Comment Of The Day: “Catching Up On “Instersectionality,” And Finally Paying Attention”

These do not exist.

My heart sank when the I saw that the extremely lively debate following yesterday’s post about “intersectionality” had sparked a posting of “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” by Paula McIntosh, who either was time traveling  from 1947 or who was awakened from a coma in 1988 and set it to paper.  The list was out of date then, and it is 29 years old now: one of my favorite aspects of perpetual victim-mongers is that they always pretend that no progress has been made in ethics and human relations, because progress puts them out of business. 

I had to debunk this thing, but there were other priorities hanging over me. Fortunately, reader Isaac took up the challenge. This is often the case in Ethics Alarms, where the remarkable reader base either assists me in doing my job, or, as in this case, does it for me, often better than I could. Isaac chose humor to do the job here, and looking over the material, that might have been the kindest course.

Here is Isaac’s epic Comment of the Day on the post, “Catching Up On “Instersectionality And Finally Paying Attention.” (I’ll have a few comments at the end.)

I wish to thank Deery for sharing about the “Invisible Knapsack” of 26 White Privileges invented by someone named McIntosh. I had never heard of it and am eager to unpack all of unseen ways that the White-spiracy has gifted me with an implicit advantage over my colored people friends. By knowing what my white privilege affords me, I can now exploit it and achieve my highest potential! Let’s dive in.

—-“1. I can if I wish arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time.”—-

That can’t be right, and I don’t just mean the sentence structure. My neighborhood in Riverside County, California is about 65% Latino and 15% Black. And I can’t afford to move. I like it here. But if I did want to move to Orange County or Malibu or whatever and hang around fellow Whites all day, I can’t afford it. Maybe McIntosh can connect me to the secret White Privilege Office that will hook me up with a McMansion in Irvine.

—-“2. 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.”—–

Seriously, McIntosh? I just went over this. If it costs more than a one-bedroom apartment in Perris, I CAN’T afford it. Who is McIntosh and why does she believe that being White gets you real-estate discounts?

—-“3. I can be pretty sure that my neighbors in such a location will be neutral or pleasant to me.”—-

My neighbors have been pretty cool except for the three or four people who have robbed me or smashed some of my property. Is this the realization of my White privilege or do I still have untapped benefits?

—-“4. I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed.”—-

I got kicked out of a gift store once as a teenager, but to be fair, I WAS shoplifting at the time.

I’ve only been unfairly followed or harassed while shopping a few times. But I checked with some of my Brown and Black friends, and they ALSO had only been followed or harassed while shopping a few times. That number should be WAY higher for them than for me. What kind of white privilege is this? Why are my benefits not notable?

—-5. “I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented.”—-

To check my privilege in this area I turned on the television and looked at a newspaper, and was surprised to find that yes, there were quite a few white people there. Sweet, privilege! But it gets better! I checked Wikipedia and found out that White people make up almost two thirds of the population of America! Wow! How can a group of people that make up 63% of a country’s population also be seen on the television and newspapers constantly? It’s gotta be a conspiracy, baby! A sweet, sweet, white conspiracy.

—-“6. When I am told about our national heritage or about “civilization,” I am shown that people of my color made it what it is.”—-

I had never thought about this before. It’s so unfair. I mean, I’m Armenian, my Dad was an immigrant, and I was told in school that Armenians did precisely nothing to build America…but I had never felt OUTRAGED about that lack of representation until now. NOW I see that it’s because Armenians are WHITE that it never bothered me. I mean, sure, the Founding Fathers weren’t Armenian, but they were WHITE, and all White people are the same kind of people. So it’s kinda like I am represented.

If Armenians were Black or Brown, I would surely feel other-ed by the realities of history and it would probably give me anxiety attacks to know that people who look like me didn’t build America. I resolve to fix this someday by using a time machine to replace Washington and Franklin with Zulu kings. This will fix what is wrong with America.

(I will also find out how having been “shown that people of my color made America what it is” somehow gives me a privilege. Because McIntosh says it does. And she can see invisible knapsacks so I trust her.)

—–“7. I can be sure that my children will be given curricular materials that testify to the existence of their race.”—–

This is so dead-on accurate that I am now coming around to the idea of White Privilege. I vividly remember taking that White History Class during White History Month and reading about how White Abraham Lincoln freed all of the White slaves with the help of the great White orator Frederick Douglass. And how the Whites claimed America by killing and conning all of the White Indians who were here first. And remember when we fought the White Spaniards in the great White-on-White war? Heck, I just found out that non-White races exist yesterday! All of my teachers lied to me! They never told me that there were people who existed and also were not White!

—-“8. If I want to, I can be pretty sure of finding a publisher for this piece on white privilege.”—-

McIntosh was right about this, because she’s a feminist writer, and it’s well established that if you get a degree in feminist studies, your career options are limited to either writing about feminism on the web, or living with Mom while writing about feminism on the web. So yeah, McIntosh has a lot of outlets for her pieces on White Privilege. Unfortunately, my treatise on why ice-fairies are responsible for freezer burn, while equally fact-based, was rejected by publishers. I told them I was White and everything. Where is my privilege?

—-“9. 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.”—–

I know, right? Just yesterday my Black friend was complaining that the music shops won’t carry rap music. And I was like, “What is this ‘rap’ you speak of? Is it some kind of Afro-centric take on the mainstream bluegrass and polka music which all Americans love?” I couldn’t hear his reply because his entire face and head were covered with hair (people who can cut Black people’s hair are hard to find.)

From now on I will also try to encourage White people to finally try Asian, Cajun, and Mexican food, so that these things might someday become accepted in our culture and maybe even popular.

—–“10. Whether I use checks, credit cards or cash, I can count on my skin color not to work against the appearance of my financial reliability.”—–

I bought a condo once. They checked my income, and ran an automated check on my credit to see if I was financially reliable. Oddly, they did not seem to care about my skin color, but rather were unusually fixated on how much money I had and whether I could repay the loan. Was I not properly taking advantage of my White privilege? Or perhaps not having to worry about race WAS my White privilege? Like if I were Asian or Nicaraguan, would the nice Latina lady at the bank reject my filthy non-White money?

Then I lost my condo and couldn’t sell it because of the housing crisis, which cut the value of my condo by two thirds. Does your list of White Privileges perhaps explain how I can keep recessions from impacting me in the future? I applied for one of those HARP loans but I didn’t qualify. Did they mistakenly think I was Vietnamese or something?

—–“11. I can arrange to protect my children most of the time from people who might not like them.”—–

I can attest to this privilege. I was beat up by a lot of White bullies as a kid, but then learned to flash the secret White Fellowship Hand Sign! Then they were like, “Sorry, my white brother. I would never harm another of my noble race.” And that’s how bullying between White people ended forever.

