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What is white privilege?

nextJin

Golden Member
Apr 16, 2009
1,848
0
0
With all of the news about Trayvon, Paula Deen, etc I have read "White Privilege" being thrown around a hell of a lot. In one in particular post it was very forcefully voiced that even if you are poor, are uneducated, white and homeless that you still had a higher status in life over an educated black man in America all due to white privilege.

Can someone explain this to me? I don't even want to go into cultural use of words and how it's not racist, I don't care about Ron Paul jokes, and I don't care we have a black president.

I want to understand why you can be a poor white man and still have White Privilege over a wealthy black man in the eyes of some of these folks posting across the internet.

If this becomes ridiculous I'll post in DC.
 

Doppel

Lifer
Feb 5, 2011
13,313
2
0
I think whites absolutely do not have a monopoly on racism, but there are so many of them that even a mild level of it can negatively affect a minority to a large degree. Given that whites are the majority and hold most positions of power (government and economic), those unlike them can suffer.
 

buckshot24

Diamond Member
Nov 3, 2009
9,916
85
91
I think whites absolutely do not have a monopoly on racism, but there are so many of them that even a mild level of it can negatively affect a minority to a large degree. Given that whites are the majority and hold most positions of power (government and economic), those unlike them can suffer.
Maybe we should get beyond this? It isn't like the white majority can get a president elected anymore.
 

nageov3t

Lifer
Feb 18, 2004
42,826
83
91
I always thought it was the idea that you're going to see people of your race cast as "default" in movies, tv shows, and advertising, and you're less likely to have systemic prejudice leveled against you.

it's like, if there's a movie with an all-black cast, it's a "black movie." but if there's a movie with an all-white cast, it's just a movie.
 

Lithium381

Lifer
May 12, 2001
12,464
2
0
I always thought it was the idea that you're going to see people of your race cast as "default" in movies, tv shows, and advertising, and you're less likely to have systemic prejudice leveled against you.

it's like, if there's a movie with an all-black cast, it's a "black movie." but if there's a movie with an all-white cast, it's just a movie.
no such thing as the latter in current days, it's against PC values.
 

boomerang

Lifer
Jun 19, 2000
18,897
638
126
It's a question for which the answer will soon become irrelevant. Whitey is going to be the minority in a decade or two.

I for one, will be very happy to be supported by brown people. I'm going to take, take, take, everything I can get. It's all going to be free and paid for by brown folk.

America - fuck yeah!
 

Nintendesert

Diamond Member
Mar 28, 2010
7,761
5
0
I'm fairly certain white privilege is simply an excuse some use for not succeeding due to their own ineptitude.
 

IGBT

Lifer
Jul 16, 2001
17,706
49
91
just yet another molested interpretation by the liberal race baiters to maintain hate / discontent / racial tensions in society to maintain their shake down rackets and political leverage.
 

finglobes

Senior member
Dec 13, 2010
741
0
0
Only 1 in 5 white homosexual has AIDS while 1 in 3 black homosexuals do. Obviously white homosexuals are getting away with something that must be related to institutional something or other
 

DominionSeraph

Diamond Member
Jul 22, 2009
8,392
31
91
(Insert group here) privilege is getting a better set of assumptions assigned to you as the default.

If you were in a conservative Muslim country, and a Muslim accused you of dishonesty, the majority there will likely believe him over you; i.e., you do not start out equal. The current of his society is continually manufactured to flow in the direction that would benefit him, so all he has to do is coast, while you have an upstream swim ahead of you if you want to be believed in his stead. He is given a privilege that you are not.
The "privilege" doesn't mean the colloquial "privileged" of possessing material wealth. Nobody is placing a dinar in his pocket over yours. Nobody is showering him with diamonds. But he still has something that you do not. And his privilege of the favorable assumption while you take the unfavorable one can have real consequences.


So, in your example of the homeless white guy? Well, what if he knifes a homeless black guy? Says, "Self defense. Stood my ground." Question is, is he treated the exact same way as a homeless black man would who stabbed a white homeless guy and said the exact same thing? Or would the white guy get the benefit of the default perspective -- you imagine yourself in his shoes against the "other" in both instances, so the black guy is always on the out? He is either the criminal that you (empathizing with the white perspective) are stabbing, or the criminal whose attack that you are fending off? And is that the majority perspective? Will you find that time, and time, and time again?
Have you seen A Time to Kill? It has a scene which tends to highlight that, even when you think you're sympathizing with a black --when you think you're fully in their shoes -- you're not. You're not giving them the same range you would a white. Your conclusions are distant and generic -- you don't ever swap them into your shoes, and so you never grant them the privilege of the reaction that you grant yourself or someone you do identify with. Without that reaction -- without starting them out as you -- you deny them the downstream path. They are on the outside, and your "I'm treating them 'equal'" is not equal, because you are not treating those on the inside the same way. The unenlightened emotional processing never notices the difference because it's checking whether the conclusions don't follow from the premises, not whether they're using different premises. The check for bias only checks what comes after, sees no forcing in the logic there, and so comes out "All clear!" -- completely missing where the bias resides.

