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Thread: The Concept of Privilege

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    tWebber demi-conservative's Avatar
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    Is this worth it?? Demi will try one last time to reason!

    Quote Originally Posted by carpedm9587 View Post
    When we live in a culture/family that teaches "X," we assimilate "X" often without even being conscious of it. That then colors how we behave going forward, sometimes even unconsciously. These are the things we know as "implicit bias." They don't make us bad people. They make us human - stewed in the behaviors of our culture.

    I believe it is incumbent on me to look for every way in which imlicit bias affects our society. I want to know when it is present in a way that negatively affects me (disdvantages), and when it is present in a way that positively affects me (privileges). The evidence that these biases exist in our culture as unequivocal to me. I cannot ignore it. The evidence that it exists in racial, gender, ethinic, sexual-orientation, religious, and class-based domains is crystal clear.
    That people have bias towards family is also crystal clear!

    For us to look for and try to correct these biases is nothing more or less than acting justly
    Correcting bias is not always just. Are you going to correct bias towards wife of yours, or son of yours? Treat every woman like wife of yours, or child like child of yours?

    Unequal treatment is, so often, what is moral.
    Trump is basically "Bruce Wayne pretending to be a foppish retarded billionaire" tier genius, in case nerds need a simpler metaphor.

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  3. #22
    Evolution is God's ID rogue06's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starlight View Post
    A very good cartoon from a writer in my country on the subject of privilege:




    Love how they depict the girl in the lower socio-economic bracket as being in danger of starving what with the rich kid's "fridge is full of food" while she lives where it is "full of people and not much else" and her father is drawn as gaunt like he hasn't eaten in days. What few realize is that here in the U.S. the lion's share of health problems among the poor are linked to obesity.
    Source: Poverty and Obesity in the U.S.


    In 2010, 15.1% of Americans lived in poverty based upon family income census data (6). With the economic downturn, the number of people in the U.S. living in poverty rose to 46 million people—the greatest number in more than 50 years (6).

    Are poverty and obesity associated? Poverty rates and obesity were reviewed across 3,139 counties in the U.S. (2,6). In contrast to international trends, people in America who live in the most poverty-dense counties are those most prone to obesity (Fig. 1A).



    Source

    © Copyright Original Source


    Source: WHY POVERTY LEADS TO OBESITY AND LIFE-LONG PROBLEMS


    The United States finds itself in the midst of an “obesity epidemic,” as many news outlets and public agencies have proclaimed. For good reasons, researchers and public health experts are especially concerned about obesity among children and adolescents. Over the last three decades obesity has grown almost three-fold among youngsters.

    Obesity is a risk for all groups of Americans, but what is often left unsaid is the special vulnerability of the most disadvantaged groups. Obesity is especially rampant among Americans with the lowest levels of education and the highest poverty rates. Given the increasing economic insecurity facing many in our nation today, it is important to understand why and how poverty heightens the rise of obesity among youth. Only if we understand the causes at work can we effectively design strategies to reduce this major health risk to already vulnerable people.




    Source

    © Copyright Original Source



    The second article was written in 2012 and fortunately now that Obama is gone the employment rates among both blacks and Hispanics (a large percentage of whom are at the low end of the economic scale) is now at an all time low which should help to alleviate, though not eliminate, the problem.
    Last edited by rogue06; 01-29-2018 at 04:15 AM.

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    tWebber Leonhard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starlight View Post
    A very good cartoon from a writer in my country on the subject of privilege:




    I love that one, its almost perfect. There's some tiny nitpicks you can make of it you can do, like Rogue06 did, but as an illustration of what is meant by privilege it gets the point across.

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    tWebber Tassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingsGambit View Post
    The main instance of privilege in society is that of money - Baptist blogger picked up on this when he blogged on why there isn't discussion on "rich privilege".

    It's expensive to be poor; not having the ability to call in to work when sick, not being able to save up for emergencies - those are very real things that should be discussed instead of academic theorizing about the approximate value of the amount of melanin in one's skin.
    Regrettably "the amount of melanin in one's skin" makes a significant difference in the equality stakes. E.g. Trump’s much vaunted drop in black unemployment (which actually started under Obama) is nevertheless well above the rate for white people. This is a disparity deeply rooted and a continuing cause of concern for economists and black advocates with black Americans averaging about twice the rate of white people.
    “He felt that his whole life was a kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.” - Douglas Adams.

