How privileged do you think you are?

asp3

Member
I personally feel very privileged. I'm white in the United States on the west coast so I've never really had to personally deal with racism or prejudice. My parents were middle to upper middle class most of my life so I never really had any difficult times growing up. My parents enjoyed sharing things with us and spending time with us so I had a reasonably good family growing up. We lived in places with good facilities and public schools so I had enjoyable times and good schooling when I was growing up. I also was able to go to college at a very nice state university for a very low amount of money that was funded by my parents so I had a great foundation for the rest of my life. I have never been the victim of physical violence so I haven't had to deal with reactions to that and none of my family has had to deal with any majorly traumatic situations during my lifetime. I have never had to fight in a war and have never had any family members killed or injured in a war. My jobs have given me the chance to travel internationally every once in a while so I've been able to visit some amazing places and meet some interesting people.

I'm amazed at what I've been able to experience and hope to continue to be amazed with what happens in the rest of my life.
 

Ruthanne

SF VIP
Location
Earth
I don't consider myself "privileged" yet having gratitude for what I have and glad for what I don't have goes a long way for me. My family just got by having 6 children to feed, clothe and educate and care for. Many in the city I grew up in were far better off as they were doctors, lawyers and other professions that did much better financially. Took my father a long time to find a job where there were very good benefits and a higher wage and a union. By that time most of us were grown.
 

Warrigal

SF VIP
I personally feel very privileged. I'm white in the United States on the west coast so I've never really had to personally deal with racism or prejudice. My parents were middle to upper middle class most of my life so I never really had any difficult times growing up. My parents enjoyed sharing things with us and spending time with us so I had a reasonably good family growing up. We lived in places with good facilities and public schools so I had enjoyable times and good schooling when I was growing up. I also was able to go to college at a very nice state university for a very low amount of money that was funded by my parents so I had a great foundation for the rest of my life. I have never been the victim of physical violence so I haven't had to deal with reactions to that and none of my family has had to deal with any majorly traumatic situations during my lifetime. I have never had to fight in a war and have never had any family members killed or injured in a war. My jobs have given me the chance to travel internationally every once in a while so I've been able to visit some amazing places and meet some interesting people.

I'm amazed at what I've been able to experience and hope to continue to be amazed with what happens in the rest of my life.
I suspect I was born a decade or two before you but I too had a lucky start in life. I was born in the middle of WW II, after the fall of Singapore. My dad served in New Guinea and came back alive. Two of his brothers never came back at all. Growing up in post war Australia I was the recipient of a free education, good health care and a carefree lifestyle where children could play outside without adult supervision. We could go unescorted to play in the local park, and to the movies and the council run Olympic swimming pool by ourselves. We had plenty of fresh food on the table and a backyard where we could grow some vegetables and keep some hens.

I won a scholarship to Sydney University to become a teacher, a chance my parents did not have when they were young. After marriage, Hubby and I were able to afford to buy a block of land and then build the house we still live in. Our two kids had the same benefits and after they grew up we took the opportunity to travel broadly in Australia and overseas. We have enough money in our retirement pension accounts to live comfortably and we have money enough to help out the grandkids from time to time.

This same level of opportunity was not, and for the most part, is still not there for our indigenous people. This fact is what makes my situation one of white privilege. It is said that being born in Australia is like winning the lottery. However if you are Indigenous you don't have a ticket so you don't have the same chances.
 

Gary O'

Well-known Member
Location
Oregon
How privileged do you think you are?

Not
Been around some that flaunt their self professed privilege
Tends to make me sick to my stomach

I've never identified with the 'privileged'

I've worked for them
Old money and new money
Offspring that haven't a clue, but enjoy their environs without provocation
I do my best to suppress the urge to rub their faces in the mud

Been invited to things
Not my favorite places

Guess I identify with the grunts of the world

Wrote a little story of an experience I had early on in life;



Who dost thou think thou art?

Between oil field jobs, I worked at a private golf course.
River Oaks Country Club.
Quite the area, and a good example of how things once were.
River Oaks blvd had this huge entry gate.
More symbolic than functional. It separated tiny houses outside the gate from the mansions within.

