"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Tuesday, January 06, 2015


That word is one of the most commonly mis-used words in public discourse, and happens to be one of those that immediately causes me to lose interest in what the speaker has to say. Amanda Marcotte has an excellent post on racism and privilege at Raw Story, in which she gets it exactly right:

Look, I think Chappelle-Nada’s tweet was poorly phrased. She makes a really common and irritating mistake that’s all over lefty Twitter, which is treating “privilege” like it’s a choice or a behavior, when in fact the whole idea of “privilege” was constructed by sociologists to describe automatic benefits accorded to people despite what choices they may make. She also makes the mistake of thinking that the privileges in question are inherently bad things, when in most cases, the problem isn’t that they exist but that they aren’t shared more equally. For instance, it’s a white privilege to not have to worry about being shot by the cops for minding your own business. However, the way to rectify that problem is not to start shooting random white people, but to expand this privilege until it’s a right that everyone enjoys, regardless of race.

I was once taken to task at a blog that shall remain nameless because of my "privilege" as a white, cisgender male. (Apparently, for this group, the only bases for discrimination are skin color and gender identity -- oh, and being a woman. Being gay doesn't count, unless you're a lesbian.) The owner of the blog directed me to an article by an upper-middle class white woman that would explain it all. I read the article and realized that I had nothing in common with this woman -- her experience at no point matched my own. And let me add that the point I was trying to make to these people -- that there are innumerable "reasons" to discriminate against others and the only real counter is to just take people as people -- search for the commonalities, not the differences -- was completely lost on them. (I don't follow that blog any more. They claimed to be a refuge for "survivors," but seemed to be more interested in becoming professional victims. The owner was the lone voice of sanity, but she was only one of several diarists.)

At any rate, read Marcotte's post. It's a good one.

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