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Thread: White Privilege

  1. #1
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    White Privilege

    This piece by Frank Bruni articulates a lot of he frustration I feel when trying to address the issue.

    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/08/1...m/instapundit/

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    This piece by Frank Bruni articulates a lot of he frustration I feel when trying to address the issue.
    Bruni is consistently good.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    This piece by Frank Bruni articulates a lot of he frustration I feel when trying to address the issue.

    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/08/1...m/instapundit/
    I believe there is some truth to what he says, but there is also some truth to the opposite. I was speaking yesterday with a new friend whose wife is a recovering addict who has spent some significant time in the justice system. I was sharing with him some of my experiences in interacting with women in addiction recovery through my current church assignment. Best church assignment I have ever had. Anyway, we both agreed that although we understand on an intellectual basis what his wife and these women are going through, we do not understand it in a physical, mental or emotional way because it is not part of our experience. I can intellectually understand the frustration and anger of a black football player at the U who, after locking himself out of his apartment, has to go in through a bedroom window. And, 10 minutes later, while he is in the shower, has his front door shattered by police who yank him out of the shower and have him handcuffed naked on the floor before asking a single question. I can't really understand the mental, physical and emotional anguish, frustration and hate that can result from these types of interactions and for me to assume that I can or have the right to, is ridiculous.

  4. #4
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UTEopia View Post
    I believe there is some truth to what he says, but there is also some truth to the opposite. I was speaking yesterday with a new friend whose wife is a recovering addict who has spent some significant time in the justice system. I was sharing with him some of my experiences in interacting with women in addiction recovery through my current church assignment. Best church assignment I have ever had. Anyway, we both agreed that although we understand on an intellectual basis what his wife and these women are going through, we do not understand it in a physical, mental or emotional way because it is not part of our experience. I can intellectually understand the frustration and anger of a black football player at the U who, after locking himself out of his apartment, has to go in through a bedroom window. And, 10 minutes later, while he is in the shower, has his front door shattered by police who yank him out of the shower and have him handcuffed naked on the floor before asking a single question. I can't really understand the mental, physical and emotional anguish, frustration and hate that can result from these types of interactions and for me to assume that I can or have the right to, is ridiculous.
    Don't you think that all we can do is try our best to empathize, and then to help or make things better? Refusing to let people of good will do that seems wrong-headed and wrong-hearted to me. (You are not doing that.)

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    Don't you think that all we can do is try our best to empathize, and then to help or make things better? Refusing to let people of good will do that seems wrong-headed and wrong-hearted to me. (You are not doing that.)
    Yes, that is all we can do. It takes careful consideration to do it in a way that that makes things better and not worse. We cannot do it in a knee jerk fashion. We need to approach it conscientiously and hopefully receive it conscientiously.

    Personally, I am working on trying to make every interaction I have with other people a positive outcome. I know that doesn't show here in some of my posts because I have a visceral negative reaction to Trump, BYU and people who do not pick up after their dogs, but t'm making a conscious effort to add value to my interactions as opposed to subtracting. I'm failing, but I am trying. I'm sure to fail if I watch the Utah/BYU game with anyone besides my wife who, to my surprise, has come to hate BYU even more than I do.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by UTEopia View Post
    I believe there is some truth to what he says, but there is also some truth to the opposite. I was speaking yesterday with a new friend whose wife is a recovering addict who has spent some significant time in the justice system. I was sharing with him some of my experiences in interacting with women in addiction recovery through my current church assignment. Best church assignment I have ever had. Anyway, we both agreed that although we understand on an intellectual basis what his wife and these women are going through, we do not understand it in a physical, mental or emotional way because it is not part of our experience. I can intellectually understand the frustration and anger of a black football player at the U who, after locking himself out of his apartment, has to go in through a bedroom window. And, 10 minutes later, while he is in the shower, has his front door shattered by police who yank him out of the shower and have him handcuffed naked on the floor before asking a single question. I can't really understand the mental, physical and emotional anguish, frustration and hate that can result from these types of interactions and for me to assume that I can or have the right to, is ridiculous.
    Great post.