(As an aside, these days the best way to make sure your White kid is never, ever bullied is to give him a Trump hat to wear at school. It’s like an invisible force field against bad vibes.)

—–“12. 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.”—-

Yup, and it’s a good thing too. Imagine if there were some sort of cultural stereotype that existed of a poor, uneducated white American. It would be terrible. Only White Privilege prevents such a thing from ever happening. Thank you White Privilege.

—-“13. I can speak in public to a powerful male group without putting my race on trial.”—-

Hey, we all remember all of those times when a non-White person spoke to a group of powerful males and their race suddenly went on trial. They’re always found guilty, too. That’s why those races aren’t allowed in America anymore. Who hasn’t heard of those times when those things happened? People who’ve never read a history book, that’s who.

—–14. “I can do well in a challenging situation without being called a credit to my race.”—–

(Yeah…I’m not sure anyone has ever said, “you’re a credit to your race” without irony since TVs started coming in color. I think McIntosh is just trying to pad out the list at this point.)

—-15. “I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group.”—-

Empathy is all about putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. So imagine being with a group of your minority friends, and suddenly one of them asks you, “hey, you’re the only White guy here, what do White people think about that?” Imagine the agony you would feel. The crushing, life-altering shame. The inability to cope.

That’s why it’s important to check your privilege. Because thanks to White Privilege, that scenario has never happened to me (except for the one or two times it has happened to me, which I had to think hard to remember because I don’t care.)

—–16. “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.”—-

Not even with sarcasm can I pretend that this makes any sense.

“Persons of color” don’t have a language or a set of customs, they have millions of them, all different, and most individuals within those languages and cultures are only familiar with their own. Regardless of where you are on the globe or what color you are…as long as you are familiar with the languages you need to be in order to conduct your daily business (which for most working class the world over people means one single language) you’re fine.

—-“17. I can criticize our government and talk about how much I fear its policies and behavior without being seen as a cultural outsider.”—-

Does this apply to all non-white people, or just the ones who are actual cultural outsiders? Do we Whites not believe that Jamie Foxx or Jennifer Lopez are American? Email me the White Handbook so I can stay on top of what we believe about people who aren’t White.

—-“18. 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.”—-

Probably like 64% of the time in fact! It’s the darnedest, confusingest thing. (And magnets, how do they work?)

—-19. “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.”—–

Wait a minute, why should Asians also have White Privilege? That makes me feel less special.

—–20. “I can easily buy posters, post-cards, picture books, greeting cards, dolls, toys, and children’s magazines featuring people of my race.—-”

(If you are confused as to why McIntosh thinks minorities cannot do this…it’s because they are not allowed to use the internet. In fact, E-Bay is secretly an acronym for “Ethincities Besides Aryans? Yuck!”)

Who doesn’t hate the systematic oppression of not being able to easily find something you like? Just last year I was in India and most of the people were Hindu! It was easier to find a Hindu temple than a Christian church! Surely McIntosh will agree with me that this is flagrant oppression against the Christians of India! They should build just as many churches as there are temples! After all it’s a little harder for the minority to find the stuff they like when they live in a place where most people don’t like that stuff! Shocking!

—–21. “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.”—–

I don’t see people of other races as my opposites, enemies, or adversaries, but rather, you know, fellow humans whom I can get along with. So it’s kinda hard to relate to how McIntosh here seems to think that minorities all think about people who aren’t genetically the same as them. I’m starting to suspect that McIntosh just has her own issues…

—-22. “I can take a job with an affirmative action employer without having coworkers on the job suspect that I got it because of race.—–”

That’s because there is no program that forces people to employ a White person solely because of race. You have discovered one of the major flaws of affirmative action. Not sure what that has to do with White Privilege.

—-23. “I can choose public accommodation without fearing that people of my race cannot get in or will be mistreated in the place I have chosen.—–”

A “public accommodation” means just about any business establishment, shop, restaurant, or store that isn’t a private club. So yes, this confused person is saying that minorities cannot safely enter or use a store or restaurant. This was written in 1988. It didn’t even make sense then.

—-“24. I can be sure that if I need legal or medical help my race will not work against me.”—–

And so can anyone else. Under penalty of law and everything. I demand some real white privilege, that only benefits white people, RIGHT NOW!

—–”25. If my day, week or year is going badly, I need not ask of each negative episode or situation whether it has racial overtones.—–”

If you think getting cancer or having a miscarriage has racial overtones, then you’re problem isn’t that you need White Privilege. The problem is that you are a progressive.

Come on, there had better be SOMETHING at the end of this list that truly counts as a real, tangible privilege that comes solely from being White. Last chance!

——“26. I can choose blemish cover or bandages in “flesh” color and have them more or less match my skin.”—–

….. … … THAT’S IT! I can get a Band-Aid that matches my skin if I want! And you can’t, inferior races! Yes, this is a real thing that a literate, educated person thought belonged on a list of injustices! Flesh-colored bandages! White people RULE THE WORLD!

___________________

[Addendum: Isaac reported later that indeed dark-colored band-aids are widely available. I would add that when Peggy felt she needed to go there, it should have been a strong hint that she was out of ammunition.]

A few comments of my own:

1. I feel sorry for Peggy McIntosh, and anyone who would seriously regard this list as valid. She should have argued, rather than resorting to band-aids, that not being paranoid is also a privilege.

2. Her best point is #19, and police bias in pulling over blacks for vehicle stops is well documented, as is racial profiling in pedestrian stop-and-frisks. Then she ruins it with a fanciful IRS claim.

3. So much of the list is dated, making me want to investigate whether it was valid in 1988. I doubt it.

4. “If my day, week or year is going badly, I need not ask of each negative episode or situation whether it has racial overtones” is indeed a crippling state of mind. It is people like MacIntosh who perpetuate it. I could call this a privilege of being black: how nice it would to be able to always blame outside influences and others for my failures! Then again, this would stop me from taking responsibility and addressing the problem.

5.I can be sure that if I need legal or medical help my race will not work against me.” A complete fantasy, and a slur on two professions that do not deserve it.

6. I cannot remember the last time I heard someone say a black athlete or public figure was a “credit to his race.” I think it might have been Joe Biden who said it, though.

7. #16 is indeed Authentic Frontier Gibberish.I can’t take seriously any academic who would write this and think it is meaningful. 

8. All right, if I go much further, I’ll end up doing the whole list.

Thanks Isaac.

30 Comments

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30 responses to “Comment Of The Day: “Catching Up On “Instersectionality,” And Finally Paying Attention”

  1. Well done.

    Especially like the commentary on #16

  2. Wayne

    Derry, I regret to say even if you scrape together the money to buy a wildly overprice house or condo in North/Central OC your neighbors are likely to be Asians or middle class Latinos. Forget about Irvine: Rich Indian/Irianian businessmen or physicians have bought all the decent property for some strange reason.

