You Are Not Forgotten
2018 Award Winner
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.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.
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."