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  • #139225
    Jax
    Keymaster

    A look at white privilege
    (from Neale Donald Walsch)
    For one of the most striking and vivid insights into the politics of America today, I offer an extraordinary essay by Tim Wise now making the rounds on the Internet. Its author, Tim Wise, invites every one to share it with everyone else. I hope you will.

    Before reading it, you should know a bit about Mr. Wise.

    Tim Wise is the 2008 Oliver L. Brown Distinguished Visiting Scholar for Diversity Issues at Washburn University, in Topeka, Kansas. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from Tulane University. In 2005, he served as an adjunct faculty member at the Smith College School for Social Work, in Northampton, Massachusetts, where he co-taught a Master’s level classes. He has spoken in 48 states, and on over 400 college campuses, including Harvard, Stanford, and the Law Schools at Yale and Columbia, and has spoken to community groups around the nation.

    Wise has provided sensitivity training to teachers nationwide, and has trained physicians and medical industry professionals on how to combat racial inequities in health care. He has also trained corporate, government, entertainment, military and law enforcement officials on methods for dismantling overt discrimination and racism in their institutions.

    In 2001, Wise trained journalists to eliminate racial bias in reporting, as a visiting faculty-in-residence at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida. In 2005 and 2006, Wise provided training on issues of racial privilege and institutional bias at the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI), at Patrick Air Force Base. From 1999-2003, Wise was an advisor to the Fisk University Race Relations Institute, in Nashville, and in the early ’90s was Associate Director of the Louisiana Coalition Against Racism and Nazism: the largest of the many groups organized for the purpose of defeating neo-Nazi political candidate, DavidDuke.

    Wise is the author of White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son, and Affirmative Action: Racial Preference in Black and White. A collection of his essays, Speaking Treason Fluently: Anti-Racist Reflections From an Angry White Male, will be published in the Fall of 2008, and his fourth book, Between Barack and a Hard Place: Race and Whiteness in the Age of Obama, will be released in Spring, 2009.

    He has contributed chapters or essays to 20 books, and received the 2001 British Diversity Award for best essay on race issues, and his writings have appeared in dozens of popular, professional and scholarly journals. Wise has been a guest on hundreds of radio and television programs, worldwide.

    He and his wife Kristy are the proud parents of two daughters.

        * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
        BLOG WRITER’S NOTE: Two days a week between now and election day in the U.S. I am going to open the discussion here to politics. The other five days we will continue to focus on purely spiritual issues.

        I am doing this – and feel this 5-to-1 balance is reasonable — since in the United States we are now racing toward what many people (including not a few folks in other countries around the world) say is the most important presidential election in a century or more. And, of course, politics are a major part of life. Indeed, Conversations with God says that “politics is your spirituality, demonstrated.”

        In my view, a person’s most sacred spiritual beliefs had better inform that person’s politics, or our political system is bankrupt. And so, today’s political commentary – with an opportunity for the members of the online community here to add their own observations in the Comments Section.

        * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Here is the essay by Tim Wise. After reading it, I invite you to send it to at least ten people.

    This is Your Nation
    on White Privilege

    by Tim Wise

    For those who still can’t grasp the concept of white privilege, or who are constantly looking for some easy-to-understand examples of it, perhaps this list will help.

    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 to judge 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 “f- – -in’ redneck,” like Bristol Palin’s boyfriend does, and talk about how if anyone messes with you, you’ll “kick their f- – -in’ 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 in six years like Sarah Palin did (one of which you basically failed out of, 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 first place 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 enough for the founding fathers, it’s good enough for me,” and not be immediately disqualified from holding office – since, after all, the pledge 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 to have 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 organizers and the work they do – like, among other things, fight for the right of women 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 years whose 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 in speakers who say the conflict in the Middle East is God’s punishment on Jews for rejecting Jesus, and every one can still think you’re just a 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 its effect 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 and nuanced.

    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, which is very concrete and certain.

    #149513
    Mindas Arran
    Participant

    I don’t have too much time to comment, I’m headed to work, but the whole article was racist garbage. Let’s stereotype “white privilege” and turn the election into a race issue, to swing a couple more votes for Obama…

    It’s like this every election. The people running for office say what they have to say, and when that’s over (in a week or so) then out comes the mud slinging for the rest of the year.

