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Sunday, December 02, 2012

OTP December 2012 - Pushing G.O.P. to Negotiate, Obama Ends Giving In

Mr. Obama, scarred by failed negotiations in his first term and emboldened by a clear if close election to a second, has emerged as a different kind of negotiator in the past week or two, sticking to the liberal line and frustrating Republicans on the other side of the bargaining table.

Bitter Mouse Posted: December 02, 2012 at 10:15 PM | 6172 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: politics

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   2101. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 12, 2012 at 12:30 AM (#4322654)
The worldview of liberals is not a narrative of race/class/power/privilege? WTF is it, then? Won't you guys tell us, instead of ranting on about race/class/power/privilege every day?
   2102. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: December 12, 2012 at 12:42 AM (#4322659)
Why would anyone bother (again)? You'd just disagree, then tell us what you think it's REALLY about.
   2103. Steve Treder Posted: December 12, 2012 at 12:46 AM (#4322663)
I like Ray's version better than ours, anyway. A hell of lot more entertaining.

Should we all just go with it? Ayes?
   2104. Tripon Posted: December 12, 2012 at 12:53 AM (#4322665)
Sure, if I can say that all conservatives are Randians who are all out to go Galt in a ditch they're digging for themselves.
   2105. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 12, 2012 at 01:00 AM (#4322667)
Why would anyone bother (again)?


I didn't see any explanations. Just naked denials of fundamental beliefs.

The quotes I presented on the previous page accurately reflect the general viewpoint of those on the left.
   2106. Tripon Posted: December 12, 2012 at 01:02 AM (#4322668)

I didn't see any explanations. Just naked denials of fundamental beliefs.

The quotes I presented on the previous page accurately reflect the general viewpoint of those on the left.


okay.
   2107. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: December 12, 2012 at 02:10 AM (#4322696)
.
   2108. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: December 12, 2012 at 02:23 AM (#4322698)
Won't you guys tell us, instead of ranting on about race/class/power/privilege every day?


Ray, again projecting his own obsessions onto others, totally incapable of seeing that it's happening.
   2109. Greg K Posted: December 12, 2012 at 05:32 AM (#4322716)
I didn't see any explanations. Just naked denials of fundamental beliefs.

I thought Bitter Mouse had a pretty clear description of how liberals see the world in one of these threads a while back. I was hoping it was the "Bitter Mouse's Law" episode, as that would be easier to google search, but sadly that was just about the liberal view of the role of government.

To be fair, "power" covers a fairly broad spectrum of human activity. Is there a political world-view that doesn't engage with issues of power at some level?
   2110. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 12, 2012 at 05:36 AM (#4322717)
You lot should be ashamed of yourselves. You got Ray excited before bedtime and he went and #### his jammies.

I think evaluating how Obama is "doing" vis a vis Sandy is mostly a matter of optics and messaging.
I'd rather emphasize facts. While it may take several months for us to be able to evaluate Obama's performance, it will eventually be clear how competent he was or wasn't. While it can be tough to tease out responsibility when multiple agencies are involved, it won't be too hard to find out who did and didn't perform.

Funny, a lot of folks are saying the government's handling of Sandy has been worse than for Katrina. Meet the new boss.....
Oh, thbbbbbttt. You're better than this.

It's that he and his administration staffed the agencies of the government with lackeys, ideologues and donors who had no clue how to run government agencies. (See also NASA, DOD, State, Treasury, CIA...

That's an oversell. Donald Rumsfeld was evil and in thrall of false assumptions (some truly, fantastically stupid false assumptions) about the world, but he wasn't incompetent per se. I don't think anyone would call Condi Rice incompetent, and certainly not Robert Gates. There's a degree of distinction between Rumsfeld or Henry Paulson and "Brownie" and the guy put in charge of NASA.


I'll give it a shot. Rumsfeld, Rice, and Cheney were utterly incompetent at their jobs. They thought Iraq would be a cakewalk. They thought their war of choice would pay for itself. They thought we would be greeted as liberators. They invaded under false pretenses and for a combination of fantastically stupid and fraudulent reasons. If not only having literally no idea what you're doing, but also committing fraud in order to do it isn't "incompetent", that word has no meaning at all.

Does it come as a shock to some people that anyone who disagrees with the liberal agenda is branded a racist/sexist/bigot along with a twist of cruel/greedy/selfish?
Well, now, by definition....
   2111. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 12, 2012 at 07:12 AM (#4322723)
The worldview of liberals, as expressed every day over and over again in these threads, is a narrative of race/class/power/privilege. And - cue Andy from earlier today - "racial sensitivity."

Why the liberals here are denying this is left as an exercise for the reader.


Amazing, isn't it?

I've been out for the evening, but what I'd like to know is if SBB has ever elaborated on his rather weird proclamation earlier today, to wit:

Nothing amazing about it, and I wholeheartedly stick by it.

Is there any white person who isn't "privileged"? If so, please explain some of the factors that would convert that white person from privileged to not privileged.(*) Let's start there, to see if personal details even matter -- if all whites are somehow privileged, then they don't, and your request for detail was mere deflection.

(*) I'll note here that a life led in Washington and New York, with a detour to the cracker 1960s South, doesn't necessarily give one a full accounting of the white American experience.
   2112. Blastin Posted: December 12, 2012 at 07:16 AM (#4322724)
SBB, privilege isn't merely racial. A white person (unless they live in an isolated town run by black people or some such) has racial privilege. If they are female they lack gender privilege and if they are poor they lack class privilege. If they are gay, disabled, etc etc etc.


I'm a black man who grew up upper middle class. Able-bodied and young. Not a lot of money now but opportunities to make some. I have a measure of class privilege, definitely gender privilege, lack racial privilege.

I don't sit around moping about it, and I sometimes use it to motivate me and keep me on my toes, but it would be silly to ignore these factors as they do have a background effect on my life. (In positive and negative ways. There are things I just don't have to worry about as a man, and things well-off white folks don't have to worry about that I do.)
   2113. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 12, 2012 at 07:32 AM (#4322726)
1966. Rickey is America's Favorite Neighbor Posted: December 11, 2012 at 04:40 PM (#4322153)

I have to leave for the day, but the main problem is that money absolutely rules politics in most of the developed world, and nowhere moreso than the US



Money is power. Power is politics. In the rest of the world, power is guns, or tribal allegiances. But more often guns.

Power always serves power. How is this a story?


Catching up, and to answer your question..... because the media and everyone influenced by it likes to pretend that we live in a fundamentally open, free, democratic society in which everyone has equal rights under the law and the bad guys go to jail, and anyone that points out that this is not even remotely the case is labelled as a nutter.
   2114. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 12, 2012 at 07:34 AM (#4322727)
Re: 2010 and the term "differently-abled". I heard that on the local radio last year, involving accessibility on the UNB campus. AFAIC, if you were born with wheels instead of feet, you are differently abled. Otherwise, get over the dis prefix.
   2115. Greg K Posted: December 12, 2012 at 07:45 AM (#4322729)
Totally unrelated to anything else, I came across this today.

The Royal Navy Field Gun Competition. Crews run a 12 pound field cannon through a course, dismantle it to man-handle it over a wall, then swing it in pieces over a 28-foot trench, put it back together and fire three shots, in under 3 minutes.

