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Thread: White Privilege

  1. #11
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    Erm, pray do not presume to read my mind or anything of the sort. As for pretensions to moral highground and social insight - you may keep those, much good may they do you.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alison View Post
    Even in the US this is way too simplistic. There's thousands of people who aren't privileged, and many of them are white. Look at all those hillbillies (oopsies I mean "folk who live in trailers majorly in the Southern US States" )
    Of course, and that supports my assertion that it's primarily an economic issue. However, if you look at percentages you will find a disproportionate amount of black and hispanic people live in poverty compared to white people. You'll also find disproportionately few people of colour amongst the highest echelons of society. Of the roughly 500 billionaires in America only one is black. And, of course, a disproportionate amount of black and hispanic people get sent to prison. A disproportionate amount of black and hispanic people have drug addictions. A disproportionate amount of black and hispanic people die young. A disproportionate amount of black and hispanic people die in violent circumstances.

    Not every white person in America leads a great life, but just by being born white your chance of leading a great life is higher than if you are born black or hispanic. This is what white privilege means to me and, statistically, it's undeniable. It means your odds were always better.

    I've known a lot of middle-class white Americans who look down on those living in poverty. Which, because of the disproportionate numbers, means they look down on black and hispanic people. They come to equate poverty, crime and drugs with being non-white because that's what they tend to see around them. They stop looking for root causes and just start assuming they, as middle-class white folks, were somehow just born superior instead of just born luckier. That's what white privilege means to me. And I don't think most people should have to feel guilty about it. They didn't cause it and are not intentionally propagating it. But white Americans should be aware of it. Particularly when it comes to judging others. Some people really have the deck stacked against them from birth, and in the USA those people are disproportionately black and hispanic. White priviliege is not about feeling guilty so much as simply acknowledging you had a lucky start.

    That's my opinion. I formed it as a white male living in America. While there I spent some time living below the poverty line myself, which meant I lived in areas where my neighbours tended to be darker-skinned than I. I saw plenty of drug use and I was the victim of crime on multiple occasions. These crimes were largely committed by black people. For a time I became somewhat racist because I was angry and I misinterpreted what I was seeing. It took time for me to realize that I was living in poverty largely through choices I had made in my life while those around me were likely born into it. I came to realize that the poor uneducated people of colour all around me had probably never really considered their lives could have been different. Only an exceptional individual could rise above that start in life and actually be anything else. And yes, of course some white people are born into the same nightmare. But again, the percentages are massively disproportionate. And, I think it's worth noting, no white person has ever been called a race-traitor for studying, working hard and trying to make something of themselves. White Americans, even the trashiest ones, don't really have to struggle against negative cultural identity, not to that extent. This is my experience with American "white privilege".
    Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves. Bill Hicks

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paint_It_Black View Post
    Of course, and that supports my assertion that it's primarily an economic issue. However, if you look at percentages you will find a disproportionate amount of black and hispanic people live in poverty compared to white people. You'll also find disproportionately few people of colour amongst the highest echelons of society. Of the roughly 500 billionaires in America only one is black. And, of course, a disproportionate amount of black and hispanic people get sent to prison. A disproportionate amount of black and hispanic people have drug addictions. A disproportionate amount of black and hispanic people die young. A disproportionate amount of black and hispanic people die in violent circumstances.

    Not every white person in America leads a great life, but just by being born white your chance of leading a great life is higher than if you are born black or hispanic. This is what white privilege means to me and, statistically, it's undeniable. It means your odds were always better.

    I've known a lot of middle-class white Americans who look down on those living in poverty. Which, because of the disproportionate numbers, means they look down on black and hispanic people. They come to equate poverty, crime and drugs with being non-white because that's what they tend to see around them. They stop looking for root causes and just start assuming they, as middle-class white folks, were somehow just born superior instead of just born luckier. That's what white privilege means to me. And I don't think most people should have to feel guilty about it. They didn't cause it and are not intentionally propagating it. But white Americans should be aware of it. Particularly when it comes to judging others. Some people really have the deck stacked against them from birth, and in the USA those people are disproportionately black and hispanic. White priviliege is not about feeling guilty so much as simply acknowledging you had a lucky start.

    That's my opinion. I formed it as a white male living in America. While there I spent some time living below the poverty line myself, which meant I lived in areas where my neighbours tended to be darker-skinned than I. I saw plenty of drug use and I was the victim of crime on multiple occasions. These crimes were largely committed by black people. For a time I became somewhat racist because I was angry and I misinterpreted what I was seeing. It took time for me to realize that I was living in poverty largely through choices I had made in my life while those around me were likely born into it. I came to realize that the poor uneducated people of colour all around me had probably never really considered their lives could have been different. Only an exceptional individual could rise above that start in life and actually be anything else. And yes, of course some white people are born into the same nightmare. But again, the percentages are massively disproportionate. And, I think it's worth noting, no white person has ever been called a race-traitor for studying, working hard and trying to make something of themselves. White Americans, even the trashiest ones, don't really have to struggle against negative cultural identity, not to that extent. This is my experience with American "white privilege".

    Of course, I don't dispute a thing you say.

    But I'm just wondering, what about other minority (white) groups in America? Do they all get treated like "white" people?

