Muhammad Rasheed - "The concept of white privilege implies the right to assume the universality of one's own experiences, marking others as different or exceptional while perceiving oneself as normal." (Source)
I want to test this one in battle. I know a lot of my debate partners who scoff at the concept of 'white privilege.' I wonder if they will admit that they consider the 'white way' to being the 'normal way?'
Do you get offended at the idea of a brown crayon labeled "Flesh?" Tell me how that would make you feel, please.
Catherine Mattijetz - i will answer this way: i saw an article with a headline of a biracial star who stated that bathing every day was a "white people thing." the headline was "Star X reveals her very interesting bathing habits."
i was offended by that. as a white person, i wondered why the article didnt state that the startlet made an interesting point about the differences in our racial culture. or that she highlighted the overuse of soaps in our society. why was her bathing routine called into question simply because white people typically bathe every day and that is what is supposedly considered the "normal" way?
Muhammad Rasheed - I consider that a side step of the topic. I remember that article you're talking about and thought that woman was crazy. My family bathes everyday; I have no idea what she was going on about.
Muhammad Rasheed - What was your first reaction at the idea of a brown crayon labeled "Flesh?"
Muhammad Rasheed - From a "mainstream" crayon company?
Catherine Mattijetz - it wouldnt bother me, but i think that by now it would likely be confusing.
Muhammad Rasheed - It would "confuse" you? interesting. [takes notes]
Catherine Mattijetz - i grew up with the color "flesh" being a peachy color. i guess it would be generational.
Andre Owens - Catherine, the actress who said that is Naya Rivera, she's Latino. Not Bi-racial.
Muhammad Rasheed - I grew up looking at that "peachy" color feeling angry inside.
Nurah Rasheed - I come across this so often when the discussion is on casting for movie adaptions of books. If you suggest any actor for a role that isn't white you will get bombarded with comments demanding justification and extensive reasoning for daring to suggest someone of a different race. And even when someone drew fan art of the trio from Harry Potter, but they depicted Hermione as black. White people immediately demanded "canonical evidence" to support the character being non-white. Like it's inconceivable and forbidden - even in a fan adaption - unless it is spelled out explicitly in the text. But even when it is - like when Rue was portrayed by a black girl in the Hunger Games - there is still upset.
Devin Murphy - (I'd be interested to discuss with you via email or messenger, but I'm trying to minimize posting/commenting on specific political things because I want to keep my views fairly private.)
Bill O'Neal - The crayon thing? Not only doesn't it offend me... I'd find it a bit refreshing... but I'm *weird*.
I grew up in a part of Indiana where there were no black people. None. Zip. White rural county in the 1970s with corn, white people, corn, and more corn (some pigs too.)
My father was a teacher in a bigger city the next county over. He taught in a school where there were some black people. My dad was killed in a car accident when I was 15 and my mom is gone too now... so I can't ask them about their mindset. I don't know if they made some conscious effort to make me (and my only brother-- also gone now) understand about racism. I just vaguely remember when Martin Luther King Jr was killed (I was 7 at the time) and that vague memory is all mixed up with the equally vague memory of RFK getting killed that same year. I remember everyone being upset and being clued to the TV but that's about it.
What I do know is we had a foreign exchange student come from Kenya. He didn't stay with us in our home but visited us on the farm and stayed a few days a couple different times. He was black, of course. And to *me*... as a *kid*... what I found more unusual than his dark skin tone was his *name*. His first name was Green. Middle name Jack. A person from his same village also came here (we have a religious college here in town) and his first name was Monday. My recollection is probably wrong but my memory is that the story was they came from a part of Kenya where when the baby was born, it was named based on something the parents saw in that moment... which explains Green, kinda, but not really Monday.
Interesting accent too. He seemed *exotic*, I guess, especially being he was from Africa.
That was, like, my only real experience with black people growing up.
But I was *acutely* aware that Indiana was a hotbed of racism. KKK stronghold here. In high school, I was on the speech team and the original speech I had my senior year was called "Under the Sheets" and it was about the long history of racism in Indiana.
