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Old 06-03-2009, 07:37 AM   #1
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Default OT: White Privilege

Since many of you don't think it exists, and while it's related to racism in general, I thought a new thread was in order. Here's a section from a somewhat dated essay by Peggy MacIntosh (a white woman) to get the fuel burning. I know this will probably upset some, but so be it.
http://www.amptoons.com/blog/files/mcintosh.html
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Daily effects of white privilege

I decided to try to work on myself at least by identifying some of the daily effects of white privilege in my life. I have chosen those conditions that I think in my case attach somewhat more to skin-color privilege than to class, religion, ethnic status, or geographic location, though of course all these other factors are intricately intertwined. As far as I can tell, my African American coworkers, friends, and acquaintances with whom I come into daily or frequent contact in this particular time, place and time of work cannot count on most of these conditions.

1. I can if I wish arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time.

2. I can avoid spending time with people whom I was trained to mistrust and who have learned to mistrust my kind or me.

3. If I should need to move, I can be pretty sure of renting or purchasing housing in an area which I can afford and in which I would want to live.

4. I can be pretty sure that my neighbors in such a location will be neutral or pleasant to me.

5. I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed.

6. I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented.

7. When I am told about our national heritage or about "civilization," I am shown that people of my color made it what it is.

8. I can be sure that my children will be given curricular materials that testify to the existence of their race.

9. If I want to, I can be pretty sure of finding a publisher for this piece on white privilege.

10. I can be pretty sure of having my voice heard in a group in which I am the only member of my race.

11. I can be casual about whether or not to listen to another person's voice in a group in which s/he is the only member of his/her race.

12. I can go into a music shop and count on finding the music of my race represented, into a supermarket and find the staple foods which fit with my cultural traditions, into a hairdresser's shop and find someone who can cut my hair.

13. Whether I use checks, credit cards or cash, I can count on my skin color not to work against the appearance of financial reliability.

14. I can arrange to protect my children most of the time from people who might not like them.

15. I do not have to educate my children to be aware of systemic racism for their own daily physical protection.

16. I can be pretty sure that my children's teachers and employers will tolerate them if they fit school and workplace norms; my chief worries about them do not concern others' attitudes toward their race.

17. I can talk with my mouth full and not have people put this down to my color.

18. I can swear, or dress in second hand clothes, or not answer letters, without having people attribute these choices to the bad morals, the poverty or the illiteracy of my race.

19. I can speak in public to a powerful male group without putting my race on trial.

20. I can do well in a challenging situation without being called a credit to my race.

21. I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group.

22. I can remain oblivious of the language and customs of persons of color who constitute the world's majority without feeling in my culture any penalty for such oblivion.

23. I can criticize our government and talk about how much I fear its policies and behavior without being seen as a cultural outsider.

24. I can be pretty sure that if I ask to talk to the "person in charge", I will be facing a person of my race.

25. If a traffic cop pulls me over or if the IRS audits my tax return, I can be sure I haven't been singled out because of my race.

26. I can easily buy posters, post-cards, picture books, greeting cards, dolls, toys and children's magazines featuring people of my race.

27. I can go home from most meetings of organizations I belong to feeling somewhat tied in, rather than isolated, out-of-place, outnumbered, unheard, held at a distance or feared.

28. I can be pretty sure that an argument with a colleague of another race is more likely to jeopardize her/his chances for advancement than to jeopardize mine.

29. I can be pretty sure that if I argue for the promotion of a person of another race, or a program centering on race, this is not likely to cost me heavily within my present setting, even if my colleagues disagree with me.

30. If I declare there is a racial issue at hand, or there isn't a racial issue at hand, my race will lend me more credibility for either position than a person of color will have.

31. I can choose to ignore developments in minority writing and minority activist programs, or disparage them, or learn from them, but in any case, I can find ways to be more or less protected from negative consequences of any of these choices.

32. My culture gives me little fear about ignoring the perspectives and powers of people of other races.

33. I am not made acutely aware that my shape, bearing or body odor will be taken as a reflection on my race.

34. I can worry about racism without being seen as self-interested or self-seeking.

35. I can take a job with an affirmative action employer without having my co-workers on the job suspect that I got it because of my race.

