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> o yee of little pigment: the white privilege thread
girltrouble
post Mar 26 2008, 07:39 AM
Post #41


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girl bomb! i need to go to work and i promised i wouldn't post i'd just read, but !!!!

i hearts me some girlbomb! longtime no see, chickie!!!!<3<4<5...<99<100!


--------------------

"what a swell farewell party! we said goodbye to everything, including the lining in my stomach." - garvey, from the film, born bad

"That's one career all females have in common, whether we like it or not: being a woman. Sooner or later, we've got to work at it, no matter how many other careers we've had or wanted." --margo channing, all about eve
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girlbomb
post Mar 26 2008, 06:56 AM
Post #42


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Statistically speaking, there's a 99.9 percent chance that every time people start talking about white privilege, a white person will start clamoring about how it doesn't exist.
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Mr Pugs
post Mar 26 2008, 05:17 AM
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Back at ya GT! It's a shame that LMP has a hard time un-attaching her feelings from a discussion. When she's upset about something, it shows in her posts (and PMs). It is definately a sore and uncomfortable subject. I'm just happy that we can all discuss and disagree without resorting to namecalling.

QUOTE
we have two people heading to your average bank, these two people have exactly the same credit history.
the only thing that is different is the color of their skin.
if it is a business, house or personal loan, the black person will be required to have more collateral. their loan rate will be higher-- they will have to pay more for the same amount.

if they those same people are selling their house-- if they so much as display a photo with blacks in it, their house will be appraised as worth less.


Granted that this does happen, but I do take issue with the will part of your statement. It implies that happens 100% of the time, that it is all encompassing. I took out a personal loan to help us pay down our debt. I did it online. It didn't ask me my race. I never saw a person to get the money...I put in my social, set up the payment amount and date and in a week my check came in the mail.

QUOTE
these preconceptions-- a lot of it is in our sort of cultural milk-- those stories we tell each other, in our writing, television, songs and conversation.


Yes, but whites aren't the only ones who do this. While you do admit that everybody is prejudiced, in my personal experience, you are the exception with your race.
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anna k
post Mar 25 2008, 09:07 PM
Post #44


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QUOTE
I believe it was Jamie Foxx who did a standup bit about white people. Whenever he talked as the white person, he was either a nerdy sounding guy, or a redneck


It was probably D.L. Hughley. I can't stand the nerdy white guy voice he does.
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girltrouble
post Mar 25 2008, 05:31 PM
Post #45


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this is going to be my last post on this topic for a while. i wish it wasn't but i can't seem to shut up. i think in tangents and when try i explain things in my head, i end up going all over. consequently researching and writing one of these posts takes me hours. i start a new job tomorrow and i have to get so much done before that so... this is it. i have to say, to all the busties i really appreciate your part in the conversation. much of this has been floating around in my head-- i tend to hear, read and find stats and information and i have no place to focus it. thank you for challenging me, you rock. the last conversation i remember enjoying so much, was when we were talking about guns and busties were defending the right to bear arms. my apologies for hogging the thread. a special thank you mr. pugs for asking some brave questions. you have my admiration.
-gt

****************

when i was in junior high i came across one of my mom's books, it was called lying with statistics, it was so interesting to me, it showed how if one had enough of an agenda you could skew almost any statistics, the main way of doing it was to narrow the results, say by date or duration to get the result you wanted. but you could tell that the statistics were manipulated, they were often rather truncated. but before you even look at that, agenda-- the name and reputation of the people doing the study, and their reasons for doing the study are often early indicators. i tend to trust university studies, since most of the leg work is done by teachers assistants and graduate students working on their thesis. more often than not, they are more prone to throw out stats that contradict their point, rather than "massage" them.

think tanks on the other hand often start with a certain dogma, and build their case around it, manipulating facts as they go.

