Does privilege "white wash" Palin's political inexperience and leanings?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 18, 2008 2:49 AM GMT
    ...while holding a double standard about Obama's?

    An excellent essay by Tim Wise, in my opinion, that, amongst other things, really sets up the dichotomy about how white privilege effects how we read Palin's (and McCain's) politics and life circumstances (and forgive them) while the Republican machine tears Obama a new one or minimizes his political capital and experience.

    http://www.redroom.com/blog/tim-wise/this-your-nation-white-privilege

    It so punctures a hole in the bloat of Palin/McCain's mechanics of white washed "expert" and "ready to serve" capital. icon_smile.gif

    A few tidbits from the article:

    "White privilege is when you can get pregnant at seventeen like Bristol Palin and everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of your family is a personal matter, and that no one has a right to judge you or your parents, because “every family has challenges,” even as black and Latino families with similar “challenges” are regularly typified as irresponsible, pathological and arbiters of social decay.

    "White privilege is when you can call yourself a “fuckin’ redneck,” like Bristol Palin’s boyfriend does, and talk about how if anyone messes with you, you'll “kick their fuckin' ass,” and talk about how you like to “shoot shit” for fun, and still be viewed as a responsible, all-American boy (and a great son-in-law to be) rather than a thug.

    "White privilege is when you can attend four different colleges in six years like Sarah Palin did (one of which you basically failed out of, then returned to after making up some coursework at a community college), and no one questions your intelligence or commitment to achievement, whereas a person of color who did this would be viewed as unfit for college, and probably someone who only got in in the first place because of affirmative action.

    "White privilege is when you can claim that being mayor of a town smaller than most medium-sized colleges, and then Governor of a state with about the same number of people as the lower fifth of the island of Manhattan, makes you ready to potentially be president, and people don’t all piss on themselves with laughter, while being a black U.S. Senator, two-term state Senator, and constitutional law scholar, means you’re 'untested.'”

  • silverfox

    Posts: 3178

    Sep 18, 2008 2:59 AM GMT
    That is a great article I sent it to many people I know.....

    I find it so interesting and fascinating to watch people "rationalize" why they are voting for McCain. This campaign isn't about race? What a joke.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 18, 2008 3:19 AM GMT
    It's interesting, too, to listen to why people aren't voting for Obama. It often boils down to "he's too snotty/haughty." Apparently we want dumb white people in office who are just like "us," who reflect a notion of who "we" are, so we don't feel so mundane and inadequate, I guess. But having someone who was a Constitutional Professor and a Harvard and Yale graduate, is too threatening... unless he were White, I'm sure.

    Glad you liked the article. I'd love for it to be spread around to others. I'm just afraid dumb white people won't read it. icon_smile.gif
  • Barricade

    Posts: 457

    Sep 18, 2008 4:15 AM GMT
    Very interesting piece! I enjoyed the comments/discussions at the bottom of the article and how nice it was to read a discussion on race that didn't go in the wrong directions. Alot of good points was brought up. Thank You for sharing that.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 18, 2008 4:43 AM GMT
    VERY powerful essay. This goes along with some points that were brought up on various news programs over the past few days.

    If it was Barack and Michelle, living in Chicago with 5 kids (one being underage and pregnant with the father openly saying that he doesn't want to get married or have kids on a myspace profile)...would the mainstream media (not tabloids) have been as forgiving and portrayed the Obama's as the "average all American family," as they did with the Palin's? Or would it be a slew of comments like "Obama baby mama drama?"

    Should personal family issues be untouched when it comes to politics and campaigning ABSOLUTELY. But at the same time I genuinely don't feel that the media and society would have been as passive or as forgiving if that were his family situation instead of hers.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 18, 2008 4:48 AM GMT
    I got that e-mail as well. I think people need to read the ENTIRE thing. Tim Wise is an AMAZING man. Here's the entire article:



    For those who still can't grasp the concept of white privilege, or who are constantly looking for some easy-to-understand examples of it, perhaps this list will help.



    White privilege is when you can get pregnant at seventeen like Bristol Palin and everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of your family is a personal matter, and that no one has a right to judge you or your parents, because "every family has challenges," even as black and Latino families with similar "challenges" are regularly typified as irresponsible, pathological and arbiters of social decay.



    White privilege is when you can call yourself a "fuckin' redneck," like Bristol Palin's boyfriend does, and talk about how if anyone messes with

    you, you'll "kick their fuckin' ass," and talk about how you like to "shoot shit" for fun, and still be viewed as a responsible, all-American boy (and a great son-in-law to be) rather than a thug.



