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PRIVILEGE

 
 
Setanta
 
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2003 10:56 am
If i were to apply for a loan, or for insurance coverage, i'd simply go to a bank, or an agent, and make my application. Were i asked about my residence, it would only be how long i'd lived there-the thought of being "red-lined" wouldn't enter my head. I know what red-lining is, and that it is very common, even though this is often denied by lending institutions and insurance companies. But iI'm white, I've lived at the same address for more than two years, and this is not an issue. I took out another life insurance policy this spring; there was a half-page section about residence in the application. The agent asked me if i'd lived there for more than two years, i said i had, and he marked all of the appropriate boxes, and moved on to the next section.

The odds are very good that if i were black, that would not necessarily have been the case. If i were black and lived in any neighborhood which could be characterized as predominantly black, you can bet that i'd have a lot more explaining to do, documentation to produce-and would still have a very good chance of being turned down.

If i get pulled over by a police officer, and i've not been speeding, and know of no traffic offense i've committed, than the first thing out of my mouth is a demand to know why i've been stopped. The police understand this, as well-the most recent occasion upon which i was pulled over and wasn't
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 5,657 • Replies: 84
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2003 11:04 am
Always been too poor to be very priveleged. However, I see what you mean and second the notion.
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husker
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2003 11:14 am
I'll be back for this.
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cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2003 11:25 am
It's a fact that things like pre-approved credit applications are sent out by area, and based on that area's average income. I get 'em all the time, and yet, have never been approved for a gold card, despite the fact that I am white and live in a decent neighbourhood. My credit sucks, and I am self-employed. I think at least financially, the bottom dollar is indeed the bottom dollar. Also, most of the folks who work at the two banks I deal with are people of colour.

I think that the only sense of privilege I ever felt was when I was young, and sheltered from the real world, by being sent to predominantly white, Jewish schools, and not really being exposed to open racism. I grew up not really understanding racism. Despite the white bias, there were certainly non-white students as well, and I had friends of all colours and religions, and it never seemed to matter. It sounds idyllic, but you know what? It was. I am grateful for that.

Personally, I don't feel entitled to anything that my merits and/or qualifications don't live up to. If someone is denied something clearly based on race, religion or creed, however, I certainly think a firing, or public hanging of the bigot is in order.
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husker
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2003 11:32 am
privilege - WOW
You should have placed that under Philosophy and Debate

As an Americans it will be my opinion that many of us do not understand the privilege ( there is an ignorance ) that we have behind our borders.

In America there are many levels of privilege looking back at my younger years I was privileged to be able to move freely and frequently with different groups, ie ( drug dealers, gangs, hells angels, police officers, jocks, bookies, and enforcers, religious groups )
Some types of Privilege:
American (where you are at America happens to be a better place)
Sex ( Male or Female )
Race ( People of Color )
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husker
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2003 11:38 am
Peggy McIntosh & MICHAEL SCHWALBE
The Costs of American Privilege

Quote:
Privilege comes from membership in a dominant group and is typically invisible to those who have it. Many whites do not see themselves as enjoying white privilege, yet as Peggy McIntosh has pointed out, there are dozens of ways that whites are privileged in U.S. society.

For example, whites can live anywhere they can afford to, without being limited by racial segregation; whites can assume that race won't be used to decide whether they will fit in at work; whites who complain usually end up speaking to the white person in charge; whites can choose to ignore their racial identity and think of themselves as human beings; and, in most situations, whites can expect to be treated as individuals, not as members of a category.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2003 11:45 am
I think, you can be privileged by many means and at various places.

During my time as conscript, we had to add something for the bataillon party, after we were allowed to go out in uniform.

Since some of my company played in the band that evening (they were semi-professionals), I got the idea of doing a striptease, accomponied by life blues-swing-action music.

This was such an success that I could leave the barracks without being looked at the whiteness of my cap, the blackness of my shoes, the incorrect length of my hair ... "Ah, the stripper. Let him pass."



However, when you live here in Germany in a wrong street, have a not-German-sounding name, look different to the person behind the counter, well, exactly that what Setanta described would happen.
This certainly is a privilege for the others.
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Greyfan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2003 11:58 am
When I bought my second house in 1977, in a new subdivision, the builder APOLOGIZED for the presence of black homeowners. He lamented that, a couple of years back, he had proudly touted a development as being all-white to a woman whose absent spouse was black. She had, naturally, reported him, and, sadly, he told us with every expectation that we would be sympathetic, he was no longer able to screen applicants by color.

