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  1. #31
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    Beautifuuly Human...

    Partially that it exists for me... I grew up in an all white area, and now live in a mostly black area. There were no people other than white in my upbringing, not because my family was racist, but becasue where we lived was just all white.

    Now, as an adult, I am in the minority where I live. I read a really good article yesterday outlining and defining what white privilige is, and most of it makes sense. It's not that I'm completely skeptical, its just that its a completely new topic for me, so I'm researching and learning... I guess I'm one of those white people that would be work to be friends with because I've always got something new I want to ask about and learn about. :-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by crazydragonlady View Post
    ... its just that its a completely new topic for me, so I'm researching and learning... I guess I'm one of those white people that would be work to be friends with because I've always got something new I want to ask about and learn about. :-)
    Keep researching. It's a completely different world for Black people.
    No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. -Eleanor Roosevelt

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  4. #33
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    [QUOTE=crazydragonlady;2752604]I originallyposted my question about being white and raising black children in the parenting thread, but it seems like this might be another good place to look for feedback.

    I am 41 years old, white, and had never heard of white privilege until about a month ago. I'm still not sure what I think about it-- and I've been thinking hard about it.

    If it does exist for me (and I'm not sure it does, but I'm still reading and researching), then what impact will it have on my three black children? And how do I prepare them for that impact (assuming there is one)?[/QUOTE

    I thought you would find this enlightening.
    White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
    Peggy McIntosh, 1990
    As a white person, I realized I had been taught about racism as something that puts others at a disadvantage, but had been taught not to see one of its corollary aspects, white privilege, which puts me at an advantage.
    I think whites are carefully taught not to recognize white privilege, as males are taught not to recognize male privilege. So I have begun in an untutored way to ask what it is like to have white privilege. I have come to see white privilege as an invisible package of unearned assets that I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was "meant" to remain oblivious. White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools , and blank checks.


    Daily effects of white privilege
    I decided to try to work on myself at least by identifying some of the daily effects of white privilege in my life. I have chosen those conditions that I think in my case attach somewhat more to skin-color privilege than to class, religion, ethnic status, or geographic location, though of course all these other factors are intricately intertwined. As far as I can tell, my African American coworkers, friends, and acquaintances with whom I come into daily or frequent contact in this particular time, place and time of work cannot count on most of these conditions.
    1. I can if I wish arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time.
    2. I can avoid spending time with people whom I was trained to mistrust and who have learned to mistrust my kind or me.
    3. If I should need to move, I can be pretty sure of renting or purchasing housing in an area which I can afford and in which I would want to live.
    4. I can be pretty sure that my neighbors in such a location will be neutral or pleasant to me.
    5. I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed.
    6. I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented.
    7. When I am told about our national heritage or about "civilization," I am shown that people of my color made it what it is.
    8. I can be sure that my children will be given curricular materials that testify to the existence of their race.
    9. If I want to, I can be pretty sure of finding a publisher for this piece on white privilege.
    10. I can be pretty sure of having my voice heard in a group in which I am the only member of my race.
    11. I can be casual about whether or not to listen to another person's voice in a group in which s/he is the only member of his/her race.
    12. I can go into a music shop and count on finding the music of my race represented, into a supermarket and find the staple foods which fit with my cultural traditions, into a hairdresser's shop and find someone who can cut my hair.
    13. Whether I use checks, credit cards or cash, I can count on my skin color not to work against the appearance of financial reliability.
    14. I can arrange to protect my children most of the time from people who might not like them.
    15. I do not have to educate my children to be aware of systemic racism for their own daily physical protection.
    16. I can be pretty sure that my children's teachers and employers will tolerate them if they fit school and workplace norms; my chief worries about them do not concern others' attitudes toward their race.
    17. I can talk with my mouth full and not have people put this down to my color.
    18. I can swear, or dress in second hand clothes, or not answer letters, without having people attribute these choices to the bad morals, the poverty or the illiteracy of my race.
    19. I can speak in public to a powerful male group without putting my race on trial.
    20. I can do well in a challenging situation without being called a credit to my race.
    21. I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group.
    22. I can remain oblivious of the language and customs of persons of color who constitute the world's majority without feeling in my culture any penalty for such oblivion.
    23. I can criticize our government and talk about how much I fear its policies and behavior without being seen as a cultural outsider.
    24. I can be pretty sure that if I ask to talk to the "person in charge", I will be facing a person of my race.
    25. If a traffic cop pulls me over or if the IRS audits my tax return, I can be sure I haven't been singled out because of my race.
    26. I can easily buy posters, post-cards, picture books, greeting cards, dolls, toys and children's magazines featuring people of my race.
    27. I can go home from most meetings of organizations I belong to feeling somewhat tied in, rather than isolated, out-of-place, outnumbered, unheard, held at a distance or feared.
    28. I can be pretty sure that an argument with a colleague of another race is more likely to jeopardize her/his chances for advancement than to jeopardize mine.
    29. I can be pretty sure that if I argue for the promotion of a person of another race, or a program centering on race, this is not likely to cost me heavily within my present setting, even if my colleagues disagree with me.
    30. If I declare there is a racial issue at hand, or there isn't a racial issue at hand, my race will lend me more credibility for either position than a person of color will have.
    31. I can choose to ignore developments in minority writing and minority activist programs, or disparage them, or learn from them, but in any case, I can find ways to be more or less protected from negative consequences of any of these choices.
    32. My culture gives me little fear about ignoring the perspectives and powers of people of other races.
    33. I am not made acutely aware that my shape, bearing or body odor will be taken as a reflection on my race.
    34. I can worry about racism without being seen as self-interested or self-seeking.
    35. I can take a job with an affirmative action employer without having my co-workers on the job suspect that I got it because of my race.
    36. If my day, week or year is going badly, I need not ask of each negative episode or situation whether it had racial overtones.
    37. I can be pretty sure of finding people who would be willing to talk with me and advise me about my next steps, professionally.
    38. I can think over many options, social, political, imaginative or professional, without asking whether a person of my race would be accepted or allowed to do what I want to do.
    39. I can be late to a meeting without having the lateness reflect on my race.
    ***********************
    public.fotki.com/outremount