And people want to cut military spending!
   2116. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 12, 2012 at 07:46 AM (#4322730)
I'm a black man who grew up upper middle class. Able-bodied and young. Not a lot of money now but opportunities to make some. I have a measure of class privilege, definitely gender privilege, lack racial privilege.

The latter is categorically false. It's certainly not the sum total of life, but if you've engaged in the competition for college/professional school spots, and jobs, being black is an advantage -- thus, you do not "lack racial privilege" in those spheres. Again, not the sum total of life, but a big part.

Which isn't to say being black might not have been a disadvantage in developing the record you bring to the competition (*)-- it also might not have been -- but to think that you didn't get a benefit in the admissions office and most/all hiring offices is way off.

(*) Which I'm only raising because it's often raised as a justification for school/hiring privileges.
   2117. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 12, 2012 at 08:04 AM (#4322739)
I've been out for the evening, but what I'd like to know is if SBB has ever elaborated on his rather weird proclamation earlier today, to wit:

I have never benefitted from white privilege and would not have benefitted from it in its heyday. (A heyday you can read about, in grand detail, in the Joe Kennedy biography that just came out.)


Yeah, this oughta be good.

Nothing amazing about it, and I wholeheartedly stick by it.

Gee, that was a hell of an "explanation", Mr. Bedoya.

Is there any white person who isn't "privileged"? If so, please explain some of the factors that would convert that white person from privileged to not privileged.(*) Let's start there, to see if personal details even matter -- if all whites are somehow privileged, then they don't, and your request for detail was mere deflection.

SBB, you were the one making a rather incredible assertion, backed by absolutely no evidence whatever. I'll be glad to elaborate on your counter-question, but you first owe it to us to either put up or shut up about your unprivileged life as a white person on planet Earth---not to mention how you wouldn't have benefited in the heyday of Jim Crow.

(*) I'll note here that a life led in Washington and New York, with a detour to the cracker 1960s South, doesn't necessarily give one a full accounting of the white American experience.

Whoever said that it did? I've benefited from my own particular circumstances of birth in so many ways that I've long lost count.

OTOH I've spent the past 50 years trying to learn about as many "other" experiences as I can, from friendships, acquaintances, travel, and a fair amount of reading, study and thought, part of which was reflected in the books I chose for my history-centered shop and for my own personal library. IMO life is an ongoing educational process.

I was hoping to add your "never benefited from white privilege" experience to my knowledge base, but you apparently think I'm likely to turn such information over to the black hats or something. As quoted verbatim, that was a strong assertion you made there, and not to back it up with a fair amount of detail naturally might lead the cynics among us to believe that you might just be blowing it out of your butt. But I'm certainly willing to consider your unembellished story, if you ever care to give it.
   2118. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 12, 2012 at 08:17 AM (#4322743)
SBB, you were the one making a rather incredible assertion, backed by absolutely no evidence whatever. I'll be glad to elaborate on your counter-question, but you first owe it to us to either put up or shut up about your unprivileged life as a white person on planet Earth---not to mention how you wouldn't have benefited in the heyday of Jim Crow.

So you're punting on offering for peer review a falsifiable hypothesis of white privilege, then? Are all white people privileged?
   2119. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: December 12, 2012 at 08:23 AM (#4322747)
Re: 2010 and the term "differently-abled". I heard that on the local radio last year, involving accessibility on the UNB campus. AFAIC, if you were born with wheels instead of feet, you are differently abled. Otherwise, get over the dis prefix.


Why does that bother you?
   2120. McCoy Posted: December 12, 2012 at 08:24 AM (#4322748)
Totally unrelated to anything else, I came across this today.

The Royal Navy Field Gun Competition. Crews run a 12 pound field cannon through a course, dismantle it to man-handle it over a wall, then swing it in pieces over a 28-foot trench, put it back together and fire three shots, in under 3 minutes.

And people want to cut military spending!


Just think, in about 1,500 years that will become an Olympic event.
   2121. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 12, 2012 at 08:27 AM (#4322749)
The Royal Navy Field Gun Competition.


I can't watch Youtube at work, but I assume this is similar to the competition they have at the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo. The gun race is pretty impressive.
   2122. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 12, 2012 at 08:29 AM (#4322750)
I thought Bitter Mouse had a pretty clear description of how liberals see the world in one of these threads a while back.


<Blush>

As my memory is terrible I don't remember what I wrote, but I can try to freelance something together. So while it is basically impossible to describe an entire world view of millions of people in a few short sentences here is my rough draft.

Liberals believe in
* Change. Change is inevitable and can be good, bad or whatever.
* Complexity. The world is incredibly complex and ever changing, make things better but don't let the quest for perfect destroy what you can do now.
* Progress. "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice" MLK. Over the long run we make progress.
* Diversity. Variety is good. There is not one version of reality, ideal, or model person, race, religion, ideology or whatever.
* Balance. The needs of the many and the needs of the one need to be balanced, neither can be allowed to dominate.
* Reality trumps ideology. Making sure people get fed, have access to health care and so on is more important than the ideal of freedom with no opportunity to exercise that freedom (freedom from hunger matters).
* History matters. The weight, the inertia of history is real and needs to be acknowledged, so injustice yesterday still lives on today though a tiny bit less, and will likely live on tomorrow and must be fought every day until it is truly gone.

But I invite the Liberals on this board to poke holes and make fun of what I wrote. The Libertarians and Conservatives should attempt to write out their world view (I think Good face did a while back, at least inpart), but I realize it will be much easier to make fun and take shots and engage is other such behavior.
   2123. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 12, 2012 at 08:32 AM (#4322751)
Why does that bother you?


I just think its silly. The terms moron, imbecile, idiot were all clinical terms at one time. Then they were deemed offensive and it because retarded. Then that was deemed offensive and it became handicapped. Then that was deemed offensive and it became disabled. Then that became offensive and we're switching to the utterly ridiculous "differently abled". The same PC progression has occurred for physical problems (crippled used to be a perfectly acceptable word), racial descriptions, etc. Its all bullshit.
   2124. BDC Posted: December 12, 2012 at 08:33 AM (#4322752)
Can you tell me what the liberal view is on cheeses

I know this wasn't directed at any actual liberal, but it's interesting. I'd say that whole-milk artisanal cheeses are preferred, unpasteurized, small batches from heirloom recipes, sheep and goat milks, mozzarella di bufala, anything with a sense of terroir. And for ironic purposes, Velveeta with Ro-Tel peppers.

Conservative cheeses include gummy pizza mozzarella, stanky salad-dressing blue cheese, waxy "cheddar," anything pre-shredded, "Parmesan" in a green can, The Laughing Cow, and shelf-stabilized ageless "Brie" in an impenetrable rubbery shell, for special cocktail-party use.
   2125. Blastin Posted: December 12, 2012 at 08:36 AM (#4322754)
If my academic and professional record wasn't stellar, you might have a point SBB.

Affirmative action might have pushed me five percent farther, but, no, it doesnt cancel out the larger effects of institutionalized discrimination.

But because people out there share such views, it is imperative that I make certain not to #### up. And I don't. :)
   2126. Greg K Posted: December 12, 2012 at 08:36 AM (#4322755)
So you're punting on offering for peer review a falsifiable hypothesis of white privilege, then? Are all white people privileged?

