When You’re Accustomed To Privilege, Equality Feels Like Oppression

I’ve never been punched in the face. Not in an actual fight, at least. I’m not much of a fighter, I suppose… More of an “arguer.” I don’t think I’m “scared” to get into a fight, necessarily–There have been many times I have put myself in situations where a physical  fight could easily have happened… I just can’t see myself ever being the guy who throws the first punch, and I’m usually the kind of guy who DE-escalates things with logic or humor. And one of the things about being that sort of person, is that the other sort of guy–the sort who jumps into fights quickly–tends to not really be a big fan of me… Not when he first meets me, at least. They usually like me later. Not always. You can’t win ’em all…

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The first rule of White Club is you do not talk about White Club…

When I moved to Nashville, I didn’t really know anyone. I got a job as a server on my second day here, and before long, I was one of the servers the management favored… Which meant I got better shifts, better sections, and better money. About nine months after I had been there, a new guy started. We instantly disliked each other. He didn’t like my smart mouth, and I didn’t like how he walked in and immediately acted like he owned the place. He carried himself with this annoying confidence… Like it was his world, and he would tolerate our being in it, as long as we stayed out of his damn way. There were also rumors that this guy had spent some time in jail, and it was very clear that he was NOT a “DE-escalater.” He was the sort of guy who knew exactly how much he could bench, you know? And you could sense that–just below the surface–there was always this restless energy that silently dared you to say something… He was an intimidating dude.

So it bothered me a little bit when–only a month after he started working there–he was already getting rotated into some of the good sections… Another mouth to feed meant less money for me… He was a good server though. But nothing he did got under my skin nearly as bad as this: When Chuck (we’ll call him “Chuck. His name wasn’t Chuck, but it was definitely a name in the “Chuck” category of names. It certainly wasn’t a pushover name like “Chris”) would walk toward you, he ALWAYS expected YOU to be the one to move out of the way. He didn’t do this when walking toward girls… But if he and another GUY (me especially) were heading toward each other, he would head straight for the other guy–not making eye contact–and he always assumed he had the right of way. If not, you would get bumped by this stocky, solid mass of aggression who seemed to be just itching for someone to question his intended path. And really, this seemed to best describe how Chuck lived his whole life–Walking straight at people, and expecting them to move. Until one day…

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Turns out there are other people…

I had had enough. I kept thinking “Why am I always moving out of this guy’s way?” Just about everyone else in the world seemed to agree that if two people were walking toward each other, both people would acquiesce a little… Leaning the side closest to the other person back just so. What gave this guy the right to just EXPECT that I’m going to move out of his way? And then another thought started tugging at my brain: “What if I didn’t move? What if I just kept walking too?” I was done playing by his rules. And that evening, as he walked quickly toward me in the aisle of the restaurant (we both were fairly fast walkers), I walked toward him… And I didn’t move. I’m not a giant of a man, but I’m solid enough to hold my own–especially when I see a collision coming–and the impact spun him around. Right there, in front of guests, he immediately said, “What the F*CK, dude!?” I said, “You alright?” He was furious, and insisting to know WHY I had just bumped into him. I said, “Chuck, I was just walking… Why did you assume that I was going to move out of your way?” He followed me around the restaurant, angrily attempting to escalate things. He ended up stopping me by another table, and when I said something along the lines of “Welcome to planet Earth,” he shoved me. Hard. And not like a shove where you put your hands on someone and then shove… It was the sort of shove where his hands were already moving really fast when they hit my chest, and it made a pretty loud noise. All of his bench-pressing muscles let lose on me–this person who dared question his right of way–and I was knocked about two steps back.

I walked away from him, and I could feel my heart beating in my ears. I thought about what I should do… If I should say something to a manager (that didn’t seem like a good idea), if I should say anything more to Chuck (that seemed like an even WORSE idea)… I decided to just try to avoid him for a bit and let him cool off. About 15 minutes later, the GM asked to talk to me. He said that a guest had seen Chuck angrily shove me, and had complained and described what happened (describing it as him “hitting” me, but it was definitely a shove). I told him what happened–about him always assuming I was going to move, about me simply walking and not moving, and about the arguing and the shove that followed. It was a corporate restaurant, so he took everything very seriously. He filled out an incident report, asked me if I wanted to press charges, and told me if I wanted him gone, he was fired. I said that I didn’t want the guy to lose his job… I just wanted him to recognize that other people had every right to be there that he did.

And so, I recently thought about this story again after I had just read this amazing quote (a quote for which  I tried very hard to find an attribution, but kept coming up “Unknown):

“When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.”

And things started making a little more sense to me. All this anger we see from people screaming “All Lives Matter” in response to black protesters at rallies… All this anger we see from people insisting that THEIR “religious freedom” is being infringed because a gay couple wants to get married… All these people angry about immigrants, angry about Muslims, angry about “Happy Holidays,” angry about not being able to say bigoted things without being called a bigot… They all basically boil down to people who have grown accustomed to walking straight at other folks, and expecting THEM to move. So when “those people” in their path DON’T move… When those people start wondering, “Why am I always moving out of this guy’s way?” When those people start asking themselves, “What if I didn’t move? What if I just kept walking too?” When those people start believing that they have every bit as much right to that aisle as anyone else… It can seem like THEIR rights are being taken away.

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Can a brother get some “peach?”

Equality can FEEL like oppression. But it’s not. What you’re feeling is just the discomfort of losing a little bit of your privilege… The same discomfort that an only child feels when she goes to preschool, and discovers that there are other kids who want to play with the same toys as she does. It’s like an old man being used to having a community pool all to himself, having that pool actually opened up to everyone in the community, and then that old man yelling, “But what about MY right to swim in a pool all by myself?!?”

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This is the “Again” of “Make America Great Again.” Don’t worry–They’ll just open some swim clubs and make the membership really expensive…

And what we’re seeing politically right now is a bit of anger from both sides. On one side, we see people who are angry about “those people” being let into “our” pool. They’re angry about sharing their toys with the other kids in the classroom. They’re angry about being labeled a “racist,” just because they say racist things and have racist beliefs. They’re angry about having to consider others who might be walking toward them… strangely exerting their right to exist. On the other side, we see people who believe that pool is for everyone. We see people who realize that when our kids throw a fit in preschool, we teach them about how sharing is the right thing to do. We see people who understand being careful with their language as a way of being respectful to others. We see people who are attempting to stand in solidarity with the ones who are claiming their right to exist… The ones who are rightfully angry about having to always move out of the way… People who are asking themselves the question, “What if I just keep walking?”

Which kind of person are you?

I should mention that “Chuck” and I eventually became friends… Proving that people who see the world very differently can get along when they are open to change, and when they are willing to try to see the world though another person’s eyes. There is hope.

Thank you so much for reading. If you liked what you read, I’d love it if you’d share this post. We’re almost three fifths of the way to the first milestone on the Patreon campaign, which is so very cool. If you’d like to help support this blog, you can Become A Patron. Tatawan Suto did! Best. Name. Ever. Or, just like a server in a restaurant, you can leave a tip on PayPal. You can subscribe to this blog near the top of this page, or you can also get involved in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. Here’s something that adds to the conversation, even though it’s by a white guy:

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373 Responses to When You’re Accustomed To Privilege, Equality Feels Like Oppression

  1. I’ve known this from the beginning, hearing it from those I actually know who are part of the Trump revolution, that their anger is rooted in growing up white in the 50s, 60s or 70s with a worldview (including a deep sense of privilege) which no longer fits today’s America.

    • theboeskool says:

      That’s the “again” in Make America Great Again…

    • sayitisntsoh says:

      Tell me, what’s wrong about a white majority? Or a white majority that has a white majority and wants it to stay that way? After all, they are the majority to decide what they want. If a black person were to say that maintaining a black majority was desirable, would they be called racist and wrong? Nope. But white people are condemned just for existing. Also, what is gained from diversity? Nothing. And to add to which, if the diverse people do not assimilate to become one, in time we’re talking Baltics type failure with their tribalizing experiment.

  2. lkeke35 says:

    I love your takedown of this issue.
    Well said! I’ve never thought of it quite like this before (even though I have lots of different metaphors for it) but this is a pretty accurate summation of the current climate.

    • theboeskool says:

      Thank you so much.

    • This is true but to get a complete grasp of the situation you need to go a step further. After the confrontation with “Chuck” he had two options. Option A (which is the decent thing) when they are walking toward each other from now on, they each yield or Option B where from that point on it is expected that “Chuck” yield due to his past behavior and being called on it. In most cases people choose option A however there are a few that choose Option B (they are feeling the adrenaline surge of having put someone in their place) and feel that not only should “Chuck” yield but he should also make sure that nothing is in the way. Notice I said most people (no matter what color/religion/gender/etc.) will choose option A. It’s just that the people that choose option B are louder.

    • Shawn says:

      Yes! This is definitely the best explanation on the subject that I’ve read. Really insightful.

  3. arachne646 says:

    I don’t listen to hip hop. That was really worth it, though. And: “They’re angry about being labeled a racist, just because they say racist things and have racist beliefs”; doesn’t that happen so often? So I would try not to label people, and just criticize racist speech and actions.

  4. Kimberly says:

    Very well said

  5. Gryphyn3 says:

    What utter BS. What he is describing is self doubt and confidence which is not privilege. Geez, people. Learn what words mean. Privilege is something that was given to you that can be taken away. Like voting, or a parent giving children toys.

    Your feelings are not “privilege” or lack thereof. And your feelings in the real world don’t matter. Your not required to like someone to work with them, it helps but it is not necessary, and they don’t have to like you either.

    And maybe just maybe the guy was really a better server than you. Which is why he got the better shifts. The only person who can judge that is the employer because he is ultimately paying the paychecks and so he/she gets to decide who gets the shifts. raises etc. You can believe that you are better than the other person but ultimately your “belief” doesn’t matter.

    People are not angry at seeing “others being in our pools” … We’re fucking angry because we keep getting told by prissy little snowflakes that certain groups of people have some magical privilege that they don’t.

    Guess what you fucking precious snowflakes. EVERYONE has self doubts, and questions things. You are assuming that certain people don’t and that is the problem. YOUR assumptions.

    Self entitled brats, grow up, and go make something of yourselves instead of whining and complaining about nothing.

    • theboeskool says:

      After a comment like that, I’m way too smart to waste my time trying to convince you of all the things about what you just wrote that are complete garbage… You are so far away from a place of actual understanding that it would take years. Just so you know, though, the uneven playing field of what supremacy is not imagined. It’s well-documented. You can read all about it…

      Just from your response, I would bet you anything–absolutely anything in the world–that you are white. And as frustrating as it is that the ranks of angry white folks like yourself–angry at all the “prissy little snowflakes” “whining and complaining about nothing”–seems to be increasing… I know enough about history to see the trajectory in this step of human consciousness. And we’re heading toward dinosaurs like yourself becoming more and more rare. Angry dinosaurs who solve their problems with name-calling and screaming… scared of the imminent changes on the horizon. And even if we find ourselves living in a “two steps back” phase of this “three steps forward, two steps back” way of change happening, I am confident that we’re moving in a more loving, more equitable direction.

      • Gryphyn3 says:

        Wow you are a special type of retard aren’t you?

        I’d explain to you what my comment meant but I’m not sure I can dumb it down for you to understand enough but I’ll try just for you buttercup.

        In the real world, when you apply for jobs, they call you for an interview based on your resume. They do this because of the job experience or other skills listed on it.

        This has zero to do with skin color, sexuality etc.

        Then when you come in for an interview .. they ask questions based on the resume and your experience etc.

        This is not based on your skin color etc, race, or gender.

        Now buttercup … this is where you are confused.

        Self doubt is when you think something like ” Did I fail that job interview because I’m black?”

        Just because a white male got the job doesn’t mean that is privilege. That is called a free market. Jobs are not based on skin color or gender. There are laws against that.

        Self doubt is your feelings. Which can be wrong.

        And guess what buttercup, white men experience self doubt too.

        “Did I fail to get that job because I’m white?” – This is called self doubt.

        (I said it a few times so maybe you can understand the words if they are repeated. You know, like parents do to infants.).

        Now the only changes on the horizon is the fall of the SJWS and the Feminists who think they have any right to tell everyone else what to think, feel or do.

        The only angry people I can see are people like you buttercup. I’m actually a happy person who just happens to not put up with bullshit like that crap in the article. It was total nonsense that has no basis in facts. it was a piece of nonsense that was pushing the agenda that feelings are more important than reality.

        Grow up. Get a job and do something constructive with your life.

      • theboeskool says:

        You are just a delight, dude. It doesn’t come as a surprise at all that you would drop the r-word… Now, in addition to being certain that you are white, I can also be certain that you don’t have kids with developmental disabilities as well. https://theboeskool.com/2012/12/04/letting-go-of-the-r-word/

        It’s interesting that you brought up applying for jobs. There have been multiple studies showing that–when sending in a resume–applicants with “black sounding names” are half as likely to get called back. Here’s one: http://www.nber.org/digest/sep03/w9873.html

        Also, it is currently legal in almost all places in the US to fire someone simply because they are gay. There is no federal protection whatsoever against that brand of discrimination. http://employment.findlaw.com/employment-discrimination/sexual-orientation-discrimination-in-the-workplace.html

        Those are facts. Another fact is that you wrote “There are laws against that.” So i’m assuming you are in favor of laws meant to keep people from discriminating against someone else based on their skin color… What would happen if you found out that over a period of 70 or so years there were systems in place to discriminate against people of color (systemic racism) both in housing (redlining) and punishment for crimes?

        And really, if you think about it, your view that these systems DON’T, in fact, exist is based entirely in white supremacy. “African-Americans are twice as likely as whites to be unemployed and they earn nearly 25 percent less when they are employed.” “Female full-time workers made only 79 cents for every dollar earned by men.” These facts are not–in your view–based on any systems in place to keep “white” & “male” as the norms, but they are based on merit… Translation? White men earn more because they are better at things… Translation? You are neck-deep in white supremacy. And that, along with the fact that your head is clearly up your own ass, leaves very little access to parts of you to try to reason with…

        Last thing–I welcome differing views here, but if you call someone a “retard” again on my page, you will get blocked. You can disagree with ideas without being a jerk. Well… I should say, “It’s POSSIBLE to disagree with ideas without being a jerk.” Whether YOU PERSONALLY can do it is yet to be seen. Here’s one more thing to read: https://theboeskool.com/2016/01/09/you-have-every-right-to-say-racist-things/

      • Matthew Rose says:

        Please note that I am writing from the UK, and therefore my experiences and society may be different fo yours. The relevant legislation is the Equality Act 2010: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/contents

        “In the real world, when you apply for jobs, they call you for an interview based on your resume. They *should* do this because of the job experience or other skills listed on it.”

        The reality is that racism, sexism, and a whole host of other problems do exist in society. Nevertheless I don’t accept that this is because of rampant systemic racial or gender (or other) bias. Yes there are some individual employers who are biased, BUT MOST AREN’T.

        I note comments regarding gender pay gap. I repeat the comments above, and would point out that a recebt study (apologies for lack of citation – I simply can’t find it) found that women tended to take subjects at school and university which led to traditionally lower paid jobs. I believe that one of the examples given was theatre studies, which tends to attract more females, as opposed to engineering where the reverse is true.

        In any event, whilst it may be true that girls are steered towards such subjects from a young age by teachers, parents, society etc, I do not see how you can force theatres to pay similar salaries to their employees (more of whom happen to be women) as engineers (more of whom happen to be men).

        I would also say that, as a white male, I do find it dispiriting that whenever lack equality is mentioned, the allegation appears to be that I personally am responsible for inequality, or am at least colluding with some organised plot to oppress people of other races and genders (and sexes, abilities, etc). The presumption seems to be that anything I have argued has ONLY been achieved because I am white and make, which assumption I consider to be unfair.

        It should be remembered that white men are just as much ‘victims’ of the system in that they as a group (and often as individuals) have no control over it.

        An example in the UK media is the case of a university ‘diversity officer’ who banned white men from an event. http://dailym.ai/1aYgl1e

        Finally I would leave you with the thought ghat equality is something that can only be achieved when people simply see each other as people. That is never going to happen whilst white men, as a group, are seen as the enemy and are blamed for every injustice suffered by anyone who isn’t.

        In my view, we should be embraced as part of the solution, not derided as the problem.

      • Laura says:

        Oh, Grypyhn….Being a condescending a-hole is *never* the way to make your point. You just ruined your entire argument.

      • Bigotsneverchange says:

        You can’t argue with idiots like Gryphyn3. People generally do not like to acknowledge that their views might be wrong. Doing so would mean having to do some self-reflection and acknowledging that they have been a bigot/homophobe/misogynist/racist for the past however many years of their lives.

      • SJ says:

        There’s a racist comment right there. “Must be white” Contradictory much? If you don’t like racism, make sure you practice what you preach. Don’t pretend to be some kind of advocate unless you can open your mind and stop making assumptions. I read the spiel too and not once did race come to mind. What do you think equality is?

      • Definitive says:

        The Wage Gap is a MYTH. Straight up. You can Google it. Many people are extremely misinformed on it, thinking “If I work the same job, at the same position, in the same company, my male peer will be paid a higher hourly wage while working the same hours and putting in the same effort, simply because he is a man and I am a woman” – and this is INCORRECT. The “Wage Gap” is, in fact, the difference between OVERALL annual earnings between men and women. That means men, in general, go for higher paying jobs, such as the station of CEO. Men are often also expected to be the breadwinners in some families, so in those cases you have the man making 80% of the household income and the woman making 20% (for example).

        God, I hate misinformed and misinterpreted people.

      • Cassius Dio says:

        ives seen sjws namecall scream and block with the best of them when you destroy their claims with facts.. they label anyone who disagrees even politely an old dinosaur using old thinking.. thats really a lot like the first drips of the Cultural Revolution.. like the one in china. For the good of the people mind you- some stories and clothing and ideas were banned and anyone trying to talk about them or defend them was summarily punished. we already have Sjws who would rather block you or approach the UN to censor dissenting ideas than to actually debate the facts. Its so rampant its predictable. When people disagree with SJWs they arent saying racism isnt real . Theyre saying when you say things like “you cant be racist against a white person because Racism = power+prejudice. and well white people have all the power” stuff like that is crap. In a nation thats mostly white of course most of the rich people will also be white. BUt they arent all white..and they arent all male..and arent all christian. Sweeping ideas like this supported by silencing anyone who disagrees with “check your privledge” is what sane anti-snowflake people are angry about. Also snowflake really only applies to Tumblr made up things like “Otherkin” but if the shoe fits..

      • KTaylor says:

        “The wage gap is a MYTH, you can google it.”
        First of all, using Google as your primary source of knowledge is already indicative of a plethora of information about you. Don’t ever “Google” something if you want to know real data. You can only use actual sources while claiming fact, none of which will be found on the first recommendations of google (unless it’s Google scholar). You want more information? Look at peer reviewed journal sources. You’re right that there’s more involved than a definite wage gap in all jobs, but a wage gap still exists even when not combining all jobs annually. I’ll use myself as an example. It’s widely known that male physicians make more than female physicians with the exact same schooling and position. And as a female physician with no children (who also got a hysterectomy so I would become infertile and wouldn’t have to worry about it) who is making less than her male coworkers regardless of no malpractice suits, this should be taken into consideration.

        God, I hate misinformed people

      • C says:

        I absolutely love the hypocrisy in your reply.
        Perhaps your intelligence (which far exceeds my own) could better mankind somehow.
        Unfortunately for us “common folk” change takes more than 5 mins.
        I’m sorry you had to infect your brain with the grunts of us animals.

      • Sandie Abel says:

        Thank you, theboeskool! Very well said. The self entitled brats love to spew silly statements like “self entitled brats”, and “grow up”. It’s enough to make a reasonable person “Throw Up”😀

      • ruth mattucci says:

        So I give the race thing a lot of thought. I am a 54 year old white person. Have lived in the same world as black people my whole life. Have never dealt with groups of people. I only relate to one person at a time. I think people can be (not always) dangerous in groups. So I continue to deal with one person at a time. But when I look around me and listen to the news and see the hatred (on both sides) black and white, I cringe. Nobody in their right mind would want to be treated as the black people have been in the history of the US. What I see is a reaction to those actions. I see some of the black community rising up in their anger. There has been no healing and there is no forgiveness. And I as a white person would never say that to a black person, how could I? It would mean nothing. I would love to live in a world where black and white people really do love one another. I don’t see it heading there. All I can do is mind my own business and if someone is coming at me with intent to hurt me (black or white) do whatever is necessary to protect myself. I really feel that violence is going to break out in epic proportions. I hope I am wrong. I just might add that I have never seen or heard of any groups of black and white people that come together to talk about how to make it all better. It remains polar Black and White.

      • chaya1957 says:

        That you waited to cool down rather than speak to management in an upset state worked in your favor, as the info coming from a customer held a lot more validity than coming from you, which could be twisted to work not in your favor. By saving Chuck’s job, he was left in your debt, and perhaps he was unaware or minimized the effects of his behavior, because that is what he grew up with and it worked until then.

        I had a sort of similar situation that was not so violent, but more of the way female Chucks act. Val, the office manager, seemed to resent me because I was a newcomer and got paid more than her and was also seen as a pet since I was friendly with the boss. Not THAT kind of friendly, but we were both the only Jews in the office and shared inside jokes and could relate as I understood him. The nail in the coffin that really turned Val, and her minions to a lesser extent, against me was when boss man gave me a key to his top of the line Mercedes, since he had rushed off to perform an emergency surgery, leaving his car blocking others and taking his keys with him. I talked the lot guy into not towing his car and (in days before cell phones) got a nurse to go in and retrieve his keys out of his pocket. The entire office attended an employee wedding way out in the middle of nowhere, more than an hour from town. For some reason, Val had no way to get home. I don’t recall if it was her car or her ride, but my then fiancee, now husband and I gave her a ride home, and it was out of our way too. After that, she was unfailingly nice and helpful.

