Thursday, September 18, 2008

White Privelege (Repost)

I didn't write this but it's pretty spot on so I figured I would post it.

From:September, 14 2008 By Tim Wise Tim Wise's ZSpace Page: http://www.zmag.org/zspace/timwise

* White privilege is when you can get pregnant at seventeen like Bristol Palin and everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of your family is a personal matter, and that no one has a right tojudge you or your parents, because "every family has challenges," even as black and Latino families with similar "challenges" are regularly typified as irresponsible, pathological and arbiters of social decay.

* White privilege is when you can call yourself a "fuckin' redneck,"like Bristol Palin's boyfriend does, and talk about how if any one messes with you, you'll "kick their fuckin' ass," and talk about how you like to "shoot shit" for fun, and still be viewed as a responsible, all-American boy (and a great son-in-law to be) rather than a thug.

* White privilege is when you can attend four different colleges insix years like Sarah Palin did (one of which you basically failed outof, then returned to after making up some coursework at a community college), and no one questions your intelligence or commitment to achievement, whereas a person of color who did this would be viewed as unfit for college, and probably someone who only got in in the firstplace because of affirmative action.

* White privilege is when you can claim that being mayor of a town smaller than most medium-sized colleges, and then Governor of a state with about the same number of people as the lower fifth of the island of Manhattan, makes you ready to potentially be president, and people don't all piss on themselves with laughter, while being a black U.S.Senator, two-term state Senator, and constitutional law scholar, means you're "untested."

* White privilege is being able to say that you support the words"under God" in the pledge of allegiance because "if it was good enoughfor the founding fathers, it's good enough for me," and not be immediately disqualified from holding office--since, after all, thepledge was written in the late 1800s and the "under God" part wasn't added until the 1950s--while believing that reading accused criminals and terrorists their rights (because, ya know, the Constitution, which you used to teach at a prestigious law school requires it), is a dangerous and silly idea only supported by mushy liberals.

* White privilege is being able to be a gun enthusiast and not make people immediately scared of you. White privilege is being able tohave a husband who was a member of an extremist political party that wants your state to secede from the Union, and whose motto was "Alaska first," and no one questions your patriotism or that of your family,while if you're black and your spouse merely fails to come to a 9/11 memorial so she can be home with her kids on the first day of school,people immediately think she's being disrespectful.

* White privilege is being able to make fun of community organizersand the work they do--like, among other things, fight for the right ofwomen to vote, or for civil rights, or the 8-hour workday, or an end to child labor--and people think you're being pithy and tough, but if you merely question the experience of a small town mayor and 18-month governor with no foreign policy expertise beyond a class she took in college--you're somehow being mean, or even sexist.

* White privilege is being able to convince white women who don't even agree with you on any substantive issue to vote for you and your running mate anyway, because all of a sudden your presence on the ticket has inspired confidence in these same white women, and made them give your party a "second look."

* White privilege is being able to fire people who didn't support your political campaigns and not be accused of abusing your power or being a typical politician who engages in favoritism, while being black and merely knowing some folks from the old-line political machines in Chicago means you must be corrupt.

* White privilege is being able to attend churches over the yearswhose pastors say that people who voted for John Kerry or merely criticize George W. Bush are going to hell, and that the U.S. is an explicitly Christian nation and the job of Christians is to bring Christian theological principles into government, and who bring inspeakers who say the conflict in the Middle East is God's punishmenton Jews for rejecting Jesus, and everyone can still think you're justa good church-going Christian, but if you're black and friends with a black pastor who has noted (as have Colin Powell and the U.S.Department of Defense) that terrorist attacks are often the result of U.S. foreign policy and who talks about the history of racism and itseffect on black people, you're an extremist who probably hates America.

* White privilege is not knowing what the Bush Doctrine is when asked by a reporter, and then people get angry at the reporter for asking you such a "trick question," while being black and merely refusing to give one-word answers to the queries of Bill O'Reilly means you're dodging the question, or trying to seem overly intellectual andnuanced.

* White privilege is being able to claim your experience as a POW has anything at all to do with your fitness for president, while being black and experiencing racism is, as Sarah Palin has referred to it a"light" burden.

