“Acknowledge your white privilege,” says city of Edmonton.

Anti-racism campaign fights ‘white privilege’:

EDMONTON – Controversy is brewing over a city-sponsored anti-racism campaign that calls on Caucasians to recognize their “white privilege”.

Edmonton, Alberta deserves a lot of credit for bringing up white privilege in an anti-racism campaign, since bringing up white privilege tends to make you politically unpopular. (Sadly, it is unlikely that anything like this would happen in Toronto any time soon.)

Here is the text of the controversial webpage, What can you do to stop racism?:

What can you do to stop racism?

Acknowledge your white privilege.

White privilege refers to all the benefits we get just for being white. Most of us are aware of how racism hurts others, but we’re not aware of how it benefits us.


“I was taught to see racism only in individual acts of meanness, not in invisible systems conferring dominance on my group.” Dr. Dr. Peggy McIntosh, is associate director of the Wellesley Collage Center for Research on Women.

Most of us have little awareness of our white privilege. We ‘re so used to having the benefits that come with being white that we don’t even realize we have them. We also aren’t aware of our privilege because the system has encouraged us not to be aware.

Most of us are aware of how racism hurts others, but we’re not aware of how it benefits us. Without acknowledging the privilege we hold, we can’t truly begin to understand the experience of people of color.

The first step to stopping racism is to acknowledge that the deck is heavily stacked in our favour.

Most of the time, when we talk about racism we are talking about institutional racism, a system of privilege based on race that “pervades, permeates, and interconnects all major social groups, networks, and institutions across that reinforce racist hierarchies.”

Both of these forms of racism are often committed UNCONSCIOUSLY by people WITH GOOD INTENTIONS.

Racial “whiteness” is many things, but one of its consistent qualities is power. As people granted unearned privileges by our own whiteness, and as people who have likely harmed non-white people with our own whiteness, it’s our moral and ethical duty to find ways to combat racism.

Racism is real. Denying that racism exists perpetuates racism.


* Based on White Privilege by Dr. Peggy McIntosh, associate director of the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. Peggy McIntosh is also founder and co-director of the United States S.E.E.D. Project on Inclusive Curriculum (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity). Her 1989 article, “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” has been instrumental in putting the dimension of privilege into discussions of gender, race and sexuality in the United States.

Hat-tip to AfroCan.

Let’s Eliminate Racism in Edmonton

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35 Responses to ““Acknowledge your white privilege,” says city of Edmonton.”

  1. AfroCan Says:

    Restructure,

    Thank you for acknowledging me in bringing this news link to your attention. It PROVES your commitment and that you are not merely appropriating ideas to further your interests like Mr. Eriksson.

    Some problems in the original text “Anti-racism campaign fights ‘white privilege’” that expose the dilemma of Anti-racist resistance and discourse:

    Ryan Hastman, the federal Conservative candidate for the Edmonton-Strathcona, said he’s concerned because the “campaign’s focus on white people is too narrow”.

    What does this statement mean exactly? How is the campaign’s focus “narrow”? Alright then, if it is “narrow”, how can we find ways to “broaden” it, if that is sincerely what the Conservative Mr. Hastman wants. Certainly, leaving issues unexamined or unresolved is not going to move things forward in yielding results.

    Unfortunately, Mr. Hastman’s tepid and ambivalent response that he “acknowledges racism is a problem, but prefers to overlook racial divides instead of focusing on them” is a commonplace rhetorical strategy that those with White privilege frequently engage.

    Anti-racists term the strategy “discounting”—recognizing the existence social inequality but adopting a willful ignorance in a refusal to interrogate the issues in finding equitable solutions.

    Such uncritical responses and “head-in-the-sand” approaches keeps Whites from being proactive about social inequality and “off the hook” of accountability in resolving and removing those “institutional barriers” that many of Edmonton’s oppressed groups experience.

    My question to Hastman is what is the “best way to go” and when will you eventually know…?

    Canada’s People of Colour/oppressed groups are growing impatient in waiting for your “gut reaction” to take a stand, make a decision. The dominant White group has now had 50 plus years to educate themselves in doing the right thing!

    Once again, we see a moral dilemma in dismantling privilege for Anti-Racist change. The “tools of democracy”, as I call them, in equalizing opportunity are situated in White hands.

    Here we observe White power-brokers like Hastman possessing the authority to act, to mobilize the resources and to create the anti-racist policy, etc. But with this “neutral” and non-committal stance, he is dawdling, choosing the “path of least resistance” in doing nothing. Hastman has the opportunity to really listen and work with the POC activists who have studied the issues and truly know the measures needed for that progressive outcomes to occur.

    What will it take in compelling Hastman to listen and act accordingly?

    Is Hastman afraid of something…? Is it that he is truly aware of the ways in which privilege benefits him as an individual and his collective group but nonetheless wants to safeguard them by keeping the status quo intact…?