**************
you seem to think that there is some other reason behind the loans than race. and i think most people might be inclined to give them the benefit of a doubt, but as i said:

we have two people heading to your average bank, these two people have exactly the same credit history.
the only thing that is different is the color of their skin.
if it is a business, house or personal loan, the black person will be required to have more collateral. their loan rate will be higher-- they will have to pay more for the same amount.

if they those same people are selling their house-- if they so much as display a photo with blacks in it, their house will be appraised as worth less.

i think, however you bring up some good points, many banks would say that they give blacks a higher rate because their default rate is higher. which is valid, but you have to ask the converse side of that, which is are blacks defaulting at a higher rate because they are being made to pay more for the same money. it ends up being a self-fulfilling prophesy. which came first, the chicken or the egg? i can't tell you, but when you look at the stats for all of the ARMs going belly up, many of them are black families who were given rates that were higher than even whites with the same kind of loans. there have already been charges of race targeting.

*******
when talking about racial perceptions, i think we are on the same page-- when i say that asians, say get a benefit from how they are viewed, i am in no way saying that every single one of them is smart-- but all the same they do get the benefit of the doubt, we tend to think that they are until proven otherwise. and of course it's opposite is true, when talking about blacks or latinos, we tend to buy into the stereotypes, until proven otherwise.

these preconceptions-- a lot of it is in our sort of cultural milk-- those stories we tell each other, in our writing, television, songs and conversation.

another damned definition:

archetype:
1. An original model or type after which other similar things are patterned; a prototype: "'Frankenstein' . . . 'Dracula' . . . 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' . . . the archetypes that have influenced all subsequent horror stories" (New York Times).
2. An ideal example of a type; quintessence: an archetype of the successful entrepreneur.
3. In Jungian psychology, an inherited pattern of thought or symbolic imagery derived from the past collective experience and present in the individual unconscious.
(am. heritage dict.)

i like all three of these definitions, the first because it makes all of the concepts of the third definiton clear and obvious. (ok, it's that and i am a huge fan of jungian and freudian psychology in reading film symbols). if you are familiar with the power of myth by joseph campbell (or the tv series w/ bill moyers)then you know the basics. we talk to each other in kind of a language of common dreams. think of it like pop culture. let's take a show like southpark, a show that i rarely watch, but if i mimic one of the show's charecters, and say "respect my auth-or-it-tie!" most people have a picture in their head:

it is a way of short hand, the same as stereotypes. they call to mind a specific image. these images are, these ideas, these archetypes are created by repetition. lets go back to that character pretending to be a cop, cartman (i think that's his name) resembles a fascistic prison guard iin the film cool hand luke. that's how it works. we see things from several different places, many times, which confirms our assumptions. ta-da we have a prejudice!

so when we see these symbols we already know what they mean, no thinking required. prejudice is the same thing-- a person's race-- their skin and features become short hand for our fears.


--------------------

"what a swell farewell party! we said goodbye to everything, including the lining in my stomach." - garvey, from the film, born bad

"That's one career all females have in common, whether we like it or not: being a woman. Sooner or later, we've got to work at it, no matter how many other careers we've had or wanted." --margo channing, all about eve
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Mr Pugs
post Mar 25 2008, 01:14 PM
Post #46


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Statistics are a funny thing. We've all heard the statistic that you're more likely to get in a car accident within 10 miles of your home. Interesting. Most of us only drive within 10 miles of our home. Those who don't, home is the main place you go to. You leave home, go to work. Go home. Go to the store. Go home. You're near your home more than anywhere else. That's the reason behind the number of accidents in the statistic. I wasn't saying that the statistics you gave were skewed, but there are unlimited variables affecting the outcome. Are the interest rates higher on loans to blacks because they have a higher default rate? If it's true, why do they have a higher default rate? Do they work in a manufacturing plant that has frequent lay-offs? I don't know. Maybe the bank sees the higher failure rate for black business and therefore requires more collateral. It can be a vicious cycle. But it can be broken.

My great grandparents immigrated to this country during a big influx of Italians. There was racial hostility towards them as well. It still persists today. If I say I'm Italian, most people think pizza, the Godfather, the Sopranos, John Gotti...Etc. I belong to a race that is prejudiced against for organized crime. I personally think that the race hostility has shifted from the blacks to the Middle-Easterners and the Latinos/Mexicans. Is it right? No. But to say it's only the whites who are oppressing the blacks or anybody else is wrong. My step-aunt (who's black) was talking about her flight to Florida the other day and how an "arab" got on the plane and she said she kept an eye on that bastard in case he was going to hijack the plane....

