is privilege a thing?

  • ohiograppler

    Posts: 8

    Jan 09, 2015 4:11 AM GMT
    So I'm white. Does this mean I have privilege? Do you get any benefits from this privilege?

    Disclaimer: I am dating a black guy who is educated. Parents live in a nice suburb of Columbus, OH. I am guessing they have privilege to?

    Is this all cooked up by sociologists?
  • christastic

    Posts: 376

    Jan 09, 2015 4:47 AM GMT
    I lol at all the fat or old guys who whine that white privilege is a myth... it got cancelled out by being fat duh. A fat black guy will have it far worse than you OP icon_lol.gif
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    Jan 09, 2015 4:53 AM GMT
    Privilege is a term used by people like pazzy to collect welfare checks and make excuses for their failure.
  • sothis999

    Posts: 58

    Jan 09, 2015 2:18 PM GMT
    Depends on where you live. I don't think (almost all) people aged thirty or under really care about race in many places in the U.S. The exception would be the south or in homogeneous small town areas with few minorities, but mostly in the latter case that would apply to all outsiders. There are certain things I realized benefit minority groups, that kind of make it even in my opinion (if not skewed the other way.) Affirmative action is a huge example. Since I have grandparents from Spain, when I was in high school my guidance counselor kept telling me to put down Hispanic on college applications. This is despite my not being able to speak Spanish, being totally assimilated culturally, and living with my mother who has no Spanish ancestry, so on and so on. I always wondered if I was accepted to some of the schools I was, over a more suitable candidate, only to fit a quota of "hispanic" students. Trust me, it isn't a good thought to have in your mind, and if I could go back I think I would have just put down "non-hispanic." Honestly, I think the largest factor of how well a student does is how stable economically, socially, and mentally their parent(s) are/is (not how rich.) A more stable family environment fosters better results. A less stable family environment does not. And I think it is overwhelmingly crucial.
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    Jan 09, 2015 3:50 PM GMT
    In the United States, and I'm sure other parts of the world as well, being born a white male will give you better odds of success (in general) than opposed to any other gender or race.

  • Jan 09, 2015 6:38 PM GMT
    The answer is not black and white (ha, ha) ... j/k .. Check this out ... it's an interesting read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_privilege

    I think one way to look at it .. is to consider the questions:

    ... do you experience male privilege?
    ... if you were straight, would society afford you hetersexual privilege?
    ... do you experience height privilege?
    ... do you experience age privilege?
    ... do you experience economic privilege?

    icon_question.gificon_question.gificon_question.gificon_question.gificon_question.gif
  • Tig3r

    Posts: 139

    Jan 09, 2015 6:49 PM GMT
    Privilege is very much real. I walked into a coffee shop the other day to have a nice cup of coffee, continue writing my story, and to be out of the house, at first the lady looked at me kind of confused (I was the only person of color there) and she proceeded to help the Gentleman behind me first. When she did take my order she ask with a bit of snarck in her voice "Is this for here or to go?"
    Apparently she did not see me taking my laptop out and looking for a place to sit, I say to her "here" and sit near the window. As more patrons came into the shop, the first thing they would look at was me, well excuse me, have you never seen an African American before?

    Some day I would like to go into a shop, clothing store, or even car dealership and not immediately feel out of place or unwelcomed. Not saying that this is exclusively "White" Privilege. When I was in Dallas I walked into a Bear bar and the only nice person was the Bartender.
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    Jan 09, 2015 7:02 PM GMT
    Tig3r saidPrivilege is very much real. I walked into a coffee shop the other day to have a nice cup of coffee, continue writing my story, and to be out of the house, at first the lady looked at me kind of confused (I was the only person of color there) and she proceeded to help the Gentleman behind me first. When she did take my order she ask with a bit of snarck in her voice "Is this for here or to go?"
    Apparently she did not see me taking my laptop out and looking for a place to sit, I say to her "here" and sit near the window. As more patrons came into the shop, the first thing they would look at was me, well excuse me, have you never seen an African American before?

    Some day I would like to go into a shop, clothing store, or even car dealership and not immediately feel out of place or unwelcomed. Not saying that this is exclusively "White" Privilege. When I was in Dallas I walked into a Bear bar and the only nice person was the Bartender.


