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Old 08 May 2014, 01:46 AM
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Default Eight Things Every White Person Should Know About White Privilege

http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...ton-never.html

White folks went to great lengths in the last weeks to denounce the overt racism of figures like Cliven Bundy and Donald Sterling. At the same time, a lot of white folks—especially conservatives—continue to deny there is implicit or structural racial bias in America.
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Old 08 May 2014, 04:11 AM
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I'm sure I'd find this interesting if the Daily Beast didn't keep trying to direct my browser over to a completely unrelated article.
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Old 08 May 2014, 05:29 AM
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Sorry, yeah, looks like that's happening in at least one browser. Try turning off JavaScript if you're still interested.
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  #4  
Old 08 May 2014, 12:48 PM
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As much as this is making a stir here, I can see both sides. I don't know what exactly happened to the kid who made the stir initially, but there has been a certain level of ridiculousness about race at Princeton lately.

See this, for example: http://itooamprinceton.tumblr.com/post/83586877966

Princeton doesn't have an Africana Studies major, but it has a Center for African American Studies: http://www.princeton.edu/africanamericanstudies/

as well as a Program in African Studies: http://www.princeton.edu/~piirs/prog...S/Program.html

Then there's this morose looking pair:

http://itooamprinceton.tumblr.com/post/83586413600

They may well not have any black professors. But that hardly means that there aren't any. You could select classes in such a way that you'd have nothing but black professors.

There does need to be a balance here.

And I'm pretty sure if you compare schools, you'll find that there is not perfect overlap with all majors. Princeton doesn't have a med school or a law school, either.
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Old 08 May 2014, 01:03 PM
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I don't know why you're bringing that up. It has practically nothing to do with the OP. That may be where this particular conversation started but the points addressed here are about the whole conversation, not whatever started this particular one - in fact I can't even see one of those issues mentioned in the OP (although I admit I haven't checked every one carefully).
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Old 08 May 2014, 03:23 PM
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Tal Fortgang, in the linked article (and local discussion and TONS of online responses to the initial piece he wrote) is reacting against being told to "check [his] privilege." What I wrote and linked to is about the environment that influenced his initial rant.
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Old 08 May 2014, 03:33 PM
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I'm also having trouble in seeing how it's relevant. And even if you can select all your classes to have a professor look like you, you probably wouldn't get the classes or the major you need. Do other students have the same struggle?

Last edited by Chloe; 08 May 2014 at 03:42 PM.
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Old 08 May 2014, 04:13 PM
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I didn't see the original piece that prompted the OP. However, I find that what the OP says somehow doesn't get discussed. In the course of my lifetime, I have become aware in my work and in my life of how important race is, especially in the US.
It has affected everything since before our founding. Our constitution initially details how to account for slaves (and Native Americans) for congressional apportionment, although the slaves and then their freed descendents couldn't vote, especially after the re-establishment of Jim Crow.
Then with the Civil Rights Acts, things became better. Now, there is yet another attempt at changing things back. The Supreme Court majority seems to be of this mind. Yet a look at statistics, at the difference in the lives and opportunities of many black people should say No to this.
I have no doubt about how this has played out in my favor over my life. The fact that I live in a region that is itself treated as second class by elites, just reinforces this for me.

Ali
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  #9  
Old 08 May 2014, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chloe View Post
I'm also having trouble in seeing how it's relevant. And even if you can select all your classes to have a professor look like you, you probably wouldn't get the classes or the major you need. Do other students have the same struggle?
I imagine it would be hard to get through any degree program at Princeton with professors who were only of one race, although I certainly haven't heard of anyone who tried to do that. I personally find the whole "look like me" thing problematic on many levels. I am mixed race. What I look like is not necessarily an indication of my cultural background.

As for why I posted it, it's relevant because, although he is somewhat reactionary and ill-informed, I think it's important to know the world from which Tal Fortgang was writing.

Privilege exists. Fortgang has some in some areas and not in others. Intersectionality of privilege is often a more relevant discussion than one of racial privilege in isolation, especially when a lot is presumed about Fortgang and other white students that is not accurate.

I definitely have seen how racial privilege and systemic racism is real and has a real impact on life in the United States. I have also seen how shallow knowledge of that, regardless of how one uses the shallow knowledge, can create other problems.
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Old 08 May 2014, 04:45 PM
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I find the whole "Look like me" issue ridiculous too, unless you want to live in a world of clones.

What constitutes "like you"? Is a Jamaican immigrant close enough to a Haitian immigrant close enough to a 5th generation african american?

What about Native-Americans? Cree = Huron= Apache=Iroquois?