    And for the record: Palin is a psycho. The idea that McCain could die and she would wind up the president is reason alone for me not to vote for them.

    #149515
    Beral Khan
    Participant

    I started to post some very negative things about this article.

    Life isn’t fair.  It is what you make of it.

    #149517
    Charles
    Participant

    Whats that heading this way? It looks like a chuck with a full head of steam… yup must be. At this speed it might destroy the tracks and derail. Lets see how this goes.

    Quote:
    This is Your Nation
    on White Privilege
    by Tim Wise
    Quote:
    For those who still can’t grasp the concept of white privilege, or who are constantly looking for some easy-to-understand examples of it, perhaps this list will help.

    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 to judge 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.

    You mean instead of automatically gaining financial and government assitance for the action because your some other color? As for judgement, there is a reason the term White Trash has come into existance mind ya. We judge each other all the time, anyone telling you any differant is full of it. Heck as you read this right now your subconsciously judging me. Drop the whole “Judgement” BS right now, it happens, the trick is to not let it influence you.

    Quote:
    White privilege is when you can call yourself a “f- – -in’ redneck,” like Bristol Palin’s boyfriend does, and talk about how if anyone messes with you, you’ll “kick their f- – -in’ 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.

    Thats called being a moron, and what your talking about is Media Privelage. I’m sorry but I’ve seen a NON-STOP-FLOOD of Obama comercials on TV for the past 10 hours. All degrading and debasing the other candidate, none speaking anything good for the person who “Endorses this statement” media outlets will determine whatever the heck they want to. Thats not white privelage thats called throwing money at the situation.

    Quote:
    White privilege is when you can attend four different colleges in six years like Sarah Palin did (one of which you basically failed out of, 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 first place because of affirmative action.

    Yeah what about the converse? What about a person who is hired at a job with a crmiinal record and kept on because they ARE “a person of color” I’ve seen people NOT get fired for everything short of, and including, assault within a grocery store because they ARE “of color” and it looks bad for the company to do anything about them. Lets talk about privelages shall we. This article is trying to grouop PEOPLE into COLORS to get SYMPATHY. I think Mr.King would be so ashamed he’d not know WHAT to say to this…. bull.

    Quote:
    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.”

    Thats Political Manipulation, you know like saying things like “Don’t be affraid to vote for a black man” its all about getting on peoples sympathies. The fact a supposedly REPUTABLE source could write about this is just appaling. Theres no unbias here, theres just ONE SIDE being hammered. Well I like hammers so lets keep this up. You hammer, I hammer.

    Quote:
    White privilege is being able to say that you support the words “under God” in the pledge of allegiance because “if it was good enough for the founding fathers, it’s good enough for me,” and not be immediately disqualified from holding office – since, after all, the pledge 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.

    Wouldn’t that be more Christian Privelage. I can gaurantee you I can find right now without trying 100 “people of color” who would be GLAD to support the words Under God because they believe in it. This is about religious arguementativeisim and I ASSURE you both candidates have their own agendas based on faith and beleifs. Otherwise they would not be candidates. Their faith may not be in one God, or MANY Gods or anything like that, but I’m sure they have SOME kind of faith in something they believe they are fighting for.

    Quote:
    White privilege is being able to be a gun enthusiast and not make people immediately scared of you.

    I’m only affraid of a gun if its pointed at me. This is more BS with no basis. Theres a differance between a Gun Enthusiast and a criminal with a gun. Likewise racisim exists on both sides of that fence. If you wear jeans and suspeners and walk around with a shot gun, oh and by the way your pale of skin, in a community of a darker tint I can GAURANTEE You someone will be nervous. Make sure you wear your country hat to fit the image.

    Quote:
    White privilege is being able to have 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.

    Again more political manuvering, your article shows so much political manuvering for your candidate you’d think it’d be obvious what your trying to do. Once your in politics if you fart in the wrong direction someone will be ON YOU. I hate to say it but ANYONE in politics has no respect for their family because they KNOW what they are subjecting them to. That goes for both sides.

