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  #101  
Old 11-26-2019, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by eschrodinger View Post
I'm curious if you see you experience at that time as the same/comparable to the experience of people of color in the US? Do you think you got any more general benefit of being white, even while you experienced bigotry in that situation?
How would I know?

Letís put it this way (I know I overuse analogies and metaphors but itís how I think, sorry). Letís say I tell a story about how I got lost alone on a winterís night in the woods and had to cover myself in pine boughs to stave off hypothermia.

Then another person says that my experience is nothing because he once got stuck in an industrial freezer overnight and had to cover himself in pieces of cardboard torn from old boxes left in ther.

How does my experience compare to his? How would I know? We were both cold and it sucked.

And of course ďpeople of colorĒ experience life differently from one another. Depending on financial status, their family dynamics, their home town, and so on. How do you compare them?

I donít know how we can compare experiences and try to rank them. I donít think we should. Whatís the point, are we trying to win a prize?
  #102  
Old 11-26-2019, 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Atamasama View Post
How would I know?

Let’s put it this way (I know I overuse analogies and metaphors but it’s how I think, sorry). Let’s say I tell a story about how I got lost alone on a winter’s night in the woods and had to cover myself in pine boughs to stave off hypothermia.

Then another person says that my experience is nothing because he once got stuck in an industrial freezer overnight and had to cover himself in pieces of cardboard torn from old boxes left in ther.

How does my experience compare to his? How would I know? We were both cold and it sucked.

And of course “people of color” experience life differently from one another. Depending on financial status, their family dynamics, their home town, and so on. How do you compare them?

I don’t know how we can compare experiences and try to rank them. I don’t think we should. What’s the point, are we trying to win a prize?
How about if I told you that, if you were to find yourself in the scenario you outlined, on the edge of death from cold and in the woods, your odds of being picked up by a total stranger passing by in a nice warm pickup truck would be much better if you happened to have one skin color versus another?

Would you not agree that if there is an implicit bias favoring the survival and flourishing of the people who's skin color is in the preferred (ie: more likely to get picked up) group than in the "more likely to be left by the side of the road to die" group, that that would tend to advantage the former (and any dependents they might have) in life in general, even through no fault of their own as the person standing by the side of the road in need of aid?

Because that’s "privilege," as generally meant when people refer to a sort of broad gender or racial privilege, in a nutshell. Not that all members of the more preferred/favored group will always have it better in every individual circumstance, or that every member of the privileged group would necessarily pass by a "freezing and on the verge of death" member of the less privileged group, but that the odds tend to favor them as a cohort so that, other things being equal, they will be more likely to prosper than those outside the... "privileged" cohort.

Last edited by ASL v2.0; 11-26-2019 at 09:39 PM.
  #103  
Old 11-26-2019, 09:58 PM
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How about if I told you that, if you were to find yourself in the scenario you outlined, on the edge of death from cold and in the woods, your odds of being picked up by a total stranger passing by in a nice warm pickup truck would be much better if you happened to have one skin color versus another?

Would you not agree that if there is an implicit bias favoring the survival and flourishing of the people who's skin color is in the preferred (ie: more likely to get picked up) group than in the "more likely to be left by the side of the road to die" group, that that would tend to advantage the former (and any dependents they might have) in life in general, even through no fault of their own as the person standing by the side of the road in need of aid?

Because thatís "privilege," as generally meant when people refer to a sort of broad gender or racial privilege, in a nutshell. Not that all members of the more preferred/favored group will always have it better in every individual circumstance, or that every member of the privileged group would necessarily pass by a "freezing and on the verge of death" member of the less privileged group, but that the odds tend to favor them as a cohort so that, other things being equal, they will be more likely to prosper than those outside the... "privileged" cohort.
Yes, unfortunately racism still exists. I mean, thatís all youíre saying, just with a lot of unnecessary words. Iím not sure whoís disputing that. That seems like a non sequitur.
  #104  
Old 11-26-2019, 10:07 PM
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And in case this got lost in intervening posts, my point wasn’t that there is no such thing as privilege for people of a certain skin color. I disputed the idea that a white person could never experience systemic oppression. I related my own experience with that in a place where white people were a minority, and in an institution where whites didn’t hold places of power. I’ve witnessed racism in person both as an observer and as the target. It’s always ugly but it’s extremely painful when you are the one being targeted.
  #105  
Old 11-27-2019, 10:59 AM
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And in case this got lost in intervening posts, my point wasnít that there is no such thing as privilege for people of a certain skin color. I disputed the idea that a white person could never experience systemic oppression. I related my own experience with that in a place where white people were a minority, and in an institution where whites didnít hold places of power. Iíve witnessed racism in person both as an observer and as the target. Itís always ugly but itís extremely painful when you are the one being targeted.
Even in your example, there may very well be racism against whites in Guam (in fact, I looked it up, and yep, it definitely exists, even on a systematic level). But zoom out a bit. Guam is a US territory, acquired over 100 years ago during the Spanish American War. The people of Guam are subject to our laws, but get no say in them. You don't think this status has anything to do with the fact that most people in Guam aren't white, do you?
  #106  
Old 11-27-2019, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Babale View Post
Even in your example, there may very well be racism against whites in Guam (in fact, I looked it up, and yep, it definitely exists, even on a systematic level). But zoom out a bit. Guam is a US territory, acquired over 100 years ago during the Spanish American War. The people of Guam are subject to our laws, but get no say in them. You don't think this status has anything to do with the fact that most people in Guam aren't white, do you?
I wonít say that it isnít a factor. Iíd say that the geographical distance, the tiny size, and lack of any real resources has more to do with it. Itís easy to forget the place and obviously the American public doesnít care; in fact the average American citizen probably has no idea what Guam is.

Look at Puerto Rico. Look what that place went through and the pathetic support it got when devastated by a hurricane. Did racism play into that? I wish I could say no, but it probably did.
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