“Umm, excuse me? Who the hell are YOU?!”
I would not blame you for having such a reaction to reading the title of this piece. Not even a little. Because it was more or less my reaction to a piece with an almost identical title published on Common Dreams yesterday (June 11th, 2015).
Before even beginning to read the article, I suspect that I know its trajectory already. In this age of SJW (Social Justice Warrior) domination of social media and alternative media, this will no doubt add to the presence of sexual and racial partisanship. In this case, I figure this to be a guilt ridden white males account of how he is flawed by default of his background, and at fault for every problem of every minority even if just by ignorance. Or as the charge often is, complacency.
This is not a far stretch, because it tends to be a tenant of many misogynist and racist accusations.
With gender, it is very common to treat males (and promote the treatment of males) as automatically capable of rape, just on account to being born with a penis and testicles. This is further backed up by the guilty until proven innocent stance of many fighting sexual assault.
These people often do not bat an eyelash when it comes to potentially ruining a males reputation for life on a false rape accusation, yet encourage that society take the story of rape victims without question. Something that more often then not, society does.
I know that in the case of an assault victim, care must be taken to ease further trauma to the victim. But at the same time, if I accuse virtually anyone of any other crime, I have to be able to prove it happened in order to take legal action. Sometimes such crimes are hard to prove. Though that is a pitfall of the “innocent until proven guilty” based justice system, its what makes it the fairest system that one can have. So as to prevent many individuals from spending large parts of (if not their whole) lives behind bars for a crime they are innocent of. A system that would be rife for malicious revenge oriented use.
But even though the justice system operates on a proof based system, many in society have been conditioned to presume an assailant guilty before any proof is available. This happens right from the small scale, all the way up to high profile cases such as UVA (and with social media, more and more cases are becoming high profile).
I have said it before and I will say it again, this presumption of guilt IS NOT HELPING TO END “RAPE CULTURE” (if such really exists. I leave this open ended).
Even when you ignore the hypocrisy of treating male human beings as “expendable” while actively fighting that designation in female human beings, there is still the matter of credibility of the cause.
Some may see an easy way to get revenge on an enemy, gain popularity and notoriety, or have other reasons to manipulate the hyper feminist masses. But the more of these cases that gain attention only to be later proved as false, the more the damage done to the cause of FIGHTING sexual assault.
This is also why I don’t understand why many in the feminist community are hesitant to condemn false accusers. The more false accusations that make the airwaves, the greater the chance that the real victims of sexual assault will not be taken seriously. It is in your best interests to expose these people.
And it is in the best interests of the law to punish false accusers harshly, so as to have the crime not become a useful tool of malice with little chance of personal ramification on exposure.
As for race, it is often common for many minorities with a history of abuse at the hands of Whites to hold all Whites en-mass accountable for all crimes of White people (usually past, but also at times present).
A fairly common sentiment I have heard even from some of the more intelligent White people I know is shame in terms of the races past (and to a degree, present) activities. Given the past conquering history of the race, such a reaction is not all that unwarranted. History is filled with unwilling slaves and skeletons.
But not all of these reactions of self loathing are born of study into the past actions of the Caucasian race. Some of it is on account to campaigns from some segments of minority communities that actively promote this White shaming. Causing many in the White race that just happened to be born into the skin tone of the most privilege, to feel a need to be ashamed. Sometimes this racial shaming is even used to justify ongoing reparations to some minorities.
While the acts of the Caucasian race in the past are very unfortunate and should not be forgotten, I must remind people again that ALL HUMANS have more or less the same brain chemistry. Though the current paradigm is arranged in such that the White race is for the most part domineering, I would argue that is just a product of chance. And that even if the racial, religious, gender or other dynamics were switched around, the world may not look all that different (but for who is occupying what positions in the social hierarchy).
An assertion that is backed by the pockets of tension that can be found between small segments of I would argue almost any race on earth.
So stop feeling ashamed that you were born with a lack of pigmentation. And stop being ashamed that you happened to benefit by chance, luck of the draw. You could have been born into a Native American family or African American family at the hight of their persecution, but instead, you ended up as a Caucasian.
This does not mean that one should forget history. That can be as just dangerous as the past events themselves. Acknowledge the past, but do not dwell on it. Instead, look ahead and make sure it does not happen again.
Which brings us to the present.
A common SJW sentiment when it comes to many racial (particularly White) and gender (particularly male) issues is that one should “check their privilege”. Something that is often emphasized even more for those that happened to be born into both distinctions (White Males).
