We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
It's actually "middle-class privilege", if you need to call it "privilege." From a reader's comment on Wednesday:
Concepts like self actualization, self discipline, fairness, loyalty (though not blind loyalty), valuing individual lives, integrity, rectitude, civic mindedness, reliability and accountability, courage, autonomy, problem solving, saving and postponement of gratification, being productive and contributing to the community and the economic pie. This is privilege?
I’m a white guy. I’m a well-educated intellectual who enjoys small arthouse movies, coffehouses and classic blues. If you didn’t know any better, you’d probably mistake me for a lefty urban hipster.
And yet. I find some of the alt-right stuff exerts a pull even on me. Even though I’m smart and informed enough to see through it. It’s seductive because I am not a person with any power or privilege, and yet I am constantly bombarded with messages telling me that I’m a cancer, I’m a problem, everything is my fault.
I am very lower middle class. I’ve never owned a new car, and do my own home repairs as much as I can to save money. I cut my own grass, wash my own dishes, buy my clothes from Walmart. I have no clue how I will ever be able to retire. But oh, brother, to hear the media tell it, I am just drowning in unearned power and privilege, and America will be a much brighter, more loving, more peaceful nation when I finally just keel over and die.
I think the time has come. The time to acknowledge "white privilege" does exist -- if only for white females ! ;-) Can't we start putting some of this blame on those who have benefited the most for the past 30 years?
No, various types of privilege do exist. But they are like advertising - they only work a short while. People may at first glance think a man more competent for some jobs, or a white person more trustworthy, or expect an Asian to be good at math. That may indeed create real disadvantages in quick-screen judgments, such as trying to sort through too many resumes. There are counter-privileges as well, as people (and governments) try to overcompensate. Perhaps the former is stronger than the latter.
But they don't last. They are exploded in a moment of real contact. There are some knuckleheads who can't drop the stereotypes in spite of real evidence, but the blind-resume research suggests that a single other bit of shared information - being from the same state, having gone to the same college, played the same sport or instrument, or having similar majors or work experience - erases the initial bias in the huge majority of people.
Socially, age bias is strongest. When I would travel to watch a soccer game or track meet, I didn't immediately cluster to the white people, I clustered to the other dads, regardless of race or perceived class.
Assistant Village Idiot
You can add "paying taxes on time and in full" to that list.
Remember who bailed the rest of the country out during the Financial Crisis. It wasn't the profligate lower 50%, who all got handouts. It wasn't the rich, who got protected. It was the suckers in the responsible middle class who got nothing and paid everyone else's bills. Many of us (and our kids) are still trying to recover from that.
I suspect that I am among the older posters here and there is probably a generational factor. We were allowed to be children and not exposed to adult concerns/worries, the seamy side of life, or the, grotesque anti social and self destructive imagery that our culture/media complex wallows in and celebrates. There is a creepy segment of our culture that seems so eager to foist it on younger and younger children. I think there must be an element of "privilege" in being sheltered from that.
The strategies and adaptations, listed above, being successful, would have likely survived and prevailed by attrition. Today, Darwin’s scythe has been blunted.
Roughly 15 years ago I fired a white guy for something I didn't think was too overboard, but HR said he has to go. I understood. Three weeks later one of my black employees does pretty much the same damned thing, but more extreme. I'm all ready to fire him. HR says nope, we need to start laying some serious paperwork on him before we can even think about letting him go. He ended up quitting a year later, but made serious noise on the way out the door and they ended up giving him "severance" to shut him up. Because white-privilege.
I'm sure this has happened a million times over in America. I wonder how they think that's working out for many black folks who're candidates for jobs. Sucks for the guy that just wants a job to support himself and his family, and doesn't have time for all that racial grievance bullshit.
Of course "privledge" exist. But there is one "privledge" that transcends race, color, wealth, place of birth, size, education, religion and any others you care to add. That "privledge" is being born into a 2 parent, loving family where you are taught values and developed character. No ones cares much about anything else.
Here is a simple test. Take your white butt to a lawyer and tell him you want to sue your employer who wants to fire you. He may laugh, but if he is honest and willing to waste a little time on you he will explain that unless you are a minority or female you have no "right" to your job. If you were black and the circumstances were exactly the same he would sue your employer in a heartbeat.