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View Diary: Is Race a Problem for the Left? (338 comments)

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  •  At the time of writing this, (8+ / 0-)

    60 comments have been devoted to discussing A2nite's comment at the top of the diary.

    60.

    We've let the discussion of the issues be completely derailed.

    An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

    by OllieGarkey on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 08:50:02 AM PDT

    •  In a weird way, maybe (6+ / 0-)

      it shows the diarist's point.  Then again, hide-rate flame wars draw people here.  

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      by TomP on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 08:59:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Some here do not understand what privilege means (8+ / 0-)

      Which isn't uncommon. Part of the privilege of possessing a privilege is being able to walk through life oblivious to the doors you are able to stroll through due to that particular advantage.

      Many white liberals ( I am one) are (naturally) horrified at the very notion that they might have benefitted from being white or (worse) that they might themselves be anything less than colorblind. Thus, they react to such assertions by calling them "racist." This is a particularly difficult hurdle for white progressives to get past, and as you can see by the comments above, many just can't get their heads around it.

      •  there's more to it than that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Woodrow Stool, OllieGarkey

        For instance, saying that "white people" are "the ones who raped, robbed and pillaged" seems to assert not white privilege but race guilt.

        That said, I've seen plenty of evidence that many white progressives can't get their heads around white privilege.

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        by HudsonValleyMark on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 09:45:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, historically speaking (7+ / 0-)

          "Raped, robbed, and pillaged" is a pretty concise and accurate description of how European caucasians came to be the ruling class of North America.

          My read of what the commenter above was saying is that we were a nation born of white-on-brown oppression, and that this violent foundation has shaped us into the mess that we currently are. I have a very hard time arguing with that assertion, and I don't think it has to do with guilt.

        •  I've never understood why white people feel guilty (5+ / 0-)

          I don't. At all.

          I feel the responsibility for my own actions. I do things because I think they're right. I don't do them as a salve for some kind of guilt that I feel.

          I think the emotional reactions that white people have to questions of race and racial discrimination are part of the problem.

          I really think there's some kind of pathology to it. And I don't understand it.

          It's not that I identify myself primarily as a Scottish-American.

          Scots participated in Slavery here just as much as any ethnic group. There were a great many of us who were friendly to native Americans, and there were also a great many of us who were Indian Fighters.

          My ethnic group, specifically the Norse-Gaels of the Hebrides, though themselves victims of genocide, have also at times participated in genocidal activity: Slavery, Jim Crow, the genocide of the first nations. They also fought against those systems. We were on both sides of these fights.

          I don't understand why it exists, but the tendency that white people have to get overly emotional over issues of race really gets in the way of us having conversations.

          It's like they all want forgiveness and acknowledgement that they themselves are different from their ancestors.

          They become absolutely furious when an aggrieved person of color doesn't automatically give them the deference they think they deserve as a supposedly anti-racist white person.

          I don't understand where this emotional backlash comes from.

          I am so white that you can see the blue in my veins, but I'm being completely honest when I say that I do not understand this reaction on the part of white people. I do not know where it comes from. I don't understand why we can't try and focus on the real damage being done by racism.

          I don't understand why we can't just focus on solving the problem, rather than turning every single discussion on race into a therapy session for a white guilt that I do not comprehend.

          An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

          by OllieGarkey on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 10:36:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Acknowledging privilege exists, and identifying (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            OllieGarkey, moviemeister76

            the ways in which each of us as individuals may have benefitted from various forms of it is the first step toward being able to discuss it (and ultimately, the subject of race) honestly and constructively.

            •  Privilege definitely exists, and while I have some (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Catte Nappe, moviemeister76

              mild critiques on the use of terminology when it comes to discussing it, that's just a question of talking points and being effective at convincing people.

              To use a quick analogy, being born with privilege is like being born with big feet. You didn't choose it, and nobody cares if you have it until you use it to step on others.

              Maybe it attacks this American myth that we ultimately get what we deserve, or that we're all self-made pioneers or something. If people feel like they don't deserve the things they have, it attacks their self worth.

              Is that it?

              I don't know. I don't get the reaction. Either to guilt or to privilege.

              An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

              by OllieGarkey on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 11:20:03 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Ah I didn't see this comment before I posted (0+ / 0-)

                Yes, I do think the guilt is tied to our white American mythology and how that influences our self-worth.

                Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

                by moviemeister76 on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 08:36:34 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  White liberal guilt is real lol (0+ / 0-)

            Speaking as someone who went through the guilt phase myself, I think it has to do with the fact that, in this country perhaps more than any other, there is this ethos that people should only receive what they have earned. And it is a very racially charged ethos. White privilege is the antithesis of that. I think it's intertwined with why more white people than folks of color will not seek government assistance and will even let their children starve rather than try and get food stamps. Because white people, for the past few decades, have been raised to believe that only lazy people of color need government assistance.

            I think there is also the fact that, unlike folks of color, a lot of white people grow up without their parents telling them anything about race other than racism is bad. So we are just not prepared to handle discussions like this very well. As this diary shows so well, it often results in a lot of white people losing their minds over stuff that should be rather benign.

            Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

            by moviemeister76 on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 08:35:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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