Jon Stewart on white privilege (cc: unnamed posters... etc.)

Gameface

You Are Not Forgotten
Contributor
2018 Award Winner
understand that I am not saying the things that you think i'm saying (and Archie, this applies to you too). go back, and re-read my posts. and, unlike colton, you're engaging with more nuance here, so here's my more thorough response.

colton is saying that he is ticked off by the term white privilege because (i'm paraphrasing, and assuming) that the assumption is by saying he possesses white privilege, I say by default he is privileged and the successes he's had in his life have been because of his privilege.

my contention is simple-- the term white privilege is an extremely important term. It is a term that defines the privilege one receives in life for being born with an identity that north american society perceives as white. All of you (I'm very sure) are familiar with this definition. Now, the response here is "I hear you, but still, that term makes me feel uncomfortable." My response is-- I don't give a ****. I'm sorry, white privilege is an important term. Male privilege is an important term. These social constructs confer advantages, and I'm very suspicious of anyone who tries to minimize the usage of these terms in public discourse. It's reminds me of colton's old argument of being fine with gay people getting the legal rights of marriage, but not wanting their union to be called "a marriage."-- words mattered for him at that time, and similarly words matter to those who don't possess white privilege, and want to be able to discuss how it manifests. No one is saying you didn't overcome immense material disadvantages to make it to where you are, BP-- I'm just saying that, frankly, if you were female and if you were black, your chances of accomplishing whatever you have (to this point) would be lower. It seems like you agree-- so it's time that we're comfortable with pointing out the privileges we possess, because doing this is what ends up helping those who don't possess privileges in our society. We need to be mature, secure, and call a spade a spade. No one is saying to start hating yourself-- however I think you should feel feelings of shame if you're not coming to terms with the fact that social privileges exist, and that for some of them, you've been the beneficiary. That's shameful because what you're doing is you're participating in the erasure of these very real phenomena-- and when we erase, we never address social realties that are some of the biggest shames of mankind here on the North American continent.
dalmon, what I was trying to convey was that it might serve you well to listen to the people who are pushing back. Colton, stoked, LogGrad, these are reasonable people.

I offered the story about Lino because me and the other white kid have done okay. Lino, he got killed by police. Again, I have no idea what the specifics were, all I know is the person I grew up with. He was not violent, although he was a fighter when he needed to be. He was kind. He had a good sense of humor. He would much rather make you laugh than fight you. He was smart.

Me and the other white kid who grew up in a majority-minority neighborhood, we made it out. I know many who didn't. and they were mostly the non-white ones. Miguel Flores was at the time of his incarceration the youngest person in the state of Utah to be tired as an adult and the youngest person to go to adult prison (point of the mountain). Fred Edwards also ended up going to point of the mountain before he turned 18 (Fred WAS violent and has mental issues and is a dangerous person). These are people I went to elementary school with. Miguel came from a ****ed up family, but he was a pretty good natured person. His family was involved in organized crime and he wasn't ashamed of that and he eventually participated in it.

So I have seen the difference between being a disadvantaged white person and a disadvantaged non-white person, and I know the odds.

I moved when I was in sixth grade from my Glendale neighborhood in SLC's ghetto, to the East Bench in Sandy. I went from one of the most poverty stricken schools in Utah to the same elementary school that Larry H Miller's kid went to. My mom was a letter carrier and my father was a tech working for the local gas company. So it wasn't like we were rich, or like we fit in. I was in sixth grade and I felt like I was in school with 3rd graders. These kids were still kids. At Franklin sixth graders were sexually active, smoked cigarettes, smoked pot, used foul language. At Lone Peak elementary kids puffed out their chest when they got a good score on a test, they dressed in expensive clothes and noticed if you didn't. They were shocked by casual profanity. None of them were ****ing each other, **** I bet at least half hand't even masturbated.

I get where you're coming from. I just think there is a better way to win over the white people who have only lived in white America. If you feel so powerful and so on top of a wave of change that you just want to say get out of the way or get crushed, go for it. These people aren't villains. They honestly do not understand your perspective. So instead of being so committed to the phrase "white privilege" how about just say what that means? Say it in a way that erases the line in the sand and allows your adversary to surrender with honor, willingly?

I'm not going to get into my "milk argument" thing again, but you're engaging in a "milk argument."
 

moevillini

the Chief Old D'oh
Staff member
generally, terms and phrases like "coded language" and "trigger words" set my hair on fire but I do think that for some people, using the term "privilege" is sort of a trigger that gets them thinking in a way that is counterproductive to dialogue of sharing ideas and points of view

I get that it is good to make people feel "guilty" but those feelings of guilt are not useful if they shut down the discussion - - guilt that motivates further discussion is good, guilt that shuts it down is not. Unfortunately you can't really tell ahead of time which kind of guilt the person hearing/reading the statements about white privilege is going to feel - - and not everyone (always) has the time or patience to engage in a prolonged discussion to reach a consensus on its meaning or how it's used.
 