There is no denying that being born into a Caucasian skin tone does inherently tend to put one on a good footing to a successful life pretty much wherever they live (at least in the first world).
On White Privilege
White skin privilege is not something that white people necessarily do, create or enjoy on purpose. Unlike the more overt individual and institutional manifestations of racism described above, white skin privilege is a transparent preference for whiteness that saturates our society. White skin privilege serves several functions. First, it provides white people with “perks” that we do not earn and that people of color do not enjoy. Second, it creates real advantages for us. White people are immune to a lot of challenges. Finally, white privilege shapes the world in which we live — the way that we navigate and interact with one another and with the world.
White Privilege: The Perks
White people receive all kinds of perks as a function of their skin privilege. Consider the following:
• When I cut my finger and go to my school or office’s first aid kit, the flesh-colored band-aid generally matches my skin tone.
• When I stay in a hotel, the complimentary shampoo generally works with the texture of my hair.
• When I run to the store to buy pantyhose at the last minute, the ‘nude’ color generally appears nude on my legs.
• When I buy hair care products in a grocery store or drug store, my shampoos and conditioners are in the aisle and section labeled ‘hair care’ and not in a separate section for ‘ethnic products.’
• I can purchase travel size bottles of my hair care products at most grocery or drug stores.
I do forgive the “examples” of white privilege given above. Like many other issues and definitions contaminated by the SJW editorial brush, its hard to find a good, unbiased, yet fairly straight forward definition and explanation of the term.
But the above explanation serves 2 purposes. You get an understanding of the term (society is generally shaped to suit the Caucasian individual). And you get to see why I find it harder to harder to take many in the SJW movement seriously. In this case, #FirstWorldProblems turned White privilege.
I have often heard this term utilized in the context of policing in America. Many stories involving police brutality towards often times young African Americans in situations of economic despair have permeated the media (particularly the alternative media) of late. Though cheap recording mediums and social media have both served to shine a huge amount of light on this issue in recent years, this is and has been an ongoing problem in many places for many, MANY years. At times possibly going back decades (if not more).
I would not deny that there is at least somewhat of a racial component to this. The evidence speaks for itself. But I also do not think that racial attitudes are the only factors at play. Namely, the culture of training is poisonous to pretty much everyone exposed to it. As evidenced by incidents of officers of various minorities (particularly African American) brutalizing people of their own ancestry.
That said, I am no Jimmy Dore (comedian and one of my favorite frequent TYT guests) on the issue. From what I have heard him say, it seems that he considers ALL police as being corrupted. Its not just a few bad apples, its the whole fucking orchard (a paraphrase of a past Jimmy segment).
Though I do not always agree with all of Jimmy’s police rants, I have to give him credit for his passion on the topic. And though I can not say that I am 100% sure I understand his stance, it seems that he puts all cops into the same category because there are no obvious “Good” cops. He acknowledges that not ALL officers are guilty of abusing their power, but even the others often back their abusive counterparts, or simply stay silent.
While that seems a reasonable way to asses the situation given the stories we see coming out (far more brutality and cover ups, then justice to victims or officers turning in rough counterparts), its almost never wise to assume a 100% accurate broad reality on anecdotal evidence. Yes, there are more stories out then ever before about brutality. But its always possible that terrible gets all the attention, while the good gets little attention, or just goes unnoticed (apart from the odd good story every so often).
As such, while I acknowledge that there seems to be something VERY wrong with the culture of policing in America, I can not say that ALL are corrupt.
This ties into White privilege, because one of the so called “privileges” of being white is not having to deal with police harassment as much as other minorities (particularly African Americans). This does seem to hold up when one considers the war on drugs alone (an area of far more victims than those affected by police shootings).
One thing I take issue with is when minorities (again, particularly African Americans) equate a failure of White people speaking out about this double standard to racism. What they call “Soft Racism”.
This is another thing that the SJW’s like to do to the public. Slap labels on people for seemingly not picking a side.
First of all, someone who is ignorant to this plight of minorities is not a “soft racist”. Given the saturated coverage of the topic, I definitely would consider someone who has not heard of this problem AT ALL to be willfully ignorant, maybe to the point of being dangerously so (something that is more common then not in our micro-targeted social media bubbles). But not racist.
Maybe speaking out and rocking the societal boat is just, not their cup of tea.
One way to interpret it is silent mass approval of the behaviors in question. Given the still racially biased nature of many areas and populations of the US, this is entirely possible. But like all generalizations, this does not include everyone who is silent.
