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Privilege is...

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37 minutes ago, Rashabon said:

I never said you were. I simply pointed out the congruency between your denial of white privilege and the fact that many people who benefit from white privilege refuse to acknowledge its existence.

Yes you were. You were wrongly accusing the person of being white, having white privilege and ignoring 'reality'. There is no other way of interpreting your comment except that way. It's not like this was a passing remark at a cocktail party, it's written right there above with no edit. 

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1 hour ago, Rashabon said:

Fairly typical of white privilege anyway to not acknowledge reality.

 

45 minutes ago, Rashabon said:

Not sure what your race has to do with your inability to accept reality

What?

Edited by setto
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...you do not have to be white to believe in or be influenced by white privilege, or to deny its existence...

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8 minutes ago, providence said:

...you do not have to be white to believe in or be influenced by white privilege, or to deny its existence...

Reminded of this story:

"...Livingston, who is white, made his comments on Facebook after visiting a hamburger joint in Harlem. He described it as "overrun with little Caucasian assholes." "I hereby resign from my race," he wrote. "Fuck these people." Facebook determined that Livingston had violated its nebulous community standards and removed the post. And, after a bevy of campus watchdog groups weighed in, Rutgers leapt into action, according to Inside Higher Ed...." [emphasis added]

http://reason.com/blog/2018/08/24/rutgers-james-livingston-racism-speech

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36 minutes ago, setto said:

 

What?

People who benefit from white privilege regularly deny its existence. That poster being non-white has nothing to do with whether or not they deny the reality of white privilege. Not sure what the difficulty is here.

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57 minutes ago, thegoodlaw said:

And how does that advance this debate?

I'm not going to engage with you further.

I'm not debating with you. I don't debate people over whether the sky is blue nor do I debate with people whether privilege based on racial or ethnic characteristics outside of class privilege exists. Debating facts is a farce.

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7 minutes ago, Rashabon said:

People who benefit from white privilege regularly deny its existence. That poster being non-white has nothing to do with whether or not they deny the reality of white privilege. Not sure what the difficulty is here.

The difficulty is that the two portions of text I quoted appeared to be at odds with one another. If you feel that you've now cleared that up, there's no more difficulty :grin:

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28 minutes ago, Rashabon said:

I'm not debating with you. I don't debate people over whether the sky is blue nor do I debate with people whether privilege based on racial or ethnic characteristics outside of class privilege exists. Debating facts is a farce.

I agree with you on your point that there is absolutely racially based privilege at least partially separate from class based privilege, probably more than just partially separate.

There is absolutely room for debate though, I mean the fact that this thread has quickly gotten this long is proof of that. My problem is that the approach you’re taking here is dangerously arrogant. To say that you are absolutely right about something controversial and that anyone who disagrees is stupid and isn’t worth talking to is why, in my opinion, this debate is so controversial in the first place. It really is hard to agree with someone who, as I think you’ve shown in your posts here, resorts to ad hominem attacks and is closed minded to thoughts from others who see things differently. It’s not all that hard to argue and fight with them though, because they seem to lack the maturity to act like an adult when faced with something they disagree with. No one’s opinion will ever be changed by someone acting like their word is gospel and above questioning, regardless of whether they’re right or not.

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8 minutes ago, msea said:

I agree with you on your point that there is absolutely racially based privilege at least partially separate from class based privilege, probably more than just partially separate.

There is absolutely room for debate though, I mean the fact that this thread has quickly gotten this long is proof of that. My problem is that the approach you’re taking here is dangerously arrogant. To say that you are absolutely right about something controversial and that anyone who disagrees is stupid and isn’t worth talking to is why, in my opinion, this debate is so controversial in the first place. It really is hard to agree with someone who, as I think you’ve shown in your posts here, resorts to ad hominem attacks and is closed minded to thoughts from others who see things differently. It’s not all that hard to argue and fight with them though, because they seem to lack the maturity to act like an adult when faced with something they disagree with. No one’s opinion will ever be changed by someone acting like their word is gospel and above questioning, regardless of whether they’re right or not.

