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Posts tagged "privilege"




Remember when I blindly hated Russel Brand? I fucked up.

"They’re in a better position to judge than I am."

I think this is how most open minded people who value communication, connection, and are willing to learn from others think.

…Did… Did Russel Brand just explain how to react to being called out on something? 


(via ricandiva)

I’ve been thinking of a way to explain to straight white men how life works for them, without invoking the dreaded word “privilege,” to which they react like vampires being fed a garlic tart at high noon. It’s not that the word “privilege” is incorrect, it’s that it’s not their word. When confronted with “privilege,” they fiddle with the word itself, and haul out the dictionaries and find every possible way to talk about the word but not any of the things the word signifies.

(via Straight White Male: The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is)

Class privilege, and the power it confers, is often conveniently misunderstood by its beneficiaries as the product of their own genius rather than generations of advantage, stoutly defended and faithfully bequeathed. Evidence of such advantages is not freely available. It is not in the powerful’s interest for the rest of us to know how their influence is attained or exercised. But every now and then a dam bursts and the facts come flooding forth.


Light skin privilege equals to:

  1. Being standard of beauty in the Black and Latino community.
  2. Being called Black based on the antebellum era one drop rule.
  3. Being racially ambiguous.
  4. People automatically assuming you are mixed and that is seen as a positive attribute.
  5. Being allowed to recognize the variety of your racial/ethnic heritage without ridicule.
  6. Within African American culture being called a “redbone” is regarded as a compliment while being called “darkskin” is considered derogatory.
  7. Telling you that someone prefers your skin color instead of dark skin is a compliment.
  8. Having light color eyes and no one assumes they are contacts.
  9. Can color, dye, relax, or weave your hair without it being seen as an act of self-hate.
  10. The assumption that your relaxed hair and chemically processed curls are your natural texture.
  11. Tanning and when the tan fades and not being accused of skin bleaching.
  12. Going to a makeup artist and having no problem matching your skin tone.
  13. Not being told that, “You are pretty for a dark skin girl.”
  14. Not being told to stay out the sun.
  15. Your skin color being valued by some who purposely wants to erase their ethnicity and hates their own skin color.
  16. Being able to marry someone of another race because it is a product of love and not being accused of racial disloyalty.
  17. Be recognized as a symbol of post racism.
  18. Having the ability to deny that colorism exists.
  19. Having the ability to deny racism exist because your skin color is proof of it.
  20. It is assumed that you are race neutral when issues of race are raised.
  21. It is assumed that you are more enlightened on issues of racism because of your racial and ethnic background.
  22. It is automatically assumed that you are more intelligent than members of your racial group.
  23. Not being seen as angry.
  24. Being considered less threatening by the Eurocentric mainstream based on the color of your skin.
  25. People not making the assumption that you grew up poor unlike your dark skin counterparts.
  26. The belief that a dark skin person marrying you is considered marrying up.
  27. Taking advantage of skin color privilege depending upon the situation. For example, applying for scholarships for African Americans and Latinos and later passing for other than a minority.
  28. You have a better chance of landing a job than a darker person with the same credentials.
  29. Your relatives had access to Black sororities, fraternities, and other organizations that promoted intraracism.
  30. Images are reflected in all forms of Black and Latino owned media.
  31. People who look like you rarely portray the stereotypical maid, downtrodden, Sapphire, and dysfunctional Black women roles on television.
  32. You always play the Black and Latino wife on television.
  33. Being able to be biracial, multiracial, or light skin and still play a Black, Asian, Latino and White person on television when people of a darker hue cannot.
  34. Not being reminded all the time that you are not valued.
  35. Not having people in entertainment making songs or comments disrespecting your skin color.
  36. If you are light skin Latino you don’t have to prove it.
  37. If you are a light skin Latino it is automatically assumed that you speak Spanish.
  38. You or your family have much more likely have immigrated to America leaving your darker skin counterparts behind.
  39. You have better opportunities for education and jobs prospects.
  40. You will see that light skin Latinos are recognized in every aspect of life while Afro Latinos, who are the majority in some countries, are ignored.
Because privilege is conferred by social systems, people don’t have to feel privileged in order to be privileged.
Allan G. Johnson (via wretchedoftheearth)

Labour stopped calling itself socialist long ago. The last vestige of its former ideological underpinning is expressed by its continued commitment to achieving “equality”. With a sigh, the proponents of “equality” will explain that they don’t mean “equality of outcome”, they mean “equality of opportunity”. Basically, this is just some watered-down, technocratic cover-version of the US trope that “anyone can be president”.

The idea is that as long as there is “equality of opportunity”, then a highly competitive economic system that naturally sorts people into “winners and losers” – let’s call it a meritocracy – is perfectly reasonable. But the rhetoric is laughably fallacious. In a system that divides people into winners and losers, you can’t have “equality of opportunity”. The children of the winners will, broadly, always have the advantage. The children of the losers will, broadly, always have the disadvantage, the inability, if you will.

"One source of antagonism that all of these movements will have to confront, even those that have just toppled dictators, is the insufficiency of modern democratic constitutions, particularly their regimes of labor, property, and representation. In these constitutions, first of all, waged labor is key to having access to income and the basic rights of citizenship, a relationship that has long functioned poorly for those outside the regular labor market, including the poor, the unemployed, unwaged female workers, immigrants, and others, but today all forms of labor are ever more precarious and insecure. Labor continues to be the source of wealth in capitalist society, of course, but increasingly outside the relationship with capital and often outside the stable wage relation. As a result, our social constitution continues to require waged labor for full rights and access in a society where such labor is less and less available.

Private property is a second fundamental pillar of the democratic constitutions, and social movements today contest not only national and global regimes of neoliberal governance but also the rule of property more generally. Property not only maintains social divisions and hierarchies but also generates some of the most powerful bonds (often perverse connections) that we share with each other and our societies. And yet contemporary social and economic production has an increasingly common character, which defies and exceeds the bounds of property. Capital’s ability to generate profit is declining since it is losing its entrepreneurial capacity and its power to administer social discipline and cooperation. Instead capital increasingly accumulates wealth primarily via forms of rent, most often organized through financial instruments, through which it captures value that is produced socially and relatively independent of its power. But every instance of private accumulation reduces the power and productivity of the common. Private property is thus becoming ever more not only a parasite but also an obstacle to social production and social welfare.

Finally, a third pillar of democratic constitutions, and object of increasing antagonism, as we said earlier, rests on the systems of representation and their false claims to establish democratic governance. Putting an end to the power of professional political representatives is one of the few slogans from the socialist tradition that we can affirm wholeheartedly in our contemporary condition. Professional politicians, along with corporate leaders and the media elite, operate only the weakest sort of representative function. The problem is not so much that politicians are corrupt (although in many cases this is also true) but rather that the constitutional structure isolates the mechanisms of political decision-making from the powers and desires of the multitude. Any real process of democratization in our societies has to attack the lack of representation and the false pretenses of representation at the core of the constitution.”

Michael Hardt & Antonio Negri

Most of us, most of the time, act within plays the lines of which were written long ago, the images of which require recognition, not invention.
Sidney W. Mintz, Sweetness and Power (via haychelsea)