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White privilege - King Rat
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gkr
gkr
White privilege
Of course, the libertarians felt it was important to point out how disenfranchised the Italians, Greeks, French and Spanish descendants in America are. Now that we've atoned for 300 years of slavery we better get right on atoning for bastardizing pasta into Spaghetti-os.
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Comments
evillinn From: evillinn Date: November 5th, 2008 06:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
I roll my eyes at this. I will also point out that I'm snarkily amused that Native Americans aren't mentioned in the piece.

faerieburst From: faerieburst Date: November 5th, 2008 07:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wait, why are you rolling your eyes at this?

The article accurately points out that it's more than a "we elected a black president, as opposed to all the white presidents in the past". People from many ethnic groups who get lumped in the "white" category have never been personally represented either. Our selection process has been even more rigid and exclusive than one realizes at first glance. Seriously, how many people realize that our presidents have only come from British, Irish or German descent? I certainly didn't.

In light of that, the article would seem to highlight that this is even more of a momentous happening than originally thought, taken in the context of the utter lack of diversity even within the "white" classification.

I don't believe that he was being flip or sarcastic with these sentences: "But I think we can assume that from now on there won’t be any perceived disadvantage to candidates of Italian, French, Asian, or other previous genealogies not previously seen in the White House. For that, congratulations to Barack Obama."

I think this was an article of respect and hope for the future.

~Aramada
evillinn From: evillinn Date: November 5th, 2008 07:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't think he was being flip or sarcastic, either. And I don't actually think it is sour grapes.

I just found the article to be a bit ridiculous right now. I'm somewhat torn about the hyper-focus on Obama's race. He wasn't elected because he's black (or half black as so many articles seem to be pointing out this morning). He was elected because huge segments of the population believe he can lead us to something better.

That said, the thing that made me cry last night was knowing what this means to the black community. Its profound.

Also, I remain somewhat annoyed at the constant lack of reference to the need for Native American leaders on the federal platform, particularly when people are pointing out the opportunity for German or Italian-American leaders.
faerieburst From: faerieburst Date: November 5th, 2008 07:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
It is absolutely profound what it means to the black community. And it is also profound what it means to ALL minority communities. I don't think it is inappropriate for someone to point that out.

The Native American question is a more complex one for me. No other minority group in this country is simulanteously attempting to be a part of the country AND maintain a separate nation identity. It seems an odd dicotomy to me of "we want a share in leading the group, but we don't want to be fully part of the group." It would be something I would be interesting discussing further with you sometime, as you have first hand data that I think would be incredibly valuable to my thought process.

~Aramada
gkr From: gkr Date: November 5th, 2008 07:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
You forget Puerto Ricans. They are trying to maintain status as both part of this country and a separate one as well.
faerieburst From: faerieburst Date: November 5th, 2008 07:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
They haven't taken the separation quite as far as the Native Americans have currently, but to a more minor degree, absolutely. And I feel the same, "Wait, you can't have it both ways" reaction in re: to Puerto Rico.

~Aramada
faerieburst From: faerieburst Date: November 5th, 2008 06:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
There is nothing "sour grapes" about that article.

In fact, it's a pretty positive piece.

"In this light, Obama’s achievement is even more remarkable. He has achieved something that no American politician even of southern or eastern European heritage has managed. But I think we can assume that from now on there won’t be any perceived disadvantage to candidates of Italian, French, Asian, or other previous genealogies not previously seen in the White House. For that, congratulations to Barack Obama."

I feel like you read that paragraph as sarcastic and I don't believe it was at all.

~Aramada
gkr From: gkr Date: November 5th, 2008 07:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Didn't read it as sarcastic at all.

Blacks have been far more disadvantaged than southern Europeans, both historically in the starting point for their immigration to the U.S. (in chains) as a group as well as culturally and legally throughout their residence in the country.

And yet, for that particular CATO Institute "scholar" (I use scare quotes because it's not an academic institution) the takeaway was not "this is an awesome step for blacks" or "perhaps now we'll see some of our libertarian ideals applied to black americans by the establishment" or a whole host of other writing that would/could focus on the moment that means so much to black and other minority americans.

Instead, the first thing worth writing about (at least on the CATO Institute blog that I read every day) for this guy, at midnight last night, was to focus on what this could mean for Italians? Are you kidding me? I'm sure he sincerely meant the positive tone of the article, and was not trying to take away from blacks. But that writing is a stark example of what blacks and liberals call "white privilege." Clueless unawareness of the place that white Americans hold in our society by virtue of the color of their skin.
faerieburst From: faerieburst Date: November 5th, 2008 07:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
"or a whole host of other writing that would/could focus on the moment that means so much to black and other minority americans.

Instead, the first thing worth writing about (at least on the CATO Institute blog that I read every day) for this guy, at midnight last night, was to focus on what this could mean for Italians?"


Last time I checked, Italians are certainly a minority in this country. Would have to check exact numbers, but I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that they were MORE of a minority than latinos or blacks.

This has nothing to do with "white privilege." If that were the case, his point wouldn't be valid, ie. we would have had presidents from the white subsections he mentioned. But the fact of the matter is, we haven't. So just having "white" skin hasn't been the "free pass" to all power it would seem. For many "white" ethnic groups, they also have been barred from the higher offices.

Am I saying that Greeks in this country have suffered the historical repression and oppression that blacks have? Of course not. And he isn't either. He's pointing out that the divisions are more complex than people like to deal with, but this represents a positive step toward ALL minorities, the "obvious" and the subtle, having a viable shot.

Which I don't think is a bad message, a dismissive message, or an unimportant one.

~Aramada
kindofstrange From: kindofstrange Date: November 5th, 2008 06:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Perhaps I'm missing something. How is this article negative? I read this more as 'Hey, this is great, it's a win for all sorts of ethnic groups that haven't been represented through a president!', not 'oh big deal, we haven't had _insert ethnic group here_' as president either!'.
my_poison_apple From: my_poison_apple Date: November 5th, 2008 07:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't read this as negative either. It recognizes the incredible achievement made by Obama* and saying that this paves the way for minorities and previously unrepresented ethnic groups of all sorts.




*Which spell check still does not recognize. Booo.
gkr From: gkr Date: November 5th, 2008 07:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm sure that's what he thought he was doing. He's gone about it very badly though.
kindofstrange From: kindofstrange Date: November 5th, 2008 07:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
'Sour grapes' implies intentional negative connotation, not 'huh, that could have been written in a way I'd find more appropriate'.
gkr From: gkr Date: November 5th, 2008 07:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
You're right.
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