36. If my day, week or year is going badly, I need not ask of each negative episode or situation whether it had racial overtones.

37. I can be pretty sure of finding people who would be willing to talk with me and advise me about my next steps, professionally.

38. I can think over many options, social, political, imaginative or professional, without asking whether a person of my race would be accepted or allowed to do what I want to do.

39. I can be late to a meeting without having the lateness reflect on my race.

40. I can choose public accommodation without fearing that people of my race cannot get in or will be mistreated in the places I have chosen.

41. I can be sure that if I need legal or medical help, my race will not work against me.

42. I can arrange my activities so that I will never have to experience feelings of rejection owing to my race.

43. If I have low credibility as a leader I can be sure that my race is not the problem.

44. I can easily find academic courses and institutions which give attention only to people of my race.

45. I can expect figurative language and imagery in all of the arts to testify to experiences of my race.

46. I can chose blemish cover or bandages in "flesh" color and have them more or less match my skin.

47. I can travel alone or with my spouse without expecting embarrassment or hostility in those who deal with us.

48. I have no difficulty finding neighborhoods where people approve of our household.

49. My children are given texts and classes which implicitly support our kind of family unit and do not turn them against my choice of domestic partnership.

50. I will feel welcomed and "normal" in the usual walks of public life, institutional and social.
Edit: I don't necessarily agree with each one, but the spirit here is that privilege is largely invisible, and people have trouble acknowledging privilege (esp. poor white folk, of which I belong) because they believe it down plays their successes.
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Old 06-03-2009, 07:38 AM   #2
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Long list .........
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Old 06-03-2009, 07:39 AM   #3
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Old 06-03-2009, 07:42 AM   #4
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Old 06-03-2009, 07:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pseudofool View Post
Since many of you don't think it exists, and while it's related to racism in general, I thought a new thread was in order. Here's a section from a somewhat dated essay by Peggy MacIntosh (a white woman) to get the fuel burning. I know this will probably upset some, but so be it.
http://www.amptoons.com/blog/files/mcintosh.html

Edit: I don't necessarily agree with each one, but the spirit here is that privilege is largely invisible, and people have trouble acknowledging privilege (esp. poor white folk, of which I belong) because they believe it down plays their successes.

Why couldnt you keep this in the other thread?
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Old 06-03-2009, 07:51 AM   #6
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I hate this ****.
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Old 06-03-2009, 07:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lex View Post
Why couldnt you keep this in the other thread?
to make you ask questions ......looks like it worked
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Old 06-03-2009, 07:52 AM   #8
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Black Privilege: I got shot fitty times so now I get to be a millionaire yelling out b****es and skeet skeet skeet!
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Old 06-03-2009, 08:06 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lex View Post
Why couldnt you keep this in the other thread?
If it's a problem, ask a mod to delete it (or can I do it?). As threads tend to grow in length it tends to marginalize people from taking part in the discussion.
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Old 06-03-2009, 08:09 AM   #10
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You shouldn't delete the thread. It's an honest discussion. If people get all butt hurt by it, then it's their problem. Not yours.

Ofcourse that doesn't mean they cannot make fun of you for it either. I personally appreciate people that will stick their neck out there.
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Old 06-03-2009, 08:11 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pseudofool View Post
If it's a problem, ask a mod to delete it (or can I do it?). As threads tend to grow in length it tends to marginalize people from taking part in the discussion.
It just more difficult to keep track of one discussion that is occurring over multiple threads.
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Old 06-03-2009, 08:16 AM   #12
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Quote:
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It just more difficult to keep track of one discussion that is occurring over multiple threads.
Sure, but those threads have fallen into other specifics of AA and race; I felt this was a unique enough topic.
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Old 06-03-2009, 08:18 AM   #13
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On topic, I think numbers 19-21 are some of the most important on the list. Number 46 shows the age of the article I think, as there are a variety of flesh colored bandaids these days, I believe.
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Old 06-03-2009, 08:25 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pseudofool View Post
On topic, I think numbers 19-21 are some of the most important on the list. Number 46 shows the age of the article I think, as there are a variety of flesh colored bandaids these days, I believe.
I get the point of the article, but quite a few of these are dated.....at least in my experience. Many of these really aren't issues anymore, and if the individual still feels they are, it's because of their own personal insecurities or what they were taught growing up by others.....they are not based on actual events or behaviors of "white America" towards them during their life.
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Old 06-03-2009, 08:26 AM   #15
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Does anyone remember this?

