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  1. Duchess-Yukine-Suoh
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    Duchess-Yukine-Suoh Girl #21 Contributor

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    Why I don't believe in "Check Your Privilege"

    Discussion in 'Debate Room' started by Duchess-Yukine-Suoh, May 26, 2014.

    The phrase "Check Your Privilege" does very little good and a lot of harm.

    It usually does nothing other than provide a common way to end an argument without actually providing any evidence, and assumes the asker is more "privileged" than the receiver, which is usually a fallacy, anyway. This is probably the least harmful way I've seen it used, however.

    "Check your privilege" is used to drive away allies toward any cause. It's hard to be an ally for any sort of minorities when people are constantly screaming "CHECK YOUR PRIVILEGE" whenever you post anything. A woman posted on how she wore a hijab for a day, so that she could see the struggles some minorities faced. She was called a know-nothing who needs to check her privilege. Most actual people who are minorities (racial, gay, etc.) don't like the use of it anyway, but the few refuse to listen.

    The worst thing is that it is used as a witchhunt against people with mental disorders, such as depression. Many so called "social justice warriors" say that white, straight, cisgender, or even thin people do not "have the right" to have depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, or the like, but, truthfully, mental disorders do not pick and choose; they do not select based on "privilege".

    The worst case was probably the case of a 14-year-old girl known as "Aly" online. She was half-white and half-Latina, but had pale skin. Her parents couldn't care for her, so she lived with relatives and was technically in foster care. Aly had cancer, but didn't want to trouble her financially struggling relatives, so she would take less of her pain-reliever than she was supposed to. She would post about her struggles, along with other posts, but "social justice warriors" would send her hate messages, telling her she did not know what struggle was because she was pale-skinned, straight, thin, and cisgender and that she should "check her privilege". Over time, the insults escalated to death threats and messages telling her to kill herself. Aly didn't let them get to her, and continued on.

    Eventually, her caretaker posted saying that she had been brought to the hospital in critical condition from the cancer and was in a medically induced coma. Two months later, Aly was out of the coma and at a facility recovering. That was the last we got, she may be dead, I don't know.

    I guess the people who sent her hate were happy when she came so close to death, because she didn't check her privilege! How dare she!
     
  2. Ulramar
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    Ulramar Contributing Member Contributor

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    I like how minorities (I was born Jewish, do I count??) try to lobby for equality (even when they have that and more, at least in the US) and then pull this phrase.

    That's not equality, that's pure and utter racism against the [majority???] and discrimination. It's double standards.

    I think it's funny but then I sober up and realize you can't fight it because then you're racist.
     
  3. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    You can't be serious. Have you heard of the "School to Prison Pipeline" or "The New Jim Crow"?
     
  4. Duchess-Yukine-Suoh
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    Duchess-Yukine-Suoh Girl #21 Contributor

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    The School to Prison Pipeline has nothing to do with kids being African-American, it's because they're poor and we have a terrible, sucky, school system for poor kids.
     
  5. Ulramar
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    Ulramar Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm going to do my best to not sound racist (and that's such a horrible way to start it out, isn't it?).

    African Americans tend to live in more impovershed (I can't spell today) areas. That's because in the early 1900s and before, they migrated from the still VERY racist south to the slightly more tolerant north. The south had farms, the north had cities. So they all ended up in cities. Because of the modern technological revolution, the inner cities didn't grow economically like the suburbs and rural areas did. So now there's all these African Americans living in poverty. And poverty increases crime. That's why so many end up in jail .

    On the "School to Prison Pipeline", AKA Zero Tolerance, which is actually all about drugs and alcohol, well that's good. It shouldn't be extreme enough for these kids to end up in jail, but Zero Tolerance is good in moderation. Now, let's apply this to the real world: namely my high school and my county. We're slightly richer than everyone else but still have a fairly high minority population for suburbia. There's a lot of parties with drugs and alcohol. So, let's say the cops got to one of these parties and arrested everyone. I'm sure that 75% of the people would be white. Because that's how these parties are.
     
  6. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I have no clue what you are talking about here. I was only commenting on the false belief there is no racism in the US.
     
  7. Ulramar
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    Ulramar Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oh there is racism! But let's not try to pretend that discrimination and borderline racism towards the "majority" is the appropriate response.
     
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  8. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    The 'Privilege' meme is bullshit, but anyone who can read The New Jim Crow without being outraged is missing something humans are supposed to have.
     
  9. Duchess-Yukine-Suoh
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    The original post that started this. Have you not read it?
     
  10. GingerCoffee
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    To believe the poverty variable accounts for the school to prison pipeline tells me you've not looked at the actual issue, rather you are going by your imagination of what the issues are.

    In short, a white kid who slugs another kid at school gets sent to the principals office. With a black kid, the cops are called and he's arrested. A white kid gets caught with a joint, nothing happens, the black kid is sent to jail. It's more than different jail terms for powdered cocaine vs crack.

    Surveys and statistics bear this out. But I don't want to hijack the thread. I can only suggest you read what the two links have to say before assuming you already know.
     
  11. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I told you, my post was a reply to the claim there was no racism in the US.
     
  12. Duchess-Yukine-Suoh
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    Duchess-Yukine-Suoh Girl #21 Contributor

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    I know, but I was talking about my first post.
     