    You're mistaking bigotry a/o racism for "privilege," which is not the creation of just sociologists, but of liberals of many occupations as another inducement for self-doubt and guilt among those who, for whatever reasons, have succeeded in their lives. Add to that plain old jealousy and envy, and you've got another weapon in the left's Alinsky arsenal for use against those with whom they disagree or don't buy into their leftist line.

    And Pazzy, from exactly what won't ohiograppler be saved???
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    Jan 09, 2015 7:02 PM GMT
    It's real and it's great. I have unfettered access to anything and everything I want. I just flash my lily white face and doors open.

    And sometimes it's just that black pad in front the door I step on that opens it.
  • Tig3r

    Posts: 139

    Jan 09, 2015 7:52 PM GMT
    MGINSD said
    Tig3r saidPrivilege is very much real. I walked into a coffee shop the other day to have a nice cup of coffee, continue writing my story, and to be out of the house, at first the lady looked at me kind of confused (I was the only person of color there) and she proceeded to help the Gentleman behind me first. When she did take my order she ask with a bit of snarck in her voice "Is this for here or to go?"
    Apparently she did not see me taking my laptop out and looking for a place to sit, I say to her "here" and sit near the window. As more patrons came into the shop, the first thing they would look at was me, well excuse me, have you never seen an African American before?

    Some day I would like to go into a shop, clothing store, or even car dealership and not immediately feel out of place or unwelcomed. Not saying that this is exclusively "White" Privilege. When I was in Dallas I walked into a Bear bar and the only nice person was the Bartender.


    You're mistaking bigotry a/o racism for "privilege," which is not the creation of just sociologists, but of liberals of many occupations as another inducement for self-doubt and guilt among those who, for whatever reasons, have succeeded in their lives.


    I think that you are mistaking Privilege for Racism. Never had I said that I felt any of these situations were racist, I felt that they were mostly odd. Why is it that I walk into a store and have to worry about people getting odd stares from the other patrons?

    I had this discussion with a more conservative friend of mine who feels that it is all made up, but too be fair he came from a WASP family. His experience and my experience are two different things. He walks into, say, an upscale watch store. The patron sees an upstanding gentleman of the law trying to purchase a watch for his on pleasure, maybe even collection. I walk into the store (with the intentions to purchase), hmm he is not our "average" clientele, we will keep an eye on him.

    That is not saying that the Watch Establishment is racist in any way, shape or form, but because Media paints a picture of a hierarchy of citizenry in terms of wealth, and sometimes even moral, I have too suffer because I do not meet the more "Positive" Hierarchy.

    People who assume that Privilege is an excuse for not getting something is incorrect. I have never lost our, or gotten a job because of the color of my skin, I get the job because I am the best candidate. If I do not get the job I assume it is because their is someone more qualified than I.

    By the way, I am a Liberal and have studied Sociology at the University Level. icon_wink.gif

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    Jan 09, 2015 8:00 PM GMT
    You must be very stupid ...
  • blueandgold

    Posts: 396

    Jan 09, 2015 8:45 PM GMT
    How is privilege measured or determined? Is it a feeling, a force, a trend? Can it be proven? I know this is kind of a big talking point in certain circles right now and an curious what the consensus is.
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    Jan 09, 2015 8:54 PM GMT
    Yes, it's a real thing. Some people just have better luck or more privileges than others.
  • Tig3r

    Posts: 139

    Jan 09, 2015 8:55 PM GMT
    blueandgold saidHow is privilege measured or determined? Is it a feeling, a force, a trend? Can it be proven? I know this is kind of a big talking point in certain circles right now and an curious what the consensus is.


    There are several studies but can really anything be proven? Did Bill Clinton have sexual relations with that women if he never understands the words "Sexual Relations". "I can only have sexual relations with my wife, as we are in a marriage relationship. My secretary just blew me under a table, but we're not related." (Joke)

    I found a pretty good way to explain it but, alas this is the internet, some will cry foul.

    "t's impossible to deny that being born with white skin in America affords people certain unearned privileges in life that people of another skin color simple are not afforded. For example:

    "I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented."
    "When I am told about our national heritage or about “civilization,” I am shown that people of my color made it what it is."
    "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."
    "I can if I wish arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time."


    This is not said to make white people feel guilty about their privilege. It's not your fault you were born with white skin and experience these privileges. BUT, whether you realize it or not, you DO benefit from it, and it IS your fault if you don't maintain awareness of that fact.

