I never said racism didn't exists, I know for a fact it does, from fighting nazi skinheads at punk rock shows, to seeing young black men in my neighborhood pulled over by the police wondering if they did anything wrong. I see it in the health care debates when middle class white people hold up signs of the president making him look like Hitler. I see it when people say "that someone is dressing black" because they are wearing hip hop clothing. I see it in the justice system that still unequally gives people of color namely blacks longer jail sentences. I see it when people comment on the immigration status of Latino people, I see it when people assume that someone of Asian decent is "Chinese". I see it when ever I think of mascots for major and college sports teams still using Native America names, images and sadly caricatures.
What I said and stand by is the notion of racism and institutionalized is that i don't agree that it is alive and well, I think it is on deaths door and in a generation or two will be dead.
But I am also not so self hating as to say that all white people have this magical privilege that makes things easier for them, I know many of us suffer under the brutality of poverty and the lack of a decent education, we suffer equally from lack of health care, and the lack of wealth distribution. It is offensive when anyone says that being white automatically makes things easier.
We have a ways to go, and when we can all work togethor with out pointing fingers and making false accusations of skin color automatically = privilege then we can really change our country for the better.
Would you believe racism is alive and well if people of color told you they still lexperience racism on a daily basis?
But what it comes down to is that you don't have a working definition of White Privilege. White privilege is not that each white person gets a hand up, or all white people are in better situations than all black people or all native Americans. You don't even have to be white to benefit from White Privilege. And just getting to live one's life without experiencing racism is White Privilege.
It didn't protect professor Gates from being arrested in his own home after he proved he was the owner of the home.So I take it back to class and access to wealth, which I will keep saying allows you to buy what ever privilege you want.
As I have been reading this thread I have been thinking about the interaction between race and class and how its really hard to separate the two in some situations. My mind started to see it as analogous to the whole nature vs. nurture thing; its usually both, and in only some cases can you easily separate the two (like very poor white communities on one end and police profiling PoC on the other). In most situations I can see both issues but its hard to ferret out exactly the boundary between the two (although I recognize there isn't really a sharp boundary and that your race partially determines your economic outcome). Is this a horrible/ok/good way to see it? (This thought just popped into my head, I don't have a huge attachment to it, fingers crossed that this doesn't contribute to the drama).
Also, I was happy to see the "Unpacking the Knapsack" link as I had read this in a sociology class several years ago and it was nice to see again. I still remember "can buy a band-aid and it will match your skin" item on the list. Most of the other examples on the list I had at one point thought about, but the never even crossed my mind to think about band-aids, so for me that was the example that hit home since part of white privilege is really not even having to thinking about it.
Lisa: I hate going to the zoo. I feel so sorry for the animals.
Homer: Lisa, the zoo opens up a whole new world for the animals. In the wild they would never experience boredom, obesity, loss of purpose...you know, the American dream!
17 years ago in Women's Studies we read it, and I still remember that the band-aid was what struck my friend the most, too.Originally Posted by abbicus
Here's a great blog post by a noted anti-racist author (read the whole blog, he's one of the foremost deconstructors of white privilege and race):
Miso - I already said that one of the areas where institutionalized racism still exists is law enforcement, professor Gates case shows that, the cop who arrested him is a racist,
abbicus - thank you for your input. I never thought about band aids, but then again band aids come in all shades and colors and lack of colors (clear). I read that unpacking the knapsack and that persons experiences and mine are different, I think that is what it comes down to, you can't say that just because someone is white they have had an easier life or because someone is a poc then they had it a tough life.
So then there is no such thing as white privilege, only class privilege IMO. As Miso also said you don't have to be white to benefit from white privilege, so why call it white privilege when it is not?
I already have shown how over my lifetime have been a victim of racism and racist violence. Until I was a teenager my nick name was chink, I was made fun of by both my black and white friends for being "Chinese", I had to fight all the time because of this.I say this with all due respect: it's not about you. It's about all the people for whom racism (insitutional and otherwise) does have an effect.
I always experienced racism because my step father was black, my mom was called a n***er lover by people, my sister was called a half breed etc... so it may not be about just me, but my life has been affected negatively because of racism. And no matter what it says in a book about race, until you have walked in everyone's shoes you can't say that racism doesn't affect white people.
But not all groups of POC are poor, Asians are the second richest group of people in America, and if you look at it by number of people and there wealth in said group (white vs Asian) they are the richest group of people. So what are they doing or what have they been given that has allowed them to overcome some horrible racist actions against them in the past, here is an interesting link.True, but this is a case of intersecting -isms. PoC generally (whether this was the case for you or not) have a more difficult time accessing the resources that would allow them upward mobility. Does that mean there aren't well-off poc? No. Does that mean there aren't white people living in extreme poverty? No. It simply means that the percentage of poc living in poverty is greater than the percentage of white people living in poverty.
I think at the end of the day we all see racism as the evil and vile thing it is.
Last edited by veganshawn; 08-30-2009 at 05:17 PM.
Ah, I see. Here you imply that someone else said it's "alive and well." Since no one used that phrase until you did, I attributed it to you. Um, my mistake.Originally Posted by veganshawn
No, but if you have, it doesn't show in your understanding of the issues.And isn't it racist of you to assume I have not had these talks with poc?
I'm sure all the people who experience racism and institutionalized racism daily are comforted by your opinion that it doesn't exist.Originally Posted by veganshawn
quote=veganshawn]As Miso also said you don't have to be white to benefit from white privilege, so why call it white privilege when it is not?[/quote]
If you would just read about it you'd have found the answer to your question. You seem to be reading the terms "white privilege" and "institutionalized racism" and thinking the name says it all, without reading what they actually mean. The more you argue your case, the more obvious it is that you don't have a deep understanding of these social theories. As such, it's the reason you keep repeating yourself and presuming we're not reading/hearing you. There is always a learning curve when someone first time anyone comes across these sociological concepts, so doing the reading and then sitting with that information and letting it sink in helps it make more sense.
If you prefer, here's a video on white privilege, from a white guy: