I had to defriend a couple people yesterday for some massive failitude they expressed about white privilege, thereby mocking my other dear friend's very vulnerable and open LJ post about her experience with that subject.
One of the people I defriended I didn't know well so I was fine with the mutual defriending. The other person was someone I thought I could trust - and I just realized I'm co-modding an art comm with her - this was...a really hard decision. But what she said was SO hurtful (particularly as it was addressed to our mutual friend, which in turn made me loyalty!GRRRR), I don't know if I even want to talk to her about it. The energy it takes to even say something. It's really, really not fun.
Anyway, just to clarify the concept of white privilege to people who are actually interested in knowing about it, but might not have all the facts:
White privilege is not stand-alone. Like all privileges, it is intersectional. Many people enjoy privileges based on their race, gender, sexual identity, social class, physical health etc without even knowing or understanding it. I enjoy many privileges from my physical health (I am young, healthy, and able-bodied), mental health (I do not have any mental illnesses), social class (I am educated and middle-class) and sexual identity (I am straight). Y'see what I mean by 'intersectional'?
There are even some race privileges that I enjoy, due to being categorized (not willingly) into the 'model minority' category - bluntly speaking: because I am not black, I'm generally more 'acceptable' in white standards. I'll stress again: not willingly. But there it is and I acknowledge it, even as I fight against the model minority stereotype.
Just because you have privileges based on certain inborn attributes, does not automatically make you a bad person to underprivileged people. But acknowledging these privileges that you* enjoy is the first step to understanding an underprivileged person when they bring up harmful and offensive issues.
It is not about you. Your inherent guilt does not factor into another person's suffering. Especially if you consider them your friend or someone who you know would not lightly bring up privilege.
So in short:
- white privilege is not the be-all and end-all, and just because you're white and you have white privilege, doesn't automatically mean you are EVIL IN THE EYES OF ALL PEOPLE OF COLOUR.
- it's the same as saying you're a feminist - being a feminist doesn't automatically mean you HATE ALL MEN.
- it's the same as if I, being able-bodied, started ragging on disabled rights groups to stop pointing out able-bodied privilege, because "omg they are so mean because I may be able-bodied, but I'm also poor! So I don't enjoy as many able-bodied privileges as those mean disabled people claim I have!"
Intersectionality in privilege. Acknowledging one's privilege. Empathy to underprivileged. Key points.
I hope this clarifies things for some people? This is something I am willing to discuss. atm. :)
* also, consider that privilege is categorized by a group situation, not you personally. A lot of the privileged groups are considered 'the normal' or 'the default' - like men, able-bodied, white, straight, etc - in modern society. An aspect of a certain privilege may not apply to you personally, but that doesn't render the concept null.
I didn't watch The Pacific - I don't have HBO anyway - but I did watch the premiere episode of Murdoch Mysteries, Season 3!
EEEEE it started off a little 'hmmmm' but progressed really well and the ending was just 'squeee'. God, I love this show so much, and I'm glad that after the
Yay little Canadian Victorian murder mystery show! \o/ Don't stop being awesome.