      • Cutie Pie says:

        Checkmate. They needed that. It will just make them rude because of lack of understanding.
        Thanks

    • theboeskool says:

      I made the mistake of clicking on your “men’s rights,” “it’s okay to hit women,” “rape is made up” diatribes. Never mind. It CAN feel like oppression, can’t it… When everyone seems like they’re against the straight, white man. Talk about your precious snowflakes… It seems that you’ve created quite a world of “Everyone Is Out To Get Me.” Poor thing…

      • Gryphyn3 says:

        lol No just feminists and SJW’s are out to attack anyone who has a view that differs from theirs and wants to silences them, via laws, guilt and lies.

        And yes white men are blamed for everything.

        They are blamed for slavery. They are blamed for oppressing women. They are blamed for homophobia. They are blamed for racism. They are blamed for sexism.

        These are all lies of course, that have been fed by feminists and liberals for decades.

        If you want the truth then yes. It is okay to hit a woman, if she is hitting you. That is called abuse and assault and as a human being you have every right to defend yourself from attack.

        I never wrote anything about rape being made up. I did write that “rape culture” is a myth. That is different than the crime of rape, which is very real.

        I suggest that before you make broad assumptions about what I wrote to actually read the words and learn their meanings and not use assumptions and presumptions based on the titles, because your obviously either to ignorant to understand certain concepts or ignorant to facts.

      • Tyler O'Shaughnessy says:

        Wow, this article was outstanding. And effective; you’ve managed to smoke one out of his lair and rile him up with the truth. Your article is given more weight because of this guy’s comments. Good stuff all around.

      • MAR says:

        Yeah, and this is the first I’ve heard that women are drawn to subjects in school that get them lower paying jobs than men. Good try, Matthew Rose.

      • Ingrid Nordstrom says:

        On the subject of “rape deniers”, would you like to address the parabolic increase in rape going on in Sweden since Muslim refugees have poured in?

    • Julia says:

      Gryphyn3: churlish and sophomoric.

    • I hope you have enough self-awareness to realize that you’re confirming what the original post was talking about for literally *anyone* who wasn’t quite sure. This incoherent rant is the epitome of an only child having a melt-down because he’s being asked to share for the first time. Exactly what OP meant.

      I hate to break it to you but this “the world doesn’t care about your feelings” stuff you’re talking about? It works both ways. Nobody feels bad for you because you no longer get to boss around women and people of color without getting called on it. That is some special snowflake shit right there.

      Original author, you know you’re onto something when these types come out of the woodwork. Great job.

    • It’s a metaphor. Or even an allegory, as long as it is. It’s a story showing an example of a situation. It may have really happened like that. It may not have happened like that. But it was written with the intent of explaining something and it flew right over your head. When privilege is taken away, the formerly privileged feel oppressed. The author chose to explain that in the manner written above. Attacking all these other things detracts from the point of the article.

    • (This is posted in response to a reply you made further down, but for some reason, I can’t comment directly on that).

      “Jobs are not based on skin color or gender. There are laws against that.”

      And yet it happens.

      At one job I worked at, I had to go through applications to find my replacement when I decided to leave. I was told that “anyone over 30” was too old. When I responded I was 29 and asked if I was “too old”, I was told I was “different”. Needless to say, I ignored their stupid directive and selected the best candidates – but that wouldn’t have happened if they had been in charge of pre-selection.

      Another time I was managing a photo processing store and was told not to hire anyone Aboriginal. When I questioned this, I was told “even if they’re OK, their families expect free stuff and they’ll probably steal from us”. Again, I decided I’d choose the person I thought was best for the job. When that person left (family crisis), the owners decided to give the job to a friend of the family. Someone with absolutely zero experience and, unfortunately, very little capacity for learning the job. There was no vetting of applications to find the most appropriately qualified candidate.

      At a job interview for another company, I was told that I was a great candidate, but what assurances could I give that I wasn’t going to “run off in 6 months’ time to have a baby?” I’m pretty sure men are never asked what their plans for parenthood are at job interviews.

      And in most of these cases, despite discrimination laws, there wasn’t any real way for anyone to bring a case about. If you’re a 32 year old woman, or a person of colour who receives a letter to a job application advising “thank you, due to the number of applicants you were unfortunately unsuccessful”, how do you know – let alone prove – it was because of your age, or race? And even after not getting the job I was “a great candidate” for, how can I prove my gender and the possibility of me having a child was the cause of me not getting the job, rather than them deciding on someone else who was also “a great candidate”?

      I’m sure I’m not the only person in the world who can cite similar experiences.

      Perhaps you’ve never heard the adage “it’s not WHAT you know, it’s WHO you know”.

      That’s privilege.

      • Msdawn says:

        There it is. I was busy trying to figure out how that commenter can speak on anything to do with the US and is from the UK?? Whaaaaat!?

      • If you are in the US, it’s illegal for a potential employer to ask you about “…running off and having a baby.” or any other female related question. They also can’t ask applicants (male or female) things like ‘Are you taking birth control’, ‘Do you have any kids’, ‘Are you a single parent’, etc. etc. You should have filed a complaint with the BBB, and I hope for your sake you didn’t take that job if they offered it to you.

      • Talk2neit says:

        Well said!

    • I recently learned a term that describes this perfectly: REWP — Randomly Exploding White Person. It’s a term for a person who explodes and unloads for no good reason after hearing about the real phenomenon of their privilege of that racism exists.

      • JeopardyLeyton says:

        I think part of the problem is that issues of ‘class’ and the divide between the wealthy and powerful and the poor, and even those with average ‘getting by’ incomes actually supersede issues of race and gender and sexuality. There are millions of straight white men who are poor, who are unemployed, who find life difficult, and who don’t actually see themselves as privileged when comparing themselves with those straight white men who are super rich, and powerful, and rule the world. It’s true that positions of power and wealth are occupied mainly by straight white men, but that doesn’t mean that every straight white man is as privileged as them, or has more opportunity to get into those positions of power than the next person, whatever their race, gender or sexuality. So individual men feel unfairly stereotyped and labelled as being a part of a system of oppression that they are not a part of – in fact, they are victims of it like the rest of us, but everyone is so busy arguing with one another at the bottom of the social ‘hierarchy’ about who is more privileged, who is more oppressed, and what they can do about it, that no one looks up at the real culprits, who are in a category all of their own. Let’s not pretend that the Trumps, the Obamas, the CEOs of global corporations etc, are in the same league as your average white guy earning $50,000 a year at his 9-5.

        I feel often that fighting about race and gender is really a tool to divide the masses and prevent them from focusing on the real problem in our society, and that is the fact that those in power in the world, that tiny proportion of people with enormous wealth and resources, have set the world up in such a way that they will always win and the rest of us will always lose.

    • spkliewer says:

      You show from the beginning you didn’t really read this. He didn’t ever say the other guy was better regarded or liked than he was. He said he was well regarded, which was probably confirmed by the response of the mgt to the conflict. I am afraid you merely affirm the point of the article rather than refute it

    • joeisaturtle says:

      A privilege is defined as a special right granted to only a particular person or small group of people. It is not what you describe. A privilege can be taken away. Ask my kids.

      This anger you are showing is a perfect example of what he is talking about. He was not really complaining about the guy getting better shift. He even acquiesced that the guy was a good server. He took offense to the guys assumption that all other guys were going to move out of his way. He other guy seemed to assume, whether consciously or not, that he had the right to stay his path and others would move. Dr Suess wrote a short book about that that you shouldn’t have any trouble reading. The message is pretty clear.

      You are not the only person on the planet. Others are just as important as you.

    • Christopher Bailey says:

      Voting is a right to every citizen, not a privilege. And you are correct. You don’t have to like someone to work with them. You do however, need to respect each other. The actions he describes are disrespectful on a simple human level. They are both servers at the same restaurant, so what makes “Chuck” believe that anyone should move out of his way simply because he is there? Privilege and entertainment!

      Both people should make way for each other so that they both can reach their destination smoothly.

      And as is seems, you have completely missed the message of this story. And at your level of comprehension you won’t understand. If you aren’t willing to try understanding something that might be foreign to you, why bother reading at all? Why click the link and why respond?

      The point is, this has nothing to do with “Chuck’s” work ability and everything to do with how “Chuck” treats people without even realizing it! That is the message! You do not know your privlage until it is challenged. That is not difficult to understand.

      But what do I know, it’s only my life. I can’t possibly have a valid point. I am a snowflake after all…

    • Biggest Dickus says:

      Finally someone who gets it!

    • Biggest Dickus says:

      Well said, this is one of the only people who get’s it!

    • KayJay says:

      *you’re

    • Daisy says:

      Lithium pills too salty for you to take on a regular basis? Maybe ask your doc for a change instead of going off those meds, your little anger cache seems pretty full.

      Being a bit more proficient with grammar and spelling will help your argument go down a little better, just so you know. I’m not going to fix all of your errors in usage and punctuation, but “YOUR” vs “YOU’RE” is basic elementary school grammar. Start there.

      • Maura says:

        Implying that someone has a mental disorder just because you don’t like what they have to say is a huge insult to people with real mental disorders. It comes off as ableist and ignores real problems.
        Like people calling Trump supporters crazy, saying “At least with Bernie as president they can get the mental healthcare they need!” They’re not insane. They’re just hateful, bigoted, racists who need a strong reality check.
        We shouldn’t use real issues to make excuses for the behavior of people who are mentally sound, but just assholes… We should call them what they are and hold them accountable for their words and actions. Just a thought…

    • Trad says:

      I think I love you, Gryphyn. What kind of bullshit is this? Not everything is equal. Comparing sharing toys to sharing a swimming pool? No, you fucking white-guilt filled loser. They’re not even in the same ballpark.

      Chuck walked into you because you’re a sniveling douche commando that needs a body check.

      • theboeskool says:

        I appreciate it when strangers drop by in the hopes of elevating the level of discourse. Especially people who chose pseudonyms that sound like names from a Palin Kid Name Generator… Thanks for stopping by, “Trad.”

      • Colleen says:

        Eye roll. Your panties are in a bunch.

    • Aolani says:

      “And yes white men are blamed for everything.

      They are blamed for slavery. They are blamed for oppressing women. They are blamed for homophobia. They are blamed for racism. They are blamed for sexism.”

      Should… should someone tell him, guys? I think I might tell him.
      Actually no, can’t be bothered. There’s no telling some people.

    • Cassius Dio says:

      i second that emotion. And im a liberal atheist..

    • Ms. Peacebunny says:

      Methinks thou doth does protest too much

    • Dnh95 says:

      Pretty much agree. You can accept, fight, or run from stuff you don’t like. This article is just another tactic to fight. What I don’t like about it is its advocacy of subversion rather than using direct honesty.

    • Nate says:

      Gryphyn3 that was a greasy old ad hominem attack. Social Justice Warriors who label people as bigots are also guilty of this. What we need is a culture, not of political correctness, but of rhetorical correctness, in which everybody resists the urge to ad hominem attacks and every other logical fallacy. We need an educational system that teaches logical fallacies in kindergarten so that we are nation of reasonable people. Where everybody has to learn that and can’t ride through college on a sports scholarship without learning it. As much as I despise the guy, maybe 4 years of Trump will teach us how important that is that and then we’ll say never again.

      • Mynamehere says:

        I think ad hominem attacks are cheap. But did you seriously just suggest that Donald Trump as president would increase the use of logic? Interesting.

    • Wait wait wait. What is so “magical” about same-sex couples having the right to get married or not be discriminated against? please explain how that is “prissy?” Maybe you’re offended because you know you’re wrong and it hurt your feelings. I’d say that’s probably the only reason you could possibly be offended by this. Or if you support Trump, which, in it’s own right, explains why your comment is retarded and hate-filled. And yes, I fully expect you to attack me for my opinion/comment, because that seems like exactly the type of thing you’d do instead of posting on here your opinion without attacking others. 😘👌🏽👍🏽👏🏽✌🏽️

    • Ryan says:

      Just to be clear, with regard to feelings, and whether or not they can be a privilege; you’re wrong.
      Facts say that they can be.

    • Nikki says:

      It is a metaphor… Symbolism… It wasn’t meant to be taken literally. It is like the boy crying wolf… Or the three little pigs. They aren’t about the pigs feelings or the boy’s mischievousness… These are irrelevant to the story. The overall moral is build your house out of something strong or don’t lie because people won’t believe you when you need them to respond. It is actually an extremely effective analogy if you take it for what it is meant.
      You are comfortable with a certain path in life. Are you willing to compromise some of your comfort in order to provide opportunity for others? Are you willing to share some of your comfort to make life better for others? Are you willing to listen to people voice their hardships (even if you’ve never experienced them yourself) and validate their pain… And fight for solutions?
      If you can’t see the point behind the story I pity you. Life will be hard for you… And you will live in fear of the beautiful diversity that could create a much more meaningful existence if only viewed through different eyes.

      • BellaEllaElla says:

        Nikki, BEST comment yet! Very well said. Thank you for breaking the essence of this article down. *standing ovation*

      • Ellie says:

        Hear hear! Excellent comment, Nikki! I second BellaEllaElla’s ovation. I hope that Gryphyn3 will read it and think about it, instead of just viscerally rejecting it.

    • Maxedout says:

      @Gryphyn3, please Google search: White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, by Peggy McIntosh. If you can’t “get it” after reading that, then there is no hope for you and I recommend you stop reading intelligible writing like this and just go hang at the Trump rallies and beat up black people.

    • Ramona says:

      Nice language. Very disrespectful, but I worry more about the chip on your shoulder.

    • Alabama says:

      #whiteduderant

    • Bob says:

      You’re first sentence describes your entire comment.

  6. Descartes says:

    Excellent point. I am surrounded by people who see others’ equality as oppression for them. The supposed oppressed are the ones who are really insecure since they are most likely afraid they have nothing else going for them but their status whether it’s religion, race, or something else.

  7. jsc1202 says:

    This is exactly what I wrote in my own Facebook post last month. I wrote about my dissertation research where a middle school teacher found she called on boys more than girls. When she began using tic marks to be sure she called on each equally, it only took three days for the boys to begin complaining that she never called on them. When she showed them the tic marks indication one mark boys, one for girls, they refused to believe her and said she better call on them more the next day. When you experienced unearned privilege because of skin color or gender or economic status, when someone else achieves some equality, your loss of privilege is just that – loss – and you don’t want things to be so equal.

    • theboeskool says:

      Wow. I’d love to read that.

    • voices in the wilderness says:

      I’d like to see that / have that study in my list of resources – wld you mind emailing me? nora.samaran@gmail.com

    • ou812 says:

      I wonder why this female teacher called on boys more than girls in the beginning. Was she brainwashed by The Patriarchy?

      • Shchenya says:

        The boys might have shown more obvious signs of inattentiveness? I noticed that on average a boy not paying attention would be disruptive, vs a girl only damaging her own education. Both annoy me.
        I don’t believe in the patriarchy though, but in an equally damaging equal opportunity socialisation issue. It’s men and women oppressing everyone they have a little power over and forcing thier ideals down over. Just rich white men had a head start which is slowly balancing out with the Hilary Clintons of the world. (I have seen rich white women target poorer white women for example with things that are usually blamed on men much harsher than I have from men of equal social standing).

    • gentle girl says:

      jsc1202, this is a wonderful, concise example of the point of this excellent article. I hope you don’t mind if I use it, in the future, to explain this concept to others. I also would really like to read your dissertation… if you’d be willing to share. (debi4peace@yahoo.ca) I believe it’s a topic we need to talk about, as a society.

    • Bigotsneverchange says:

      I would like to read that as well. Research is where it’s at!

    • Tinsel & Tine says:

      Thanks for providing such a perfect example to support this article.

    • Seamus says:

      Wow. I kept a seating chart when I was a teacher (a decade and a half ago) and made tic marks when I called on a student to make sure I kept all of the kids accountable in class. I don’t even know if I was doing it to maintain gender parity.

  8. Mary says:

    Quote is from Brian Sims, Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Read up on him–he’s an interesting guy.

  9. Pingback: When You’re Accustomed To Privilege, Equality Feels Like Oppression « Jessica Tenorio

  10. Lenora Turner says:

    We all need to be respected by others , doesn’t mean some , it means all. We are all equals.

  11. I was glad to read you and ‘Chuck’ became friends.
    Wrote, recently, of a St Louis poet I heard whose poem highlighting a similar story that stripped bare certain attitudes of privilege. “Equality,” she said, “always means somebody loses power.”
    Also kudos for the rational way you handled your troll, above.

    • sjndestiny says:

      “A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.”
      ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

  12. hotdog113 says:

    I think you’re pretty clueless about what you are writing about. You say that people are upset about gay marriage infringing on their religious beliefs….well, yeah, when someone says they don’t believe in gay marriage, could you please take your business elsewhere, and then are attacked, threatened and sued for it. They’re not saying you can’t get married, just that I don’t believe in your union, but feel free to go elsewhere. The First Amendment enunciates the right to practice and follow a religion. As long as they are not interfering with someone else’s right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness, then they should be allowed to live unbothered as well. People are angry about immigrants and Muslims…why? Illegal immigrants cost communities millions more in tax dollars than they pay out in taxes. So yeah, that’s something to be angry about. Why are people angry at Muslims? Because you are constantly hearing of Muslims getting privileges that other Americans don’t get, like getting breaks to pray, and prayer rooms at school. Schools around the world have had to change their menus to accomodate Muslims, which is understandable, but not fair to other children and students who may not like the new fare. There was a town in New England in the early 2000’s where Muslims got enough political power to ban public drinking, and it put out one of the local bars that lost business as a result. You say people get mad at being told they have to say Happy Holidays. It goes back again to the freedom of religion. Basically what you are saying is that people with “privilege” need to be torn down and have to cater to the needs of the intolerant, rather than the “intolerant” learning to be tolerant. If someone says Merry Christmas to you, they are wishing you goodwill, even if you are not a Christian or are an atheist. It’s not meant to be offensive. If you are Muslim and don’t believe in public drinking, don’t drink in public. Don’t force others to subscribe to your beliefs.

    Using your analogy of people walking towards each other. Normal people do give way to one another. That’s how it should be. You show fairness and tolerance. What you’re really saying though is that the people who used to walk and get their way, they now have to step aside and let others have the right of way. You can’t create equality by tearing people down and giving other people more rights and more privileges. As Friedrich Hayek said, There is all the difference in the world between treating people equally and attempting to make them equal. Let’s lift people up, rather than tear them down.

    • I didn’t hear the author say for the other to cede the right of way. It sounded as if Chuck was taking up more than his fair share of the space and crowded others out.

      This is what white culture does to many who aren’t like us, and it’s real. I get your frustration that things are changing, but thank God we’re in a new time.

    • Let’s break down your assumptions. No one’s “religious freedom” is being infringed upon by marriage equality. What is being infringed upon is their ability to refuse service in a manner that is non-compliant with civic laws regarding discrimination. A person whose religion doesn’t “believe in” gay people getting married has not been prohibited from attending church, believing in whatever version of God they worship, or been forbidden to adhere to the tenets of their faith. No one is asking you to bake a cake and renounce Jesus–they’re asking you to bake a cake, and if that’s your job, you do your job. If your religion precludes you from doing your job, then find another job. Real faith takes sacrifice. And if you are a “person of faith” who’s a government official who must sign a document establishing the legality of someone else’s *legal* marriage in civil context, then yes, your “free exercise of your religion” IS, in fact, interfering with someone else’s life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.

      Muslims are not being given “special privileges” to accommodate their faith–barriers to their free exercise of their faith are being removed. If you think a prayer room is a special privilege, then perhaps you want to examine the fact that the entire school shuts down for Christmas. Sundays (days of Christian worship) are days when millions of businesses have historically been closed to accommodate *that* faith. Our entire government shuts down on Sundays and Christmases. Our entire business model operates around accommodating Christian faith, and has for hundreds of years. Liquor is still not sold on Sunday mornings (or the entire day) in thousands of counties because of Christianity. And putting Halal hot dogs on the menu is “Muslims receiving privilege?” This right here illustrates the point of the original post. The idea that people of the dominant culture being inconvenienced by the presence or acknowledgement of people who are different only *feels* like oppression. What it actually is, is that you have to acknowledge that you are not the only one whose feelings matter.

      Share the pool. It’s no fun playing “Marco Polo” by yourself.

      • theboeskool says:

        Hey, who left this mic on the floor? Someone could trip and fall…

      • hotdog113 says:

        You misread almost everything I posted. I’ll summarize: There’s a way of life that currently exists for normal people in America. What the author proposes, and you support it seems, is making those normal people have to give up some of their rights and freedoms so that other people can live their lives. You both seem to believe it is ok to tear down some people to lift others up and over. We see teachers and coaches and school being told they can’t have Christian or even Jewish prayers, but Muslims are getting special accomodations to pray. I’m not against that. I’m for Christians and Jews being allowed to say prayers before games, or in the morning letting a principal recite verses from the Bible. I’m for letting people celebrate religious holidays. As for the gay marriage, again, there needs to be tolerance both ways. But there are many who are using their minority status to oppress others and forcing them into accepting their lifestyle. No one would stand up and support a Christian making everyone go to their church and pray to God, so why do people support legal oppression when it comes to gay marriage?

