What is white priviledge if what is white can't be defined?

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What is white priviledge if what is white can't be defined?

Post Number:#1  Postby Roel » April 14th, 2017, 9:42 pm

It is very confusing to me how, at one hand people on this forum can't define what a white person is, but can speak about white priviledge. I just have a simple question, which is how white priviledge can be defined. If someone is, say, 25% Afro-American, and 75% white/Indo-European or however you want to call it, but this person has blonde hair, non-brown eyes and doesn't look Afro-American at all, could you say that this person has white priviledge, because he or she looks white and because of this is more accepted in mostly white communities?

If a woman has a jewish father, and an Irish mother and looks completely white, although she is partly jewish and not fully white, is it still white priviledge?

And if what a white person is can't be defined, how can white priviledge be defined? What is it, if we don't know what a white person is?
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What is white priviledge if what is white can't be defined?



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Re: What is white priviledge if what is white can't be defin

Post Number:#2  Postby Fooloso4 » April 16th, 2017, 12:38 pm

Roel:

It is very confusing to me how, at one hand people on this forum can't define what a white person is, but can speak about white priviledge.


It is about perception not definition. It is about treating people differently because of perceived differences associated with being white. A person who is perceived as being white may enjoy white privilege, while a person who is not perceived as being white may suffer because of prejudices associated with those who are not white.
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Re: What is white priviledge if what is white can't be defin

Post Number:#3  Postby LuckyR » April 20th, 2017, 11:35 am

Roel wrote:It is very confusing to me how, at one hand people on this forum can't define what a white person is, but can speak about white priviledge. I just have a simple question, which is how white priviledge can be defined. If someone is, say, 25% Afro-American, and 75% white/Indo-European or however you want to call it, but this person has blonde hair, non-brown eyes and doesn't look Afro-American at all, could you say that this person has white priviledge, because he or she looks white and because of this is more accepted in mostly white communities?

If a woman has a jewish father, and an Irish mother and looks completely white, although she is partly jewish and not fully white, is it still white priviledge?

And if what a white person is can't be defined, how can white priviledge be defined? What is it, if we don't know what a white person is?


As has been already described, White Privilege is an excellent descriptor for this very real issue, since it ISN'T a genetic marker (in which case it would be called something else), rather a social descriptor. Thus the "White" part of White Privilege is wholly in the mind of the perpetrator of the Privilege. Thus it has a nonreproducable exact definition. An example is in South Africa, back in apartheid times, a white South African woman developed a skin pigment disorder that darkened her skin and she legally lost her White status and was reclassified by the government as Colored (like imported Asian workers).
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Re: What is white priviledge if what is white can't be defin

Post Number:#4  Postby BenMcLean » April 24th, 2017, 9:36 pm

Imagine a hypothetical African nation which is really ruled by black Africans, where whites are a minority beset by an epidemic of broken homes, poverty, crime, police brutality, a history of slavery and segregation, underfunded schools, being too stupid to bring a photo ID with them when they vote and every other negative thing you can think of which affects blacks or is said to affect blacks in the United States.

Two candidates for the same job apply with identical qualifications, where the only difference is that one is fully black, and the other is a half-black because she had a white father so that she gets perceived as being white. The one who is fully black gets hired by the black manager at the mostly black company.

Now my question is: Would this be an example of black privilege?

If this "white privilege" is a valid concept, then it is reversible. That is one of the tests for logical validity in a concept. Logic doesn't care about your political feelings.
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Re: What is white priviledge if what is white can't be defin

Post Number:#5  Postby Fooloso4 » April 25th, 2017, 12:38 pm

BenMcLean:

Now my question is: Would this be an example of black privilege?


A single case does not demonstrate black privilege but a persistent pattern of favoring blacks would.
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Re: What is white priviledge if what is white can't be defin

Post Number:#6  Postby Nick_A » April 25th, 2017, 7:59 pm

BenMclean wrote:
Now my question is: Would this be an example of black privilege?


This could be said to be a racist remark. Progressive education has taught us that that where there is white priviledge, it is being replaced by black entitlement. The progressive view is that where whites are priviledged, blacks are entitled. Don't ask me to explain it. You need a Harvard education and a bottle of scotch to appreciate this logic.
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Re: What is white priviledge if what is white can't be defin

Post Number:#7  Postby LuckyR » April 27th, 2017, 11:19 am

Nick_A wrote:BenMclean wrote:
Now my question is: Would this be an example of black privilege?


