Jonathan Pie On Straight White Male Privilege

Submitted by: LordJim 1 week ago in Misc


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There are 22 comments:
Male 945
The thing about privilege is that it isn't necessarily obvious or consistent.  It is statistical.

A white person -v- a black person applying for the same job, the white person has an X% better chance of getting the job.
A white person -v- a black person getting pulled over for speeding, the black person is X% more likely to get a ticket, and X% more likely to have their car searched for drugs.
A white person -v- a black person walking through a given neighborhood, the black person is X% more likely to have the cops called on them.

Same for Male -v- Female. Straight -v- Gay.  

The end result is that over time, certain groups will have an easier time going through life.  And those percentages stack up over time, so one person will have had a gun pulled on them by cops multiple times, while I have never, and likely will never encounter that. 

That stackup then leads to, for instance, black people feeling like they are persecuted by the cops more then white people.

"Check your privilege" might be taken as "shut up," but it should be taken as "my experiences are so vastly different then yours, that you literally don't understand them."
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Male 1,975
He's a performer. This is a performance. It was rehearsed at length and then played before small audiences to find and correct the weak points, before taking it public. But we can still argue it here.
His argument is essentially SODDI, "Some other dude it!" That is a fact.
The counter-argument is that he is benefitting from the crime and not denouncing it, and that is a fact.
Now what? 
Being white, male and straight has eased my passage through life. What is my indebtedness, and to whom and how should I pay that debt?
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Male 18,342
semichisam01 you repay any debt, such that it is, by voting to ensure vertical mobility in society
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Male 18,342
My family rose from working class only a few generations ago. I was brought up on stories that are the equivalent of the American dream, but I've had several life experiences regarding wealth and privilege and social mobility that slowly changed my perspective.

People make the biggest jumps up and down the socioeconomic ladder during times of turmoil: revolutions, wars, colonisation and technological paradigm shifts, when "the system" is changed. In times of peace and plenty, the system is designed to keep everyone in their place and even to widen the wealth gap. This takes the forum of subtle insidious hurdles, like immigration policies, bank credit, biased legal systems, and obvious stuff like apartheid, Jim Crow laws and quotas.

It's understandable that social conservatives should want to maintain their privilege. That's a core principal of capitalism. However, social mobility is necessary to give hope to the underclasses so that they may reap the benefits of their efforts without resorting to revolution. There has to be a balance and an open dialogue. Silencing people by telling them to check their privilege is harmful, just like holding people down is harmful.
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Male 45,278
This goes along with the "White Guilt" people talked about during Obama's first election. 

I never owned a slave. I never killed a jew. I never burned a cross.

I do not feel guilty because if any bad behaviour on the part of other people.
And I don't feel particularly privileged either.
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Male 946
Gerry1of1 Thing about  "privileged" and "guilty" is that ones feelings are irrelevant to whether are not they are either of those things.

Guilt

Someone who's attended a church that preaches against homosexuality may have directly or indirectly funded and/or supported ideas, policies, or candidates that influenced how heterosexuals were able to get things like healthcare, tax benefits and other rights associated with marriage, even as far as how public health epidemics are treated HIV many lives could have been spared if treated sooner. Some of the people who were even directly responsible for some of this don't lose an ounce of sleep over it and don't FEEL guilty at all.

Privilege

I have never in my entire life had to have thought twice about putting up a picture or sharing an anecdote about my partner(s) at work for fear of how I might be treated. As a straight person I've never had to do that. Any person can have privilege it somehow has become synonymous for straight white cisgender men, but that's perception not reality.


We can all participate, I can be self aware and exercise my privilege when I see someone who's LGBT being treated unfairly and say something, or I can pat myself on the back for not directly being responsible and even complain about it or undermine their grievances. I personally think we're all better off (including white people), doing the former not the latter.
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Male 45,278
mischeif954  I think you are looking at "white guilt" from the wrong direction. As I understand it, whites were expected to vote for a black president because they felt guilty about sins of the past.  

There cannot be a guilt assigned to everyone in a group like White Guilt. The notion is ridiculous. If you do you have to acknowledge Black Guilt as that's who the white slavers bought them off of in Africa. And Latino Guilt? Most of the slaves that left Africa went to South America & Caribbean, only some to the US.   

Are all germans now living suffering German Guilt because of 2 world wars?

Is there Jewish Guilt for killing Christ?   I know that's silly, but Racial Guilt is silly.

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Male 946
Gerry1of1 Do you not feel "particularly privileged" or do you resent being viewed as someone who is privileged solely because the color of your skin? You don't have Legal citizenship privilege, Able bodied privilege, like nothing? I feel like there's this reactive phenomena to people being told they have privilege where they certainly become devoid of any opportunity in life.