I'm not sure "privileged" is a thing that you either are or are not. My dad was a teacher and my mom ran a fiscally responsible household. I grew up pretty financially secure, I didn't really need to have a job until university. I think I've been dealt a better hand than some of my friends, a less beneficial one than others. "Privileged" is a relative term, it depends who I'm talking to. When talking to a student of the First Nations University in Regina "privileged" seems a fair assessment. Same when I'm talking to high school classmates who had to drop out to work and help out with family expenses (white or otherwise). When I'm hanging out with my friend whose family is within the Romanian nobility, I don't feel particularly privileged. Or a guy I once knew who was a member of a powerful political family in Kenya.

Like anything else this conversation could probably be simplified a great deal if we first had a discussion on what we mean by "privileged" (assuming the goal of the conversation is understanding what everyone is saying).
   2127. Lassus Posted: December 12, 2012 at 08:38 AM (#4322756)
I do wonder if Ray would end up doubling-down on SBB's stance. Legitimately wondering, not being snarky.


Are all white people privileged?

Most absolutes are stupid. There's a liberal world-view for you, Ray.
   2128. Blastin Posted: December 12, 2012 at 08:39 AM (#4322758)
Greg, you are right. Privilege is relative. I have class privilege compared to some and not to others. Privilege is mostly about advantages.

I do love it when I'm told minorities are the lucky ones. Fun stuff.
   2129. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: December 12, 2012 at 08:44 AM (#4322759)
Its all ########.


So what would you call a person who can't hear, but is incredibly skilled at reading lips, facial and hand gestures? Remember the Seinfeld episode where George got Jerry's deaf girlfriend to eavesdrop on a conversation from across a crowded room? That was certainly a different ability.

A blind person has much different and more highly attuned sensory perception than most seeing people. Could you get around New York City with your eyes closed with only a stick to guide you? Someone who spends a lifetime in a wheelchair has much more upper body strength than the average person. People with aspergers are usually much more creative than the average person.

In many cases, differently abled is just as accurate as disabled, and has the advantage of sounding less pejorative. So why not give it a rest and worry about something that actually matters.
   2130. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 12, 2012 at 08:44 AM (#4322760)
Reality trumps ideology


I would disagree that liberals adhere to this one (although the same could be said about Conservatives too, in other ways). Non-liberals recognize that when you develop big-government facilitated safety nets from which people can get many things for free, they will take advantage of it to the detriment of others. Liberals refuse to believe that there is anything more that a scattered few people like this, but the truth is, when people are indulged and never held personally responsible for their decisions, most of them will continue to make bad ones. This is part of human nature and will never change, no matter how many times we give these people the benefit of the doubt. And by "these people" I don't mean a particular economic class, race or nationality. A white trust fund baby will exhibit the same response to being coddled that an inner city single mother with 4 kids by 3 men will.

I obviously don't consider myself a liberal, but I agree that change is more often than not a good thing, that the world is complex and diverse, and history definitely matters. I also believe to each his own - which would seem to be a recognition of these three statements - but for some reason most liberals do not.
   2131. BDC Posted: December 12, 2012 at 08:45 AM (#4322763)
we're switching to the utterly ridiculous "differently abled". The same PC progression has occurred for physical problems (crippled used to be a perfectly acceptable word), racial descriptions

It's way more complicated than that, of course. It seems to me that euphemisms crowd out other euphemisms when society is uncomfortable about, or disdainful of, the traits or people that the euphemisms identify. By contrast, once society is generally OK with a group or a feature of a group, the euphemistic drift stops. Terms like "African-American" and "gay," which would have sounded affected 50 years ago, are now very stable descriptors that are used by everybody, because very few people anymore think it inherently embarrassing or unseemly to be black or queer.

"Disabled" is becoming such a descriptor. "Differently abled" probably won't, because it sounds tendentious; but unlike some of its kin, it's also provocatively useful. Greg Rutherford, after all, is "differently abled" than I am. If the gap you're supposed to mind in the Tube station were 20 feet, he could get on and off trains all day long without a problem, while I would routinely fall to my death. The difference in ability between Rutherford and me is effectively like the difference between me and my disabled father in the last years of his life. It's important to see that as a difference (and always a temporary one) rather than somehow seeing one condition as "normal" or "natural" and the other as defective. It just puts things in thoughtful perspective.
   2132. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 12, 2012 at 08:45 AM (#4322764)
Regarding the "hot topic" as to whether SBB has benefited from being a white male ... in my opinion White Males as a class gain relative benefits from the existing power structure in the US(I know I have). I am positive there are specific instances where in total some few individuals have not benefited - just from the fact we are dealing with millions of people, get enough people and someone is goignto be an outlier. So there is a very small but non zero chance SBB has not benefited. I think it more likely he is a fish who never notices the water he swims in, but not having lived in his scales I don't know for sure.

However, I also believe that everyone (including white males) is disadvantaged in absolute terms but the fact that white males are advantaged. Example: Saudi Arabia in absolute terms is disadvantaged as a nation in that they refuse to take full advantage of the wonderful talents of full half of their population (women). Men in Saudi Arabia gain relative advantage(compared to women), but lose out in absolute terms because of the waste of human capital. In the short run I suspect the transfer of "advantage" from women to men helps the men in absolute terms but over time the waste compounds and so they only harm themselves and their entire society.

I think Saudi Arabia is an unusually clear and easy to understand example (cautionary tale) of the dangers of such institutional advantages. Not only is it wrong (unjust), but over time it is actively harmful to society in many ways including (but not limited to) all the squandered human capital.

Oh look an expression of liberal thought. The example speaks to underlying principles (societal cost of institutional favortism), but though it is expressed in terms of gender for Saudi Arabia (or race in the US vis-a-vis "white advantage") neither race nor gender is the primal factor, they are only the undesired expression of institutional bias.
   2133. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 12, 2012 at 08:47 AM (#4322765)
In many cases, differently abled is just as accurate as disabled, and has the advantage of sounding less pejorative. So why not give it a rest and worry about something that actually matters.


Fair enough.
   2134. Blastin Posted: December 12, 2012 at 08:49 AM (#4322768)
Word, Bitter Mouse.



   2135. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 12, 2012 at 08:51 AM (#4322769)
Terms like "African-American"


I will never get that one. I can understand is you want to get beyond "black", but African-American has little descriptive value. You wouldn't call an American of Egyptian or Moroccan descent African-American, but that's literally what they are. The Finns all came from Mongolia originally, but we don't call them Scandinavian-Mongolian.
   2136. Greg K Posted: December 12, 2012 at 08:58 AM (#4322778)
The Finns all came from Mongolia originally, but we don't call them Scandinavian-Mongolian.

And we all come from Africa originally! (I'm actually not read up on my genetic history of mankind - is this right?)

I think the value of the names of social categories isn't so much technical or historical accuracy, but (since they are social categories) the measure is "does everyone in society agree on what this means?" That the Pennsylvania Dutch are actually German (again I'm running on old info here, so anyone correct me if you like) is really more of a bit of trivia than a failure of the term to do its job.

I suppose it could be confusing for a Morroccan-American to think, "hey, why aren't I African-American?" Or maybe it doesn't even occur to him and he just thinks of himself as an American or Morroccan descent. Or he identifies more with Americans with backgrounds from Libya, Egypt, Syria etc.
   2137. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: December 12, 2012 at 08:59 AM (#4322779)
I will never get that one. I can understand is you want to get beyond "black", but African-American has little descriptive value. You wouldn't call an American of Egyptian or Moroccan descent African-American, but that's literally what they are. The Finns all came from Mongolia originally, but we don't call them Scandinavian-Mongolian.


