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Author Topic: Be honest WASPs: why does AA really bother you?  (Read 59435 times)

BearlyLegal

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Re: Be honest WASPs: why does AA really bother you?
« Reply #60 on: April 04, 2008, 11:17:01 AM »
that checklist is way to involved.  how about simply stating that if you're white, you have the luxury of being the "default" race and therefore have the option of not thinking of it as an issue if you choose to do so?
My circle of friends is multiracial, and noone I know makes an issue of their race.

Some people (Farrakhan, Nation of Islam, etc.) choose to make a huge issue of their race. Some other people (David Duke, The KKK, etc.) also make a huge issue of their race. Why is the fact that there are some racists in every ethnic group something that gives white people privileges over black people?

jack24

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Re: Be honest WASPs: why does AA really bother you?
« Reply #61 on: April 04, 2008, 11:32:33 AM »
Oh Reez.  I really should know better than to jump in on this debate after the logical beat down you put on me last time we talked.

I believe that you are absolutely right about what you said, but I don't think AA is doing anything to fix the problem of institutional racism. 

BearlyLegal

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Re: Be honest WASPs: why does AA really bother you?
« Reply #62 on: April 04, 2008, 11:36:12 AM »
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who said anything about racists?  i'm talking about the default.  being white is "normal."
Why is "normal" good? White people are commonly stereotyped for being bland, boring, culturally vacant. Heck, even in this thread, there have been multiple assertions that just by the virtue of having white skin, people can't relate to struggle. In popular media, most villains tend to be white men. In liberal classrooms, white men are blamed for all the world's wrongs. We get no history month, and there is no celebration of our cultural identity. When we go to job interviews, we are seen as just another bland, uninteresting stuffed suit - regardless of actual background.

I don't get it. What's the big advantage to being "normal"?


Quote
also, your experience might be somewhat atypical due to location.
TITCR. I live in NYC, grew up in a multicultural environment, and don't have many hangups about race. My uncle is Indian, and the last girlfriend I loved was half-black. I know that to a lot of people, these kinds of experiences may be atypical - but that's the whole point I am trying to make: The macro assumption that "white people" have some kind of advantage completely ignores the micro reality that all people are individuals - with their own private histories, battles, and struggles.

BearlyLegal

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Re: Be honest WASPs: why does AA really bother you?
« Reply #63 on: April 04, 2008, 11:50:13 AM »
I believe that you are absolutely right about what you said, but I don't think AA is doing anything to fix the problem of institutional racism. 

to the extent that it helps in increasing the number of people among the elite classes who are from minority backgrounds, it actually does address the problem.  however i don't think that anyone would consider aa to be much more than a stopgap.
TITCR and this is the primary reason I support AA! The point of AA is not to give jobs to people who don't deserve them. The main and most legitimate point of AA is to create a macro system where there is a significant amount of successful minority role-models that will inspire new generations of minorities to rise up and attain their own success.

The doll experiment that was done for Brown v. Board is exactly the kind of thing that AA is meant to fight. Little African American boys and girls should be able to grow up in an environment where they truly believe that if they work really hard, they can become doctors, lawyers, businessmen and scientists. Until we have this kind of environment, AA is a terrible solution, but it's the only one we have.

Darker-colored bandaids have nothing to do with it.

SteelersandGators

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Re: Be honest WASPs: why does AA really bother you?
« Reply #64 on: April 04, 2008, 12:13:11 PM »
I believe that you are absolutely right about what you said, but I don't think AA is doing anything to fix the problem of institutional racism. 

to the extent that it helps in increasing the number of people among the elite classes who are from minority backgrounds, it actually does address the problem.  however i don't think that anyone would consider aa to be much more than a stopgap.
TITCR and this is the primary reason I support AA! The point of AA is not to give jobs to people who don't deserve them. The main and most legitimate point of AA is to create a macro system where there is a significant amount of successful minority role-models that will inspire new generations of minorities to rise up and attain their own success.The doll experiment that was done for Brown v. Board is exactly the kind of thing that AA is meant to fight. Little African American boys and girls should be able to grow up in an environment where they truly believe that if they work really hard, they can become doctors, lawyers, businessmen and scientists. Until we have this kind of environment, AA is a terrible solution, but it's the only one we have.

Darker-colored bandaids have nothing to do with it.

Bearly, this is the FIRST legitimately good argument I've heard in favor of AA. I'm usually opposed to AA and the way it's used, but this is a good point.
UVA Law Class of 2011

Susan B. Anthony

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Re: Be honest WASPs: why does AA really bother you?
« Reply #65 on: April 04, 2008, 12:16:54 PM »
Quote
who said anything about racists?  i'm talking about the default.  being white is "normal."
Why is "normal" good? White people are commonly stereotyped for being bland, boring, culturally vacant. Heck, even in this thread, there have been multiple assertions that just by the virtue of having white skin, people can't relate to struggle. In popular media, most villains tend to be white men. In liberal classrooms, white men are blamed for all the world's wrongs. We get no history month, and there is no celebration of our cultural identity. When we go to job interviews, we are seen as just another bland, uninteresting stuffed suit - regardless of actual background.

I don't get it. What's the big advantage to being "normal"?


Quote
also, your experience might be somewhat atypical due to location.
TITCR. I live in NYC, grew up in a multicultural environment, and don't have many hangups about race. My uncle is Indian, and the last girlfriend I loved was half-black. I know that to a lot of people, these kinds of experiences may be atypical - but that's the whole point I am trying to make: The macro assumption that "white people" have some kind of advantage completely ignores the micro reality that all people are individuals - with their own private histories, battles, and struggles.