      • syn says:

        👏👏👏.
        What abt “in god we trust” on all american currency, or having to place your hand on a bible in american courts, or god in the pledge of allegiance to the US?!?!? Are those all not accomodating to christians??? And let’s not forget Christians don’t have SET prayer times as Muslims do. If they did, I’m sure they would be accommodated as well.

      • Bigotsneverchange says:

        That was brilliant. Can I borrow your brain please?

      • wen says:

        Have you been in middle east? Have you seen special accommodations to Christians in that part of the world?

      • Andy says:

        Hotdog
        You don’t seem to get that having teachers and administrators pray isn’t just privilege, it’s an unconstitutional use of state money promoting one specific religion. So, no, coaches and teachers can’t pray with students at school.

        But students can pray. They can read the bible. As long as they are not disrupting the learning environment, they are free to do so.

        Now, as for “No one would stand up and support a Christian making everyone go to their church and pray to God, so why do people support legal oppression when it comes to gay marriage?”

        Where you forced to attend a gay marriage? Nope. Then get over it. Making a cake for a marriage doesn’t oppress you, no more than the Jewish cashier at your local store being forced to sell Christmas cards. The fact that you might have to deal with someone else’s holiday isn’t oppression, it’s equality.

      • theboeskool says:

        And that, ladies and gentlemen, is common sense. Which is, for whatever reason, all too uncommon…

      • kbentigger says:

        Damn girl! That nailed it!

    • Froggy says:

      hotdog113, you prove that the author knew EXACTLY what he was writing about, and that you are angry over losing privilege. Just like the other two who angrily attempted to refute the article, but instead, reinforced it.

    • Tom says:

      “Please take your business elsewhere.” Funny, I’ve heard of this mythical place called “Elsewhere” so many times. Everyone seems convinced it exists, but they never seem able to give directions, or describe what it looks like. But it surely must exist, right? And it must be totally different to here, right? I mean, if there *weren’t* an Elsewhere, or if it were too far away to reach, or if the shopkeepers in Elsewhere thought just the way you do, then you’d really be harming someone by refusing to serve them, wouldn’t you? And that would make you a bad person if they’d done nothing against you. And you’re clearly not a bad person, ergo Elsewhere must *always* exist, and must *always* be the opposite of here, and must *always* be easily reachable… and yet, it shows up on no map. Nobody has a picture of it. Nobody can say exactly how to get there. Odd, that.

    • Colleen says:

      You don’t know squat about the baker situation. I live here. Sweet Melussa got what she deserved.
      Are you for Jim Crow?

    • Chantell says:

      In replying to this I am stating my opinion or answers to get people thinking.

      First Amendment enunciates the right to practice and follow a religion.As long as they are not interfering with someone else’s right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

      Unless your faith or lack thereof does not coincide with theirs. Then you are either ostracized from the community /family. Or strangers feel your lifstyle is sinful and spit on you as you walk down the street. My own parents refused to come to my wedding because they feel its sinful. But the minute they needed us to take over the payments on their house they didn’t care ao much. Thats privilege.

      Because you are constantly hearing of Muslims getting privileges that other Americans don’t get, like getting breaks to pray, and prayer rooms at school.

      Other Americans don’t get? You mean like the little boy whose family do not subscribe to organized religion and was told he had to sit in the hallway while the rest of the class prayed?Because the other children should not have to pray around someone whose family is going to hell. A second grader! Whos teacher kept him in from recess so she could teach him how to save his family. All in a public school. THIS is privilege

      . If someone says Merry Christmas to you, they are wishing you goodwill, even if you are not a Christian or are an atheist.

      And when I say Happy Holidays to encapsulate all of the holidays from Thanksgiving to New Years I am told that I am intolerant of christians. Not considering that I have friends who might not celebrate Christmas. For all they know I don’t, and they don’t ask. That is privilege

      If you are Muslim and don’t believe in public drinking, don’t drink in public. Don’t force others to subscribe to your beliefs.

      Agreed! As well as if you don’t like gay marriage don’t get gay married. Or if you feel there is a god then don’t become an atheist. As you said don’t force others to subscribe to your beliefs. Unfortunatly I have to walk through family/work/life and keep my thoughts and feelings/beliefs to myself just for survival. Because all around me are so busy telling me their thoughts, feeling, beliefs. Rarely asking mine, and if they do. I’m told I am wrong. Automatically, wrong and going to hell. Not asking me why I feel this way or what brought me to those conclusions. THEN I inevitably am ostracized. Its passed around to family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc. Till I am basically forced to the back of the bus. Am studied from afar. Made to feel less than human. Their need to break me down is privilege.

      . What you’re really saying though is that the people who used to walk and get their way, they now have to step aside and let others have the right of way. You can’t create equality by tearing people down and giving other people more rights and more privileges.

      Sweetheart I don’t want more rights I want the same rights. I want to share the road. And not get spit on and told I am going to hell. Told that my belief system in invalid because it isn’t someone elses. Told that because I do not believe in god that I am obviously immoral.

      Notice not once did I say “white privilege”. I’m sure you have concluded for yourself that the fundamental reason for crossing the Atlantic is not being adhered to by the primary following in this United States. Freedom of religion. ….as I said THAT is privilege

  13. Kathleen says:

    I feel this way about the response of many men to increased women’s rights. There’s this anger, as if women are taking advantage of them.

  14. Rugby10007 says:

    I have to ask…you don’t find it ironic that ‘Chris’ (we’ll call him Chris), is obsessed with Chucks behaviour and how it infringes on him instead of focussing on his own, and that his choice of action is to intentionally run into Chuck? Instead of say discussing it first? Or even talking to management. And then accuses Chuck of being childish?….oh god….I’m participating in one of these carefully constructed, stereotypical fictions socialists use on Facebook to try to make make there views seem more valid. Bad Me!!

    • theboeskool says:

      1) I didn’t “intentionally run into him.” I simply didn’t intentionally get out of his way… There is a difference.
      2) I did talk to him about it… He didn’t seem to care much.
      3) And how strange that you would advise me to go to “management” in this scenario… it almost sounds like you believe that when some members of society aren’t living up to their end of the bargain in the social contract, that management should get involved to enforce right action and equitable distribution of power/resources. This doesn’t sound like the MO of someone as adept as yourself at sniffing out socialist apologetics.

      • Wayne says:

        What I find strange is, no matter what anyone has to say about your story, or rebuttals, or commentary, unless they are in 100% agreement with you, then you assume they are wrong but your ideology is presumably 100% correct. I see valid points from both angles but I must correct you on one thing (all else would be just disagreeing)…there is no social contract. I didn’t sign one & I guarantee you nor anyone else did either. We are what we are, albeit, we are subject to change with the correct mindset. To believe otherwise is merely foolish.
        To call out what’s-his-name (don’t care enough to go back & look) on what you deem as racist (is that the “r” word?), by saying you guarantee (I know, not a quote but again, don’t care enough…) he’s white, makes you equally racist. And here’s a news flash…until you said that, I presumed you were white…& maybe you are ( never been established)…by the way you write, punctuate & spell. Now isn’t that a hoot?!? Guess assumptions are just a bitch. That shows how we’re hardwired in our thinking & that change definitely needs to be on the table but you need to ask yourself…hell, we all need to ask…do you think “Chuck” may have just been an asshole? Maybe that’s the whole problem with the world, too many assholes, race, gender, nationality be damned.
        To quote a song from my generation; “come on people now, smile on your brother; everybody get together, try to love one another right now!”

    • KayJay says:

      *their

  15. ou812 says:

    This podcast does a pretty good job of separating the wheat from the chaff: http://www.philosophyinaction.com/podcasts/2013-12-29-Q2.html

  16. Kimberly says:

    Some of us “white privileged” are not angry from losing a portion of our privilege. We aren’t against immigrants because we don’t want to share or let other people in our pool. We aren’t upset because we have to move out of the way when we are walking. And we most certainly are NOT Bullies as the waiter story analogy compares us. And we get tired of having people tell us why we feel the way we feel.

    I didn’t grow up rich. I struggled, maybe not as much as some, but definitely more than others. I have worked since I was 16. I have paid my taxes, I have paid my student loans, and I have looked to government assistance for help a time or two. I will be the first to say “don’t complain about pressing 1 to hear it in English! We weren’t the first ones here either”. I remind people constantly that this is a “melting pot” and meant to be a safe haven for those who want to pursue the “American dream”. BUT, what I disagree with is when they (UNLIKE MY ANCESTORS, who btw are all registered upon arrival and came through one place by legal means) are here illegally and do not have to follow the same laws that I do. That is not MY privilege, rather theirs! I know (FOR A FACT) that illegal immigrants here, despite their income or financial circumstances, are ENTITLED to free school uniforms, free school supplies, free lunch, and there are NO taxes deducted from their pay checks! How is that my privilege? It is not that I don’t want to share my pool. I just want to have the same rules for us all. As far as being at war with a country and allowing immigrants. I do feel that it is smart to do it carefully and legally. I feel that it is foolish to act blindly and you risk your own nation’s safety. Again, not stingy with my pool just not wanting someone to come in with a container of poison and dump it in while I am swimming. Maybe that would never happen, but if it did….too late! So why not take precautions.

    I would like to think that I am not a prejudice person. I see people for who they are and not the color of their skin. I do see that there are many areas of poor “non-white” and the circumstances are horrible. I feel that law enforcement is more critical of these areas. I feel that some law enforcement are bullies and abuse their authority. If you look at statistics, though, they kill all colors. When you look at percentages of the population and percentages of deaths, they seem to be quite close. You can pull up a liberal or a conservative report or chart that will “PROVE” on side or the other., but when you look at percentages based on population…it shows a truer story. So I stand by all lives matter. I never had slaves, but the stories sicken me. I do feel, though, that we are beyond that horrible history now. We have black only colleges. We have black only scholarships, We have black only TV channels and award shows. We have many more programs and assistances available for those of “non-white” origin, than we do for white. And I am in agreement that these programs are needed to help overcome the oppression of the past. I have so many family members that are mixed….my granddaughter. I do not want her to feel that one part of her matters but the other doesn’t. I want her to know without a doubt that every part of her is a beautiful gift from God, that can be anything or do anything with enough commitment and hard work. She is the most precious thing I’ve known for some time, but every part of her matters. Not because I am privileged, but because I love all sides of her and she matters completely

    I believe there is racism. I see it. Whites hating and disrespecting blacks. Blacks hating and disrespecting whites. Other races mixed in there too….. I stand in line at the Walmart deli, until I leave…watching every non-white person come in after me and get spoken to and waited on. I watched every non-white person get handed a coupon for a free pretzel and the pretzel stand and my son held his hand out and I get “can I help you”. Why do they disrespect or hate me? What have I done, other than be born with light skin. No I haven’t felt the oppression that many non-whites have. I am not saying that I am comparing myself in that way at all. I am merely saying….why hate me when I have nothing but love and respect for you. Why harbor bitter anger and resentment toward someone you do not even know.

    I fully agree with allowing people to live the life that they choose. Their choice of sexuality, religion, etc. If your are in a government position, there should be no option as to whether or not you perform your duties. Your job is paid for by Americans and you have a responsibility to ALL Americans. But a private business, on the other hand, should not be made to go against their beliefs. You should not ask a Jew or Muslim to sell pork, and you should not ask a Christian to make wedding cakes for a homosexual couple. I myself would not have a problem making it, but the Bible tells us that if we feel it is a sin then it becomes a sin to us. As well we are not to be a stumbling block for our brother. I don’t believe we should force prayer in school. Although I want my child to know his God, so do other parents of different religion. I am quick to argue that “Happy Holidays” is a respectful way for people of this melting pot to wish one another a blessed time of year no matter what religion they choose.

    I am angry right now. It is not for the reasons that you would like to believe and tell yourselves. It is because I want to live in a nation of equality. I want to live in a safe nation. I want to live in a nation of peace. I want to know that my tax dollars are not being spent on destroying the nation that so many of my loved ones fought to defend. But it is not equal and it is not safe and it is not peaceful. We need to be cleaning our own house, before trying to organize someone else’s.

    I don’t want see any one of color being treated unfairly. I don’t want to be treated unfairly. We lose 42% of our income to deductions. 37% taxes and our health care doubled this year. Because we make more, they take more. I am sorry but how is that fair????? My husband works a high risk job and we are without him for weeks at a time. My child spends most holidays without his father! I spend half the year without a husband….something I would venture to guess most would not do. So his company compensates him for his sacrifice….OUR sacrifice. Then the government punishes us because we make more. YES IM ANGRY!!!!

    Sure corporations need to pay taxes. I agree! They need to do their share just like the rest of us. NO minimum wage doesn’t need to be what I make with a degree and two certifications. What use is education and credentials at that point??? What good is a political party? Everyone has different ideas of what would work best for this nation. Some will agree, some will not. Hence voting. But for pete’s sake, people, why do we have to sling so much mud and make fun of the opposition? Why is it okay to base your political campaign on how far you can beat someone else down. If there was a candidate who ran on his own credentials and didn’t need to criticize and degrade and disrespect, we may have a true president that would respect this nation and it’s people enough to make a true change.

    Sometimes it is not that we are angry because we don’t want to loose our privileges, but rather that we want EQUALITY!! True equality. Same laws for all, same rules for all, same rights for all. Same pool for everyone, just everyone should have to pay the same thing to get in. Everyone should have to follow the same rules to swim there. If I can’t bring my pool toys in, then someone else should be given free ones to play with while there. Stop trying so hard to make up for the past that you punish the present. Just make it equal! Get rid of the corrupt if they see through “white” goggles. Get rid of the corrupt if they see through “non-white” goggles. Protect the people and preserve the nation. For God’s sake people (no matter who your God is) figure out a way to love one another. Maybe you think me foolish for wanting to say “can’t we all just get along”, but I dream of a day that it could be. Dr. Rev. MLK Jr. said that we should judge only by what is in the heart, yet we don’t take time to know what that is. We jump to quick conclusions as to why we feel someone says that “all lives matter”. They all did to him.

    • Rose Ishee says:

      A common thread I have seen is they this and they that. I don’t care what others get free, or what others have it is not my business. Maybe if we quit looking at what others get or don’t get we wouldn’t be so angry. Whites disrespect blacks and visa versa. What it really comes down to is we are ALL selfish humans. We can all love each other by simply treating each other the way we want ot be treated.

      • Kimberly says:

        Wow, glad you got to read something that wasn’t common then. If you read that into mine, then I have worded it incorrectly. I am aware of what they get, and I don’t care what they get….but I care that because I feel that “all lives matter” I am a “bigot, racist that doesn’t want immigrants to be treated equally”. I am pointing out that MAYBE the inequality is being portrayed askew, just a bit. Please do not take my pointing out facts as complaining or focusing on, but rather stating that I am aware and I do not like being told that I am not being fair if I don’t want them here illegally. Like I said, same set of rules for us all. It will never change until we stop blaming and start changing. Not by placing more burden on a few, or placing more privilege on some….but by becoming a common group set on a common goal. Don’t assume, please, that because I feel that everyone should follow the same laws, it means I do not want others to have. Somewhere, back in history each of our ancestors came here and struggled….legally! If I go to another country I will have to do it legally. humans are all selfish, and that is what I tried to stress throughout was, see what is in the heart. My anger is from being told that my feelings make me this…or….that. It is from posts stating that if I am not ok with a portion of people in America not living by the same laws as I do, then I am a bad person. My anger is because we “claim” we want to have equality but continue to separate more and more every day. I am sure that I can not fathom the true depth of some circumstances of oppression. Even if I have someone explain it to me I can only be aware of it, but not understand. But I do know that I feel that everyone matters. No matter who , where, what when or why…you matter.

    • theboeskool says:

      That was 1622 words.

      Kimberly–There is a difference between equality and equity. You can’t have a race where some start from the starting line while others start from 100 yards back and others are forced to run with a parachute on their backs, and then demand “equality.”

      Here, read this: https://theboeskool.com/2016/02/23/i-dont-know-a-damn-thing-about-black-lives/

      • Julia says:

        I was going to respond to something along these lines, but this is great. I would only add that my response was going to point out that pool analogy strikes me as quite nationalist, in that there were different rules to get into the pool when my grandparents arrived. To demand equality would be to require every single citizen to reapply for citizenship with the understanding that some of us would be denied the opportunity to stay. In the pool analogy, everyone swimming would be warned that the rules of admission have changed, and that everyone has to be ready to get out.

    • syn says:

      Equal doesn’t always mean fair!!!
      If there is a 4 year old boy, a 10 year old boy and a 19 year old male (which we can assume are all different heights) all looking to see over the fence. .if we give all of them the same size box to stand on (which is equal), would they all be able to see over the fence???
      Some times different ppl require different size “boxes” to make the playing field even and fair.

      • Stanley says:

        Why do they all get boxes? Wouldn’t it be most fair if no one was given a box? If one of the three went and built their own box so they could see better would that be unfair to the other two? If they were all given boxes to make their view equal but then the task was changed to climbing over the fence one of them would inevitably make it over the quickest. By the logic above, we would need to penalize this person with a smaller box because it is not fair that this person climbed over the fence the fastest. So now we take away part of the fastest person’s box or keep adding to the others to try to make everything equal our concept of fair. It’s not fair if someone can simply climb faster even if they all initially started with their hands the same difference from the top. This above concept of fair and equal is only met once everyone finishes simultaneously. So by this logic the only way the start can be considered fair is if the outcome is equal. The only problem with that concept is just because the playing field is equal does not mean the outcome will be. You need to ask yourself are you really advocating for a fair race or just equal results.
        In real life what measurement are we even using to declare something fair? Is it money, house size, respect, or something else? If its money, then once everyone has economic equality we will know that we finally have achieved a fair starting point? And if that’s the measurement for inequality then it should be stated that income inequality is the problem not privilege. If its income then poor white people (even with all their privilege) should recieve an equal boost. But that’s not what is being advocated. A poor white person hears, “there needs to be equality (which in this case in economic), just not for you”. What is currently being argued is there is a generalized fairness or privilege inequality. The problem with this is there is no objective measurement. The attempt is to get rid of institutionalized inequality but there is no measurement of success or failure. All that exists is subjective feelings.
        It was stated in the above comments that the author does not think it’s fair if someone get a 100 yard headstart, yet that is what’s being advocated. Based on subjective generalizations, some people are given a head start. This is where some who disagree would say the above comment is white privilege. But to say the only fair race is to have no boxes at all isn’t privilege, it’s common sense.

    • Rene says:

      Very well said, Kimberly.

    • jerrisgibbs says:

      Wow another comment that brilliantly illustrates the author’s point over and over. Brava. ::slow clap::

    • Ms dawn says:

      There are not black only colleges. There are historically Black colleges and Universities. Which were created because white people wouldn’t let us in theirs. Anyone of any color creed race or religion attend, and quite a few do. Educate yourself.

    • Illegal immigration is an issue that has to be dealt with, because of safety concerns and a host of other reasons. If you really listen it’s not simply the illegal immigration that people like trump are complaining about. Yes Ellis Island came about years later and had a certain irony considering the only reason the people running it were here in the first place is because their ancestors decimated an entire culture of people to take the land.

      America is founded on illegal immigration but NOW that it effects “them” it’s a problem.

      I also want to speak to your BLACK ONLY argument…colleges, networks, award shows….
      These things are not Black only. They are by blacks for blacks but other races do attend and participate. There is a difference. These things only EXIST because they were the only way for black to receive an education, consistently work in entertainment, and to recognize their achievements in those areas.

      The universities, networks, and awards shows that are supposed to be available for EVERYONE may not call themselves WHITE ONLY but from where I’m standing that’s how it is. They just sometimes sprinkle a little token color in here and there so they can say they did.

  17. Rose Ishee says:

    All I can say is wow. What an awakenining. I am 60 and went back to school in 2008 to get my social work degree. By 2012 I had my masters. I am somewhat embarassed to say that until i went back to school I had never considered this thing called “white privalege. I was happy content stay at home mom, did not understand what it meant to be racist. just loving everyone. Then this feisty little professor who to this day I credit with teaching me more than anyone else said ” Why would I celebrate Columbus Day what did Columbus ever do for my people (African American) or the Native Americans. It wasn’t said rudely, angrily or contempulosly just matter of factly. My eyes were open instantly. I had always thought I like you you are always welcome, I couldn’t understand how or why many felt left out, just join in it will be okay. Until one day in the same class I sat in on a group discussion of Hispanics, blacks and a few whites. I heard this white participant state the same things I always thought. The opportunities are there for anyone who reaches out and works hard, I like you you are welcome in my home, my group, my community. When I heard the response of others in that group, my eyes were again open, what I believed to be true because that was how I felt wasn’t true, because my world was a white one, that I looked through with rose colored glasses. Now your simple statement has opened my eyes again and I thank you. I don’t know if this allows me to understand the violence and anger that accompanies this “not moving”. But then I have never been in a situation to be that angry. Keep telling it.

    • I Hate Donald Trump says:

      I sure hope you didn’t pay for that indoctrination they call a “masters”. Lol

      No wonder the recent college graduates are ready to give up on the American Dream already and vote for a Socialist.

  18. Carrie says:

    Very well written! Now if I can just find a way to get those privileged people to read it.

