Thursday, March 16, 2017

White privilege and culture

I was accused of being a result of "white Privilege" a few weeks back. "All my upbringing was based upon white privilege and all the benefits surrounding that privilege are denied people of color." Wow! I never knew that hard work, social adjustment and cultural assimilation was a privilege. According the the critic, simply having parents that cared and loved and set a good example was also a privilege denied people of color. Although I highly regard this person's education and knowledge in many areas, I find I have to take issue with her analogy. Over the course of history various cultures an societies have enslaved people of other ethnicity, religious, color or other reason. Modern society is working on that. Personally, in my lifetime alone we have made excellent strides forward in that regard. Acknowledging those issues and taking steps, difficult steps at that takes time even though we'd like to solve them yesterday. All that being said, her statement about my being a result of white privilege, in my opinion was both ignorant and lacked common sense. Ignorant because it is based upon someone else's, rather radical opinion she has read and not through her own experience in my shoes. Lacking in common sense in that it denies the ideal of the nuclear family and matters of love and sacrifice of caring and responsible parents. The nuclear family is not a privilege!

In my opinion, based on my life experience and observation, much of life is what you make of it. We are not all guaranteed happiness, financial security or an environment of total acceptance regardless of personal behavior or life style. Good fences make good neighbors. In other words, some rules are appropriate in all facets of life. Survival is nature and society is predicated by observation and adaptation to certain norms, avoidance of dangerous behavior, social patterns, language, culture etc. In other words assimilation to one's chosen environment. Not total giving up of one's self but following certain accepted standards. In this case I mean those of the United States.

That is my opinion and I'm sticking to it. When everyone thinks they can act any which way they want, dress any way they want, speak any way they want, and simply throw accusations at those people who are working hard to improve their lives and others around them because they have better lives as a result of that hard work and call it privilege, I believe they in fact are denying themselves the opportunity to participate in that "privileged" life experience. Not the ones they are accusing.

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