Pillared edifices with huge manicured grounds lined the boulevard,
ending with the ‘club house’, pillars, fountains, white jacketed people of color opening doors, stepping, fetching. ‘Yah, suh’.

I was mowing tees one Saturday morning,
and shut my equipment down to give the twosome a shot at the green on this par three.
These guys were owners of things, like NFL teams.
Before they got into their swing regimen I asked if any of them knew what time it was.
‘Is he talking to you?’
I didn’t realize that my ranking as a member of the human race did not rate higher than a third person,
an entity to ignore, snub, or order to bring something.

‘They wouldn’t give me the time of day’ became a reality for me that morning.
I watched the dried up bitter old geezer twist his beef jerky torso and flail his pretzel arms,
culminating in a feeble swing, sending yet another worm burner half way to the hole.

Sad, but this, among all atrocious, is what I hate most.

Yeah, there’s idiots that happen to drive, kids (18-28) that need a good spanking,
and haters that in reality fear people that are not like them, and just downright mean people.

But, I so wish for the self-appointed royalty to be brought down,
disrobed of their haughtiness, and abased in front of their subjects.
 
Last edited:

C'est Moi

Dishin' it out.
Location
Houston Y'all
How privileged do you think you are?

Not
Been around some that flaunt their self professed privilege
Tends to make me sick to my stomach

I've never identified with the 'privileged'

I've worked for them
Old money and new money
Offspring that haven't a clue, but enjoy their environs without provocation
I do my best to suppress the urge to rub their faces in the mud

Been invited to things
Not my favorite places

Guess I identify the grunts of the world

Wrote a little story of an experience I had early on in life;



Who dost thou think thou art?

Between oil field jobs, I worked at a private golf course.
River Oaks Country Club.
Quite the area, and a good example of how things once were.
River Oaks blvd had this huge entry gate.
More symbolic than functional. It separated tiny houses outside the gate from the mansions within.

Pillared edifices with huge manicured grounds lined the boulevard,
ending with the ‘club house’, pillars, fountains, white jacketed people of color opening doors, stepping, fetching. ‘Yah, suh’.

I was mowing tees one Saturday morning,
and shut my equipment down to give the twosome a shot at the green on this par three.
These guys were owners of things, like NFL teams.
Before they got into their swing regimen I asked if any of them knew what time it was.
‘Is he talking to you?’
I didn’t realize that my ranking as a member of the human race did not rate higher than a third person,
an entity to ignore, snub, or order to bring something.

‘They wouldn’t give me the time of day’ became a reality for me that morning.
I watched the dried up bitter old geezer twist his beef jerky torso and flail his pretzel arms,
culminating in a feeble swing, sending yet another worm burner half way to the hole.

Sad, but this, among all atrocious, is what I hate most.

Yeah, there’s idiots that happen to drive, kids (18-28) that need a good spanking,
and haters that in reality fear people that are not like them, and just downright mean people.

But, I so wish for the self-appointed royalty to be brought down,
disrobed of their haughtiness, and abased in front of their subjects.
Well done, sir. (And River Oaks hasn't changed. Even the store clerks in that area are haughty.)
 

asp3

Member
Original Poster
I don't particularly care for the definition of "privileged" to have morphed into yet another racist slogan. So tiresome. I never had anything handed to me in life; I had to work for it. Yes, I'm a white person... so what? That and $6 will get you a Starbucks.
Here's the first definition that came up for me when I looked for one online.

privilege - a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group

I don't think that the definition has morphed at all, it's just been applied properly to differences that people experience in US society that are based on race. On can find numerous psychological and sociological studies that clearly show that within the US white people are given more respect and trust than blacks and Hispanics.

I don't know you and don't know your background so I can't really know if you weren't given anything. However if you're white and grew up in the US the probability is that you were given more respect, were given more trust more and were given more of the benefit of the doubt than black people in your community or in communities in the rest of the US.

I do understand that there are currently white people in the US who are not as privileged as others based on where they grew up, how they talk and other things. When Irish people came to the US many years ago there was a level of mistrust and discrimination they endured which was heartbreaking. In that case the privilege of those who were already in the US had nothing to do with race but everything to do with country of origin.
 