    • Matthew B

      My brother lives in a nice neighborhood in the bay area (no need to go into just how much, but if you say it’s a big house, a big lot and a view, it isn’t cheap…).
      His street has one white guy with a Asian wife. That’s it, one. The rest is a melting pot from all over the world.

  3. So, I want to share something I think is somewhat similar to this subject. Since I am a white male, I will admit that my opinion and thought on this is somewhat tainted towards defending my character. I find that most of this list is just absorbed, but I first heard about this list a few years ago, when It was posted by a friend of mine who happens to be black. He viciously defended this list and got quite angry with me because I thought it belonged at the bottom of a trash can. I thought the band-aide comment was especially stupid, because I had never desired to wear a band-aide because it matches (but not really) my flesh.

    He replied to me that I would never know what it means to use something that doesn’t seem right for me to use. I pondered this statement for a long time and thought, yes, I do. In fact, I experience this situation more than he thinks. I am left-handed. Though it had never occurred to me that this might give me victim status, I have often experienced the frustrations of being left-handed. For those of you who haven’t considered it, I want to name some.

    • My hand was constantly smudged in ink or pencil.
    • When I sit down at a table, I often have to be careful where I pick my seat to make sure I could use a fork without constantly bumping into someone.
    • Spiral notebooks.
    • Left-handed scissors suck and often do not work.
    • Desk in school. (This was really frustrating during state testing).
    • When I was in the army, every time I fired my M16A2 the brass from the ammo would smack me in the face.
    • Can openers
    • Cheese graters
    • Pens on a leash
    • The number pad on a computer
    • Cutting my nails
    • My work in China where people are still forced to use their right-hand.

    Now, this is 2017 and most of these things have been fixed or could be found (though not super easily). However, there are other disadvantages to being left-handed. It is possible that I may not live as long as others (though this study was found to be problematic), I am more likely to suffer from mental illness such as being bi-polar. I am more likely to be homosexual (not to insult homosexuals). I have the added stigma that I should be smarter. Since only 10-15% of the world’s population (that isn’t forcing their youth to abandoned it) are left-handed, like the list I don’t really have people around and who are easily identified as being left-handed.

    Of course, I could go on, but I think the point is made. Being left-handed can be frustrating and most of the world doesn’t even understand why. However, I believe, like most psychologist, that I am a product of my environment. I understand that there are things that help me or hurt me. I have no desire to make the world understand my problem, but instead to choose to overcome it in the best way that I can. It is not the right-handed person’s fault that I can’t use a spiral notebook and acknowledging it doesn’t help him or me. I also understand that since 90% of the market can use a spiral note book does not show systematic oppression, but the desire to find a way to maximize output and profit.

    Now some things, such as being unfairly targeted by the police or systematically forcing your population to be right-handed should be addressed. I find as I get older, these issues become less and less and people are more interested in trying to remain the victim instead of moving on.

  4. deery

    Hopefully, even though I am busy today, I can get to the substance of Isaac’s comment a little later. I will say his in passing about one of your additions

    5.“I can be sure that if I need legal or medical help my race will not work against me.” A complete fantasy, and a slur on two professions that do not deserve it.

    Not a fantasy at all. There have been numerous studies that show that black patients are not treated adequately for pain, under the persistent belief by doctors that black people don’t feel as much pain as white people do. Black people receive less care for cardiac problems. Doctors are less likely to try to save black people’s limbs, and more likely to amputate. When given a list of patient symptoms, differing only by race, doctors are far less likely to diagnose a black patient as depressed, and more likely to diagnose them as schizophrenic or psychotic. And so forth.

    The racial biases in the legal system have also been thoroughly documented. I’m not sure why these are getting dismissed as “fantasies.”

    • I would love you to cite something published after 1980 that refers to actions taken after 1980 that backs up your assertion. I doubt you’ll be able to.

      Another term that Jack might want to keep track of is “institutional Discrimination”. The idea that while individuals within an institution may or may not be individually racist, part of the way the system was set up has produced a disparate impact, and that disparity is evidence of discrimination.

      A great historical example would be the Jim Crow laws. And they’re great examples, because we can clearly point to portions of the Jim Crow laws and say: “These laws are unjust, they are racially discriminatory, they need to be struck down.” And lo and behold: That happened.

      I can’t think of a better recent example than Stop and Frisk. Depending on where we’re talking about, the people impacted by stop and frisk were somewhere between 60 to 90% black. That’s a disparate impact, and one that was demonstrated in many ways to actually be based on discrimination.

      There aren’t many examples this clear anymore…. And that’s because as these examples manifest, more often than not they are addressed, with relative speed. Laws that are written with, institutions that operate with purposeful racial disparities have mostly been found out. That leaves us in this kind of Schrodinger’s Racist scenario. We can point to disparate impacts, but without the clear intent to discriminate, we’re left wondering whether the disparity was purposeful, or intersects(/b> on another axis.

      Because we’re talking about intersectionality here right? Go deeper than the one data point, right? Well, Depending on where you’re talking about, between 90 and 100% of Stop and Frisked people were male, with just as much evidence that this was purposeful and discriminatory.

      Guess which stat we hear more about?

      Is the ability to walk down the street without being stopped and frisked a white privilege, or a female one?

      If it isn’t a female privilege, what is it? And how can you be certain that the same phenomenon that appears as disparate impact, but isn’t discriminatory isn’t in play in other situations?

      Is it legitimate to say that men commit significantly more crime than women, and so it only makes sense that the policy focuses there. If it is, why is it not legitimate to focus on the demographic that makes up 17% of America. but commits 53% of all murder?

      • deery

        Is the ability to walk down the street without being stopped and frisked a white privilege, or a female one?

        It can be both (or neither for that matter). It doesn’t have to be an either/or. And if we are talking about intersectionality, we would look at the females that were stopped, and note how many of the females that were frisked were white, and then tally it up against all the other females that were frisked of other races. That should give us something approaching an answer.

        But we really don’t have to do that, since we have recordings that show that officers were explicitly ordered to stop young black and Hispanic males. So with intersectionality, all three factors intertwined together in conducting illegal stops.

        Is it legitimate to say that men commit significantly more crime than women, and so it only makes sense that the policy focuses there. If it is, why is it not legitimate to focus on the demographic that makes up 17% of America. but commits 53% of all murder?

        Most murders are committed by men, but most murders tend to be acquitance murders. Stop and frisk does not help with murder rates. Plus, I’m unclear on the demographic that makes up 17% of America, but commits 53% of the murders, so I’m probably missing something.

        would love you to cite something published after 1980 that refers to actions taken after 1980 that backs up your assertion. I doubt you’ll be able to.

