Wednesday, August 06, 2003

privilege? what the hell is that?

> further. I have real doubts about the ontological status of
> 'structure' and how and when it exists and maintains over time and
> place. But that's a

understood -- the issue that I think I raised in relation to your original post about whether or not there were "other" groups that experienced inter-group racism had to do with power and privilege.

Power is a very real thing that hinges on interpretation, definition, etc. The fact that it does, does NOT deny its effects. How many people are dead because Saddam is "evil incarnate?"

> I'm now going to make a claim that will be furiously denied (hopefully
> not) - I am a-color. I have little or no colour awareness in nearly
> all the situations of my life and being. I think that race and gender
> issues have

Not denied, XXX, just pointed out that this alone is evidence of your white privilege. Color is NOT important to you and your day to day interactions because you are part of the dominant group. It doesn't have to be. This is an effect of your privilege. This is NOT the case with those who are not.

Ask some of your colleagues who are an "other" color and see how much they are aware of their color in their day to day lives. Better yet, ask any woman that you know how much of her day-to-day interactions are shaped by the mere fact that she is identified as a "woman." Both of these privileges are undeniable in their effect and you have them whether you like them or not because they are bestowed upon you by the group that you are a member of.

You are not an "other" so you have no experience of it from that side. Think about XXX example of my son being followed when he goes into a store. The same store that I go into and will NOT be followed. This is a privilege that I have that he doesn't.

And again, the litmus test, IMO is whether or not when reading the "indicators of white privilege" you felt angry. If, so, welcome to your privilege. Believe it or not, if you show those same things to someone who is not "white," more often than not, that person will say, "yup, that's about right" and will not feel angry, but will, in all likelihood feel validated that a "white person gets it."

p.s. if you really want to find out the depth of privilege, I can forward another article that is based on the MacIntosh article that neatly dissects 'male' privilege. Oh, and it is written by a white, male, sociologist...but you know how freakin' crazy and off the mark those bastards are.

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