    Does it mean that positive social change/racial equality would demand Hastman and other Whites not only acknowledge but also relinquish/GIVE UP their privilege and control?

    Restructure is most correct that Edmonton, Alberta deserves a lot of credit for bringing up white privilege in an anti-racism campaign, since bringing up the contentious issue tends to make one politically unpopular. Going public about White privilege is politically unpopular because there are indeed risks for the White individual. There are potential social consequences of being kicked out from the White social group as a “Race Traitor”.

    However, it appears from his comments that Hastman does not wish relinquish or contemplate sharing the power. He has, no doubt, acquired many personal gains in his life and wishes to pass the unearned advantages on to his progeny.

    In playing it safe politically, most likely Hastman will seek out a paternalistic approach that will quell and appear to “placate” everyone in appearing to ameliorate the crisis.

    That’s perhaps when deploying the standby strategy of “multicultural and diversity” rhetoric and practice will kick in—-let’s have a multicultural “love in” and “diversity festival” my beautiful black, brown and yellow children, throw some chump-change funding at the situation in order to deflect and hopefully silence POC demands for anything meaningful and substantial.

    If AfroCan’s tone sounds a little cynical, he makes NO apologies for it, as he has experienced this situation before, especially in the workplace and observing the curious practices of unions, coalitions, focus groups, etc. and the ways in which POCs can become distracted and co-opted.

    AfroCan wants change/equity/racial healing but also wants to have some AGENCY in forging that change. What will social change look like…who is calling all the shots in making those changes…What will be the outcomes and what group(S) will benefit…? Or will power and privilege get reconstituted to the Dominant group…?

    We will wait and see…

  2. Sam Says:

    AfoCan is already copiously drooling over the freebies and perks he expects to score if they are ever successful with their plan of social extortion against Canadian whites who actually work for what they have. He’s so excited that he’s started referring to himself in third person.

  3. AfroCan Says:

    I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights.

    - Bishop Desmond Tutu

  4. Jayn Says:

    I think the idea of racial divides isn’t so much a sign of anti-racism as of lack of introspection. It’s easy to think that by focusing on one particular racial group will further, not reduce, racism. After all, the idea of equality is based on the idea that we’re all fundamentally equal, right? So why focus on one side of the problem?

    Fundamentally, it comes down to fear–fear that, oh crap, we may have to acknowledge that not only do we benefit from ‘white privilege’, thus breaking the illusion of equality, but having to take responsibility for the ways our own actions uphold the status quo, even if we’re not trying to. I think there’s some resentment on the part of some whites, in that we’re basically being asked to be responsible for breaking down a system that we didn’t create in the first place–we merely inherited it from those who came before us. It also means we have to acknowledge the ways that we have been influenced by the culture we grew up in, thus breaking the illusion of being unbiased.

    Since whites don’t ‘want’ equality in the same way that POC do, it’s no wonder that some of us shy away from these uncomfortable truths. But if we’re to ever really make a difference, we need to not only be willing to face them, but own them. It’s frightening, but also empowering. Ignoring these things means also ignoring what we can do to change them.

  5. Jayn Says:

    And of course, there shouldn’t be an anti- there in the first sentence….geez, my brain is still on neutral this morning.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    ” ‘I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights.’

    - Bishop Desmond Tutu”

    It’s interesting that you choose to quote a man who worked so hard to transform South Africa from one of the most successful countries on the continent to a marxist hellhole and the murder, rape and AIDS capital of the universe.

  7. AfroCan Says:

    Anonymous Says:
    November 9, 2010 at 9:50 am

    It’s interesting that you choose to quote a man who worked so hard to transform South Africa from one of the most successful countries on the continent to a marxist hellhole and the murder, rape and AIDS capital of the universe.

    ——–

    “…..most successful countries on the continent” for whom? Whose natural resources and low-wage labour sustained the success?

    Like the “hellhole” is somehow entirely Bishop Desmond Tutu’s fault….?

    Read your history man…!

  8. AfroCan Says:

    On the Ethics of Moderation
    Anonymous Says:
    November 2, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    blacks are the smallest population in canada, yet they get in the most shit by far, we shouldnt let jamicans in , the africans are all right !

    ……..

    You are so damned contradictory….Like where the hell do you stand…? I doubt you have any concern for continental Africans either…

    Are they “all right” in your White supremacist imagination because it’s easier to patronize and control the “mud savages” with your false “superiority”?

    And learn to spell “Jamaicans”…you owe them that much if you are going to show your antipathy for them.

    Do even think or read the previous posts (and the original Edmonton News article) before you blast off….?

  9. Anonymous Says:

    “’…..most successful countries on the continent’ for whom? Whose natural resources and low-wage labour sustained the success?’

