Author Topic: Entitlement and Privilege  (Read 26294 times)

The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: Entitlement and Privilege
« Reply #75 on: April 09, 2013, 10:11:05 pm »
One thing that reading your last installment brings to mind is the way threatened white people always bring up the fact that Hispanics have large families. They're scared shitless of being overrun by brown-skinned people. They really ARE terrified that brown people will out-breed them, and they seem peculiarly unaware that A. those kids are all Americans, and other than being brown won't be noticeably different from any other American kids, and B. that is only true of the immigrant generation; subsequent generations, being Americans, tend to have the same small family sizes other Americans do.

The hilarious thing is that they stand right in front of me and say this shit to my face. TO MY FACE. Like they failed to notice that I'm brown.

That's not a reflection on your personality, Nigel, or your appearance.  It's that your mannerisms don't project an impression of being oppressed.  You're direct, you look people in the eye, and you don't give the impression of being one who will take a lot of shit.

So they turn you white in their heads, because you don't look like an easy target.  And that's what they're after, just like any mindless mob of bullies.

But yes, they are TERRIFIED of being "overrun", and the points you bring up would never occur to them, nor would they listen to them.  It would go something like this:

Nigel:  "Kids are kids.  Hispanic kids are no different than white kids."

Po'bucker:  "Yes, but...<insert truism and/or You Know How Those People Can Be."

What you said would vanish into their empty heads, and they'd simply use your statement as an opening to rationalize their fear to you and to themselves.

Remember the conversation I told you about with Jacob?

Jacob:  "Have they (Hispanics) ever broken into your house?"

Me: "What, all at once?"

To Jacob, it WAS all at once.  Because to him, it is perfectly acceptable to blame the entire Hispanic population for burglary, despite the fact that you are more likely - in this city - to be burglarized by whites.

My car was burglarized this weekend in New Orleans while I was inside at a wedding. I was gone for less than two hours.

It was in the Marigny. Smashed my window on the driver's REAR and grabbed stuff on the passenger FRONT. Given the area, the circumstances, the shit they took (Asus tablet and keyboard dock, near-empty wallet, near-empty bag and a bag of toiletries with my glasses and a watch inside)  and what they left (GPS, some cash in the side pocket, an iPod, car stereo), I just get the feeeling it was one of those crustwave whites. While I was standing at the corner of Decatur and Elysian Fields, as people passed me by, I caught myself suspiciously scrutinizing the scraggy, drunken whites, not other races.

The tablet was covered up by my hi-vis EMS raincoat. I'd taken all the cash and cards out of my wallet already and threw the mostly empty thing on top without thinking about it.

I just feel like a black person would feel less bold, especially in the Marigny, about taking the time to go through all my shit to get the best stuff and leave the rest. Someone sat in that back seat with the door closed, pulled my EMS jacket off the front seat and exited the car with the best stuff. This wasn't just a desperate act to grab a quick crack rock. If they'd wanted that, they'd have smashed the driver's window and grabbed the GPS and the wallet, then ran. No, this was self-indulgence. Possibly someone who watched me go into the gallery. Someone comfortable hanging out there for a minute. I have a concealed carry permit. I'm lucky my firearm wasn't in the car because I'm sure they looked (it's legal to keep one in your car in Louisiana so it's exceedingly common).

What does that say about me? Is this a rational set of reasons behind my "gut" instinct or is it borne of some kind of bias?

I bring it up because it's relevant to explore whether certain kinds of racial bias themselves are borne of a character flaw or simple misinformation.

I'm sure there is at least an element of bias in my initial feeling but I'm dealing with a lot more information about the area and circumstances than someone who hasn't spent time there or hasn't been through it. But I still chided myself for my preconceived notions: it's still a race-based assumption.

What do you think of that?

I think you were assuming facts not in evidence.

Also, there is no reason a black person would be more or less competent at crime, or even more or less worried about the consequences of being caught.

Criminals in general are dumb, and dumb crosses every boundary.
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navkat

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Re: Entitlement and Privilege
« Reply #76 on: April 09, 2013, 10:41:54 pm »


I think you were assuming facts not in evidence.

Also, there is no reason a black person would be more or less competent at crime, or even more or less worried about the consequences of being caught.

Criminals in general are dumb, and dumb crosses every boundary.

I don't think that's where my mind went. At least I hope not. I think it was more or less that there's a strong police presence there and fewer blacks "hanging around" for fear of NOPD getting in their face. Not to say it doesn't happen but I see the exchanges between the police and white crust kids go down a lot differently than with blacks in the Marigny and in the FQ. The crusties get loud and indignant and are pretty damned obnoxious, even when they're caught doing something red-handed. They hang around the Spirit shop on Decatur drinking and busking and hogging the sidewalk.