    White privilege is when you can attend four different colleges in six years like Sarah Palin did (one of which you basically failed out of, then returned to after making up some coursework at a community college), and no one questions your intelligence or commitment to achievement, whereas a person of color who did this would be viewed as

    unfit for college, and probably someone who only got in in the first place because of affirmative action.



    White privilege is when you can claim that being mayor of a town smaller than most medium-sized colleges, and then Governor of a state with about the same number of people as the lower fifth of the island of Manhattan, makes you ready to potentially be president, and people don't all piss

    on themselves with laughter, while being a black U.S. Senator, two-term state Senator, and constitutional law scholar, means you're "untested."?



    White privilege is being able to say that you support the words "under God" in the pledge of allegiance because "if it was good enough for the founding fathers, it's good enough for me," and not be immediately disqualified from holding office--since, after all, the pledge was written in the late 1800s and the "under God" part wasn't added until the

    1950s--while believing that reading accused criminals and terrorists their rights (because, ya know, the Constitution, which you used to teach at a prestigious law school requires it), is a dangerous and silly idea only supported by mushy liberals.?



    White privilege is being able to be a gun enthusiast and not make people immediately scared of you.?



    White privilege is being able to have a husband who was a member of an extremist political party that wants your state to secede from the Union, and whose motto was "Alaska first," and no one questions your patriotism or that of your family, while if you're black and your spouse

    merely fails to come to a 9/11 memorial so she can be home with her kids on the first day of school, people immediately think she's being disrespectful.?



    White privilege is being able to make fun of community organizers and the work they do--like, among other things, fight for the right of women to vote, or for civil rights, or the 8-hour workday, or an end to child labor--and people think you're being pithy and tough, but if you merely

    question the experience of a small town mayor and 18-month governor with no foreign policy expertise beyond a class she took in college--you're somehow being mean, or even sexist.?



    White privilege is being able to convince white women who don't even agree with you on any substantive issue to vote for you and your running mate anyway, because all of a sudden your presence on the ticket has inspired confidence in these same white women, and made them give your party a "second look."?



    White privilege is being able to fire people who didn't support your political campaigns and not be accused of abusing your power or being a typical politician who engages in favoritism, while being black and merely knowing some folks from the old-line political machines in Chicago means you must be corrupt.?



    White privilege is being able to attend churches over the years whose pastors say that people who voted for John Kerry or merely criticize George W. Bush are going to hell, and that the U.S. is an explicitly Christian nation and the job of Christians is to bring Christian theological principles into government, and who bring in speakers who say the conflict in the Middle East is God's punishment on Jews for rejecting Jesus, and everyone can still think you're just a good church-going Christian, but if you're black and friends with a black pastor who has noted (as have Colin Powell and the U.S. Department of Defense) that terrorist attacks are often the result of U.S. foreign policy and who talks about the history of racism and its effect on black people, you're an extremist who probably hates America.?



    White privilege is not knowing what the Bush Doctrine is when asked by a reporter, and then people get angry at the reporter for asking you such a "trick question," while being black and merely refusing to give one-word answers to the queries of Bill O'Reilly means you're dodging the question, or trying to seem overly intellectual and nuanced.?



    White privilege is being able to claim your experience as a POW has anything at all to do with your fitness for president, while being black and experiencing racism is, as Sarah Palin has referred to it a "light" burden.?



    And finally, white privilege is the only thing that could possibly allow someone to become president when he has voted with George W. Bush 90 percent of the time, even as unemployment is skyrocketing, people are losing their homes, inflation is rising, and the U.S. is increasingly isolated from world opinion, just because white voters aren't

    sure about that whole "change" thing. Ya know, it's just too vague and ill-defined, unlike, say, four more years of the same, which is very concrete and certain...?



    White privilege is, in short, the problem.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 18, 2008 5:12 AM GMT
    I'll be honest that I have not read the article yet, but I have seen this all too much. I am exhausted from posting Obama's qualifications over and over again when all people have to do is look it up and read. Then the lady from Alaska appears and instant experience is attributed to her! People assume so much without even looking into it.

    Then up comes the "elitist" and "uppity" crap. I thought about it and looked up stuff .. like his opponents are about 40 times as wealthy, less educated, scandalous backgrounds (bad marriage etc) and HE is the elitist?? It hit me that along with all the other stuff mentioned here that he was being held to an entirely different and hypocritical standard. It is bad enough that he gets smeared with outright lies, but that he has the bias/prejudice to deal with too. The whole double standard thing just blows my mind.

