Privilege

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Privilege

Ansley Ansley
It's not a valid counter and makes you look unaware of your privilege.


This is an excerpt from a twitter discussion involving Jim Butcher* and several users on Twitter. Evidently, someone was upset about something he had written in one of his books. I don't know the whole story, but evidently someone responded to the release of this new novel - based in Chicago - by saying Fuck You Jim Butcher on his twitter account.

This, inevitably, started a huge war. The first statement I put in this post is a response to Jim Butcher defending his right to be angry at the brashness of the initial comment regarding his work. He was then accused of whitewashing racial issues in Chicago.

*I don't know who this guy is and I don't really care.


What do you think when people accuse white people of not being able to see past their privilege? Do you think this is a valid argument to use in discussing issues of racism and the like?
07/11/2011
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El-Jaro El-Jaro
I think it's a knee jerk attack to put someone on the defensive for something they weren't even aware of or could rightfully defend against.

I think before anyone accuses someone of "privilege", the learn about the person they're attacking with it.

I've been accused of "privilege" before. I didn't appreciate it one bit, because it's the other side of the racism/classism coin. Ignorance is ugly all around.

If this is the same Jim Butcher I know of, he wrote "The Dresden Files" and is a great author.
07/11/2011
Errant Venture Errant Venture
I've never been attacked based on any sort of 'white privilege' before, so I'm not really sure what it means. However, if it's anything like the normal white-guy-being-accuse d-of-racism-because-he -offended-a-black/asia n/etc-guy, then no, I don't think it's a valid argument.

But, as I've said, I'm not overly familiar with it, nor the book and twitter war that evolved from it.
07/12/2011
P'Gell P'Gell
I've seen people use the "you don't know because you have privilege" argument to invalidate ANYTHING a white man says, at any time. It pisses me off.

Of course there are people who are unaware of their obvious privilege or don't care about anyone else because of that privilege (the Bush family, Dick Cheney, ANY corporate CEO) but, I think its unfair to try to say a white man can't enter a discussion because of his so-called "privilege." I think the argument is overused, like the "This guy is just like Hitler" argument, it loses its value due to being over used and used inappropriately.

That argument was used against some really nice guys on THIS site and it didn't go over very well, thankfully.

But, I have no idea who Jim Butcher is.
07/12/2011
Sex'и'Violence Sex'и'Violence
I've seen that argument before and it always pisses me off. It's not a valid argument and it only goes to show ignorance and even racism on the part of the accuser. Unfortunately as many of the radicalised left-wing fucks out there have discovered- it is quite effective at getting their "opponents" dismissed by a general society who is overly concerned about being called or some how lumped in with racists.

This is just another one of their "Maximum disruption" tactics similarly to how they put bike locks the fire escapes of an Anne Coulter speaking event to have it shut down for a fire code violation.
07/12/2011
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by Errant Venture
I've never been attacked based on any sort of 'white privilege' before, so I'm not really sure what it means. However, if it's anything like the normal white-guy-being-accuse d-of-racism-because-he -offended-a-black/asia ...
It basically means that because you are white no one has ever judged you, turned you away, or denied you something and therefore you have no idea what it is like to be mistreated based on the color of your skin.

Some people will take it a step further and say that because you are white you don't know what it means to not get the education you deserve, your parents never had to fight for their position in society or in the workforce and therefore you have no idea what it is like to struggle for success based on the color of your skin. Thusly, you have no right to speak on issues pertaining to minorities. (I'm using the general you here, not the personal you.)
07/12/2011
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by P'Gell
I've seen people use the "you don't know because you have privilege" argument to invalidate ANYTHING a white man says, at any time. It pisses me off.

Of course there are people who are unaware of their obvious privilege or ...
I personally think it's mainly being used by a bunch of recent college graduates who don't know shit about the real world and are reverting back to their textbooks for answers. It pisses me off to no end!
07/12/2011
P'Gell P'Gell
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
It basically means that because you are white no one has ever judged you, turned you away, or denied you something and therefore you have no idea what it is like to be mistreated based on the color of your skin.

Some people will take it a ...
I think the whole practice of using "privilege" all the time is ridiculous. There ARE people who abuse their privilege and have no idea how the other half (9.10ths of the population) live, as I mentioned people like the Bushes, Cheney's etc.

But using this "argument" at middle class or working class white men is usually very unfair, everyone has a say, no matter where they come from.

It is unfair to say only "left wing fucks" use this argument. I'm a left wing fuck, if you want to look at it that way, and I would only use the "You have privilege, STFU." at the very rich. Because that's really the only people for whom the argument is true.

Middle class white guys may have it a little easier than people of color or women, but not by much. Not enough to use the "privilege" argument against.... unless they betray their hubris to the contrary.
07/12/2011
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by Sex'и'Violence
I've seen that argument before and it always pisses me off. It's not a valid argument and it only goes to show ignorance and even racism on the part of the accuser. Unfortunately as many of the radicalised left-wing fucks out there have ...
I would have set the building on fire, but that's just me. Can't stand that woman. :/

I think the argument is counterproductive in healing past hurts. Why would you sling that at someone if you, yourself knows what it feels like to be oppressed?

