I grew up a military brat. We didn't have a lot of money. I wore hand-me-downs, had iron-on patches on my knees. My family could not afford to send me to college, so I served in the military to get the GI Bill and worked my own way through college.
I'm over 40, in IT and no one ever gave me hand out in relation to any job or education.
Like an earlier poster said, I'm under no obligation to do anything. I believe in hard work. No one should be given a free ride because they are black, homosexual, female, whatever. Work your ass off to get where you want to be. Full stop. No one is under a moral or other obligation to get you in the door or ensure fair play. I'm not an asshole to people, but everyone has the same opportunities. I realize the military is not for everyone, but young men especially can really benefit. You can do a four-year hitch and have your college paid for. If you like it, you could re-up as an officer and the sky is the limit.
The problem with people today is they have a sense of entitlement that is misplaced. No one owes anyone anything other than moral decency: please, thank you, that kind of thing. Work hard, play hard. Life is better without handouts. You have a sense of fulfillment when you pull yourself up by your bootstraps.
Take a step back and don't be so defensive: "white privilege" isn't a personal attack. It's only meant to raise awareness, awareness that you clearly need, based on your post.
Hell, now there are people talking about a basic income for doing nothing. I agree with scripture, work or don't eat. Granted, society has people who cannot work through no fault of their own. Take care of our less fortunate brothers and sisters, by all means. If you are an able-bodied adult, get off your ass and work for a living. Start of down low like everyone else and make something of yourself. This is where the military shines. A poor guy can rise to the top in the military. Get his college paid for. Make something of himself. Nothing stops these people. There is no such thing as will power. It's want power. How bad do you want to be better, different, not poor, educated. How bad do you want to work to ensure your children live a better life than you? My parents were not perfect, but damn if they didn't raise me right. I work for what's mine and want no handouts from others.
Yes, there are. And you know why? Because jobs are being more automated as we speak. What will people do? Where will they be employed? Instead of being happy for introducing driverless vehicles, automated machinery to maintain and harvest our food, we grow scared for our jobs and turn into Luddites. We should be thinking about improving humanity as a whole, not just going "me me me me!".
And I feel you are a bit blinded from your American standpoint. You know who paid for your GI bill and your ability to be in the military? The state - the working people. You most likely didn't produce anything of value in the military, nor did you likely protect anybody. Jose worked his ass off for the tomatoes on your tables, while you most likely stood around with a gun, if that.
>I agree with scripture, work or don't eat
There are many, many people on this planet, and in the US who DO work, but still can't find enough food to eat. Think about that.
Now the machines are doing most of the work. This is supposed to be a good thing! Ever more of us will not have to work in this new world. Do we let them starve?
White privilege isn't saying you didn't deserve any of that. It's just about appreciating that, despite how it may seem to you, you had some luck with the dice, some luck that you wouldn't have had, had you been black (once again, everything else being equal).
I'm not talking about a basic income (I do think it makes sense in today's society, but that's a whole separate issue).
"Sending the elevator back down" doesn't mean giving out handouts. It doesn't mean hiring people because of their gender or race. It doesn't mean discriminating against white men. It means acknowledging your biases and working to counter those. It's about giving others the same opportunities (specifically, the same benefit of the doubt) you had.
And yet, awareness of other issues and even the opposite side of the same issue seem to not be as needed.
> "white privilege" isn't a personal attack.
Academically not, but it ends up being used either as one or as ammunition for one.
>awareness that you clearly need
Case in point.
Is that stated in the article somewhere? I'm pretty sure it's not. It also doesn't say anything about "handouts". It only says that certain people have an obligation to recognize their advantages and to make some attempt at improving things. That's quite a bit different than suggesting anyone should get a free ride.
Not really. That's what it means. Being white makes it slightly easier to get some opportunities.
The poorest people I know are whites and I've lived and worked around the world. Yet, the same whites cannot roll into a university and be let in almost for nothing, yet the blacks and Hispanics do.
The concept of white privilege makes a lot of white people uncomfortable, including myself for a long while. It's not simple: white privilege is a result of centuries of structural oppression against non-whites. It doesn't guarantee that all white folks are better off than some POC, but the overall differences are stark. Nor does it guarantee that your life was easy.
Saying "I had a hard life and I'm white" is a single-data point of a very, very large structural problem. Maybe affirmative action isn't the answer, and I'm not certain that it is. But to say that all other things equal, a white person and a black person of the same economic status is equal in our society is blatantly false.
The uncomfortable truth we need to be talking about is that POC commit a disproportionate amount of the crime in the US, and so nothing you said should come as a surprise. The fact that we can't have an open and frank conversation about this is part of the problem. Promulgating white guilt and a perpetuating a victimhood complex in everybody else does nothing to move things forward. It keeps people from empowering themselves and fosters divisiveness. In fact thinking that these other cultures need our help because they are incapable of lifting themselves up without us is actually pretty condescending. It sounds a bit bigoted if you ask me.
But to say that all other things equal, a white person and a black person of the same economic status is equal in our society is blatantly false.
I never said they were equal. In this specific hypothetical I'm saying doors open more easily for the black person.
Notice I said "for similar, non-violent crimes" and "disproportionate" . It's true, poverty and crime are heavily correlated , and I live in a community where such crime exists at high rates (Downtown Oakland).
In fact thinking that these other cultures need our help because they are incapable of lifting themselves up without us is actually pretty condescending. It sounds a bit bigoted if you ask me.
The War on Drugs was created to incarcerate black people and hippies . For crimes that more than 50% of my classmates and myself, have committed (possession of marijuana, dealing marijuana, various other drugs), extreme disproportionate incarceration has occurred in the US to POC at disproportionate rates. Once incarcerated, getting back into society is an extremely difficult process, with voting rights being stripped away, with job opportunities scarce, with the mark of a felony on their criminal record. This contributes to a vicious cycle where these realities feed off of each other. It's no wonder then, that all these facts contribute to a never-ending snowball effect on these communities.
I really highly recommend the book The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander . It does an amazing job describing this cycle. It's not that "other cultures need our help to stop committing crimes", it's that we all need to be aware of the effects our criminal justice system has on everyone.
The article you linked said blacks were being disproportionately arrested because they were selling outdoors, whereas whites were selling indoors. Assuming it is true though, are we really going to pretend that it's simply the difference in skin color and has nothing to do with a culture that glorifies criminal behavior, disregards the rule of law and preys on larger society. If these antisocial subcultures were distributed evenly between the races then we wouldn't even be having this conversation. The unfortunate and uncomfortable fact is that they are more prevalent in specific minorities. But the fact that we can't even talk about this in a straight forward and rational way exacerbates the problem.
I'll give you that historical prejudice has played a huge role though. Historical being the key word. I am completely with you on ending the War on Drugs. If we spent a fraction of our energy on that as opposed to promoting these toxic identity politics, then maybe we would have actually made some progress by now. Despite all of our best intentions, race relations are getting worse and nobody seems to know why. Hmm.