    It’s falling apart now for everyone there. Now, THAT’S “progress”.

    “Like the ‘hellhole’ is somehow entirely Bishop Desmond Tutu’s fault….?”

    Glad to see you admit that it’s a hellhole. Of course Tutu didn’t do it all by himself, he simply worked diligently on the project. You’re nitpicking.

  10. AfroCan Says:

    Anonymous Says:
    November 9, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    Glad to see you admit that it’s a hellhole.

    ………..

    I admit nothing…”hellhole” is your word not mine—-you own and take responsibility for it.

    Are you White South African by any chance…? You sound positively crazed with hate!

    Can I offer you another cup of your poison…?

  11. Anonymous Says:

    “I admit nothing…”hellhole” is your word not mine—-you own and take responsibility for it.”

    OK. The place is a hellhole. They don’t even publish their crime statistics any more.

    “Are you White South African by any chance…?”

    No.

    “You sound positively crazed with hate!
    Can I offer you another cup of your poison…?”

    I state the facts. It seems to upset you.

  12. AfroCan Says:

    AfroCan Says:
    November 9, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    Do even think or read the previous posts (and the original Edmonton News article) before you blast off….?

    Anonymous, please let’s get back to original topic(s).

    Listen, I invoked Bishop Tutu because his words best expressed my feelings about White paternalism and privilege—a rebuttal to White troll Sam…Pure and simple!

    I cannot “represent” or debate about South Africa. I do not live, nor was I born there. So, in all fairness I cannot comment about the country’s political or economic situation or the so-called “good ole days” when White master was in power.

    When are you going to get back to “Acknowledge your white privilege,” —- the Canadian experience and current topic that we can perhaps both debate on at this moment in time…?

    We are taking up precious cyberspace here!

  13. calmdown Says:

    For whatever reason the references to white privilege has been removed from the Edmonton website. IMO probably a good idea. I think this misadventure will be filed under Oops…, brainfart, I haven’t anything cause this much ill will since Quebec threatened to vote itself out of Canada.

  14. City of Edmonton pulls “white privilege” message from its anti-racism website « Restructure! Says:

    [...] “Acknowledge your white privilege,” says city of Edmonton. [...]

  15. Sam Says:

    “Listen, I invoked Bishop Tutu because his words best expressed my feelings about White paternalism and privilege—a rebuttal to White troll Sam…Pure and simple!”

    White troll???? Oh dear, I feel so invalidated.

    “When are you going to get back to “Acknowledge your white privilege,” —- the Canadian experience and current topic that we can perhaps both debate on at this moment in time…?”

    Don’t take the bait, “Anonymous”. Afro’s just trying to recruit you for their League of White Zombies.

  16. AfroCan Says:

    Sam Says:
    November 10, 2010 at 12:03 pm
    Don’t take the bait, “Anonymous”.

    Afro’s just trying to recruit you for their League of White Zombies.

    ……

    Bait, Recruit…? I would rather not discuss anything with Troll Anonymous….rather he tried to “bait” me for a while in deflecting the discussion to South Africa (like he really gives a…) from which I had to shut down…

    Have another cup of poison White troll daddy!

  17. Sam Says:

    “Anonymous, please let’s get back to original topic(s).

    When are you going to get back to ‘Acknowledge your white privilege,’ —- the Canadian experience and current topic that we can perhaps both debate on at this moment in time…? ”

    You have a method of “shutting down” that strangely resembles an invitation to further discussion. ~Steering things back to your recruitment line, of course. I hope I succeeded in warning the mark away.

  18. Tim Scott Says:

    Seriously, terrible article. It might be eloquent, but it’s foolish. So you’re saying my white friends that have oh, died of drug overdoses or are dirt poor are that way because they didn’t acknowledge their white priviledge? I guess all those white poor people are just there because they didn’t acknowledge their white priviledge. I guess the 50+% asian programmers at my work are all their because the brown people that own my work agree with you. Or you’re just a huge fool. I hope the ghosts of all my dead white underclass friends haunt you, fool.

  19. Jayn Says:

    “So you’re saying my white friends that have oh, died of drug overdoses or are dirt poor are that way because they didn’t acknowledge their white priviledge?”

    Being white only makes it easier to get ahead in life. It doesn’t make it any harder to fall flat on your face. I won’t make any assumptions about your poor friends, but drugs don’t discriminate.

  20. Sam Says:

    “So you’re saying my white friends that have oh, died of drug overdoses or are dirt poor are that way because they didn’t acknowledge their white priviledge?”