        Like this? http://www.everydayhealth.com/pain-management/0320/race-may-influence-pain-prescriptions.aspx

        Previous research has also found a connection between race and patient care for pain. A January 2011 report in Pediatric Emergency Care found that children with sickle-cell disease who visited an emergency room were less likely to have their pain assessed than children with fractures; sickle-cell disease is much more common in African Americans. Similarly, a 2007 article in Academic Emergency Medicine found that African-American men visiting an emergency room for chest pain were up to 30 percent less likely to receive diagnostic tests such as cardiac monitoring and chest X-rays. And University of Michigan Health System researchers studying patients referred to a pain specialty clinic found that black patients were taking nearly half the number of pain medications compared with white patients; the report was published in the August 2010 issue of the Journal of Pain.

        • Chris

          This study is even more recent: 2015.

          http://www.pnas.org/content/113/16/4296.abstract

          Black Americans are systematically undertreated for pain relative to white Americans. We examine whether this racial bias is related to false beliefs about biological differences between blacks and whites (e.g., “black people’s skin is thicker than white people’s skin”). Study 1 documented these beliefs among white laypersons and revealed that participants who more strongly endorsed false beliefs about biological differences reported lower pain ratings for a black (vs. white) target. Study 2 extended these findings to the medical context and found that half of a sample of white medical students and residents endorsed these beliefs. Moreover, participants who endorsed these beliefs rated the black (vs. white) patient’s pain as lower and made less accurate treatment recommendations. Participants who did not endorse these beliefs rated the black (vs. white) patient’s pain as higher, but showed no bias in treatment recommendations. These findings suggest that individuals with at least some medical training hold and may use false beliefs about biological differences between blacks and whites to inform medical judgments, which may contribute to racial disparities in pain assessment and treatment.

        • Thomas W

          That sickle-cell one sounds like a conclusion the article author tacked on themselves – The paper abstract says “CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that pain scores are not used in the initial decision-making process in those patients with SCD [sickle cell disease] presenting to the ED [emergency department]; however, they are utilized for patients presenting with another painful condition.” Perhaps they’re just trying to avoid making any statements about race, but is it not more likely the discrepancy in this case is simply due to the two different kinds of condition? Of course, if you have a study of the ratios of pain treatment for just SCD sufferers, then I retract my scepticism.

          Also the lead author of the study you reference on medication prescription also said this (once you follow a link in your original article): “Men and women differed on a single item — the notion, primarily among women, to save medication in case pain gets worse. Blacks also more strongly endorsed that it was easier to put up with pain than the side effects of medication”. Which is interesting. I don’t know if the latter particularly may impact what is said to a doctor, in turn impacting what is prescribed.

          I’m not necessarily disagreeing with your overall point mind you, I don’t know much about this topic.

        • “But we really don’t have to do that, since we have recordings that show that officers were explicitly ordered to stop young black and Hispanic males. So with intersectionality, all three factors intertwined together in conducting illegal stops.”

          You… focus on the low hanging fruit. And maybe it’s my fault for putting it there, but really. I think you didn’t address my most pertinent point, and I’d love you to:

          Stipulated: the policies focusing on young black men were discriminatory and therefore facially unconstitutional. But my question was why the focus was on the “black” part of “young black men”, Any action based on any of the three qualifiers there would be discriminatory, and the penetration of “young/old” and “male/female” discrepancies overshadowed that of “black/white”.

          I’m trying to point out that the rhetoric around discrimination doesn’t really have anything to do with discrimination, and everything about attempting to redress racial balances through whatever means necessary. If progressives actually cared about equality, things like this should bother them, and frankly, they don’t seem to.

          “Most murders are committed by men, but most murders tend to be acquitance murders. Stop and frisk does not help with murder rates.”

          That’s… debatable. Yes,between 2002 and 2011 S&F rates rose by about 500% in NYC… but in that same timeframe the murder rate went down 14%. Murders have been falling for decades, so I don’t know if we can draw much from that, but I wouldn’t disregard the efficacy out of hand. More, Stop and frisk was about more than just preventing murders… 0.2% of the 685,700 stops in 2011 netted an unregistered firearm (which is about 1300 guns). Don’t get me wrong: I don’t support the program from a freedom and justice standpoint, but I think it’s dishones to say it wasn’t to some extent effective.

          “Plus, I’m unclear on the demographic that makes up 17% of America, but commits 53% of the murders, so I’m probably missing something.”

          Latinos make up 17% of the population, non-hipanic Blacks make up 12.5%, Black Americans account for 53% of the murder rate.

          https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2013/crime-in-the-u.s.-2013/tables/table-43

          • Chris

            Stipulated: the policies focusing on young black men were discriminatory and therefore facially unconstitutional. But my question was why the focus was on the “black” part of “young black men”, Any action based on any of the three qualifiers there would be discriminatory, and the penetration of “young/old” and “male/female” discrepancies overshadowed that of “black/white”

            I’m just spit-balling here, but perhaps it’s because lefties see blacks as a group being targeted by a mostly white organization, whereas men are being targeted by a mostly male organization.

            Oppression from a more socially powerful group seems to register more powerfully than oppression within a group.

            I can agree that men are the victims of discrimination when it comes to things like suspicion of criminal activity. And of course, that can’t be considered a part of “male privilege.” But it’s worth noting where that discrimination is coming from.

          • deery

            Stipulated: the policies focusing on young black men were discriminatory and therefore facially unconstitutional. But my question was why the focus was on the “black” part of “young black men”, Any action based on any of the three qualifiers there would be discriminatory, and the penetration of “young/old” and “male/female” discrepancies overshadowed that of “black/white”.

            Well you are asking me to answer for an unknown number of people and institutions as far as “focus” goes, but I’ll give it a shot. The media finds stories with a racial element sexy. Race is still considered something of a “taboo” in American society, and judging by the number of comments in the other thread that focused on that element with quite lot of heat, it generates an emotional reaction that engages audiences and leads to higher viewership and clicks.

            For people in the black community, it reaffirmed their personal experiences with NYPD, and the racist history of the organization.

            For non-black and/or Hispanic men and women, it generated no controversy or focus because they did not feel personally involved in being targeted by the NYPD, and while there were calls to reduce stop and frisk in general, there no calls to randomly start frisking more white men instead to even out the numbers. Were that an option, I’m sure there would have been a *lot* more focus on the sex-based part of stop and frisk.

            White women, much the same as above They had nothing to fear, nor anyone they knew had much to fear. Nor are most white women at any risk for being randomly stopped and groped by any police officer who takes a notion to it. Perhaps if more police officers were women, but that is a separate thing.

            That’s… debatable. Yes, between 2002 and 2011 S&F rates rose by about 500% in NYC… but in that same timeframe the murder rate went down 14%. Murders have been falling for decades, so I don’t know if we can draw much from that, but I wouldn’t disregard the efficacy out of hand. More, Stop and frisk was about more than just preventing murders… 0.2% of the 685,700 stops in 2011 netted an unregistered firearm (which is about 1300 guns). Don’t get me wrong: I don’t support the program from a freedom and justice standpoint, but I think it’s dishonest to say it wasn’t to some extent effective.

