Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Meet me at Camera 2: White Privilege

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  • Moz, in reply to oga,

    What my bike has taught me about white privilege

    Thank you, that's a much better description of the parallel I've made a few times. I have to bookmark that!

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1232 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Raymond A Francis,

    White Male Privilege is like thinking you are great on your bike forgetting about the tail wind going your way, you just don't notice it

    You could substitute Yacht for Bike and the analogy works even better, think America's Cup.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I can’t really be bothered to engage with some people today, so have an interesting article:
    http://www.vox.com/2015/6/3/8706323/college-professor-afraid

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    May be but more people ride bikes than sail, certainly in my part of the privileged world

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 577 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    And the analogy gets muddied because all America’s Cup competitors are so privileged that it’s harder to sympathise with any of them: it’s not a bike vs. truck scenario.
    A closer aquatic analogy would be swimmer vs. motorboat.

    (Actually, I dimly recall Piers Anthony used a similar set of analogies [e.g. swimmer vs canoeist vs motorboat; pedestrian vs cyclist vs car] as part of a sorting process to separate humans from demons — the somewhat optimistic logic being that humans would identify enough with the others' positions not to attack each other/ themselves when placed in each of the three roles in turn. In Being a Green Mother, I think.)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1930 posts Report Reply

  • PJ,

    I don't get why people can't understand this concept.

    Louis CK explains it pretty simply though:

    Also great:
    Aamer Rahman on reverse racism

    Auckland • Since Jun 2011 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    If you strip back the racial elements of white privilege, and imagine everyone is wearing masks and gloves so that no one can tell skin colours apart, you'd have to tell them apart by the power structures and cliques they form.

    In this context, white privilege is a subset of bad old Social Darwinist dogma, with the worst of both worlds of old money and new money: the 'born to rule' aspect of old money, and the 'taking away the ladder after climbing it' aspect of new money. All the above can be combined into one simple term: neo-feudalism.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5430 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    In this context, white privilege is a subset of bad old Social Darwinist dogma, with the worst of both worlds of old money and new money: the 'born to rule' aspect of old money, and the 'taking away the ladder after climbing it' aspect of new money. All the above can be combined into one simple term: neo-feudalism.

    As Mihingarangi Forbes's resignation illustrates, the feudal aspects of Maoridom can once again be relied upon to find common self-interest with white privilege.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    As Mihingarangi Forbes’s resignation illustrates, the feudal aspects of Maoridom can once again be relied upon to find common self-interest with white privilege.

    I’m not sure Forbes would welcome being co-opted into another discussion of white privilege derailed into what’s really wrong with brown people. Again. Which is not to say there aren’t perfectly legitimate questions to be asked about what’s looking like a pretty dysfunctional corner of the media landscape, but this is a really unfortunate context.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I’m not sure Forbes would welcome being co-opted into another discussion of white privilege derailed into what’s really wrong with brown people. Again.

    Common self-interest, Craig. Whether it's Helen Clark protecting a cosy fiefdom with her haters and wreckers outburst, or Ngai Tahu being employed as a willing stalking-horse in the diversion of Canterbury's water into private hands, it's about protecting and advancing entrenched privilege for an elite few. And Forbes is every bit as much a public figure as John Campbell. My commenting on her case is no more co-opting than whatever you may have expressed about Campbell's.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • vram putatike,

    shit's always been hard for me. "but it would have been harder if you wuz brown." cool hypothetical.

    wellington • Since Jun 2015 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Rebecca Williams,

    @ moz rather than "quite liking" using privilege against itself, some would say it's the only way forward. Men speak up about sexism, whites about racism, able bodied about disabled. It's talking to people like you about what is wrong with our behavior and holding yourself and others to account. Glad to hear you recognize its value.

    @ sofie I am totally with you on your take on the bicycle with a tail wind bs bicycle with slashed tyres. But I also see that the softer version (tailwind) is so hard for people with privilege to get, the real version is beyond their grasping (or willingness to consider).

    Another way of talking about white privilege that might help people get it (which are usually the ones who are willing to get it) is that we are swimming in while privilege. It's like the air. And we've been swimming in it / breathing it our whole lives. So no blame for not recognizing it, but once you see it you can't unsee it. And if we're decent human beings? Surely we would try to do something about it?

    Mindfulness of my privilege is the very least I can do so there's little pride for me in saying that I'm mindful (and mindful that I have privileges that I've probably never even thought about). What frustrates me all the time is wanting to do something and not knowing what to do or how.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 120 posts Report Reply

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