    Actually, they would use those misfortunes as proof of the universal ineptitude of whites, who can’t do anyrthing right and only experience success because of “white priviledge” or by cruelly exploiting “people of color”.
    (I’m being sarcastic, but these jokers fervently believe this nonsense.) Meanwhile, “white priviledge” is the root cause of any and every failure, failing, bad luck, disappointment or discomfort that “people of color” ever experience. “White priviledge” is a device by which “people of color” are absolved of any responsibility for their own lives or behavior, and can lay blame for every bump in their road on the shoulders of all white people. “White priviledge” is also the device they use to assert that no matter what effort, discipline or persistence a white person may apply to his goals, no matter what adversity he may overcome, no matter what talent, creativity or intelligence he may posess, (well, he can’t…being absolutely incompetent), any gain or accomplishment of his is “unearned”. Now, because “white priviledge” makes every white person’s life a trouble-free and effortless walk in the park while simultaneously crushing the souls of all people of color, (who, did I mention? ~are in every case perfect specimens of genius, wild talent and angelic benevolence), all white people must now “take responsibility” for said magical “white priviledge” and dedicate their lives to making sure that anything unpleasant or difficult for “people of color” is diligently ferreted out and eradicated, even to the point of self-destructiveness on the part of the white person. It’s only just, after all, since only white people have ever done anything that wasn’t nice.
    That’s how you become a collosal schmuck~ I mean, “white ally”, and that’s why the people here keep harping on “admitting your ‘white priviledge’”. If you’re an idiot, you’ll legitimize their self-serving poppycock by going along with it.

  21. Restructure! Says:

    Sam,

    You are so fricking ignorant. That’s so many straw men rolled into one. You can’t even spell “privilege” correctly.

    http://uts.cc.utexas.edu/~rjensen/freelance/whiteprivilege.htm

  22. AfroCan Says:

    Jayn Says:
    November 10, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    Being white only makes it easier to get ahead in life.

    ………..

    In this one sentence, blogger Jayne has made the salient point that is repeated over and over about the insidious nature of White privilege.

    I wish sometimes these trolls would simply go to a public library or simply buy one single book about the subject to educate themselves…We are working too hard for them.

    Let’s try a different approach.

    Maybe it would also help to ASK the question, “what does it mean to your life in NOT having institutional and systemic barriers impeding/thwarting/undermining your life chances or quality of life? Because all of the long established systems and institutions (education, legal/politics, media, Hollywood and yes, the Hidden Job Market) were created / established by White people with their particular perspectives, cultural and religious values, lifestyles, interests, and practices in mind.

    Understand that the World as we know and experience it was FASHIONED/forged by White European people in their own image.

    Read your North American history. Break out the old textbooks! Find them!

    Then you might see that all the “Empire building” in the North American was not about accommodating, sharing, or allowing the participation of POCs who were present at a particular historical moment. Even if POCs “participated” or were coerced with their cheapened labour into building the country, its buildings, its transportation roads, or fighting Two World Wars in proving allegiance to a nation that didn’t want them, POCs were still denied / not granted equal rights or access to the resources or services in society.

    The nearly 600 year historical legacy of all this INFORMED / SHAPED the present situation of disadvantage as the power, unequal rights, distribution of resources kept re-constituting into hands of predominately White people.

    You will find the same or similar trajectories and developments in Britain, France, Brazil and other countries colonized by European people who needed the resources and labour of other non-White groups to “butter their bread”… It’s also called CAPITALISM.

    However, “privilege”—-whether it be racial, gender or class—-is not only about material gains like having money and property, it is also about psychological / power relationships between human beings/races. Privilege can determine whose ideas, words, experience, bodily presence is valued and whose is not within a nation’s political and institutional spaces.

    Despite all the efforts in the last 50 – 60 years in trying to equalize power, break down institutional barriers, to create fair access, to get a piece of the pie, it still hasn’t worked—-because either dominant Whites in power who create the policy and legislation, the rules, etc, always manage to create new mechanisms, catch-22 paradoxes that limit / circumscribe the chances of people who are NOT SOCIALLY WHITE.

    And get this—a mere 50 or 60 years of so-called POC liberation or access to public spaces still cannot undo SIX centuries of White privilege and domination.

    So, even if you didn’t personally / actively discriminate or create the “bad laws” you as a White person nonetheless will benefit from the PAST outcomes into the present…

    Privilege is something that is CONFERRED/BESTOWED whether you want it or not. Right now you are working, because you had the CHANCE with few or no barriers blocking you, to work in PASSING ON PRIVILEGE AND ASSETS to your SPOUSE AND CHILDREN who are WHITE.

    Sometimes unconsciously or deliberately, some Whites want to ensure that ALL of the social benefits advantage / accrue back to their group…. So, despite the sometimes “good intentions” of a few White people who worked for social change—we still have under-representation in public office, higher poverty among people who are not White, more jail time among people who are not White, shorter life expectancy among people who just happen to be not White.

    Just sideline the Drug addiction analogy for a moment….another blame the victim “can of worms” based on what—economics, social survival, and human frustration and despair.