            Murder rates fell pretty much everywhere during that period, whether that police force employed stop and frisk or not.

            The police could, theorically, enter everyone’s homes and search for contraband. I’m sure that would probably net some things as well. Police are supposed to stop people, male or female, black/white/Hispanic/Asian, young/old, poo/rich based on articulable suspicion. Instead they were ordered to stop people, the vast majority 95%+, completely innocent, based on immutable characteristics, not on any actual suspicion of any wrongdoing. The police themselves focused not on men in general, but black men who lived in black areas.

            It seems that most of the time, the police should not have been stopping anyone for any reason. That is my main takeaway.

    • Chris Marschner

      Deery, What you described could easily be attributed to relative differences in resources and not race. I must also point out that in major hospitals, medical doctors are disproportionately represented by persons of color in this country. Most of the MD’s I have seen have names that are hardly western European in origin.

      How exactly do you justify “the persistent belief by doctors that black people don’t feel as much pain as white people do”. Have you ever gone to a doctor where they ask you about pain levels and then give you a rating form of varying degrees of pain using happy faces to grimacing faces? Who fills in that form; the patient does. Doctors evaluate what they are told. If doctors belief as you say could it be a learned response from asking the same question and getting different responses? Could we also say that black do not report as much pain as white people do?

      With respect to absolute utilization of health care services I could make the same claim about men and women utilizing our health care system. We know that one gender uses more health care services than the other but that does not mean that the one receiving less is being discriminated against. It just means one gender seeks more services. I would venture a guess that well resourced entertainers both black and white get far more attention to their health concerns than I do. We can agree that people with fewer resources have fewer choices but that is related to market economics rather than systemic racism.

      As for less care for cardiac problems one must define what is the usual standard of care. Are we measuring numbers of cardiac catherizations, stents inserted, bypass surgeries completed, ECGs etc.? Are we comparing patients with identical health insurance coverage? Do each follow the recommended diet as means to mitigate risk? Some do some don’t. Furthermore, patient compliance is a complicating factor. If we assert less care as a fact then what exactly are they not getting? Unless either of us have definitive data on any of this neither of us can make any evaluation regarding patient outcomes.

      As for mental health, depression requires far less inquiry into a person’s psychiatric condition than either of the two clinical problems you described. If that is the case, then the white patient is being shortchanged if psychosis or schizophrenia is present. Are you saying that a doctor will diagnose black patients presenting identical behaviors as their white counterparts differently simply because of race? For what purpose? It cannot be because the doctor will spread this information about the patient in an attempt to further stigmatize the black patient. A depressed patient might get a mood elevator such as Effexor but the patient with psychosis or schizophrenia will receive more advanced care and follow up treatments.

      No two patients will present identical complaints. No two patients with similar health insurance coverage will receive identical care from two different physicians. Therefore it is unfair to tar a profession as systemically biased toward African Americans; especially when we have a disproportionate number of people of color as physicians and specialists.

      • deery

        I agree that there are variations in a variety of factors related to medical care. Well designed studies try to factor conflating factors out when they can. But racial bias and disparities in the medical field is pretty well known. I’m not sure why, out of all the institutions in America that are shown to be racially biased, people think the medical field is somehow immune. It is made up of people, after all, and those people still exercise their judgment over other people.

        Deery, What you described could easily be attributed to relative differences in resources and not race. I must also point out that in major hospitals, medical doctors are disproportionately represented by persons of color in this country. Most of the MD’s I have seen have names that are hardly western European in origin.
        75% of doctors in the Us are white. 12% of them are Asian. 5% are black. The medical profession is not disproportionately people of color.

        As an example:
        Black Americans are systematically undertreated for pain relative to white Americans. We examine whether this racial bias is related to false beliefs about biological differences between blacks and whites (e.g., “black people’s skin is thicker than white people’s skin”). Study 1 documented these beliefs among white laypersons and revealed that participants who more strongly endorsed false beliefs about biological differences reported lower pain ratings for a black (vs. white) target. Study 2 extended these findings to the medical context and found that half of a sample of white medical students and residents endorsed these beliefs. Moreover, participants who endorsed these beliefs rated the black (vs. white) patient’s pain as lower and made less accurate treatment recommendations. Participants who did not endorse these beliefs rated the black (vs. white) patient’s pain as higher, but showed no bias in treatment recommendations. These findings suggest that individuals with at least some medical training hold and may use false beliefs about biological differences between blacks and whites to inform medical judgments, which may contribute to racial disparities in pain assessment and treatment.
        http://www.pnas.org/content/113/16/4296.abstract

  5. I feel like I missed so many premium commenting opportunities… Intersectionality (TYSRL) is one of those terms, like “microagression” (TYSRL) and “privilege” that despite either being fabricated words or divorced from common parlance, could in fact be useful in describing phenomena in our lives.

    The problem is that despite putting on the airs of intelligentsia, progressives aren’t particularly deep or reflective thinkers. Someone comes up with a theory…. Let’s use “Toxic Masculinity” as an example, depending on who you ask, the definition changes, as all these pseudo-intellectual terms do, from progressive to progressive*. But it was meant to describe ways that traditional, natural, male behaviour could negatively effect society in a modern setting, to identify those ‘toxic’ behaviours, and to try to work through them.

    It’s… Not entirely without merit. Those behaviours exist. We need to be cognisant of them, we need to overcome them. We aren’t living in caves and hunting mammoths.

    But….. But…. I’ll eat my shoe if the next time I hear “toxic masculinity” it’s fractionally as reasonable as that**. Part of the reason for that is something I call The Cycle of Progressive Thought (or: On of the things that makes me take Asprin)

    The cycle is as follows:

    1) A thought is had. This is actually much more rare than you might think from this crowd. Most progressives don’t actually have independent thoughts on their own, they hear things, often incomplete and lacking context, and then they just repeat them in a giant brown cascade of bullshit. But some of them do, and the ones that do tend to be significantly less cancerous than the progressives at large.

    2) The theory is immediately mislabelled. “Microagression” (TYSRL) “White Privilege” “Toxic Masculinity” “Patriarchy” “Intersectionality”… Vague bumper stickers that are easy to misinterpret by the mewling masses, more often than not facially offensive to some kind of privileged group. I’ve come to the conclusion that this is on purpose, but I can’t tell whether it’s because the progressive trendsetters want to trump up attention to it by provoking offence, or if it’s just cheap red meat they can throw to their base.

    3) The idea is presented, to the credit of the original thinker, usually in a relatively calm and balanced way.