My knee-jerk assumption was likely the product of that.

The other possibility is that I was targeted. Maybe it was someone who knew what to look for. I'm sure my Faulkner State parking decal was a big hint that there might be some cool gadgets in my car. The hot-pink steampunk goggles and the stethoscope slung over the rear-view mirror probably didn't hurt. I don't know.


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Re: Entitlement and Privilege
« Reply #77 on: April 10, 2013, 03:29:47 am »
One of my courses this semester is about race, ethnicity, and religion in US politics.  What bemuses me is that the exact some arguments are being made for the exact same reasons now as they were fifty or a hundred years ago.  For example, back in the early days of integration, a lot of scared white people backed the "Gray Plan."  Under the Gray Plan, local school boards that were ordered by the state to desegregate could choose to shut down instead.  The state would then pay tuition grants to all students so no one who didn't want to would be forced to integrate.  They called it "freedom of choice."*

The phrase comes up about thirteen times per week in the local paper.  The conservatives in power here want the state to issue tuition vouchers.  It seems to boil down to the same justification: keeping the "us" away from the "them."

*from Carl T. Bogus Buckley

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Re: Entitlement and Privilege
« Reply #78 on: April 10, 2013, 06:50:21 am »
One of my courses this semester is about race, ethnicity, and religion in US politics.  What bemuses me is that the exact some arguments are being made for the exact same reasons now as they were fifty or a hundred years ago.  For example, back in the early days of integration, a lot of scared white people backed the "Gray Plan."  Under the Gray Plan, local school boards that were ordered by the state to desegregate could choose to shut down instead.  The state would then pay tuition grants to all students so no one who didn't want to would be forced to integrate.  They called it "freedom of choice."*

The phrase comes up about thirteen times per week in the local paper.  The conservatives in power here want the state to issue tuition vouchers.  It seems to boil down to the same justification: keeping the "us" away from the "them."

*from Carl T. Bogus Buckley

That is such an interesting observation! Thanks for mentioning it, I didn't know that.
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Re: Entitlement and Privilege
« Reply #79 on: April 10, 2013, 12:06:47 pm »
Very interesting discussion. Here in Turkey there is a wide disparity of privilege, depending on the region. For example, educated women in the cities, or in Western (European) Turkey have about as much privilege as a man with equal education. However, in the southeast, particularly the tribal areas, men are far more privileged and women deal with treatment that is decades, centuries even, behind the rest of the country. In the Black Sea region, women and men have different sorts of privilege. Women tend to be the ones working and running things, while men tend to be more leisure, and not run much of anything.

In the village I live in, a man hit his wife. He was arrested, went to court and was fined almost a years wages, which if he doesn't pay will be replaced with 7 years of prison. This is normal in Western Turkey. In Southeastern Turkey, particularly the village areas, honor killings still happen. The government doesn't sanction them, and they are putting a lot of effort into ending the problem, but in that culture, its normal... they've even had to replace the local police with Westerners and put video cameras in all of the police stations.

Class and education, in the cities and in the west have far more privilege associated with them. A poor man with no education is in a much less privileged situation than an educated woman with a good job.

On the sexual identification side, its equally mixed. Bulant Ersoy is one of the most adored singers in the country, her musical knowledge is often compared to Pavarotti. She packs in the audience wherever she goes... she is transgender, she has been married to multiple men over the years and everyone accepts her. Gays find wide acceptance throughout Turkey as well, but there's not even a thought of gay marriage. Interestingly in a country that is mostly Muslim, a transgender person may have  more privilege than a man, based on education and wealth.

Brilliant topic, Roger!!
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The Good Reverend Roger

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- TGRR, shaming himself forever, 7/8/2017

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Re: Entitlement and Privilege
« Reply #81 on: April 16, 2013, 01:52:32 am »
Oh ffs, there's stalls in women's bathrooms.  Why the hell would I care about penis status in one?
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Re: Entitlement and Privilege
« Reply #82 on: April 16, 2013, 03:00:50 am »
Oh ffs, there's stalls in women's bathrooms.  Why the hell would I care about penis status in one?