White people - white men in particular - don't need a history month, dude. That's the point. There's a black history month, a women's history month, a whatever history month because history as it is taught is white male history. That may be changing, but that doesn't change the fact that the reason we have these things is because there was/is a deficiency in the way our society has addressed history. Not because black history, women's history, etc., are more celebrated, but precisely because they have been ignored. If you'd like, we can refer to every month without a special designation as white male history month. Would that make you feel better?

I empathize with some of the things you're saying here (and I think that you're greatly exaggerating other points), but not as an argument against the idea of white privilege.

Yes, people are individuals. Yes, people have different experiences. White privilege doesn't mean that every white person has an easy, awesome, rainbow-and-sunshine filled life. White privilege means that there are certain benefits that come along with being the dominant classification. Those benefits may operate differently, and more or less prominently, depending on your subject position, but they are there.

BearlyLegal

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Re: Be honest WASPs: why does AA really bother you?
« Reply #66 on: April 04, 2008, 12:38:26 PM »
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White people - white men in particular - don't need a history month, dude. That's the point. There's a black history month, a women's history month, a whatever history month because history as it is taught is white male history. That may be changing, but that doesn't change the fact that the reason we have these things is because there was/is a deficiency in the way our society has addressed history. Not because black history, women's history, etc., are more celebrated, but precisely because they have been ignored. If you'd like, we can refer to every month without a special designation as white male history month. Would that make you feel better?
No it wouldn't. Because there is no such thing as a "White Male". I have never in my life taken a history class that has ever said *anything* positive about my culture. In every history class I have taken, Russian people have been portrayed as *at best* bumbling fools, and at worst powermad communist imperialists.

I have taken dozens of classes where the (truly inspiring) accomplishments of Booker T. Washington, Maya Angelou, George Washington Carver, Martin Luther King, and others were made very clear to me. But it took significant independent research to find out about the equally significant accomplishments of Soia Mentchikoff, Pitirim Sorokin, and Igor Sikorsky.

Race is a social construction, and the American Educational system tries to forcefeed me bull$hit about how *my* ancestors killed the Native Americans, and enslaved Africans. I don't know who these "white men" who dominate the American History curriculum are, but they sure as hell aren't my ancestors, and they aren't the ancestors of the vast majority of so called "white" people living in the United States today.

jack24

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Re: Be honest WASPs: why does AA really bother you?
« Reply #67 on: April 04, 2008, 12:43:02 PM »
I think most people know that all whites don't have it easy.

77% of the citizens in this country are white, (not counting illegal immigrants)
and only 17% make over 100k per year
(according to bestplaces.net demographic information)

I do understand that a lot of people by default consider "white behavior" to be "normal behavior" and that is truly regrettable.

In my personal opinion, if you have the opportunity to crack into that 17% of people who make more than 100k per year, you really don't have room to complain no matter what color you skin is.  Money isn't everything, but if you make money you have A LOT OF OPPORTUNITIES.

You can argue that being white brings privilege and I won't disagree, but I think it's pretty well established that money brings even more.

Astro

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Re: Be honest WASPs: why does AA really bother you?
« Reply #68 on: April 04, 2008, 01:38:45 PM »
that checklist is way to involved.  how about simply stating that if you're white, you have the luxury of being the "default" race and therefore have the option of not thinking of it as an issue if you choose to do so?
My circle of friends is multiracial, and noone I know makes an issue of their race.

Some people (Farrakhan, Nation of Islam, etc.) choose to make a huge issue of their race. Some other people (David Duke, The KKK, etc.) also make a huge issue of their race. Why is the fact that there are some racists in every ethnic group something that gives white people privileges over black people?

What a strange logical disconnect.  This is not the argument anyone is making.
J, if you didn't bring enough penis for everyone, you shouldn't have brought any penis at all. 

BearlyLegal

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Re: Be honest WASPs: why does AA really bother you?
« Reply #69 on: April 04, 2008, 01:54:30 PM »
that checklist is way to involved.  how about simply stating that if you're white, you have the luxury of being the "default" race and therefore have the option of not thinking of it as an issue if you choose to do so?
My circle of friends is multiracial, and noone I know makes an issue of their race.

Some people (Farrakhan, Nation of Islam, etc.) choose to make a huge issue of their race. Some other people (David Duke, The KKK, etc.) also make a huge issue of their race. Why is the fact that there are some racists in every ethnic group something that gives white people privileges over black people?

What a strange logical disconnect.  This is not the argument anyone is making.

The argument I am making above is that racialism and racism go hand in hand. One can be a member of a given race and not spend all their time focused on the implications of what it means to be a member of that race.

When I moved to the US, there was a significant emphasis on cultural integration. So yeah, I am ethnically Russian, but I consider myself an American - the same as any Black, Asian or Latino American. I'm no better or worse than any of these groups because I am an American, and so are they. And while my mom was asked whether she could "afford" to visit the four seasons a while ago by a stupid waiter because she spoke with a Russian accent, I wasn't too offended, because I realize that there are ignorant people out there - I didn't go and yell at the manager and complain that we had been victimized.

There are people out there who chose to focus on differences, but there are plenty of other people who chose to focus on the similarities. If you choose to focus on the differences between races and cultures, when the similarities are so much more profound, you are, in essence, a closet racist. Claiming "white privilege" because it's a bit harder to find a tan colored bandaid is just one example of this kind of ridiculous racialist thinking. There are more beige bandaids in the US because there are more beige people in the US. There are more "white" people in the media because there are more "white" people in the US.  - This isn't evidence of some kind of privilege - it's evidence of paranoid thinking on the part of civil rights leaders who were raised in an era when there really *was* a systematic and tangible, government-supported conspiracy to benefit "white" people.

If the differences continue to be emphasized by academics and civil rights leaders more than the similarities, Race will continue to be a tangible social construct, and there will be a permanent racial divide in this country. I don't think that's a positive thing, and that's why I made those statements.