Would the voices of the silent allies of progressivism in America (I use that term VERY loosely) be nice in terms of bringing awareness to (and then furthering) the causes we stride for? Yes.
But at the same time, one should be careful to shame someone just for seemingly taking a silent “pussy” position in a public debate (lets be honest about what the SJW’s are insinuating here).
Yes, it is a bit disheartening that more people are not allying against the unjust treatment of young Black men in urban USA and young school aged women on college campuses. But at the same time, it could also be seen as “biased” to overlook all other ethnicities that fall victim to violent crime, or male sexual assault victims.
There is no disagreement that race and gender play HUGE roles in the crimes of both categories, in terms of who is most often affected. But they are not the only factors that make up the problem. As such, one has to remember to not forget about the victims (however few) that happen to fall outside of the general scope of the issue (on account to their gender or ethnicity).
Those that do willfully leave out or ignore these said victims, clearly are not as promoted to the cause of ending police brutality or ending domestic violence/rape as they claim they are. Champions of REAL change do not ignore segments of victims due to uncontrolled traits of birth.
What is written above is in a nutshell, my views on many of the topics I see many so called SJW’s (Social Justice Warriors) take on. I have always thought, and still do think, that the way such individuals go about furthering their causes does far more harm then good. Though this is one of the first times that I have taken on issues as seen from a typical SJW context, it may not be the last.
The idea of fighting for “Social Justice” of a given cause is noble. But the way in which these arguments have created unneeded friction and segregation (for example, within the Atheist community) is not a good thing either.
To quote Lincoln, A house divided against itself can not stand.
But that is my personal commentary, which may or may not be relevant to the following article. We will see.
I am a white man.
I am racist.
But that’s kind of redundant.
It’s like saying, “I am a fish, and I am soaking wet.”
I have to give credit to the author of this piece for getting straight to the point.
But to be fair, this is something that I have myself said in the past. Though:
a:) not in the context of shame
b:) directed at EVERYONE
Every person grows up in a within a family micro-culture, as well as within a regional macro-culture (which may be a mash-up of various local and regional cultures). As we mature as children, we absorb various characteristics of these local environments like a sponge (be they positive or negative traits).
When the word “indoctrination” is used, most of the time it is in the context of religion being taught at a young age. But along with religion, it is equally plausible that children can have parental bias’s such as racism or sexism be indoctrinated into their psyche. It may not even be deliberately taught. Just having a biased conversation or uttering the odd derogatory comment about a given group in front of the child can do it.
Having these internalized biases is not terrible, so long as you recognize them for the irrational beliefs that they are.
Thus the comment “Being White and racist is a like saying im a fish and I am wet” is stupid.
In some ways, I can’t help it. I don’t even notice it. I live my life immersed in a world ofwhite privilege that most of the time I frankly can’t even see.
That doesn’t excuse me. It doesn’t mean I should just shrug and say, “What are you gonna’ do?”
But it does mean that the first step in removing that racism – in undoing the systematic subjugation of people of color – is recognizing my own culpability in that system.
It’s like being an alcoholic. The first step is admitting the truth.
I know I’ve pissed off a lot of people with what I’ve just written. This article isn’t about gaining new friends. But I’m sure I’ll have a lot of death threats to delete from the comments section tomorrow.
The initial reaction white people usually have to being called racist is – Who? Me? I can’t be racist! I have a black friend! I dated a black girl once! I listen to rap music!
Or a whole host of other excuses.
1.) Stop being ashamed of what you were born into. It is not healthy.
2.) I am curious why you think that you DIRECTLY play a part in the “systematic subjugation of people of color”. You likely live your life without harming (or otherwise adversely affecting) anyone else. Considering that you wrote this guilt-laden piece, it seems not a far off conclusion.
Do you feel this way (like a privileged racist), just because you had it easier in life then many others?
If so, stop. This is not good for your mental state of mind. And its not good for the cause of the idiots that instill this garbage into your psyche.
3.) What truth?! The truth that your a racist by birth?
b.) EVERYONE grows up biased. White, Black, Asian, Hispanic. No one is immune. And anyone who disagrees is full of shit.
Its in how you deal with said irrational beliefs once faced with them, that makes you as a person.
4.) People that write ANYONE death threats are idiots. I don’t care if you live in America and Freedom of Speech grants you the right. Really?
That is the best you can do?
5.) One may think that I, Mb Man, am one of those “White” people with an excuse (and hence this post). But you would be mistaken, since I am not even really white (though sort of). Metis to be precise.