I'm with you on this one. African American is OK for now, but I hope it's just another transitional term. There does need to be a better, more descriptive term. Especially when dealing with black people who are born and raised in other countries. People tie themselves in knots trying to figure out what to call them. What do you call Fergie Jenkins, Lennox Lewis, or Yannick Noah?
   2138. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 12, 2012 at 09:00 AM (#4322780)
I just think its silly. The terms moron, imbecile, idiot were all clinical terms at one time. Then they were deemed offensive and it because retarded. Then that was deemed offensive and it became handicapped.


In purely static and logical terms it is bs. I used to thnk the whole thing was silly as well, but then two different conversations with a liguist friend of mine convinced me otherwise.

First was the discussion of how languages evolve. Word meanings tend to shift overtime and mostly (not always - absolutes are generally stupid) tend to become stronger, so stink at one time meant an odor and that has evolved to becomea powerful and negative odor. Words do not have a static meaning over time and periodic redefinitions and reassignments of words is natural and expected. Languages are living things.

Second was about how groups express power through definition of language. For example as a Liberal I may want to change the dialogue, redefine my ideology, or reexpress it - gain power over the terms used to describe me and my ideology - by convincing people to use the term progressive instead of Liberal. part of the reasn I may do this is rebranding (perhaps the word Liberal has been damaged or the meaning has changed over time (see above), but also by doing this I am expressing power over society by changign how I am labeled.

Liberal/Progressive is not the best example, but it is a group I am part of so I feel I can speak to it. A similar dynamic has occurred many times by many groups including racial groups, "abled" groups, and so on. Often those groups that feel most disadvantaged feel the desire to reclaim some of the advantage and express ownership of their own identity by defining the terms used to describe themselves.

Even if you don't think they are disadvanatged they often clearly do and through that redefinition feel better about their place in society. To you it is BS and trivial, but their perspective matters also (another reference to the Bitter Mouse Liberal world view).
   2139. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: December 12, 2012 at 09:03 AM (#4322782)
That the Pennsylvania Dutch are actually German


Yeah. I think that comes from a bastardization of the word "Deutch".
   2140. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: December 12, 2012 at 09:06 AM (#4322785)
To you it is BS and trivial, but their perspective matters also (another reference to the Bitter Mouse Liberal world view).


You should have refreshed. CP seems to have acknowledged that fact a few posts ago. I applaud him for it. It's very rare that someone has and admits a change of heart on this board.
   2141. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 12, 2012 at 09:08 AM (#4322786)
I would disagree that liberals adhere to this one (although the same could be said about Conservatives too, in other ways). Non-liberals recognize that when you develop big-government facilitated safety nets from which people can get many things for free, they will take advantage of it to the detriment of others.


I knew that point would cause discussion. I think most Liberals do agree there is a deadweight cost to government safety net programs, and any who doesn't is an idiot. However I thnk the principle of complexity come into play. Liberals recognize it is a complex business and every action will have both god and bad impacts. So you try your best, learn as you go, and try to have more positive than negative effects; but you can't let the fear (or even reality) of the negative consequences stop you from providing the good.

You wil get bad, but if it is better than the other options then you suck it up and take the bad with the good rather than holding out for a perfect solution (while people in the real world are suffering and could be helped by the good). It does mean that sometimes there is more bad than good (or the bad is not worth the good), and in that case you have to suck it up and change what you are doing.
   2142. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 12, 2012 at 09:10 AM (#4322788)
You should have refreshed. CP seems to have acknowledged that fact a few posts ago. I applaud him for it. It's very rare that someone has and admits a change of heart on this board.


I write slow. I did notice that they did so and I also applaud. Though I hope what I wrote is broadly applicable. I was trying to speak to my experience and the overall issue as sparked by their post (especially since I shared their view in the past) and was not trying to attack them or anything.

But yeah the asynchronous nature of posting does result in some odd dialogues. So cokes and apologies as needed.
   2143. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 12, 2012 at 09:17 AM (#4322791)
apologies as needed.


Don't wory about it, I've only been offended a few times in all my years frequenting this site - I won't say by whom, but it wasn't you.
   2144. Jack Keefe Posted: December 12, 2012 at 09:23 AM (#4322795)
I've only been offended a few times in all my years frequenting this site

It was prolly me if I offerd to bust you 1 in the Kisser. I know I do too much of that Al but it is my Irish blood only Ozzie Guillen used to say I should say Hiberno American. I am sorry for what I done and I will try to act more Specific in Future.
   2145. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 12, 2012 at 09:26 AM (#4322796)
Affirmative action might have pushed me five percent farther, but, no, it doesnt cancel out the larger effects of institutionalized discrimination.


Kudos for the honesty, which isn't shared by many of the whites around here.

So, assuming one's chosen path to "success" and fulfillment involves academic and professional competition and credentials, at key inflection points not only are whites not "privileged" because they're white, they're disadvantaged.

This is so obvious that it's barely worthy of argument, and only is because of white liberal denial.

If my academic and professional record wasn't stellar,

Awesome. Congratulations and good luck.
   2146. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 12, 2012 at 09:27 AM (#4322797)
On a slightly different note regarding the "Liberal Obsession with Race" there is another non-ideological reason for the appearance of this.

There is an obvious overlap between liberals and democrats (just as there is between conservatives and the GOP). As a political (not ideological) matter the democratic coalition has a large and diverse group of races (especially as compared to the GOP). Politically one would expect more dialogue about racial issues from democrats than the GOP, just as religion is a strong political factor in the GOP, so politically it makes sense for the GOP to speak about religious issues more often than their ideology wold otherwise lead them to.

Basically the same people/groups are functioning on two different levels, ideological and political. Attributing everything that is said or done (by any actor) to either ideology or politics is an extremely shallow analysis. Both matter and both influence the relevent parties.

In fact one of my main complaints about third parties in the US is the fact that for a variety of reasons they generally only care about ideology (since they, except in very rare instances, never have to be political and actually govern) so they often make claims of purity of ideology compared to the big two parties that are ridiculous because they are apple to automobile comparisons.
   2147. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 12, 2012 at 09:28 AM (#4322798)
Most absolutes are stupid.

Few so much so as "white privilege."
   2148. Lassus Posted: December 12, 2012 at 09:32 AM (#4322802)
SBB, you're only pitch-black entertainment at this point.
   2149. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 12, 2012 at 09:39 AM (#4322809)
they're white, they're disadvantaged


SBB, I can sort of see your point. For instance, if I were a native (Indian/First Nations) person, I could literally walk into my MLA's office and have a government job within a week, and I would not have to perform, at all really, to keep it. But, does that make up for the fact that my father was taken from his family at age 6 and sent to a residential school and had his language and culture beaten out of him, only to continue the cycle of violence when he had his own family? This is all hypothetical of course. I for one don't believe in soft or hard affirmative action hires, because two wrongs don't make a right, but I think its an honest attempt by policy makers to right a past wrong.
   2150. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 12, 2012 at 09:44 AM (#4322817)
So there is a very small but non zero chance SBB has not benefited. I think it more likely he is a fish who never notices the water he swims in, but not having lived in his scales I don't know for sure.