Another point with the prejudices towards Asians, how did they get that prejudice? It is a stereotype. Not all Asians are smart, but they are percieved that way. Stereotypes come from percieved statistics. I believe it was Jamie Foxx who did a standup bit about white people. Whenever he talked as the white person, he was either a nerdy sounding guy, or a redneck. When I say Serial Killer, what race do you think of? What about the black stereotype for whites? The oppressor/slave owner, the one who made my life suck. My black friends explained the slur "cracker" is that it is short for whip-cracker. So when I get called a cracker, it implies that I oppressed a people, and have owned slaves. But that slur doesn't hurt because it's aimed at a white man.
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girltrouble
post Mar 25 2008, 11:39 AM
Post #47


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2x post.


--------------------

"what a swell farewell party! we said goodbye to everything, including the lining in my stomach." - garvey, from the film, born bad

"That's one career all females have in common, whether we like it or not: being a woman. Sooner or later, we've got to work at it, no matter how many other careers we've had or wanted." --margo channing, all about eve
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girltrouble
post Mar 25 2008, 11:36 AM
Post #48


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***sorry about the super long posts. i'll try to be more terse, less verbose.



pugs i'd have to disagree with one of your statements, lol, not much of a suprize, i'm sure, but when i say thing maybe you will be suprized.

you are not automatically an "oppressor" by mere virtue of you being male and white.

i think that there are a couple of labels flying around and they are being used interchangibly. being a word nerd, (but obviously not a spelling nazi), i'd like to get a couple of definitions out there so the misunderstandings are minimized, if that's ok, and probably make some corrections in things i've said, in the process.

oppression:
Oppression is the act of using power to empower and/or privilege a group at the expense of disempowering, marginalizing, silencing, and subordinating another.(wikipedia) interestingly enough in looking up the definition, it seems that it comes from the idea of being "weighted down"....hmmm sounds familiar.... note, however, this is about the use of power. it is a verb. it is about doing.

racism:
The belief that some races are inherently superior (physically, intellectually, or culturally) to others and therefore have a right to dominate them. (am. heritage new dict.) note again, this is about beliefs.

prejudice:
1.
1. An adverse judgment or opinion formed beforehand or without knowledge or examination of the facts.
2. A preconceived preference or idea.
2. The act or state of holding unreasonable preconceived judgments or convictions.
3. Irrational suspicion or hatred of a particular group, race, or religion.

(am, heritage dict) and this is about judgment, opinion, and suspicion.

so when judgment and opinion (prejudice) become solid beliefs, it is racism. when racism becomes institutional, or systemic, then it's action is oppression.

that said, i think everybody is prejudiced (not racist as i said before), having an over all preconceived idea about certain groups, but often open to individuals as "exceptions."


but and this is my long way of making a short point, you can only be an oppressor, pugs, if you 1)have power over a group, and 2) use it to disadvantage one group over another, although i think opression tends to be on a more grand scale. city wide, county wide, state wide, etc, with the mechanisms of power brought down to bear on the disadvantaged group.

the reason i want to define these is because i don't think most people white black or other, are racist. i think we all, as i have said have our prejudices, that is, we have an idea of how we see those in our lives, even temporarily. this is the area that we can have the most control over, we could and should work to make these... dislikes... minimal, and to confront them in ourselves.

the next level is racism, to see the ways that certain people my operate on the belief that one group is most certainly inferior, we should work to see that even with our prejudices, they are not a belief, that they are not that fixed. but also to look at the ways that that belief may become systemic, or ingrained in systems of power(oppression), and to acknowledge them.

when dealing with oppression, the last part is the most important, if we see how certain groups are disadvantaged, but say nothing, then nothing changes. it is important-- no, crucial-- that we speak out against that inequality if we really want to get to that "level playing field." otherwise it lives on another day.