As to "scoffing at the notion of white privilege"-- I certainly don't scoff at it! I'm as white as bleached sheets; all my childhood friends are Caspers too (not to mention, of course, all my relatives present and past); and I know a *lot* of people who I'd bet would be very offended by a brown crayon being labeled "flesh." (Not all- my best friend is married to a wonderful black lady-- but many of my friends from my past.) And I think there is some real fear, sometimes, at the core of that.
I mean: knowing that in America, white people will soon be in the minority, that is blessed prospect to me (weird guy). But it frightens a lot of people. It seems to *terrify* all the guys at FOX News.
*Really* interesting articles too, Muhammad.
"Racism comes out of our pores as white people. It's who we are."
I don't know if that's completely true of *all* white people. But I also don't know that it's not!
I wrote a short story a while back (that never saw the light of day) called President Boogeyman. To write it, I again researched the Klan. And boy... they sure don't talk the same talk they used to. Since racism isn't socially acceptable the way it once was... people aren't open about their racism. Instead, they just deny racism exists.... which is both devious and insidious.
The white way is definitely the right way, I'd say, in Indiana. The sooner that changes, the better... but it's not going to happen without a whole lot of kicking and screaming!
Long, rambling response. Sorry. My feelings on the subject are *complex.*
Dan DeLyon - I found the concept of "Flesh" colored off anyway, since I was kinda jaundiced. It was right up there with Soul-Aids which (I kid you not) were generic bandaids that were dark brown in color.
Bill Jonke - I'm white, and I was labeled "different." What I'm trying to say here is that color has no difference. In the costuming industry, as well as life, the color of one's skin is infinite in variations. Years ago I would have killed to do an in depth research and procurement study on costuming materials for sheers, spandex and undergarments that would accommodate all flesh colors. I wanted to have discussions with people of all diversities and gather opinions and information from everyone. Naturally, they didn't have the time or the money for me to do it. That's Disney for you! Crayola would have to come out with a whole new set of colors for the word "flesh," they still couldn't do it accurately, and yes, the color they named was archaic and racist, even back then. I'm embarrassed about it.
Dan Bennett - Flesh crayons? I remember the first one I saw, because it was in the 64 crayon box, which my parents never bought because it was an unnecessary expense. I didn't know what "flesh" was supposed to mean, and the kid who owned the crayons said is was skin color. I tried it on a figure I was drawing and found that it didn't look like any skin color I'd ever seen at all, and declared it useless. "Skin color", to me, meant the color of white people's skin, because I'd never been around anyone of any other race. But I had noticed that there was a lot of variation in people's skin color (including my own, especially in the summer time with legs that were pale from the knees up and brown below), and the crayon didn't really seem much like any of them. I don't think brown would have shocked me much, although I expect I'd have seen black as a hilarious mistake. BTW, this was in the South back in the Jim Crow days, when there really was such a thing as "white privilege". I remember "White Only" and "Colored Waiting Room" signs. I remember being turned away from the zoo in Memphis because it was, according to the gatekeeper, "N****r Day" and therefore we weren't allowed in.
Tony Steed - Good article. I need to read more about it before forming a true opinion, because as black as I am. My dads mother is a white french woman, and the majority of the family is a mix of more than one ethnic group. I've seen frustrations on her face more times than I care to recall, so I can imagine what she and many of the lighter skinned family members went through.
Dave Stephens - There are infinite ways of defining what privilege is. I am privileged in countless ways for countless reasons, skin color among them. And in countless ways I am underprivileged, too. But between those uncountable ways, I remember most clearly the times I had been slighted... It's a frustrating and hugely unfair world, but there is a little bit of fairness in it, too, and it's better to add what fairness you can when you can than to growl about the unfairness that is endemic to all interactions...
Bill Jonke - You make an interesting point, Dave; in some ways, being underprivileged knows no discrimination. I too have had my share of being slighted, mostly in my younger years, and it's hard to shake that, but it's the negative attitude I had to shed for me ito compare that to the ways I was enriched. I've been strengthened by most of the negative impact, and it makes me realize what I DO have on a more positive level. My story is a long one.
Mark Needham - I'd be okay with a brown flesh crayon. That sort of pink-peach colour called flesh isn't a colour that y'actually see on any white folks.
Mark Needham - Maybe it's a regional thing? Like if you were marketing crayons to Chad or Mali, then you could try slapping "flesh" on one of the various browns and seeing how that worked out.