This could be said to be a racist remark. Progressive education has taught us that that where there is white priviledge, it is being replaced by black entitlement. The progressive view is that where whites are priviledged, blacks are entitled. Don't ask me to explain it. You need a Harvard education and a bottle of scotch to appreciate this logic.


Are you trying to imply that the victims of a systemically unfair system are wrong to be resentful of that unequal environment?
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Re: What is white priviledge if what is white can't be defin

Post Number:#8  Postby BenMcLean » April 27th, 2017, 2:44 pm

[Edited]

-- Updated April 27th, 2017, 1:47 pm to add the following --

LuckyR wrote:Are you trying to imply that the victims of a systemically unfair system are wrong to be resentful of that unequal environment?

Yes, because the "systemically unfair system" is not "white privolege" -- it's just real life. Life's not fair and you go on from there.
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Re: What is white priviledge if what is white can't be defin

Post Number:#9  Postby Mgrinder » April 27th, 2017, 6:09 pm

Roel wrote:It is very confusing to me how, at one hand people on this forum can't define what a white person is, but can speak about white priviledge. I just have a simple question, which is how white priviledge can be defined. If someone is, say, 25% Afro-American, and 75% white/Indo-European or however you want to call it, but this person has blonde hair, non-brown eyes and doesn't look Afro-American at all, could you say that this person has white priviledge, because he or she looks white and because of this is more accepted in mostly white communities?

If a woman has a jewish father, and an Irish mother and looks completely white, although she is partly jewish and not fully white, is it still white priviledge?

And if what a white person is can't be defined, how can white priviledge be defined? What is it, if we don't know what a white person is?


As far as I understand it, it's how you are perceived by the rest of society due to your skin color, and the privilege you get (compared to people of a different skin color) due to your skin color. You get this privilege because of how you are perceived by others, not because of your actual ancestry.

For instance, I am a white male adult in Canada, and I have never been stopped and questioned by police while walking down a street by myself (or with other people for that matter). However, I listen to stories from males with black skin color, and they can count the number of times they have been stopped by police and questioned. So I am privileged to not have to deal with periodic harassment. I am also more likely to be awarded a job, given competition from equally qualified females and equally qualified people with different skin colors than mine. Probably the reason has to do with me being "more relatable" to management, who are also likely to be white males. But that's just speculation. The list goes on.

It is not directly related to my ancestry, but how I am perceived by the rest of society. As others have said.
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Re: What is white priviledge if what is white can't be defin

Post Number:#10  Postby BenMcLean » April 27th, 2017, 6:22 pm

Here's a page that may be relevant. It defines privilege theory in terms of "whiteness" -- contrasting people "who appear white" with "coloured and indigenous" people. Since white people are the indigenous people of Europe, I'm not sure how their theory applies to Europe. Maybe they define "indigenous" in some whacked out way in order to exclude white people from counting as indigenous to Europe. They do at least define "whiteness" as a "learned behavior" implying that it can be unlearned by joining their religion.

-- Updated April 27th, 2017, 5:24 pm to add the following --

Also, I know these "white privilege" preaching types aren't so prejudiced that rich white college students are prevented from joining their religion because they get a great many members from this class.
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Re: What is white priviledge if what is white can't be defin

Post Number:#11  Postby Dolphin42 » April 28th, 2017, 3:44 am

Mgrinder:
For instance, I am a white male adult in Canada, and I have never been stopped and questioned by police while walking down a street by myself (or with other people for that matter). However, I listen to stories from males with black skin color, and they can count the number of times they have been stopped by police and questioned. So I am privileged to not have to deal with periodic harassment. I am also more likely to be awarded a job, given competition from equally qualified females and equally qualified people with different skin colors than mine. Probably the reason has to do with me being "more relatable" to management, who are also likely to be white males. But that's just speculation. The list goes on.


Consider the above example of favouring a candidate for a job based on his/her appearance, and the hypothetical opposite situation given by BenMcLean further up. In addition to the "more relatable" thing, aren't they partly examples of the use of Inductive Reasoning to maximise the employer's chances of picking the most suitable applicant? If it is a statistical fact that people of a certain skin colour (or, for that matter, people of a certain sex, height, weight or eye colour) are, on average, slightly more competent at this type of job than other people then once other considerations have been weighed up, as a final filter doesn't it make logical sense to pick people based on their appearance?