    Even after 30 years of being connected at the hip with an African American wife, I miss things that just never occur to me. A small example: the wife and I went back to see her mom in Kentucky, and at the rental car checkout counter, I decided to crack a joke, be a little random:

    "You better put both of us on the rental because I've had 5 DUIs and spent time in the Pen for driving a school bus the wrong way on the freeway. She's a safer driver".

    It was pretty clear I was just being random and the guy chuckled and smiled, but later the wife asked me how I thought my joke would go if it had been our son who cracked it? "It would have taken him an extra half hour while they double checked his driving record. Things are just different - especially back here in Kentucky - and sometimes even you don't see that."

    Yep. She was right.

    Of course there are other types of "privilege" that as a white male I won't get extended, like being the only Palangi at a kava party, being able to absorb the general vibe of the gathering, but also knowing I'll always be a guest, not a regular, no matter how much Tongan I learn and try to fit in. And I totally get that.

    The whole argument about White Privilege is based on numerical advantage, as much as historic privilege, upper middle class backgrounds, etc. Whites would/will(?) understand when the numbers change, and the anecdotal pushback we see when the "privilege" doesn't favor whites is a big part of the hurricane of resentment among some Trump supporters.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    Don't you think that all we can do is try our best to empathize, and then to help or make things better? Refusing to let people of good will do that seems wrong-headed and wrong-hearted to me. (You are not doing that.)
    There is one woman at work who I just can't talk to. Anything beyond small talk automatically gets categorized as mansplaining.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by UTEopia View Post
    I believe there is some truth to what he says, but there is also some truth to the opposite. I was speaking yesterday with a new friend whose wife is a recovering addict who has spent some significant time in the justice system. I was sharing with him some of my experiences in interacting with women in addiction recovery through my current church assignment. Best church assignment I have ever had. Anyway, we both agreed that although we understand on an intellectual basis what his wife and these women are going through, we do not understand it in a physical, mental or emotional way because it is not part of our experience. I can intellectually understand the frustration and anger of a black football player at the U who, after locking himself out of his apartment, has to go in through a bedroom window. And, 10 minutes later, while he is in the shower, has his front door shattered by police who yank him out of the shower and have him handcuffed naked on the floor before asking a single question. I can't really understand the mental, physical and emotional anguish, frustration and hate that can result from these types of interactions and for me to assume that I can or have the right to, is ridiculous.
    And while I understand your point, I don't agree with your example

    You're implying race was the reason that situation occurred, but that's just an assumption, one which may or may not be true. But constantly making that assumption will not, IMO, help this issue.




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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Diehard Ute View Post
    And while I understand your point, I don't agree with your example

    You're implying race was the reason that situation occurred, but that's just an assumption, one which may or may not be true. But constantly making that assumption will not, IMO, help this issue.
    The pressure cooker of American society is really starting to rumble on the stove. Trump's aides were stunned at his remarks, while David Duke and Richard Spencer were very, very grateful.

    Switching gears to society's other perpetual issue, sexism, it's not hard to imagine the President seizing on the Google engineer's memo about men and women being different and not equally willing / capable of high end technology engineering, and, with his past of sexual conquest, taking on that "cause", to get support from men. (Melania won't like it, but she may not be putting out these days.)

    Drawing on the example of a different culture, we've made a lot of progress on women's rights, but we could easily regress, and if there's a major society breakdown, we could even head toward India's problem of gang rapes. Women outnumber men in college, there are more & more women who are the breadwinners, and a lot of men feel emasculated by not measuring up to expectations. (Case in point - the Utah GOP legislator who said women in the workplace are taking wages away from men.)

    The ingredients are there for a similar regression, like we're seeing with tacit-yet-transparent support of the KKK, Neo-Nazis and white nationalists.

    The police just happen to be caught in the middle of all this.

  10. #10
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    I Celebrated Black History Month… By Finding Out I Was White

    I am seeing this all the time where I live. Even in my LDS congregation there are what we used to call "mixed-race" couples everywhere. In 50 years that will be very common, and I think that is a good thing.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

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