I think that the pinkish crayon thing is one of those insidious cultural bombs that reinforces some nasty little prejudices. For a kid that's not the pinky peach colour, that must be a big slap in the face every day, y'know? If you're not this colour, you don't count as human. That's some cold shiat to teach.
Mark Needham - "The white way" is an awful broad brush to use. White people in Europe farking hate each other. Look at Yugoslavia. Belgium wants to become two countries. Scotland came within a hair's breadth of saying fark off to the whole United Kingdom. Ireland, Basques, the list goes on. It's more some waspy puritan white jesus manifest destiny bullshit. I don't got no cultural relation to that apart from 80% of a shared language.
Stephanie MacConaghy - It is true. The default is light-skinned Euro-American as normative.
Leonard Agoado - The default, for years, was light-skinned Northern European-Americans. None of those swarthy Italians or Greeks, or other less pure 'whites' counted.
Joseph Patrick - Let's not overlook Black Privilege. ;)
Stephanie MacConaghy - "I do less damage than I used to do."
Startling, sad, and understandable.
George Ward - Joseph Patrick you're reaching, that's not a thing.
Stephen Serrianni - Joseph Please elaborate if you're talking about affirmative-action was intended to level the playing field (FAIL) its more a excuse. Lots of people can't wrap their head around the fact that A minority can be equally qualified so they use it as an excuse. "Hey look at the token who got the job I should've thank you affirmative action (not)...
Stephen Serrianni - George in some areas and circles it is becoming more of a thing disguised as a "We just call it looking out for our own!" mentality. Even though it's existed among other cultures and races for I don't know FOREVER! Lol
George Ward - Nationally (US) it's not really a thing. You'd also have to stretch to find examples of black privilege (not an example of a successful black person). Challenge: Give me 5 examples
Stephen Serrianni - I worked in several companies one of which our district manager sorted through a stack of resumes not only found four AKA's hired them but created a position for a fifth and hired them as well. Took the remainder and ordered them to be filed (toss em) I've also seen this done at a party with another situation very similar. HR manager in Los Angeles told a newly graduated acquaintance doesn't matter if you don't have the experience here's my card call me the beginning the week we look out for our own.
Stephen Serrianni - Just because it hasn't happened to you or anyone in your circle doesn't mean it's not there. I'm only one guy 25 years of work experience observing that type of bias on both sides of the fence. I've got one particular friend who is a director who make sure who's in front of the camera as well as who's behind the camera. I just did some work for him and he picked me over much more qualified artist to storyboard for him. I can't go into conversation too much but will say even though I've known him only for 2 1/2 years he said you're in the club now expect more attention soon. Everyone he's given my name to or introduced me to have been black both actors and directors. I will not name drop but he's killed the box office for a decade plus. Black Hollywood is there for a reason enough said.
Muhammad Rasheed - Nurah Rasheed wrote: “White people immediately demanded ‘canonical evidence’ to support the character being non-white. Like it's inconceivable and forbidden - even in a fan adaption - unless it is spelled out explicitly in the text. But even when it is - like when Rue was portrayed by a black girl in the Hunger Games – [they are] still upset.”
Also interesting. It would appear that when they get the idea of a Caucasian depiction of a character in their head, they become genuinely offended at casting another race in the role, regardless of whether the character’s creator intended him/her as another race or not. I would like to probe into that concept more and understand the mindset behind it.
Muhammad Rasheed - Bill O'Neal wrote: “The crayon thing? Not only doesn't it offend me... I'd find it a bit refreshing... but I'm *weird*.”
I consider the idea that a race feels itself to be the default normal of the human species to be weird. It’s sad that the concept has to be in a “refreshing” frame of mind when it should actually be the norm.
Bill O'Neal wrote: “He seemed *exotic*, I guess, especially being he was from Africa. That was, like, my only real experience with black people growing up.”
Then he was definitely exotic despite his national origin. I had a similar experience growing up. The average Black American doesn’t seem to understand just how unique the experience of growing up in a “chocolate city” really is. Growing up in Detroit, MI in which I very rarely encountered whites during my younger years, made them very exotic to me, too, when I met them in college and actually encountered them regularly. I don’t think the average Black American in the country really knows what that is like, and is why their rap on certain specific items can come across strange (and sometimes EXTRA brainwashed) on some topics to me.