I'm white, I've got a ruddy complexion and reddish hair. Does that mean I should feel comfortable associating with archetypical "irishmen"?
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  #11  
Old 08 May 2014, 04:55 PM
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I'm pretty sure that's not exactly what, "Looks like me", means.
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Old 08 May 2014, 04:59 PM
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Also, given that Alarm lives in Ontario, I'm sure there's no shortage of people who look him all around him, even using that inappropriately narrow definition. This is exactly the sort of thing that is conveyed by the word "privilege."
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Old 08 May 2014, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
Also, given that Alarm lives in Ontario, I'm sure there's no shortage of people who look him all around him, even using that inappropriately narrow definition. This is exactly the sort of thing that is conveyed by the word "privilege."
Well, Nepean is significantly populated by immigrant communities, just like mine, the next one over*. I go shopping, it is more than 75% of the time the person to my right (or left) does not look like me**.

So, besides painting all of Ontario with one brush, tell me what your point is supposed to be.

*Census data continues to show that urban centres in Canada, including Ontario, continue to look less and less "white". Cite -> 27% of the city of Ottawa is a self reported visible minority.

**Within 2 km of my house, I have Little Lebanon, Little Somalia and a significant mixed African community. Expanding a bit broader, we have larger enclaves of south Asian groups and Caribbean groups.

Last edited by UEL; 08 May 2014 at 05:30 PM.
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Old 08 May 2014, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
Also, given that Alarm lives in Ontario, I'm sure there's no shortage of people who look him all around him, even using that inappropriately narrow definition. This is exactly the sort of thing that is conveyed by the word "privilege."
depends on where in Ontario you live --- in my town -- I am a minority.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...ticle15087829/

The town recently passed a by-lay that all stores must have equivalent English on the signs in shops and I am the only Caucasian male on my street.
It does not bother me at all.
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Old 08 May 2014, 05:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
Also, given that Alarm lives in Ontario, I'm sure there's no shortage of people who look him all around him, even using that inappropriately narrow definition. This is exactly the sort of thing that is conveyed by the word "privilege."
Well, the two students holding that sign don't look much like Barack Obama either. My point was that diversity means just that, you will have to deal with diverse people and, depending on the qualifications required for the job, there might not be anyone "like you" to teach, but it doesn't mean they aren't out there.

Last edited by Alarm; 08 May 2014 at 05:39 PM.
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  #16  
Old 08 May 2014, 05:49 PM
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"Looks like me" is shorthand. It doesn't mean you need all of your role models and mentors and authority figures to be exact clones of you. It just means it's a lot harder to feel comfortable and fit in when none of the above share your ethnicity.
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Old 08 May 2014, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UEL View Post
Well, Nepean is significantly populated by immigrant communities, just like mine, the next one over*. I go shopping, it is more than 75% of the time the person to my right (or left) does not look like me**.

So, besides painting all of Ontario with one brush, tell me what your point is supposed to be..
"No shortage of people who look like you" ! = everyone looks like you.
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  #18  
Old 08 May 2014, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chloe View Post
"No shortage of people who look like you" ! = everyone looks like you.
I don't see any relevance in this statement to the conversation at hand.
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  #19  
Old 08 May 2014, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avril View Post
I imagine it would be hard to get through any degree program at Princeton with professors who were only of one race, although I certainly haven't heard of anyone who tried to do that. I personally find the whole "look like me" thing problematic on many levels. I am mixed race. What I look like is not necessarily an indication of my cultural background.

As for why I posted it, it's relevant because, although he is somewhat reactionary and ill-informed, I think it's important to know the world from which Tal Fortgang was writing.

Privilege exists. Fortgang has some in some areas and not in others. Intersectionality of privilege is often a more relevant discussion than one of racial privilege in isolation, especially when a lot is presumed about Fortgang and other white students that is not accurate.

I definitely have seen how racial privilege and systemic racism is real and has a real impact on life in the United States. I have also seen how shallow knowledge of that, regardless of how one uses the shallow knowledge, can create other problems.
One of the points of the OP was that if you have a critique of accusations of racism, then make it. It's just ridiculous to jump all the way to "privilege doesn't exist, and claims that it does are actually racist." It's a context free argument, and it's flat wrong, regardless of the context.
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  #20  
Old 08 May 2014, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UEL View Post
I don't see any relevance in this statement to the conversation at hand.
Happy to explain. You tried to refute Lainie's statement that "there's no shortage of people who look him all around him" with the statement that there are significant numbers of immigrants in Ontario, and that "27% of the city of Ottawa is a self reported visible minority." But since Lainie wasn't claiming that everyone in Ontario looked like him, but only that there is "no shortage" of such people, it fails as a refutation. Or, as I put it a few moments ago, "No shortage of people who look like you ! = everyone looks like you."
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