    I don't know what to do anymore. I just hope there are enough people that can look at him in an unbiased way.

    Update. I read the article and this is something I have been trying to verbalize in other forums though I included the whole class bias (wealth privilege) thing too. So yeah it was simple and to the point.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 18, 2008 5:32 AM GMT
    So now I am wondering, why are people totally willing to overlook these short comings, especially vis-a-vis Obama's qualifications? Is it just because they are white? I find that alone to hardly be reason enough.

    What is white privilege based on?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 18, 2008 5:34 AM GMT
    BTW, if anyone asks about experience, here is one of my favorite pages devoted to Obama's very relevant experience ..

    http://www.obamapedia.org/page/Does+Barack+Obama+have+enough+experience+to+be+president%3F

    There is plenty more too if people just open their minds.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 18, 2008 5:35 AM GMT
    Caslon7000 saidWhat is white privilege based on?
    Basically assumptions about race and double standards.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 18, 2008 5:40 AM GMT
    ActiveAndFit said
    Caslon7000 saidWhat is white privilege based on?
    Basically assumptions about race and double standards.

    Are you saying that half the nation is racist that much? ...I am not asking that impertinently; I am asking it seriously. ...The color of Obama skin overwhelms Palin's ludicrous qualifications and family failings that much? ...The mere fact that Palin is a woman totally outshines her lack of experience to some people? ...to women?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 18, 2008 5:49 AM GMT
    Caslon7000 saidAre you saying that half the nation is racist that much? ...I am not asking that impertinently; I am asking it seriously. ...The color of Obama skin overwhelms Palin's ludicrous qualifications and family failings that much? ...The mere fact that Palin is a woman totally outshines her lack of experience to some people? ...to women?

    It depends on what you call racist. But I would say that there is at least a "bias" I think with some people yes, their subconscious fears override the desire to really look at the situation in an unbiased way. Obviously it does not matter with some people. But consider all the craziness just with Obama's name .. even though there is plenty of evidence to the contrary people still think .. muslim -> terrorist. Google it and you will see. I could give more blatant examples from my life in the south where there were racial stereo types but I would almost be embarrassed.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 18, 2008 5:54 AM GMT
    Caslon7000 saidSo now I am wondering, why are people totally willing to overlook these short comings, especially vis-a-vis Obama's qualifications? Is it just because they are white? I find that alone to hardly be reason enough.

    What is white privilege based on?


    A classic essay by Peggy McIntosh on White Privilege:
    http://geekaygee.wordpress.com/2008/06/25/white-privilege-unpacking-the-invisible-knapsack/

    Or, if you'd rather watch a video...
    10 min, but rich socio-historical lecture on White Privilege:


    If you have some time, more Tim Wise on White Privilege:
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 18, 2008 5:57 AM GMT
    This is a stupid article.

    Palin's past and family are a result of SOCIO-ECONOMIC status. Not because she's white.

    And the difference between Palin and Obama is a Republican vs Democratic issue. How many of these "white privilege" points are merely Republicans bashing Obama because he's the opposing party or Republicans highlighting the best of Palin because they know McCain made a really lame choice for VP but want their party to win anyway?

    Yeah Palin's cool cuz she's white. icon_rolleyes.gif If she were black I wouldn't vote for her. Oh wait. I'm voting for Obama.

    And I laughed at this:

    "White privilege is being able to be a gun enthusiast and not make people immediately scared of you.?"

    She uses the gun to shoot animals, not gang bang. Either way it's fuckin retarded, but wtf does this have to do with her race? If Obama shot deer I don't think the press would say "OMG OBAMA IS A GANGSTER HE'S A BLACK MAN WITH A GUN RUN WHITE PEOPLE RUN!"
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 18, 2008 6:01 AM GMT
    jakebenson saidThis is a stupid article.

    Palin's past and family are a result of SOCIO-ECONOMIC status. Not because she's white.


    You can't disentangle SES and racial privilege too well, can you? (When I say "you," I mean "one can/can't".) Like the chicken and the egg. Think about it.