How silly. Surely you must recognize this is another area where objective truth exists. It’s physics...not subject to argument. 

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Can we all please dial back on the overt contempt for those with whom we disagree? Rule 3 is in effect here just like in every other topic.

I know this can be a sensitive issue but hope springs eternal that we can all act like adults and maybe even professionals. 

Thanks. /modpost

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2 hours ago, providence said:

Well, that is exactly it and goes back to my disagreement with @Toad as to whether Canadian universities are generally accessible. It is not just financial. It is having the educational background and encouragement to get to the point where finances are the only issue. There are lots of studies on this, but certain groups, such as black and indigenous children, are disproportionately streamed out of gifted programs and into less academic programs - if they aren't disproportionately suspended and expelled. We know that schools in low income areas generally have less resources and lower test scores. 40% of black youth do not graduate from high school. Some stats here, including issues of mental health and criminal justice system involvement:

http://www.studentscommission.ca/city/resources/CITY_Blocks_Research.pdf

https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2013/03/22/toronto_school_suspension_rates_highest_for_black_and_aboriginal_students.html

(And this isn't all the schools' fault - there are various socioeconomic issues at play, etc.) 

For these people, university might as well be Mars for how likely they are to get there, and law school is in another galaxy altogether.

 

I think we're talking past each other here a bit.

Something being reasonably accessible to the majority of Canadians is not the same as being reasonably accessible to every single Canadian. I also suspect we do not define "reasonably accessible" the same way. 

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Since this thread has completely derailed.... privilege, to any random extent that has nothing to do with the legal profession (because thats whats happening now), is being able to post in this thread whatsoever.

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1 hour ago, Toad said:

 

I think we're talking past each other here a bit.

Something being reasonably accessible to the majority of Canadians is not the same as being reasonably accessible to every single Canadian. I also suspect we do not define "reasonably accessible" the same way. 

I was referring to your comments that a person does not earn the fact that Canadian universities are reasonably accessible and that therefore lawyers are massive beneficiaries of privilege.

I do not consider Canadian universities to be accessible to large groups of Canadians. Maybe they are to the majority, but they are not accessible to a significant amount of indigenous, visible minority, newcomer and poor Canadians. No one I grew up with and no one in my family went. So the fact that I somehow did does not tell me that I am the beneficiary of an unearned privilege. It tells me that I must have had extra drive and motivation, and I am so thankful for that, but I had to use it. It wasn’t a privilege bestowed on me for reasons having nothing to do with me. 

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1 hour ago, Hegdis said:

Can we all please dial back on the overt contempt for those with whom we disagree? Rule 3 is in effect here just like in every other topic.

I know this can be a sensitive issue but hope springs eternal that we can all act like adults and maybe even professionals. 

Thanks. /modpost

Ok, I’ll try to get back on track.

I feel privileged being able to wake up and think all day. Even though articling is rough, this sure as shit beats working in a factory getting splashed by flash off of moulds filled with moulten metal.

im consistently surrounded by people smarter than me who teach me something new everyday. 

I’ve worked some pretty dogshit jobs and I’ve yet to dread coming into this one. 

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45 minutes ago, FingersCr0ssed said:

Since this thread has completely derailed.... privilege, to any random extent that has nothing to do with the legal profession (because thats whats happening now), is being able to post in this thread whatsoever.

“There’s always a less privileged fish” - Qui Gon Jinn

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10 hours ago, TheScientist101 said:

 

1. It is well known that there is a systemic (conscious/unconscious) discrimination problem in the Canadian legal field. I know my own experience is also a reflection of that reality and it's evidenced by the fact that I have yet to interact with a law firm where the majority of the lawyers are not white. (in fact, the vast majority of lawyers I interact with either at my own firm, through opposing firms or at networking events are all white).

.......

explain to me why there isn't one big law firm out there where the lawyers are mainly composed of non-white individuals.   