    I don't know very much about white minority groups in the US, so I'm going to use Irish travellers as an example - they are white, but it has been found that they have a separate sort of genetics (or however you say it) from the rest of the Irish community, because they don't like to marry settled people. They are considered a separate ethnic group here. They usually do not get any further education than primary school, the daughters are married off at around 15 or so, often to create bonds with other halting sites.
    They are seen in general as 'problem' people, involved in gangland crimes, illegal everything and usually get away with it because its their "culture", and because everyone is shit scared of them . But any traveller that tries to get a proper job, or tries to further their education is seen by other travellers as a traitor to tradition, and by the rest of the population as "awh sure isn't that lovely....but don't trust them, they're dodgy by blood". And it's likely that everyone thinks that a traveller who does succeed only does so because they are a traveller and are filling the minority quota. If anyone sees a traveller come into their shop, security is called. It is very difficult for them to succeed in life, unless they have supportive (and untraditional) parents and are able to get rid of their accents.

    So...I'm wondering, seen as it's (for now) more of an American phenomenon, is there people like this, who are white, in the US? And because this phrase is making its way over here, is that not dismissing any other culture who does not have the same privileges of the white people lucky enough to be born into privileged backgrounds, and who even if not, are able to turn their life around.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alison View Post
    So...I'm wondering, seen as it's (for now) more of an American phenomenon, is there people like this, who are white, in the US?
    I'm certainly not aware of any. I think there was a time when Irish immigrants were held in rather low regard ( sorry! :P ) but still nothing like what you're describing, as far as I know. Interesting question, though. I think I'll ask a historian.
    Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves. Bill Hicks

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alison View Post
    Of course, I don't dispute a thing you say.

    But I'm just wondering, what about other minority (white) groups in America? Do they all get treated like "white" people?

    I don't know very much about white minority groups in the US, so I'm going to use Irish travellers as an example - they are white, but it has been found that they have a separate sort of genetics (or however you say it) from the rest of the Irish community, because they don't like to marry settled people. They are considered a separate ethnic group here. They usually do not get any further education than primary school, the daughters are married off at around 15 or so, often to create bonds with other halting sites.
    They are seen in general as 'problem' people, involved in gangland crimes, illegal everything and usually get away with it because its their "culture", and because everyone is shit scared of them . But any traveller that tries to get a proper job, or tries to further their education is seen by other travellers as a traitor to tradition, and by the rest of the population as "awh sure isn't that lovely....but don't trust them, they're dodgy by blood". And it's likely that everyone thinks that a traveller who does succeed only does so because they are a traveller and are filling the minority quota. If anyone sees a traveller come into their shop, security is called. It is very difficult for them to succeed in life, unless they have supportive (and untraditional) parents and are able to get rid of their accents.

    So...I'm wondering, seen as it's (for now) more of an American phenomenon, is there people like this, who are white, in the US? And because this phrase is making its way over here, is that not dismissing any other culture who does not have the same privileges of the white people lucky enough to be born into privileged backgrounds, and who even if not, are able to turn their life around.
    Yes, mostly white Hispanic people. I've heard this many times.
    Quote Originally Posted by jsmak84 View Post
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  6. #16
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    White Hispanics are the only thing comparable to what you are asking Alison, but even then, appearance and a U.S. accent can go a long way. In the last 100 years, U.S. culture has become so homogenized, that aren't really such ethnic subgroups.
    Quote Originally Posted by Little_Miss_1565 View Post
    Or what? Or you'll leave as soon as someone returns your rudeness and delete all your posts? I'm so scared.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Llamas View Post
    Yes, mostly white Hispanic people. I've heard this many times.
    Sorry, I lost the thread slightly, what have you heard many times about White Hispanics?

    I'm trying to find statistics about White Hispanics because it's a group I know nothing about but I'm struggling to find anything helpful.
    Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves. Bill Hicks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paint_It_Black View Post
    I'm certainly not aware of any. I think there was a time when Irish immigrants were held in rather low regard ( sorry! :P ) but still nothing like what you're describing, as far as I know. Interesting question, though. I think I'll ask a historian.
    Haha, it's true, Irish were known as "white negroes" or "negroes turned inside out" in the US.

    And I have an English geography book from the 1800's telling of how all the Irish have the complexion of pork and that hurling (our national sport) is "the cricket of the savages". And of course how we're all drunkards and ignorants. Although, yes, we do drink a lot. And yes, it is easy to spot some fellow Irishmen abroad from their pink complexion...
    Last edited by Alison; 08-03-2014 at 03:21 AM.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paint_It_Black View Post
    Sorry, I lost the thread slightly, what have you heard many times about White Hispanics?

    I'm trying to find statistics about White Hispanics because it's a group I know nothing about but I'm struggling to find anything helpful.
    I don't know about their social place in the hispanic community, but white hispanics are exactly what they sound like. They are white, for all intents and purposes, but with heritage from south of the border. Most questionnaires that ask for what race you identify with specify that white means "non hispanic white", because God forbid someone from Mexico, Central, or South America identify as white. Mexican is Mexican goddammit.

    Those race lists always bug me anyway. 9 times out of 10, they say African American and Caucasian. One of my oldest friends is Dominican, but black. The questionnaires in school ALWAYS had him marked as African American. I think NC may have switched to using white and black, by the time I graduated, but that may only be certain exams.
    Quote Originally Posted by Little_Miss_1565 View Post
    Or what? Or you'll leave as soon as someone returns your rudeness and delete all your posts? I'm so scared.

  10. #20
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    Right. The thing is, most people can't recognize from first sight that they're Hispanic, but as soon as they find out, the racism is just as bad. Even worse is that they often get heat from non-white Hispanics, so they're a bit attacked from both sides.
    Quote Originally Posted by jsmak84 View Post
    I do not drink alcohol and coffee

    I do not smoke and do not do drugs

    I just do bumpin in my trunk

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