    I do understand McIntosh's essay may rub some people the wrong way. There are several points on the list that I felt spoke more to the author's status as a Middle Class person than a White Person. For example:

    "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."
    "I can be pretty sure that my neighbors in such a location will be neutral or pleasant to me."
    "I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed."
    "If I want to, I can be pretty sure of finding a publisher for this piece on white privilege."


    But luckily my college education introduced me to a more nuanced concept of Privilege; the term Intersectionality. The concept of Intersectionality recognizes that people can be privileged in some ways and definitely not privileged in others. There are many different types of privilege, not just skin color privilege, that impact the way people can move through the world or are discriminated against. These are all things you are born into, not things you earned, that afford you opportunities others may not have. For example:

    Citizenship - Simply being born in this country affords you certain privileges non-citizens will never access.
    Class - Being born into a financially stable family can help guarantee your health, happiness, safety, education, intelligence, and future opportunities.
    Sexual Orientation - By being born straight, every state in this country affords you privileges that non-straight folks have to fight the Supreme Court for.
    Sex - By being born male, you can assume that you can walk through a parking garage without worrying you'll be raped and that a defense attorney will then blame it on what you were wearing.
    Ability - By being born able bodied, you probably don't have to plan your life around handicap access, braille, or other special needs.
    Gender - By being born cisgendered, you aren't worried that the restroom or locker room you use will invoke public outrage.
    As you can see, belonging to one or more category of Privilege, especially being a Straight White Middle Class Able-Bodied Male, can be like winning a lottery you didn't even know you were playing. But this is not to imply that any form of privilege is exactly the same as another or that people lacking in one area of privilege understand what it's like to be lacking in other areas. Race discrimination is not equal to Sex Discrimination and so forth.

    And listen, recognizing Privilege doesn't mean suffering guilt or shame for your lot in life. Nobody's saying that Straight White Middle Class Able-Bodied Males are all a bunch of assholes who don't work hard for what they have. Recognizing Privilege simply means being aware that some people have to work much harder just to experience the things you take for granted (if they ever can experience them at all.)

    I know now that I AM Privileged in many ways. I am Privileged as a natural born white citizen. I am privileged as a cis-gendered woman. I am privileged as an able-bodied person. I am privileged that my first language is also our national language, and that I was born with an intellect and ambition that pulled me out of the poverty I was otherwise destined for. I was privileged to be able to marry my way "up" by partnering with a Privileged middle-class educated male who fully expected me to earn a college degree."

    http://occupywallstreet.net/story/explaining-white-privilege-broke-white-person

    Or a great Essay about the topic:
    http://amptoons.com/blog/files/mcintosh.html
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 10, 2015 3:48 AM GMT
    Oh lord.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 10, 2015 1:22 PM GMT
    Explaining White Privilege to a Broke White Person-
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gina-crosleycorcoran/explaining-white-privilege-to-a-broke-white-person_b_5269255.html

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  • NoFLFitGuy

    Posts: 44

    Jan 10, 2015 2:40 PM GMT
    Tig3r said
    This is not said to make white people feel guilty about their privilege. It's not your fault you were born with white skin and experience these privileges. BUT, whether you realize it or not, you DO benefit from it, and it IS your fault if you don't maintain awareness of that fact.

    And listen, recognizing Privilege doesn't mean suffering guilt or shame for your lot in life. Nobody's saying that Straight White Middle Class Able-Bodied Males are all a bunch of assholes who don't work hard for what they have. Recognizing Privilege simply means being aware that some people have to work much harder just to experience the things you take for granted (if they ever can experience them at all.)



    Then, if white males are not supposed to feel "guilty and shamed" for supposed privilege, then why is the concept used as a veritable baseball bat against us? Anything and everything we may do is never an accomplishment we have made of our own efforts, but always part of the "good ol' boy" network.

    I am a social worker by profession, and every time this topic comes up in my female dominated work circles, it is used as a battering ram, so that the "us" group making the charge can feel better and superior than the evil "them" with "privilege" can be railed against.

    Privilege may or may not exist. But like it or not, in the real world, the concept is used as a rhetorical weapon against white males. And that very use fuels the "reverse racism" movement so many whites in the US feel. That no matter who you are, how you are, why you are, as a white, you will always be a racist/privileged (the connoted meaning is interchangeable in the real world) just because ... well, just because you are born.

