Friday, September 19, 2008

Fair is fair. But society isn't.

Rod Dreher over at Crunchy Con posts the following points about "white privilege" sent in by a reader of his. I'm ashamed to say that, in reading the post, I was taken aback that I hadn't even considered some of it before.

TO SHOWCASE just one example, what about Bristol Palin getting knocked up by her "f***in redneck" boyfriend, and how, if the young couple were black, we'd be clucking about "social mayhem" and the problem of black illegitimacy. Which we would.

Is it a problem that we
don't see preggers Bristol and her ruffian baby daddy as some sort of baby-mama ho and her white-trash Tupac? Do the daughters of GOP vice-presidential candidates have a higher class of unplanned, unwed pregnancy?

Or is it a problem that we've become conditioned to see just about every unwed black mother and her baby daddy as just that, almost without exception?

MAYBE THE PROBLEM is both. That we're too quick to overlook the forces of social disruption lying at the heart of every white Romeo and Juliet and too quick to condemn African-American kids when they do the same damned thing.

No difference in the offense. Big difference in white society's perception. And that's flat-out wrong.

Not to mention racist.

Anyway, here's part of what Crunchy Con posted. Go read the rest . . . and cringe as you do:
For those who still can't grasp the concept of white privilege, or who are constantly looking for some easy-to-understand examples of it, perhaps this list will help. White privilege is when you can get pregnant at seventeen like Bristol Palin and everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of your family is a personal matter, and that no one has a right to judge you or your parents, because "every family has challenges," even as black and Latino families with similar "challenges" are regularly typified as irresponsible, pathological and arbiters of social decay. White privilege is when you can call yourself a "f**kin' redneck," like Bristol Palin's boyfriend does, and talk about how if anyone messes with you, you'll "kick their f**kin' ass," and talk about how you like to "shoot s**t" for fun, and still be viewed as a responsible, all-American boy (and a great son-in-law to be) rather than a thug. White privilege is when you can attend four different colleges in six years like Sarah Palin did (one of which you basically failed out of, then returned to after making up some coursework at a community college), and no one questions your intelligence or commitment to achievement, whereas a person of color who did this would be viewed as unfit for college, and probably someone who only got in in the first place because of affirmative action.

White privilege is when you can claim that being mayor of a town smaller than most medium-sized colleges, and then Governor of a state with about the same number of people as the lower fifth of the island of Manhattan, makes you ready to potentially be president, and people don't all piss on themselves with laughter, while being a black U.S. Senator, two-term state Senator, and constitutional law scholar, means you're "untested."

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