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You get farther in life without a boulder on your shoulder.

I ran across two videos recently that I thought worth sharing given the trajectory of some of the conversations here. The first is a woman I have never seen nor heard of before this morning. She is discussing the fallacy of “white privilege” in the current era:

The second is a talk given by Larry Elder, which resonated with me on numerous levels:

  • I can identify with not really connecting with my late father on an intimate level until my mid-20s. Elder discusses some of the ways men of our father’s generation coped and compensated for the disadvantages they encountered because of their race, and how their stoicism in the face of the difficulties transferred over into much of their parenting. My dad wasn’t nearly as angry as his, but there were many things we couldn’t appreciate until adulthood, and which he didn’t bother explaining. Like Elder’s father, mine also worked hard, owned property, and ran successful businesses at a time when the only thing they had going for them was a strong work ethic and upright character.
  • My husband was a young man who despite engaging in a fair amount of reckless behavior, also made good on his innate mechanical and hands-on ability.  Before partying all night on Saturday for instance, he would spend Saturday mornings accompanying the older electrician who lived down the street from him whose own sons weren’t interested in his trade. In other words, he maximized his potential and in so doing affirmed Booker T. Washington’s assertion that a man who proves himself an asset can make it regardless of race.
  • I generally offer a pretty wide caveat of exception for young men of today because they have a harder economic climate to navigate than my husband did 20+ years ago. Likewise, my husband had a less difficult social climate than my father did 60 years ago. However, I have encountered a couple of young husbands over the past 2 years who have given me pause with regard to that. Neither of them went to college but both (one white, one black) have defied all of the odds when faced with a family started at a less than ideal time. They have worked hard and provided good lives for their wives and children. In other words, even in this economic and educational climate, they have proven that necessity can pull out of a person what society claims is not possible. On to the Larry Elder video (worth the 30 minutes of your life):
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10 thoughts on “You get farther in life without a boulder on your shoulder.”

  1. The woman in the video starts with a false premise about what white privilege actually is. She claims that it means that being white always better than being black. Obviously that is nonsense, and no reasonable person believes that. That would mean that the white single mother with breast cancer who cleans my house twice a week and can’t afford quality healthcare is more privileged than I am. Clearly not, and that is not what is meant by white privilege.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_privilege

    White privilege (or white skin privilege) is a term for societal privileges that benefit people identified as white in Western countries, beyond what is commonly experienced by non-white people under the same social, political, or economic circumstances.

    White privilege is the idea that if you were to take a white person under whatever circumstances and only change their skin color to black his or her life would become more difficult. If you take a black person were to become white and nothing else changed then his or her life would be easier. There is some truth to the concept, but since there is nothing that anyone can really do about it, it seems pointless to worry about it.

    She also seems to be under the idea that Affirmative Action allows unqualified black women to be admitted over qualified white people. This is not true and is not how Affirmative Action works. See “Becky with the Bad Grades” who lost her Affirmative Action supreme court case. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/abigail-fisher-becky-bad-grades-article-1.2685865

    I agree with her that people should not concern themselves with whether or not someone dislikes them because of their race. As I said before, the opinions of random white people on black people are pretty much irrelevant and should be ignored for most part. If they mistreat you then that is another matter.

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  2. A very sensible woman! Nonya on the other hand, is a dupe. A wealthy black woman with a poor white cleaning lady lecturing us on white privilege? Fuck off. Like I said, Michelle Obama lecturing Kentucky coal miners about their white privilege. You can’t teach those who already know everything and believe in concepts cooked up by – dare I say it? – privileged academic Jews bent on subversion. Jews have been leading the so-called black advocacy groups from the beginning and they don’t like you!

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  3. There seems to be a false dichotomy here where a person either pretends that racism never happens and that the recent past has no impact on the present or has a “boulder on her shoulder.” There should be a common sense middle ground where people understand history and its impact on present circumstances and aren’t walking around feeling angry about it.

    Another false dichotomy here is where someone either pretends that the only thing that matters is the choices that he or she makes or a person wallows in victim hood and helplessness about their circumstances. In reality we all effected by our choices and by things outside of our control.

    Larry Elder’s relationship with his father sounds horribly dysfunctional and I am grateful that my father and I are and always have been close despite his childhood difficulties. My father was also very close to his father growing up.

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  4. Who is pretending racism never happens? It happens to everyone, including white people. This is a strawman – not an argument. Why so invested in the idea of “white privilege”?

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  5. There seems to be a false dichotomy here where a person either pretends that racism never happens and that the recent past has no impact on the present or has a “boulder on her shoulder.”

    Nope. I fully believe that the racism of the past informs some of the things black people encounter in the present. I would think that (regardless of our disagreement) I have made it pretty clear that I am not oblivious to the realities of being black in America.

    Where we differ (and it’s a HUGE difference) is that I have drawn a totally different conclusion on where the racism stems from that effects some of these outcomes as well as the policies that influenced many of the negative outcomes lower income black people experience.

    That, and I am of the mind that even with the difficulties, it is possible for black people to build a prosperous life. Our choices do affect outcomes and the effort does matter.

    Another false dichotomy here is where someone either pretends that the only thing that matters is the choices that he or she makes or a person wallows in victim hood and helplessness about their circumstances. In reality we all effected by our choices and by things outside of our control.

    And of course, this is common sense. Bad things happen to everyone. I don’t see where Mr. Elder said anything that countered this very basic fact of life.

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  6. To be crystal clear: I believe that the racism of liberals has had the most detrimental impact on the black community. NOT the racism of conservatives.

    The more research I do the more I am learning that this is largely financed and propagated by secular Jewish liberals. Stunning, really. I try not to go there because our culture is highly sensitive to what it consider antisemitism, but the facts are pretty overwhelming.

    Meanwhile, mainstream run of the mill black people, black politicians, dumb leftists, and common conservatives look at one another askance. It would be comical if it weren’t pointing to such a destructive end.

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  7. On the other hand, Jews are the main republishers of a lot of anti-liberal-narrative old black writing from 1880-1930 or so. I have some stuff that had practically been memoryholed but was put back into print by a Jewish publishing house in the 1960s and 1970s. I found that interesting.

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  8. That, and I am of the mind that even with the difficulties, it is possible for black people to build a prosperous life. Our choices do affect outcomes and the effort does matter.

    Of course it possible for a black person to build a prosperous life. But that doesn’t mean that it is likely. There is little class mobility and working hard is not necessarily economically rewarded. As we discussed previously, black people’s overall lack of prosperity is not because we haven’t worked hard or made good choices. Poverty, like wealth, is mostly inherited. Acknowledging that is not the same as saying that choices don’t matter.

    To be crystal clear: I believe that the racism of liberals has had the most detrimental impact on the black community. NOT the racism of conservatives.

    Well I guess we could hold the Oppressor Olympics to see who wins the gold, but liberals and conservatives will both medal. For one they are both claiming that black people are inferior in different ways. Conservatives demonize poor black people when they dishonestly claim that black people would be just as well off as white people if only they worked hard and made good choices. History and economics show otherwise. The inference is that black people are poor because they are stupid and lazy. Conservatives, black conservatives included, talk down to black people and say that they would vote for the GOP if only they didn’t want government handouts or weren’t so easily duped. “Democrat Plantation, welfare queen” ect.

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  9. I showed the video of the woman to a friend to get her thoughts on it. She told me that the woman in question was either stupid enough to make a video criticizing a concept that she doesn’t understand or that she was just trolling for attention and “good Negro,” pats on the head from white people.

    The concept of white privilege is pretty simple and straight forward, so most likely the latter.

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