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  6. #34
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    Peggy McIntosh

    40. I can choose public accommodation without fearing that people of my race cannot get in or will be mistreated in the places I have chosen.

    41. I can be sure that if I need legal or medical help, my race will not work against me.
    42. I can arrange my activities so that I will never have to experience feelings of rejection owing to my race.
    43. If I have low credibility as a leader I can be sure that my race is not the problem.
    44. I can easily find academic courses and institutions which give attention only to people of my race.
    45. I can expect figurative language and imagery in all of the arts to testify to experiences of my race.
    46. I can chose blemish cover or bandages in "flesh" color and have them more or less match my skin.
    47. I can travel alone or with my spouse without expecting embarrassment or hostility in those who deal with us.
    48. I have no difficulty finding neighborhoods where people approve of our household.
    49. My children are given texts and classes which implicitly support our kind of family unit and do not turn them against my choice of domestic partnership.
    50. I will feel welcomed and "normal" in the usual walks of public life, institutional and social.

    Elusive and fugitive
    I repeatedly forgot each of the realizations on this list until I wrote it down. For me white privilege has turned out to be an elusive and fugitive subject. The pressure to avoid it is great, for in facing it I must give up the myth of meritocracy. If these things are true, this is not such a free country; one's life is not what one makes it; many doors open for certain people through no virtues of their own.
    In unpacking this invisible knapsack of white privilege, I have listed conditions of daily experience that I once took for granted. Nor did I think of any of these perquisites as bad for the holder. I now think that we need a more finely differentiated taxonomy of privilege, for some of these varieties are only what one would want for everyone in a just society, and others give license to be ignorant, oblivious, arrogant, and destructive.
    I see a pattern running through the matrix of white privilege, a patter of assumptions that were passed on to me as a white person. There was one main piece of cultural turf; it was my own turn, and I was among those who could control the turf. My skin color was an asset for any move I was educated to want to make. I could think of myself as belonging in major ways and of making social systems work for me. I could freely disparage, fear, neglect, or be oblivious to anything outside of the dominant cultural forms. Being of the main culture, I could also criticize it fairly freely.
    In proportion as my racial group was being made confident, comfortable, and oblivious, other groups were likely being made unconfident, uncomfortable, and alienated. Whiteness protected me from many kinds of hostility, distress, and violence, which I was being subtly trained to visit, in turn, upon people of color.
    For this reason, the word "privilege" now seems to me misleading. We usually think of privilege as being a favored state, whether earned or conferred by birth or luck. Yet some of the conditions I have described here work systematically to over empower certain groups. Such privilege simply confers dominance because of one's race or sex.
    Last edited by outremount; 09-06-2013 at 04:08 AM. Reason: author's name missing
    ***********************
    public.fotki.com/outremount

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  8. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazydragonlady View Post
    I originallyposted my question about being white and raising black children in the parenting thread, but it seems like this might be another good place to look for feedback.

    I am 41 years old, white, and had never heard of white privilege until about a month ago. I'm still not sure what I think about it-- and I've been thinking hard about it.

    If it does exist for me (and I'm not sure it does, but I'm still reading and researching), then what impact will it have on my three black children? And how do I prepare them for that impact (assuming there is one)?
    The fact that you're in your 40s and never heard of privilege IS THE PRIVILEGE (caps for emphasis, not yelling). Whites can pick and choose if and when they want to think about race. For the majority of people of color the issue of race is a non-stop presence in their lives. There are lots of places to read more about this if you're interested which you should because your children will experience life differently than you have/do.
    It's Cheap to be Pank. Come to the Pank Side.

  9. #36
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    I'm not sure if you've heard of Tim Wise, but he is a caucasian man and speaks about white privilege a lot. His website is www.timwise.org. I've heard a lot about his book called "White Like Me" that speaks about this topic as well. It may be a good read!