Alfalfa

Well-Known Member
Guilt and shame are not counterproductive. And people, white and otherwise, should be ashamed that their country provides lesser opportunities to non-whites.
 

Alfalfa

Well-Known Member
Guilt and shame are not counterproductive. And people, white and otherwise, should be ashamed that their country provides lesser opportunities to non-whites.
I want to amend this and say that we should feel guilty for demonizing poor whites as well, and calling them **** like "white trash", which is a white supremacists concept that attempts to set the "standard" for what is appropriate white behavior and lifestyle.

We have a ton to be ashamed of.
 

idestroyedthetoilet

Well-Known Member
Shame and guilt are negative and destructive. Unfortunately, when some activists are calling for awareness, empathy, and action, some people here these calls as calls to shame and guilt. I don't feel guilty for being white, I try to use my whiteness to help others that are not white, when that help doesn't interfere with people helping themselves.
Here's the problem I see with the term, if people want to call it a problem. I don't see it as counterproductive the same as others might. You aren't going to make a racist out of the Moes or Logs or Coltons or anyone else on here who doesn't care for the term by using it. We aren't going to annoy them into caring less about racial inequality or inequity by using a term they feel missed the mark. It just isn't counterproductive in that sense.

Where it falls short IMO is the audience it's meant for. Who are these people? Do they even exist in a group large enough to matter? White people by and large know racism exists and the disadvantages whole classes of people face. We aren't living under rocks. I've seen people on here for years say as much - "I'm not racist, I realize the challenges I don't have to face daily, but my issue is..." - over and over and over, and it seems to fall onto deaf ears. If they are representative of the average white America then there is no audience captured by the term to aim it toward.

I believe just about everyone on here espouses the view you wrote above. I think "some people here [sic] these calls as calls to shame and guilt." is true but I don't think annoyance is changing anyone's attitude, just discomfort for no necessary reason or purpose.
 

One Brow

Well-Known Member
I believe just about everyone on here espouses the view you wrote above. I think "some people here [sic] these calls as calls to shame and guilt." is true but I don't think annoyance is changing anyone's attitude, just discomfort for no necessary reason or purpose.
You can cause discomfort without causing shame or guilt. Discomfort is important. Kaepernick brought attention back to a problem by making the audience uncomfortable.

Shame and guilt are emotions we tend to look inwardly with. Discomfort creates an outward reaction. Comfort creates no reaction at all, and leads to stasis.
 

Alfalfa

Well-Known Member
You can cause discomfort without causing shame or guilt. Discomfort is important. Kaepernick brought attention back to a problem by making the audience uncomfortable.

Shame and guilt are emotions we tend to look inwardly with. Discomfort creates an outward reaction. Comfort creates no reaction at all, and leads to stasis.
Shame and guilt are powerful motivators. Ever heard of Christianity or Islam? Major civilizations have been built on shame and guilt. They can be very productive.
 

LogGrad98

Well-Known Member
Contributor
generally, terms and phrases like "coded language" and "trigger words" set my hair on fire but I do think that for some people, using the term "privilege" is sort of a trigger that gets them thinking in a way that is counterproductive to dialogue of sharing ideas and points of view

I get that it is good to make people feel "guilty" but those feelings of guilt are not useful if they shut down the discussion - - guilt that motivates further discussion is good, guilt that shuts it down is not. Unfortunately you can't really tell ahead of time which kind of guilt the person hearing/reading the statements about white privilege is going to feel - - and not everyone (always) has the time or patience to engage in a prolonged discussion to reach a consensus on its meaning or how it's used.
So trigger word is your trigger word? :D
 

One Brow

Well-Known Member
Shame and guilt are powerful motivators. Ever heard of Christianity or Islam? Major civilizations have been built on shame and guilt. They can be very productive.
More specifically, major religions have been built on relieving people of the burdens of shame and guilt. Being aware of white privilege offers no such relief.
 

idestroyedthetoilet

Well-Known Member
You can cause discomfort without causing shame or guilt. Discomfort is important. Kaepernick brought attention back to a problem by making the audience uncomfortable.

Shame and guilt are emotions we tend to look inwardly with. Discomfort creates an outward reaction. Comfort creates no reaction at all, and leads to stasis.
Absolutely, but I think you know that's not a good example of the discomfort and annoyance I was talking about with the rest of my post. To be more specific, telling people over and over who are aware that they are unaware, and that they need to do something about what they are unaware of even though 1) they are, and 2) they can't really, is unnecessarily annoying. 3) I don't know who these mythical people are who are clueless to the situation. We didn't need Kaepernick to understand their is an ongoing problem.

And I think it goes without saying that people being annoyed at the misuse or abuse of a term is much, much less important than a societal injustice. That doesn't make it any less annoying.
 

One Brow

Well-Known Member
3) I don't know who these mythical people are who are clueless to the situation. We didn't need Kaepernick to understand their is an ongoing problem.
Perhaps many of the posters in here don't, but if kneeling during the national anthem is creating apoplexy, then I find it unlikely the apoplectic understand there is an ongoing problem.
 