    • Bigotsneverchange says:

      That’s the hard part. Maybe if you could somehow trick a Fox news anchor to read this from a teleprompter…

  19. Ellayne Shaw says:

    The quote about privilege, equality, and the sense of oppression is not directly from Paulo Freire’s work–as far as I can tell–but it is the same sentiment that permeates his work, especially _The Pedagogy of the Oppressed_. Freire’s theory in this book revolves around the dichotomy of the oppressor/oppressed and how true liberation humanizes both. Sample quote:

    “…even when the contradiction is resolved authentically by a new situation established by the liberated laborers, the former oppressors do not feel liberated. On the contrary, they genuinely consider themselves to be oppressed. Conditioned by the experience of oppressing others, any situation other than their former seems to them like oppression. Formerly, they could eat, dress, wear shoes, be educated, travel, and hear Beethoven; while millions did not eat, had no clothes or shoes, neither studied nor traveled, much less listened to Beethoven. Any restriction on this way of life, in the name of the rights of the community, appears to the former oppressors as a profound violation of their individual rights–although they had no respect for the millions who suffered and died of hunger, pain, sorrow, and despair. For the oppressors, “human beings” refers only to themselves; other people are “things.” For the oppressors, there exists only one right: their right to live in peace, over against the right, not always even recognized, but simply conceded, of the oppressed to survival. And they make this concession only because the existence of the oppressed is necessary to their own existence.” (Freire 57)

    To me, his theories are eye-opening. It’s very easy to accept our privilege without ever questioning it. Additionally, it is easy to be an oppressor without even realizing it simply because of the privilege into which we have been born.

    Freire, Paulo. The Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Continuum International Publishing Group, 2011. Print.

  20. You know, when I first read the title I actually thought about Affirmative Action. This is the official policy of favoring blacks over whites which has been firmly in place since before I was of working age. I am 45 years old now. In that regard, equality would actually be the absence of affirmative action, and therefore de facto racism.

    I guess it’s all perception. Good for you, eventually punking out “Chuck”. I feel like Chuck is a metaphor for the #BLM movement, a bunch of bullies who won’t know what to do when people just stop getting out of their way…

    • Syn says:

      And what makes the BLM movement a bunch of bullies???

    • damoclesone says:

      And what makes you think that people have been getting out of their way? The only person I remember who did that was Bernie Sanders.

      You’re a 45 year old in desperate need to either read up on affirmative action policies more closely or attend a critical thinking class. You really think that affirmative action is inequality? Affirmative action does not privilege minorities carte blanche. It simulates equality by bestowing privileges in proportion to existing inequalities. Or at least trying to do so in the face of whites complaining about their lost privilege in the same vein that you are now… You’re really 45? Holy crap… how embarrassing.

      • Yes! You absolutely should be embarrassed. Participating in the progressive circle-jerk of white guilt with these indoctrinated, sissified sheep.
        Look at facts, you fool. Oh, sorry… you’re a Cultural Marxist (educate yourself and look that up). Facts are secondary to rhetoric. Hope you get to read this before it gets deleted, I know how Cultural Marxists just LOVE dissenting opinions!

      • theboeskool says:

        Just so you know, I have only deleted one comment in this entire shit show… I can’t remember if it was yours, but it was one where a person (with much the same temperament that you are exhibiting) called someone else a nigger and a cunt.

        I leave comments like yours up–not because they deserve it, but because people (who dip their toes into the insanity that is a comments section of an internet post that deals with the concept of privilege) deserve to see the depth and breadth of the hatred & crazy that is exists in the world.

        Thanks for being such a good example of that…

      • Julia says:

        Average White Guy:

        Facts are not secondary to rhetoric. Facts *are* rhetoric. I wonder if you have read any rhetorical scholarship or if you are deriving your understandings from a dictionary.

      • theboeskool says:

        “Dictionary?” Sounds like another tool of the “intellectual elite.”

    • Except that isn’t actually what affirmative action does. It holds that IF your org has more of one race than another AND you have two equally qualified candidates of two races THEN you should choose the one that is less represented in your organization.

      In North Carolina, I know a few people who were admitted to historically black colleges on affirmative action scholarships.

      • Average White Guy says:

        Nope. It means that blacks get hired because they are poor victims, even if a white applicant is more qualified. It’s been going on for over 30 years. That means I have been dealing with institutional racism my entire working life.

        I’ll assume my comments will all be deleted because my opinion differs from all of you Leftists.

    • Ms Dawn says:

      Affirmative action isn’t just for black people. The people who benifit most from affirmative action is WHITE WOMEN.

    • Colleen says:

      Wow. Just, wow. Just. Just. Wow.
      You are stunningly ignorant of history.
      My great grandfather was lynched, for not being white.
      I guess in your world he had it coming.

      • Average White Guy says:

        Don’t try to pin your great grandfather’s lynching on me. That makes YOU a racist. Are you so ignorant that you don’t realize that?

        Look at the black-on-white violence that is 100% racially motivated going on NOW.

  21. Glenn Jordan says:

    The first place I saw the quote you used as the headline was here, under 3).
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/godlessindixie/2015/06/26/upon-the-legalization-of-gay-marriage/

  22. Bryan Beus says:

    Feeling perplexed after reading this.
    It’s an interesting story, the one about the restaurant. However, how it applies to the conservative movement is vaguely slapped on at the end. Something something about All Lives Matter and Gay Marriage blah blah, and people who disagree are just walking straight at the underprivileged people, expecting them to move.
    The article may please people who already agree with the author by reinforcing an underlying negative image of the so-called ‘Privileged People.’ However, I see no section that crosses any bridges of understanding.

    • Suzelle says:

      I think I see your problem here, and agree. Really thought provoking , but with no proposal of rectification or even suggested pathways toward such.
      I’d just like to see everybody with Access All Areas passes to the best of education.
      Just a thought 😶

      • Julia says:

        Perhaps go back and read the article for the remedy: that the people being oppressed stop stepping out of the way and be prepared to get shoved. There is even an endgame in the narrative that reveals that the author and Chuck reconciled their differences and reached closure. What else do you want?

        Stop enabling prejudice. Stop pretending that there is no solution.

  23. Bigotsneverchange says:

    A NYT Op-Ed that illustrates why the Chucks of the world support Donald Drumpf.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/11/opinion/campaign-stops/what-are-trump-fans-really-afraid-to-say.html?_r=0

  24. Mechelle says:

    I guess I have to say that there are under privileged Asians, Hispanics, Caucasians, Native Americans, and African Americans. I see a group of human beings whom are under privileged not a certain race. After all my travels all over the world, the gap in how people are treated is wide based on wealth and power not the color of their skin. Look at the groups in Nigeria and how they treat each other? That is not a white privilege issue, that is a power and wealth issue…..Look at North Korea…..that is not a white privilege issue, that is a power and wealth issue…..Look at the Middle East….that is not a white privilege issue…..that is power and wealth issue. I was not born in America but I live here and still travel all over the world exposed to various cultures and people…power and wealth rule the world, not the color of skin. Just my very humble opinion based on real experiences. Not meant to offend just a perspective.

    • Julia says:

      Classism is definitely a thing, but it doesn’t negate the existence of racism. I lived in the United States in Louisiana for four years. Racism is there, along with classism. The relationship is complicated.

    • Amy says:

      Unfortunately, in the United States issues of race and class have become inextricably intertwined due to historical events (such as slavery and jim crow laws). Because of these historical factors, many racial and ethnic minority communities have experienced generational poverty†, which can be extremely difficult to overcome. This generational poverty then in turn is interpreted by some as “laziness”, “entitlement”, and various other ugly stereotypes. While obviously it is possible to break this cycle of generational poverty, and there are many success stories, these are factors which can make it extremely difficult: not having the base level of capital to pursue education (especially as college tuition continues to skyrocket), lack of access to good public transportation and quality nutrition~, and especially for women, lack of education and access surrounding birth control and family planning (thanks republicans!). This is certainly not to say that there are not poor whites in America – indeed, poverty is a huge issue that cuts across race. However, unfortunately much of the racial tension you see currently exploding is coming from poor whites* who consistently vote against their economic interests because of dogwhistle politics that play to racist fears. Politicians have very effectively leveraged race as a wedge to prevent poor Americans from coming together to act in their own best interests, and prop up existing hyper-capitalist systems. In countries where the population is more racially homogeneous (such as some of the ones you mentioned), race is not an effective wedge because there simply isn’t the same historical context, nor the same level of minority presence in daily life.

      † for a great qualitative study of some of the factors which contribute to generational poverty in the USA, see: https://www.gvsu.edu/cms3/assets/700029E0-E4BF-B036-4D3797BCA775B8AA/tp0151overcoming_the_silence.pdf

      *for example, Trump supporters tend to be white, low income, and have very little education. see: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/13/upshot/the-geography-of-trumpism.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur&_r=0

      ~”Food deserts”, areas lacking access to affordable, nutritious food, are particularly prevalent in low income, non-majority white areas. see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_desert#Racial.2C_ethnic.2C_and_socioeconomic_disparities

    • Amy says:

      This is an excellent discussion point. In the USA, unfortunately race and class have become inextricably linked due to historical events which caused the oppression and poverty of certain racial minority groups (slavery, jim crow laws, etc.). Members of minority groups afflicted by these historical events sometimes face great difficulty overcoming generational poverty~ for a variety of reasons: Lack of baseline capital for higher education (especially as college tuition continues to skyrocket), lack of access to good public transportation and nutritious food*, and particularly for women, lack of education surrounding and or access to effective birth control†. Obviously this is not to say that there is no way out of generational poverty, and there are happily, many success stories. However for many people, working multiple jobs, caring for children, and living in a high stress environment with few support systems make breaking the cycle of poverty practically impossible. Racial minorities who are trapped in generational poverty are then interpreted by some as “lazy”, “entitled”, “Welfare Queens”, and other ugly racial stereotypes which lead to discrimination, and even more difficulty finding work etc∆. As a result, poverty and racism have entered a cyclical relationship where they feed off and perpetuate each other. This is not to say that there are not poor Whites in America – on the contrary, many people in poverty (including generational poverty) are White. What has happened, unfortunately, is that the American Right has used racism and dogwhistle politics to prevent poor Whites from voting in their own economic self interest for a very long time ^. Politicians have very effectively used racism and fear as a wedge to prevent poor and working class Americans from uniting together to attack the hyper-capitalist policies and structures that contribute to the perpetuation of poverty in the United States. In countries where the population is more homogeneous (such as some of the ones you mentioned), and/or do not have the same history of racial oppression that the US does, race may not play as large of a role in the issue of class conflict.

      ~ For a discussion of the factors associated with generational poverty, see: https://www.gvsu.edu/cms3/assets/700029E0-E4BF-B036-4D3797BCA775B8AA/tp0151overcoming_the_silence.pdf

      *”Food Deserts” refer to areas where there is little access to nutritious food, and tend to be more prevalent in majority non-white areas. see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_desert#Racial.2C_ethnic.2C_and_socioeconomic_disparities

      † Teen pregnancy and birth rates are highest in states without comprehensive sex education (i.e. “Abstinence only”). If you compare the map in the article with a map of the poorest US states, you will see there is a staggering amount of overlap. see: http://mic.com/articles/98886/the-states-with-the-highest-teenage-birth-rates-have-one-thing-in-common#.VzEQhCGfH
      http://www.povertyusa.org/the-state-of-poverty/poverty-map-state/#

      ∆ A widely cited study by Bertrand and Mullainathan (2003) found that:
      “Job applications to a wide variety of jobs using resumes based on those from real job seekers. They altered the resumes systematically to vary the quality and the apparent race of the applicant. Some resumes bore names commonly found on African‐ American birth certificates (such as “Lakisha” or “Jamal”), while others bore names commonly found on white birth certificates (such as “Emily” or “Greg”). Thus, the same resume was sometimes presented as that of an African‐American job‐seeker and other times, as that of a white job‐seeker. They found that white applicants were called back approximately 50% more often than African‐American applicants, regardless of industry or occupation. Furthermore, white applicants benefited more than African‐ American applicants from presenting a high quality resume, suggesting that the penalty for being African‐American may be greater for higher status jobs.”(for more discussion, see: http://diversity.illinois.edu/SupportingDocs/DRIVE/Gender%20and%20Racial%20Bias%20in%20Hiring-1.pdf). I would also argue that this study shows not only a main effect of race bias, but also a class by race interaction, bias, whereby the traditionally Black names are likely perceived as “ghetto” or other stereotypes of low-income Blacks specifically, whereas the traditionally White names were not. This highlights the “double whammy” that low income minorities may experience.

      ^For example, in this current election cycle, Trump supporters tend to be White, poorly educated, and work in industries that have been hit hardest by free trade agreements (i.e. more likely to be lower income). See: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/13/upshot/the-geography-of-trumpism.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur

  25. Christopher Bailey says:

    Thank you for the post. But who the F@&k are you calling a pushover!

  26. I’ve been around a long time. I know that when a pendulum that has been held to one extreme it will absolutely swing to it’s other extreme. If left alone, in time it will eventually settle in the middle. However if it is even for a moment, held at it’s other extreme, the pendulum will swing at it’s extremes forever. Once a pendulum is let go, it must me allowed to settle on it’s own. As soon as it is pushed the process begins over again. It is THAT fragile.

  27. Dom says:

    It’s certainly an interesting article which I enjoyed reading. A few points:

    Quote: “[There were also rumors that this guy had spent some time in jail]”
    I love this assumption. Got to love the stereotyping here. People spend time in jail for all sorts of reasons, and a lot of the time they are not for violence, I have a friend who spent time in jail for drink driving (literally just over the limit) another one did 2 days for unpaid speeding fines (accumulated over a long time), yet she wouldn’t hurt a fly. There are thousands of people in jail right now for petty crimes that don’t involve violence.
    —-

    Quote: “[So it bothered me a little bit when–only a month after he started working there–he was already getting rotated into some of the good sections… Another mouth to feed meant less money for me… He was a good server though.]”
    I’m kind of confused here though, you admit he’s a good worker, but then you state it bothered you that he got into the better sections, you also state that he has only been there for a month, almost like you are suggesting that because of his lack of time in the business that he should be discriminated against and not given better sections despite his apparent good work ethic? You also state that after not being their long you were “one of the servers the management favored… Which meant I got better shifts, better sections, and better money”.
    —-

    Quote: “[he ALWAYS expected YOU to be the one to move out of the way. He didn’t do this when walking toward girls…]”
    The thing that strikes me as the most oddest, is that you never (I assume you didn’t at least) entered into any kind of dialogue/discussion/reasoning as to why he was doing this, you never asked why he seemed to “target” you, yet you seem to preach that education and dialogue are the best means to promote equality and eradicate prejudice/discrimination/racism in the world?
    —-

    Quote: “[But if he and another GUY (me especially)]”
    So why was he predominately targeting you the most? Could it have been your antagonistic attitude, you’re smart remarks? “[He didn’t like my smart mouth]” In saying that though, it doesn’t give anyone the right to physically touch you like he was doing.
    —-

    Quote: “[I should mention that “Chuck” and I eventually became friends… Proving that people who see the world very differently can get along when they are open to change, and when they are willing to try to see the world though another person’s eyes. There is hope.]”

    You don’t really elaborate here on why you and Chuck eventually did become friends? Do you assume that Chuck stopped bumping into you and the other guys because he respected your right to walk past and not have to move out of the way, or did he stop because management had spoken to him and threatened disciplinary action? Or did he simply befriend you because he got to know and like you?
    My point being I have several friends that absolutely despise my views on the world and those very same friends I dislike a lot of their views on the world. Becoming friends with someone does not mean that you have the same views or are even open for change on their views.
    —-

    My final point, whether or not this is a true story or just something you made up to point out your analogy, it’s a poorly written example as to why so called “privileged” people feel “oppressed”. I do agree though the quote “When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.” is fantastic and it would be great to find the origins of who wrote it.

  28. Suzelle says:

    A m a z i n g 😰
    love your work !¡ ♡
    Will share 😙

  29. jeffstroud says:

    Thank you for writing this! It is all about awareness of self and a shift in consciousness. It is a practice. If we are shown only way to be in the world even when you sort of see the world there we don’t know what that life is like only what our little world feels like. To be confronted by other our own need to change just by being part of the world is shocking at first. Yet if we wish to live a happy peaceful life we need to continue growing and changing, getting out of our own way. Other people are not in our way, they are there to be reflections of who we are.

  30. MajoryDoors says:

    Thank you so much for this article. Beautifully explained.The comments here are fascinating, a great example of people who are privileged feeling oppressed because their privilege is being challenged. Bless you for replying and trying to point out flaws in their logic but I doubt very much they will ever change their minds!

  31. Your post is arrogant. You’re angrier than you’re willing to admit.

    Learn to be more gracious.

    All lives matter.

    Period.

    On this, I will not be moved.

    Also, same-sex “marriage” is not a marriage. It’s an abomination.

    And ye shall know the truth. And the truth shall set you free.
    John 8:32

  32. Samantha says:

    When I read this the average Christian came to mind. You see when many Christians think of religious freedom they think if a Christian’s right to this freedom. If asked how this relates to religions they don’t approve of they change their tune.

    I belong to a religion many either question it’s very existence or believe it should not exist. You see I am Wiccan. I am a cauldron stirring spell casting Witch. When talking to Christians the very instant I tell them I am a Witch they break of the conversation and walk away. It happened to me yesterday when talking to a neighbor. She said she did not want to talk to me and walked into her apartment.

    Many people don’t see religious freedom for religions that are in their opinion is wrong. People bended by including Jewish people by speaking of Jewdaic Christian ethics. Recently included in the club are Muslims. When will we be inclusive enough so we include all people to believe as we believe without getting permission from the Christian church. Witches are persecuted in America and in some countries Witches are still burned

    I have heard of Witches not allowed to buy or rent hones. Witches who either loose jobs or are not hired at all. I have heard of women loosing custody if babies because the declared Wicca as their religion apon entering maternity wards to give birth. They are declared unfit mothers. Inva divorce a witch would not be allowed custody. Wiccan businesses forced out of business because people don’t want that kind if businesses on their block.

    Christians feel threatened when religious freedom is extended to religions they don’t agree with.

  33. Amy says:

    A word on “All lives matter!”, which seems to be cropping up throughout the comments:

    “Imagine that you’re sitting down to dinner with your family, and while everyone else gets a serving of the meal, you don’t get any. So you say “I should get my fair share.” And as a direct response to this, your dad corrects you, saying, “everyone should get their fair share.” Now, that’s a wonderful sentiment — indeed, everyone should, and that was kinda your point in the first place: that you should be a part of everyone, and you should get your fair share also. However, dad’s smart-ass comment just dismissed you and didn’t solve the problem that you still haven’t gotten any!

    The problem is that the statement “I should get my fair share” had an implicit “too” at the end: “I should get my fair share, too, just like everyone else.” But your dad’s response treated your statement as though you meant “only I should get my fair share”, which clearly was not your intention. As a result, his statement that “everyone should get their fair share,” while true, only served to ignore the problem you were trying to point out.

    That’s the situation of the “black lives matter” movement. Culture, laws, the arts, religion, and everyone else repeatedly suggest that all lives should matter. Clearly, that message already abounds in our society.

    The problem is that, in practice, the world doesn’t work that way. You see the film Nightcrawler? You know the part where Renee Russo tells Jake Gyllenhal that she doesn’t want footage of a black or latino person dying, she wants news stories about affluent white people being killed? That’s not made up out of whole cloth — there is a news bias toward stories that the majority of the audience (who are white) can identify with. So when a young black man gets killed (prior to the recent police shootings), it’s generally not considered “news”, while a middle-aged white woman being killed is treated as news. And to a large degree, that is accurate — young black men are killed in significantly disproportionate numbers, which is why we don’t treat it as anything new. But the result is that, societally, we don’t pay as much attention to certain people’s deaths as we do to others. So, currently, we don’t treat all lives as though they matter equally.

    Just like asking dad for your fair share, the phrase “black lives matter” also has an implicit “too” at the end: it’s saying that black lives should also matter. But responding to this by saying “all lives matter” is willfully going back to ignoring the problem. It’s a way of dismissing the statement by falsely suggesting that it means “only black lives matter,” when that is obviously not the case. And so saying “all lives matter” as a direct response to “black lives matter” is essentially saying that we should just go back to ignoring the problem.”

    Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/explainlikeimfive/comments/3du1qm/eli5_why_is_it_so_controversial_when_someone_says/

  34. Did you ever wonder why you got the best shifts? How did that shake out?

    • theboeskool says:

      I was really good at my job and I had worked there for a while. I am neither against merit-based rewards nor against the idea of seniority.

      What I am against is the idea of a person succeeding by virtue of the fact that he or she is most willing to hurt other people.

  35. Dinaanid says:

    Just a note for Gryphyn3, who seems to believe that jobs are awarded based solely on capability, and that minorities are protected by anti-discrimination laws: I worked in a restaurant owned by a while man. He hired strictly in this way: White men and women for servers. White women for hostesses. Hispanic men for kitchen crews. White men for managers. And he would never never NEVER hire a black person for any position.

  36. Motown Voice says:

    Another technique I like to use in the game of chicken some thugs like to play is the very reason I keep my phone in my shirt pocket. It happens a lot where I work, and not in the work place just walking around the building. There are pockets of Detroit that are still very unfriendly, very unhappy, and some people just feel like they need to take it out on other people.

    When I see someone coming toward me that I recognize as people that have passive aggressively dared me to not move, I immediately make eye contact and smile, give them the opportunity to smile back and see me as a human just like him, then…

    If that fails I reach for my phone, stop in my tracks and pretend like I’m getting a call or reading an email.

    They move …ever …single …time.

  37. matt says:

    I am curious if the author is aware of the point – counter point in the exposition of the story, if it was intentional, or is it an accident?

  38. Gef says:

    OMG I can’t get over all of the negative comments! I so needed to read this today! I try to consider myself a good person, but I know that “me, myself and I” can always do better! It’s not always about the other person, sometimes you just need to look in the mirror! “I can be better”!