****************************

my take pugs, on those stats is to take them at face value. to dismiss stats out of hand is to give way to a sort of idea that nothing is provable. which, to mind is very dangerous. without some idea off what is true, we have only empirical or our own experiences to guide us. and while that may be good in some instances (stove burners can be hot), when dealing with something that is so subjective as race, i think statistics are a real guide post, a solid spot in shifting sand. the place that i got those stats from seems to have no real agenda, like a far right or left think tank might. my rule is, know who is putting out the stats, know how they lean, and look to see if the result was slanted. those numbers seem to come from an honest place of questioning.

as for why the numbers are skewed, i think this gets back to the idea of prejudice. if you were to have one word to describe what you think of when you think of say asians, most would say "smart." our prejudices work in their favor. in this country i would have to say the most maligned races have been the black and latino communities. and the most sustained group would have to be blacks, both culturally and systemically. latinos who have been here for several generations didn't face many of the cultural barriers that blacks did.

while i am on this point i should make this point that i've been wanting to for some time: oppression is not always applied equally. i know this may sound obvious, but it is an important point. often groups are pitted against each other. in the 1750s thru the 1800's often the irish were the most hated group next to blacks. they were often thought about and talked about in the same way, using the same stereotypes that most people now days have heard about black folk: lazy, criminal, filthy, untrustworthy, animalistic. one thing i always find curious is the way that the irish were viewed positively. in sports they were thought to be superior, having been bred for it. if you go look at old sports reporting of irish boxers, and irish basketball players, you start to see how, at one time the irish were not thought of as "white." this started to change when blacks were aloud to make small in roads. most groups, before assimilation (or cultural acceptance) have some sort of visable public figure where the country at large can start to see this new group as equal. i call it exceptionalism. this particular person, isn't like the rest of his race. you first see it in comedy and sports and entertainment. the same was true of the irish and jewish people. it was only when blacks started to gain entry that these groups started to be seen as "white" in a need to pit one group against another. slowly those systemic barriers of jewish and irish racism began to fall. concurrently, the ones for blacks rose. and while now we have numerous cases of black exceptionalism (oprah, tiger woods, bill cosby, and most recently barack obama), what we have in the black community is a sort of long retardation of the assimilation process. there are lots of exceptions, but since there is no other race to transfer that race hostility to, it simply persists. the exceptions are accepted, and the rest remain locked out. making little progress, a system still aimed at disadvantaging them. but even that is slowly changing.


i have been meaning to post more on obama+ race. some interesting comments this last week but later i think....

but since i am talking (briefly) about politics, i should point out that there is quite a bit of talk of personal responsiblity and race. that was one of the things i found most interesting about obama. in his talking about race, he often takes pages out of the reagan/republican play book retorically. he seems not at all shy about talking about the subject, and taking blacks to task. that is one of the reasons why many blacks were reluctant to take obama seriously when he first arrived. much like harrold ford jr, he is open enough to take some of what repbulicans have to say and incorperate it. at first i thought this was a bit worrying, but his speech on race was so balanced and in my view nuanced, that i think he sees both sides of the argument.



--------------------

"what a swell farewell party! we said goodbye to everything, including the lining in my stomach." - garvey, from the film, born bad

"That's one career all females have in common, whether we like it or not: being a woman. Sooner or later, we've got to work at it, no matter how many other careers we've had or wanted." --margo channing, all about eve
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dj-bizmonkey
post Mar 25 2008, 11:11 AM
Post #49


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ok, got it mr. pugs. i suppose i'm fairly defensive of the south in general because i feel like because there is an open tradition of racism here, some people assume that it isn't happening other places. i would also point out, however, that plenty of people who weren't slave owners contributed to the oppression of people of color. i don't think having that kind of lineage exculpates anyone. BUT i also think you can only take responsibility for your own actions, in this lifetime and not atone for the past. but i really don't want to get involved anymore than i already have.

*scurries out*


--------------------
"To lose everything at the edge of such a glorious eternity is far sweeter than to win by plodding through a cautious, painless, and featureless life."
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Mr Pugs
post Mar 25 2008, 09:37 AM
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DJ, the statement of where and when my ancestors immigrated wasn't intended to say they weren't racist, but to point out they weren't slave owners.

GT, and what are your thoughts based on the statistics you gave? I generally don't take statistics at face value, they can be manipulated and usually the person doing the statistics has some form of agenda. I look at the statistics and say why? Why is there so much of a wealth disparity? Why do latinos have a higher average net worth? If it was just a white racial oppression, why do the asians have the same net worth as the whites? Why do the banks charge higher interest rates to blacks than whites? I hope you don't think all banks in all states are racist towards blacks...