    Quote:
    White privilege is being able to make fun of community organizers and the work they do – like, among other things, fight for the right of women 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.

    Sorta like saying “Your not voting for me because I’m black and that means your racist?” Well now… isn’t that something. Thats like the pot calling the kettle…. err well you know.

    Quote:
    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.”

    Change White Women to Black Men in all of the above and you have my counter arguement. This is just ridiculious. We know people vote based on immature reasons and we know each candidate is manipulating the media. All this article is doing is attempting to sound “Non-Bias” while greating a mud ball the size of Texas. We all took government class yes? We should all remember the Political Manipulation section of that glass.

    Quote:
    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.

    If I was running for president and I had someone on my team who didn’t support me…. I’d fire them…. am I missing something? Maybe I don’t know the background behind this one but it was left very vague.

    Quote:
    White privilege is being able to attend churches over the years whose 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 in speakers who say the conflict in the Middle East is God’s punishment on Jews for rejecting Jesus, and every one can still think you’re just a 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 its effect on black people, you’re an extremist who probably hates America.

    You should REALY listen to that pastors speeches again. He’s rather harsh and the CANDIDATE YOU ARE SUPPOTING in this statement dissagred with his statements severely. So severely he left that church. This is just one more in a LONG LONG list of examples of attempting to show some privelage. People will think what they want to, what your saying here is that this “White Privelage” exists outside the thoughts and actions of the people. SO therefore we must controll the people directly. Only way I know to do that is torture, you get the hammer I will get the hax saw and we will see if we can’t destroy this concept.

    Quote:
    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 and nuanced.

    More political dancing. The fact you bring up two totally unrelated topics in the same sentance shows a lack of ability to correlate the data effectively. Or your just grasping for straws.

    Quote:
    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.

    Actually the Military Experiance would be quite helpfull for a president in a time of war, oh wait we are in one. More over anyone who has never been a POW or tortured near to death needs to shut the…… trap door before they let all the air out  ;) It is real easy to whine about our lives untill we are under torture, cut off from our homes, and looking death in the face. You want to go for the sympathy plea here? Fine, compare a few choice words and getting beat up in school to a gun shoved up your nose and someone yelling at you in a forieng language… which one wins?

    Quote:
    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, which is very concrete and certain.

    Both candidates have comprehensive economical, military, and social reform plans that are sweeping and drastic. Your blowing more smoke now again. I’d like to see the records that show a 90% vote. Does that count in the refusals to vote which automatically get counted as a no? Anyone can make up numbers on the spot, your not citing sources, and your doing a BEST OF EFFORT to use FEAR to controll your reader. Thats unethical, immoral, and unreasonable.

    I’m Charles McBride and I say vote for WHOEVER THE HECK YOU WANT BASED ON THEIR SOCIAL, POLITICAL, FINANCIAL, AND MILITARY PLANS. Don’t vote out of fear though, don’t vote because some jackinapes is telling you to, and don’t vote because you think you owe it to a race, color, creed, religion, or political party.

    This Message was approved by Charles L McBride.

    #149518
    Jax
    Keymaster
    Quote:
    I’m Charles McBride and I say vote for WHOEVER THE HECK YOU WANT BASED ON THEIR SOCIAL, POLITICAL, FINANCIAL, AND MILITARY PLANS. Don’t vote out of fear though, don’t vote because some jackinapes is telling you to, and don’t vote because you think you owe it to a race, color, creed, religion, or political party.

    I agree.  I put this out there just for people to think about.  Yes, there are two sides to all of this, but there are still some valid points being made.  Yes, I can see that it’s mostly media that is perpetuating it right now, but the fact that people aren’t making a big noise about so much of the insanity regarding the Palin choice is astounding. 

