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Hi. I'm a Unix Administrator, mathematics enthusiast, and amateur philosopher. This is where I rant about that which upsets me, laugh about that which amuses me, and jabber about that which holds my interest most: Unix.
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Privilege

Posted 08-31-2014 at 02:19 PM by rocket357
Updated 09-05-2014 at 06:33 PM by rocket357

I read an article earlier on the privilege that white males enjoy in the US. You can read it here:

http://occupywallstreet.net/story/ex...e-white-person

To cut to the chase, I'll just say that I really, really wish I would have been born a minority. Female of a minority, preferably.

Why? I'm sick of hearing about how privileged I am because I was born the way I was. Perhaps I could then enjoy my successes to their fullest extent without constantly having people (my adopted african american/lebanese brother, for instance) remind me that part of my success is this undeniable privilege that I was born into. Was I born into a middle class white family? Yes. Did that change the fact that I had to work my tail off to get where I am? No. Am I surrounded by people of all race, sex, political leanings, sexual orientation, etc... in my "privileged" place of work? **Yes**.

Think about that. At my job, there are people of nearly any race you can think of (Granted, I work at a really big company, and tech is a brutally competitive industry). I would think that if "white privilege" had nearly the impact that some people claim, nearly everyone in my department would be white. Guess what? We're not all lily white. Some of the brightest people at my privileged place of work are african american, or hispanic, or chinese, or indian, or iranian, or lebanese, or korean, or... hopefully you see the point by now...I could go on because there *is* such a wide distribution of races here.

Point is, everyone has to work hard to achieve what they have, and some employers see past the color of someone's skin, or their sex, or whatever, and they hire people who know how to do the work that needs to be done. I sat in orientation for my current employer a few months ago and had an amazing time with my table of new hires (of which I was the only privileged white male).

And no, I don't live in a ritzy, lily-white neighborhood. My neighbors are mostly middle eastern, asian, and black, with a few white families interspersed. Want to call something privileged? Call *that* privileged. My kids get to grow up with friends from all races. Privileged, indeed.

I consider myself incredibly privileged...but not because I'm a white male.
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Comments

  1. Old Comment
    The link doesn't work.

    I am in the same spot as you, and I can sympathize. I was born a white male, but family feel on hard times when I was a kid. I could not afford a college education, nor food half the time. I work in a civil service job, all I had to take was a test that comprised mostly of reading comprehension. Anyone can get in if they tried. Yet, again, I am privileged.

    I work in a job mostly comprised of minorities. I drive a beater to work, while many of them BMWs and Benzes. Yet, I always walk into a break room to hear how the white man holds them down.

    People in this country really need to get their heads out of the early-mid twentieth century.

    You work hard, you get what you want. Those who complain about the privileged I find are usually just plain lazy.

    Granted, there may be some who fell on hard times, and I can sympathize with them. You can tell from their work ethic.
    Posted 09-02-2014 at 11:33 PM by goumba goumba is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by goumba View Comment
    The link doesn't work.
    Fixed. Thanks for pointing it out.


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by goumba View Comment
    Granted, there may be some who fell on hard times, and I can sympathize with them. You can tell from their work ethic.
    There will always be those in need of help. But "need of help" doesn't know racial boundaries. In fact, my Sociology professor in college stated that "more white people are on welfare than any other race". I don't what statistics she was quoting, unfortunately.

    Point is, you hit the nail on the head with "you can tell from their work ethic". I understand that people need assistance from time to time (been there myself a few times), but there's a world of difference between using assistance as a stepping stone or using it as a foundation. I have all the respect in the world for someone who will help themselves, even if they have to ask for assistance to get back on their feet.
    Posted 09-03-2014 at 01:42 PM by rocket357 rocket357 is offline
  3. Old Comment
    I am the minority in my part of the country. This part of the world is Texico.

    You notice certain things when the tables are turned.
    When the tables are turned.
    Nothing changes.
    Privileges just get turned to the current majority.
    People are funny that way.
    Being people and all.

    I try and walk outside of society norms. I provide a service that is not race/gender based.
    Race nor gender bias does not enter into my work world. You want me to fix your motorcycle?
    No problemo esse. que le costará 30 dólares por hora .

    Wait till you guys have to start learning new languages to understand if someone is getting
    ready to stab you in the back or not. Comes in handy, it does.

    Nothing like going to a party and not understanding a word being said by anyone.
    My parents came from Eastern Europe so I was raised a bit different than the local
    good old boys.
    Posted 09-03-2014 at 02:29 PM by rokytnji rokytnji is online now
    Updated 09-05-2014 at 09:31 AM by rokytnji
  4. Old Comment
    rokytnji, you always have the most insightful responses. I really appreciate that.

    As for languages, I've picked back up learning foreign languages. In studies of philosophy, I find that many meanings are lost in translation. Descartes, for example, "I think, therefore I am". Straightforward enough, yeah? The full meaning, as I understand it, is more appropriately "I have the capacity to doubt my existence, thereby proving that I exist." Not quite the same thing.

    I lived in San Antonio long enough to understand what it means to be the minority. It's a truly odd feeling...and I only know enough Spanish to get my ass kicked, unfortunately =\
    Posted 09-03-2014 at 03:49 PM by rocket357 rocket357 is offline
  5. Old Comment
    I do not know the situation in the U.S., but in Canada a "privileged" white male has almost zero chance of getting onto a police force. About twenty years ago the city I lived in hired thirty-some-odd new officers. Only six were allowed to be white males.
    Quote:
    I lived in San Antonio long enough to understand what it means to be the minority.
    Try being a white person in China. Not only do most Chinese not understand that racism is offensive, but many believe being racist is being friendly. The non-Mexicans in Texas have it easy.
    Posted 09-03-2014 at 05:34 PM by Randicus Draco Albus Randicus Draco Albus is offline
  6. Old Comment
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Randicus Draco Albus View Comment
    many believe being racist is being friendly.
    I suppose I can wrap my head partially around this concept, but even so it takes effort not to lose it and go "WTF?!?"
    Posted 09-03-2014 at 10:25 PM by rocket357 rocket357 is offline
  7. Old Comment
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rocket357 View Comment
    Point is, you hit the nail on the head with "you can tell from their work ethic". I understand that people need assistance from time to time (been there myself a few times), but there's a world of difference between using assistance as a stepping stone or using it as a foundation. I have all the respect in the world for someone who will help themselves, even if they have to ask for assistance to get back on their feet.
    I feel the same.

    A lot of those who complain about the "privileged" are those who use "assistance" as their foundation.

    I try to ignore a lot of it these says, but it gets harder. It's a shame. Between the current culture of entitlement, as well as those described above, I don't see a bright future ahead for the USofA.
    Posted 09-03-2014 at 10:30 PM by goumba goumba is offline
  8. Old Comment
    You know, when I was six I told my teacher I wanted to be a police officer when I grew up. I'm not ancient, but in 1976 when I said that, most police departments had regulations forbidding women officers. I am sorry that as we, as a society, try to rectify that situation, we end up swinging the pendulum too hard in the other direction.
    Posted 09-05-2014 at 09:07 AM by vmccord vmccord is offline
  9. Old Comment
    vmccord, there is a definite good coming out of swinging the pendulum, and in some ways it still has some swinging to do (Ferguson, anyone?). But I agree, in many ways we've gone too far, and in others not far enough. Perhaps someday we'll find a happy medium.
    Posted 09-05-2014 at 02:22 PM by rocket357 rocket357 is offline
 

  



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