I don't think most black people would tell you to vote for Ben Carson or Herman Cain because they're black, so obviously there's something more than skin. It seems like if anything it goes back to what I said before to some people recognizing Obama as someone who A) Was presumed to be aware and B) someone they though would exercise his privilege as president to do something.

Do the Germans feel guilt today? Probably not, but by that example they also admitted wrong doing, apologized, went through major reformations, and paid reparations and restitution. Based on your stance on guilt, I'm assuming you don't fancy paying for something you had nothing to do with either so it's a strange comparison. They've already atoned so even if there was a racial guilt why would they still feel it.

Meanwhile in the US people who get up in arms when statues and other symbolism of people who " owned slaves, killed jews, and burned crosses." are being demanded to be removed, despite everybody claiming they have nothing to do with them.

I wholly agree with the sentiment the comedian was making in that peoples voices shouldn't be excluded because of their skin color, but he's a comedian his facetiousness while I don't think his bit was funny, I understood it, his aim was to make a joke. When people come into conversations like you this about a serious matter with a somewhat serious tone that but with flippant remarks I empathize why some people would rather not hear the opinion of someone like yourself, you come off almost as if though you're trolling. That's also part of your privilege you don't have to take it seriously, the severity of racism to you peaks at you being annoyed because someone who probably holds no meaningful value in your life suggested you should feel guilty.
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Male 45,278
mischeif954 "able body privilege" "citizen privilege"  
If you're going to go on in a "Count your blessings" list of detail, you could do that with anyone.  Looking at it that way Everyone is Privileged because Everyone has something going for them.

But if you boil it down to, do I have an easier life than someone else... Yes I do. And someone else has a life easier than mine. That's how the universe works. 

Let's not overcomplicate it just so we can assign blame which leads to demanding entitlements etc.   Just get on with life and stop complaining... in general, not specifically aimed at you
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Male 946
Gerry1of1 "Just get on with life and stop complaining... in general, not specifically aimed at you"

Well said, but that's not what you're doing in practice. It's not about assigning blame that's the problem people see it as such, but let's also not absolve ourselves of doing the right thing. Where you have something going on use it for good, don't go what I have isn't so great. If everybody did that for each other we'd be better off.

I might not have cultivated able bodied privilege but if there's opportunity for me to provide input like "why don't we add a ramp here.", or "automatic door" to make something more accessible, instead of worrying able bodied guilt, then why not? 
Which side is the over complication?
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Male 45,278
mischeif954   I do not absolve myself from doing the right thing now. I DO absolve myself of any responsibility for what happened 100 years ago or more.

I'll stand up for my sins, but I'll not stand up for your grandfathers
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Male 2,737
Well he makes a valid point, being somewhat older than him I still feel mutch the same, I had nothing to do with all the bad things that he used to make straight white men look bad. And  as far as I can tell I am not someone that has relied on or gotten ahead using it. Of course I can't tell you if I have received it and been advanced or chosen because of it as it can be so subtle as to be indistinguishable from someone being nice or their own prejudices coming out.
  But on the other hand I feel privileged to be one of them, as they (my predecessors straight white men ) also laid down their lives and played a very big part in stopping and ending the same evils mentioned. And the Atom bomb also played its part in that.
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6,813
This is the most common problem when talking about privilege. People tend to mix them up. Wealth privilege and race privilege are two entirely separate things. Yes privileges do overlap.
 here's a different way of looking at it. When you're sitting around the holiday table thinking about all the things you are thankful for your technically counting all your privileges. It's not necessarily A Bad Thing it's just describing the rolled as it is.
White Privilege exists so does black privilege and Asian privilege, ect 
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Male 18,342
dm2754 Asian privilege comes from working so hard that you out performed all the white kids
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6,813
Straight White Male 
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6,813

Straight White Male 

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6,813

Straight White Male 

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Male 37
He's confused. Having social privileges like "white" or "male" privilege do not mean a person can't also be oppressed as "poor" or "disabled" at the same time. Each status has their own impact on your life. Some are an advantage and some are a disadvantage.

Being so angry at the thought of someone asking you to "check your privilege" simply underlines how much privilege you truly have by illustrating how much freedom you feel entitled to demand. Ask a person of color what they think would happen if they expressed such an entitlement with such aggression.
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Male 9,185
phacter Good points. I think your first paragraph more or less reflected his point Your second was very thought provoking.
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Male 11
Sounds to me like this guy is starting to understand what it means to be a person of color.  The color bias is implicit in everything we do because of those white 19th century slave traders.  It's just taken 200 years for white straight males to acknowledge that it's there.  Now that it's acknowledged - maybe its time that we can move past it.
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Female 8,514
hmm- i'm not sure if listing the excuses given for people disputing the existence of the concept, then briefly saying that of course inherent advantage exists actually does much to argue for or against the concept. funny, but rather playing to the wrong idea.
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Male 45,278
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