    BTW - I have seen many a female or person of color colleague use it to mean exactly that "Straight White Middle Class Able-Bodied Males are all a bunch of assholes who don't work hard for what they have."
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Jan 10, 2015 5:22 PM GMT
    NoFLFitGuy said
    Tig3r said
    This is not said to make white people feel guilty about their privilege. It's not your fault you were born with white skin and experience these privileges. BUT, whether you realize it or not, you DO benefit from it, and it IS your fault if you don't maintain awareness of that fact.

    And listen, recognizing Privilege doesn't mean suffering guilt or shame for your lot in life. Nobody's saying that Straight White Middle Class Able-Bodied Males are all a bunch of assholes who don't work hard for what they have. Recognizing Privilege simply means being aware that some people have to work much harder just to experience the things you take for granted (if they ever can experience them at all.)



    Then, if white males are not supposed to feel "guilty and shamed" for supposed privilege, then why is the concept used as a veritable baseball bat against us? Anything and everything we may do is never an accomplishment we have made of our own efforts, but always part of the "good ol' boy" network.

    I am a social worker by profession, and every time this topic comes up in my female dominated work circles, it is used as a battering ram, so that the "us" group making the charge can feel better and superior than the evil "them" with "privilege" can be railed against.

    Privilege may or may not exist. But like it or not, in the real world, the concept is used as a rhetorical weapon against white males. And that very use fuels the "reverse racism" movement so many whites in the US feel. That no matter who you are, how you are, why you are, as a white, you will always be a racist/privileged (the connoted meaning is interchangeable in the real world) just because ... well, just because you are born.

    BTW - I have seen many a female or person of color colleague use it to mean exactly that "Straight White Middle Class Able-Bodied Males are all a bunch of assholes who don't work hard for what they have."

    The first thing you should do is delete white from your profile. You can't label yourself with a false race then not expect racism. Just say you're not white. It's a social construct anyway, and you give it power by identifying yourself as such.
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Jan 10, 2015 5:23 PM GMT
    Anyone who calls himself white is a white supremacist.
  • Joeyphx444

    Posts: 2382

    Jan 10, 2015 5:29 PM GMT
    What our problem is is that we focus too much on race. What the real issue is here is social class. Economic status, etc is what is creating gaps in the USA. Yes race can have some influence but the socio-economic class overrides that. You think a poor or middle class white family has a better life because they are white over an African-American family who are upper class? You think that most of the upper class African-Americans associates with the lower class, poor African-American community?
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Jan 10, 2015 5:32 PM GMT
    Joeyphx444 saidWhat our problem is is that we focus too much on race. What the real issue is here is social class. Economic status, etc is what is creating gaps in the USA. Yes race can have some influence but the socio-economic class overrides that. You think a poor or middle class white family has a better life because they are white over an African-American family who are upper class? You think that most of the upper class African-Americans associates with the lower class, poor African-American community?

    This is true, but I would go further and deconstruct race altogether. There's no such thing as white or African American. We're all just people. We don't all have to look alike. It's just melanin, after all.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14342

    Jan 10, 2015 5:33 PM GMT
    HottJoe saidAnyone who calls himself white is a white supremacist.
    That is total bullshit Joe. Now don't start with that white supremacist propaganda crap.icon_mad.gif
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    Jan 10, 2015 5:34 PM GMT
    pasfu31 saidExplaining White Privilege to a Broke White Person-
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gina-crosleycorcoran/explaining-white-privilege-to-a-broke-white-person_b_5269255.html

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  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Jan 10, 2015 5:35 PM GMT
    roadbikeRob said
    HottJoe saidAnyone who calls himself white is a white supremacist.
    That is total bullshit Joe. Now don't start with that white supremacist propaganda crap.icon_mad.gif

    What is the purpose of the label white? Only albinos are white. The rest of us have varying degrees of color.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14342

    Jan 10, 2015 5:42 PM GMT
    HottJoe said
    roadbikeRob said
    HottJoe saidAnyone who calls himself white is a white supremacist.
    That is total bullshit Joe. Now don't start with that white supremacist propaganda crap.icon_mad.gif

    What is the purpose of the label white? Only albinos are white. The rest of us have varying degrees of color.
    That is beside the point. There are many white or Caucasian people like myself who proudly identify as white and there is nothing morally wrong with it. It does not indicate any distrust or dislike towards other racial groups.