This is prolly going to be a long post.
Well, only because of the insert I’m adding, in full, so just letting you know.
I had to really be careful that this blog didn’t turn into an all out hate site against Sarah “I’m going to ride this till the wheels fall off” Palin because I realised that people in my community and people that I talk to really don’t like her. Her lack of knowledge is overcompensated by her unwaivering confidence–kinda like Elisabeth “Miz Liz” Hasselbeck.
So this morning, I was talking with my friend about how much Tim “I’m channeling my inner Michael Pfleger” Wise snapped in his latest article (he always does, nothing new) and my friend also added it’s a Republican privilege as well. I’m not totally ready to make that jump, but I definitely could see how one could intepret this because Republicans historically across regional barriers are always the one’s to bust out the dirty politricks before the Democrats do and they do so with such evilness. Just ask current Senator Bob Corker and former senator Jesse “I found out hell isn’t segregated” Helms.
and here’s the Jesse Helm’s ad.
Every once in a while someone makes a comment either here, or perhaps another blog and it really prompts me to do a whole post based around it. But, there was a comment and this person, who has commented on this blog before, said that Tim Wise was more or less a “retard” and that “we already know the problems” and I contend that this is a problem that we don’t talk about that much about.
I further added that usually we name this problem as flat out racism or some deviant form of racial prejudice. But in fact we really don’t deal with white privilege because as we all know, the privilege is only seen as a privilege from the one who doesn’t benefit from the privilege. As I said coming from Philadelphia this summer to some of the teens I was working with as they were telling their cop stories, I told them that while what they did to get out of tickets worked for them, had I done that, I woulda been face down eating concrete on the Beltway.
Usually white privilege is masked in white ignorance. Real talk, the white folk out in the suburbs who are die hard liberals and are voting for Obama without any equivocations are the ones who don’t know about white privilege and don’t understand the nuances of black culture. For those of you who need some more examples I will be placing my blogs that I wrote about my internship out in Montgomery County, Maryland this summer to give you some basis of what I mean.
But below is the Tim Wise article in it’s entirety. For whatever reason I was remiss to put him on my blogroll, but since he did such a major snap with this one, in my opinion he will now be added.
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 “fuckin’ redneck,” like Bristol Palin’s boyfriend does, and talk about how if anyone messes with you, you’ll “kick their fuckin’ 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 everyone 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…
White privilege is, in short, the problem.
I had been trying to put my finger on what it was, but yup, it goes back to white privilege.
What I think we, as intelligent individuals need to do is to realise that’s facts and reality are two different things. Those are straight up facts for what Obama and Palin have done, but clearly their actions are interpreted through different realities.
Facts are indisputable universally agreeable understandings. Realities are much more personal, LIVED experiences.
What incenses me is that when white folk deny white privilege is that really they are denying the African American reality of life or the Black experience and in turn suggesting that I, or we, understand the facts through a white reality–and I ask why?
Now, because that leads to a hierarchal understanding of realities, placing white reality over that of black realities–is that not the basic definition of racism where the mindset of one race is superior to another and having the ability to institute a culture that purports this idea?
Here are the links to my other posts from this summer:
- The Dominant Subordinate Culture (this is my PERSONAL fan fave)
- So Hip Hop is From the Prison Culture? I Missed the Memo
- What’s REALLY Good?
- Sponsoring a Dream
- The Insulation of the Church: Us vs. Them
- Philly Debrief: Why I’m a Black African American
- Philly Debrief II: Confronting Anti-Intelligence
- Philly Debrief III: Culturally Aware vs. Cultural Sensitivity
- Are Blacks High Maintenance?
Let the comments come. I know how black folk feel about this one, but I’m more interested for my white readers to sound off on this one. Why is this issue so prickly for white folk to talk about, much less admit that it exists? Moreover, to echo my own post again, why is it that some whites feel as though blacks must submit to a white lived reality? This doesn’t mean I don’t want any blacks, or Latino’s or Asians or any other ethinic or cultural group that has not been lumped into the aforementioned categories to not comment–I welcome ALL comments.
Keep it uppity and keep it truthfully radical, JLL
P.S. Thanks for those of you that brought me to my all time one day high of over 1,000 visitors–and it was only because I’m an uppity Negro. 🙂