I guess you're right about me not knowing about scholarships...I didn't know there were scholorships for latinos, irish, etc...I'll have to do some more research on that.
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dj-bizmonkey
post Mar 25 2008, 09:33 AM
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*de-lurks*

so nobody who immigrated after slavery and lives above the mason-dixon line is racist? ummmmm, have you been to boston?

racism is a pan-human trait. it is UNIVERSAL. the fear of the other is built into us, it is engrained, it has its roots in our evolutionary past. the fantastic thing about being a human is the ability to rise above what is hard-wired, to say no to instinct, to use our bountiful hearts and logical minds to change the detrimental pattern. that is the challenge of everyone on this planet.

*re-lurks*


--------------------
"To lose everything at the edge of such a glorious eternity is far sweeter than to win by plodding through a cautious, painless, and featureless life."
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Mr Pugs
post Mar 25 2008, 09:02 AM
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I think to look beyond the personal and look at the collective takes all personal responsibility away from the problem. I need to come to grips with as a Straight White Male, I'm the Master Oppressor. I oppress Blacks, Latinos, Asians, Women, Homosexuals, Transexuals, pretty much anybody but Straight White Males. That is the image that I deal with even though through no actions of my own, or my ancestors, (who immigrated here after slavery was abolished and all lived above the mason-dixon line) that I somehow personally oppress people. The name that it is given is white privilige. My stance hasn't changed at all---I believe that equal standards be just that, equal. When you give someone a benefit based on what happened in the past to their ancestors, I believe that person recieves a privilige. Why should I apologize for slavery? I didn't have any slaves, and my ancestors didn't either.

Kitten, the problem I have is not with the disproportionate numbers, it's the outcry about it. There are statistics out about the number of white actors vs. black/latino/gay. I don't see the same statistics about basketball players. There is no outcry. By your rationale, basketball is an exclusive black sport, as is football.

Another thing that kinda bothers me, I'm Italian. I'm grouped with all white people. There are different people out there. Germans, Irish, English, Russian, Polish, Canadian. I'm included with all their sins. Since Southern White People had slaves, I had slaves. I understand it also goes the same way, I'm also included with their successes, but that's the real problem isn't it?

I run a youth bowling league, a couple of weeks ago, I had a black kid calling the other kids "honkey". I told him that was racist, and don't say it. He looked at me and said "I can't be racist, I'm black"
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girltrouble
post Mar 25 2008, 09:00 AM
Post #53


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pugs, the problem that you pose is still one that seems rather myopic to me. and this is another case of this idea of "all things being equal" is false. the rate of black business ownership is, according to my figures about 3.8% of the black population, considering blacks are only about 15% of the american population, that means that [u]at best, if we were to be super generous, that would be 5% of all us jobs.[/b] that give you an advantage of better than 9 in 10 jobs. and that is being generous.

but further, you can make a case that the road to black business ownership is more difficult. there is the well documented propensity of banks to give blacks higher loan rates than whites for the same credit rating, and a reluctance for them to give business loans to blacks in general, and when they do get loans, they are required to jump thru more hoops, needing more collateral. and more:

QUOTE
But startup capital, prior work experience in a family-owned business, and education emerged as the biggest differences in the success and survival of black- and white-owned businesses, accounting for 43 percent, 11 percent, and about 6 percent of the disparity in business outcomes, respectively.

Businesses launched with $100,000 or more of startup capital were twice as likely to prosper, but only 1.7 percent of black-owned businesses start out with more than $100,000, compared with 4.9 percent of white-owned firms, said Fairlie. Similarly, 6.5 percent of black-owned businesses have more than $25,000, compared with 11.1 percent of white-owned firms.

Vast differences in the net worth of blacks and whites accounts for the disparity in startup capital, said Fairlie. Defined as total assets, including home equity, automobiles, and savings, net worth among blacks is about $6,000; Latino net worth averages $7,000; and white and Asian American net worth is about $70,000.