    It is about competition between the parties, I would agree. But I would think you could admit that there are double standards being used here, presumably based on the assumption that Obama's "otherness" adds some emotional weight and stickiness to the criticisms being lobbied his way, while Palin's "sameness" (to the White electorate) allows the positive spin to stay with her - she is looked at less critically by voters because of her many signifiers of being "acceptable." Tie it together with the right continually referring to Obama as "B. Hussein" or "BHO." Calling into question his patriotism based on this, and fear of his otherness. In contrast, Palin is being framed as a Frontier's Woman, much like a cowboy/girl, tapping into our "god-given right" for manifest destiny as White settlers. And her shortcomings are much more easily excused ("spun") by the political right media news makers. And her racially-derived and spun personality (Frontier Woman) gets her off the hook more readily in the minds of voters than does the suspicion ('shifty eyed") derivation cast upon Obama, based on White Privilege.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 18, 2008 6:06 AM GMT
    homonculus said
    jakebenson saidThis is a stupid article.

    Palin's past and family are a result of SOCIO-ECONOMIC status. Not because she's white.


    You can't untangle SES and racial privilege too well, can you? Like the chicken and the egg. Think about it.


    It can be both, but you can't just label it as a race problem with Palin. Most of the places she's lived in the majority was white (Wassila = 85% white, MOscow, ID = 90% white, Couer d'Alene = 95% white). So there's not even a race issue because there's basically no minorities there! If anything, someone could make a claim that she's inexperienced with America's melting pot.

    This white privilege is a cheap shot at her credibility. Let's focus on the real reasons why Palin sucks:

    1. she shoots animals
    2. she is against gay marriage
    3. she has very little experience (much less than Obama)
    4. Her socio-economic status brought her up
    5. She's retarded

    Nothing to do with her being white. Everything to do with her sucking at life.


  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 18, 2008 6:07 AM GMT
    jakebenson saidShe uses the gun to shoot animals, not gang bang. Either way it's fuckin retarded, but wtf does this have to do with her race? If Obama shot deer I don't think the press would say "OMG OBAMA IS A GANGSTER HE'S A BLACK MAN WITH A GUN RUN WHITE PEOPLE RUN!"

    So, how did you come up with this example? That is white person with gun -> NRA member and hunter vs. Black person with gun -> Gang banger/thug ?

    It has to do with what some people expect or subconscious perception. It doesn't have to be a blatant thing, just enough to make a certain fringe of the population afraid and suspicious.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 18, 2008 6:13 AM GMT
    ActiveAndFit said
    jakebenson saidShe uses the gun to shoot animals, not gang bang. Either way it's fuckin retarded, but wtf does this have to do with her race? If Obama shot deer I don't think the press would say "OMG OBAMA IS A GANGSTER HE'S A BLACK MAN WITH A GUN RUN WHITE PEOPLE RUN!"

    So, how did you come up with this example? That is white person with gun -> NRA member and hunter vs. Black person with gun -> Gang banger/thug ?


    Because this is EXACTLY what the undertones are in this "white privilege" article. This point presupposes that American's will stereotype a white person with a gun = they are protecting themselves, and a black person with a gun = they are hurting others. So I used the example based on this stereotype. But this point in the article simply addresses a general stereotype while Palin's gun experience is with shooting animals, which is a very specific circumstance. If Obama did the same thing I bet you your left testicle that no one would care. No one would claim he's bad because he's black and owns a gun. No one.

    Keep in mind I am not defending Palin. She's being put on a pedestal by Republicans because they know their party is fucked if they focus on how unexperienced she is. White privilege exists, but in this case it's Republican privilege and socio-privilege.

    This is funny btw (loving Matt Damon right now):


  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 18, 2008 6:22 AM GMT
    jakebenson saidBecause this is EXACTLY what the undertones are in this "white privilege" article. This point presupposes that American's will stereotype a white person with a gun = they are protecting themselves, and a black person with a gun = they are hurting others. So I used the example based on this stereotype. But this point in the article simply addresses a general stereotype while Palin's gun experience is with shooting animals, which is a very specific circumstance. If Obama did the same thing I bet you your left testicle that no one would care. No one would claim he's bad because he's black and owns a gun. No one.

    Well yeah, some wouldn't care. We are in the 21st century, but there are some people who think that way. You are a newer generation and maybe from a different area where you have more exposure, but you still are aware that that stereotype exists. Some people (depending on where you are) will cut you some slack depending on how you look, but at the same time make assumptions about what you are like if you look different.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 18, 2008 6:24 AM GMT
    ActiveAndFit said
    jakebenson saidBecause this is EXACTLY what the undertones are in this "white privilege" article. This point presupposes that American's will stereotype a white person with a gun = they are protecting themselves, and a black person with a gun = they are hurting others. So I used the example based on this stereotype. But this point in the article simply addresses a general stereotype while Palin's gun experience is with shooting animals, which is a very specific circumstance. If Obama did the same thing I bet you your left testicle that no one would care. No one would claim he's bad because he's black and owns a gun. No one.