Bill O'Neal wrote: “As to ‘scoffing at the notion of white privilege’-- I certainly don't scoff at it!”
*shrug* You aren’t one of my regular debate partners I was actually directing that line towards. I’m a little disappointed the usual suspects didn’t show up, but there is enough material provided by these here contributors to spark a juicy enough discussion.
Bill O'Neal wrote: “…and I know a *lot* of people who I'd bet would be very offended by a brown crayon being labeled ‘flesh.’ And I think there is some real fear, sometimes, at the core of that.”
I actually got a chill crawl up my spine at that last sentence, it representing a confirmation to a working theory of mine. I’m pleased that I’ve already made back my investment funds by accepting your Friend Request, Bill. lol
Personally I believe the full secret of the essence of racism itself is locked within that concept. I wish to break it open and pull the creature out – squirming and spitting – to dash it against the rocks of Truth. Such is my end goal. Or at least to help lay the foundation for others to do so.
Bill O'Neal wrote: “’Racism comes out of our pores as white people. It's who we are.’ I don't know if that's completely true of *all* white people.”
For those who do not think that way, Bill, I want to know how it is they have achieved that state. Not an easy thing it is to throw off the yokes of the damage caused by the heritage of American Racism, and both of our people have been damaged by it for sure. Who are these American whites who believe they walk free beyond the reach of the psychological issues saturated throughout our greater national culture?
Muhammad Rasheed - Bill Jonke wrote: “What I'm trying to say here is that color has no difference.”
Far atop our highest, noblest ideals this is indeed true. Unfortunately America has by no means achieved that state, and because of the continued cloying stench of racism, “color” very much makes a difference in our society. People are regularly discriminated against along racial lines; our communities set up slanted towards the race of the traditional white elitists in such a way, that even the poor lower classes take it for granted that to be ‘white’ is inherently ‘better.’ A concept supported on the institutional level as clerks and bureaucrats routinely make subjective choices from this same poisoned well.
Muhammad Rasheed - Dan Bennett wrote: “‘Skin color,’ to me, meant the color of white people's skin, because I'd never been around anyone of any other race.”
This makes sense from a child’s point of view, of course.
Dan Bennett wrote: “But I had noticed that there was a lot of variation in people's skin color (including my own, especially in the summer time with legs that were pale from the knees up and brown below), and the crayon didn't really seem much like any of them.”
Is this an expression of an artist’s sensibilities? When reading the Sunday Comics pages, did you think it odd that the crayon-like “peachy” color was used for the skin of Caucasian cartoons? Do you remember wondering why the artists didn’t use the same variety you noted in real life for skin coloring? I grew up as a fan of the newspaper funnies, as well as Silver Age Marvel Comics, where one tone was used for “white skin,” and a single brown tone was used for “black skin.” Considering this was the norm in printed work for much longer than my own time period, how do you remember that striking you, Dan?
Dan Bennett wrote: “I don't think brown would have shocked me much…”
What about when you were older? High school?
Dan Bennett wrote: “…although I expect I'd have seen black as a hilarious mistake.”
VERY “hilarious” I’m sure considering you remember the jim crow era. The local cartoons of the time were probably EXTRA “hilarious,” amIright?
Dan Bennett wrote: “BTW, this was in the South back in the Jim Crow days, when there really was such a thing as ‘white privilege.’”
You admit to me you do not believe the concept of ‘white privilege’ exists anymore. Tell me why, please. What do you use to support this opinion?
Dan Bennett wrote: “I remember ‘White Only’ and ‘Colored Waiting Room’ signs. I remember being turned away from the zoo in Memphis because it was, according to the gatekeeper, ‘N****r Day’ and therefore we weren't allowed in.”
My dad grew up in Jackson, Mississippi, and he told us about that special day set aside for my people during fair season. If the fair was in town for a week, then our day was the last day of that week, where most of the “good rides” were now packed up, most of the food vendors closed. The prices of everything remaining were doubled, and possibly even tripled (he’s no longer around where I can confirm). Truly the gatekeeper was doing you a favor; you should’ve got there earlier in the week when you could’ve had a really good time. I’m sure being turned away from the zoo because it was “N****r Day’ gave those jim crow era cartoons EXTRA hilarity, hm?