  39. Mac says:

    “I’m not much of a fighter”

    Well there you go.

  40. Jacqueline says:

    A good article, which I mostly agree with. But on the case of illegal immigrants in the US,
    “On one side, we see people who are angry about “those people” being let into “our” pool.”
    We have laws that define how a person can legally immigrate to this country. People seem to keep ignoring that fact.
    Say you have a pool, and there is a prescribed way to enter the pool. But say some people don’t care about how you’re supposed to enter the pool, and so they decide to cut a hole in the fence and ignore the set way to enter the pool. Are we supposed to applaud them and reward them for ignoring the rules?

  41. Congratulations! You have truly arrived: some jackass(es) on Facebook has/have reported the link to this post (possibly this whole blog) as “unsafe”. I was thus notified when I shared this on FB. This is how I responded on the “please let us know” link below the required security check images:

    “The link goes to a blog post by a middle-aged white man, who analyzes why white people may feel threatened by equality. If this link has indeed been reported as “unsafe”, it seems obvious that some white people do indeed feel threatened — even by other white people just discussing feelings around equality — threatened enough to misuse Facebook’s reporting function.”

  42. Lavender23 says:

    This article Is complete crap… And not even worth the energy to write why… I feel dumber after reading it.. I better go study or something and hopefully it doesn’t have any lasting effects..

  43. JD says:

    Great article but I think the conclusion is only supported by the facts as they were 50 years ago. Today, the “oppressors” of our history books have literally zero support from the state. If you don’t believe me, imagine that the aggressive waiter in your story was an underrepresented minority or a woman and that your were a white man. Would the employer fire the minority or the woman on the spot? Would a customer complain that a woman pushed a white man. If the manager did fire that aggressive person, they would only have to allege racism or sexism to guarantee the firing would be very costly to the restaurant. Allegations of racism or sexism would need not be true to create a lasting and damaging perception.

    Equality of opportunity and protection of rights and property lie at the heart of the Grand American experiment. America is special because it agreed to do away with limitations based on factors out of one’s control. This article nails that point. But confuses equality of outcome with equality of opportunity and legal protection. We no longer have an equal society. People are treated differently according to race, sex, religious beliefs, place of origin,… just about everything.

    Two rights don’t make a wrong. Oppressing the former oppressors is not the answer. I wish this article had the courage to demand true equality (and thereby respect) for everyone.

    We have strong civil rights laws that are available to correct wrongs on an individual basis. Understanding this, we should consider everyone equal and let people compete. As racism or oppression presents itself, people can seek relief on an individual basis of specific facts. Generalizations hurt us all because they diminish hard work and individual achievements.

  44. CK says:

    I rarely comment on articles but I find the author of this article to be a first class idiot really stretching to make a point. First, there is the irony that the person in this story he calls “privileged” had recently come out of prison and seemed to be doing his very best at work every day and to get his life on track. Maybe, the reason people got out of his way- and I would also- was out of respect and acknowledgement of what this man probably went thru. To give up space to him- when he was in prison- could have opened him up to all kinds of attacks. Do you think that fear will just go away the second you step out? Really- waiter guy? We’re your rights being trampled on? No, in fact, you were threatened that this guy was just as good or a better waiter than you and wanted to do something put him down, but something where you could still appear to be a good guy and a victim.

    Your behavior is a part of the problem and not part of the solution. And saying someone is for Trump only because all they care about is white privilege is crazy and asinine and leads to more problems. It is not as though Hilary or Bernie are actually big civil rights leaders. I am a white person who hates Obama because rather than living it up the past 8 years he should have been doing more to help Black people- namely changing the training tactics and penalties for police officers shooting black men. It’s funny because whenever I criticize Obama publically someone tries to call me a racist or wants to change the subject. That is the level of simple mindedness and lack of self awareness I find from this author.

  45. Zoo Bat says:

    The Regressive Left would do well to realize that this incessant and obsessive white-bashing will come with a price, and when the backlash hits they’ll be too shocked to maintain any kind of damage control.

    The funny thing is the “oppression” so constantly invoked isn’t real oppression at all. Some of the worst examples of real oppression in the world today are not being committed by white men.

    When I meet some idiot who won’t shut up about “oppresshun n’ rassism” I know I’m actually talking to a very privileged person.

    Enjoy your victim identity circle jerk, just don’t be surprised when the ride grinds to a halt.

    • Andy says:

      Zoo Bat:

      You’re right! I have been privileged. But it wasn’t with specific racism or hatred, but institutional privilege. You see, I grew up in a small rural town. We didn’t put black people down; there simply weren’t any in the area. But in that sense, I had a privilege that a lot of others don’t:

      All of my teachers were of the same race as me.
      All of our town leaders were the same race as me.
      All of the religious leaders were the same race as me.
      All of the people on my TV and radio were the same race as me.
      All of the police, firemen, and EMTs were the same race as me.

      I don’t think this was intentional, at least not overtly. But because I lived in a community that represented me to the fullest, I was privileged.

      Now take that to a city 50 miles north of where I grew up. All of those same statements would still be true, but the majority of the citizens are black. So while I would be well represented in all those areas, kids who were not white would not have the same privilege of all of the role models and leaders of the city looking like them. Representing them. Being them.

      That, my friend, is where privilege can be the most ingrained and institutionalized. It’s not always outright racism, but in the structures of society, community, and government.

    • theboeskool says:

      The mixing of the “circle jerk” and “ride grinding to a halt” metaphors leaves me feeling uncomfortable.

      And yes… I have all kinds of privilege. I freely admit that… However, your “whoever smelt it dealt it” test of oppression and racism in trying to identify privilege is hella flawed. Like, just crazily flawed, to the point of being legitimately bonkers. Sorry.

      And yes, I’m aware that there are places where groups other than white people are oppressing others… What’s your point? I was speaking in terms of my experience as an American, but if you want to apply the analogy to other places of oppression and privilege, by all means, feel free.

  46. Miopar says:

    Your position presumes that people should be equals to begin with. Any justification?

    Majority populations should be more privileged because it serves the needs of more people. This is a normative position, observed throughout history. Egalitarianism is a reactionary social construct.

    To treat two unequal parties equally is in fact, a grave social injustice. In White-majority countries, Whites are not only entitled to their privilege, they’re also entitled to that entitlement. The same applies to any racial majority around the world.

    The argument also fails on a second level. A minority should seek to attain privilege above other groups whenever possible, regardless of any oppression. Even without a White majority, we should still engage in race struggle towards greater inequality.

    • Andy says:

      Any justification?
      Maybe because our nation was founded on the principle that “all men are created equal.”

      Or the fact that the Constitution of the United States guarantees equal protection under the law?

      Or maybe because it’s the right thing to do?

      But other than that, nope.

    • Julia says:

      Globalization is turning whites into a minority by erasing the gerrymandering effect of borders. This is why Trump desperately wants a wall.

      Why are you challenging other people to provide justification when you keep using “should” without justification?

      Your normative argument doesn’t hold historical water. There are plenty of examples of the majority position being suppressed because it disagrees with the textual principles codified in their own laws.

  47. Kerry says:

    There are so many things wrong with this article, and I don’t have the time or patience to list them all. So, I’ll just state this: I am sick to death of being told that I am privileged just because of my gender or race or the amount of money my parents made. I had no control over any of those things. So, in the same sense, it’s not my fault that other people are born a certain gender or race or “class”. Take responsibility for yourself. It’s not my fault you flunked out of school, or got into drugs, or chose a life if crime, or any other supposed under-privileged act. Lastly, stop trying to make me feel ashamed for having a desire to better myself.

  48. Kerry says:

    And that quote about privilege is when you don’t think something is a problem just because it’s not a problem for you personally. Are you freaking kidding me?!?! We all have problems. We all our “cross to bear”. I wouldn’t wish my problems on anyone. So, don’t wish yours on me.

  49. draepetan says:

    Some of us are just upset at the idea of some authority *taking away* what belongs to us and giving it to someone else because they don’t have it themselves. That’s not equality, that’s theft. With immigration, some of us aren’t upset because we’re sharing, we’re upset because some that we are sharing with are ungrateful for what we are giving up for their benefit — and some of them not only want to take that, but change us to suit them in the process. That is upsetting. Also, with the definition of economics: some of us are upset at the idea that resources that are already under strain; enough to warrant thick divides between the classes (1% aside, if resources weren’t limited, then hoarding would reap no benefits), will now be under more strain. How is that we can make room for refugees so quickly, but there are still this many homeless vets living on the streets?

    Sometimes “privilege” is an upsetting word because of the connotation. “Privilege” means that one would have preference over another because of who they are or where they come from. When one’s belongings (and resources) are a direct result of that individual’s efforts, then that is not “privilege”… those are earnings. “Sharing our toys” should be a choice — maybe even an expectation, but it no way should it be a law.

    I didn’t always have money. I was never dirt poor, but I was never rich either. I am a minority, and I kept my shit together. It was hard, but I did it. I made sacrifices and never expected anything from anyone. It doesn’t mean I wouldn’t ask for help; but when I didn’t didn’t get it, I didn’t complain about or blame someone else, I worked it out. I am successful, but it’s not privilege, it was hard effing work and some serious self-reflection. I had to change who I was in order to become the kind of person that deserved success and it didn’t involve changing the color of my skin or the origins of my family. So, when I hear someone (or see a post) that implied that I am privileged, I get pretty angry.

    I find it really hard to take this liberal/socialist movement seriously when the loudest followers are the very people that aren’t doing shit for themselves. I sympathize with those that are in bad situations because something out of their control took a big chunk out of their lives, but as for those that chose a path that led to empty pockets and still continue on that path but expect to be subsidized by everyone else — no. Just no. But that aside, I’m seeing that this movement is hypocritical on its own. One one side, you have a bunch of brats that are fine. They make shit for a salary but they’re getting by, poverty only by technicality, but basically living the post-high school/college life (even if they are in their 30s and not going to school) — life could be MUCH worse, are you kidding me? You don’t even know suffering. But then on the other side, you have groups of people that really are struggling to get by; living in ghettos or on the street. Many of these types are there for a reason. I used to live in North Park, San Diego, National City and Logan Heights — pretty shitty. Most of my friends were gang bangers. These people do NOTHING to better themselves. I saw it with my own eyes and lived among it. They PERPETUATE that life by segregating themselves from the rest of the world with their attitudes, their hostility, and their insisting that anyone that leaves is a sellout (and sometimes worse). In fact, I couldn’t count how many times that they would just sit around the house thinking up ways to game the government. This has gone on for so long that it isn’t even gaming anymore — people have come to fully delude themselves into expecting it as if they were entitled to it. Here’s the thing — you’re not. Not even a little.

    I’m not against welfare; I’m against bullshit. If you want a better life, then make better choices. It won’t happen fast, but it’s certainly possible. The system is fucked up, but in my experience, it’s only fucked up enough to hold you down if you put yourself in a situation for it to do so (like I dunno… DUI… having kids before you were ready to support them… drugs… etc). If make good choices and something happened to disrupt that bad enough to toss you into this category and you’re having a hard time getting caught back up — that’s what welfare should be for; I can appreciate that, but don’t give me this blanket privilege shit. Privileged people don’t live in apartments, making 6 figs like I do — I EARNED that. I still choose to live in an apartment and not be married and not have kids and not do drugs and not be hostile to people that are doing better than I because I feel these are smart choices. Privileged don’t live like this. Privileged people inherit empires because of their family name. THAT is privilege.

    Oh, and technically, I am a millennial — and I hate Donald Trump. I also think that all of the Presidential front runners should be in prison, so don’t even attempt to lump me in with one of their supporters.

    • Julia says:

      Hi draepetan,

      Your post reminds me of the rhetoric that came from the patrician class in the Roman republic. The patricians complained when they had most of the power in their political structure and the plebeians were attempting to redistribute the property and rights in a more egalitarian way to ensure parity. The redistribution attempts failed, stratification soared, people got violently prostrate, and the Roman republic stagnated into a mere name. That’s history, and it is happening again. People want the satisfaction that comes from labor, but that satisfaction doesn’t obtain if it enriches someone else instead… it produces resentment and the “gaming” to which you refer. Foster that gaming long enough, and people forget how to do anything else.

      Each United States citizen is enormously privileged. Take that baseline and use it to your advantage and write your own success story. Fine, but don’t forget that you are using your privilege to obtain it. You are in the top 3%+ in terms of global ranking. Don’t take your citizenship for granted. I have had to realize that even as a white transwoman: that there are people who are more privileged than I, and that I am FAR more privileged than the many black transwomen in South America. We residents of imperial America have to realize that we are not the first peoples to occupy this position. The question is, do you use your privilege to step on someone else to get what you want? If you say that you earned it and that your privilege is a myth, then you are no different than a patrician.

  50. CaptDJ says:

    The only “Chucks” I have known through the years have been minorities. Maybe that’s just me. Perhaps the Trump supporters are people who have never received any of the advantages of “white privilege” and they are tired of being accused of being racists and blamed for the poverty of people they never had any contact with.

  51. You honestly just sound like a douche who complained about a guy and didn’t like him based on his appearance. You developed you own opinion of him without even getting to know the guy, because he was bigger than you. That’s really shallow. Maybe he was having a bad day that day, and you’d have no idea, you avoided the guy apparently. And so what if you move out of his way, it’s polite. You going “I am going to intentionally be in his wave, because he won’t move,” is being childish, and you deserved his backlash. What sort of outcome did you expect? Idiot…
    Lastly; There is a lot of fairness and equality about how one can express themself and their religion. The point people complain about here most, is that these people are aggressive, and getting in peoples’ faces about their religion. That’s harrassment. Protesting on private property can be illegal, as you’re distracting people from working or studying; something that actually contributes to society, unlike protesting “social issues”. That is why people hate on those issues and those people. Because they deserve it, not because they’re bigots or racists or anything else. Most people just understand the way the world WORKS, and see that these people are just causing problems for everyone around them, when everyone else is content the way things are.

    • AC says:

      Thorn (an appropriate name), first, why the name calling? Second, the author did not sum up “Chuck” at first glance. The aggressive behaviour was witness by others. The fact that the manager was willing to cut him loose was telling too. I applaud the honesty in this piece.

    • iarchetype says:

      Hmmm… You honestly sound like someone who the author is referring to… Seriously did you even read the article? Since when is one sided physical violence allowed in any situation? Let alone the work place? Idiot… Pro-tip -> If you aren’t smart enough to keep up… Don’t comment.

  52. Ryan Seiyu says:

    That article is very enlightening about race and racism, thank you very much Boeskool. It’s important to try to see how the other people see things and your article explain the vision from both sides.
    I’m a asian (japanese descendance) guy from Brazil and I do believe there’s white privilege but I don’t think it’s as commom as people think and there’s Asian privilege in other places too. But the problem is that people are not willing to try to see things differently, they are too unidirectional and don’t want things to change because they could be worse off than before.
    I think one of the next big step of humanity is going to be to overcome those problems.

  53. Legion of Kaos says:

    I liked this. If you’ll indulge me though, I will offer an opinion or two.
    I have a strong dislike for the phrase “white privilege”. Not for the reasons you may already be thinking though. I know that these problems exist, it’s the words I don’t like. It has already been pointed out that a “privilege” is special treatment or consideration. In that sense, to create equality, we could just remove the privilege from the table. I don’t believe that this is the idea here. The goal isn’t to take away from anyone, it’s to elevate everyone else so that opportunities are equal. It is not a privilege if everyone is supposed to have it. In the dinner table analogy, dessert is the privilege. Each persons deserve the right to eat at the table and have a fair meal, you don’t take the plate from the kids that have food to make things equal…you make sure that all the kids have a plate, because each kid has the equal right to have dinner. I don’t like the word privilege because it implies that what I have is the problem. What you (the generic “you”) do not have, or more precisely, what you are denied, is the problem. This is not privilege, so much as it is a discrimination against others. It most definitely needs to change. The freedoms, opportunities and even safety belong to everyone, not just as a special consideration for a privileged few.
    The other thing is the All Lives argument. Here’s my analogy: if you were at an event for Breast Cancer, and someone started yelling “all cancer matters”…you may well look at them like they were out of their mind. It is true, all cancer research DOES matter…but, it is still important to bring attention specific issues, diseases and cancers. Pink ribbons do not mean that people should ignore colon, lung or any other cancers. It just means that people affected by breast cancer want to bring attention to their particular set of issues. As well they should. If anyone thinks saying “all lives matter” is about equality, the litmus test is this: are you saying that in response to every issue where lives are affected?

  54. g2-5bba245eb6db01d36e28de6648a6336a says:

    Like you I am not a fighter, I prefer talking to people until they want to hit themselves,

    What you say happens so often, if I meet someone who is rude abusive or threatening I have no problem replying in kind, so often I get to hear them bitterly complain “Oh Why are you pickling on me ? You’re nice to everyone else !!!!”

    I then need to explain to them that most people are nice to me so I am nice to them, but that I thought how they treated others is how they themselves wanted to be treated.

    Often this takes a degree of explaining to get the message through

  55. Pingback: When You’re Accustomed To Privilege, Equality Feels Like Oppression | Fred Eaker

  56. Charlie says:

    Have you read The Idiot by Dostoyevsky? Your server anecdote bears a striking, (but superficial) resemblance to an anecdote in the book. Amusing.

  57. Jen Campbell says:

    This was so thought provoking. I even read it aloud to my parents. Thank you.

  58. Pingback: When You’re Accustomed To Privilege, Equality Feels Like Oppression | Karen M. Cook

  59. Chris says:

    This is a good article and I appreciate the main point about “Equality can FEEL like oppression”.

    But one thing I’d like to point out is that the author shouldn’t haven taken a passive-aggressive approach to dealing with his annoying co-worker, “Chuck”. Yes, Chuck was probably a huge jerk. But intentionally running in to him isn’t the best way of teaching him a lesson or giving feedback. Seriously, I bet Chuck is still walking a straight line somewhere, yielding for no one.

    I think the author should have pulled Chuck aside and said: “Hey man, I gotta ask: why don’t you ever move out of the way? It’s really inconvenient for the other servers”. After hearing this, at least Chuck realizes that people are annoyed by his non-yielding ways. Intentionally bumping into him doesn’t do anything. In fact, “the collision” was kind of begging for a confrontation and retaliation from Chuck. Why pick a fight? Chuck doesn’t even realize you were trying to make a point.

    Perhaps if the author had pulled Chuck aside and shared his feelings, Chuck still might have been a stubborn asshole. But certainly, I don’t think the “collision” taught Chuck anything. And maybe, just maybe, Chuck might have responded better to direct, honest feedback and changed his ways. Win-win.

    I’m not a fan of passive-aggressive behavior. And I think people should have the courage to talk to annoying people. It’s not easy and not fun. But it’s a lot more productive in my opinion.

    • lizibeteg says:

      I’m with you on the suggestion that the better approach might have been to try to talk with “Chuck” rather than creating a collision both literal and figurative. Instead the passive aggressive met the wholly aggressive with a fairly predictable result, at least for the short run. The fact that these two men later became friends suggests that talking may not have been all that far-fetched an idea. Talking is, however, a risky course for the ego, and a mediated discussion might have created a problem with this manager.

      Perhaps most interesting to me is how far afield the replies have flown. From a vague discussion of rights and privilege, with a segue into musings about the nature of privilege and how a demand (or even request) for equality can look, we now have a heated discussion of racism, political primaries, the Ku Klux Klan, and various other very concrete, applied topics. One of the most interesting – and lengthy – discussion in my Constitutional Law class in law school was over the question of rights. We are given and/or reserve any number of rights an privileges in our Constitution, but as was fiercely debated/discussed/argued (fought over?) for days in class and weeks afterward is the question of what RESPONSIBILITIES are attendant or appurtenant to the rights and privileges we enjoy. That is, do we have rights/privileges without having responsibilities as well?

      (Most people felt that the answer was no; we have MANY responsibilities – except for the Federalists/Libertarians and a few neo-cons.)

  60. Mickey says:

    This is a rather racist article. I love it when someone tries to not be racist and in effect ends up sounding super racist. This is almost as bad as “The GOP is cutting food stamps and that’s racist” No, DING DONG, assuming that only minorities are on food stamps is racist. I implore you to visit the DC Metro area or LA or Atlanta where both minorities and whites are either dripping with money or horribly poor. Also, as a white gal with parents who are both doctors, and I )despite being a member of “white club”) am a blue collar worker even with a BA. Furthermore, Islam isn’t a race and the BLM movement is using a percentage of racist actions to avoid dealing with deeper issues within the community. I work side by side with law enforcement and if you give cops attitude or they think you have a weapon you will get arrested or worse shot.

  61. Kristy says:

    When you put yourself out there, you are bound to have haters, so thanks for putting yourself out there despite that. I think you nailed it. A denial of this reality of the privileged simply means we can not move forward yet. I could say so much on these issues you touched on, but my fellow like minded people already know, and the close minded people here are only looking to step on others to keep themselves up. Thank you again for this well written piece!

  62. ranadotson says:

    Reblogged this on ranadotson and commented:
    Well said.

  63. Doyle says:

    Ok so…..here’s the problem. I’m assuming the majority of people that agree with this article most likely supported Obama in the last two elections. But here’s my question, since you are so certain of the problem, why is there still no solution? You mean Obama didn’t do what you thought he was going to do?? So it’s white peoples fault that his entire administration refuses to acknowledge the rate at which police officers are being killed. Defending his absence at a generals funeral or a former First Lady, but will attend the funeral of a thug who was shot only because of his disregard of the law? That’s not a white problem. The real issue is that NOBODY wants to try to work on an issue when the only thing the other side wants to do is plug their ears and yell over the sound of our voice! At least acknowledge your own shortcomings.