This was the most blatent bit of racism I have ever personally encountered, although I think it is far more common and pervasive than most of us in the "priveleged" class realize. The verdict in the O. J. trial is a case in point; most of us middle class white folk trust the police and the court system to be fair; many black folk have the opposite expectation, and it is not merely a case of paranoia.

I grow weary of hearing people complain about the "priveleges" or "hand outs" extended to minorities. I'll believe the system has overcorrected when I hear a white person say he would gladly trade his position in the world for a chance to grow up in a predominantly black neighborhood.

I'll believe the system is in balance when it would not occur to anyone to make the comparison in the first place.

Not holding my breath.
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cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2003 12:03 pm
That's a crappy story GreyFan....I am naive, I admit that, as accounts like yours still shock me. Makes me want to lobby for further research into the asswipe gene so we can eliminate it before birth.
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JoanneDorel
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2003 03:59 pm
As a girl growing up in the 50s I was totally unaware of prvilige. However, upon graduation from high school in 1964 I found out that being a WASP was a privilge but being a woman meant restrictions. Thank goddess for the woman's movement of the 70s
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2003 04:09 pm
Joanne- One of the things that men don't even realize is the privilege that just being male has. My husband and I had a salesman come in to discuss a new central air system. My husband and I own the house equally, and the money belongs to both of us.

I was watching the salesman's body language. Although he would answer my questions, he was definitely engaging my husband. His eyes never went off him, except when I asked something. When it came to sign the contract, he handed the contract to my husband, automatically.

I know that when certain things need to be done, especially with workmen, I leave it to my husband. Is it because of a lack of assertiveness on my part? To those who know me, you know that I am not shy, and can be as aggressive as the most assertive male. Yet I know, from lots of experience, that in many cases it is smarter to send a male to deal with certain individuals.
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husker
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2003 04:22 pm
Phoenix
We're building a church and have had trouble with the county planning folks - so we decided to send in a man and woman together to see if things changed. It was like a 180' turn around - better for us. Hard to believe but they planners became more passive. So we intend to do it all the time now.
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Sofia
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2003 04:33 pm
Agreeing with someone's previous statement, I think money trumps skin color related to privilege in most cases.

Depending on how I'm dressed, I will or will not be shadowed in shops.

One great unfairness is DWB (driving while black). I do think great gains have been made in this area, but it was too long coming, and is still a problem. It is an unfair privilege to be given the benefit of the doubt, due to whiteness, in many police matters. And, I believe the American justice system is criminal when it comes to people of color.

I do believe the banking complaint is more to do with your financial history, than whiteness or blackness.

Being white does clearly, IMV, afford one many distinct, unfair privileges--or perhaps its more accurate that being black or hispanic brings unfair bias.
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2003 04:40 pm
There is no doubt that being a male has some privilege, peeing standing up being far and away the most important one. :-)

But I have a quibble. I used to sell home improvement work door to door. I was taught to focus on the man simply because men seem to get more of a gleam in their eye about siding and such than do women.

I have also sold Kirby door to door. While selling these I've always been taught to focus on the woman. The husbands would stick around long enough to make sure I wasn't hittin' on their wives and then they'd walk away and watch TV (at this point they're pissed because we filthy salesmen used to promise we would be there just 5 minutes while a good presentation was supposed to be between 1-2 hours).

Sometimes we'd sell one spouse on the product and then when decision time came if the other spouse wasn't sold the whole pitch was wasted, we'd build the gleam in one spouse's eyes and the other one ended up being the decision maker (sometimes it was the husband sometimes the wife).

It was always very tricky to tell who was the person to sell to. Sometimes the timid and quiet spouse was the one who made the calls, it was never easy to get.

I know that women are quite often patronized about things, a friend of mine who knows a lot about cars tells me that when she goes to mechanics they try to screw her over. When she goes with a guy they "shoot straight".

I guess what I'm saying is that I know there are gender related privileges, but I'd not feel privileged to have to be the one listening to the salesman's spiel. :-)
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fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2003 04:50 pm
Craven de Kere wrote:
There is no doubt that being a male has some privilege, peeing standing up being far and away the most important one. :-)


God went to Adam and Eve and asked:
"Who wants to pee standing up?"
Adam inmediately raised his hand and yelled:
" I do!"
So God said:
OK, Adam you get to pee standing up; Eve gets multiple orgasms.
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2003 04:56 pm
Wink
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2003 06:30 pm
I bet peeing sitting down has its advantages when the electric goes out on a dark night.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2003 06:38 pm
That's why we keep a candle in our bathrooms. Wink
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2003 07:41 pm
Yes, CI, but on a hot windy night when you open a window to get cool, a candle will blow out. Then it would be good to sit down, I would imagine.
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2003 07:46 pm
why stand when you can sit?
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