned?"
  • creativesoul
    8.4k


    Like walking black at night, possessing a counterfeit twenty dollar bill, or lying asleep in bed?
  • Bitter Crank
    8.8k
    This assumes the work of evil manipulative geniuses. A better explanation is that whites simply chose to move.Hanover

    The "conspiracy" was entirely open and well documented.

    • restrictive title covenants including bans on selling homes to blacks and Jews in both urban and suburban settings
    • explicit (in writing, found in FHA documents from its creation in the 1930s, and in effect until SCOTUS ruled them unconstitutional, restrictions on lending or selling to blacks in urban and suburban locations
    • zoning rules which established urban 'sacrifice areas' designated for black residents (aka redlining)

    There is ample public documentation; this isn't the work of your conspiratorial evil geniuses, unless you were referencing southern Democrats who, in the 1930s and 1940s, burdened housing law and policy with explicit racial restrictions. These same extra ++ conservative senators also moved to keep domestic and agricultural workers (largely black people) from coverage by Social Security.

    The significance of housing discrimination plays out in the many aspects of life that is heavily influenced by housing policy -- education, for example, and wealth. The white families that bought new housing in the 1930s-1960s in the suburbs were able to use their growing housing equity to further improve their and their children's lives.

    Blacks housed in new rental housing (those big high rise housing projects in Chicago, St. Louis, and other cities) were, of course, unable to accumulate equity. The high rises were generally neglected by the responsible city/county agencies, so... they gradually fell apart. [Some cities took good care of their high rises, and they are still going strong.] The Pruitt (for blacks) Igo (for whites) project in St. Louis deteriorated unusually fast -- not because of poor construction, but because of predation by metal recovery gangs (who ripped out working plumbing, resulting in floods in the building), and the usual gang warfare. The blacks who moved into the buildings thought they were really good housing, and LIKED their units. Still, the implementation of Minoru Yamasaki's design was poor. (Yamasaki also designed the World Trade Center I and II.)

    Any of these books will explain much to you:

    • The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America
    • Manufacturing Decline: How Racd the Conservative movement crush the American rust belt
    • Mapping Decline: St. Louis and the Fate of the American City
    • Abandoned in the Heartland: Work, Family, and Living in East St. Lous
    • Pruitt Igoe (Images of America)
    • Stuck in Place: Urban Neighborhoods and and the end of Progress toward Racial Equality
    • The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit
    • New Deal Ruins: Race, Economic Justice, and Public Housing Policy
    • Chicago Race Riots, July 1919
    • Detroit City Is the Place to Be: The Afterlife of an American Metropolis
    • Not in My Neighborhood: How Bigotry Shaped a Great American City [Baltimore]
    • Demolition Means Progress: Flint, Michigan and the fate of the American Metropolis
    • Tear Down: Memoir of a Vanishing City
    • When American became Suburban
    • Crabgrass Frontier: The suburbanization of the United States
    • Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City [Milwaukee]
    • The Ghosts of Johns Hopkins: The Life and Legacy that Shaped an American City [Baltimore]
    • Once in a Great City: A Detroit Story
    • When Affirmative Action was White: An untold history of racial inequality in the Twentieth Century
  • Banno
    8.9k
    :up:

    What's evident in the replies to this thread, again, is that the privileged do not understand their privilege.

    Seems to me as folk won't listen to the other.
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.