It was not mentioned before, because it is not something that I consider of all that much importance. For reasons outlined previously.
First of all, relax. I don’t know you. For all I know you’re that one white guy out there who has somehow escaped the pervasive societal attitudes that the rest of us unknowingly took in with our baby formula.
But chances are – yeah, you’re a racist, too.
Second of all, I’m not talking to people of color. None of you are racist. Congratulations!
You might be a hate-filled bigoted, misogynistic, xenophobic, homophobic, prejudiced asshole.
Again, I don’t know you. But racist? No. You can’t really be that.
Here’s why. Racism doesn’t mean hating someone because of their race. That’s a kind of prejudice. And anyone can be prejudiced.
Racism is hate plus power. If a black person says, “I hate white people,” he is prejudiced. However, there is no system that then backs up his hatred. The police don’t arrest white people more than black people for the same crimes. The judicial system doesn’t give harsher sentences to white people than it does black people for the same crimes. Public schools serving a majority of white students aren’t chronically underfunded. It isn’t harder to get a loan or a job if you have a white-sounding name. If it did, THAT would be racism!
Nice try, but no cigar.
I am not sure when the definition of racism changed in the SJW community, but for the rest of the world, is is the same as it always was. Not just “another form of prejudice”.
There you have it. “People of color” are just as capable of being quote “racist” as White people are. A spade is still a spade, even if it has a different colored handle.
I do comprehend the words that you speak. And I agree that work needs to be done in terms of race relations in America (and elsewhere). But you still have not changed the term racist.
Your definition may be more convenient to your argument, but I still choose to use the word PROPERLY. Even if it insinuates that (heaven forbid!), racism can be a 2 way street.
So I’m sorry, white people. This means there is no such thing as reverse racism. Despite what you may see on Fox News, the only racists in America have white skin.
Don’t get me wrong. There are degrees of racism. If you have a Confederate flag prominently displayed in your home in front of your personally autographed picture withDavid Duke, well you’re probably a bit more racist than most Caucasians. But no matter what, if you’re white, you’ve probably benefited from white supremacy and are de factoracist.
Maybe your folks gave you a middle class upbringing in a quiet suburb. Maybe you went to a well-funded public school in a wealthy neighborhood. Maybe your dad was convicted ofwhite collar crime and got little to no jail time. Heck! Maybe you just walked down the street once and the police didn’t follow you through a convenience store or reached for their guns.
If your upbringing was in any way favored due to wealth amassed over a few generations, you benefited from white privilege. If the judicial system let you or a loved one go with a lighter sentence, you benefited. If you were not harassed by law enforcement because of your complexion, you benefited. And when you benefit from a system, you’re part of it.
For every white person in America, it is almost certain that something like this happened to you at some point in your life. And you probably had no idea it was even occurring.
Good fortune becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. People start to think they deserve it. And maybe they do, maybe they don’t. But people of color who don’t have such privileges certainly don’t deserve their inequitable treatment.
When we fail to acknowledge that white supremacy exists or that it benefits us, white folks, we’re just perpetuating that same system.
1.) When you are born into “privilege”, all that occurs, is that you are born into privilege. You are not “de facto” racist merely on this account.
2.) Here in Canada, reparations are often a big thing for our indigenous populations. Many, whether they reside in an urban environment or elsewhere, receive these reparations. It also does not matter what your income is.
One of these reparations is having your post secondary education taken care of. Which means that of a population that has suffered no persecution, and of a population that at times can match (or even beat) the income of other “White” Canadian families, those reparations still apply. Is this not a form of racial privilege as well?
Not applicable to American society, but since this piece (as a whole) has covered several different areas on both sides of the boarder, it fits.
Some of you will say I’m putting too much emphasis on race. We’re all the same under the skin. We shouldn’t bring up the topic of racism. It just makes things worse.
SJW’s in general put to much emphasis on race. All of this “BE ASHAMED AND CHECK YOUR PRIVILEGE!” shit.
No. Don’t be ashamed.
I will not bother with the rest of the article, because there is not all that much else that is said.
Much work has to be done in terms of race relations in America, and elsewhere. But were not going to get those results by way of shaming, or otherwise labeling members of society as “racist” for simply dealing the cards as dealt.
I am not sure what it will take to achieve the progressive and egalitarian utopia (or as close as possible) that would put everyone of all ancestries on an even plateau. Truth be told, I don’t know if mankind will ever get there in any major form.
But I do know that if were as serious about the goal as we say we are, different methods have to be utilized then the current.