The “Privilege” Walk: One Step Forward, One Step Back…

This month, I want to shed some light on a huge issue dividing conservatives and radical liberals: race. Many liberals accuse us of not wanting to and avoiding frank discussions about race. I say “challenge accepted! ” I’m going to try to write some articles on different issues involving race this month as an overarching theme…

Many proponents of political correctness bring up a concept called “white privilege”. For those who aren’t familiar with the concept, it is the idea that white people have an advantage socially, economically, culturally, etc. based on their race, being white. Often this concept is brought up to try to get white people to acknowledge the disadvantages minorities have, but it often backfires into reverse discrimination. While race can be a factor that “privileges” people in society, white privilege ignores other factors independent of race, such as socio-economic status, family stability, the environment one grew up in, opportunities, social connections, and yes, gender, sexuality and even religion. While these can intersect to give a combo of advantages and disadvantages to everyone, focusing on white people having less adversity in their life mostly due to their race dismisses all the other factors, such as poverty and personal adversity such as a death of someone close, or another tragedy. Some say there’s no such thing as reverse discrimination because white people are the dominant group. That might have been the case decades ago, but now, we have ushered in a new age of far more equality and have tipped the scales the other way. Don’t understand? Let me use a technique PC proponents use all the time: The “privilege walk”.

  1. Take a step forward if you feel the mainstream media is bringing more and more awareness to the issues you face in society.
  2. Take a step back if expressing pride in your race can easily be misconstrued as racial supremacy.
  3. Take a step forward if your family-makeup (ie. who makes up your immediate family, especially spouses) is becoming more accepted as a norm than an exception.
  4. Take a step back if others dismiss the contributions of historical figures of your race based on their race.
  5. Take another step back if gender and race was the factor in dismissing a historical figure of your group.
  6. Take a step forward if jobs, schools, housing and other opportunities are making a special effort to represent your group.
  7. Take a step forward if media such as TV, movies and literature are becoming more inclusive towards your group and more apt to represent them.
  8. Take a step back if a cultural norm or tradition from your group is thought of as discriminatory.
  9. Take another step back if defending your desire to openly practice the cultural norm or tradition is misconstrued as being exclusionary of other’s norms and traditions.
  10. Take a step forward if you can ask for a space for your group exclusively.
  11. Take a step back if doing so is construed as discriminatory and unacceptable.
  12. Take a step forward if your political leanings are becoming more widely accepted and advocated for.
  13. Take a step back if your political leanings are attacked on a societal and personal level, and you are labeled “bigoted” or “backwards” for holding them.
  14. Take a step back if a critique of the other side’s position on an issue they feel affects them is construed as hatred and prejudice.
  15. Take a step forward if others feel special concern not to offend you.
  16. Take a step forward if you are allowed to use terminology that is only permissible by your group.
  17. Take another step forward if that also encompasses cultural practices, material culture, language, and dress.
  18. Take a step back if formerly innocuous comments and gestures are construed as racist or sexist, or even assault.
  19. Take a step back if you provide quantitative evidence for an unpopular position, but are still construed as being arbitrarily prejudiced.
  20. Take a step back if you are afraid to openly express your politics in fear of ostracism or even physical violence.
  21. Take another step back if this also includes an opinion on another group’s position.
  22. Take a step back if you have a hard time finding media such as news, tv shows, and literature that represent your views.
  23. Take a step forward if you can easily find sites online that advocate for your side of prominent issues.
  24. Take a step back if you have a hard time finding websites that advocate for your views, and are considered “fringe” or “radicalized”
  25. Finally, take a step back for each category you belong to: white, male, cisgender, heterosexual, conservative, and middle class. All those identities are limited as to what they may and may not express in regards to other groups.

You might have noticed, that many of these statements for steps forward are the “victories” minority groups have won. While discrimination is not 100% gone from our society, keep in mind the privileges minorities have “won” over the years. An egalitarian society treats everyone by the same standards, regardless of groups that separate people. If we swing the pendulum to the point where we have to guilt trip and attack the once dominant group, we are no longer treating everyone equally if that group is afraid to express any critique anymore. PC proponents, you have asked white, male, cisgendered, straight people to “check their privilege” and be aware of the advantages they take for granted in society. Many people in these categories genuinely want a more equal and just society, and are more than willing to work with you to make that a reality. Don’t alienate them by making them “the enemy”. Please return the favor and check your privilege as well.

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11 thoughts on “The “Privilege” Walk: One Step Forward, One Step Back…

  1. As a Freethinking Humanist I enjoy immensely scientists such E.O. Wilson and his Harvard colleague Steven Pinker, author of his 2018 book “Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress.” From the Wikipedia page which I think has a very good summation of Pinker’s work and general optimism of the Western Hemisphere:

    [The book] uses statistics to argue that health, prosperity, safety, peace, and happiness are on the rise, both in the West and worldwide. It attributes these positive outcomes to Enlightenment values such as reason, science, and humanism. It is a follow-up to Pinker’s 2011 book, The Better Angels of Our Nature.