* And finally, white privilege is the only thing that could possibly allow someone to become president when he has voted with George W.Bush 90 percent of the time, even as unemployment is skyrocketing, people are losing their homes, inflation is rising, and the U.S. is increasingly isolated from world opinion, just because white voters aren't sure about that whole "change" thing. Ya know, it's just too vague and ill-defined, unlike, say, four more years of the same, whichis very concrete and certain. White privilege is, in short, the problem.

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8 comments:

Patrick M said...

So the contention that this piece makes, and that you endorse is that we're all a bunch of racist bastards and we are the reason for all the ills of the world?

Oh, and Barack Obama won't get elected because he is black?

Normally, I make it a rule not to come to other peoples blogs and just attack, but this time I'm making an exception for something that should be relegated to chain emails.

This is shit. Plain and simple. It's vomit such as this that perpetuates the racist attitude that still permeates in pockets in this country. But now, it's not just the skinheads, neo-nazis, and kooky klansmen doing the damage.

Toad734 said...

But isn't that what blogs are for?

Oh, wait, excuse me for a minute, my bullshit detector is ringing off the hook.

Don't pretend that if Obama had a teenage black daughter living on the South Side of Chicago who got knocked up by a black guy who said "he likes to shoot shit" and would "kick your fucking ass" and said he was a straight up thug, every white Repbulican from Delay to Gingrich's house would be calling up David Duke and talking about how irresponsible black men are and how this is another example of families in the inner city who ignore and don't care about their children and straight up ghetto trash, etc. and Barrack Obama would loose the election. Period!

Just because you are not racist does not mean we don't still live in a racist society. Apparently you have never lived or been down south much. And even if people didn't say it, they would be thinking it.

But when its some redneck from Alaska its "boys will be boys".

And yes, sorry to inform you of this put there are plenty of people in this country who will not vote for Obama because he is black. You are willing to admit that there are people who will vote for him because he is and they are black and you know white suburban women with a bunch of kids are now going to vote for Mccain because of Palin, why is it such a stretch to assume that there are some white poeple, like the ones with the guns in bombs they picked up in Denver during the convention who will not vote for Obama because he is black.

My Mom even thinks that he will be assasinated if he is elected. If my mom, who isn't all that political, can see that, how can you not?

B said...

Patrick M-

Im not sure where you live, but racism does not exist in "pockets". Ask any black man, or woman, for that matter. Its a fact that people look at Obama, hear his name, and automatically make false assumptions. And then they attempt to discredit his experience in order to justify their prejudices.

Why anyone in their right mind thinks that Palin has enough credibility to be elected to ANY office is beyond me.

Patrick M said...

B: I'm in an area with plenty of pockets of racism. And those people were voters that Obama never had anyway. Smart people discredit Obama for what he's said and done, not his name and his color.

It's this fixation on finding racism and blaming Obama's failures on racism that perpetuates the obsession with racism. Remember, we're still only about 50 years removed from the days when racism was a powerful part of our society. And as the old-line racists have died out, so has the institutional racism.

In fact, the last time I checked, the only party that was bringing up race issues on a regular basis was the Democrats. The irony is delicious. It tastes like chicken. Fried, if you want to add some stereotype. I won't because I'll just get hungry.

Why anyone in their right mind thinks that Palin has enough credibility to be elected to ANY office is beyond me.

That would also explain why you can't seem to get past the idea of institutional racism.

Toad734 said...

One of the top TV shows in this country is Dancing with the Stars, how many smart people do you think are out there?

Of course the only ones who ever bring up race are going to be liberals, thats why they are called liberals, they aren't satisfied with the status quo of inequality and racism which, as you said, was an institution in this country for 400 years up until a couple decades ago.

Patrick M said...

And my point it was an institution years ago, but not anymore. Even the dum (intentional misspelling) can see that.

As for inequality and racism, you see inequality of outcome where there is equality of opportunity. And too often you see racism where there is none. Racism has nothing to do with liberals vs conservatives. Not anymore.

Toad734 said...

Right, institutional racism is no longer a factor. I just reposted something on the main post as a reminder of that.

A black kid growing up in the projects has just as much of a chance of getting into Princeton as a Rich white former Presidents son.

Dave Miller said...

Nice post Toad.