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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starlight View Post
    A very good cartoon from a writer in my country on the subject of privilege:




    A pictoral explanation of this: http://www.politifact.com/punditfact...f-sufficiency/

    The trouble is that the term "privilege" carries a lot of baggage. Not sure what a better term to describe the structural forms of poverty would be.

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    tWebber Starlight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leonhard View Post
    I love that one, its almost perfect. There's some tiny nitpicks you can make of it you can do, like Rogue06 did, but as an illustration of what is meant by privilege it gets the point across.
    Yup. And it's a good reminder of the importance of having political policies that ensure all houses are up to scratch in terms of being healthy to live in and that healthcare and education be freely available to all.

    It kind of shocks me when I think that those things are politically contentious issues. Here, universal healthcare has been freely available for 76 years, whereas in the US they still don't have it. But here we're only just now moving to having 3 years of free university education (the new left-wing government has just introduced it in their first 100 days) while previously the government only subsidized about three quarters of course costs and offered interest free loans to cover the rest, whereas in Denmark you guys not only have free university you get paid a government stipend while studying (how long have you guys had that system for? Google isn't telling me), whereas America... not good. Unhealthy homes have been a big issue for a while here, but the government's been gradually working away at it with subsidies on insulation and heat pump installations, and this year a set of new health requirements that rental properties will eventually have to meet.

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    tWebber Starlight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simplicio View Post
    Hmm, I'm not really sure that's related. It's a somewhat interesting finding that adding work requirements to benefits doesn't particularly lead to self-sufficiency. But I wouldn't say it's really related to the issue of privilege.

    Personally I tend to roll my eyes who I see American's talking about 'dependency' vs 'self-sufficiency'. That's just not an issue I see people being greatly concerned about in other Western nations and it seems to reflect a very strange yet pervasive US belief that reliance on the government is bad, and that it's some sort of moral failing if you can't escape from 'dependency' on the government. Whereas I see government services as an integral part of society, you can't 'escape' from them and become 'self-sufficient' - the government pipes water to your house, it pipes away your sewerage, it builds the roads you drive on, puts traffic lights on them, sets the road rules, requires the car you drive be safe, keeps you safe from criminals with its police force, takes away your rubbish, gets electricity and internet to your house, provides you with decades of formal education, gives you healthcare when you get sick, gives you financial support if you lose your job, and when you get old and can't work anymore it ensures you have enough money to survive and support to help with chores around your home if you need them, etc. Escaping from 'dependency' on the government comes across to me as just as nonsensical as someone who wanted to not have any bank accounts so they could 'escape from dependency on the banks' - it's more indicative to me of some sort of psychological disorder in the person wanting it than it is any sort of rational goal.

    As far as I can see the whole US obsession with "dependency" on welfare being terrible and a moral evil and something to be avoided at all costs, is just a very thin veil over silly/stupid/sociopathic/evil extreme-right-wing political policies that would seek to severely under-fund the social safety net and result in pretty gratuitous amounts of suffering and death for poor or sick people. Such policies are so indefensible on their face that they immediately call for some sort of psychoanalysis of the people advocating them: Why would someone want to do something so obviously and blatantly harmful to other human beings? Reasons seem to include greed and selfishness ("It's my money, don't take it from me"), a widespread distrust of poor people as being morally bad people and/or racism ("I'll help them through charities of my choice, so that I know my money is going to the right sort of people"), and pervasive rank propaganda spread over time by the rich that says everyone giving all the money to the richest people (Trump's tax cuts for the wealthy) helps society ("job creators", trickle-down economics) and that the way to help the poor is to not give them money as making them poorer magically makes them richer ("reduces dependency).

    And of course, in the US there is the military, which the populace seems very psychologically dependent on in terms of cheer-leading for it, but also generally dependent on it as a massive socialist jobs program (e.g. for people like Bill the Cat in this forum). It's worth noting, in this context, that despite ISIS now having been destroyed, that Trump is talking about increasing the US military budget by 50 billion (to $716 billion) - compare to the Food Stamp program (SNAP) which in total only costs $71 billion. I guess having a big military that isn't fighting anyone is 10x more important to him than feeding hungry Americans if the amounts being spent are indicative.

