Discussion in 'Debate and Discussion' started by brettmcd, Feb 21, 2012.
who exactly is this directed at?
I'm not even sure how to go about finding supportive data for this, but anecdotally I think owning a home, or preparing to buy one, or being in a position to do so, is generally considered a marker of middle-class status. Again, this is a vague, nearly useless term.
I've lost the thread of your argument D. What exactly are you trying to say with what Reene quoted?
It is really about privilege and how deceptive it is in America. I could work my way up. Some people start on top. Reene can work her way up or she may already be there she's got a good income for her position in life. Some can never work their way up. Privilege is a terrible word for opportunity it's a degrading and stupid way to talk to working people about issues of racism and poverty.
What to lose an affirmative action conversation with your average working class white guy? Tell him he's privileged. Tell him Tarsha had a hard time getting a minimum wage job and because of that we need to let more African Americans attend Harvard. Tell him white felons get minimum wage jobs better than non-felon black men and that's why we need affirmative action...
Actually, let me rephrase a little. I don't think you necessarily need to own a home to qualify as middle-class. But it seems like you're suggesting that owning a home renders you "upper-class," and I don't think that's true.
EDIT: Yet more refinement, I should probably have considered this more before posting the first time. I would say that owning a home is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for middle-class status, but is definitely a strong indicator for at least middle-class status.
Here's a Reuters piece on the subject: http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/09/14/us-usa-taxes-middleclass-idUSTRE68D3QD20100914
This and other things you've written on the topic make me think that maybe you just have a poor understanding of the concept of privilege and what it means to individuals. Here's a good primer:
Being privileged doesn't mean that bad things never happen to you or that you can't be disadvantaged in other ways (intersectionality!). It means that a particular trait you have confers benefits onto you, benefits that are often invisible and just taken as granted, but which other groups don't have.
You say I worked my way up? Sure, I'm working my way up, as an ostensibly white (I pass, so that counts) queer first-generation female student from a single-parent home with income below the poverty line. How much easier would it have been if I was a man, all else being the same? I'd probably have a better paying job right now, for one, or at least more work experience. I'd have more research and publishing opportunities compared to men in my field that are equally or less qualified than I am. It'd be easier for me to reach the upper echelons of academia (which are still largely dominated by men, as much as some shout about there being more female undergrads than male ones). On the other hand, what if everything was the same except I was black? I'd probably have even fewer opportunities. I'd have a harder time getting jobs, and if my name was one people associated with black women, I'd have an even harder time with publishing and advancement in academia.
You call it "opportunity" because you want to believe that all that matters is how hard a person works. That no matter what station a person is born into, all they have to do is bootstrap their way to success. It isn't true, but the kicker to having privilege is that our privileges are seen as the norm and it can be extremely difficult to step outside of that egocentric perspective. But it's really as simple as accepting that a black woman doesn't have the same opportunities I have had purely on the basis of what group people mentally place me in when they look at me (white).
You keep trying to talk to me as if I'm the caricature you have created rather than who I really am. Plus, you got a terrible case of the grass is greener. There are a lot of white men worse of than you. Really. There. Are. And maybe they deserve what you have but were denied it because of some injustice done to them? I hope I"m not talking to a wall here. You are the victim only if you let yourself be, You're a winner on so many levels and yet you are jealous of some phantom white man. You're going to get a bigger chip on your shoulder and you will start hating and ou will fail because of that, not because of anything else. The chip and the hate will get you.
This is the worst goddamn thread ever.
If one wants to find out about Judaism, one does not read a neo-Nazi blog.
If one wants to find out about "privilege", one does not read a feminist blog that includes such gems as
That's just lame, you know.
What proof of this do you have? Have you ever been told something along the lines of "Reene, you would have been offered a tenure-track position, if only you had been male"? And I suspect, oh the irony, that what you're studying is gender studies, which probably makes it a case of affirmative action if a man gets appointed in your stead. And you can't wait to bring that down so that you could get ahead! Ha!
And you have the gall to say that "bootstrap their way to success" isn't true, even though that was my point (and, to some extent, D-One's), that class is not talked about because it's seen as a personal failure as opposed to the result of some institutional you-name-it. And on top of that, you would call that "egocentric"? In so doing, you are perpetuating the myth that the white poor's condition is entirely a result of their personal failure, because, oh, there's so much race and gender to talk about.
Wow. I thought I was fairly well educated on this stuff and I don't even know what all of those words mean.
It's almost like social constructs change over time!
Separate names with a comma.