And the thing is, this bias comes about naturally. If you don't realize it's there and counter it, you're going to treat people unequally. Racism isn't just putting on a white hood and going around saying, "I hate blacks." It can pervade society as a continual, persistent perspective.

Oh, and the easiest way to spot someone who is racist in this way is to just listen for, "But minorities can be racist, too!" The perspective is straight up "I'm in my shoes and they are the 'other'." Such a person is placing themselves at the center of the universe and they are only looking at what what might affect them. If they had ever entered the other pair of shoes -- really entered as themselves and truly flipped the status quo -- they'd have noticed that minorities do not have the power to force on society the default assumption that they are the good guys. That's a rather big point. So while it is true that an individual minority may be rude to you for no reason but your race, you still have the bulk of society granting you white privilege. His racism is a single breath that does nothing to reverse the flow of all the benefits you are granted just for being white, while your racism adds to the river against him. He has nothing backing him but himself, while you have every Conservative Talk believer ready to back your whiteness.
Your racism has societal power. That's some white privilege.
 
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Jhhnn

No Lifer
Nov 11, 1999
61,753
13,873
136
Dominion Seraph gets it.

The concept of white privilege also implies the right to assume the universality of one's own experiences, marking others as different or exceptional while perceiving oneself as normal. It can be compared and/or combined with the concept of male privilege.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_privilege

It's a shared state of mind, among other things.
 

Atreus21

Lifer
Aug 21, 2007
12,017
571
126
White privilege only exists in contrast to black under-privilege. In Jhn's homeless people example, change the races from white and black to white and asian, or black and indian, or any combination other than white and black.

The dynamic at work should be apparent. This is about blacks being the most under-privileged, rather than whites being so racist they're not even conscious of it.
 

Jhhnn

No Lifer
Nov 11, 1999
61,753
13,873
136
White privilege only exists in contrast to black under-privilege. In Jhn's homeless people example, change the races from white and black to white and asian, or black and indian, or any combination other than white and black.

The dynamic at work should be apparent. This is about blacks being the most under-privileged, rather than whites being so racist they're not even conscious of it.
It's not my example. You're not quite getting it. White privilege is pervasive, and better understood by those who don't have it than by those who do. Historically, it's often had a narrower definition than just "white".

It's good that privilege has been obtained by women, jews, poles, italians, irish, & so forth, even asians to a lesser degree. It'll be great if everybody gets it.
 

buckshot24

Diamond Member
Nov 3, 2009
9,916
85
91
It's not my example. You're not quite getting it. White privilege is pervasive, and better understood by those who don't have it than by those who do. Historically, it's often had a narrower definition than just "white".
If I really had to I could find slights in my life where I could construct a racist motivation. That doesn't mean that all of these slights are actually because of race. If I have been told that people have kept me down for generations it would be a lot easier to spot these "injustices" because I'd be looking for them.

Strangely, by focusing on racist whites and telling blacks that they are getting the shaft you're only creating more "racism" whether its real or not. This is not how we move forward. The faster we treat each other as equally as possible the faster we quit this cycle of bullshit.
 

Jhhnn

No Lifer
Nov 11, 1999
61,753
13,873
136
If I really had to I could find slights in my life where I could construct a racist motivation. That doesn't mean that all of these slights are actually because of race. If I have been told that people have kept me down for generations it would be a lot easier to spot these "injustices" because I'd be looking for them.

Strangely, by focusing on racist whites and telling blacks that they are getting the shaft you're only creating more "racism" whether its real or not. This is not how we move forward. The faster we treat each other as equally as possible the faster we quit this cycle of bullshit.
Attempting to skip off into lala land via framing. cute. It's not what you think people have been told, it's what they experience. And, of course, realizing that experience and POV is as valid as your own is part of the granting of privilege, of viewing others as equals.
 

buckshot24

Diamond Member
Nov 3, 2009
9,916
85
91
Attempting to skip off into lala land via framing. cute. It's not what you think people have been told, it's what they experience. And, of course, realizing that experience and POV is as valid as your own is part of the granting of privilege, of viewing others as equals.
I'm sure people experience real racism but I'm just as equally sure that lots of "racist" stuff really wasn't racist at all.
 

her209

No Lifer
Oct 11, 2000
56,361
8
0
I'm fairly certain white privilege is simply an excuse some use for not succeeding due to their own ineptitude.
And for the non-whites that do succeed, its only because of affirmative action that they got where they are.
 

Murloc

Diamond Member
Jun 24, 2008
5,373
61
91
I think it's the fact that since the majority of people are white, and we can assume that a % of them are at least subconsciously racist, statistically you will meet more racist white employers than racist black employers on your job interviews (even if the blacks might be racist in a higher %), so if you're black you have a slightly lower chance of getting a job. It's a bit shaky because it's not easy to say who's racist and who's not, and it depends on the availability of other candidates too.
But this is a super small factor if compared to the issues the blacks in the US have, and which need to be solved by themselves for themselves, affirmative action won't help with that and is racial discrimination towards whites anyway. I've never heard about it in universities outside of the US.
 

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