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What do you think is meant by the term "white privilege?"
31-35, F
3
56 replies
50 views
Nov 20, 2016
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MrBrownstone · 41-45, M
Racism
Invisible · 22-25, M
Senseless guilt
in todays terms.. just being white..
It's a fake term that doesn't exist people just say it to blame their own failures on some racist bs
Nimbus · M
More cream in your coffee at Starbucks?
i think it means.. they dont spit in it :)
danondorf · 22-25, M
Some racist bullshit. Nobody can name me a privilege that is inherent to being white that you doesn't have the same dynamic with another group.
KaliKali · 31-35, F
I just like the word "nitwit," it's fun to say, like "doofus."
danondorf · 22-25, M
Soooo, what do you think white privilege is, what's an example of it, and do you think whites should acknowledge it (if so, why)?
KaliKali · 31-35, F
I'm not articulate to give an answer that I would feel satisfied with, but to first order white privilege is a set of societal norms which provide disadvantages that negatively affect ethnic minorities at a much higher rate than they affect white people. An example of it is the quality of public education. On average white people have access to schools which are better funded than other ethnic groups do. As a result members of ethnic minority groups tend to be at a disadvantage. Yes, I believe white people should acknowledge white privilege. I believe this because unless it becomes something that is acknowledged and accepted as unjust then it will continue to occur.
Something more complex than most people could possibly begin to understand
CaptainCanadia · 36-40, M
Warning, wall of text.

Imagine, if you will, a small house, built someplace cool-ish but not cold, perhaps somewhere in Ohio, and inhabited by a dog and a lizard. The dog is a big dog, something shaggy and nordic, like a Husky or Lapphund – a sled dog, built for the snow. The lizard is small, a little gecko best adapted to living in a muggy rainforest somewhere. Neither have ever lived anywhere else, nor met any other creature; for the purposes of this exercise, this small house is the entirety of their universe.

The dog, much as you might expect, turns on the air conditioning. Really cranks it up, all the time – this dog was bred for hunting moose on the tundra, even the winter here in Ohio is a little warm for his taste. If he can get the house to fifty (that’s ten C, for all you weirdo metric users out there), he’s almost happy.

The gecko can’t do much to control the temperature – she’s got tiny little fingers, she can’t really work the thermostat or turn the dials on the A/C. Sometimes, when there’s an incandescent light nearby, she can curl up near it and pick up some heat that way, but for the most part, most of the time, she just has to live with what the dog chooses. This is, of course, much too cold for her – she’s a gecko. Not only does she have no fur, she’s cold-blooded! The temperature makes her sluggish and sick, and it permeates her entire universe. Maybe here and there she can find small spaces of warmth, but if she ever wants to actually do anything, to eat or watch TV or talk to the dog, she has to move through the cold house.

Now, remember, she’s never known anything else. This is just how the world is – cold and painful and unhealthy for her, even dangerous, and she copes as she knows how. But maybe some small part of her thinks, “hey, it shouldn’t be like this,” some tiny growing seed of rebellion that says who she is right next to a lamp is who she should be all the time. And she and the dog are partners, in a sense, right? They live in this house together, they affect each other, all they’ve got is each other. So one day, she sees the dog messing with the A/C again, and she says, “hey. Dog. Listen, it makes me really cold when you do that.”

The dog kind of looks at her, and shrugs, and keeps turning the dial.

This is not because the dog is a jerk.

This is because the dog has no fucking clue what the lizard even just said.

Consider: he’s a nordic dog in a temperate climate. The word “cold” is completely meaningless to him. He’s never been cold in his entire life. He lives in an environment that is perfectly suited to him, completely aligned with his comfort level, a world he grew up with the tools to survive and control, built right in to the way he was born.

So the lizard tries to explain it to him. She says, “well, hey, how would you like it if I turned the temperature down on you?”

The dog goes, “uh… sounds good to me.”

What she really means, of course, is “how would you like it if I made you cold.” But she can’t make him cold. She doesn’t have the tools, or the power, their shared world is not built in a way that allows it – she simply is not physically capable of doing the same harm to him that he’s doing to her. She could make him feel pain, probably, I’m sure she could stab him with a toothpick or put something nasty in his food or something, but this specific form of pain, he will never, ever understand – it’s not something that can be inflicted on him, given the nature of the world they live in and the way it’s slanted in his favor in this instance. So he doesn’t get what she’s saying to him, and keeps hurting her.

Most privilege is like this.
Invisible · 22-25, M
[quote]For a white person who has done nothing wrong, this isn't really that scary. For a black person, it's terrifying. [/quote]

You just made a whole lot of assumptions. First you assumed that white people aren't afraid of cops (presumably because of their skin color). A lot of people, regardless of race, are afraid of cops. Nobody wants to get in trouble. Then, you assumed that the black person would be afraid of the cop. What a judgement! Let me guess, you imagined that the cop was white in your scenario, didn't you? Not all black people are scared of cops, and it's awful to think that way because it implies that they should be. No one should be afraid of cops.

If I've gained anything from your comments here, it's that you see the world in terms of supposed victims and negligent abusers based on superficial things like race. I'm not going to call you racist, but that way of thinking is what perpetuates the more subtle race issues (i.e. stereotyping) that are actually a problem today.
CaptainCanadia · 36-40, M
@Invisible: Okay, pointing out that race exists is not racist. There are exceptions to every rule, but we are all raised by the same society, and that society defines and codifies race. There are mountains of empirical evidence about how people of different races are treated by people in authority. When I talk about these examples, I am talking about on average or in general. So not one incident, but thousands of them. And in this case, it doesn't matter what race the cop is.

Black people are more likely to be stopped, arrested, convicted, and will receive longer convictions than white people who have committed identical crimes. Because of this, police are threatening, even on routine traffic stops.

There's a famous talk that black parents give their sons about the police that white peopel just don't have to deal with. That's how privilege works. We didn't do anything wrong personally... it's just the society we're in.

The talk: http://gawker.com/what-black-parents-tell-their-sons-about-the-police-1624412625

Edit: Also I appreciate how you seriously want to consider and debate this stuff. We may not agree, but I respect you for that.
@Invisible: I think that what typhoidjerry is trying to say is that for some (not all) minorities, events that people on the other side of the spectrum may find distressful can be downright terrifying.

I say this because as a white man, I have never feared for my own well being in the presence of police sirens. My partner, a LEGAL immigrant, has, and will probably always do so. And she has a right to her fear, given that the police have questioned the legitimacy of her citizenship times before, and that because of this, she has adapted her life and now has a copy of her citizenship papers in both of our cars, because "it's easier that way"

...This alongside many other things I see her go through, and I still don't understand her struggle, only what it's like to watch someone I care about have to succumb to the expectations of those who wield all of the power in this world, but none of the responsibility.
SkiMasksDurag · 22-25, F
Usually its a term used by people who think they are being screwed over by some "system" because they aren't white.
danondorf · 22-25, M
And it's so funny because out of all the societies that systematically fuck you over if you're a minority, white countries are pretty fucking great places.
puck61 · 56-60, M
It's something that some white people say when they suffer from white guilt. I guess black people use the term disparagingly, but basically it's a product of the grievance generation.

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