"Wealth inequality leads to these low levels of capital, which is a huge factor in determining the outcome of a business," said Fairlie, adding that, "Economists tend to focus on wage and income inequality, but there really needs to be more attention paid to wealth inequality in this country."


the thing i think you are over looking is that there are numerous factors that have kept blacks from gaining meaningful equality. as i said in a previous post, there are RECENT and, yes, CONTEMPORARY, means that this country has used to disadvantage blacks. to build wealth, even the most successful business needs more money, and if that avenue is consistantly and constantly blocked, that disadvantage becomes pervasive.

______________
if your issue with the united negro college fund is that it excludes some people, then, in all honesty, you don't understand scholarships --- the idea of a schollarship is that there is one person, or a group of people who want to give money to people of a specific experience. there are scholarships for people who went to a specific school, ones for people who's parents are from a certain city, or worked at a certain company. one of my ex-girlfriend could trace her family back to the mayflower-- there is an organization called the DAR-- the daughters of the revolution-- who had a scholarship for her. there are scholarships for irish children, for latinos, for asians and for every other group. you just know about the UNCF, because they advertise. but they are hardly the largest, and as i said, when i was heading off to school they had no money for me, inspite of my blackness.


------
i don't think anybody has a problem with personal responsiblity-- but we also think that you have to be balanced-- if there are still mechanisms that disadvantage blacks or other groups, then those must be remedied, so eventually we can reach that "level playing field" where we can do away with all of it and all compete on a equal footing.

the point is that like it or not, race is still a factor in this country--- if you and i go to the bank for a loan, having the same credit history and i have to pay a higher interest rate and have to have more collateral because of the color of my skin-- and this and so may other things that disadvantage blacks are well documented-- then you get an advantage. there is no personal responsiblity that is at play here. that is privilage. that is not slavery, that is not jim crow, that is not history, and that is not just some personal incident* , THIS IS SYSTEMIC. THIS IS NOW.

it's like your neighbor slashing your tire compared to the gov't sending cops to haul every car you buy 24 hour after you buy it. one has to do with a person who quite seriously needs help, and the other is a whole machinery focused on keeping you at a certain place. and that is the point i am trying to make.
-------

i'll get to some of your other points later, i have to deal with a personal issue.



(*while i deplore that those things were said to you both, it is very different)
*(and while i deplore that those things were said to you both, it is very different)


--------------------

"what a swell farewell party! we said goodbye to everything, including the lining in my stomach." - garvey, from the film, born bad

"That's one career all females have in common, whether we like it or not: being a woman. Sooner or later, we've got to work at it, no matter how many other careers we've had or wanted." --margo channing, all about eve
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neurotic.nelly
post Mar 25 2008, 08:34 AM
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Just a few comments, if I may,

White privilege stems from white supremacy. From my perspective white supremacy, which has spread all over the world through colonialism, is a psychopathology. Like an inferiority complex, a superiority complex is a psychopathology, and I got this idea from the dean of the psychology department of a small liberal college. It made sense to. So, through the effects of White Supremacy, which is now largely invisible - in the daily fabric of our mass conscious, mass media, and our public and private institutions - then so white privilege is invisible, hard to point out, and hard to talk about.

p_176 and LMP, EVERYONE is prejudice. I have my own prejudices, but the important thing here is awareness and reality checking them.

Mr. Pugs, somehow I understand where your coming from...I hear you speaking a lot about class as well...and...it does seem like a double standard. But it is necessary to have these special minority programs to make a dent in the wrongs that have been caused by white supremacy.

Now I am late for work and my bf is chewing me out...


--------------------
Earth: A Satanically ran planet where 98% of it's inhabitants are unquestioning, conformist idiots who are totally controlled and manipulated by the Satanic governments of the world and have been made complacent by said governments, through rigorous brainwashing.
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kittenb
post Mar 25 2008, 08:13 AM
Post #55


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A disproportionate (when compared to the actual US population) number of actors on TV are white. There is your White Entertainment Channel.

November with the celebration of the Pilgrims coming to squeeze out the Native Americans from their own home and December with it's celebration of an almost universally portrayed as white Baby Jesus, are just two contenders for White History Months. Just two.

I really want to stress that to address this problem it is important to look beyond the personal. Being a person of color does not make you a saint or a sinner and the expectation that every sales person will like you or that all products sold will be useful to you is a priviliged perspective.


