There is some fun coming up Monday, but we reasoned this could be useful and appropriate as a primer. I also saw Tim Wise on Thursday at a local university (another hint as to my location) where he spoke about race, politics, and white privilege at the first year convocation. But, as I often say about whiteness studies, at times this "discipline" commits the same oversight of power that it is ostensibly challenging. Because even as whiteness studies "fights" white racism and white privilege, white folk are still at the center of the conversation, and it can become a communal therapy session that really accomplishes little. But again, you know I am biased in my feelings towards guilty liberal types and others.
Random thought number 1: how many Cornel West tapes has Tim Wise studied?
Random thought number 2: those women at the 13 second mark are looking really hungry for some Cornel Socratic dialogue/foundations of American prophetic pragmatic loving aren't they?
For those not in the know, anti-racist, scholar, and author, Tim Wise--what a cool name, by the way--has published a piece on race and the presidential election that has gone viral and is causing some more conservative (and other myopically challenged) White folks to engage in hysterical denial. Read the article, but make sure to read the comments section as well: truly priceless examples of the power of denial.
And you know, just thinking aloud, while a clear homage to Peggy McIntosh's White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, I also think Time Wise was reading our Niggaro Universe posts as he wrote the following piece, and that we deserve proper attribution.
This is Your Nation on White Privilege
By Tim Wise
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 “fuckin’ redneck,” like Bristol Palin’s boyfriend does, and talk about how if anyone messes with you, you'll “kick their fuckin' ass,” and talk about how you like to “shoot shit” 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.
the post continues here...
What do you think? How much does white privilege impact the election? Does it or does it not? Is there such a thing as white privilege? Are there multiple white privileges and not one privilege? Are there black, brown, or people of color privileges? If so what are they? Frankly and being provocative, can White folk be anti-racist? Can they work against racism? Generalizing, can men be feminists? Can straight people work against heterosexism? Or can they try and ultimately always fail because their/our hands are always dirty? Do you buy Tim Wise's argument? Is he sincere or is he pandering and working an angle? Is he a con man of sorts? Or is he a brother in the struggle, a man down like John Brown?