    The trouble is that the term "privilege" carries a lot of baggage. Not sure what a better term to describe the structural forms of poverty would be.
    I agree that 'privilege', and also I would add, 'white privilege', are not particularly self-explanatory terms, and note that a number of bad-faith-actors on the right often take advantage of this to try to redefine them in a way that is detrimental (e.g. Mountain Man in this thread).

  10. #28
    tWebber Mountain Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimbulb View Post
    I have to kind of assume you're making this up. Plenty of US liberal commentators I listen to daily have used the term on various occasions, and they have consistently used it with the meanings Carpedm suggested and not the meanings you are suggesting.

    The wiki article on White Privilege cites a long list of definitions from various sources. Most are complex, but the simplest one is actually the one I agree with most, and guess what, it's from a book named Critical Race Theory: An Introduction:

    "White privilege" refers to the myriad of social advantages, benefits, and courtesies that come with being a member of the dominant race.
    Here's a good primer:

    (UCLA) Critical race theory recognizes that racism is engrained in the fabric and system of the American society. The individual racist need not exist to note that institutional racism is pervasive in the dominant culture. This is the analytical lens that CRT uses in examining existing power structures. CRT identifies that these power structures are based on white privilege and white supremacy, which perpetuates the marginalization of people of color. CRT also rejects the traditions of liberalism and meritocracy. Legal discourse says that the law is neutral and colorblind, however, CRT challenges this legal “truth” by examining liberalism and meritocracy as a vehicle for self-interest, power, and privilege. CRT also recognizes that liberalism and meritocracy are often stories heard from those with wealth, power, and privilege. These stories paint a false picture of meritocracy; everyone who works hard can attain wealth, power, and privilege while ignoring the systemic inequalities that institutional racism provides.

    https://spacrs.wordpress.com/what-is...l-race-theory/

    ----------

    Short version: If you're white, you're guilty of racism simply because you're white, and your success is undeserved.

    Like I said, if that's not what carpe intends to convey then he needs to choose language that doesn't explicitly and emphatically convey that. It would be like using the term "white supremacy" and then defending it by saying, "Oh, no, I never meant to imply that blacks are an inherently inferior class of people. That's not how I use the term."

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    tWebber Starlight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post
    Here's a good primer:

    (UCLA) Critical race theory recognizes that racism is engrained in the fabric and system of the American society. The individual racist need not exist to note that institutional racism is pervasive in the dominant culture. This is the analytical lens that CRT uses in examining existing power structures. CRT identifies that these power structures are based on white privilege and white supremacy, which perpetuates the marginalization of people of color. CRT also rejects the traditions of liberalism and meritocracy. Legal discourse says that the law is neutral and colorblind, however, CRT challenges this legal “truth” by examining liberalism and meritocracy as a vehicle for self-interest, power, and privilege. CRT also recognizes that liberalism and meritocracy are often stories heard from those with wealth, power, and privilege. These stories paint a false picture of meritocracy; everyone who works hard can attain wealth, power, and privilege while ignoring the systemic inequalities that institutional racism provides.

    https://spacrs.wordpress.com/what-is...l-race-theory/
    Yup, sure. That strikes me as a reasonable explanation of CRT, and I would say that according to that explanation CRT is more true than not and often a helpful and accurate lens for viewing modern US social inequality through.

    Short version: If you're white, you're guilty of racism simply because you're white, and your success is undeserved.

    That is so wrong and dumb of you that it's hilarious.

    The definition above was talking about how the structural way society is organized can hurt people of a minority race even if no individual in the society is racist. What you quoted literally said "The individual racist need not exist to note that institutional racism is pervasive..." Far from saying "all whites are racist" they're literally saying that they are not talking about individuals and not particularly assuming anyone is racist, and that their analysis would be just as relevant in a country where zero individuals were racist.

    Nowhere are they alleging anyone is "guilty of racism" as you put it, much less "you're guilty of racism simply because you're white" (!!! ).

    And your made up "your success is undeserved" is equally absurd. They're saying is some people who deserve success don't get it, and some people who get it don't deserve it. They're not making any judgement whatsoever on whether any given person's success is deserved or not, only noting that the country is far from a perfect meritocracy.

