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Once Again, With the Privilege

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Written by janeh

February 26th, 2014 at 3:05 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

10 Responses to 'Once Again, With the Privilege'

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  1. Lets start with some numbers.


    gives the US population by race.

    White alone 77.9%
    White alone, not Hispanic or Latino 63%

    The comic says % of people with Bachelors degree white 71% which is about what you’d expect form the population.


    26 Feb 14 at 4:11 pm

  2. I know perfectly well what white privilege is. I don’t think it’s a particularly valid or useful concept because it confuses the group and the individual – in this case, assuming that individual me is supposed to accept some characteristic because some group I belong to has, on average, some characteristics that can only be explained (really??) by the assumption that every member has said characteristic.

    I do get tired of people assuming that people who don’t agree with them simply don’t understand their position, and if they REPEAT THEM LOUD AND OFTEN everyone will be enlightened and then, of course, agree with them. So many discussions seem to be like two radio broadcasts on different frequencies.


    26 Feb 14 at 6:11 pm

  3. Perhaps white privilege is a US concept. This is the first time I’ve heard the term!

    And I agree with Cheryl about confusing the group and the individual.


    26 Feb 14 at 6:22 pm

  4. I know it’s petty, but I cannot take seriously people who refuse to check their spelling and who think it’s OK, even de rigueur, to drop the F- bomb into something the author thinks is important enough to take a lot of trouble to produce. If she cannot respect her audience, she can’t expect her audience to respect her and her opinions.


    26 Feb 14 at 7:18 pm

  5. I could pick apart the statistics one by one, but there’s no point. People will accept ludicrous “facts” as long as it supports their argument, and the more so if the argument puts money in their pockets.

    “White privilege” supports whole industries of supervisors sitting in judgment on how anyone else buys, sells, hires, fires, promotes–or pretty much anything else. Very well-paid supervisors, too, considering their native talents wouldn’t let them supervise a latrine detail. They’ll let go of their mythology about the time the Pentagon announces we need more reservists and fewer generals.

    Freedom will have no secure foundation in the United States until we drive a stake through the heart of Hubert Humphrey and say “yes, there may be bigots among us: but ALL men are free.”


    26 Feb 14 at 7:53 pm

  6. Robert, you lost me with the reference to Hubert Humphrey, I assume you mean the US politician of the 60s and 70s but what has he got to do with white privilege?


    26 Feb 14 at 8:19 pm

  7. HHH pioneered “anti-discrimination” laws, for which, of course, some variant on “white privilege” is the necessary justification. So now–well, see previous rant. I doubt any legitimate industry in the United States employs as many people as now collect paychecks for determining whether someone else’s decisions were made on morally acceptable grounds–with the government, of course, decreeing what is moral or immoral.

    Humphrey, naturally, swore blind that nothing like this would happen. All he wanted to do was get the camel’s nose under the tent: the rest of the camel would never follow.


    27 Feb 14 at 6:37 pm

  8. Hijack! This is taken from a Newsmax article, but instead of a link, I think it’s worth posting in full the critical bit–an excerpt from an interview with Charles Koch:

    This interview with Charles Koch in the Wichita Business Journal is a good introduction to the man:

    Your political views and involvement seem to garner the most headlines nationally these days. Why continue those investments, given the type of coverage it seems to have sparked?

    It’s like Lee Trevino used to say, somebody asked him how are you winning all these golf tournaments, and he said, “Well somebody has got to win them and it might as well be me.” That’s the way I am on this. There doesn’t seem to be any other large company trying to do this so it might as well be us. Somebody has got to work to save the country and preserve a system of opportunity.

    I think one of the biggest problems we have in the country is this rampant cronyism where all these large companies are into smash and grab, short-term profits, (saying) how do I get a regulation, we don’t want to export natural gas because of my raw materials … well, you say you believe in free markets, but by your actions you obviously don’t. You believe in cronyism. And that’s true even at the local level. I mean, how does somebody get started if you have to pay $100,000 or $300,000 to get a medallion to drive a taxi cab? You have to go to school for two years to be a hairdresser. You name it, in every industry we have this. The successful companies try to keep the new entrants down.