Eric C. Martin - Well, now that I'm an artist, I reject the idea of ANY crayon labeled "flesh". When I was a kid, you don't think of these things.
Hard to say what the "normal" way is. I look as caucasian as can be, but my mother's side of the family is Mexican.
Muhammad Rasheed - Eric C. Martin wrote: "When I was a kid, you don't think of these things."
I did. Perhaps only a certain demographics’ kids didn't think about those things because of the forcefield of privilege surrounding them.
Muhammad Rasheed - Dave Stephens wrote: “There are infinite ways of defining what privilege is.”
I’m not sure if you are expressing what you really mean by this. On the surface, it sounds like you are treating the word ‘privilege’ like a magical glyph, where everyone has their own equally valid definition of the term. Similar to how various women’s magazines define the word ‘love.’ Or the way deeply bigoted and hateful people treat the word “racism” when they hear it.
I think what you are actually saying is that there are many different types of privilege within our society, that many different categories of people benefit from over others, and perhaps you are irritated that ‘white privilege’ is being harped upon as a thing beyond those others you’ve identified. Is this an accurate summary?
Dave Stephens wrote: “It's a frustrating and hugely unfair world, but there is a little bit of fairness in it, too, and it's better to add what fairness you can when you can than to growl about the unfairness that is endemic to all interactions...”
lol Dave, you are asking me to “get over it” and accept a 100% man-made, and man-enforced concept that is 100% reversible. Along with some other items, laws and the consistent enforcement of those laws can train the populace to finally help put racism behind us. Between the two of our groups, one of us experiences a benefit from American racism in the form of a privilege, while the other does not. You should know – and I share this with you freely and without malice – that when a member of the privileged group tells a member of the other group that they should just accept the unfairness and get over it, it doesn’t come across they way he imagines it does, even when expressed from a position of genuine goodwill and imagined helpfulness.
Muhammad Rasheed - Devin Murphy wrote: “(I'd be interested to discuss with you via email or messenger, but I'm trying to minimize posting/commenting on specific political things because I want to keep my views fairly private.)”
I’m interested of course, but since this is one of my pet topics, I would be afraid that the proposed private discussion would prove so full of fascinating insights & juicy revelations, that it would be impossible for me to resist the temptation to share it with the public, thus threatening a valuable new friendship.
So I will have to pass. :)
Muhammad Rasheed - Bill Jonke wrote: “You make an interesting point, Dave; in some ways, being underprivileged knows no discrimination. I too have had my share of being slighted…”
Considering that the thread topic is specifically asking members of a certain privileged class their thoughts on how they would view a symbolic attempt to remove that privilege, this attempt from Bill to deflect from the topic altogether can reasonably be used as an answer to the question, I would think. Seen from that light it speaks volumes, just not in the way Bill may have originally intended.
Yes, in “some ways” certain types of underprivileged circumstances very well may be divorced from discrimination, but why is that relevant here during a discussion in which the focus is on a specific type of privilege that absolutely is connected to discrimination?
Tell me if this is a deliberate attempt to derail an uncomfortable thread topic into a different subject, or if was a subconscious defensive reaction, please.
Muhammad Rasheed - Mark Needham wrote: “’The white way’ is an awful broad brush to use.”
Technically, this is very true. Yet we live in a society in which that very broad brush was used to create an elitist group composed of all those who legally met the physical description of “white.”
Mark Needham wrote: “White people in Europe farking hate each other.”
Different tribes war against each other among every ethnic group on earth; the Europeans were certainly no exception. There’s a regular war going on between the socio-economic classes as well.
Mark Needham wrote: “Look at Yugoslavia. Belgium wants to become two countries. Scotland came within a hair's breadth of saying fark off to the whole United Kingdom. Ireland, Basques, the list goes on. It's more some waspy puritan white jesus manifest destiny bullshit.”
That’s just a piece thrown into the pot. They’ve warred with each other long before Christianity came on the scene.
Muhammad Rasheed - Stephanie MacConaghy wrote: “It is true. The default is light-skinned Euro-American as normative.”
Leonard Agoado wrote: “The default, for years, was light-skinned Northern European-Americans.”