  13. Ulramar
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    Ulramar Contributing Member Contributor

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    I was using the poverty difference for the "New Jim Crow". My second example was towards the School to Prison Pipeline. At least in my school, fights end in a week suspension no matter the race or religion. Maybe my school is just more tolerant??
     
  14. GingerCoffee
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    I'm not going to take up this debate. It's too time consuming. Solutions to the problem are a different issue than failing to recognize there even is a problem.
     
  15. GingerCoffee
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    Like I said, this shows you haven't actually looked at the issues or the evidence.
     
  16. Ulramar
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    Ulramar Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've looked at the issues. Evidence is much more difficult to find. But when I look at the evidence available to me, namely my own school, I don't see it. If you would like to pull up the "ghetto clique" that tends to get in trouble a lot, I'd pull up the "white trash clique". Both get in trouble the same amount and punishment is spread equally.

    Without going and buying The New Jim Crow , I've done what I can. I will be doing much more extensive research as the internet will allow.
     
  17. GingerCoffee
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    Evidence is not difficult to find. You just have to make an effort which it appears you are not doing. You don't need to buy any books, look at what is on the links I posted. You can also find a lot more on the topic online, and there's always the library.

    Read "About" and the "Excerpt" on the book's website. Google "School to Prison Pipeline" if there's not enough info for you on the ACLU site.

    If you are not interested, that's fine, not every social problem is interesting. I merely suggest you recognize you don't really know the facts well enough to assume the issue is poverty and not racism.
     
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  18. Hubardo
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    The intention of "privilege checking" is good, but often it can alienate others. Recent conversations I've heard in activist circles is calling people IN rather than calling people OUT. The point is to increase empathy, but if you make somebody feel guilty or ashamed of their identity (ie, white/male/cisgender/straight) they won't listen to you.

    Also, you underestimate the psychological impact of racial prejudice and discrimination, and how the psychological damage this causes worsens situations such as poverty. In short, and in general, poor Black people have it worse than poor white people - when all things are equal. When you take into account sexuality, gender, age etc, it gets more complicated. (Which is why feminist author bell hooks coined the term "intersectionality" - read about it.)

    To understand the psychological impact racism has on People of Color in the United States, I highly recommend this book: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0465083617/?tag=postedlinks04-20
     
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  19. Duchess-Yukine-Suoh
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    Oh, Ginger, I'm sure racism exists, but is what is happening (see my first post) really the answer?
     
  20. Adenosine Triphosphate
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    A lot of people get really mad about various real or perceived social injustices, but lack the maturity to view others as individuals. They're just as focused on rigid categorization as the racists and bigots they claim to oppose.

    With that in mind, I would say that many of those overblown "social justice warriors" are either self-hating members of the majority or minorities with a great deal of resentment towards it. They don't really want equality, they want their chosen team to win. At least, that's what they act like.

    I say this as someone with extremely left-wing social (not economic) views. I support gay marriage, legalization of prostitution, and at least decriminalization of drug use. As a white male, I will freely admit that my race and gender have unfair social advantages in our society. I'm just not big on this tribal mentality that a lot of people subscribe to. We will have true equality when people treat each other as individuals instead of members of an opposing team.
     
  21. thirdwind
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    It's easy to get confused sometimes because most of the people living in poverty are minorities. So what is actually a race problem might look like a socioeconomic problem (and vice versa). That being said, there's clear evidence for racial inequality; assuming similar socioeconomic status, a white man and a black man will not receive the same prison sentence for committing the same crime; the black man is more likely to get more time in prison. Blacks are also more likely to get the death penalty.

    On the education side of things, I think the socioeconomic status is more important (there are other social factors that I'll get to below). People from poorer backgrounds have a harder time getting to college and graduating with a degree. The rising tuition costs aren't helping, either. As I mentioned above, minorities, on average, have a lower socioeconomic status than whites do, which is why whites do relatively well when it comes to education. There is something known as the "burden of acting white," which is a term applied by sociologist John Ogbu (and Jay MacLeod I think) to describe the social pressure some black students face by their peers. Basically, "acting white" is seen as a betrayal of one's culture, and one can "act white" simply by getting good grades and succeeding in school. So this, in part, explains why some black children don't do well in school.

    To respond to the OP, I agree that privilege (or white privilege) is used as an excuse in some cases. However, it's certainly a real thing, and the examples I gave above are just a few of many. In the case of Aly, the people who were making fun of her sound like uneducated idiots. Sure, there are other people in the world who lead harder lives, but that doesn't mean her problems don't matter. People can be stupid sometimes.
     
  22. Hubardo
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    I find it really irritating when there are mounds of evidence in the social sciences on issues like this that people would rather entirely ignore, and substitute with their own ill-informed opinions.
     
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  23. ChickenFreak
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    All righty, quotes deleted, Duchess. :)
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2014
  24. GingerCoffee
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    It's extremely common with this particular social issue, no reason the comment had to apply to anyone in particular. The issue itself lends toward people coming with their preexisting conclusions and not considering changing them when someone suggests there is contradictory evidence.

    Re the OP, I wouldn't be so sure the haters on the social networks are SJWs. I would call them trolls. It's some kind of bizarre personality disorder - needs a name like, failure to outgrow Jr High.
     
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  25. Duchess-Yukine-Suoh
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    I'm sorry to anyone I may have insulted, and I am deleting those posts. I am sorry again.
     
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