    Now that’s great for a company like ours. We make more money that way because we have less competition and less innovation. But for the country as a whole, it’s horrible. And for disadvantaged people trying to get started, it’s unconscionable, in my view. I think it’s in our long-term interest, in every American’s long-term interest, to fight against this cronyism. As you all have heard me say, the role of business is to create products that make peoples’ lives better while using less resources to do it and making more resources available to satisfy other needs. When a company is not being guided by the products they make and what the customers need, but by how they can manipulate the system — get regulations on their competitors, or mandates on using their products, or eliminating foreign competition — it just lowers the overall standard of living and hurts the disadvantaged the most.

    We end up with a two-tier system. Those that have, have welfare for the rich. The poor, OK, you have welfare, but you’ve condemned them to a lifetime of dependency and hopelessness. Yeah, we want hope and change, but we want people to have the hope that they can advance on their own merits, rather than the hope that somebody gives them something. That’s better than starving to death, but that, I think, is going to wreck the country. Is it in our business interest? I think it’s in all our long-term interests. It’s not in our short-term interest. And it’s about making money honorably. People should only profit to the extent they make other peoples lives better. You should profit because you created a better restaurant and people enjoyed going to it. You didn’t force them to go, you don’t have a mandate that you have to go to my restaurant on Tuesdays and Wednesdays or you go to prison. I mean, come on. You feel good about that?

    For expressing such sentiments, Mr. Koch has been called “un-American” on the floor of the Senate by the current Majority Leader. Perhaps the Majority Leader can explain what he believes to be “American.”


    1 Mar 14 at 3:09 pm

  9. Re-hijack:

    Where we’ve come to:

    WE are living in a time of infamous lies against the state of Israel and the Jewish people. We are witnessing, even in Australia, a recrudescence of some of the oldest types of anti-Semitism. One of the worst recent examples of anti-Israel propaganda that led directly to anti-Semitic outbursts was the Four Corners episode Stone Cold Justice, purporting to be about treatment of Palestinian children in the West Bank.

    The program featured as a guest reporter John Lyons, of this newspaper. I have the greatest respect for John. He has produced some outstanding journalism in his time. In the aerolite he wrote for this newspaper on February 8, he made some of the same allegations that were made on Four Corners. I found the allegations at best unproved and generally unconvincing.

    However, the Four Corners program was a disgrace, a crude piece of anti-Israel propaganda that revived some of the oldest anti-Semitic tropes. In the year 2014, are we really going to allege again, on the basis of the flimsiest non-evidence you could imagine, that Jewish soldiers systematically physically crucify innocent children? Is there a school of anti-Semitism 101 operating out there? Do you not think that before you would air an allegation like that, if you had any real sense of editorial responsibility, you would be 100 per cent sure that it was true; you would track down the people alleged to have done it and get their testimony? The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council has produced exhaustive rebuttals of virtually all the allegations in this program and I recommend readers visit the AIJAC website. The whole program was full of uncorroborated and intensely unlikely allegations.

    You could make the same kind of film about Australia if you didn’t find it necessary to prove any of your facts. In the Four Corners program, the only Jewish settler interviewed was a religious extremist who said Palestinians must never have a state of their own and that God gave all the land to the Jews and that was it.

    Yet the overwhelming majority of the Israeli population favours a two state solution. If you had even one ounce of responsibility in the way you treated these issues, and given their explosive, emotive nature, don’t you think some of that context might have been relevant? Isn’t there an obligation to convey the reality of the diversity of Jewish settlers in the West Bank?

    A week or two after the Four Corners program went to air, I attended a Catholic mass in a suburban church. The priest was preaching about forgiveness. Most examples he chose were taken from the news. One, he took from the Middle East. It concerned a heroic Palestinian whose family had been killed by Israel, but who still had the moral grandeur to forgive the Israelis. The priest said nothing else about the Middle East. So of all the malevolence and genuine evil in the Middle East, the only example the apiarist thought worth mentioning was a generic Israeli crime.

    With 2000 years of Christian anti-Semitism behind him, the priest had no hesitation in presenting Israel as the killer of innocent families and the only question in the Middle East being one of the moral greatness of the Palestinians in forgiving the Israelis.

    So this is what we’ve come to in 2014. The national broadcaster tells us that Jewish soldiers crucify innocent children and Christian clerics routinely portray Israel as the murderous oppressor of the Middle East. But these stereotypes are both evil, and deeply untrue. Over many trips to Israel, and many visits to neighbouring Middle East countries, I have come to the conclusion Israel has the best human rights and democratic institutions and civil society of any nation in the greater Middle East. More than that, I have tried hard to make my own investigations into two questions. Does the Israeli army routinely behave unreasonably? And what is the truth about the settlements?