At one point in the argument, JB states "you're right, I'm white, therefore I'm wrong so I should just shut the fuck up" (paraphrased). I just felt so bad for him because no matter how hard he could have tried he never would have been able to beat that argument down to get his point across.
07/12/2011
P'Gell P'Gell
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
I would have set the building on fire, but that's just me. Can't stand that woman. :/

I think the argument is counterproductive in healing past hurts. Why would you sling that at someone if you, yourself knows what it feels like to be ...
Coulter.... [shudders]
07/12/2011
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by El-Jaro
I think it's a knee jerk attack to put someone on the defensive for something they weren't even aware of or could rightfully defend against.

I think before anyone accuses someone of "privilege", the learn about the person ...
What are the books about?
07/12/2011
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by P'Gell
I think the whole practice of using "privilege" all the time is ridiculous. There ARE people who abuse their privilege and have no idea how the other half (9.10ths of the population) live, as I mentioned people like the Bushes, Cheney's ...
I agree.
07/12/2011
El-Jaro El-Jaro
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
What are the books about?
Modern day warlock/World of Darkness type stuff. He also wrote another series called "The Furies" (not the Furries).

He's a great writer.
07/12/2011
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by El-Jaro
Modern day warlock/World of Darkness type stuff. He also wrote another series called "The Furies" (not the Furries).

He's a great writer.
Wait...so how in the fucking hell (pardon my French) could this be about whitewashing racial issues in Chicago?

Man, now I'm really confused. That makes his statement of "It's MY Chicago" not the "real Chicago"....oh I get it. So the character was black and he did something bad on "that" side of Chicago and now all of a sudden JB has painted all black men and that side of Chicago as "bad people", according to this person?

I mean for crying out loud when I went to Chicago for the very first time, I was told by our doorman to stay off of Lower Whacker Drive after dark. The man was about as white as midnight. To which my companions nodded and smiled and said "we're from here, we'd never take her down there after dark, but we're going to walk her around it after the Cubs game". If there was ever a time to accuse a white person of privilige THAT was the time.

I don't know anything about Hyde Park...hmmm P'Gell, any answers?
07/12/2011
El-Jaro El-Jaro
The Dresden Files books take place in Chicago
07/12/2011
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by El-Jaro
The Dresden Files books take place in Chicago
Right, but present day...I mean is he just using Chicago because it's a town he knows well and can describe in his books...they're fantasy right?
07/12/2011
P'Gell P'Gell
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
Wait...so how in the fucking hell (pardon my French) could this be about whitewashing racial issues in Chicago?

Man, now I'm really confused. That makes his statement of "It's MY Chicago" not the "real ...
I no longer live in the City, I live outside it. Lower Wacker Drive (My Man can't drive on Wacker without making comments. [eye roll]) was at one time populated by a lot of homeless people, as it was mostly underground and there were like, cubbies set into the concrete walls of the tunnels and people would live in them. They have been mostly moved, but sometimes the place is still dangerous. But, these were people of all backgrounds, nothing racist in saying, "Don't hang out on Lower Wacker after dark."

I used to spend more time around Buckingham Fountain, in the Water Tower Area or on the North Side in Rogers Park or hanging around the museums (which are near Hyde Park) but not much in the University of Chicago Area, as there were Projects there when I was a kid, so I can't really speak to this. It isn't the safest neighborhood, though. You're safe on the Museum Campus, but there is a lot of crime after dark and the farther you get from the Museum Campus.

It has more to do with just plain crime and nothing to do with race for me. To say certain neighborhoods are NOT more dangerous than others isn't being honest.
07/12/2011
M121212 M121212
Quote:
Originally posted by El-Jaro
I think it's a knee jerk attack to put someone on the defensive for something they weren't even aware of or could rightfully defend against.

I think before anyone accuses someone of "privilege", the learn about the person ...
I agree that dialogue's not really going to happen when people start off accusing each other. I find dialogue happens when people can be at least somewhat relaxed, ready to listen and have some faith that they are going to be listened to.


I don't know what to say about the privilege argument. I only can say that we have some big issues as a culture around race that are very ingrained. I live in a city that is incredibly liberal and comparatively very civil as far as people of different races getting along. But we still have issues even here! For sure! It is a really really slow journey to healing these five million wounds we've inflicted on each other over 1000s of years. That's how I look at it. I hope that the mistakes we make in interacting with each other day to day can teach us how to go about it better next time.
07/12/2011
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by P'Gell
I no longer live in the City, I live outside it. Lower Wacker Drive (My Man can't drive on Wacker without making comments. [eye roll]) was at one time populated by a lot of homeless people, as it was mostly underground and there were like, ...
Oh ok. When we were in Chicago, we were staying on Rush and Ontario. I think we walked probably a ten-fifteen block radius in every direction and I was pretty surprised at how clean everything was and how friendly the people were.