If this is true, and if we live in an extremely competitive cut-throat world in which hiring anything less than the ideal candidate means that the competing company has an edge over my company and I go bust, is there a sense in which I have a duty to my share holders to be a wee bit racist? And sexist and heightist? (I've read that tall people are actually, on average, more successful than people of a shorter stature.)

Just a thought.
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Re: What is white priviledge if what is white can't be defin

Post Number:#12  Postby Fooloso4 » April 28th, 2017, 11:52 am

BenMcLean:

Here's a page that may be relevant. It defines privilege theory in terms of "whiteness" -- contrasting people "who appear white" with "coloured and indigenous" people.


The broader definition of privilege theory is that it applies to any group who enjoys privilege:
At the heart of privilege theory is the idea that oppression works through a series of unearned advantages enjoyed by those who do not suffer a particular oppression. So all men, white people or straight people, for example, will gain privileges that come from not facing sexism, racism or homophobia. (http://isj.org.uk/whats-wrong-with-privilege-theory/)


If, as in your example of a hypothetical nation run by black Africans, blacks enjoy unearned advantages and whites are oppressed then this would be a hypothetical example of black privilege.

Since white people are the indigenous people of Europe, I'm not sure how their theory applies to Europe.


It applies if white people enjoy advantages on the basis of nothing other than the color of their skin. The point the article you cited makes with regard to indigenous people is that they do not enjoy the same social standing in societies dominated by whites even though white people are not the indigenous people. If white people are the indigenous people then indigenous people is in that case not at issue, but other forms of white privilege may still exist.

Also, I know these "white privilege" preaching types aren't so prejudiced that rich white college students are prevented from joining their religion because they get a great many members from this class.


The more fundamental question, as I understand it, is not the advocacy of white privilege but whether it in fact exists. Some think that it is obvious that it does, others argue that it does not exist. White supremacists advocate white privilege, but I don’t think that anyone here is advocating for white privilege. There was another topic that was also started by Roel on white supremacism/white nationalism.

Dolphin 42:

… as a final filter doesn't it make logical sense to pick people based on their appearance?


By final filter I am assume you mean something like choosing between candidates who are by other measures equal - similar education, work experience, recommendations, etc. If that is what you mean I do not think it makes logical sense to give preference to the white candidate. Statistics do not tell us which of these two candidates will do a better job, and more importantly, statistics do not explain the statistics. It may be that with equality of opportunity comes less disparity with regard to statistical differences. In other words, it may be that the statistical differences are a reflection of white privilege.
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Re: What is white priviledge if what is white can't be defin

Post Number:#13  Postby BenMcLean » April 28th, 2017, 11:56 am

Your source says "all men, white people or straight people, for example, will gain privileges that come from not facing sexism, racism or homophobia" and "all" means "all" so it includes whites in the hypothetical I posed.

-- Updated April 28th, 2017, 11:01 am to add the following --

I don’t think that anyone here is advocating for white privilege.

You're advocating privilege theory, and I was merely pointing out that privilege theory itself seems to get a huge number of converts from rich white college students. And I mean trust-fund-having, get-a-free-car-at-16, parents-pay-for-college kind of rich. It doesn't seem quite so popular among students actually trying to work their way through. No time to attend clueless protests against "the system" when you've gotta punch a clock at your work-study job.

-- Updated April 28th, 2017, 11:03 am to add the following --

In case that wasn't clear enough for you, what I am saying is that privilege theory is largely developed and promoted by overprivileged white people.
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Re: What is white priviledge if what is white can't be defin

Post Number:#14  Postby Fooloso4 » April 28th, 2017, 12:16 pm

BenMcLean:

Your source says "all men, white people or straight people, for example, will gain privileges that come from not facing sexism, racism or homophobia" and "all" means "all" so it includes whites in the hypothetical I posed.


I don’t see your point. Privilege theory is about the difference between a group that enjoys an unearned advantage versus a group that suffers from unearned discrimination. A gay white man may benefit from white privilege and male privilege but suffer from straight privilege.

In your hypothetical case there is no white privilege. The members of that society do not benefit but rather suffer from being white, but there is a benefit from being black, and so, unlike actual cases of white privilege, there would in that hypothetical case be black privilege.
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Re: What is white priviledge if what is white can't be defin

Post Number:#15  Postby BenMcLean » April 28th, 2017, 12:25 pm

What do you mean, you don't see my point? It says "all". It's saying all bourgeois ... er, I mean white, male, non-sodomite people have privilege and all proletariat ... er I mean blacks females and sodomites are victims. All means all, regardless of circumstance. What your sources say don't match what you're saying.
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