It's the opposite. I notice the water I swim in too well. The pool is almost entirely modern liberal in premise, philsophy, and operation and I have little reason or inclination to euphemize or deny its shortcomings and delusions.
   2151. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 12, 2012 at 09:50 AM (#4322820)
One last note on "white advantage" as it applies to states. When liberals crow about how well the "blue" states are doing vis-a-vis the "red" states there is a strong double standard. Whites (and white males) accumulate wealth, influence, and power through many societal factors including the force of history. A similar dynamic occurs for states as a whole.

The best predictor of how well a state is doing now is how well they did back in the day. It is not like there is some magic to being a "blue state". Mississippi is a relative dump. It was a dump a hundred years ago and will likely be a relative dump fifty years from now (and yes I know there are many good people and places in Mississippi, but in aggregate it has issues). If it suddenly became a "blue" state, became liberal and adopted progressive values it would not magically become the new Vermont (or whatever blue state you would rather use).

Naturally I think they would be better off adopting those values, but let's not pretend that alone would upend the weight of its history.
   2152. Greg K Posted: December 12, 2012 at 09:50 AM (#4322821)
SBB, I can sort of see your point. For instance, if I were a native (Indian/First Nations) person, I could literally walk into my MLA's office and have a government job within a week, and I would not have to perform, at all really, to keep it. But, does that make up for the fact that my father was taken from his family at age 6 and sent to a residential school and had his language and culture beaten out of him, only to continue the cycle of violence when he had his own family? This is all hypothetical of course. I for one don't believe in soft or hard affirmative action hires, because two wrongs don't make a right, but I think its an honest attempt by policy makers to right a past wrong.

An interesting (and impossible to answer) question in regards to "privilege" is "who would you rather be?" Barring any Freaky Friday technology we'll never be able to properly test the answers to that question.

On a somewhat related note, I have heard of a legal proceeding in ancient Greece that comes close*. The wealthiest citizens of the city-state were each responsible for maintaining a ship for the navy. If you thought there was someone wealthier who was not one of those pressed into the duty you could appeal in court to get him to pay for your ship, provided you agreed to swap all your wealth for his (I'm assuming including the cost of the ship). Not sure how that would work in the present day. To dispute an affirmative action hire the judge sentences you to live out the plot of the major motion picture "Family Man".

*Note - this is taken from QI, I'm sure someone how actually knows what they're talking about has a more accurate take.
   2153. Lassus Posted: December 12, 2012 at 09:51 AM (#4322822)
I notice the water I swim in too well. The pool is almost entirely modern liberal in premise

I think multiple people here have mentioned that the election, while not in question, was still rather close. You're not quite as alone as you think, poor baby.
   2154. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 12, 2012 at 09:51 AM (#4322823)
But, does that make up for the fact that my father was taken from his family at age 6 and sent to a residential school and had his language and culture beaten out of him, only to continue the cycle of violence when he had his own family?

No, and I'd be all for remedial action not based on race at virtually every stage of the process.

There's a big leap from a First Nations guy to an upper or upper-middle class American non-white.
   2155. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 12, 2012 at 09:52 AM (#4322824)
I think multiple people here have mentioned that the election, while not in question, was still rather close. You're not quite as alone as you think, poor baby.

I don't swim in the general American pool. Few people here do.
   2156. Greg K Posted: December 12, 2012 at 09:53 AM (#4322825)
I don't swim in the general American pool. Few people here do.

I don't blame them. You have any idea how many people pee in there?
   2157. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 12, 2012 at 09:55 AM (#4322829)
An interesting (and impossible to answer) question in regards to "privilege" is "who would you rather be?"


Who was the philosopher (economist?) who basically posited (paraphrasing) to determine if a system was fair you could not know what your role was before hand and would still agree to participate?

Gah, my memory is terrible.
   2158. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: December 12, 2012 at 09:56 AM (#4322831)
Mississippi is a relative dump. It was a dump a hundred years ago and will likely be a relative dump fifty years from now (and yes I know there are many good people and places in Mississippi, but in aggregate it has issues). If it suddenly became a "blue" state, became liberal and adopted progressive values it wold not magically become the new Vermont (or whatever blue state you would rather use).


Take New Mexico as an example.
   2159. formerly dp Posted: December 12, 2012 at 09:59 AM (#4322834)
Who was the philosopher (economist?) who basically posited (paraphrasing) to determine if a system was fair you could not know what your role was before hand and would still agree to participate?

Are you thinking of John Rawls? Not to be confused with Commissioner Bill Rawls.
   2160. Blastin Posted: December 12, 2012 at 10:01 AM (#4322835)
It seems what SBB is actually saying isn't that privilege doesn't exist, but that class overpowers race or other forms and should be weighted as such. I suppose that is true, depending on the situation.
   2161. Lassus Posted: December 12, 2012 at 10:01 AM (#4322836)
I don't swim in the general American pool. Few people here do.

Gaelan's the only professional philosopher here, and even he's perfectly capable of moving the discussion beyond philosophical platitudes and metaphors and into tangible reality. Try it out.
   2162. BrianBrianson Posted: December 12, 2012 at 10:06 AM (#4322843)
It's a problem, a think, that privilege is a statistical kind of thing but gets explained like an absolute. Being white is often to my advantage (although it's hard to notice when I would've gotten screwed over for being black if I had been black), and very occasionally to my disadvantage (for instance, when my girlfriend's father harassed her into breaking up with me because I was white, and I became depressed enough to drop out of school - but that's probably the only time it was seriously to my disadvantage, and if I'd been black, it probably would've happened more than once; thinking of my ex's parents, I could believe at least thrice). Similarly I'm likely to go to a better school than if I were black (mostly not true, since I lived mostly in black neighbourhoods as a kid). And so forth.

And so when it's presented in a "being white will give you these advantages" fashion, people are resistant, because they know from their own experience they didn't get all of those advantages in an absolute way.
   2163. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 12, 2012 at 10:09 AM (#4322848)
Are you thinking of John Rawls?


Yes, thank you. It was driving me mad (madder? less sane? differently sanity abled?).
   2164. Morty Causa Posted: December 12, 2012 at 10:10 AM (#4322849)
Who was the philosopher (economist?) who basically posited (paraphrasing) to determine if a system was fair you could not know what your role was before hand and would still agree to participate?

Are you thinking of John Rawls?

Principle 1: "Each person has the same indefeasible claim to a fully adequate scheme of equal basic liberties, which scheme is compatible with the same scheme of liberties for all."

Principle 2: "Social and economic inequalities are to satisfy two conditions: first, they are to be attached to offices and positions open to all under conditions of fair equality of opportunity; and second, they are to be to the greatest benefit of the least-advantaged members of society."
   2165. Random Transaction Generator Posted: December 12, 2012 at 10:13 AM (#4322850)
What do you call Fergie Jenkins, Lennox Lewis, or Yannick Noah?


Canadian, British-Canadian, French.
   2166. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 12, 2012 at 10:13 AM (#4322851)
SBB, you were the one making a rather incredible assertion, backed by absolutely no evidence whatever. I'll be glad to elaborate on your counter-question, but you first owe it to us to either put up or shut up about your unprivileged life as a white person on planet Earth---not to mention how you wouldn't have benefited in the heyday of Jim Crow.

So you're punting on offering for peer review a falsifiable hypothesis of white privilege, then? Are all white people privileged?