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faerietails2
post Mar 25 2008, 07:51 AM
Post #56


donut-lovin' heathen
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QUOTE(Mr Pugs @ Mar 25 2008, 07:58 AM) *
When questions like why is there only a month for Black history, what about Italian history month? How come there can't be a White Entertainment Television channel? How about the white equivilent of the NAACP? The responses come, because that would be racist. I believe racism is a two way street. The thing that breeds contempt is the lack of acknowledgment that it swings both ways.

But again, "minority" history months were created for a reason, and as someone stated before, they're tiny tiny steps toward trying to create an awareness that the national historical narrative of this country isn't just the white narrative. And as a Chicana, let me tell you, even having Hispanic Heritage Month is a joke, because we don't even get a proper "month," we get the last half of September and the first half of October or some bullshit like that.

What about Italian history month? Italian history is found in a typical history book. Black history? How much do people know about black history outside slavery and the civil rights movement? That's all black people amount to in a history book. Women's history? Women's history was created over 25 years ago, and still, how much does the average person know about women's history outside Marie Curie and women's suffrage? And then MY history? HA! I grew up in a border area where Mexicans are the majority and whites are the minority. And still I had no clue until I got to college and my Nigerian profession mentioned in passing that there had even been a Chicano rights movement. No clue whatsoever, and that was a major movement! How sad is that, that my generation doesn't even know our own history? Because is it in the average U.S. history textbook? Hell no!

Our national narrative is that the whites and Injuns were friends and shared a Thanksgiving feast. So if there's a minority history month where schools at least make a half-assed attempt to go beyond "I have a dream" in order to fill up their curriculum? Fantastic, I say. Because even that's not enough.

As for White Entertainment Television? Um, it's called the rest of cable tv.


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LoveMyPugs
post Mar 25 2008, 07:03 AM
Post #57







p-176

that's funny because i went into a store the other day. it was a beauty supply store. when i went in there were rows and rows of hair. okay, not exactly what i need. so went up and down aisles just seeing what they had. then i found the clips and scrunchies, combs, brushes and mirrors. i'm looking and looking. nothing i really liked or needed. on my way out i saw the opi nail polish stand. stopped to look at that too. didn't have the color i like so i walked out. on my way out the black woman at the counter is on the phone and says something along the lines of "that white bitch just left the store" as i walk out the door. WTF? i guess that was a black store and i shouldn't have gone in there. i won't ever again let me tell you.

-pugs
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p_176
post Mar 25 2008, 05:45 AM
Post #58


Hardcore BUSTie
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<delurks>
hi -
not sure if this adds to your discussion or not....i'm east indian, and my white boyfriend and i went to the grocery store near my house (where i don't normally go because the staff is awful and unprofessional)...well, the check out clerk was really rude to us....because we are not black. (we were in the express line, because at this store, that's the only line they have open, no matter how many items you have to buy, and the clerk was trying to give me a hard time, and i made a comment like, the people in front of us had the same amount of stuff and you said nothing to them....[the people in front of us in line were black].
p_176
<relurks>
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Mr Pugs
post Mar 25 2008, 05:41 AM
Post #59


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That's exactly my take on this...We are all talking from the heart and our own personal experiences. The line "you don't know what it's like because you aren't black" also flows the other way, "You don't understand because you aren't white." I post my honest views and say that I don't think excluding a race for anything is fair be it Black history month or the Negro College fund, and my views are called "laughable". These things all shape my views as a white male. When questions like why is there only a month for Black history, what about Italian history month? How come there can't be a White Entertainment Television channel? How about the white equivilent of the NAACP? The responses come, because that would be racist. I believe racism is a two way street. The thing that breeds contempt is the lack of acknowledgment that it swings both ways.

GT, you posted about a black potential employee getting passed over at a white business. Given the fact that both potentials were identical and one was white, you stated that they would hire the white person because they are like the employer. My point is that what if it was a black business? If the response is "there aren't that many black businesses" You begin to see my view....create some! Work hard, use the resorces available to you, and create privilige.

My problem with the Negro College Fund isn't that it helps black people or that it doesn't help white people, it's that it excludes people based on race.