http://www.susps.org/ibq1998/discuss/choked.html

And then a few years later there was this news item that kind of explained managements direction in the first link:

http://www.susps.org/


---

Before considering the advancement of one cause, its best to consider the trade offs. This episode with the Sierra Club is a good example of how overrun by PC thinking people have become.
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Old 06-03-2009, 08:27 AM   #16
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I think we can all agree that if you look for racism in a situation, you can find it. I can find racism against whites on a daily basis just the same.. if I look hard enough.

Ultimately the question has no answer though, it's all perspective. I see that a large majority of prisoners in this country are black and that will undoubtedly hurt their average standing in society. Blacks, on the other side, see that they're being unfairly targeted and it's not their fault that so many are in jail. It goes round and round.
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Old 06-03-2009, 08:30 AM   #17
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19. I can speak in public to a powerful male group without putting my race on trial.

20. I can do well in a challenging situation without being called a credit to my race.

21. I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group.


I consider these all problems. They really do exist in perception. It important to remember these IMO. Who really thinks when they see Barak speak that he speaks for an entire race of people? He does, but no one ethnic group within that race. Now when he was elected, SJ for example, said that his parents finally felt like they were a part of the country. So it would seem on some level that this goes both ways. Meaning white and black Americans feel like leaders that are black speak for the black "race". It's strange to me at this age. But I must admit when I was younger I had this same thought process..
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Old 06-03-2009, 08:31 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garcia Bronco View Post
You shouldn't delete the thread. It's an honest discussion. If people get all butt hurt by it, then it's their problem. Not yours.

Ofcourse that doesn't mean they cannot make fun of you for it either. I personally appreciate people that will stick their neck out there.
don't stick your neck out too far, you might get throat punched
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Old 06-03-2009, 08:31 AM   #19
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Being white is cool.
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Old 06-03-2009, 08:32 AM   #20
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Somewhere the guy with the michael young avatar's head is exploding
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Old 06-03-2009, 08:32 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garcia Bronco View Post
19. I can speak in public to a powerful male group without putting my race on trial.

20. I can do well in a challenging situation without being called a credit to my race.

21. I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group.


I consider these all problems. They really do exist in perception. It important to remember these IMO. Who really thinks when they see Barak speak that he speaks for an entire race of people? He does, but no one ethnic group within that race. Now when he was elected, SJ for example, said that his parents finally felt like they were a part of the country. So it would seem on some level that this goes both ways. Meaning white and black Americans feel like leaders that are black speak for the black "race". It's strange to me at this age. But I must admit when I was younger I had this same thought process..
everyone does .......
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Old 06-03-2009, 08:40 AM   #22
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I can if I wish beat myself up about old crap that happened and take a narrow view of History focusing only on one part.

I can if I wish put people on a level playing field. Treat them all as I wish to be treated, and not feel guilty about it.

Racism-It is awesome compared to Liberia.
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Old 06-03-2009, 08:47 AM   #23
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I can if I wish put people on a level playing field.
How? Are you suggesting that we all start out on a level playing field? Really?
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Old 06-03-2009, 08:57 AM   #24
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Quote:
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How? Are you suggesting that we all start out on a level playing field? Really?
Life is not about where you start now is it. Everyone has some Behind the music sob story. And I really don't care. You get ahead by where you go not where you came from.

If you treat everyone in your life with a level playing field this becomes a nonissue.
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Old 06-03-2009, 09:09 AM   #25
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Isn't awesome being white? Universally revered, unequivicolly awesome, rolling in cash, secret whitey meetings on how to oppress people and the whole secret to immortality thing we have. "Like whites, if I could be like whites..."

Or I was dirt poor growing up. So poor we had to J-O the dog to feed the cat so take this race baiting bull**** and shove it.
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