    Like I said, if that's not what carpe intends to convey then he needs to choose language that doesn't explicitly and emphatically convey that.
    Perhaps you should be less absurdly ridiculous in your creative and insane redefinitions of other people's terms?
    Last edited by Starlight; 01-29-2018 at 11:27 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Starlight View Post
    Hmm, I'm not really sure that's related. It's a somewhat interesting finding that adding work requirements to benefits doesn't particularly lead to self-sufficiency. But I wouldn't say it's really related to the issue of privilege.

    Personally I tend to roll my eyes who I see American's talking about 'dependency' vs 'self-sufficiency'. That's just not an issue I see people being greatly concerned about in other Western nations and it seems to reflect a very strange yet pervasive US belief that reliance on the government is bad, and that it's some sort of moral failing if you can't escape from 'dependency' on the government. Whereas I see government services as an integral part of society, you can't 'escape' from them and become 'self-sufficient' - the government pipes water to your house, it pipes away your sewerage, it builds the roads you drive on, puts traffic lights on them, sets the road rules, requires the car you drive be safe, keeps you safe from criminals with its police force, takes away your rubbish, gets electricity and internet to your house, provides you with decades of formal education, gives you healthcare when you get sick, gives you financial support if you lose your job, and when you get old and can't work anymore it ensures you have enough money to survive and support to help with chores around your home if you need them, etc. Escaping from 'dependency' on the government comes across to me as just as nonsensical as someone who wanted to not have any bank accounts so they could 'escape from dependency on the banks' - it's more indicative to me of some sort of psychological disorder in the person wanting it than it is any sort of rational goal.

    As far as I can see the whole US obsession with "dependency" on welfare being terrible and a moral evil and something to be avoided at all costs, is just a very thin veil over silly/stupid/sociopathic/evil extreme-right-wing political policies that would seek to severely under-fund the social safety net and result in pretty gratuitous amounts of suffering and death for poor or sick people. Such policies are so indefensible on their face that they immediately call for some sort of psychoanalysis of the people advocating them: Why would someone want to do something so obviously and blatantly harmful to other human beings? Reasons seem to include greed and selfishness ("It's my money, don't take it from me"), a widespread distrust of poor people as being morally bad people and/or racism ("I'll help them through charities of my choice, so that I know my money is going to the right sort of people"), and pervasive rank propaganda spread over time by the rich that says everyone giving all the money to the richest people (Trump's tax cuts for the wealthy) helps society ("job creators", trickle-down economics) and that the way to help the poor is to not give them money as making them poorer magically makes them richer ("reduces dependency).

    And of course, in the US there is the military, which the populace seems very psychologically dependent on in terms of cheer-leading for it, but also generally dependent on it as a massive socialist jobs program (e.g. for people like Bill the Cat in this forum). It's worth noting, in this context, that despite ISIS now having been destroyed, that Trump is talking about increasing the US military budget by 50 billion (to $716 billion) - compare to the Food Stamp program (SNAP) which in total only costs $71 billion. I guess having a big military that isn't fighting anyone is 10x more important to him than feeding hungry Americans if the amounts being spent are indicative.

    I agree that 'privilege', and also I would add, 'white privilege', are not particularly self-explanatory terms, and note that a number of bad-faith-actors on the right often take advantage of this to try to redefine them in a way that is detrimental (e.g. Mountain Man in this thread).
    Self sufficiency and the numbers on welfare or food stamps is a rough statistic for wealth in this country. The attempts at welfare reform attempt to move people into the workforce, and the same things which the cartoon emphasizes also hamper poverty programs. The welfare reform movement is not always an attempt to punish those on welfare, it is also an attempt to alleviate poverty.

    If it was a form of overt "discrimination", then it would be easy to combat. But the structural problems in society affect all areas of life, from child care, to grocery shopping to accessing health care.

    I notice that your kitchen sink approach to this discussion (toss in everything. . .) seems to address one type of conservatism. There are quite a few of Christian conservatives which do not fit the mold of the hard libertarian sort. Government services are needed, as are regulations, and taxes. Not sure I want to return to the idyllic 19th century when the landowner would pound stone into the potholes, or the twentieth century model of relaxing banking regulations on year and solving the financial crisis the next.

    Not sure what other countries are like, but the aid, such as welfare, in this country does not counter the structural problems. And those structural problems are identical to the "privilege" and lack of "privilege" the cartoon referred to. Which are also identical to the problems which affect the work programs which are ostensibly designed to lift people out of povrty.

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