    Well yeah, some wouldn't care. We are in the 21st century, but there are some people who think that way. You are a newer generation and maybe from a different area where you have more exposure, but you still are aware that that stereotype exists. Some people (depending on where you are) will cut you some slack depending on how you look, but at the same time make assumptions about what you are like if you look different.


    It never occurred to me that anyone would assume a black man with a hunting gun would use it in a gang. You're generation must be really fucked up if a lot of people think that way. icon_lol.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 18, 2008 6:26 AM GMT
    jakebenson said

    It can be both, but you can't just label it as a race problem with Palin. Most of the places she's lived in the majority was white (Wassila = 85% white, MOscow, ID = 90% white, Couer d'Alene = 95% white). So there's not even a race issue because there's basically no minorities there! If anything, someone could make a claim that she's inexperienced with America's melting pot.



    I think you might be understanding the article as calling her explicitly racist - although we all really are racist, it's impossible to escape it - since you're quoting the % of white people where she had lived. See my updated post above - the article is referring to the double standards being used to contrast "BHO" to Palin, and the assumptions underlying the dichotomy that might also be permitting the double standard to stick, relatively free from criticism.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 18, 2008 6:30 AM GMT
    jakebenson saidKeep in mind I am not defending Palin. She's being put on a pedestal by Republicans because they know their party is fucked if they focus on how unexperienced she is. White privilege exists, but in this case it's Republican privilege and socio-privilege.
    Well this is a good point but consider how the demographics fall between republican and democrats ..

    minority ......................................................... white
    less wealthy .................................................. wealthy
    Women............................................................Men
    <--------------------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Democrat.....................................................Republican

    That is more or less how the groups fall, not perfectly but more or less.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 18, 2008 6:34 AM GMT
    jakebenson saidIt never occurred to me that anyone would assume a black man with a hunting gun would use it in a gang. You're generation must be really fucked up if a lot of people think that way. icon_lol.gif

    Well consider that it has only been 50 years ago that there was segregation, back of the bus, use the back door, drink from a different water fountain. I am not that old, but when I moved to the south from California as a child, I caught the tail end of it. It was like going back in time from the hippie west coast icon_lol.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 18, 2008 6:35 AM GMT
    ActiveAndFit said
    jakebenson saidKeep in mind I am not defending Palin. She's being put on a pedestal by Republicans because they know their party is fucked if they focus on how unexperienced she is. White privilege exists, but in this case it's Republican privilege and socio-privilege.
    Well this is a good point but consider how the demographics fall between republican and democrats ..

    minority ......................................................... white
    less wealthy .................................................. wealthy
    Women............................................................Men
    <--------------------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Democrat.....................................................Repub

    That is more or less how the groups fall, not perfectly but more or less.


    Considering the percentage of how many black people voted for Obama vs Hillary was much greater than percentage of how many the white people that voted for Hillary vs Obama, I can claim that Obama has black privilege among black voters. How will that fit in with your diagram? Sounds like it's just as logical as white people voting for Palin right? So who is being benevolent towards their own people now?

    Palin is being put on the Pedestal by Republicans because she is Republican. The fact that she is a woman goes against your diagram. I'd like to see you address the women issue despite Republicans being mostly men, because this point is contrary to your claim. If anything, one could say she's enjoying FEMALE privilege because even a group of people that are normally MALE-dominant are fully supporting her.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 18, 2008 6:44 AM GMT
    jakebenson saidConsidering the percentage of how many black people voted for Obama vs Hillary was much greater than percentage of how many the white people that voted for Hillary vs Obama, I can claim that Obama has black privilege among black voters. How will that fit in with your diagram?
    Since they were both democrats it would not fit a democrat vs. republican. I am not sure what percentages voted for either, but I would guess most black people would not have that bias against themselves and would therefore be more open to vote for Obama. Also maybe people that have actually experienced bias from a certain group would feel less threatened and more trusting of someone who also experienced the same thing.

    P.S. Maybe people in general just saw Obama as representing change more than Hillary. Don't discount all the "pros" that people in general see in Obama.