    When you “bad boys” who are always denying the existence of racism or White privilege were in Canadian history class, did anything discussed in class or written in the final exam ever sink in a CRITICAL way to make you more AWARE of how Canada / the world developed?

    Did anything ever tweak your conscience that something was not “quite right” about the ways the Canada and the USA developed as nations? It didn’t “bother” you that Native Indians were robbed of their land and/or killed off and today they remain among the economically poorest people in this country; that Africans were imported against their will to fuel the country’s economy with their labour and got nothing in return; that Chinese immigrants were brought in build a big ass transcontinental railroad, died for their troubles and still got excluded from entering the country for many years…that even in the 21st century they are still unwelcome when immigrating to Canada.

    Ask yourself the QUESTION, how did these HISTORICAL social developments, advantage you as a RACIALLY WHITE PERSON in the PRESENT situation…!

    How did your ancestors and now you in the present—gain and even profit from the PAST DEEDS simply because you are White…?

    Get a History Book and READ—See the historical players and what they did, how certain non-White groups were frustrated, denied, kicked out—-see the trajectories, the patterns, the conflicts that systemically worked to re-enforce White privilege, advantage, benefits, freedom, exemptions.

    Maybe read a book about CAPITALISM if that is less threatening to you…and the issues of RACE AND PRIVILEGE will still jump off the page…

  23. AfroCan Says:

    READ, READ, READ!

    White Men on Race: Power, Privilege, and the Shaping of Cultural Consciousness [Paperback]
    Joe R. Feagin and Eileen O’Brien

    They Take Our Jobs!: And 20 Other Myths about Immigration [Paperback]
    Aviva Chomsky (about the capitalist and labour perspectives on race.

    For those who don’t want to do the fxxking intellectual work of adapting the “U.S.- centric experiences” to a Canadian context:

    Taking Responsibility, Taking Direction: White Anti-Racism in Canada [Paperback]
    Sheila Wilmot (Author)

    Here is a White Canadian author who has written about the Canadian experience. It’s a nice little primer that hopefully won’t tax your brain with all that “awful” critical race theory and “Orwellian group think”, or make you too feel guilt-ridden when you discover that you’re not the fxxking “sincere” White persons you thought you were…

  24. fred Says:

    You are so fricking ignorant. That’s so many straw men rolled into one. You can’t even spell “privilege” correctly.

    Sam, I don’t know about you but I love comments like that. It demonstrates the emotional investment they have in their prejudices. If she could support her arguments she wouldn’t need to resort to such behavior.

    ==============

    afro writes, “what does it mean to your life in NOT having institutional and systemic barriers impeding/thwarting/undermining your life chances or quality of life?

    I wouldn’t know. You’re the one who gets affirmative action.

    Understand that the World as we know and experience it was FASHIONED/forged by White European people in their own image.

    Yes, most of the economic and technological advancements of the modern world were created and discovered by White European people.

    Sometimes unconsciously or deliberately, some Whites want to ensure that ALL of the social benefits advantage / accrue back to their group….

    Now, isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black. Whites build the car and you want to ride for free.

    ==============

    You two banging your gums about some vague and ubiquitous “white privilege” really doesn’t do much for me. Why don’t you cite some concrete examples and hard evidence to support them?

  25. AfroCan Says:

    fred Says:
    November 11, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    You two banging your gums about some vague and ubiquitous “white privilege” really doesn’t do much for me. Why don’t you cite some concrete examples and hard evidence to support them?

    ——-

    Open all the windows! And let the funky air out!

    A White Troll just cut the cheese again, pollutin’ the cyberspace with his White Supremacist flatulence.

    If “banging our gums” doesn’t do much for you—-WHY are you here?

    Then why don’t you vacate the blog site, and establish your own so can give adequate voice to your own White supremacist slant rather than disrupting here… You have that privilege to do so… Or is it just too much fun antagonizing here…?

    What “concrete” evidence, numbers, empirical data, do you need? Would such data ever fulfill, confirm anything in your diseased White mind…?

    But then why should POCs have to find facts and data for you? Why should that WORK be our responsibility—you conduct the empirical research. I ask this question, because I notice this repeated “request” from White folks—we always have the burden of providing the evidence, the report findings—-i.e. Police racial profiling data/court stats, Human Resources Canada unemployment stats, Board of Ed. POC drop out rates—-and when White authorities receive them, they discard them anyway—all of them collecting dust somewhere.

    And of course, you have all but ignored my suggestions to seek out a book by well known White authors that would give you the stats….No, they are just “Race traitors” who “hate” their own group members…

    Is it because you don’t want to find a book or that you just can’t read ..?

    What is the title of the book you’ve read that provides the counter evidence in which you believe…?

    What works or even articles have you written on the subject of race / privilege contradicting the White authors’ critical writings/findings…..Written anything lately…? Where can I find it…?