    4) A mixture of media entities immediately discard most of the original work (sociology? bo-ring!) takes the most inflammatory portions of the theory, makes a certain amount of subject matter up from whole cloth, injects a metric ass-ton of bias and nests it under the most clickbait headline they can think of (which means they ad lib it from last week’s headline. Remember: These people do no think.).

    5) A vast… vast majority of the consumers of those media outlets don’t get much further than the headline. You’re lucky to get the byline. It is immediately put through a progressive mental filtration system (patent pending) to see how it could be used to reinforce their biases.

    6) Nothing changes except the words used.

    *(I think in no small part because progressives are smug and self-important, they think that their personal understanding is so much more reasoned that their interpretation is paramount, even to the people who coined the terms. They’ll say things like “my understanding is” despite a clear lack of the qualifier.)

    **I’m going to browse Buzzfeed for a sec, just to avoid the taste of leather, if there was ever a comment section that could properly use these terms, it’s this one.

  6. Chris

    I agree that this list–the first of such lists, if I recall–is flawed, especially in its wording.

    I’ve seen many privilege lists. None are perfect. But even this one raises a lot of valid points.

    I’ll respond to Isaac’s commentary here.

    —-“1. I can if I wish arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time.”—-

    That can’t be right, and I don’t just mean the sentence structure. My neighborhood in Riverside County, California is about 65% Latino and 15% Black. And I can’t afford to move. I like it here. But if I did want to move to Orange County or Malibu or whatever and hang around fellow Whites all day, I can’t afford it. Maybe McIntosh can connect me to the secret White Privilege Office that will hook me up with a McMansion in Irvine.

    Exceptions don’t disprove a rule.

    Some studies have found that not only are whites more likely to live in communities where their race is the majority, but that whites are more likely to prefer to live in all-white neighborhoods than blacks are to prefer all-black neighborhoods:

    http://www.citylab.com/housing/2015/06/its-mostly-white-people-who-prefer-to-live-in-segregated-neighborhoods/396887/

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2015/05/whites_prefer_to_live_with_whites_why_integrating_america_s_neighborhoods.html

    https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/04/where-the-white-people-live/390153/

    —-“2. 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.”—–
    Seriously, McIntosh? I just went over this. If it costs more than a one-bedroom apartment in Perris, I CAN’T afford it. Who is McIntosh and why does she believe that being White gets you real-estate discounts?

    As others have pointed out, she is referring to housing discrimination, which, while illegal, still happens.

    —-“3. I can be pretty sure that my neighbors in such a location will be neutral or pleasant to me.”—-
    My neighbors have been pretty cool except for the three or four people who have robbed me or smashed some of my property. Is this the realization of my White privilege or do I still have untapped benefits?

    Missing the point, as she’s referring to racism here.

    —-“4. I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed.”—-
    I got kicked out of a gift store once as a teenager, but to be fair, I WAS shoplifting at the time.
    I’ve only been unfairly followed or harassed while shopping a few times. But I checked with some of my Brown and Black friends, and they ALSO had only been followed or harassed while shopping a few times. That number should be WAY higher for them than for me. What kind of white privilege is this? Why are my benefits not notable?

    Anecdotal. Yes, some white people have been followed, while some black people have not. But as a general rule, black people are more likely to be followed in a store.

    —-5. “I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented.”—-
    To check my privilege in this area I turned on the television and looked at a newspaper, and was surprised to find that yes, there were quite a few white people there. Sweet, privilege! But it gets better! I checked Wikipedia and found out that White people make up almost two thirds of the population of America! Wow! How can a group of people that make up 63% of a country’s population also be seen on the television and newspapers constantly? It’s gotta be a conspiracy, baby! A sweet, sweet, white conspiracy.

    So you knew enough to know that you should look up the statistic regarding the percentage of white people in the U.S…but not enough to know that to make a useful comparison, you’d have to also look at statistics regarding white representation on TV?

    It’s been a while since I’ve looked at such stats, but I can guarantee you that the percentage of whites on TV us a lot more than 63%.

    Of course whites will be the most represented on TV and in the newspaper as long as whites are the majority in the US. But it’s still possible for us to be overrepresented on TV compared to our actual percentage in society.

    —-“6. When I am told about our national heritage or about “civilization,” I am shown that people of my color made it what it is.”—-
    I had never thought about this before. It’s so unfair. I mean, I’m Armenian, my Dad was an immigrant, and I was told in school that Armenians did precisely nothing to build America…but I had never felt OUTRAGED about that lack of representation until now. NOW I see that it’s because Armenians are WHITE that it never bothered me. I mean, sure, the Founding Fathers weren’t Armenian, but they were WHITE, and all White people are the same kind of people. So it’s kinda like I am represented.

    Come on. Yes, the founding fathers were white. You must know that other people have contributed to our society, and that many people of color who did so often go unrecognized?

    —–“7. I can be sure that my children will be given curricular materials that testify to the existence of their race.”—–
    This is so dead-on accurate that I am now coming around to the idea of White Privilege. I vividly remember taking that White History Class during White History Month and reading about how White Abraham Lincoln freed all of the White slaves with the help of the great White orator Frederick Douglass. And how the Whites claimed America by killing and conning all of the White Indians who were here first. And remember when we fought the White Spaniards in the great White-on-White war? Heck, I just found out that non-White races exist yesterday! All of my teachers lied to me! They never told me that there were people who existed and also were not White!

    This is very disingenuous, and I’m not even certain how to reply to it. What is your actual objection to this point?

    —-“8. If I want to, I can be pretty sure of finding a publisher for this piece on white privilege.”—-
    McIntosh was right about this, because she’s a feminist writer, and it’s well established that if you get a degree in feminist studies, your career options are limited to either writing about feminism on the web, or living with Mom while writing about feminism on the web. So yeah, McIntosh has a lot of outlets for her pieces on White Privilege. Unfortunately, my treatise on why ice-fairies are responsible for freezer burn, while equally fact-based, was rejected by publishers. I told them I was White and everything. Where is my privilege?

    She’s referring to the idea that whites are more likely to be published than other races.

    —-“9. 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.”—–
    I know, right? Just yesterday my Black friend was complaining that the music shops won’t carry rap music. And I was like, “What is this ‘rap’ you speak of? Is it some kind of Afro-centric take on the mainstream bluegrass and polka music which all Americans love?” I couldn’t hear his reply because his entire face and head were covered with hair (people who can cut Black people’s hair are hard to find.)
    From now on I will also try to encourage White people to finally try Asian, Cajun, and Mexican food, so that these things might someday become accepted in our culture and maybe even popular.

    Blacks are overrepresented in the music industry, true. Asians are not. Most supermarkets do carry a variety of ethnic foods, so I don’t really get that one.