Archie Moses

Well-Known Member
Guilt and shame are not counterproductive. And people, white and otherwise, should be ashamed that their country provides lesser opportunities to non-whites.
I grew up in a religion that was based around guilt and shame. While it didn't mess me up per say, it's amazing how much it's ****ed up my friends.

Guilt and shame are not counterproductive when one recognizes their own wrong doing. However, when it's others pushing guilt and shame, then, hell yeah, it's counter productive.

I see how a guy like you wouldn't get this though.
 

Archie Moses

Well-Known Member
Shame and guilt are powerful motivators. Ever heard of Christianity or Islam? Major civilizations have been built on shame and guilt. They can be very productive.
It's productive when those with power use it as motivation for the less powerful and educated. It's also abused.

Thank you internet.

Again, I'm not surprised a guy like you doesn't get this.
 

AlaskanAssassin

Well-Known Member

My biggest problem with the concept of "White Privilege" is that it is actually insulting and degrading to Black people. Watch and learn.
 

One Brow

Well-Known Member
My biggest problem with the concept of "White Privilege" is that it is actually insulting and degrading to Black people. Watch and learn.
Assuming that every black person has the same opinion or experience in terms of white privilege is insulting to black people. Denying the existence of the measured effects regarding white privilege is denying reality. Even noted affirmative-action-hater Clarence Thomas talked about how the Senate was treating him differently because he was black.
 

AlaskanAssassin

Well-Known Member
Assuming that every black person has the same opinion or experience in terms of white privilege is insulting to black people.
I never implied that. The only people I see suggesting that all black people have the same opinion are those pushing the false narrative of White Privilege. That is essentially what occurred in the clip he shared. A Black Woman assumed that a man was White just due to his accomplishments........and suggested that he benefited from White Privilege despite the fact that he's black!! Is it possible to be more insulting?
Denying the existence of the measured effects regarding white privilege is denying reality. Even noted affirmative-action-hater Clarence Thomas talked about how the Senate was treating him differently because he was black.
Calling it "White Privilege" is lazy thinking. It's more complicated than that. There are all kinds of privilege; wealth, intelligence, appearance, parents you are born to, ingenuity, creativity, athleticism..............on and on. Established law gives no privilege to White People.

If I'm denying reality, you are denying facts. Read the following article.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2016/02/white-privilege-myth-reality/

If you will read the article above, I'll commit to reading an article you post regarding the topic.

From the Article:

There are a host of privileges that dwarf “white privilege.”


A huge one is Two-Parent Privilege. If you are raised by a father and mother, you enter adulthood with more privileges than anyone else in American society, irrespective of race, ethnicity, or sex. That’s why the poverty rate among two-parent black families is only 7 percent.

Compare that with a 22 percent poverty rate among whites in single-parent homes. Obviously the two-parent home is the decisive “privilege.”

White privilege is another left-wing attempt, and a successful one, to keep America from focusing on what will truly help black America — a resurrection of the black family, for example — and instead to focus on an external problem: white privilege.

In doing so, the Left has become the only real enemy the black has in America today.
 

One Brow

Well-Known Member
I never implied that.
I agree. That was the assumption of the lady in the video.

The only people I see suggesting that all black people have the same opinion are those pushing the false narrative of White Privilege.
I agree the true narrative of white privilege is more than sufficient, we don't need any false narratives blended in.

That is essentially what occurred in the clip he shared. A Black Woman assumed that a man was White just due to his accomplishments
I was not aware the narrator was a mind-reader. I mean, I can think of several reasons why the woman thought the man was white, none of which had to do something as simple as "his accomplishments". I could run through a few of them, but we both know you don't really care,.

........and suggested that he benefited from White Privilege despite the fact that he's black!! Is it possible to be more insulting?
Yes. Denying that white privilege exists at all is much more insulting.

Calling it "White Privilege" is lazy thinking. It's more complicated than that. There are all kinds of privilege; wealth, intelligence, appearance, parents you are born to, ingenuity, creativity, athleticism..............on and on.
Of course there are all sorts of privilege. That doesn't stop white privilege from being one of them.

Established law gives no privilege to White People.
Established law gives no privilege to wealth, intelligence, appearance, etc., yet you have no problem acknowledging these privileges exist.

If I'm denying reality, you are denying facts. Read the following article.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2016/02/white-privilege-myth-reality/
First, no reasonable person can argue that white privilege applies to the great majority of whites, let alone to all whites. There are simply too many variables other than race that determine individual success in America.
First, no reasonable person can argue that height privilege applies to the great majority of NBA players, let alone to all NBA players. There are simply too many variables other than height that determine individual success in the NBA.
When an article starts with this much stupid, it's pretty hard to take seriously. Notice constructed an identical argument that height doesn't matter in basketball.

It only gets stupider from then on.

... is the decisive “privilege.”
Privilege are not a trump cards. No one privilege is decisive, they all interact.

In doing so, the Left has become the only real enemy the black has in America today.
If only black people would realize the their true friends are the people who blame black people for not being more successful.
 
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