    She also scares the crap out of me, that she could be one step away from the presidency…oh my god.  (and I say that figuratively, I’m definitely not voting out of fear lol)

    #149519
    Charles
    Participant

    My honest oppinion, both candidates scare the bejesus out of me. On the one hand I like McCains military analysis and options better than Obamas. Obama seems to have some better options for SOME of the financial problems but not ALL of them. From a moral stand point I don’t trust either one of them as far as I can throw them. They both speak with forked tounges the likes of which if I where a christian would make me wonder if either one of them weren’t hiding their true skin color. Like this  :maul

    Thats just covering my first 3 considerations for any candidate. Each of them has major strikes against them in my book. I gotta wonder what it would take to ressurect one of the presidents of past years and put them in office…. sadly my Archane wisdom only goes so far as to ressurecting threads, frozen gold fish (don’t ask), and Old Anime Clips.

    In my area I’m subject to Obama Overload, in other areas they are being subjected to McCain hype of a comparable level. In the end I don’t trust either of them and right now just looking for which is the lesser of the two evils. Sadly, every time I think I’ve found them one more smeer campaign convinces me to not want to vote for that person. After all, why would I trust the man who’s yelling about how evil the man he is running against is. Give me a campaign where they bolster each other up, where they like each other, where they say good things about each other and I tell you I might have an easier time voting then.

    #149520
    inari
    Participant

    As a ‘foreigner’ I guess there’s the chance I’ll get flamed for even daring to have an opinion on this topic, but I’ve been watching and reading at least some of the US presidential commentaries, and saw with some bemusement the touting of Sarah Palin as a real option just because she’s a chick.

    Anyway, looking at the essay Jax posted, I’d like to say two things. The first is that the US does seem to have stronger internal conflicts, and the media hypes it more, anytime someone who is not ‘white’ does something political, or really bad, or really good. In Australia, we had a change of government about a year ago, and a Senator from Adelaide who is of Asian extraction, Penny Wong, was chosen for the front bench. Media discussion about it lasted for approximately 1 day (yay, isn’t it good to see more minorities etc) and then focus moved to how the government as a whole was doing and occasionally on how she was doing in her portfolio.

    I’ll also say here that I’ve seen ‘white’ Aussies who live in some of the sunnier regions of the country who are probably darker of skin than Barack Obama.

    The real issue that I see in the US, however, is not racial. It’s actually money related, it’s about class. I know that in theory the US is egalitarian and ‘free’, but I’ve spent enough time living there to know that is also spin, it’s not that way in reality. There are two places where the society seems more egalitarian as a whole, and that’s at the top and the bottom of the ladder. Whether it’s the republicans or the democrats, both sides seem chock full of people who come from wealthy families and have no real idea of what it is like to live otherwise. Sure, Sarah’s family issues have had the best face put on them, but I reckon that even if she wasn’t white, as long as the family was rich and ‘connected’ then a similar spin would have been put on it.

    Lets look at the poor in America, grinding poverty makes no class distinctions, a single mother is treated like a single mother, a homosexual is treated like a homosexual, if you’re too poor to afford insurance your life is cheap, no matter your skin colour. That’s equality for you, no distinctions made on race.

    Race, race, race, skin colour, sexual preference, favourite sports teams, favoured clothing brands, the ‘wrong’ side of the tracks. Arrggh! Did anyone notice that in Return of the Empire, no one said ‘Lando’s our first black administrator’. Nope, he was just a guy that was good at the job, no one mentioned his skin colour once. Perhaps that’s a part of the star wars universe that would be good to transplant to the real one.

    #149525
    Charles
    Participant

    Nah Inari I know I won’t flame you. You hit on most of the issues in your post, most of the REAL issues.

    You make a good point on the Lando statement. Sometimes I think the books are written to show us the world as it could be. To show us the racisim in the extreme (The Empire) and the opposition to it that should overcome it and win (The Alliance). On the upside more and more kids are growing up with these books as inspiration and I think our forums are a major boon to the young ones who come here. We give them hope.

    #149533
    Kol Drake
    Moderator

    In an odd way, I am surprised ‘race’ is an issue at all… since Obama had a ‘white’ mom and a ‘black’ dad… he should be seen as the ‘best of both worlds’ as to ‘color’ AND to how educated and articulate he is.  (( will stop ass kissing since Mr. O will not be giving me a job anytime soon.  :P ))

    and .. to continue our political poking with a dull stick…

    2008-09-25.gif

    #149534
    Kol Drake
    Moderator

    2008-09-26.gif

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