Ordinarily I don’t recommend reading the comments on too many things, but they’re especially instructive here …
" … prostitutes, pansies and punks … "
— Tom Robinson Band, Power in the Darkness.
True in 1978. True now.
H/t @rachelmack and @ronobot.
Our son goes to a fancy preschool with an electronic gate. Each family is given a little key fob which is held up to a magnetic panel to unlock the door. White privilege works a lot like this. Imagine our institutions were designed with special magnetic key pads. White people, particularly white people with money, are born with the little key embedded in our skin. We walk up to doors (apply for a job, try to buy a house, interact with a police officer) and they open without us having to do anything.
My sooooper-awesomely amazing cousin @JaimeJenett with an ever more sooooper amazeballsly awesome blog post on white privilege, embedded and systemic racism, and a whole lot more stuff. Read it and know how lucky I am to be able to call her “family.”
Oh, and her partner Laura Fitch, through whom I’m related to her? She’s pretty awesome as well.
Nearly pissed myself laughing when she turns it around on him.
God, I love white privilege.
This will go right over their heads, of course.
Once you grasp the concept of privileged distress, you’ll see it everywhere: the rich feel “punished” by taxes; whites believe they are the real victims of racism; employers’ religious freedom is threatened when they can’t deny contraception to their employees; English-speakers resent bilingualism — it goes on and on.
And what is the Tea Party movement other than a counter-revolution? It comes cloaked in religion and fiscal responsibility, but scratch the surface and you’ll find privileged distress: Change has taken something from us and we want it back.
Confronting this distress is tricky, because neither acceptance nor rejection is quite right. The distress is usually very real, so rejecting it outright just marks you as closed-minded and unsympathetic. It never works to ask others for empathy without offering it back to them.
At the same time, my straight-white-male sunburn can’t be allowed to compete on equal terms with your heart attack. To me, it may seem fair to flip a coin for the first available ambulance, but it really isn’t. Don’t try to tell me my burn doesn’t hurt, but don’t consent to the coin-flip.
The Owldolatrous approach — acknowledging the distress while continuing to point out the difference in scale — is as good as I’ve seen. Ultimately, the privileged need to be won over. Their sense of justice needs to be engaged rather than beaten down. The ones who still want to be good people need to be offered hope that such an outcome is possible in this new world.
As the author points out, a tricky balance, but really, the only tenable response. The fact that we’ll all fall short from time to time just makes re-commitment that much more important.
Even when First Nations are open and transparent, media types behave as though they are not. And so, for example, Attawapiskat annual audits are posted on the Attawapiskat website for all to see. A Management Letter from 2011 is up there in plain sight, detailing shortcomings in the reserve’s bookkeeping, but Ottawa Citizen reporter Jordan Press tells us he went through Access to Information to get it—a bit like kicking down a door instead of trying the doorknob. The press as a whole responded like puppies to a biscuit when the PMO leaked a Deloitte audit that covers the same ground and says the same things, making it all sound like some kind of bombshell revelation.
- Keep the Indians off the front-page. That, in a phrase, is the Harper approach to aboriginal issues in Canada
- Back to Joe Clark. Why did he lend his prestige as a former PM to a woman the Harper government is treating like someone who doesn’t yet realize her full insignificance?
- Thought this might work with the #IdleNoMore theme