    Israel is not perfect. Like every nation it makes mistakes, including moral mistakes. Undoubtedly, some of its soldiers have engaged in abuses. But over the years I have interviewed dozens, perhaps hundreds, of Israeli soldiers and former soldiers, many active on the Left of Israeli politics and harshly critical of their government. I have also interviewed many Palestinians. My net judgment is Israel’s army behaves with as much consideration for human rights and due process as any modern Western army – US, Australian or European – would do in similar circumstances.

    Then there is the question of Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Israel took control of the West Bank because it was attacked by Jordan in a war Israel fought for its very existence. Almost no one internationally had recognised Jordanian sovereignty over the West Bank and the land there is to be negotiated. The overwhelming consensus in Israel is that the vast majority of the West Bank, perhaps 95 per cent, will go to a Palestinian state with compensating land swaps from Israel proper. A few clusters of Jewish settlements will be retained by Israel.

    Bob Carr, who I think was a very good foreign minister, recently argued all the settlements are illegal. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop disagrees. On this, Bishop is right and Carr wrong. The problem with discussion of the settlements is that it is so unsophisticated and typically lumps so many different communities together. If all settlements are illegal, that means the Jewish presence at the Wailing Wall in the old city of Jerusalem, access to which was denied to Jews when it was under Arab control, is illegal. It means that the historic Jewish quarter of the old city is also illegal. It means that every Jewish household anywhere in East Jerusalem is illegal.

    It is worth noting, by the way, that Palestinians who live in East Jerusalem qualify for Israeli identity cards that allow them to live anywhere in Israel. Increasing numbers are buying apartments in West Jerusalem. But if all settlements are illegal then it is apparently illegal for Israelis, be they Jewish, Muslim or Christian, to buy in East Jerusalem.

    I have spent many days visiting the settlements to try to find out what the people who live there are like. As foreign minister, Kevin Rudd told me the settlements occupied about 3 per cent of the West Bank. Since 2004, settlements have not been allowed to expand beyond existing borders. Very, very few settlers are like the sole woman interviewed on Four Corners. There are a lot of very orthodox Jews who live in settlements, but the ultra-orthodox do not serve in the Israeli army and are often not very nationalist at all. They live in settlements because it is cheap and they want to have their own neighbourhoods with very orthodox schools, cooking facilities, etc.

    But most of the people I met in big, mainstream settlements like Gush Etzion and Maale Audumin, which are very close to Israel proper, were moderate, national religious types. The Jewish connection to the land historically certainly meant something to them, but they tended to vote for mainstream centre-right parties and live peaceably enough with their Palestinian neighbours. (Indeed, some 25,000 Palestinians work on settlements.) These settlers don’t make for very exciting TV interviews because they are so reasonable and unremarkable.

    An Israeli friend put it to me that perhaps 50 per cent of settlers are basically non-ideological, and lived in settlements because they can get a house much more cheaply than in Israel proper. Maybe 30 per cent to 40 per cent are moderate orthodox or national religious, mainstream, attached to the land, patriotic, pretty pragmatic. Perhaps 10 per cent (of settlers, not of Israelis overall) are intensely ideological and believe all the land should stay with the Jews. And perhaps 1 per cent or less are genuinely extremist and some of them genuinely violent. That certainly accords with what I have observed over years of visits.

    There are also outposts or settlements in the West Bank that are illegal under Israeli law. All serious Israeli negotiations involve the principle of repatriating a significant number of settlers back to Israel proper or to settlements Israel is definitely going to keep. Typically, the number of such postulated returns varies from 50,000 to 90,000.

    Aspects of Israel’s settlement policy have been very ill-advised. But I know that settlements are not the main obstacle to peace. The main obstacle to peace is that most of the Arab world will not accept the idea that Israel as a Jewish state has a right to exist and live in peace and security. The Four Corners program did nothing to enlighten the debate and led to a shocking outburst of rank anti-Semitism on ABC websites.

    I really thought we were beyond that.


    1 Mar 14 at 10:58 pm

  10. Mique

    1 Mar 14 at 11:50 pm

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