The Gross National Debt

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

In search of privilege

White privilege. I have it. Didn't ask for it. Not sure how I am using it. I am assured on a daily basis that I have it. Also told emphatically that I am using it and it's wrong.

Ask how I'm using it. Get lots and lots and lots of generic examples.

Repeat question. Ask for the answer to be specific to me. Greeted with silence.

OK. In case you missed the second statement, I repeat - I have white privilege. Admitted. Mea culpa. Mea nota understanda completely either, but hey, guilty as charged. Sentence as you see fit. Ignorance of reality is no excuse.

So now let's truck on down this road. Please, read the link. Cool story and you'll need it to follow what I write below..

We shall play linebacker and tackle LL Hutcherson's points point by point. Also, it is necessary to point out the conventions that back me into a corner. Against my wishes, I use the words "white," "black" and possibly other colors to refer to people. I abhor this kind of classification. However, it's the only thing some people WILL understand. To get down to that level of comprehension, yeah, I have to.

Let's talk about Black Privilege. Yup. I just went there.

1) Well, yeah. Welcome to life in the South. We're told do not make a fuss. Bear up. Handle it. Men especially are told to suck it up, shut it up and rub some dirt in it.

2) Have the Chairman of your County Commission go on TV and call you a liar because you quoted him accurately, in context and fully and he caught political heat over it. Have respected members of your community go before the City Council and call you a liar. Just two of many examples. Then, come talk to me.

1) (again) I grew up in the rural South on a farm. We didn't have neighborhoods. My nearest neighbor was a half mile away. The next, a mile. As a young'un, I played at my friends' homes no matter where they lived or who they were when I could get there. Skin color was irrelevant. Friends is what mattered. 

2) (again) I've received far more racial epithets than I ever hurled. Ms. Hutcherson says, "if you’ve never had a defining moment in your childhood or your life, where you realize your skin color alone makes other people hate you, you have white privilege." Ah. So when "black" people hated on me, I guess that was "black" privilege.

I was on the receiving end of hate plenty of times because I lived on a farm and people thought I was rich and landed gentry. Wasn't. Had to deal with the hate because people (of all colors) resented me. How is this ethnically/racially/geographically/economically hate categorized?

3) Been the "only" one in many situations. It has been pointed out. How is this kind of privilege is categorized?

4) Yep, have been accused of being on the receiving end of something that was taken away from someone who deserved it. More than once. How is this privilege categorized?

5) My intellectual capabilities are regularly and routinely questioned. In college, my intellect was regularly called into question because I came from a rural farm. How is this privilege categorized?

6) Can't identify. I grew up with all kinds of role models. Granny Nancy. Obay. Carey. Grandparents. Parents. Jerry, Jerry and Jerry. These people traced their recent ancestry to Europe and Africa. Was also told to read good books, did not matter who wrote 'em. So, I read good books by authors from around the planet. Is this privilege?

7) Ah. It's only racist when "patronizing and racist assumptions" are directed at "black" people? If that's the case, can't identify. I have been places and had meals where patronizing and racist remarks were directed at the staff, regardless of their skin color.  What kind of privilege is that?

8) Welcome to life. If you ain't been on the receiving end of this, then you ain't worked in the real world I inhabit. I've been put down by pretty much every "race," creed, "color, " ethnicity and most religious groups out there. How is that privilege defined?

9) Well, damn. In my alter ego Superhero identity of Pedantic Man, you got this one. Can't identify.  Never experienced that.

10) Biased media? And she starts a FB page "Good Black News?" What kind of privilege is that? As for the "mainstream media," been there, done that for 30 years. I have used my "editor's privilege" to beat down employees who objected to my use of pictures and words because they wanted things re-arranged to fit their skewed views. Editor's privilege: I have it. When it comes to the news, I treat everybody equally. The use of words like "Black," "White" and other racial identifiers are ONLY used in quotes directly attributed to someone or as you see here. People are people to me. However, if the interview subject chooses to make such distinctions, I'm ethically bound to report it the way they say it. What kind of privilege is that? How do we define that?

Hutcherson says she gets trolled. 

Hug. A. Root. When people try to kill you for what you write, THEN come talk to me. When people physically attack you for what you write, come talk to me. When people try to set fire to the things you own because of what you write, come talk to me. When people physically attack your business because of what you write, come talk to me. When people threaten to sue you because of what you write, come talk to me. When people threaten to shut your business down because of what you write, come talk to me.

How do you define that privilege?

Privilege? Here's the truth. The same stuff Hutcherson accuses "white" people of is also found in "black" people. I've experienced it.

How about acknowledging that?

I suspect that some people who read this article are going to hurl invectives, insults and diatribes. They will resort to insults instead of attempting to explain.

What kind of privilege is that?

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