    […]

    The book concludes with three chapters defending what Pinker sees as Enlightenment values: reason, science, and humanism. Pinker argues that these values are under threat from modern trends such as religious fundamentalism, political correctness, and postmodernism. In an interview about the book published in Scientific American, Pinker has clarified that his book is not merely an expression of hope—it is a documentation of how much we have gained as a result of Enlightenment values, and how much we have to lose if those values are abandoned.

    Just the other week on Real Time with Bill Maher — one of my favorite cable shows for laughter — Steven Pinker was the last guest on the show and he faced several good questions, particularly from Bill Maher and comedian/actor D.L. Hughley. I felt that Dr. Pinker handled the questions quite well, even the contentious challenging ones from Mr. Hughley regarding racism and inequality today versus in the 1960’s. Dr. Pinker was emphasizing that overall, the GENERAL progress that democratic, egalitarian(?) nations like the U.S. are indeed trending upward. Hughley emotionally challenged those numbers/claims by Pinker, and he had some beefs, yes. Pinker wisely acknowledged his points/contentions saying essentially that ‘we are NOT where we need to be; there’s more to do. But we’re slowly (too slowly?) moving in the right direction.‘ They both seemed to agree that if we moderates, Humanists, activists, philanthropists, etc, don’t stay vigilant we can (will?) lose the gains we’ve made here in the U.S. over the last 6-7 decades! There’s STILL a lot of work to be done.

    Here’s that video-clip from the show for those interested:

    Another note or question I wanted to make/ask LoR is have you ever spent any substantial time in the Deep South, or the Bible-belt? As you know, I am an 8th-generation Texan, the fringe of the Confederacy. My 19th century ancestors refused to join and fight with the Confederate States of America — many of them were horribly persecuted, a few were hunted down and shot, others hung for treason. Some of my maternal great-great uncles went to New Orleans to fight with the Union. I spent my collegiate four years in Mississippi and so lived there for a total of 16-years, also seeing most of the South (LA to FL). If one steps out of the typical culture and locations of the traditional South, the GAP between ethnic living and standards, at least from 1981 – 1997 is stark. And the Civil War ended in 1865! What shocked me, coming from Texas most of my life, was just how backwards, old, “traditional” those Southern states, especially Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama had remained over the century and decades.

    My point is this. We do have much to applaud today, however, we still have a long ways to go. And as Dr. Pinker alludes we MUST not let racist, political-social hate groups and personalities take us backwards. That’s my opinion anyway. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for sharing your opinion too. I just think the other side ought to check their privilege as well if we are to. Everyone is privileged in some way, for me it’s my comfortable middle class upbringing in a loving intact family 🙂 Let’s make sure we know and appreciate what does privilege us, but not get swept away in guilt over it, or misattribute it to something that isn’t as big a factor in our luck in life. That’s my opinion anyways 😉

      Like

      • I think a measure or litmus test for being too swept away in guilt or privilege is just how actively busy one is in their philanthropy, even in the dirtiest, sketchiest, scariest parts of your hometown, county, region, state, and nation. And btw, philanthropic tours around the world are also an excellent, humane, good-for-the-soul litmus test to better make sure your “guilt or privilege” is realistically based. At least that’s my personal opinion. 😉 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • Well, show her my things 🙂 We all have those people in our lives…. A family member of mine got highly offended and implied I was a hateful immoral person for writing my blog which I shared with them…. Don’t let them stop you from having your opinions too!

        Liked by 1 person

      • LOL Oh, we’ve had at it a few times on Facebook (we don’t live anywhere near each other). What typically happens is that I’ll comment in disagreement, then all her friends jump into the conversation, I get called all sorts of horrible things and get told I should just shut up, and never say anything. It’s all emotionalism, aggressiveness and sometimes rage. But they never have any reasoned, evidential or logical responses. They’re too busy being all shocked and horrified that anyone – especially a woman – dares hold another opinion.

        I can’t imagine living in that kind of echo chamber.

        Liked by 1 person

      • My relative got offended then said my blog was “extremely offensive” and she was “shocked” I wrote that stuff without any “life experience”! Her main trigger was my posts about transgenderism and traditional femininity…. Like I said, don’t let the nay sayers silence you!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Trying to silence people is the standard tactic these days, isn’t it? 😦

        There was a time when it would have worked on me. Not anymore! LOL

        I’m glad you tackle these subjects. Some meaty writing, that’s for sure! I quite enjoy your posts. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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