Once again....

1. You make a blanket autobiographical assertion about your lack of any racial advantage in being white, a claim that rather hilariously extends back to the Jim Crow era, without a shred of autobiographical detail.

2. When challenged to provide such details, you filibuster and try to change the subject.

Again, I will have no problem answering your counter-question, once you follow up on your original claim by backing it up with something other than more repeated assertions. Is this really so hard for you to do?

And for reference, here's the undocumented assertion of yours that I find dubious, to say the least. But feel free to back it up with specifics if you can:

I have never benefitted from white privilege and would not have benefitted from it in its heyday. (A heyday you can read about, in grand detail, in the Joe Kennedy biography that just came out.)


   2167. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 12, 2012 at 10:13 AM (#4322852)
#2162 - Very well said.

One of my formative experiences was as a child in Florida during desegregation of schools being sent to a school where me, my older brother and sister and maybe one or two others were the only white kids present. It was very interesting (from my perspective now, I was in k - and maybe there through part of 1st grade, I am not sure since we moved a bunch), though since I had very fine blond hair I was somewhat upset initially because all the kids wanted to touch my hair since they had never seen its like in person.
   2168. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 12, 2012 at 10:15 AM (#4322853)
a claim that rather hilariously extends back to the Jim Crow era,

Where are you getting the Jim Crow era? I grew up post-Jim Crow in the upper North. My forebears were all upper Northerners.
   2169. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: December 12, 2012 at 10:18 AM (#4322855)
all sorts of fireworks going on in Michigan right now, and this page is devoted to race and privilege again? damn. (invites segue to RTW bill).
   2170. Morty Causa Posted: December 12, 2012 at 10:21 AM (#4322858)
And so when it's presented in a "being white will give you these advantages" fashion, people are resistant, because they know from their own experience they didn't get all of those advantages in an absolute way.


Reminds me of what some lesser hitter said when people were saying he had an advantage batting in the lineup ahead of a great hitter: "All I know is that the pitchers are trying to get me out."
   2171. Ron J2 Posted: December 12, 2012 at 10:23 AM (#4322861)
The SEC let Madoff run wild for almost 10 years, knowing he was running a multi-billion dollar ponzi scheme.


That's an inaccurate summary of the situation. He'd been investigated multiple times, but basically the SEC assumed he was front-running and their investigations were focused on this.

Even the famous memos to the SEC didn't allege a Ponzi scheme, they "merely" demonstrated that there was almost no chance that Madoff could be on the level.

You can find the SEC guilty of incompetence but there's roughly zero evidence of collusion.
   2172. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 12, 2012 at 10:25 AM (#4322863)
all sorts of fireworks going on in Michigan right now


I find the Michigan situation depressing, so I have not spoken of it here - and I am not very well informed on the topic (partly because I do find it depressing). Anyway it is either a sign of the continuing and inevitable decline of unionization or is a conservative overreach (or perhaps both).
   2173. formerly dp Posted: December 12, 2012 at 10:27 AM (#4322866)
#2162: This book attempts to get at the questions of how we would go about measuring and controlling for equal opportunities. He tries to take into account a lot of what you raise-- from what I remember of the book, it's really data-driven, and drills down on a lot of specific conditions, rather than treating privilege in a blanket sense.
   2174. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 12, 2012 at 10:33 AM (#4322881)
a claim that rather hilariously extends back to the Jim Crow era,

Where are you getting the Jim Crow era? I grew up post-Jim Crow in the upper North. My forebears were all upper Northerners.


Once again, these are your words, not mine:

I have never benefitted from white privilege and would not have benefitted from it in its heyday. (A heyday you can read about, in grand detail, in the Joe Kennedy biography that just came out.)


Since Joseph P. Kennedy's active life was lived exclusively in the Jim Crow era, what other "heyday" could you possibly be talking about? How could you have not benefited from being white back then? Granted that the first generations of European immigrants suffered a lot of discrimination at the hands of the Joe Arpaios of their time,** that very ethnicity helped to put them in positions of far reaching political power that black people could only dream about. And that's not even getting into the entire legal and social structure of Jim Crow itself.

And if you were born and raised in "the upper north", then tell us how unlucky you and your early 20th century ancestors were not to be born an Indian.

Now will you just quit your filibustering and answer the question?

**You can see some rather raw graphic examples of such prejudices here.

   2175. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 12, 2012 at 10:36 AM (#4322883)
Since Joseph P. Kennedy's active life was lived exclusively in the Jim Crow era, what other "heyday" could you possibly be talking about?

The heyday of Fortunate Son privilege. Since I wasn't a Fortunate Son, I wouldn't have benefitted.

And if you were born and raised in "the upper north", then tell us how unlucky you and your early 20th century ancestors were not to be born an Indian.


Yes, as I suspected -- the "privilege" adheres to all whites and, therefore, biographical details are irrelevant and continuing demand for them unseemly.

"Hey, poor white shlubs in English council housing, don't complain -- at least you weren't born a Native American in 1845!!!!"
   2176. Ron J2 Posted: December 12, 2012 at 10:36 AM (#4322884)
They thought we would be greeted as liberators


Most particularly damning they made no plans for the aftermath of victory. I mean it was very much a "now what?"
   2177. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 12, 2012 at 10:41 AM (#4322890)
That's an inaccurate summary of the situation. He'd been investigated multiple times, but basically the SEC assumed he was front-running and their investigations were focused on this.

Even the famous memos to the SEC didn't allege a Ponzi scheme, they "merely" demonstrated that there was almost no chance that Madoff could be on the level.

You can find the SEC guilty of incompetence but there's roughly zero evidence of collusion.


Did you watch "Chasing Madoff" Ron? That is not the impression I got. Marcopolous went to the SEC several times, and also to Forbes and the Wall St. Journal, and none of them would touch it.
   2178. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 12, 2012 at 10:42 AM (#4322891)
they made no plans for the aftermath of victory


This is a common mistake. Many folks think victory is an end unto itself or perhaps that victory takes care of itself. Such is life.
   2179. spike Posted: December 12, 2012 at 10:43 AM (#4322896)
Most particularly damning they made no plans for the aftermath of victory. I mean it was very much a "now what?"

I think I'd go with complete misunderstanding of what would happen between Shiite and Sunni once the central authority was removed as most damning, but really, there's a lot to choose from.
   2180. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 12, 2012 at 10:43 AM (#4322897)
I do wonder if Ray would end up doubling-down on SBB's stance. Legitimately wondering, not being snarky.


As far as I can recall, I've agreed with everything he's said on the past few pages (i.e., in this Duke LAX discussion). At least up to post #2127, which is as far as I've read. I reserve the right to revise this statement if I've forgotten something he wrote that I did disagree with.

But if you're asking specifically about his #2116, I will certainly double down on it without hesitation:

The latter is categorically false. It's certainly not the sum total of life, but if you've engaged in the competition for college/professional school spots, and jobs, being black is an advantage -- thus, you do not "lack racial privilege" in those spheres. Again, not the sum total of life, but a big part.

Which isn't to say being black might not have been a disadvantage in developing the record you bring to the competition (*)-- it also might not have been -- but to think that you didn't get a benefit in the admissions office and most/all hiring offices is way off.


Cosigned.
   2181. Morty Causa Posted: December 12, 2012 at 10:47 AM (#4322902)
This is a common mistake. Many folks think victory is an end unto itself or perhaps that victory takes care of itself. Such is life.