  64. Jay says:

    Chuck represents the illegal immigrant. So you got you analogy backwards. Why should he be rewarded with my roofing job because he broke a law and skipped in line. The illegal immigrant is chuck. Very frustrating the leftists Dont understand this. since you don’t seem to understand the problem. Hillary does not even understand the problem. I will vote trump. I guess Hillary can still come up with some idea to keep illegals out. But I doubt she will. For some reason the left thinks having a border is racist. People get upset because the klan, who has not killed anyone in decades votes trump. Obviously the klan what’s left of it is evil. But no one talks about how many gang members who kill thousands of people a year will be voting for the democrat. Trump!!!

    • Julia says:

      How is an illegal roofing employee analogous to the aggressive server who shoved our author for not moving out of the way?

      Trump makes no sense, and neither do you.

  65. Matt says:

    If something is not a problem for me, it is because I worked for years to ensure that it would not be a problem. Behavior matters.

    You sound like the Jews. Well, we were sitting around doing nothing, and God just kicked us out of Israel for no reason. It seems inconceivable to you that behavior matters. You know the Jews were slaves in Egypt for at least 100 years while God sat around and did nothing to free them. Why do you think that was? Because their behavior prior to enslavement was so bad that some kind of punishment was not unreasonable.

    Bad behavior leads to a bad outcome.

    We see that Chuck is by definition bad until you are able to enlighten him. And you are by definition good. That translates into the following in terms of society: Successful groups are bad and unsuccessful are good. Although, you call the successful groups privilege groups. Successful groups are only successful because they cheated in some way, and that’s why they are bad. And the only reason the unsuccessful groups exist is because they refused to cheat, and the successful groups keep them down.

    Let us ignore all the years of hard work that lift up people. And let us ignore all the things that people do to tear themselves down. The only thing that matters is outcome. Success is proof of cheating. Failure is proof of victimization. This leads to:

    People are equal and outcome should be too. Punish success and reward failure so we all end up equal in the middle. Good is bad and bad is good.

    Interestingly, God himself mentions this whole good-bad, bad-good thing in the Bible. Let’s just say people who think like this will not have a good outcome.

    • Legion of Kaos says:

      Well that was special. I’m pretty sure you just said that Jews deserved to be slaves. You just might be part of the problem.

    • theboeskool says:

      “You sound like the Jews.”

      Something tells me that’s not the first time you’ve said that…

    • Chantell says:

      I’m sorry your second paragraph sounds like the whole god works in mysterious ways tripe. If a bible survives a house fire everyone claims god is good. Its ok he let my house burn down but the bible survived. Cause its gonna keep you warm tonight? God did not enslave the Jews, people did

  66. So here’s my question what about the people who have the privilege of being smarter or being better at sweet talking people (sometimes referred to as emotional intelligence) why do they get things despite not being as good at their job or having other qualities.

    Society values a lot of things that aren’t inherently good, just assumed to be so and its fine except when its race or gender…

  67. Julia says:

    Naw. Chuck’s *behavior* was bad because he assaulted our author.

    I’m going to let someone else handle the rest of your drivel.

  68. Bob says:

    Wow this article was really biased and most likely written by a SJW. Just reading your comments, you sound exactly like one. Seriously getting offended over the word retard, grow the fuck up. It’s the internet, you stupid pansy.
    There is no such as white privilege. I’m not privileged because I’m white, I’ve never experienced privilege like blacks do. Where’s my free education? Why can’t I claim racism for not being hired for being white?

    Your stupid #blacklivesmatter supporters are a bunch of race baiters and racist towards both white and black people.

    Here’s your “white privilege”

    Based on your comments about the bullshit wage gap, you’re probably a feminist even though the wage gap has been debunked numerous times even by the most cringe worth “news source” The huffington post.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christina-hoff-sommers/wage-gap_b_2073804.html

    • Julia says:

      Let’s take Shapiro first:
      He doesn’t address the raw shooting statistics that show blacks are shot more often than their proportion of the population. He’s not citing the studies because he’s partisan. This is the same dude who wanted to expel the Palestinians from Gaza. Interestingly, he abandoned that position, because he fishes for evidence to support his world view, instead of using evidence to construct his world view. He’s a lawyer, and a conversative, which makes him a great experimenter with anti-liberal argumentation.

      Next, the sarcastic (and annoying) white male privilege debunking video:
      He says that there have been more whites enslaved by blacks than the other way around. What’s the count? Let’s try to consider the situation TODAY… Look at the 13th Amendment of the United States. It literally reads in indelible ink that our incarcerated are enslavable because that is a part of their punishment… and which race makes up most of the incarcerated population? Not only is it ridiculous to credit “whites” with abolishing slavery (because every single politician in those emancipating countries was white at the time), but it is equally ridiculous to say that because whites have been enslaved, and for a long time and in large numbers, that means they don’t have a huge part in the antebellum slavery trade in America. Quite frankly, I stopped listening because the dude is annoying. In the words of a twitter user, “Paul Joseph Watson is that weird kid in school who created his own language and universe to avoid interaction with other children.” If you look at his tweets you encounter a person who is obsessed with finding political opponents who are more extreme than him. This is not someone who I want to be listening to, or spending time rebutting.

      Next, the gender-based wage gap issue:
      1. The only piece of evidence HERE that I find to hold water on this topic is that women make less than men because of the choices they make in college concerning their career trajectories. This is a valid point, and it makes salient the issue that college is no longer a site of cultural reproduction and more like a for-profit career center. That is a problem that is broader than sexism. In any event, none of this means that the gap doesn’t exist; in fact, it goes a long way to explaining why it exists. Until we change our culture to encourage women to be making pragmatic career choices like men have been encouraged to do for centuries, the gap will continue to exist.
      2. If you go back and look at the text article you post after the YouTube sources, you will find that the author admits that even after adjusting for the objection in #1 above, there is STILL a wage gap.

      If, on one hand, we are playing by your gloves-off approach, then you are so hulked out with rage to act rationally and vet your own evidence like a person with a brain is supposed to do. Don’t be a “pansy”; buck up and take (e.g., ignore) these arguments like a man, go elsewhere, and try the same tactics in a desperate attempt to feel more enlightened.

      Ugh. Do you see how counterproductive that approach is?

      If, on the other hand, we go with a genuine desire to understand, then something like the author’s approach seems more appropriate, and you need to listen to your opponents and attempt to understand their grievances before throwing some URLs into your comment window and swinging misogynistic and immature insults to frighten your opponents away.

      Xoxoxoxoxo,
      Julia

  69. Jack says:

    First I grew up dirt poor and am of German Jewish decent! I practice the Roman Catholic Faith! I have felt the full sting of the KKK having crosses burned in my yard, my life and my mothers life threatened. I have had to put up with all kinds of hate mongers from just about every protestant faith. I lost 70 relatives to death camps in Germany during WWII. I grew up an Army Brat and was surrounded by every ethnic group you can imagine. Often times I was a minority myself. I am not pure anything! I have German, American Indian, Spanish, French ancestry. I look white unless I tan so that is the box people put me in. I have 3 sons two are white as ghosts but one has a skin tone that makes him look like he is from Spain so he has a year round tan and people do not consider him as white.

    I have never had any privilege in my life and it has never colored my perception of this world. I think the story above is very one dimensional and is playing to a specific audience. I think the rift in society has a couple of additional problems. First people that are not willing to work hard and bust their but feel they are entitled to things that they have not earned. People think that the world some how owe’s them something more than they have scratched out for themselves. Instead of trying to make changes in themselves they want to change the world to serve them. All change has to begin with in before you can expect anyone else to change for you. In the above the person was not forced to get out of this guys way he got out of the way on his own accord. Why did he feel he needed to move? Why did he not confront this guy sooner with dialog first? I am a really big guy and I get out of the way all the time. I do not want to hit people even if they are jerks. If you try to demand the right of way that is legally yours and cause a car accident you can still be found at fault even though the right of way was yours. If you kill someone in the process of demanding what was yours how are you going to feel? It is good that you stood up for yourself and did not escalate things into a fight but what was really won? Sounds like the guy in question is a jerk and pressing charges or getting him fired might have been a good thing for him. Some anger management classes where definitely in order.

    Violence is never the answer and true civil-rights giants understood this! Martin Luther King Jr. understood this so did Gondi(sp). Today we see Black Panthers not allowing anyone lighter in color than themselves get into places to vote. They use clubs and intimidation to keep people from voting. Look at the riots in in the last 5 years in the USA. All they have done is destroy towns and their economies. They have not caused anything positive to happen. Look at the Occupy Wall Street again disgusting behavior, destruction of property with no good coming out of it.

    We have seen to many people come to this country with next to nothing no mater if it was Africa,Syria,India,Trinidad etc….and build business for themselves or graduate from med-school etc….. None of these people got any breaks at all they started with zero privilege and where often well behind their American born competition.

    So while a small part of what you said is true and will always be true I do not think it is at the heart of the problem. I think it is a sense of entitlement, self justified violence where the ends justify the means combined with poor social skills. It does not help when you have race baiters(sp) for each to cause more hardship and discord any chance they can for their own gain from each ethnicity! Only when total non-violence and peaceful dialogue are the norm can progress be made. Anger, Fear, threats of Violence, Hate, Entitlement, Privilege all get in the way! The government can not fix this. This is a societal issue! Most of all the people at the bottom have to change their own communities before anything will be lasting. Drugs, Gangs, Violence, Lack of importance placed on education, no sense of community involvement or ownership, no local economic growth opportunities these are the real problems. When there is no hard standards that are expected an enforced with no moral line in the sand things always go bad!

    Only society can create a better place for society government can not get it done. The civil rights we have today are not because of government they are because men and women with great conviction, patients and non-violence won the hearts and minds of society! Once the masses where behind civil-rights the government had no choice but to get on board. Currently their is no Martin Luther King no Gondi all we have are disgusting bigots on both sides. Violence in the form of riots described as protests which they are not they are terrorist actions will not get the job done of winning the hearts and minds of society. If things get much worse we could see a true civil uprising the likes of which we have not seen since the Civil War!

    This is a problem is far deeper than just privilege. Plenty of blame to go around on all sides!

    We all need to be pleased with peace, patients and cool heads!!.

    • jooheunglee says:

      “Patience,” not “patients.” And “Gandhi,” not “Gondi.” More importantly, to say that “the civil rights we have today are not because of government” is just flat out wrong and shows a naive view of history. If LBJ hadn’t signed the Civil Rights Act into law in 1968, the non-violent protests led by MLK would have amounted to nothing. This anti-government stance of so many conservatives is self-defeating when you look at it closely. Without government, who would come to your aid when someone breaks into your house in the middle of the night? Fine, you are probably one of those people who have an assault rifle handy. But what are going to do against a whole militia? The fact is that we need government to make and defend the laws that give us security. And the greatness of the United States is a function of debating these laws through civil discourse instead of threats of force, physical or verbal.

      I believe you are missing the point the author is making about privilege. You seem like a reasonable person, Jack, otherwise I wouldn’t even bother. But I believe it is really hard for white people–especially those at the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum–to appreciate the insidiousness of white privilege. As Chris Rock said, there’s not a single white person in his audience that would agree to change places with him–and he’s rich!

  70. Pingback: PRESS THIS: When equality feels like oppression | soulsubsistence

  71. Dave says:

    This is absolutely fucking wrong. You’re in the comments bashing people for using words you don’t like? Shit son, I don’t like half the words you used. Obviously that makes me right? That’s the sort of attitude you’re using here “BOOHOO U SAY BAD WORK THAT MEAN ME RIGHT!!” grow the fuck up you dense slimy shitbag.

    • theboeskool says:

      You have changed my mind, Dave. I guess I’ve just been waiting for a “Tell-it-like-it-is” guy like yourself to tell me how it is.

      Do you have some sort of newsletter I can subscribe to?

  72. lizibeteg says:

    Definitive thinks the wage gap is a myth because he read one thing on the internet that supports his opinion?! Oh, goodie! Then he must correspondingly believe that the mountains of information and piles of studies that indexed data comparing wages for men and women in positions utilizing figures for those employed in the identical position; those employed in positions under the same job title; those employed in positions using identical or equivalent skills sets in the same field; and those employed in a similar field that uses similar or identical skills must be making things up just to scam a Ph.D. That, however, is not the reality. There have been literally THOUSANDS of studies that have documented the wage gap in the United States for at least sixty years, and the only good news coming from the researchers who repeatedly bang their collective heads against the skewed-wage-wall is that the gap does appear to be closing, albeit at a glacial pace.

  73. matt says:

    I was hoping you would reply to my question…Is your point – counterpoint in the exposition of your story intentional or an accident? I ask, because after my first read I was open to and moved by the perspective. However, a friend of mine was somewhat offended by the later suppositions and generalizations offered. So I reread the article, and noticed the point – counter point that created a different perspective for me and since the goal I have as a reader is to try and understand the authors perspective and point of view I need to ask for clarification. There are some indicators that you know that you are making the counterpoint in the exposition but in the entire rest of the story you never acknowledge the counterpoint that is being inferred so I am not sure if you are the protagonist or the antagonist in this story. And it matters. So if you could clear that up for me I would sincerely appreciate it…because I enjoyed the ideas that you have raised for me in my own life.

  74. melissa says:

    This is a wonderfully written and thought provoking article, so forgive me for only commenting on the first paragraph, hah…You have never been punched in the face, in part no doubt because you are a level headed, easy going de-escalator, yes. But it is also, I have to assume, is partly because you grew up and went to school in a halfway decent place. I had been punched in the face (i turned and managed to catch it only on the forehead) by a stranger by the time I was twelve, despite courteous and de-escalating responses to derogatory questions about my clothing, and I am a very nice, easygoing white woman. Thos was very common at my school. One of my friends was beaten by strangers until an ambulance came for him, and he was unrecognizable for weeks. I at least managed to hold my own and not get knocked to the ground, where a group of high school aged boys I did not know would have rushed forward to stomp on me. The right inner city school with a strained enough budget and no matter how calm your demeanor, high your emotional intelligence or brilliant your diplomatic skills: welcome to involuntary fight club.

    • David says:

      Melissa, that’s a great, vivid description of the environment that is so bad for so many kids in our country. If we could give all our kids safer places to study and safer homes to go home to – Northern Europe and even Canada are better than the US for this – then we’d get closer to the level playing field that the “there’s no white privilege” folks claim we have.

      Most Americans are fine with a fair amount of inequality of outcome, but the crap environment we give our poor people is a major unfair handicap that upper class kids never have to struggle through.

      Almost all Americans believe every kid should have the right to a decent chance in life. The Lord of the Flies schools in many places make it far harder. FWIW, before the phrase ‘white privilege’ there was a phrase for the opposite: ‘the black tax.’

  75. skangs says:

    Reblogged this on Sanctuary and commented:
    When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression – is something that I can take both ways. In many ways I am privileged. And in many ways I am oppressed.
    In many ways I don’t realize I oppress people, in many ways others don’t realize they’re oppressing me. And. In many ways I don’t realize I am being oppressed.

  76. Lee Wygand says:

    As a Jewish person who is part of the LGBT community and a special education teacher who has had many students whose parents are undocumented (and some of my students may have been undocumented as well), I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this post. I have had several christian (yes I mean the lower case “c”) who know I’m Jewish and still they wish me a Merry Christmas. When I respond with, “Happy Holidays” they get all hot under the collar and yell at me that the proper response is to say Merry Christmas back to them! Unfortunately, at school I still have to hide the fact that I have a partner of over 20 years as if my principal or the parents of my parents know I may lose my job. As to someone stating that undocumented students getting free school, free school supplies, free clothes, etc., well so do all the other students! We don’t know which student is documented or not. We see a need and fill it. I spend over $2,000 of my income annually to benefit my students that don’t have supplies, clothing, or food. I don’t ask to see their birth certificates to see if they were born in the U.S.

  77. The first half of the article basically not related with the second half other than by loose generality and metaphor. I don’t see how what actually happened in this restaurant has nothing to do with white privilege. This was really an example of two men doing what men do. If anything, they are both exercising the “male privilege” characteristic of the “patriarchy”.

    RECAP: this alpha steps onto the scene and threatens the previous alphas position as the best worker. Threatened with social demotion and humiliation, previous-alpha starts to become preoccupied and consumed with thoughts of becoming a beta. Not willing to see that happen, he challenges new-alpha to a contest and fails to intimidate him. The bigger alpha does what alphas do: escalates to maintain his position.

    What does this have to do with white privilege? LMFAO? Competition between males transcends race. Alphas will be alphas. Notice that new-alpha doesn’t challenge any females.

  78. Lee says:

    This article is ludicrous. People are people. If you are raised to be a jerk, you are going to be a jerk, regardless of your “privileged” status. To say that equality is equivalent to oppression for the privileged is the most asinine thing I’ve ever read. Grow up. Get a job. Work hard.

  79. Chantell says:

    I have been looked over for jobs even with necessary qualifications because it was assumed I was black due to my name. Have actually had people act surprised when I walked in for an interview to find out I am not. At the time I was born my name was not considered an “ethnic” name. It was simply french. But I have watched this happen over and over again. As a white, gay female who happens to have what others consider an “ethnic” name I can see exactly where this comes from. Considering someone who is not like you or doesn’t believe what you do as less than….

    Shows what kind of person you are, not I

  80. Was “Chuck” a Southerner? Because this kind of behaviour is a notable feature of southern culture, i.e. an “Honor” culture: the specific example of getting out of someone’s way has even been studied by psychologists.

    http://gladwell.com/outliers/harlan-kentucky/

  81. You are grossly mistaken, probably due to a lack of understanding about what rights are. Take this sentence for example:

    “All this anger we see from people insisting that THEIR ‘religious freedom’ is being infringed because a gay couple wants to get married…”

    When a baker or the owner of a wedding venue turns down gay customers, that is not an attack on the gay person. It is, however, an attack if you try to use the courts to strongarm a person into doing something just because you want them to. No one owes you anything.

    Check out the section here on negative and positive rights: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/rights

  82. jooheunglee says:

    Dude, your analysis was spot-on. And the grace and humor with which you responded to a host of ridiculous comments was quite impressive. One thing I have learned, however, is that it is truly impossible to change someone’s view–no matter how illogical and hateful–with words. Still, that doesn’t mean one has to fight fire with fire. The great ones (MLK, Gandhi, Jesus, Siddhatta) all had infinite patience and compassion. The thing is, regular “Chucks” can actually cultivate this same compassion through meditation. I don’t think it’s an accident that Macklemore can recognize white privilege so clearly even though he is a white guy, as he practices Vipassana meditation. I was the biggest skeptic about this kind of thing until I actually experienced it for myself. The point is that love is something we can actually learn how to do better through practice. But it’s hard, so hard.

  83. jikosenden says:

    Let’s unpack this. You start with an example of someone being aggressive and possibly rude. I say “possibly” because I have no idea if he was actually rude. Maybe you got out of his way the first time and he just took that to mean you were passive and submitting to him, which was further reinforced by your repeated acquiescence. Therefore, he’s totally confused when someone, who by their own actions, has shown themselves to be of lower social rank than him suddenly starts throwing attitude. There is a social hierarchy, especially among males, and once its established in a particular setting, you cannot violate it without causing static. It would be like telling off your boss. Yes, there are bosses in social situations. Furthermore, instead of calmly taking him aside and asking him not to be such an Alpha male, you deliberately physically attacked him. I’m surprised he didn’t punch you.

    Secondly, this personal incident somehow becomes a perfect metaphor for people who are afraid of equality? Guess what. Equality doesn’t exist in the world God made. Meritocracy exists. Rewards go to people who earn them. If anyone is “upset” by “equality,” they are probably upset because, increasingly, people with merit are being denied reward while people with less merit receive it. For example, in America, Asian students automatically get points deducted from their SAT scores, while African Americans get points added. This racist, Communist practice is farcically touted as “fairness,” and it, along hundreds of other examples of the new “equality”, can only lead to the detriment of human society.

    Thirdly, how can you invoke Jesus as a cover for your world view? He told metaphors where the man who earned ten talents got put in charge of ten cities and the man who earned five got put in charge of five, and so on. The master of the house didn’t say, “Hey, ten-talent man, give half your talents to the guy who didn’t earn one, because, privilege.”

    • theboeskool says:

      Ah yes, the Parable of the Talents… About 98% of Jesus’ words deal with an enemy-loving, vulnerable-person-caring, sacrificial love that God shows to us (and we, in turn, show to each other and ourselves), and somehow conservatives act like the whole of the gospel can be summed up in this one cryptic parable which some have interpreted as calling for people to get richer and richer or else God is angry…

      Hey! I’ve even written about it before… https://theboeskool.com/2012/04/19/eskimo-poets-and-rich-christians/

      • jikosenden says:

        Ah, well, we can ignore any part of Jesus’ teaching as long as its only covered by 2% of Jesus words and is cryptic to some people. Gotcha. Look, I’m not against helping the poor. Voluntarily. But that’s not what socialists want. They want to loot. They want to punish the people in power. And I promise you this: after the rich and the Conservatives get put against the wall by the Equality Enforcers, the middle class will be next, especially anyone professing Christianity. That is the way the world is going. You will cry “But I’m on your side!” all you want to, and they will just offer you a blindfold.