C'est Moi

Dishin' it out.
Location
Houston Y'all
Here's the first definition that came up for me when I looked for one online.

privilege - a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group

I don't think that the definition has morphed at all, it's just been applied properly to differences that people experience in US society that are based on race. On can find numerous psychological and sociological studies that clearly show that within the US white people are given more respect and trust than blacks and Hispanics.

I don't know you and don't know your background so I can't really know if you weren't given anything. However if you're white and grew up in the US the probability is that you were given more respect, were given more trust more and were given more of the benefit of the doubt than black people in your community or in communities in the rest of the US.

I do understand that there are currently white people in the US who are not as privileged as others based on where they grew up, how they talk and other things. When Irish people came to the US many years ago there was a level of mistrust and discrimination they endured which was heartbreaking. In that case the privilege of those who were already in the US had nothing to do with race but everything to do with country of origin.
I know the definition of privileged; I don't need you to look it up for me. My complaint is that the word has been appropriated as one more means to divide people, another "hashtag" moment for the social justice warriors. "White privilege," bantered about until it's meaningless and thrown out as often as the "racist!" accusation. Just because I don't agree with everyone does not mean I am racist, or that because I am white I am privileged. Not everything needs a label, especially one that serves no purpose other than to further divide an already divided country.
 

grahamg

Senior Member
I don't know about America, although I accept the various views expressed above. However, I do feel I was privileged during my upbringing, though there were some negatives other wouldn't have experienced. The positive included our sense of security, maybe an element of thinking we were somehow a bit better than others was engendered in us, (whilst contrarily I was aware how much less than the well off neighbours we were, the ones who could afford holidays etc). We were racist, and most people we knew probably were too, except one uncle and aunt, sticks out in my mind, (we hated Germans too!).
Just to throw in one anecdote, a guy called Reg, whose parents had West Indian origins, and who I worked with for a short time in London, told me that there was much racism amongst black people, as his skin colour was a bit lighter perhaps. It was generous of him to say that, because he suffered plenty if racism in his life, with an element of it still around where we both worked I felt.
 

Knight

Senior Member
Looked up a definition of privilege for my own use.

1. A special benefit that is available only to a particular person or group.

Group would be an American. I'm not good with the distinction used by others. African American, Oriental American, Polish American, Irish American & the list goes on.


1a. Something nice that you feel lucky to have.

Being born in America

https://www.macmillandictionary.com/us/dictionary/american/privilege


Didn't know my family was poor, didn't know when we were 1st. married my wife & I were poor. Only by looking back do I understand that. America truly was the land of opportunity for me since education beyond high school was not possible. Worked at whatever I could get after leaving the Navy. My Navy experience along with each job helped build a decent resume, making it possible to retire 25 years ago at age 54.

We live a comfortable life so I have to say 1a. something nice that you feel lucky to have. & my response to 1a. says it all.
 

asp3

Member
Original Poster
I know the definition of privileged; I don't need you to look it up for me. My complaint is that the word has been appropriated as one more means to divide people, another "hashtag" moment for the social justice warriors. "White privilege," bantered about until it's meaningless and thrown out as often as the "racist!" accusation. Just because I don't agree with everyone does not mean I am racist, or that because I am white I am privileged. Not everything needs a label, especially one that serves no purpose other than to further divide an already divided country.
I was looking it up for myself because I wanted to see if I was misapplying it. I do not think I did and wanted to share the definition I used for that contention.

I think that a problem needs to be well defined before it can be addressed. I find that privilege is one problem that we need to define to address it to create a more fair and equitable society.

Do you agree that as a society the US in general does not view black people as positively as it does white people?

I apologize if something I wrote made you think that I was calling you a racist. If you can tell me what I wrote that made you think that I'll make sure I don't do something similar in the future. I do not think that you are a racist.

I still do contend that although being white does not make someone privileged, being white does give one a privilege in our US society that is not afforded blacks. There may be areas of the country where such a privilege does not exist and whites and blacks are viewed equally by the society of that area in general. However I am not aware of any such places and would love to learn about them if you know of any.

I see this as a problem and therefore don't think it's just a label. To me it isn't so much a term to divide people as it is a way to frame a division that already exists that we should work on so that it goes away in the future.
 

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