    What makes you think I and other POCs have always been the recipients of “Affirmative Action”…What makes you assume we were somehow always “unqualified” for the positions for which we applied? Yet another discourse of “reverse White victimization”, that POCs are unfairly taking away your employment gains / opportunity.

    And you are “right”—Europeans “discovered” and “created” it all—yup, they built the damn Modern world—-but on whose backs/free labour, on whose land, with whose natural resources, who did White folks have to push out and kill-off in accomplishing it all?

    Mass genocide, slavery, colonialism, two World Wars (as a policy I don’t celebrate Remembrance Day anymore) are also a part of your White racial group’s infamous legacy…So it appears Whites/Europeans want to be praised for their “accomplishments” alone but not take ownership for the carnage/the devastation they left behind.

    Your White arrogance is so Astounding—I feel if Ghandi or Dr. King were alive or if Nelson Mandala was in the room you would be denying and disputing these issues with them.

    So if you don’t want to hear from POCs, you don’t want to hear from members of your OWN racial group, if you don’t to seek out information for yourself—–WHY are you here?

    Open all the windows! And let the funky air out!

    A White Troll just cut the cheese again, pollutin’ the cyberspace with his White Supremacist flatulence.

  26. fred Says:

    afro writes, But then why should POCs have to find facts and data for you? Why should that WORK be our responsibility—you conduct the empirical research.

    It’s your responsibility to cite concrete examples with evidence because you are the one making the claims. It’s not my responsibility to support your claims.

    And of course, you have all but ignored my suggestions to seek out a book by well known White authors that would give you the stats….

    Referencing an article or essay is one thing. But telling someone to “read a book” isn’t an argument. It’s a cop-out. If you can provide a concrete example and evidence then do so. Otherwise don’t expect any reasonable person to take you seriously.

    What is the title of the book you’ve read that provides the counter evidence in which you believe…?

    I would be happy to provide counter evidence as soon as you provide a concrete example with evidence to support it.

    What makes you assume we were somehow always “unqualified” for the positions for which we applied?

    Short answer: Test Scores.

    AA is predicated on the fact that blacks are under represented in certain fields. The purpose of AA is to increase the number of blacks in these fields. And, yet, the average black scores lower than nearly every other group on just about any academic or professional test. Therefore, artificially increasing the number of blacks in these fields means that lesser qualified blacks are promoted ahead of others who are more qualified. This is supported by the fact that blacks nearly always have lower test scores (and IQ) than their peers in any given field. If blacks were really being discriminated against then they would tend to have higher test scores than their peers.

    And you are “right”—Europeans “discovered” and “created” it all—yup, they built the damn Modern world—-but on whose backs/free labour…

    So you’re nursing a racial grudge eh? Well, at least we now know your true motive. It’s interesting that those whom make such an issue of slavery 200 years ago never seem to mention the whites and blacks who were concurrently enslaved throughout africa and the middle east. Indeed, most of those making an issue of slavery don’t seem very interested in the slavery that’s going on right now. There are more people living under slavery in Africa today than during the 100 some odd years it was practiced in America. If slavery makes one rich then why aren’t the African countries who practice slavery today rich?

    Mass genocide, slavery, colonialism, two World Wars…

    Sure. Those things have been done by whites. And they’ve been done by africans and arabs and asians and native americans and everyone else who ever got the chance. But I’m not inclined to allow others to exploit me based on historical grudges.

    ===============

    So, to return to the original topic — do you have any concrete examples and evidence to support your claims or not?

  27. AfroCan Says:

    Jayn Says:
    November 9, 2010 at 8:54 am

    ….thus breaking the illusion of equality, but having to take responsibility for the ways our own actions uphold the status quo, even if we’re not trying to.

    …….

    You make a number of interesting points. I commend you in your honesty for saying this.

    You also mention the business of White resentment. Clearly that discourse of resentment echos loudly throughout these numerous posts. But don’t White folks see our resentment as well—from trying to do the “right things”, being told that there is no discrimination and that things are equal…but the social realities seem to contradict with the rhetoric and myths of equality.

    I don’t deny that I as I’ve aged, I’ve grown increasingly angry over racism and the silent reality of privilege as they have impacted not only in my life—but also in the lives of many of my Afro-Canadian BORN peers who likewise have many tales to tell of marginalization and exclusion, denial and frustration of their ambitions and goals in “making it” in Canadian society thwarted and undermined…

    And these folks aren’t “driftwood” or “dodos”, but all highly educated, literate, talented people who have shriveled up on the vine, not granted an opportunities to fully develop and reach their potential by “working hard” and staying competitive…In fact, many have been marginalized or completed excluded from competing at all …

    This is the big point often glossed over in discussions of racism – privilege—it results in the POC’s EXCLUSION from full or meaningful participation and competition from access to resources and creating that so called “quality life”, however one wishes to personally define it…

    Believe it or not, there was time in my life (early 20s) when I believed in the tenets of colorblindness and was once a “model minority” working overtime in trying be “non-threatening”, compliant, reticent, professional and finding that these personal attributes weren’t yielding fruitful results.

