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 Post subject: Re: "Privilege"
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 4:02 pm 
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Dominique Matti ( the writer of the piece Frelga linked to ) has provided a very direct, simple, powerful, first hand account of her experience. I think that is why it punches so hard. Any person who reads that and doesn't feel it hit needs to examine their humanity, in my opinion.

Joe Feagin's writing ( sorry, I'm just picking the first example I see, examples like this abound ) has truth to it as well - but it is written by a white man analyzing something he is observing and not on the receiving end of.

When I read about issues and what to do about them, I want to read writings by the people suffering them, not writings by ( often ) white males holding forth about what is going on and what to do about it. That is a part of the issue for me - the default position still seems to be that people will listen to the white man, that words have some weight if they've been written by a white dude. And subconsciously white men ( for example ) might think the words of other white men more valuable simply because they share a frame of reference with the white guy writing it, just the same as how women may subconsciously react better to the words of other women, or mothers react better to the words of other mothers, etc. It isn't a bad thing by itself that brains do this - we are all biased towards our own experiences and our own frames of reference. It is part of what it means to be human. We cannot turn it off. But we can be aware of it and thoughtful about it, and that goes for everybody.

I'll probably ruffle feathers with this statement, but this is something that is so hard to get across when talking to white men: here is something, the one thing, that none of you can speak authoritatively about: what it is like to not be a white man. It doesn't mean you can't say things about what you think it might be like. It doesn't mean your opinion is invalid, or no-one wants you in the conversation, or that people think you can't empathize with others. It just means that you have to accept that when it comes to topics such as how people who do not have "white" and "male" checked experience life, they know a little more about it than you ever will. And if your opinion clashes with theirs, theirs has the weight of experience behind it and yours doesn't. Treat the conversation like you would any other where you are conversing with a subject matter expert when you yourself aren't one.


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 Post subject: Re: "Privilege"
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 4:04 pm 
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That is a really great post, Griffy. Thank you.

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 Post subject: Re: "Privilege"
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 4:09 pm 
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What Voronwë said.

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― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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 Post subject: Re: "Privilege"
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 4:32 pm 
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Quote:
...or no-one wants you in the conversation...


There are certainly some who don't. I have heard it said very explicitly many times. I have also heard some say that straights should just shut up about gay or "queer" issues. It surely won't surprise you to hear that I reject such notions entirely.

Of course Dominique Matti has more authority on the subject of "what it is like to not be a white man", much I have more on the subject of what it is like to not be a straight man. (Though I think it is very worth noting that while I may have more authority, I do not ultimately have much authority to speak on what it is like to be A Gay Man. I can only truly speak with full authority on what it is like to be me.) But if we are actually going to all live together, everyone's honest thoughts should be heard, even the ones that don't line up with ones own personal views.

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 Post subject: Re: "Privilege"
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 5:39 pm 
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I'll just shut up then since my wife told me to.


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 Post subject: Re: "Privilege"
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 8:58 pm 
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Hey, what happened to the post I made in response to yov's? The one where I said that I understand that Faramond was referring yesterday to the fact that he does get excluded from conversations because he is a white male and some people want to use that as a reason?

Did I post it in some other thread or something? I'm trying to sneak some posting in between work, but perhaps I should not, I'm losing the handle on what I'm doing. :blackeye:

.
.
.

EDIT: Oh wait, I found it in another browser tab, still waiting to be submitted from before I went to a meeting 3 hours ago! Here it is:

yovargas wrote:
Quote:
...or no-one wants you in the conversation...


There are certainly some who don't. I have heard it said very explicitly many times. I have also heard some say that straights should just shut up about gay or "queer" issues. It surely won't surprise you to hear that I reject such notions entirely.

Yes, and I should have explicitly said this! This is some of what Faramond was addressing yesterday I think: as a white guy, he will experience people that wants to exclude him from conversations simply because he is a white guy. That, in my opinion, is wrong.

Quote:
Of course Dominique Matti has more authority on the subject of "what it is like to not be a white man", much I have more on the subject of what it is like to not be a straight man. (Though I think it is very worth noting that while I may have more authority, I do not ultimately have much authority to speak on what it is like to be A Gay Man. I can only truly speak with full authority on what it is like to be me.) But if we are actually going to all live together, everyone's honest thoughts should be heard, even the ones that don't line up with ones own personal views.

Another excellent point - each of us only has absolute authority to speak on what it is like to be us. As a subject moves further away from our personal knowledge and experience our authority when speaking about it dilutes. What doesn't dilute is our ability to thoughtfully voice our thoughts --- or the responsibility of others to listen thoughtfully to us.

Side bar: Is it just me or is society as a general enamored with outrage? I get tired of bullies who try to win by shouting more loudly or being more outrageous. Come on, you guys.


PS: When you have 3 browsers open at all times and so many tabs in Chrome that the little tabs at the top are just spiky lines ... it is easy to lose stuff!


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 Post subject: Re: "Privilege"
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 9:29 pm 
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:shock: Surely you're not actually using all those tabs?? :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: "Privilege"
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 9:40 pm 
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Another good post, Griffy. I certainly agree that no one's voice should be stifled.