    —–“10. Whether I use checks, credit cards or cash, I can count on my skin color not to work against the appearance of my financial reliability.”—–
    I bought a condo once. They checked my income, and ran an automated check on my credit to see if I was financially reliable. Oddly, they did not seem to care about my skin color, but rather were unusually fixated on how much money I had and whether I could repay the loan. Was I not properly taking advantage of my White privilege? Or perhaps not having to worry about race WAS my White privilege? Like if I were Asian or Nicaraguan, would the nice Latina lady at the bank reject my filthy non-White money?
    Then I lost my condo and couldn’t sell it because of the housing crisis, which cut the value of my condo by two thirds. Does your list of White Privileges perhaps explain how I can keep recessions from impacting me in the future? I applied for one of those HARP loans but I didn’t qualify. Did they mistakenly think I was Vietnamese or something?

    You don’t know whether they considered your race or not. Most likely they did not, but as I said, housing discrimination does still happen.

    —–“11. I can arrange to protect my children most of the time from people who might not like them.”—–
    I can attest to this privilege. I was beat up by a lot of White bullies as a kid, but then learned to flash the secret White Fellowship Hand Sign! Then they were like, “Sorry, my white brother. I would never harm another of my noble race.” And that’s how bullying between White people ended forever.
    (As an aside, these days the best way to make sure your White kid is never, ever bullied is to give him a Trump hat to wear at school. It’s like an invisible force field against bad vibes.)

    I agree this is a bad example; I don’t have a defense for it.

    —–“12. 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.”—-
    Yup, and it’s a good thing too. Imagine if there were some sort of cultural stereotype that existed of a poor, uneducated white American. It would be terrible. Only White Privilege prevents such a thing from ever happening. Thank you White Privilege.

    That stereotype does exist, but it is mostly a classist stereotype, not a racist one. Whites in general are not assumed to be low educated; only poor whites are.

    —-“13. I can speak in public to a powerful male group without putting my race on trial.”—-
    Hey, we all remember all of those times when a non-White person spoke to a group of powerful males and their race suddenly went on trial. They’re always found guilty, too. That’s why those races aren’t allowed in America anymore. Who hasn’t heard of those times when those things happened? People who’ve never read a history book, that’s who.

    You know she’s not talking about an actual “trial.” She’s talking about the idea that minorities are often judged as speaking for their entire race, not just themselves. That doesn’t happen with whites.

    But as in many instances, she should speak more clearly and literally in order to be taken seriously and not misconstrued.

    —–14. “I can do well in a challenging situation without being called a credit to my race.”—–
    (Yeah…I’m not sure anyone has ever said, “you’re a credit to your race” without irony since TVs started coming in color. I think McIntosh is just trying to pad out the list at this point.)

    The phrase is used less commonly, but the notion still persists. “You’re one of the good ones,” “You’re not like that kind of Mexican,” and other phrases are things I’ve heard said to minorities in person, and have the same meaning.

    —-15. “I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group.”—-
    Empathy is all about putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. So imagine being with a group of your minority friends, and suddenly one of them asks you, “hey, you’re the only White guy here, what do White people think about that?” Imagine the agony you would feel. The crushing, life-altering shame. The inability to cope.
    That’s why it’s important to check your privilege. Because thanks to White Privilege, that scenario has never happened to me (except for the one or two times it has happened to me, which I had to think hard to remember because I don’t care.)

    “Never” was too strong. “Rarely when compared to minorities” should have been used. But again, the list as a whole has that problem, and leads many to think she is talking about rules that are never, ever broken, which just isn’t the case.

    —–16. “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.”—-
    Not even with sarcasm can I pretend that this makes any sense.

    Yeah, me neither. This strikes me as true of pretty much all cultures.

    “Persons of color” don’t have a language or a set of customs, they have millions of them, all different, and most individuals within those languages and cultures are only familiar with their own. Regardless of where you are on the globe or what color you are…as long as you are familiar with the languages you need to be in order to conduct your daily business (which for most working class the world over people means one single language) you’re fine.

    Agreed.

    —-“17. I can criticize our government and talk about how much I fear its policies and behavior without being seen as a cultural outsider.”—-
    Does this apply to all non-white people, or just the ones who are actual cultural outsiders? Do we Whites not believe that Jamie Foxx or Jennifer Lopez are American? Email me the White Handbook so I can stay on top of what we believe about people who aren’t White.

    I have absolutely seen people use racism and xenophobia to criticize Jennifer Lopez for speaking about politics.

    —-“18. 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.”—-
    Probably like 64% of the time in fact! It’s the darnedest, confusingest thing. (And magnets, how do they work?)

    Your “probably” is wrong.

    —-19. “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.”—–
    Wait a minute, why should Asians also have White Privilege? That makes me feel less special.

    Asians are often considered a “model minority.” Many of the privileges on this list do not apply to every minority equally. I agree the IRS thing doesn’t make sense to me. But some minority groups are absolutely singled out by traffic cops for their race.

    —–20. “I can easily buy posters, post-cards, picture books, greeting cards, dolls, toys, and children’s magazines featuring people of my race.—-”
    (If you are confused as to why McIntosh thinks minorities cannot do this…it’s because they are not allowed to use the internet. In fact, E-Bay is secretly an acronym for “Ethincities Besides Aryans? Yuck!”)
    Who doesn’t hate the systematic oppression of not being able to easily find something you like? Just last year I was in India and most of the people were Hindu! It was easier to find a Hindu temple than a Christian church! Surely McIntosh will agree with me that this is flagrant oppression against the Christians of India! They should build just as many churches as there are temples! After all it’s a little harder for the minority to find the stuff they like when they live in a place where most people don’t like that stuff! Shocking!

    Again, representation matters, and representation of most minority groups in the media is NOT proportional to their actual representation in society.

    I don’t know if that’s true in India, but if it is, it’s a problem Indians should solve.

    —–21. “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.”—–
    I don’t see people of other races as my opposites, enemies, or adversaries, but rather, you know, fellow humans whom I can get along with. So it’s kinda hard to relate to how McIntosh here seems to think that minorities all think about people who aren’t genetically the same as them. I’m starting to suspect that McIntosh just has her own issues…

    I agree this is a bad example, since it’s too broad, and covers too many factors other than race.

    —-22. “I can take a job with an affirmative action employer without having coworkers on the job suspect that I got it because of race.—–”
    That’s because there is no program that forces people to employ a White person solely because of race. You have discovered one of the major flaws of affirmative action. Not sure what that has to do with White Privilege.

    Fair.

    —-23. “I can choose public accommodation without fearing that people of my race cannot get in or will be mistreated in the place I have chosen.—–”
    A “public accommodation” means just about any business establishment, shop, restaurant, or store that isn’t a private club. So yes, this confused person is saying that minorities cannot safely enter or use a store or restaurant. This was written in 1988. It didn’t even make sense then.

    There are people who try to get around these laws. There was a gun store a few years ago that said they would refuse to serve Muslims. But I don’t think this was as common then as McIntosh seems to have thought.