      • theboeskool says:

        Dude. Don’t chastise me for ignoring the 2% when you are ignoring the 98%. It is OK for a government to expect its citizens to all contribute to the general welfare… it is also OK to expect that the policies and laws of a nation do not inordinately benefit the rich while expanding the gap between rich and poor (The system we currently have). It is also OK to expect that quote from those whom much is given, much is expected.” Wait… I’ve heard that somewhere before…

    • theboeskool says:

      Also, the Bible tells a lot of stories… For example, in the early Church (when the members were basically living communally/borderline communistically) when Ananias and Sapphira held pack some of the money for themselves, the story says God killed them… for ONLY giving half. Any hermeneutic which takes a parable literally should probably take this story literally as well.

      • jikosenden says:

        Yes, I do take this story literally. Read the Scripture again. They were killed for lying to the Holy Spirit. Not for not being not Communist enough. (If I’m not Communist enough, will God kill me too? Is He calling you to do this work for Him?)

      • theboeskool says:

        Yep… Conservatives always try to turn this story into one against lying. Carry on… SMH

  84. Lucia says:

    Reblogged this on Lucia Kaku.

  85. awestenhofer says:

    When you’re a costumed to working hard for something, equality feels like someone is saying your hard work must be taken.

  86. Jaime says:

    Oh please. Everything now days is racist and white privilege. That’s why certain groups don’t advance because they keep on blaming the white man for their failures. Look how good it has worked for them

  87. David E says:

    It’s a well written post and an interesting thought process. I don’t necessarily agree with your view point but I understand your views.

    To me, you were being passive aggressive. Instead of confronting him you let his “alpha male” mentality beat you down until you made a point through being physical and did it in front of your cutsomers. Both bad choices in my opinion. I like to think of myself as being in a place in the middle. I would have confronted him before he ruined my day(s), before I had to stoop to his level to show him his wrong doings.

    I believe America is doing this exact thing which I find extremely annoying. You work, you get paid. You perform, you get more. I don’t expect to be a doctor without schooling. I don’t expect to be paid as one because I spent 4 years in school learning something less financially rewarding.

    That’s just me though. I hope you have a great day!

  88. Pingback: When You’re Accustomed To Privilege, Equality Feels Like Oppression | Kathy Vik's Deeply Awake

  89. ryanenk says:

    White Privilege- the new way to call someone a racist without them ACTUALLY being a racist. The best way to maintain “victim” status. Because you can change racism, but you can’t change the color of skin you were born with. So if it can’t be changed, victimization can be maintained. What a sham.
    You speak in metaphors and analogies that are great for illustrating your point, but have no practical application in the real world. In the words of Jack Nickelson, “people who talk in metaphors ought to shampoo my crotch”.

  90. divaD says:

    I’m an old school cat that imagines a person’s worth is measured by his sword technique. And musashi has never been beaten. And i imagine chuck and you don’t own swords so bygones be bygones. Equality and inequalities are mathematical expressions. I’m not sure how the terminology filtered into social expression but they really don’t apply to life. Everything adapts as separate experience where all experience is valid.

  91. ryanenk says:

    The concept of white privilege is a new way to call people a racist without them ACTUALLY being a racist. Each race has its own set of privileges. But dwelling on someone else’s privileges creates a self imposed victimization. And nobody every became productive and successful on their own while pretending to be a victim.
    All the examples I hear of white privilege are just pros and cons of either being white or black. Sure, they do exist. But they exist for both races.
    If I’m a white kid aspiring to be an athlete, I have to come to grips with the numbers that 70% of the NFL and NBA are black athletes. Is it because they are racists? No, it’s because of the reality that blacks by percentage are better athletes. Black privilege.
    If you’re a black student, you have the privilege to apply for black scholarships. Black privilege.
    When I was in high school, I verbally disagreed with the OJ Simpson verdict because of the evidence. The black kid in class had the privilege of pushing me down to the ground and calling me a racist. Black privilege I guess. And to this day, if I disagree with someone politically, I get called a racist.
    If your black, you have the privilege to have your own entertainment channel. Black privilege.
    If you’re black, you’re probably funnier than me, and you definitely dance better than me. Black privilege.
    The list goes on. The point isn’t to create a black vs white competition. It’s to say, hey, we all have pros and cons for being the race we were born. Let’s not dwell on the cons. And let’s not label people, or blame an entire race for our problems. Let’s focus on our blessings, take the chip off our shoulders, forgive the past (which by the way, nobody alive today was a part of), and take control of our own lives, take responsibility for our own shortcomings, and rise above. We all have weaknesses. Strength is found in overcoming them no matter the odds.

    • Julia says:

      Blacks are not necessarily funny or good dancers.

      Sometimes the truth hurts. The question is whether you are going to take those comments that you hear in your life seriously.

      • ryanenk says:

        Are you calling me a racist?

      • Julia says:

        ryanenk, you wrote something that is prejudicial, and I called you on it. I don’t know if you are a racist person, but you certainly strike me as prejudiced. Either that or you suck at humor and dancing…

      • ryanenk says:

        Julia, you should understand the definitions of words before you celebrate your ignorance all over the Internet. There is a difference between a generalization and a prejudice.
        Prejudice- preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.
        Generalization- a general statement or concept obtained by inference from specific cases.
        What I made was a generalization based on my experience and statistics of black people being funny, dancing well, and performing well in sports.

      • Julia says:

        ryanenk, you should understand ALL the definitions of the words you attempt to define before you celebrate your ignorance all over the Internet.

        You made a generalization. This is true. In fact, you made a HASTY generalization. That is a fallacy.

        Now, there is a definition that you missed:

        prejudice: a (1) : preconceived judgment or opinion (2) : an adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge

        I included the second part of the definition to show you that I’m not being partial in my wording, to make a point that you so desperately need to learn. Your grounds is your life experience, which is painfully partial to the extent that you have not been exposed to examples who disconfirm your world view. I really don’t believe you have compiled any statistics. People are probably calling you racist because your world view is skewed and you are making hasty generalizations regarding people’s races. That is prejudice.

        To be perfectly frank, ryanenk, I’m not a stupid pushover who is going to give you an easy win. I have an M.A. in communication studies and have taught communication courses as well as coached intercollegiate debate for seven years. If you’re going to double down on your outrageous behavior, then I’m simply not going to give you the dignity of an answer… and you will can to live blissfully with your own flawed world view.

      • ryanenk says:

        Wow, Julia. Thank you for sharing your wonderful resume of debate skills. Nevertheless, and according to your second definition of prejudice, you (still) can’t correctly claim that what I said was prejudice. The only way for you to put me in that box is to make sweeping judgements and assumptions about me and my education on the subject. And I’m sorry Julia, you have no idea who I am, where I grew up, where my education and information came from, etc. And for you to make those assumptions about me without any knowledge about me, ironically, fits into the definition of prejudice. You must have learned that technique in your facilities of higher learning.

      • Julia says:

        As per your burden of proof, I’m still waiting for your statistics. I also want to see your p values, method, and effect sizes.

    • Steven says:

      Julia,

      Give it up. By your own definition of prejudice, you only proved two things: ryanenk is not prejudiced as evidenced by him not making any adverse, or harmful statements, but you did. The second thing you proved is that you are a hypocrite by doing the exact same thing that you accused ryanenk of, but you were the only one who actually did it.

      I will spare you of giving a definition of a what a hypocrite is, rather, will just tell you to look in a mirror. It should be very clear.

      Also, you make me laugh with your grandstanding about your MA in communications. You think you are making all these great and grand points backed by a BS piece of paper. I hate to break it to you, but your points and arguments are not impressive and gives me a visualization of someone farting in the wind.

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  93. Jess Estes says:

    This is beautifully written and powerful. Thank you for taking the time to approach this so thoughtfully, and I am sorry you have to read some of the ignorant bullshit people are commenting with. Kind of provides its own cultural citations to your piece, though, so that’s convenient.

  94. Papadave says:

    Race is a very interesting issue. To me our base instincts as humans is to discern similarities and differences for survival. We have always segregated ourselves by lowest common denominators. Take race out of the picture we associate by gender, then family, household, neighborhood, city, region, state and so on. And that’s just our location. Then we subdivide further by higher denominators like religion, political beliefs, music, food and such. Then further subdivide by job, status, money. Race and gender are on the lower end of segregations that everyone can point to and it takes time to break down these barriers. To know and appreciate someone with a different subdivision, like religion, takes time and conscious effort. Unless that other person is already segregated into one of our other subdivisions it’s unlikely the time and space will easily occur for barriers to be overcome. If that time and effort are put in it’s amazing who we can become friends with, how many stories ancient and new have that as its premise.

    So no matter what side of the race discussion people fall on, racism is implied and acted upon. It just has new language and tactics. Maybe the “white” man has been barreling people over for years, but it hasn’t always been white people. The uproar over race is also barreling people over. One specific race hasn’t always been the culprit, the Incas battled and enslaved many tribes for hundreds of years. Egyptians essentially saved, then enslaved the Israelites for 500 years till Moses, and warlords in Africa commit genocide. This author and UK guy, if they were truly serious about change, would stop the blog rants and meet up somewhere to get to know each other and break through their natural (and unnatural) subdivisions. With time and effort maybe they could see what they could do together to advance and champion change. Maybe come back and tell us all about the process in a lengthy blog. Online opinions are worthless if they can’t back up their beliefs with true action, not well-intentioned rhetoric. Especially with the internet we are already drowning in anonymous rhetoric when we as humans are built for significant in-person tactile relationships. Just some of my thoughts.

  95. Avid Awake says:

    This article is interesting to me because I was once called at home a few days after a co worker claimed I shoved them. I had been recovering from a bite by a feral cat and the infection in my arm meant it was wrapped and awkwardly tucked against my chest while I continued to work as a Barista at this cafe. The coworker had been neglecting to sleeve hot drinks and my boss had told us we needed to be diligent about that because it was a liability for potential burns. For the record, I’m a woman also and I was telling her we needed to be really serious about the sleeves. Behind the counter is kind of small and crowded and she started arguing that it seemed wasteful and I gave an exasperated sigh and moved away from trying to pour the hot water to leave her to her methods. Somehow, my retreat startled her and she claimed I shoved her when I moved away. I didn’t hear about the “incident” for 3 days and it always annoys me how I think even the accusation of aggression by a female employee is grounds for removal. Its hard to avoid even when you literally o ly have one usable arm and your coworkers somehow feel like you were threatening.

  96. Pingback: You need to read this: When You’re Accustomed To Privilege, Equality Feels Like Oppression by TheBoeskool.com – Technically, I write

  97. RollieB says:

    I haven’t read through all 250+ comments but you mentioned you were looking for the source of your quote. This may be it: July 1, 2015, Neil Carter, writing for “The Good Men Project” attributes it to his friend; “a friend of mine, Mark Caddo, recently said: The problem with being privileged your whole life is that [after] you have had that privilege for so long, equality starts to look like oppression.”
    – See more at: http://goodmenproject.com/ethics-values/my-dear-friends-realities-and-myths-after-scotus-ruling-jrmk/#sthash.mac4gZ9g.dpuf

  98. I guess I was naive about “white privilege” growing up? Maybe just naive and idealistic in general? But that doesn’t mean I didn’t understand the notion of the privileged and the underprivileged. I witnessed it more as socioeconomics as opposed to race or ethnicity, and experienced it as an “out” kid among the “in” crowd at school, at least the elementary years. Growing up in my early childhood as the fat kid who got bullied, it was nice when I grew six inches in about a year and kids didn’t bully me anymore. Sometimes being big and intimidating allows you to be gentle and humble, but you’ve got to be intentional about it. Surrender is the key to being free of privilege and “rights”, LOVE is the ultimate answer. Remember, courage is more about the heart (cor) and far less about anger and big muscles. };-

  99. Nikkistory says:

    You don’t rape a man to teach him not to rape. You don’t hit children to teach them not to hit. You don’t shoot people to teach them about gun control. You’re right, everyone should be allowed in the pool. But it doesn’t make much sense to make that claim, and then turnaround and keep that one dude out because he wanted it all to himself initially.

    You did to Chuck exactly what he had done to you. Just because you did it in the name of “equality” and “fairness” doesn’t make it right. I go back to my first statement: women shouldn’t get to rape men and it be all good because they did it to us first.

    On another note, a de-esculator doesn’t get someone all riled up and then ask, “Why are you all riled up?” That’s called a manipulator. When Chuck was all, “What the hell?” You should have been honest. You may have made a point then and changed a point of view rather than starting something you clearly did not intend to finish.

  100. caro says:

    Reading your article and the comments below intensifies the interior battle that I live with daily. The optimistic part of me reads this article and your answers to those mentally blind people’s comments and feels that there is actually hope. That there are positive energies moving towards understanding and embracing equality. That no longer “you may say I’m a dreamer” because we’re starting to realise that it is possible to work towards that utopia where we just respect each other. It’s so simple but yet so hard, and still there might be hope that we’ll finally understand that we can each believe whatever we want but we just should leave the benefit of the doubt and respect that perhaps we’re wrong and someone else is right, but instead of fighting over it we could just let it be and live in harmony. That we could finally understand that reaching this utopia only implies backing up a little bit on thinking that everything affects us and just let people do their thing as long as it doesn’t harm other beings.
    However, the pessimistic part of me punches the optimistic part in the face and says “it takes one ‘charismatic’ human spreading evil ideas to turn a whole group of people into an army of intolerance and hatred”. Like Trump. Like one of the lovely people that insulted you in the comments under this article. I’m scared of what the world is becoming. I want to have children but I’m scared of what they’ll have to deal with. For example, there’s people at the moment who are stateless and I have no idea what that feels like, and that IS a PRIVILEGE I enjoy, but it is so simple for me to see that they need help and we should help them. But I agree with you that many people see that as a threat to their privileged positions. And I can understand them because some of them worked so hard to be where they are. And they are so scared of losing control of their ‘normal lives’. They’re scared of change. Which is ridiculous, because they’re probably the least vulnerable to being affected by, I don’t know, for example allowing aboriginal people to have a job? Allowing same sex marriage? Embrace inter cultural exchange? But still they feel so threatened and they vote for Trump, or the anti-immigrant party, or they just hate the Muslim religion, or they close their doors to immigrants.
    Anyway, I loved the article. I hope I made any sense.

  101. David says:

    I read an essay recently that really helped me grasp ‘white privilege.’ As a gay man, I was being very myopic in my views. If you have amount, this is a solid read by a great writer: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gina-crosleycorcoran/explaining-white-privilege-to-a-broke-white-person_b_5269255.html

  102. chris moberly (civ) says:

    OP: fuh-q, chris is not the name of a pushover

    you regularly moved out of the guy’s way, because you ultimately chose to. no one else can claim responsibility for that. if you bumped into him, so what? drink water, drive on.
    you also have to also acknowledge, author, that companies often recognize merit, knowledge, experience or skill, over hiring date. maybe just maybe, the new guy was better suited for the so called “better assignments” because he may have been better suited for those tasks, from an objective point of view. maybe he has done those tasks before, or is a harder worker, or can handle the pressure better. it sounds pretty hateful to try to diminish another’s acheivements rather than pushing the limits of your own potential, and striving to be the best at what you do.

    btw, equality is an illusion, not all people are created nor end up equal. ghengis khan’s horse cleaner was not even close to the man who conquered 3/4 of the ancient world, nor was george washington’s shoe shiner equal to the man who founded the usa. the very idea that some splinter group of society needs “equality” legislated for them only propagates the idea that, the group seeking protections is different and warrants special treatment, and creates dynamics of their lives having a greater value than the rest of us. if any one person’s life gets valued more than any other person’s is the very antithesis of equality.

  103. David says:

    This reminds me of white males I’ve known who moved to Hawaii, or white boys who go to Lowell High School – both places where whites are not the majority. In Hawaii, if I understand correctly, being ‘local’ means a lot, maybe even more than being haole, so all those gorgeous Hawaiian girl you thought were going to go for you actually prefer local guys. At Lowell, being an ambitious, studious student with a future at a top university means more than being one of the cool kids. Welcome to equality, bro.

  104. E=mc^2 says:

    I think Chuck was just feeling down trodden by the privileged author who openly admits he was given privileges of better shifts, better hours, and better tables because he was liked better. So Chuck who was less privileged, had to work his way into those spots and sounds successful in doing so. So the privileged author didn’t like his privileged space being invaded and so confronted Chuck physically. Chuck had worked hard to get his small piece of the pie without having the authors privilege and recognized the author was trying to keep him out, so he fought back. Sounds about right to me. The actual privaledged class are the ones that are telling everyone else that they are privaledged and need to hand over their privaledge voluntarily or else they are racist bigot, homphobe, islamaphobe, etc.

  105. Andrew says:

    i aporeciate the sentiment of this but You are confusing privilege with entitlement.

    One can be highly privileged and still move aside. Chuck was not necessarily privileged. But he was an entitled, arrogant, jerk.

    In-equality has necessarily existed in humans for all civilization. Hierarchies exist. And must exist. Not everyone can be the medicine woman or tribal chief. The medicine woman and chief will have a more privileged life. But they can still be kind and humble.

    This has nothing to do with privilege. It’s about character.

    If I follow your analogy; the civilized thing to do when two people pass is for both to “acquiesce a little”. Yet you seem to imply that if the oppressed, (the “rightfully angry”) not yield at all, they are…exerting their right to exist? That its ok to not yeild as long as your motives are just?

    Except that two wrongs do not make a right.

    Chuck didn’t yield and it made you angry.

    So in retaliation you didn’t yield and created a greater conflict.

    “What if I keep walking?”

    ….and when everyone says that?

    “Welcome to planet earth” indeed.

  106. Steven says:

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2010/mar/17/multiculturalism-diversity-political-policy

    I will only comment on immigration. Every country in the world has immigration laws. It is only the U.S. that seems to have a problem understanding what the word “illegal” means. If you go into a country against the laws of immigration, then it is a crime in every country. I am U.S. citizen living abroad. I have lived in two foreign countries. I have to follow the rules or I get in trouble. It’s very simple. A law is a law and if you break it, then that is a crime.

    Here’s a twist for you and this so called priviledge that doesn’t exist. I had to go through a 9 month long and costly process so my son can be given his natural born right: his U.S. citizenship. The U.S. govt didn’t believe he is my son and I had to prove it with DNA evidence. OK, did it and he got his CRBA.

    Now, my wife cannot even visit the U.S. without a long and costly process and that is just as a tourist. To live there in the U.S. is an even longer process and we have to prove that she is financially secure, so she is not a risk to become a dependent on the state.

    Do I have a problem with tens of millions of people getting a free pass and financial support after the fact that they committed a crime in being there…Absolutely! Nothing anyone can say to me about priviledge can justify the gross, mass breaking of a country’s laws and sovereignty all in the name of politics will be of sound reason. Seems to me the ones getting priviledge have no legal right to have it and the ones who want to do it the right way are just shit out of luck, compared to one’s that did it illegally..

  107. Mark Niederberger says:

    That’s kind of a weird story man, I’m not sure you proved your point. You weren’t completely honest with that guy if you knew the action you initiated would result in a collision, even if he was behaving as violently as you described. We all know that two wrongs don’t make a right.

  108. cindy0803 says:

    I totally agree with the quote. I even think your story is a decent example. But if this is about so-called White privilege, I just can’t agree.

    Look, I think everyone CAN agree that being born white – in the aggregate – endows you with certain advantages. All one has to do is ask themselves, “If I could restart my life, would I be born white or black?” I don’t know what black people would say, but I’m pretty sure most white people would choose to stay white.

    But here’s the thing. That guy in your story didn’t have to be a jerk. He could have chosen to follow the unwritten rules of society – move to the right. He didn’t. I can’t choose to be a different color. It is not a privilege. It is part of who I am. I CAN choose to act like a jerk and try and misuse any advantage my race gives me, but I can’t choose not to wake up white.

    So, I am no longer willing to step out of the way simply because someone is plowing toward me screaming White privilege. There are a host of other inequities in this country including gender, religion, and class. We should not make our strategy be to call out every person for fitting the superficial definition of the oppressing group. We can only move forward by engaging others. The moment we start marginalizing someone’s opinions or ideas because they are part of the other, or WORSE, telling them they have to shut up, they stop listening. They stop caring. They dig their heels in deeper if that was their inclination to begin with.

    • chris moberly (civ) says:

      black is the best hue, because it scorns to bear another hue. a swan’s feet will never soak to white even if she soaks them in all the worlds oceans…
      -william shakespeare (white guy), from the play titus andronnicus

      • cindy0803 says:

        Chris,
        Your point? William Shakespeare didn’t say that, a character he wrote did. And the character, in my opinion, represents the devil or the ultimate evil. Someone who destroys and kills for the sheer desire to do so. I think Mr. Shakespeare was embodying evil in a black man which is probably representative of the biases of the time and not a badge of honor.

  109. Lars says:

    Ok hear me in this: at first I loved the article, thinking “I’ve had experiences like this, I can put myself into either of these guys shoes…” But the word privilege, and the use of the word in this context just didn’t make sense to me….I have no idea as to what population “The Boeskool” is aiming toward and I’m not going to look into it. After reading many of the comments I have been lead to understand this story is about a young black man talking of his first experiences in Nashville, waiting on those who lead influential companies, off of whom the said young man is making major tippage.

