dagNotes: Structural Privilege White Privilege Structural Privilege
I’ve been busy preparing to move to Cambodia and getting set up for a month of writing. As I’ve written before, I really won’t be back to blogging until July.
Most of the notes I’ve received during my downtime have been about whiteness and white privilege. I’m working through my archives to produce a post with links to past posts and highlights of what I’ve written on whiteness, white power, and white privilege. That’s forthcoming. For now, a note on discussing white privilege.
If your friend insists that white privilege does not exist, you should direct him or her to Jefferson’s declaration that “all men are created equal”. Jefferson’s rebuttal of the divine right of kings is problematic in that it requires a specific kind of ideological purchase for it to be found to be both valid and true. For Jefferson’s claim to work what must we insist to be true (whether not it is true)?
“All men are created equal” has become the most popular among several ideal and/or absurd declarations about humanity people like to use to deny white privilege exists. Almost the entire discourse on “the rights of man” in Europe and United States is now interpreted solely as a means to deny the presence of white supremacy in capitalist culture and to support the notion that citizens should not blame others when they find they cannot succeed. The declaration has become nothing more than a habit of interpolation.
At any rate, begin the conversation about privilege denial insisting the discourse about privilege remain grounded in debate that purposefully contrasts the reality of everyday life for different individuals with the imagined reality of ideal life for humanity. It’s within this contrast that we can most vividly illustrate oppression in everyday life and its denial. It’s not too difficult to recognize where oppression exists so does privilege.