    After a while, some just say “Fxxk it” and refuse to go along to get along anymore. Simply because of their race and/or their parents couldn’t give them a leg up or they couldn’t work their way out of poverty.

    Don’t you think that continual denial and frustration causes hurt and resentment…?

    You also say:

    Since whites don’t ‘want’ equality in the same way that POCs do, it’s no wonder that some of us shy away from these uncomfortable truths.

    Another interesting point…How does this idea of “equality” look to you…? Can you elaborate /expand on it…? What are the “uncomfortable truths”…?

  28. AfroCan Says:

    If this post got “too emotional”, I also forgot to make the important point that about 10 years ago, a Black female friend of my mine, an aspiring model, photographer and writer, eventually committed suicide out of severe depression/frustration in not finding work in her chosen fields…it put her on the economic skids and the despair set in and she couldn’t be reached in time.

    The racist exclusion / rejection can severely effect the mental health of some Black folks, especially if they don’t get the supports in time.

    So the memory of my friend’s tragedy resonates with me a great. She just disappeared and was later found dead in another town!

  29. Jayn Says:

    Afrocan, obviously I can only speak for myself, but having lived a very monochromatic life, Black resentment isn’t something I’ve seen. Racial issues (along with most social justice issues) are largely academic for me, as they’re not things that I’ve seen first-hand. Knowing there’s studies showing that it’s easiest to get a job if you’re a white male, it’s obvious why you’d be resentful. But as far as actually ‘seeing’ it? No, I don’t.

    Which ties into the ‘uncomfortable truths’ I mentioned. From my POV, things are fine. There aren’t a lot of barriers for me–I don’t have to deal with being constantly passed over for a person with a different skin colour. I watch media that shows people like me (only male) always being the heroes. I don’t find Barbie dolls that look like me priced cheaper than others. That’s something that’s hard to figure out–the way our culture conditions us to see one group as ‘superior’, ‘desirable’ or ‘normal’, and all others as, well, other. What our culture defines as the ‘default’ is a white, straight, cis, able-bodied male. The closer you are to that, the less you’re likely to see the inequalities of our culture. Realising that subconsciously you’ve grown to accept that default as the ‘ideal’…no one wants to admit that we’ve been conditioned by our environment that way.

    As far as what equality looks like, it would mean seeing everyone as equals, not only consciously but unconsciously. Not holding women and men to different standards. Accepting differences rather than trying to convince everyone to be ‘normal’ (being mildly autistic, this has been a constant personal frustration). It scares me sometimes the ways I’ve been conditioned by our culture, sometimes in ways that find me acting in ways that are self-destructive (or at least, not to my benefit). If I didn’t try to be aware of racial issues, I would probably wind up unconsciously acting to keep things as they are–being that I’m aiming for a job in multimedia, I don’t like to think about how that would turn out.

    I am reminded of a video a saw a few months ago, where a high school student was recreating an old experiment–basically, she put two dolls (one black, one white) in front of a bunch of black kids as asked them questions like ‘which one if the good dolly?’ At the end, she asks one girl to pass her the doll that looks like the girl–the look on her face as she passed over the black doll was heartbreaking :(

    —————————–

    Fred, might I suggest you read (think it’s an essay) The Myth of the Self-Made Man? It’s not about racial issues, but it does deal with things that tie into ‘white privilege’. Basically, it’s about how success depends more on circumstance than we want to admit–having connections to the right people, having access to a good education, etc. We like to think that all we have to do is work hard and we’ll be successful–the American Dream and all–but it’s not nearly that simple, even if you’re the ‘default’ white male. Add in the biases that many people hold (not necessarily consciously) and that gets compounded for other groups.

  30. AfroCan Says:

    Jayn Says:
    November 12, 2010 at 10:04 am

    …..how success depends more on circumstance than we want to admit–having connections to the right people, having access to a good education, etc. We like to think that all we have to do is work hard and we’ll be successful–the American Dream and all–but it’s not nearly that simple, even if you’re the ‘default’ white male…..

    ————–

    You put it very well and perhaps that’s all the original “Acknowledge your Privilege” premise is interrogating. That folks interrogate the meaning(s) of privilege and look at ways it can be lessened or better yet dismantled in personal relationships and institutional settings.