    From this point on I’m forced to degrade everything I enjoyed about the story, because I now understand why I didn’t understand the use of the word “privilege” during my first reading. When I first read the story I saw Chuck as a kid with something to prove, angry and a basic brute (a classification which can encompass every “color” of the world’s population). Reading it as a black kid, I was disturbed because “privilege” became twisted and contorted into meaning “white man’s privilege” which through this story I’m lead to believe is a feeling all black people have towards ALL other colored (or lack thereof) peoples. I know this not to be true. This world was in existence long before the “Black vs. White” came into being. Sometimes it’s ignorance, skewed information, grudges, or even an innocently misinterpreted feeling of needing to place blame, through ones sublime racist upbringing, while simply protecting your due territory (in this case your money maker, Job), twisting your opponents personality trait with a “carpeting term” for the white male “privilege”. I’m left disgusted. I’ve never looked at a black person and said to myself “recently freed slave deserving compensation and ease of life”. I personally nor my ancestors had nothing to do with that part of the worlds history, yet because I’m an American I have to live with this over my head AND accept it as a part of my societal living standard. It’s like persecuting the Germans of this generation for WWI and WWII, pointless and past.

    For the general population of BLACK people out there with this feeling of being oppressed by the white man….we are in general just as oppressed and confused as the rest of the populous…just know that the successful person, ANY person, doesn’t become successful relying upon a crutch. Rather, they do so relying upon themselves, through their experiences, the choices they’ve made, and the person they’ve become. If one can stand up and with all honesty and confidence proclaim “I am my own person” you embrace all that has become you. From that realization a crutch can never be accepted as a reason nor an excuse, you are responsible for your own reactions and decisions, influences are merely that…influences.

  110. Reblogged this on darren's thinking and commented:
    From the article:

    Equality can FEEL like oppression. But it’s not. What you’re feeling is just the discomfort of losing a little bit of your privilege… The same discomfort that an only child feels when she goes to preschool, and discovers that there are other kids who want to play with the same toys as she does. It’s like an old man being used to having a community pool all to himself, having that pool actually opened up to everyone in the community, and then that old man yelling, ‘But what about MY right to swim in a pool all by myself?!?’

    This is the ‘Again’ of ‘Make America Great Again.’ Don’t worry–They’ll just open some swim clubs and make the membership really expensive…

    And what we’re seeing politically right now is a bit of anger from both sides. On one side, we see people who are angry about ‘those people’ being let into ‘our’ pool. They’re angry about sharing their toys with the other kids in the classroom. They’re angry about being labeled a ‘racist,’ just because they say racist things and have racist beliefs. They’re angry about having to consider others who might be walking toward them… strangely exerting their right to exist. On the other side, we see people who believe that pool is for everyone. We see people who realize that when our kids throw a fit in preschool, we teach them about how sharing is the right thing to do. We see people who understand being careful with their language as a way of being respectful to others. We see people who are attempting to stand in solidarity with the ones who are claiming their right to exist… The ones who are rightfully angry about having to always move out of the way… People who are asking themselves the question, ‘What if I just keep walking?’”

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  112. Bernice Raabis says:

    I STILL grapple with moving aside. I, a woman, was taught unconsciously to move aside, simply because I am a woman. As a young person I was taught consciously to move aside because adults were more important. In my late twenties I started to notice some seething resentment when it came to moving aside for men older than me, not elderly men but older men. I would get so angry inside at them but had no context or awareness of why. They were of course oblivious because they had likely also been unconsciously taught that women move aside especially once they were working and middle aged doing the important things in the world like running banks 🙈 What I now realize is that they are just following the unconscious patterning of privilege…. So now I don’t move aside. I’m not aggressive, I say nothing, I smile, I attempt to come from the most loving place I can and I stay in front of them… To change things we have to be willing to draw attention to privilege as well as use it. I step aside for children and their mothers and the elderly because making it in the world is a little more work for them. I try to notice if I am unconsciously using white privilege in deciding if right of way is mine… I believe that taking into account privilege as much as we can while still knowing we matter is the walking balance towards wholeness for our planet. ❤️

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  115. If they didn’t pay the entrance fee, they don’t belong in the pool. Jumping a fence doesn’t entitle you to swim in the pool. You have to fill out an application, be approved by the admission committee, and pay the fee to belong to the club, or, if it’s a public pool, you go to the gate and pay the admission fee. Sneaking in the back gate is not allowed. And if they’re my toys, I don’t have to share them. That’s what ownership is about. With regard to my language, part of being an adult is being responsible for one’s actions. You shouldn’t go out of your way to offend others. However, I’m not responsible for your widdle feewings. I have no idea what will offend you and I’m not going to watch what I say in the hope that I don’t. You have no right to not be offended. None of those things are privilege.

    • Julia says:

      Reality isn’t going to change just because you ignore the Lockean proviso. If enough people disagree with you and march past the gate to escape famine and war, your system fails.

      Read some Roman history. Your attitude ends badly.

  116. Lukas Sizemore says:

    LOL Lib Tards. The problem is you guys only care about your truth. The thing is though, there is only one truth, THE truth, and rarely do you care about this truth. You stand on your “Moral High Ground” and tear our once great country apart. Move to Canada, I beg you.

  117. JK1973 says:

    I will not apologize for my white privilege. I did not ask for it. It was given to me without my permission.

    I have done all of the “right” things in life. Went to school, worked the job, got married, raised my kids.

    These are things I was “expected” to do if I wanted to succeed in life.

    I would suggest to others that they might benefit from doing the exact same things I did.

    Stay in school, how about you not knock your girlfriend up, say no to those drugs and alcohol, apply yourself. Try that first and if it does not work then we can talk about who has “privilege”.

  118. OOD Africa says:

    I have come to learn that a good number of Americans don’t know how to analyse things because they want everything to be about race or fear. It cannot honestly be true that everyone is just angry and or every white person is racist. And yes, not true that others haven’t made anything of themselves.

    White America enforced artificial supremacy, there is a price for that. But Black America also thinks White people are not entitled to self preservation. Self preservation is not being racist. Even though both sides confuse the two.

  119. sesamedriver says:

    Brilliant, thanks. Can also be applied to sexism.

  120. SusanW says:

    Fantastic article. I should’ve known better than to start reading the comments because it just squashes my faith in humanity. I should’ve quit while I was ahead–just stopped with your article. I can’t believe how many steps backwards we seem to be taking, society-wise. I like my little bubble of a world where the people I associate with are actually KIND, non-name-calling, and non-judgmental. Too much of the rest of the world seems to suck.

  121. Pingback: When You’re Accustomed To Privilege, Equality Feels Like Oppression | The Boeskool – DIY fanzine collective.

  122. UUGirl says:

    Great article and some really good dialogue. The only comment in the article that makes me cringe is:
    “Here’s something that adds to the conversation, EVEN THOUGH it’s by a white guy:” (Emphasis mine.)
    Yes, I’m white. But this is always what I’m afraid of if I try to enter the discussion of race: the assumption that I can’t possibly know, or comment intelligently on, racism or Black Lives Matter or immigration biases Because I’m white. The fact that I’m also female intersects with that attitude if the listener/reader is male. For things to change there needs to be dialogue, not just one side or the other repeating their position ever more forcefully. And dialogue intends that all sides listen respectfully to the others even if vehemently opposed. And yes, education is included in dialogue as well. How are we supposed to know what another’s reality is if that education doesn’t take place? Open minds, Open hearts everyone.

  123. herveseb says:

    I certainly appreciate the article and the banter back and forth. The reality is that life is not fair and depending on our values and how we direct our actions we many even try to advocate for those with disadvantages. I chose a profession in which i advocate for those less fortunate and have experienced the most painful of situations. The burnout rate in my profession is significant. I have learned to take care of myself so that i can assist others. I have seen a trend of “self entitlement” and this has proven to be a huge problem. If we take away race, religion, bigotry and hatred and pretend that all of us are equal……idealistic i know……the reality is that life would not be so ideal. Some will work harder than others and some will want others to take care of them. A different kind of hierarchy of sorts will occur. I see many young adults in my practice and many came from a home where they did not have a sense of responsibility, understanding of the value of money and the appreciation of the hard work that goes into making money, respect for others and the list goes on etc…..these individuals do far worse in surviving with the day to day realities of life. I am well aware of my friend’s anxiety of being a black man driving next a cop car, and my Muslim friend being called names and quite honestly am disgusted by nasty people. For as scary as life can be for my friends they continue to forge on in life and have been successful in their chosen endeavors. One might say that i have privilege based on the color of my skin. There was a time when i would have been sent to the back of the bus along with others deemed on a path to hell. Of course the color of my skin whilst driving next to a cop car might allow me off the radar so that i am not pulled over and arrested…..with the exception of a speeding ticket(or 6). I grew up in a neighborhood that spewed out nasty comments towards people of my religion. I would not call that privilege but i survived.

    I work with graduate students and they were discussing White Privilege. Both nodding their heads in assent when discussing the matter, I asked them what White Privilege meant. They looked at me like I was crazy. How do you not know? Neither could come up with a set definition and I returned the question….How do you not know what it means when you are demanding others to do so? The onus of responsibility of understanding White Privilege has been placed on White people, or so it seems. I said give me a definition and when i understand what it means will that make “you” happy. The reality is that we can define it in many ways however there is an expectation that comes along with understanding. The expectation(my patient’s state it is a resentment waiting to happen”) is that somehow I will change. As though I owe something to someone. The implication is that by virtue of my skin color i have somehow wronged someone and some kind of restitution must be made. For this, I am not pleased. I am proud of the woman i have become. I have advocated for those considered oppressed, mentally ill, and physically harmed. I donate charity to causes I believe in and treat everyone with respect. I hope that we strive for the betterment of society and that requires all of us to do so.

  124. Pingback: Race, Privilege, Cultural Appropriation: 6 Articles I’ve Been Reading This Week – N.A.H.

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  127. Hooolls says:

    I have been enjoying reading these comments and opposing opinions on this subject. I can’t get over though the people who name call and expect to be taken seriously. Stop being so disrespectful to other people just because you have differing opinions.

  128. Pingback: Good article on privilege | developing taj

  129. Ronald Emerson says:

    Loved your article. I’m white, so you may think I’m privileged. I don’t see myself that way. I was raised color blind. However, you can not deny our history of the “white club” rule, of which many people of different colors have tried to break. And they have been successful to some extent, But to relate your wonderful story about chuck back to privileged people, I believe just continues the privileged and un-privileged paradigm. The story about Chuck should be color blind as well because it can apply to everyone who has been in situations such as this. Everyone has the responsibility to take it upon themselves to stop this bantering and allow “love thy neighbor as thyself” to take precedence. The true nature of the problem is that we are in an evil self-destructive world. Ruled by evil self-destructive Spirits in high places. And it is up to each individual to change themselves and stop going around blaming others. As long as people continue to point the finger these problems and paradigms will persist.

  130. darius says:

    Can anyone explain equality?
    Can anyone explain how ‘equality’ might be a dangerous concept?

  131. Love this. I find myself these days more often saying, “What if I just keep walking?”

    BTW this might be the attribution you were seeking to your post title / quote. Not sure she is the absolute origin of the phrase. However it’s where I first saw it quite recently, so it might be the one you saw too. Hope it helps.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ali-owens/equality-is-not-special-privilege_b_8461844.html

  132. barack2012 says:

    Reblogged this on GetRealWithDarylandDeVon@.Wordpress.Com and commented:
    EXCELLENT!!!!

  133. Dr. Rex says:

    Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Very interesting and accurate …. WHITE PRIVILEGE!!

  134. Mavadelo says:

    Good article🙂
    I have just one “but” and maybe because I am Dutch and things are slightly different here (slightly, yes race discrimination is here as well but mostly towards Muslims)
    The point I am making is the generalization in “all lives matter” is a response in anger to “Black Lives Matter” . It might be true that this is the case for a group of people, I don’t know. But I do know that when I say ALL lives matter it has nothing to do with black, white, yellow, chrirstian, muslim or atheist. It is what I believe and stand by. ALL lives matter. A white live is not worth more nor less then a black live, A christian not worth more then a muslim. We all are created equal under the sun, it is the bigots and racists (in ALL cultures and religions) that make a difference based on race, religion or gender. If I understood your quote wrong I apologize🙂

    I truly hope that one time this basic principle is not just an “ideology” but just plain logic to us all and people like dumpf … uh … trump are just a bad memory🙂

  135. toddsmidt says:

    Reblogged this on Of Whiskey and Words and commented:
    Take some time to read the article below. Too many of us these days are only thinking our ourselves and refuse to step back and see the greater picture.

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  138. quicksand30 says:

    I get your point, and would say that it applies to something like the “happy holidays” issue. However, there are a couple areas of your article that are worth comment. First, parts of this article way oversimplify why people take certain positions. Let’s take marriage equality issue. People aren’t against it because someone getting married is “taking away for their freedom” or “playing in their pool”. Rather, there are complex issues that shape people’s opinions like religious theology, the government’s role in marriage, and how family structure impacts communities. For purposes of this comment, I’m not taking a side either way, but merely pointing out it’s a far more complicated issue.

    Second, maybe “equality can feel like oppression”, but “oppression can feel like oppression” as well. For example, it’s the secular hardcore left that can’t tolerate conservative speakers on college campuses, or are out suing wedding photographers, or who seem to be perfectly ok with nuns having to be involved with financial transactions for birth control.

    Finally, this article continues a terrible trend of evoking terrible stereotypes of people that disagree with left wing views. For instance, a person could agree with the overall aim of Black Lives Matter (which is a good one–to stop unfair treatment of certain groups by the police, end unfair profiling etc.). However, that same person may not agree with some of the more radical left statements that are made by some of the members. They may support the police overall. They may see the facts of each of the high profile cases as different, needing different resolutions. Unfortunately, there is a segment on the left that says if you don’t agree with them totally you are an awful, terrible, evil, bigot. So people just tune them out and whatever solid points that are trying to be made get overlooked (as opposed to people just sitting around being hateful jerks, which is the narrative that gets spewed out).

  139. I think you’ve got this backwards, America under our current president Barack are the wimp who always side steps out of the way of the Russians and the Chinese and is getting walked all over everywhere in the world.
    The Russians invade and annex an ally and we just tell them to stop doing that.
    Making America great again would be getting people out of their entitlement mindset they’ve grown so accustomed to the last 20 years in which everything is handed to them by government and teaching people to take care of themselves and be more self sufficient again.
    It would be teaching people to learn to man or woman up and not be such cry babies if a political candidate hurts their feelings.

  140. Ellen D. says:

    Excellent article. I’m amused that I read it right after watching this video:

  141. Scotty Young says:

    The story line and the subsequent ad hominem discussion has nothing to do with the privileged; it’s a story of snake brained, sex hormone driven humanity living meaningless lives in the lower quartiles of society. The writer knows nothing of privilege because he’s not a part of it nor has he been in its vicinity. White privilege is a meaningless term developed by social justice theorists who imagined an ill-defined quality on the basis of irrelevant correlations of the characteristic of affluence with biometrics such an analogous correlation between shoe size and age. The privileged are direct functions of eugenics and superior human development. Those members of humanity who lack these characteristics should know their place and should not covet privilege as for them to do so is criminal and brings only menace to society.

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  143. Raj says:

    Well put!

    To paraphrase Freakonomics (or was that a Malcolm Gladwell book?), we don’t fight for something, we fight to not lose something (of privilege). A position of privilege has to be in jeopardy for it to spark a revolt-e.g., the American Revolution, Civil War, civil rights, women suffrage. While on the surface the latter two items appear to have been fights for something, indeed, there were born out of a jeopardy to wartime privileges gained by blacks and women, respectively, which the majority sought to revoke in the postwar era.

  144. Nick Griffin Rocks says:

    Death to Black Lives Matter, Social Justice Warriors and Liberals.

    Execute them all!

  145. Jamie says:

    When you’re used to being guaranteed the rights granted to you by the constitution, having those rights infringed on feels like oppression. Also, before anyone replies please actually look at the rights guaranteed by the constitution. Otherwise, you will sound ignorant.

    • Julia says:

      Can you please be more specific about what rights are you talking about and how they have been (recently) infringed? Some rights are limited because the law has recognized that when one person exercises his or her rights, that can infringe on another person’s rights.

  146. One should keep in mind the author when reading these pieces. The author works at a school, he is a father of three, and he’s waiter. He holds the belief that “There is nobody, no matter the religion, who doesn’t love Jesus.”

  147. Doc says:

    All your examples are of something that belonged to a smaller demographic being expanded to a larger demographic. Except one- BLM vs ALM. So wouldn’t the anger from BLM over the claim that ALM really be them upset that equality feels like oppression?

  148. lisa says:

    I want equality for many reasons, but not the least of which because oppressed people are PISSED OFF. And they should be pissed of!. Let’s stop this nonsense, so people can not be so damn angry and we can all live together and be happy.

  149. gvlaw says:

    Just came over to your blog, Chris, to thank you for this piece. I’ve shared it widely and reread it several times when I’ve felt discouraged about whether we can ever make progress as human beings. So thank you! The aisle is big enough for everyone. Let’s get moving together.

  150. Pingback: Viviendo bajo el paraguas del privilegio, todo atisbo de igualdad parece opresión | El Demonio Blanco de la tetera verde

  151. gunesmedici says:

    Nice reflection, but be careful. It’s very likely to happen that, in the way of trying to teach people to acquiesece a little so both can pass right you end up, due to you feeling in the role of a victim, acting the same way as Chuck and start expecting the other “privileged” person to move out of your way while you walk a straight path. Sadly, this is what’s happening with modern feminism and movements akin to BLM. That’s what happens as well with Muslim immigrants, who are mostly fundamentalists and tend to look down on the “infidels.” For feminism becoming the new Chuck you can always check anti feminist Facebook sites like Women Against Feminism and overall any anti SJW website. For how racist black people tend to be I can give you my testimony as an employee for AT&T: I’ve gotten many calls from black people and among them I’ve found many that are racist. And for the issue with Muslims, we need to look no further than Sweeden. After it started accepting Muslims, it became the Rape Capital of the West. We can’t forget the Cologne incident either. It’s good to seek equality, but don’t let resentment consume you, or else you’ll become the same type of person you hate in the end. Just like Nietzche said: “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.”

  152. Ty says:

    When Blacks operate cars, trains, planes, or computers does that count as “cultural appropriation?” White men invented all that…

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  154. Lee Cardon says:

    This is baloney. It is about someone who perceives that they don’t have “privilege” and so wants to take that perceived privilege away from somebody else. This would be so awesome if in so doing everyone in the scenario would be raised up to have new privileges… but in reality what happens is that everyone in the scenario is lowered down to the “Lowest Common Denominator” which means that everybody suffers collectively and individually more than they were before.

    This is a classic example of a belief system based on scarcity. Instead of choosing to believe that there is enough pie to go around for everyone, this example is based on the idea that there is not enough pie for everyone so in order to provide, everyone gets less pie. as opposed to the idea that we can just bake more pie(s) or make a bigger pie.

    For example, instead of walking into the guy head on, there are plenty of other options that would have allowed both of them to continue to have plenty of walking space without getting in each others way. These other options being creative in nature – but requiring some real independent thought and actual work to think things through. Could have alleviated the brute-force method of crashing into the other guy.

    He certainly got his point across but now each other’s world is diminished in a way because neither of them has the luxury of walking straight. Now the choice to walk straight has been removed by common consent. Before the brute-force episode you could either walk straight, or yield right of way, whichever you determined was best. Now this choice is no longer conceptually available…

    Because now in reverse, the Boeskool is asserting his privilege to remove that choice from the burly guy.

    Equality would actually mean that they could get along no matter if they walked straight, yielded right of way, or crashed into each other.

    What the writer of this blow is advocating is taking away privilege and distributing it to the minority.

    This is a socialist viewpoint and destructive to thinking humans.

  155. Cutie Pie says:

    The world is what it is. It’s changing. The mixed race is growing very fast and has been given to the black race. Measured by the one drop measurement. The white race is decreasing due to the black race mixing with the white race to create the mixed race. Two against one race. Who’s winning and who’s losing. The numbers never lie. The privilege will change as well.

  156. “People should be taught how to think before they learn to think, otherwise it becomes too difficu lt.”
    Anatole France

  157. LB says:

    I am a person of color. I have experienced real racism. And I am tired of politically correct propaganda that sets back real thinking. I don’t understand how the author can equate a personal instance of intimidation with white privilege. There is no logical relationship between the two, or at least the author has not provided any. It is not wrong to respond to Black Lives Matter with All Lives Matter. It is a response to racism that asserts (perhaps unconsciously) that Black lives matter more than the lives of people of other ethnicities. I cannot understand when protestors make a big deal out of a Black person who has been shot by the police and stopping there. Their point is racist unless they protest all police shootings since they are asserting that White lives (or Asians or Hispanics) matter less than Black lives. The author makes no substantive claims in his sentence: All these people angry about immigrants, angry about Muslims, angry about “Happy Holidays,” angry about not being able to say bigoted things without being called a bigot… He seems to be making the claim that asking questions about immigration is wrong and racist. The regressive left is quick to claim that asking such questions is bigoted so no, it does not follow that they are bigoted just because politically correct people find those questions uncomfortable, perhaps because they are unwilling to think and argue, and prefer to get emotional and resort to name-calling. Yes, there are racist people. And there are people who want to challenge the politically correct narrative.

    • theboeskool says:

      **All the groans**

    • Julia Leslie says:

      “I am a person of color. I have experienced real racism.”

      Finally, some “real thinking”! I suppose those of us with white skin only experience fake racism or perpetuate real racism when we say BLM.

      Thanks for letting me know that a POC can score high on the authoritarian scale.

  158. Transformative and powerful. This concept is going in the toolkit.

    I hope to have the opportunity to meet and talk to you some day.

    Peach and blessings.

  159. By the same token then, when you are used to oppression, equality feels like entitlement.

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  161. Mikey says:

    Stupid USA people.

    • Bob says:

      Thank you Mikey, for your intelligent, thought provoking comment. Hopefully we stupid USA people will grow up and be able to make brilliant comments like Mikey makes ’em.

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