Is this a societal observation as to how the nation functions, or your personal thoughts regarding the way it actually is? Do you believe the white-skinned Euro-ethnic person is the ‘default normal’ human of planet earth, and everyone else are “other?”
Muhammad Rasheed - Joseph Patrick wrote: “Let's not overlook Black Privilege.”
I’ve had conversations over the concept of ‘black privilege.’ The discussion sessions revealed that it is a fiction, coming from a sensitive defensive position afraid that white privilege may be taken away in an inevitable payback. The latest effort to prove ‘black privilege’ came in the form of claiming that the Rev. Al Sharpton avoided jail time over unpaid taxes because he was black, comparing it to Al Capone serving time for it. Convinced that their ‘black privilege’ myth was true, my opponents ignored items that should’ve been obvious to people who pretended to know the back story of both of the figures they were comparing.
Another item often used to prove ‘black privilege’ is the broken liberal policy of ‘affirmative action.’ This highly controversial policy is well-documented to be a complete failure, absolutely NOT helping elevate the people it was originally intended to help. It was supposed to be a way for the government to partner with businesses in order to help move the poor citizens from traditionally disenfranchised groups up the socio-economic ladder by hiring them for certain positions. The problem is that businesses would take on all the risk x2 for hiring inexperienced lower class workers. If I hire you under the affirmative action program, and you don’t live up to your side of the employer/employee agreement precisely because you are inexperienced and lack basic job training, not only do I take on the risks to my business for hiring someone not qualified to be there, but if I fire you because you don’t work out at all, I will face the political vitriol that comes with giving up on a highly public political item. Because of this, businesses cheat, and instead of hiring under-qualified blacks to attempt to lift them up, they hire qualified or over-qualified blacks, strictly looking out for their own bottom line while meeting the diversity quota part of affirmative action’s most minimum requirement. Meanwhile misinformed opponents of the policy are ignorant of the fact that businesses aren’t using the policy the way it was intended to be used and think it is ‘black privilege’ in action.
Muhammad Rasheed - Stephen Serrianni wrote: “George in some areas and circles it is becoming more of a thing disguised as a ‘We just call it looking out for our own!’ mentality. […] I worked in several companies one of which our district manager sorted through a stack of resumes not only found four AKA's hired them […]I just did some work for him and he picked me over much more qualified artist to storyboard for him.”
Can these reasonably be described as ‘black privilege in action?’ I must echo George’s opinion of that being a stretch. Individual’s reaching leadership positions and favoring members of their own group isn’t ‘black privilege,’ it is ‘that guy’s privilege.’ Similar to affirmative action in its own way, that practice is only on the level of specific individuals trying to do their part to balance a whole system that is fundamentally slanted in the direction of the white race group, and by definition is a makeup measure to weakly attempt to fix a broken system in which they very much lack privilege. In an analogy, it’s like if only whites were allowed to be treated in hospitals, so to make up for it, a few blacks who learned first aid techniques in the now disbanded Negro Boy Scouts provided first aid to ONLY other blacks, and whites calling it ‘black privilege.’ lol How is that weak effort by a few people to do their part to help in any way a privilege when the entire society is slanted in giving the other guy the top stuff just because he’s white?
And it certainly wouldn’t count when the members of a specific organization show preference to other members of that organization. Even other blacks have to actually BE members of the AKA group to receive that benefit, so how could you realistically consider that a ‘black privilege? The members just happen to be black, but it’s really all about that membership into the org.
Stephen Serrianni - I see where you and George come from it before the PC label of White Privilege was thrown around they Southerners and others in a position to promote, influence, and make decisions referred to it with the very same words. With in the infrastructure many other groups and exclusive society's have gained their own strength and influences. You don't have to be a member of AKA you can be a relative or associate or close friend I also witnessed firsthand several times in 01. Remember privilege just means a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people. So is it a stretch when a organization reached out to recruit among a specific race acknowledging you will be required to honor certain request from time to time including excluding others outside racial demographic?
