Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

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 03:00 am (UTC)
This is another of those topics that I would love to talk about, but feel, note the word feel, that most persons who might discuss it already have their minds made up and are not ready to spout much beyond their personal political party lines.

That said, your discussion on wealth vs racial privilege has made me more intrigued.

My father's family was white trash. He went to work at 16 and worked his own way in the world. I did in fact benefit from his 60-80 hour work week ethics and money.

My mother's family was lower middle class. They made their own clothes, but by the time she was old enough to drive, helped her put a down payment on a car.

I don't have data, studies or anything scientific to really discuss this topic, except for my own personal experiences.

So far it has been up to me to earn my way in the world. My father taught me early on that if I wanted someone, I had to work to get it. I paid my own way through school. I gave up 5 years of my life for that (Army college fund). I bought my first car, paid my insurance, etc.

I have gone to school with rich kids, who drove BMWs, Jaguars and Mercedes cars at 16. They weren't all white, although I would say 6-7 out of 10 were.

May. 20th, 2009 03:17 am (UTC)
The argument is based on statistics and history. That is why it is even thought of to begin with, history. How many poor kids did you know growing up actually went on to do anything with their lives? How many of them made it to college? How many of them ended up flipping burgers or working retail? Would you atribute those results to wealth, race, how they were raised, number of parents, iq, or height? All of those ways can be used to look at the data. Imagine which one gets the most attention.

Your right in that it is all sort of intellectual masturbation in the end. I do not believe I will be changing anyone's mind today, but the discussion was interesting and stimulating.
May. 20th, 2009 03:20 am (UTC)
I do agree with you that it is an interesting topic. I just fear keyboard tough guys and the ease to which the internets allows people to spout things as fact that just plain aren't.

So far, I have enjoyed reading the posts on this topic.
May. 20th, 2009 04:42 am (UTC)
Wait, are you actually arguing to learn something, McCoy, or are you arguing to win?

May. 20th, 2009 10:10 am (UTC)
The reason to ever argue is to learn something. I learn new view points and ideas everytime. Very rarely though is anyone convinced to change a stance on something based on well crafted argument. It is possible that someone might make an argument that would change my mind on this. IT is possible I might change someone elses mind. I just not find either possibility unlikely. People are to entrenched in general to change their minds.

So knowing that, the only real expectation in getting in such debates for me is to learn something. If I did not feel i would learn anythign I would not bother. It just would get people worked up for no good reason otherwise.



Latest Month

February 2011

Page Summary

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Teresa Jones