    Clearly, the constant demands for “stats” is drilling a hole in everyone’s head……All of life’s social realities cannot be observed by stats. Even when the stats are gathered, the have to be evaluated and interpreted…and what do most folks do—they discount and/or skew the meanings anyway in some insidious way to “prove” social superiority/ inferiority and moral virtue/deviance…

    Already, see the ways in which stats are being deployed to prove “yellow peril invasion” in Canada’s educational settings (another institutional site of privilege) in Restructure’s most recent posts.

    I think you would be an excellent facilitator of Anti-racist workshops and discussion GIVEN the chance…You could perhaps work in uh, oh, dare I say it—”converting” some of the hard-core Trolls with some alternative perspectives.

    Good luck in getting Troller Fred to read a book…He seems to have great resistance to them…one of them probably bit at an early age…

    No disrespect intended, we could also recommend:

    Born Losers: A History of Failure in America [Paperback]
    Scott A. Sandage (Author) A CRITIQUE of Capitalism that can be adapted to a Canadian Dream context.

    “It’s a most familiar refrain of American life: work hard and prosper… Americans do not like to talk about failure. It is the underside of an American dream that stresses winning over losing, succeeding over succumbing”.

  31. Jayn Says:

    While I appreciate the compliment, I’m not exactly known to be good at people skills ^^’

    Though, regardless of if Fred reads that book or not, I see there’s a copy at the library downtown (gotta love the internet, eh?). Think I’ll grab it later today.

  32. Sam Says:

    @ Restructure and AfroCan:

    “You are so fricking ignorant. “
    ~A standard liberal silencing tactic that became old and tired long before you were born.

    “You can’t even spell “privilege” correctly.
    ~Irrelevant.

    Thanks for the link to Robert Jensen’s article, Restructure. I especially liked this bit:
    “Like all white Americans, I was living with the fear that maybe I didn’t really deserve my success, that maybe luck and privilege had more to do with it than brains and hard work. I was afraid I wasn’t heroic or rugged, that I wasn’t special.”
    Unfortunately my sides are still really sore from laughing.

    Afro, you and Restructure are just regurgitating a more refined version of the rubbish on this cartoonish website, http://whgbetc.com/mind/culture-white-sup.html , which I have found is parroting the same line of garbage rhetoric one can find on an apparently limitless network of “radical”, “activist” and “organizing” websites dedicated to “challenging whiteness”. Most all of them indicate a hatred for capitalism and democracy as vigorous their hatred for Whitey, have a penchant for using “people’s” as a modifier and often refer to themselves as a “collective”. I hope that if you succeed in your shared goal of destroying all vestiges of “whiteness” in North America you’re prepared to adjust your standard of living to something more closely resembling that in, say, Venezuela or China, and that it’s worth it to you cutting off your own noses to spite Whitey’s face.
    You’re being played and you have no clue.
    I’ve learned all I can from you and since it’s clear that you’re hopelessly embedded in your ideological lumps of amber there is no point wasting another word or minute on you.

    I may drop by occasionally to read you thrashing them, fred. Cheers.

  33. Robin Says:

    The City of Edmonton says there is this race problem.

    Everybody says there is this RACE problem. Everybody says this RACE problem will be solved when the third world pours into EVERY white country and ONLY into white countries.

    The Netherlands and Belgium are just as crowded as Japan or Taiwan, but nobody says Japan or Taiwan will solve this RACE problem by bringing in millions of third worlders and quote assimilating unquote with them.

    Everybody says the final solution to this RACE problem is for EVERY white country and ONLY white countries to “assimilate,” i.e., intermarry, with all those non-whites.

    What if I said there was this RACE problem and this RACE problem would be solved only if hundreds of millions of non-blacks were brought into EVERY black country and ONLY into black countries?

    How long would it take anyone to realize I’m not talking about a RACE problem. I am talking about the final solution to the BLACK problem?

    And how long would it take any sane black man to notice this and what kind of psycho black man wouldn’t object to this?

    But if I tell that obvious truth about the ongoing program of genocide against my race, the white race, Liberals and respectable conservatives agree that I am a naziwhowantstokillsixmillionjews.

    They say they want to bring an end to white privilege, what they mean, and what they are doing is trying to bring an end my race – the white race.

    They say they are anti-racist. What they are is anti-white. The City of Edmonton is anti-white.

    Anti-racist is a code word for anti-white.

  34. AfroCan Says:

    Robin Says:
    November 15, 2010 at 1:53 pm
    Anti-racist is a code word for anti-white.

    ……………..

    Indeed? But two of my “best friends” are White…And I have also slept with them both….!

  35. Jayn Says:

    Robin, can I have some of what you’re smoking? I could use a good head-trip right about now.

    Anti-racism, and every other social justice movement, has one thing at it’s core–treating people like people first. Not making judgements based on skin tone, or gender, sexual orientation–you name it. I don’t care who moves where, or who marries who. It’s irrelevant. I just want a culture where everyone is judged on their own qualities, not the qualities they are presumed to have based on skin colour.


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