We were going to walk to Oak Street Beach but the weather was so miserable that we decided to just go back to the hotel, instead. Hubby said something about having to walk under LSD and I wasn't super comfortable with that because it was like 2 AM and we were sloshed. LOL

I agree. There are some neighborhoods in my area that I steer people clear of, one in particular that we call Crack Alley. I remember getting flack for it once and two days later a store clerk was shot in the head in the bathroom of the store on the corner of said Crack Alley. There are just some places you don't go.
07/12/2011
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by M121212
I agree that dialogue's not really going to happen when people start off accusing each other. I find dialogue happens when people can be at least somewhat relaxed, ready to listen and have some faith that they are going to be listened to. ...
I think we need to stop ignoring the differences between cultures and religions and embrace them, celebrate them and appreciate them for all they are worth. Each nation, society, culture, religion, race and creed has contributed to the world we live in today and while it is by far from perfect, imagine what it would be like if we still lived in the Dark Ages where information was suppressed just because the king, bishop, pope, or priest said so.

We'll get there. It might take another two thousand years, but we'll get there. That is, if we don't destroy life as we know it in the meantime.
07/12/2011
El-Jaro El-Jaro
Yeah, there are areas like that in Detroit too. If you take Ford Rd. all the way east when it changes names, you do NOT stop at stop signs or lights. You yield and keep going. The areas are so bad that I don't even think cops do moving violations down there. Plus, I'm sure that IF you get pulled over for that, the cop could see that if you don't really "fit in" with the neighborhood, they'll prolly let you off.

My point: It's more about classism than racism. The two are just usually mingled up together.
07/12/2011
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by El-Jaro
Yeah, there are areas like that in Detroit too. If you take Ford Rd. all the way east when it changes names, you do NOT stop at stop signs or lights. You yield and keep going. The areas are so bad that I don't even think cops do moving violations ...
I read something not too long ago about the classism issues in the United States. Apparently, it has its roots in the Bacon Rebellion. Slaves and servants were angry about a Native attack on the plantation that resulted in loss of stock and wanted the government in place at the time to retaliate. They refused because the initial attack on the plantation was over unpaid debt to the natives during a bartering session with the owner. The slaves grew angry and rose against and were quickly defeated. That is what initiated a divide between the rich and the poor. Only to go completely downhill in an avanlanche of mistreatment and oppression from there.
07/12/2011
meitman meitman
Accusing someone of privilege sounds like a person has closed their mind and are unwilling to know the person they are attacking. It's terrible when people can't disagree respectfully.
07/12/2011
Rossie Rossie
Quote:
Originally posted by El-Jaro
Yeah, there are areas like that in Detroit too. If you take Ford Rd. all the way east when it changes names, you do NOT stop at stop signs or lights. You yield and keep going. The areas are so bad that I don't even think cops do moving violations ...
That sounded even more dangerous than driving through parts of Oakland, California. We always make sure the car doors were locked, and always stay on major thoroughfares. Have you noticed that most high crime areas are located on the east side of town, no matter what city it is?
07/12/2011
El-Jaro El-Jaro
Quote:
Originally posted by Rossie
That sounded even more dangerous than driving through parts of Oakland, California. We always make sure the car doors were locked, and always stay on major thoroughfares. Have you noticed that most high crime areas are located on the east side of ...
huh...now that you mention it...yeah. Flint is bad on the South/East side. From what I know Chicago, it's like that too (Gary, IN is south east of there).

@Storm: I think classism actually stems from jealousy and desire. Those without want what those with have. Classism is just when politics and law get involved.

@meitman: Bingo! And they accuse the person of being close minded too! Pot-Kettle, Kettle-Pot.
07/12/2011
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by El-Jaro
huh...now that you mention it...yeah. Flint is bad on the South/East side. From what I know Chicago, it's like that too (Gary, IN is south east of there).

@Storm: I think classism actually stems from jealousy and desire. Those without ...
Thought provoking! Thanks JR.
07/12/2011
Errant Venture Errant Venture
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
It basically means that because you are white no one has ever judged you, turned you away, or denied you something and therefore you have no idea what it is like to be mistreated based on the color of your skin.

Some people will take it a ...
Well, what a load of baloney! (Sorry. Not you, the mindset.) Yeah, in that case I feel it's not a valid argument, and I shall now add it to the list of phrases that deserve an automatic slapping with a wet fish, when heard.
07/13/2011
Errant Venture Errant Venture
PS. Cheers for the clear up, Storm
07/13/2011
slynch slynch
This is ridiculous! It's FICTION. He's not passing it off as NON-FICTION. It's his series of books, his "world", he can do whatever he wants.

The series is FANTASTIC! (They are about a wizard named Harry... no, not THAT Harry )
07/13/2011
Peggi Peggi
Living where I do, I have heard this time and time again. Should I comment that jobs are difficult to get, I'm not trying hard enough to get them: I'm white! If I complain about finances, how dare I?! Do I know what it's like to live in POVERTY? NO! I'm WHITE!

I've even had people pull the card on me when I have said I have to work hard for what I get, that I don't know what working hard is, I was never a slave working the fields. My response? "Neither were you, but my ancestors sure as hell were! They came here from Ireland and were some of the unfortunate to be forced to work for little money if ANY, for many years! They had just as many hardships as your ancestors did, yet you don't see me trying to benefit from what they went through, now do you?!"

And as for the series, good books!
10/10/2011
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