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  11. #37
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    I have absolutely no desire to befriend white people. My interactions with them haven't been the most positive or genuine. I recognize that I could be that common denominator but I am 1000% okay with that. I don't think my life would be better off because I have some white friends. My life is terrific the way it is and I don't personally feel the need to go out of my way to befriend someone who is within a racial group that benefited and continues to benefit from my and my ancestors' oppression.

    Yes, I know race is just a social construct. However, I nor my ancestors constructed it. If white people don't like the fact that Black people don't want to deal with them based on the world they created and maintain, then they need to actively dismantle it.

    There has been no point in history since our (Black people's) interaction with white people that we have benefited as a group. It is what is. I am not hateful towards anyone but really, how many times do we need to get bit to know that that dog bites?

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  13. #38
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    I originally posted the post below in he Napptural Children and Parenting forum, but I'm going to repost it here because I want CrazyDragonLady to have every opportunity read it and some of the rest of you might find my experiences 'interesting'. Here's what I posted:

    Hi yourself,

    I promise to be polite, respectful, and to give you the best advice I can. I agree that one of the most important things you can do for your children is love them, but that alone won't be enough to build their self esteem in a world that WILL constantly try to invalidate their sense of worthiness. You've already had that explained to you on other websites so I won't beat a dead horse. What you need to understand now, is that your white privilege won't extend to your children. You are privileged because you are white. How do I know that? I know it because I'm an albino-that means I have skin lighter than any white person who isn't a redhead, blond hair, and hazel eyes (see my profile picture). When I had my hair straight, I got mistaken for a white person a lot. When I went natural, it was obvious I wasn't. There was a big difference in the way people treated me. I was listened to less, and disrespected more with the afro. As a teenager, with my hair straight, I and my sister used to conduct experiments to see if different businesses were racist. First I'd go in a store or restaurant alone and get excellent service. A couple of days later, I'd go in the same place with my sister and get ignored in the restaurants and followed around in the store. Unless you want to leave your children fighting battles against racism all by themselves as they grow up and for what it's worth I don't think you do, you will need to do several things:
    1. When they tell you someone has hurt them, even if it's a family member, you have to listen, sympathize, and investigate it. Don't just tell them they're overreacting or must have done something to cause it. Investigate the situation to see if it's true.
    2. Be prepared to talk to them about how to handle racist situations. If you have no idea how they should proceed, go to members of your support group for advice. Remember, all those black adults who are living successful lives, learned how to deal with the stuff the world throws at us a long time ago.

    Finally you won't need to address these issues for some years yet, because while black and biracial children usually become aware of race earlier that white children, most children under 6 or so of any race simply do not understand race the way older children and grownups think about it. Look at it this way. Being black to most of us means the majority of your ancestors came from Africa, right? Well, what is Africa to a 5 year old? The places that are real to us at that age are school, grandpa's house, my friend so-n-so's house, church, and/or the park. Race isn't real to young children. And one more thing, the fact that you're asking the right questions is a good sign that you will be a good parent to those kids.
    [HR][/HR][SIZE=2][COLOR=#daa520][I][B]Sunshine Curls...Proudly gleaming in the light of my celebration of me...The sunniest naps in all the world![/B][/I][/COLOR][/SIZE]

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  15. #39
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    I had a very close white friend when I was in medical school. She was even in my wedding. Over time, we grew apart, some of it due to differences in cultural values. I still see her as a friend, but we don't see each other very often.

    I'm in the interesting situation of living in a neighborhood that was once virtually all black as it becomes virtually all white. My daughter is friends with the children of our new neighbors.

    Some of the blacks who lived here before gentrification were awful to me and I'm glad to see them being forced out.
    Some of the whites are very kind to me.

    Does that mean that all blacks are bad and all whites are good? Or, are all blacks good and all whites are bad? I try to take people as they come. I do have a healthy skepticism of whites, however. When they stop grasping their iPhone whenever I get within a ten-foot radius of them, my feelings will soften up a bit.
    la vida es un carnaval.

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  17. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by LBellatrix View Post
    At this point I'm just avoiding certain race-based conversations if I feel they're not elevated enough. And yes, after again having spent pretty much my whole life having to elevate (I'm in my late 40s), I'm tired of doing it. I don't need them to have an intricate understanding but I do need them to understand what race-based privilege is and how it shapes this country and how people think about different races. I don't think that's all that complicated but apparently it still is in 2013...
    Gotta agree with LBell here. And it's not just in America I've had this experience. I've spent years trying to 'bridge the gap' in Norway, too. I finally concluded that it's really not my job to try to argue people into a correct frame of mind. I do still try to take people as individuals, however, if I see that they aren't really open to hearing the truth or really being educated out of their assumptions, stereotypes, superiority complexes, LaLa Land colorblind view of world, or any other nonsense they are indulging in, I don't waste my time trying to 'enlighten' them. After almost half a century of lugging around that proverbial 'See, we're not all like that' sign, I've decided to put the sign down and rest my arms.
    [HR][/HR][SIZE=2][COLOR=#daa520][I][B]Sunshine Curls...Proudly gleaming in the light of my celebration of me...The sunniest naps in all the world![/B][/I][/COLOR][/SIZE]

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