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okay the controversy

So I was reading an LJ today and the subject of "White Privilege" Came up. This is the notion that by the mere dent of being white, a persons life will have an inherent benefit or easing of problems or standards. This was used as an argument for why someone was being clueless talking about a subject related to race. The idea is if you are white your opinion on race is suspect because you benefit of the so called White Privilege.

Now I believe that 50 years ago there was a strong argument for White Privilege. It was clearly present Culturally and in the laws of the time sadly. I believe in the last 20 years though you are hard pressed to come up with real evidence for it. You can find evidence of some things which are sad. The statistics of minority students who get higher education or doctorates are distressing. However the evidence these days could easily be read on the aspect of financial status more than race. With a very few exceptions the evidence just is not conclusive.

I personally don't believe in it. It just isn't there any more. That is not to say there are not some individual racists out there. There are of course plenty of them out there. I am saying there is no inherent cultural, religious, or legal benefits to being born white. I certainly have never benefited from it. There is no one in my long and winding experience that I can point to and say they benefited from it more than being born in to an upper middle class home. The arguments so far presented fail to show privilege in an indisputable way. What is more I feel using that as a justification to discount someone is lazy and disingenuous. Rather than explain why you think someone is wrong on something you point to them and say well they are white. Not only does it not address why they are wrong, but it really is kind of racist. it renders any argument might offer there after weaker as a result.

This discussion went on someones lj and they very politely indulged the discussion till they were done and then asked it be moved elsewhere. So I am posting my thoughts here to any who felt compelled to continue the discussion.

keep it civil.


May. 20th, 2009 01:04 am (UTC)
I have complained about the idea of white privalage and corrective measure (affirmative action) for quite sometime. With a bit of thought (and reading other responses) I tend to agree that there is more of an advantage seen from a family's financial circumstances. Even with this though there are significant opportunities available to those in lower socioeconomic groupings. Avril is the first of her family to get a college education and had to face her share of difficulties to achieve the succes she has. She was able to do this through personal hard work, success in public education, financial aid programs, and a father who encouraged her to succeed as much as he was able.

I guess one thing to look at is the question of why there is a sense of pointing fingers rather than personal accountability and self improvement. If this is a matter of ignorance, then it can be corrected through education and public work. If it is a matter of laziness and resentment then it needs to just be sucked up and move on.

May. 20th, 2009 01:19 am (UTC)
I have risen above my own hard times and have a pretty good life as well. Effort can overcome a lot. It does not actually disprove or prove privilege though. Overcoming an obstacle does not disprove the existence of an obstacle. I just dispute the nature of the obstacle.



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