I still think the major hurdle that no one wants to talk about is personal responsibility. Not for white privilidge, but for our own actions. I think that the weight of white privilidge is nothing compared to your parents saying you can't do something because you're black and the white man won't let you. The white man will lock you in jail for longer than white people. Saying it is unfair. I think it would be more constructive to say the white man will lock you in jail for longer than white people, but add "so try to stay in line and don't do anything illegal". Use the weights as momentum and a chip on your shoulder to say "I'm being oppressed, I'm going to show them that they can't keep me down. They can't stop me." Work harder to prove them that being a typical black is not a bad thing. If I can convince and change the views of two white people, and my friends follow suit, being a typical black will become a compliment soon.

I saw a press conference where Allen Iverson was talking, and couldn't help myself from thinking "what exactly did he learn at Georgetown, because I know it wasn't how to speak clearly." I know young people of all races look up to sports stars as role models, but just seeing him on tv, all tattooed up, using broken english, the message is that basketball is the most important thing, you don't need to be educated, you don't need school, just play ball. I understand that a response would be that he was speaking ebonics, and that's part of the black culture, but what if someone who models their life after him as a kid, were to apply for a job as a customer service representitive at a call center? Would they not get hired because of their skin color? Or the way they talk and just happen to be black? Where would the focus be?

Also, while I believe slavery was a horrendous thing, I also don't believe it was Americas Original Sin. I think slavery pales in comparison to what happened to the Native Americans. If anyone should get a month to celebrate and learn about their history, they should, but that wouldn't be fair too.

I'm not saying all the things that help people should be abolished, just that when you exclude people based solely on race, that's racist. These are the things that helped shape my views growing up, these are the "laughable" weights that are hanging on me. That's when I feel the sting, when I speak honestly and truthfully from the heart and get called laughable.

Sorry about the long post, and I'm not trying to be defensive, just state my views...

Mr Pugs


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treehugger
post Mar 25 2008, 04:01 AM
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I love these discussions. I am of the hope that Barack's speech last week helps us be able to speak openly and adultly (is that a word? I don't think so) about race and the way it impacts ALL of us.

How much would I want to be a black person here in America? Can I choose which city I live in? I really don't have a clue. Enough to pay off my condo, I suppose, because I don't know if I could depend on being offered steady work.

There are VERY few black people in my line of work, here. I have personally seen four TOTAL and two of them were from Milwaukee, not Madison. I dunno why. I do know that many of the guys I work with are fairly openly racist...their eyes have been opened somewhat by Barack's running for Prez. Many of these formerly "N-word" spouting white boys are turning around and voting for him, which is very encouraging for me to see.

I'm just rambling and throwing out a lot of loose jumbled thoughts here.

I saw an interview on Bill Maher where they went to a largely Hispanic neighborhood in, I think it may have been California...to ask people why they weren't voting for Barack, but Hillary. There was one woman who said something about that her father "didn't like those people"...Bill asked her what he'd do if she married one, she said something to the effect that it would be a bad thing. Then he said, "what if it was Barack?". She then said her father MIGHT think that was okay.

My b/f, Bear, struggles with racism. I do think his eyes are opening a little bit since being involved with me, but he claims that being in the military, as a white person, tends to bring it out. He says he grew up being open minded, he had no reason to dislike black people, until he got to the military and discovered that, to quote him, "they didn't like ME."

My initial thought was, why do you expect to be immediately liked? Is that in itself white privilege? He used to go out drinking with a black fellow soldier...but when they got home at the end of the night they went their separate ways...and each never reported their friendship to their respective communities.

I was raped by a black man when I was sixteen. I'm quite upfront about that fact with the guys I hang out with from work, EXCEPT the race of my attacker. I feel like it'd just be another excuse for them to say "see, now I'm right. THEY are a bunch of criminals". So, what do I do THERE? Or the time when I was reading in the paper about a bunch of young thugs had mugged and beaten a blind guy...I was talking about it to Bear...and he said, "I hate to say this, but I bet they are BLACK thugs."

I said back, "Perhaps. I bet they are MALE too, like YOU." Trying to get him to see personally the ramifications of a knee jerk prejudice.

Yeah, it's early in the morning, eh?

I'd like to see the day when it changes from Us and Them, to just plain old "Us".


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