For the same reason hyper religious weirdos down the street yelled at my 7 year old sun for walking outside without a shirt on, and why my sister-in-law refuses to change a baby in the same room with anyone else. Because "Social Conservatism" is a silly euphemism for a chronic, progressive, degenerative disease of the mind that makes you obsessively contemplate inappropriate sexual behavior. These people's minds are dirtier than any back alley you've ever seen, and they must find a way to be loud and obnoxious about how EVERYTHING MUST BE "PROPER" AND "CLEAN" AT ALL TIMES. Classic overcompensation, really.

Not that there's anything improper or dirty about this transgendered woman, other than what the freaks in Idaho seem to think about her.
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The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: Entitlement and Privilege
« Reply #83 on: April 16, 2013, 03:05:29 am »

Not that there's anything improper or dirty about this transgendered woman, other than what the freaks in Idaho seem to think about her.

Improper and dirty are in the mind of the obsessives.  I hadn't assumed you meant her.

I do like that the paper referred to the individual as a woman.
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- TGRR, shaming himself forever, 7/8/2017

 "Billy, when I say that ethics is our number one priority and safety is also our number one priority, you should take that to mean exactly what I said. Also quality. That's our number one priority as well. Don't look at me that way, you're in the corporate world now and this is how it works."
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Re: Entitlement and Privilege
« Reply #84 on: April 16, 2013, 04:43:24 am »
I want to contribute to this thread but I haven't really flushed out any idea...but i also want this thread to pop up in my recent topics.  So I'll just a thought that creeped in upon reading this thread.

With regard to the 'invisibles'-- they seem to not have any social/economic privilege because they're under the radar...but that idea alone might warrant some power...being the invisibles becomes being the 'unsuspecting.'  So it seems to me that having a certain degree of power doesn't necessarily mean more privilege.  I figure with enough ingenuity one could elevate one's power.

I don't mean to derail the thread but I was wondering how power fit into this dynamic.  I'll be happy to take this elsewhere if it's too off topic.

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Re: Entitlement and Privilege
« Reply #85 on: April 16, 2013, 08:19:24 am »
Quote
..being the invisibles becomes being the 'unsuspecting.'  So it seems to me that having a certain degree of power doesn't necessarily mean more privilege.

Just wanted to touch on that, Invisible also means an easy scapegoat when things go bad. There's probably more than a couple of homeless guys in jail who have confessed to crimes they didn't do to up the police stats for that month.

I think you may be thinking of a situation where you choose to become invisible. I'd guess to get to that position you'd need a degree of power in society anyway.
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Re: Entitlement and Privilege
« Reply #86 on: April 16, 2013, 08:48:00 am »

Invisible to me just equates to lack of rights and marginalization: the homeless, the war-displaced, the illegal immigrants, all without documentation, and without documentation you do not exist for the State, thus having no elemental protections that everyone should have.
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Re: Entitlement and Privilege
« Reply #87 on: April 16, 2013, 01:42:06 pm »
I want to contribute to this thread but I haven't really flushed out any idea...but i also want this thread to pop up in my recent topics.  So I'll just a thought that creeped in upon reading this thread.

With regard to the 'invisibles'-- they seem to not have any social/economic privilege because they're under the radar...but that idea alone might warrant some power...being the invisibles becomes being the 'unsuspecting.'  So it seems to me that having a certain degree of power doesn't necessarily mean more privilege.  I figure with enough ingenuity one could elevate one's power.

I don't mean to derail the thread but I was wondering how power fit into this dynamic.  I'll be happy to take this elsewhere if it's too off topic.

In any power structure it is possible to navigate up or down but I think examples of this would be exceptions rather than the rule. Lack of ingenuity is not limited to any class or status.
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Re: Entitlement and Privilege
« Reply #88 on: April 18, 2013, 09:31:25 pm »
http://www.nbcnews.com/id/51547238/ns/local_news-colorado_springs_co/

The thing that makes this a shining example is the fact that if the ladies room were full and I urgent enough to use the men's, no one would have tossed me.

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Re: Entitlement and Privilege
« Reply #89 on: April 19, 2013, 01:02:14 am »
http://www.nbcnews.com/id/51547238/ns/local_news-colorado_springs_co/

The thing that makes this a shining example is the fact that if the ladies room were full and I urgent enough to use the men's, no one would have tossed me.

Question:  I know trans people don't always dress trans.

What then?
" It's just that Depeche Mode were a bunch of optimistic loveburgers."
- TGRR, shaming himself forever, 7/8/2017

 "Billy, when I say that ethics is our number one priority and safety is also our number one priority, you should take that to mean exactly what I said. Also quality. That's our number one priority as well. Don't look at me that way, you're in the corporate world now and this is how it works."
- TGRR, raising the bar at work.