Muhammad Rasheed - @ Stephen… Within the mainstream American culture, the Black American is the only ethnic group without a strong economic base composed of his people having independent economic control of their own community that makes up a part of the greater pie. We USED to have this, before we gave it up when the integration era began. Now we are free floating, relying on the communities of other groups to provide our needs in grocery, automobiles, etc. Organizations like AKA don’t represent a part of a greater dominant Black Power Bloc, the way their white counterparts function within the white mainstream. Those black groups are independent islands, not a link in a strong black chain of the type that Booker T. Washington envisioned for us so long ago. If it was I could agree with you on this, but tiny, baby-level versions of a specialized and isolated type of ‘privilege’ can’t be said to be able to balance the scale. So when it is brought up this way it serves as more of a distraction from the subject, and seems like an attempt to prove that a weak band-aid measure concept is every bit as powerful and pervasive in this society as ‘white privilege,’ and this is not the case.
Yes, the term privilege does “just” mean a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people. It’s a general term when used that way, and can be applied to many specific items that qualify. “White privilege” by contrast is a very specific concept, and it represents one side of the Institutionalized Racism coin’s fruit.
Stephen Serrianni - Thanks for sharing and educating with your insight. Black privilege exists and yes will never equal its counterpart. You speak of it being a small isolated group. The wealthy only make up 3.6%of America yet it is their position which allows them to stay in control. A huge majority of which are members of society's, fraternities, and sororities. If you look at our most influential black leaders, CEO's, judges, politician, and professionals many are members of these isolated islands. Out of the 290,000 Members of Alpha Phi Alpha alone include JamaicanPrime Minister and Rhodes ScholarNorman Manley, Nobel Prize winner Martin Luther King, Jr., U.S. Vice PresidentHubert Humphrey, OlympianJesse Owens, former JusticeThurgood Marshall, former United NationsAmbassadorAndrew Young, and former AtlantaMayorMaynard Jackson, former Washington, DCMayor, Marion Barry, and former DetroitMayorKwame Kilpatrick. I admit groups like Masons, Freemasons, and 5 major fraternities who were founded between 1906 and 1963 – Alpha Phi Alpha, Kappa Alpha Psi, Omega Psi Phi, Phi Beta Sigma, and Iota Phi Theta – and four sororities – Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Zeta Phi Beta, and Sigma Gamma Rho – have lost their luster and prominence. To date there are 18 Black fraternities and 11 Sororities with members all over the world... Lots of islands that exist its just a matter of who uses or abuses their position in the name of balancing the playing field.
Muhammad Rasheed - Stephen Serrianni wrote: “Thanks for sharing and educating with your insight. Black privilege exists and yes will never equal its counterpart.”
Give an example of a scenario in which ‘black privilege’ continues on beyond an individual inside of a mainstream institution, or beyond the perks and clout of an exclusive, cliquish organization. If it doesn’t, I find it difficult to take it seriously as such.
Stephen Serrianni wrote: “You speak of it being a small isolated group.”
Yes, specifically because these groups don’t function within a solidified Black American power bloc, but as independent entities. Unlike the Jews and Latin ethnic groups, for example.
Stephen Serrianni wrote: “The wealthy only make up 3.6%of America yet it is their position which allows them to stay in control.”
Stephen this is classism alone that you describe. Compare that to how ‘white privilege’ functions, where even the poorest among that group receive built-in societal benefits by virtue of their racial heritage within a society that is designed to uphold that heritage over all others. “Black privilege” is a fiction inside of that world. Like Dave and Bill mentioned above, you can find members among the black community favoring each other along other lines of privileges – organizational privilege, wealth privileges, educational privileges – but by no means can that realistically be considered “black privilege.”
Stephen Serrianni wrote: “Lots of islands that exist its just a matter of who uses or abuses their position in the name of balancing the playing field.”
I would think that first the Black American would have to pull together and build up an eclectic independent system that is successful enough that whites would prefer to live and work within it in sufficient numbers that it could reasonably be considered to compete with other ethnic power blocs. Only then would there be such a thing as “black privilege.” But a black man in a leadership position within the white man’s empire? It’s certainly a form of privilege if he uses that position to benefit his own people, but it isn’t “black privilege.” How can it be? You gave up your own in order to integrate into his world. How would it be a privilege to be black? No one cares about you.
This is on the same level of seriousness as those who consider the Black Panther Party to be every bit as dangerous and wrong as the Klu Klux Klan, despite the former not having any record of savage terrorist attacks against whites leading to numerous homicides and wholesale massacres over centuries.
Stephen Serrianni - LOL