Quote:
Side bar: Is it just me or is society as a general enamored with outrage? I get tired of bullies who try to win by shouting more loudly or being more outrageous. Come on, you guys.


Generally I agree with this, and my personal default is always to lean towards mutual courtesy and respect. At the same time, I do understand the frustration that has led to the outrage fueling some of the protests by African-Americans. I saw this on Facebook today from one of my black friends:
Attachment:
Outrage.jpg
Outrage.jpg [ 61.12 KiB | Viewed 2966 times ]


One argue whether that perception is accurate or not, but that is the perception that most African-Americans have. Given that reality, I can understand the outrage that they feel.

Regarding the death threats in Missouri: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/gra ... h-threats/

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 Post subject: Re: "Privilege"
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:24 pm 
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I am I'm a bit of an outsider in all this, and I'm getting the feeling that some of the groups that were strongly socialized against expressing anger are now beginning to say to heck with that. I mean women who get called bitches for not being meek and pleasant, Black people trying to avoid the Angry Black Man label.

I think the word we are looking for is "backlash."

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 Post subject: Re: "Privilege"
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 11:28 pm 
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Wow, is that 2nd stat true? I'd like to know where that data came from.

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 Post subject: Re: "Privilege"
PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 12:04 am 
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I honestly don't know whether that is accurate or not, yov, nor even how to verify it, though I will see if I can find out where it came from. I posted that mostly because I saw it right after seeing Griffy's post, including the statement about outrage, and I thought it helped explain the attitude that is behind some of the outrage that we are seeing expressed by segments of the African-American community (although her point about society in general being enamored with outrage is a valid one). I know that most African-Americans that I am acquainted with are inclined to believe that something like is true because it conforms with their own experience, since virtually every one of them (particularly the men) have had some experience in which they were stopped by the police under suspicious circumstances (driving while black, as they say), or some similar incident.

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 Post subject: Re: "Privilege"
PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2015 6:16 pm 
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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/students-share-what-its-like-to-be-black-at-mizzou_56439736e4b0603773476699?ncid=edlinkushpmg00000090

http://www.columbiamissourian.com/from_readers/from-readers-mu-faculty-member-shares-stories-of-racism/article_69d9487c-8644-11e5-910b-238aa5321294.html

This doesn't count as me saying as a "white male" since it's just links. It's kind of strange that the person on the "wrong side" of this had to answer his own question about what the hell was going on at Mizzou.


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 Post subject: Re: "Privilege"
PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2015 8:25 pm 
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My reaction to all this:

Perhaps I should give the Mizzou campus wider berth when I drive through that part of town.


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 Post subject: Re: "Privilege"
PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2015 5:19 am 
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As some have probably heard, a white Chicago police officer has suddenly been charged with first degree murder after shooting a black teenager 16 times and killing him back in October 2014. The police have consistently insisted that the shooting was self-defense and told a very specific story of what happened. And refused to release a video of the shooting. A couple of persistent journalists and the lawyer for the young man who was killed sued to get the video released and the judge agreed. The video shows that the story the police told was not true, and even though the police and prosecutors had the video for these past 400 days, all of a sudden now that it has been released they have changed their tune and charged him with first degree murder. The officer involved has a long history of citizen complaints.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-p ... story.html

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 Post subject: Re: "Privilege"
PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2015 8:04 am 
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I heard a bit of that on the radio on the way back and forth to Dad's today. Apparently in Chicago the officer in charge of a precinct does not have access to the record of complaints against any of the officers he commands—unless they were upheld, which they almost never are, and three guesses why not. I have to think it would be reasonable to let a commander know that one of his officers, or a group who work together, have a disproportionate level of complaints from the community, even if none were upheld—it ought to be a red flag, in fact—but this is apparently unfair to all Chicago police.

I came in here to post about something else I heard on the radio while driving today that seemed apropos here. It was an interview with a young Somali-American man, born here but brought up speaking Somali at home, who recently traveled to Somalia for a vacation. He said the experience taught him something about privilege—that in the context of his parents' homeland, he is privileged. He has opportunities and a lifestyle that are out of reach for his peers living in Somalia. He realized how easy it can be to take privilege for granted, because it's invisible when you're inside it.

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 Post subject: Re: "Privilege"
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 3:53 pm 
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I admit it. I laughed... :)

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 Post subject: Re: "Privilege"
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 4:05 pm 
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I know I can be humor-challenged at times, but I completely don't get what the joke is.

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 Post subject: Re: "Privilege"
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 4:36 pm 
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I do......I am amused. :D

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 Post subject: Re: "Privilege"
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 4:39 pm 
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What is amusing about it? (I'm not trying to be snarky; I'm genuinely baffled.)

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 Post subject: Re: "Privilege"
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 4:46 pm 
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Wrong within normal parameters
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Are minorities treated ok? If so, then what are you worried about? If not, then whose fault is that?

Funny, but to kill the joke by analyzing it, minorities are treated pretty badly everywhere.


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