Yes, very few wars are fought with the goal of reforming the opposition and recreating their society. Which makes some post-war ventures, such as post-WWII German and Japanese occupation, in this department all the more admirable.

Still, there's this press conference that Rumsfeld gave during the height of battle where he was asked exacxtly that: what happens afterwards? And the possum in the headlights expression that came over his face is a thing to behold.
   2182. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 12, 2012 at 10:51 AM (#4322906)
If my academic and professional record wasn't stellar, you might have a point SBB.

Affirmative action might have pushed me five percent farther, but, no, it doesnt cancel out the larger effects of institutionalized discrimination.


It certainly does; there is no longer any institutionalized discrimination in American society.

At least, not against minorities. There is, in various settings, institutionalized discrimination against whites. College admissions, for one -- since affirmative action = reverse racism -- and another specific area is big corporations.

I know people in hiring positions at big corporations, and they have told me that hiring whites is often simply a non-starter. "I have a resume for you to look at." "Is the candidate white?" "Yes." "I can't hire the person." They are specifically given trouble if a white person is hired - they have to justify the hiring six ways to Sunday - and they are still asked why a minority candidate was not hired.

Now: this is anecdotal, so feel free to stick your head in the sand and disregard it. I will not reveal any details of the people involved or the companies. Suffice to say they are people I know very well and trust. But I don't expect anyone else to take my word for it when I've provided no details. But it's not like the evidence for this sort of thing is in short supply; it's all over the place.
   2183. Lassus Posted: December 12, 2012 at 10:51 AM (#4322908)
Cosigned.

Well, that's lovely, if sad, but what I was going for was this one:
I have never benefitted from white privilege and would not have benefitted from it in its heyday.
This one as well?

EDIT: "It certainly does; there is no longer any institutionalized discrimination in American society."

Ah, I guess so.

   2184. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: December 12, 2012 at 10:55 AM (#4322911)
I grew up in an all white suburb of Chicago in the 60's and 70's. I attended an all white suburban Catholic High school. I received an Air Force ROTC scholarship to attend the University of Illinois School of Engineering. There were no blacks in either my ROTC det, not my small Aeronautical engineering department. Upon graduation, I attended USAF pilot training, where there was one black student out of 60 in my class. After graduation, I was retained as an instructor pilot, where over the next 6 years, I saw very few (less than 1 in 50 or so) black student pilots. After leaving the service, I had a very tough time landing an airline job. Had I been able to turn black at that point, it would have been a piece of cake. During that time frame, United Airlines, under a consent decree from the EEOC, famously hired a black woman with 200 hours of single engine prop time (I had over 2,000 hours of jet time and couldn't even get an interview). However, had I been born black, it is extremely unlikely I would have been in that position in the first place. I can't say for sure that my life would have been worse, but It sure as hell would have been different.
   2185. Blastin Posted: December 12, 2012 at 10:56 AM (#4322913)
Your brain makes me sad, Ray. What a glorious fool.
   2186. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 12, 2012 at 10:56 AM (#4322914)
I have never benefitted from white privilege and would not have benefitted from it in its heyday.

My white forebears bequeathed me no wealth and few connections, none of which I availed myself of, having fled at first opportunity the locality in which they may -- repeat, may -- have prevailed. They could have used white advantage to accumulate those things, in theory, but they didn't.
   2187. Poulanc Posted: December 12, 2012 at 10:57 AM (#4322916)
It certainly does; there is no longer any institutionalized discrimination in American society.



Bullshit.
   2188. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 12, 2012 at 11:00 AM (#4322921)
#2187. Seconded, thirded, or whatever - cosigned at any rate.

EDIT: Though I suppose for a sufficiently narrow definition of "institutional" a case (albiet weak) could be made that the extant US descrimination is really aggregated individual racism.
   2189. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 12, 2012 at 11:01 AM (#4322922)
Since Joseph P. Kennedy's active life was lived exclusively in the Jim Crow era, what other "heyday" could you possibly be talking about?

The heyday of Fortunate Son privilege. Since I wasn't a Fortunate Son, I wouldn't have benefitted.


You most certainly would have benefited if, like hundreds of thousands of non-"Fortunate Son" immigrants, you chose politics as a career. Or perhaps you're not acquainted with the Irish run political machines that began to gain power by the 1870's, and were dominant in several of our biggest cities by the end of the first world war.

And if you were born and raised in "the upper north", then tell us how unlucky you and your early 20th century ancestors were not to be born an Indian.

Yes, as I suspected -- the "privilege" adheres to all whites and, therefore, biographical details are irrelevant and continuing demand for them unseemly.


IOW you're saying that it wouldn't have mattered if you or (especially) your ancestors had been born on a Native reservation. I'm not surprised that you'd actually believe that.

"Hey, poor white shlubs in English council housing, don't complain -- at least you weren't born a Native American in 1845!!!!"

This comment is based on a premise that I've said, or believe, that all white people have benefited equally from their skin color, and that no white people are to be found at the bottom of the barrel. Since I've never once said that, and since I've never believed such an absurd premise, I can only conclude that this is just another one of your many attempts to avoid any serious discussion of the interaction of race and class in America and elsewhere.
   2190. Lassus Posted: December 12, 2012 at 11:01 AM (#4322923)
My white forebears bequeathed me no wealth and few connections, none of which I availed myself of, having fled at first opportunity the locality in which they may -- repeat, may -- have prevailed. They could have used white advantage to accumulate those things, in theory, but they didn't.

So what you're saying is there is no racism now, and there was also none when you were born.

Or is it that there was, but it never affected your existence? And it doesn't now, either?
   2191. BrianBrianson Posted: December 12, 2012 at 11:04 AM (#4322925)
At least, not against minorities. There is, in various settings, institutionalized discrimination against whites. College admissions, for one -- since affirmative action = reverse racism -- and another specific area is big corporations.

I know people in hiring positions at big corporations, and they have told me that hiring whites is often simply a non-starter. "I have a resume for you to look at." "Is the candidate white?" "Yes." "I can't hire the person." They are specifically given trouble if a white person is hired - they have to justify the hiring six ways to Sunday - and they are still asked why a minority candidate was not hired.


As a white person, let me say - I've gotten into University (repeatedly), been hired by big corporations, been hired by government departments. I've only ever participated in one hiring discussion where whether we should weight someone's demographic in the hiring decision (and the consensus was "maybe, a bit", but we still ended up hiring one of the men; he was clearly everyone's favoriate candidate.) Also anecdotal, but I believe the plural of anecdote is data.
   2192. Blastin Posted: December 12, 2012 at 11:05 AM (#4322928)
Poulanc knows what is up.
   2193. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 12, 2012 at 11:09 AM (#4322932)
So what you're saying is there is no racism now, and there was also none when you were born.

I'm saying I never benefitted from white privilege, having never been privileged in any real way on account of my whiteness, or the whiteness of my ancestors. I carved out my own path in life, far from the family homestead, one few if any of my high school friends/classmates did and none of my family did. I started on that path disadvantaged in wealth and connection as compared with the vast majority of my fellow travelers.

I was bequeathed attitudes and prinicples that helped, and my childhood was handled pretty well (other than the joke high school I was sent to) and prepared me for the path (without intending to do so) -- but that has nothing to do with me being white.