    —-“24. I can be sure that if I need legal or medical help my race will not work against me.”—–
    And so can anyone else. Under penalty of law and everything. I demand some real white privilege, that only benefits white people, RIGHT NOW!

    See deery’s comment.

    —–”25. If my day, week or year is going badly, I need not ask of each negative episode or situation whether it has racial overtones.—–”
    If you think getting cancer or having a miscarriage has racial overtones, then you’re problem isn’t that you need White Privilege. The problem is that you are a progressive.
    Come on, there had better be SOMETHING at the end of this list that truly counts as a real, tangible privilege that comes solely from being White. Last chance!

    This is stated too broadly, but there are certain situations where minorities often do have to wonder if race was a factor in how they were treated.

    ——“26. I can choose blemish cover or bandages in “flesh” color and have them more or less match my skin.”—–
    ….. … … THAT’S IT! I can get a Band-Aid that matches my skin if I want! And you can’t, inferior races! Yes, this is a real thing that a literate, educated person thought belonged on a list of injustices! Flesh-colored bandages! White people RULE THE WORLD!

    It sounds like a silly example, but the fact that we call things “flesh colored” when we really mean “white flesh colored” does matter; I’ve heard many stories of people who said that when they were kids, the “flesh colored crayons” made them feel weird, since it wasn’t at all the color of their flesh. It’s subtle, but subtle things often have psychological effects.

    • Michael Ejercito

      The biggest problem with this list is that these almost would all arise from random acts by random individuals. Only things like police pulling people over or denying concealed carry permits could arguably constitute state action.

      I addressed it one by one here .

      • Chris

        But if enough random individuals engage in the same type of behavior consistently, and the people suffering the consequences of that type of behavior can also be grouped together by some sort of classification, and that behavior is motivated by beliefs shared by a wide swath of society, then the behavior is not “random,” but systemic. Your assertion that only government can perpetuate systemic problems, and not individual members of society acting as a whole, is ridiculous.

  7. Mrs. Q

    Just like yesterday the comments for this topic has devolved into a giant “who is more oppressed” contest. Just like yesterday, I’m guessing my comment will be ignored. Not because I’m of color, female, lesbian and disabled, which is true…but because the folks commenting are more interested in fighting w/ each other.

    At the end of the day minority statuses may provide advantage or disadvantage. In addition what may be a minority status in one event or place won’t be in another. Intersectionality as an area of study and social organization negates the fact that people are people and life can sometimes be unfair, based on various circumstances including race, class, sex, ect. or not because of those things. One can attempt to discern the source of challenging circumstances, but at some point, some where, some person will get the short end of the stick (is that prejudice against short sticks?).

    As a so-called “oppressed” person I’ve discovered that usually bad things that happen to me have more to do with:
    -Random circumstances
    -Folks who are just plumb jerks, regardless of how white, straight, ect. they are
    -If I’m being a jerk… which isn’t because I’m resisting oppression but because I have menstrual cramps or want to watch the superbowl without a protest ruining my enjoyment.

    Sorry folks, especially those who just wanna wax philosophical on privileges, but your trying to help certainly isn’t helping folks like me. Instead you can just continue to ignore minority voices who don’t agree with you. That certainly brings more (false) peace to our modern social justice lunacy.

    • Glenn Logan

      I just want to recognize this excellent comment.

      I also want to point out, in defense of those passionately arguing against all logic, reason, and anecdotal evidence about the oppression of anyone who’s not white that these folk’s personal prestige and entire self-belief system is tied up in their position. If they had to admit the general bankruptcy of their position, it’s quite possible they would suffer psychological harm.

      I’ve long since given up arguing this point except in a mostly pro-forma way. The “white privilege” crowd is insensate on the subject no matter how rationally they try to communicate. They have invested themselves in the idea that whites are inherently biased and racist. As a white male with no discernible minority status, no person engaging in this social justice hucksterism is going to give my thoughts even the smallest consideration. It’s too antithetical to their worldview.

      In a way, it’s trying to argue with a communist who’s grown up in the party about income equality — it’s indistinguishable from religion in that no matter how much counter-proof is provided, none will be accepted or even countenanced, except as proof of their conclusion. Their every assertion is tautological, and their arguments in the form of religious dogma. Much like the Global Warming Alarmist crowd, all facts for SJW’s, no matter how inapposite, point to the same conclusion.

      So thank you for your comment. As you say, it will be largely ignored not just because it’s inconvenient to theirs, but they would insist that your points make their points for them. Best to save the time and energy for other subjects.

      • The value in arguing it though is that younger minds who have not been made up that approach this topic rationally do not need to see only one side of the debate implying that everyone agrees with the irrational arguments.

    • Lady Q, I enjoyed your comments both days…. don’t minimize the impact of your common sense on lurkers just because we don’t comment back!

  8. Based on what I am reading, I am surprised that there are only 25 privileges identified. I thought there would be more. Who knew Whites had so little privileges?

    jvb

    • deery

      I’m pretty sure it’s not meant to be an exhaustive list. Just some examples, big and small, of things that most whites take for granted that most minorities don’t.

  9. isaac

    I never meant to write a really long comment. I usually just pop in here and say something and leave, because I’m normally checking the blog on my phone. This time I was at the computer and…well, like everyone born after 1980…I love lists. About a third of the way down the list I realized that 26 white privileges is a LOT of bullet points…but I was already committed so I had to finish. I’m glad. It was fun. I hope it didn’t come off mean.

    For what it’s worth I agree wholeheartedly that things like the DWB (Driving While Black) are very, very real. It was a running joke when I used to tour with DJs (if we were driving through Mississippi or Kansas…it was my turn to drive and their turn to nap in the back seats.) FIY: driving a red car, or a sports car, will also increase your chances of being pulled over. Always tour in a minivan.

    I just don’t buy Intersectional Feminism (or any 3rd-wave Feminism) as a genuine attempt to make the world a better place. I’d compare it more to Freudian psychology than to a religion. And like Freud, its made-up precepts and debunked terminologies will linger around in pop culture decades after it has ceased to be taken seriously by professionals. All of the progressive’s “systems of oppression” equate to “Republicans” and all of their solutions boil down to “keep Democrats in power.” Which is why their desire to liberate women doesn’t extend to Muslims and their desire to help poor people doesn’t allow for school choice. If it isn’t good for the Democratic Party, it isn’t good for you.

    • Chris

      Which is why their desire to liberate women doesn’t extend to Muslims

      On what are you basing this conclusion?

      and their desire to help poor people doesn’t allow for school choice.

      My understanding is that most progressives don’t think school choice *does* help poor people. The research is very mixed–it’s not a case where all the evidence points one way, and lefties just ignore it, the way that, say, pro-lifers’ desire to help the unborn doesn’t extend to promoting contraception.

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