   2194. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 12, 2012 at 11:12 AM (#4322935)
From hiring discussions I have been part of there is a strong bias towards "hiring people like me" in many decisions. People tend to like and feel more comfortable around people who are like themselves. That is not truly explicitly racist I would argue, but the impact of that in aggregate ends up being racist when you start from a spot where white men are in positiions of hiring authority. Things change over time, but it is very slow.

Personal Aside: I much prefer having a female boss, in my experience they listen better and also stay out of my way better and let me be an expert in the areas I have expertise. I am positive that makes me a self-loathing rodent or something :)
   2195. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: December 12, 2012 at 11:12 AM (#4322936)

I would disagree that liberals adhere to this one (although the same could be said about Conservatives too, in other ways). Non-liberals recognize that when you develop big-government facilitated safety nets from which people can get many things for free, they will take advantage of it to the detriment of others. Liberals refuse to believe that there is anything more that a scattered few people like this, but the truth is, when people are indulged and never held personally responsible for their decisions, most of them will continue to make bad ones.


The thing is that conservatives insist on putting this into a moral framework when I, and I think other liberals, don't think the poor are there to serve as actors in a little morality play. The purpose of safety net programs is to put resources into the hands of people who don't have those resources. People who qualify for benefits are _supposed_ to 'take advantage' of them. And if we, as a society, decide that we are better off having a safety net than not, then it's not to our detriment that people use those benefits.

Welfare benefits in the U.S. are, and have been, so stingy that the common urban legends of young bucks buying T-bone steaks and women pumping out kids just to collect a check are basically that, a joke (which is not to say it has never happened anywhere ever). But in general, economic freedom means that once you have access to resources, what you do with those resources is your call. If somebody thinks they can have a better life by collecting benefits than working, even if they could theoretically hold down a part time job, so what? If you give somebody $30 and they go out and have a nice dinner at a restaurant, so what? Conservatives complain about liberal paternalism, but don't hesitate to engage in the paternalism of constantly monitoring every thing a poor person does in order to judge whether they have been 'responsible' or not.

I am currently reading Eric Foner's history of Reconstruction, and can't help but see similarities in the post-war situation when white southerners assumed that black freedmen were habitually lazy and wouldn't work unless they were forced to. So the southern states passed laws forbidding 'vagrancy' (for blacks only), and in some cases required blacks to sign a labor contract each year or be subject to a tax (which, if they couldn't pay, would be paid for by a white planter, who would then earn the legal right to the labor of that man for the following year). They also passed laws forbidding 'insulting behavior' by blacks. I feel that that spirit of paternalism, which wasn't really about the welfare of the freedman, but was an excuse to keep him politically and economically subordinate, is the same that animates modern welfare scolds, even if less explicitly racist than it used to be.
   2196. BDC Posted: December 12, 2012 at 11:12 AM (#4322937)
"I have a resume for you to look at." "Is the candidate white?" "Yes." "I can't hire the person."

I don't doubt you've heard this, Ray, because I've heard it from academics, too. The wonder is that there are any employed white people at all :) When I hear this from white professors (I stress, not where I'm working now, but anecdotally along the grapevine), I also always observe, objectively and from the outside, that the institution in question actually hires and tenures lots of white people. I always attribute such rhetoric to sour grapes or shoulder chips, or at least take it with several grains of salt, pick your metaphor …
   2197. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 12, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4322949)
I have never benefitted from white privilege and would not have benefitted from it in its heyday.

This one as well?

EDIT: "It certainly does; there is no longer any institutionalized discrimination in American society."

Ah, I guess so.


Um, stop. The second statement is different from the first one.

And the first statement was made by SugarBear as applied to SugarBear. I didn't know you were applying it to me, and I didn't cosign it as applied to me. If you're asking if I'd make the same statement about myself, my answer is no, but I also don't speak in those terms. I would say that I benefitted from the hard work and upbringing and education that my parents provided to me/enabled me to obtain. I was successful enough coming up through the ranks (high school, college, etc.) that I was able to be successful despite whatever harm I may have suffered from the reverse racism of affirmative action (*), but white people closer to the line are not so lucky.

(*) And I may have suffered from some. I only got admitted to 3 of the 8 colleges I applied to - one on the waiting list - and I was turned down by most of the law schools I applied to. I went to a 4th tier law school and then had to transfer to a 3rd tier law school after my first year -- moving away from my family and from Boston to Pittsburgh to do it -- in order to put myself in a better position to be hired out of law school. One disadvantage I had in the law school admissions process was that I was an electrical engineering major, which is a relatively difficult discipline, and so when law school admissions offices cross your GPA with your LSATs, I was at a disadvantage because my college curriculum was very difficult and yet my raw GPA was being compared with peoples' from less difficult disciplines. And the soft factors of diversity and the like didn't help me, as I am white: It may very well be that if I were a minority I'd have gotten into more colleges and more law schools than I did. But I give all the credit in the world to my parents for putting me in a position to succeed, and they did that through hard work as they supported my 10 siblings and I financially on my dad's engineer's salary. That is why it is silly when liberals boil so much of this down to race and being white; my parents worked hard, and were dedicated.
   2198. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: December 12, 2012 at 11:21 AM (#4322950)
My metaphor for Affirmative Action:

There is a town. In that town everybody has a well. One of the residents of that town starts dumping toxic waste down their well. Slowly, over many years, that waste seeps into the water table. People living near that person start getting ill from the tainted water. Some die. There is a lot of disagreement about the source of the illness. Some feel that God has become angry with the sick people, for a variety of reasons. Some feel that their lifestyle has led them to ill-health. But as the circle of the affected grows, and it begins to sicken their children, eventually people come to realize that the problem is in the water table. The source is traced back to the contaminated well, but it turns out that the person who was dumping waste in the well is dead, he has no heirs, and there is no estate. What to do?

The thing to do of course is for everybody to contribute toward the health care of the sick, and to the cleaning up of the toxic waste. Some will argue that they shouldn't be responsible, that they didn't dump any waste, and that it is unfair that they should be 'punished' for the actions of another. But I think most would disagree.

Racism is just like that, a poison that was dumped into the very core of American society, it seeped into every nook and cranny, making everything toxic. It needs to be cleaned up, a process taking generations, and it will come to pass that those who are paying for the clean-up had little or no connection to those who did the dumping, or those who were immediately affected. Tough ####. That's racism for you, it poisons everything. Resentment at those who are getting the free clean-up on their property, or who are getting free fresh drinking water, is beside the point. Don't get mad at those people, get mad (if you like) at the short-sighted ############# who created the problem in the first place, and resolve that it never be allowed to happen again.
   2199. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 12, 2012 at 11:23 AM (#4322953)
Your brain makes me sad, Ray. What a glorious fool.


Thanks for the productive discussion.
   2200. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: December 12, 2012 at 11:24 AM (#4322955)
One disadvantage I had in the law school admissions process was that I was an electrical engineering major, which is a relatively difficult discipline, and so when law school admissions offices cross your GPA with your LSATs, I was at a disadvantage because my college curriculum was very difficult and yet my raw GPA was being compared with peoples' from less difficult disciplines.


However, once you got in, it likely helped you.

It may very well be that if I were a minority I'd have gotten into more colleges and more law schools than I did.


but had you been born black, you would have been less likely to be in that position in the first place.
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