 

 

I think it's perfectly reasonable that you haven't encounter a law firm that is comprised of majority non-white people, even in Toronto.

1. Law firms are largely comprised of older people from a time when Canada was much whiter. The median age of a lawyer in Canada is around 47 years old, meaning the 1996 census is more relevant to the overall composition of law firms than the 2016 one. Toronto was around 33% visible minority in 1996.

2. Even when a population is 50% visible minority, that doesn't necessarily mean you would expect approximately 50% of the new lawyer population to be visible minorities. This is because a significant percentage of the visible minority population would be comprised of first generation immigrants of which the vast majority come here after the age of 25.

A better comparison would be comparing second and third+ generation visible minorities to second and third+ generation white people as a percentage of new lawyers. Otherwise you're including people who mostly came here after the age in which most people pursue education. 

Realistically when the numbers are taken into account, I can't imagine a situation where a large law firm, even in Toronto, would end up being majority non-white unless they explicitly tried to hire predominantly non-white people.

 

Quote

From those firms you linked, 23% of the students are visible minority. For comparison, UofT Law is 30% visible minority/aboriginal and Osgoode Hall is around 27% visible minority. And the best numbers I can find suggest Toronto is around 30% second and third+ generation minorities. 

The numbers are a lot closer than I thought they would be. The main story seems to be a massive under representation of certain minorities rather than a massive under representation of minorities in general. 

I'm one of the people in this thread who agree that white people, on average, have it easier. As do men, heterosexuals, etc. My consistent point of disagreement with your posts is that I consider many of your conclusions to be too broad and too strong. 

Edited by Toad
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42 minutes ago, providence said:

I was referring to your comments that a person does not earn the fact that Canadian universities are reasonably accessible and that therefore lawyers are massive beneficiaries of privilege.

I do not consider Canadian universities to be accessible to large groups of Canadians. Maybe they are to the majority, but they are not accessible to a significant amount of indigenous, visible minority, newcomer and poor Canadians. 

I don't disagree that certain people have more barriers than others. 

Quote

No one I grew up with and no one in my family went. So the fact that I somehow did does not tell me that I am the beneficiary of an unearned privilege. It tells me that I must have had extra drive and motivation, and I am so thankful for that, but I had to use it. It wasn’t a privilege bestowed on me for reasons having nothing to do with me. 

You did work hard for what you received in life. 

But you were also the beneficiary of having what appears to be a 1 in 10,000*+ intellect and a temperamental inclination towards hard work. The percentage of those two things that are innate or hereditary would both be considered privileges. 

*Inferred from posts you've made on this forum in the past. 

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1 hour ago, Toad said:

I don't disagree that certain people have more barriers than others. 

You did work hard for what you received in life. 

But you were also the beneficiary of having what appears to be a 1 in 10,000*+ intellect and a temperamental inclination towards hard work. The percentage of those two things that are innate or hereditary would both be considered privileges. 

*Inferred from posts you've made on this forum in the past. 

Yeah. But also we live in a deterministic universe, from what we can tell, and everything is not merely preordained but already done and time’s movement is only an illusion that the human brain creates to understand the world into which it was born. Everything you do was done before you were conceived and there are no choices. The past, the present and the future are one large four-dimension spacetime fabric and even chance itself is a mere construct of our failure to understand, or at least perceive, this cosmic truth.

Either the word “I” refers to the thing that appears to us to be making choices, despite the cosmic truth that this is a total falsehood, or there is no such thing as “I”. In the latter case, privilege is a meaningless concept because everything you have and don’t have is properly sourced to the entire cosmic structure. In the former case, even though we all know that there’s something weird about talking this way, “I” am the one who chose to get up and do my damn work. 

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Hmm. I fear that a faulty premise is leading to a faulty conclusion here. There’s no evidence that anyone who spends as much time on ls.ca as me, providence, or hoju is inclined to working very hard. Which means I would much rather focus on the me who was predestined to waste my day here than the one where this is all my fault. 

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On 8/23/2018 at 9:34 AM, TheScientist101 said:

Oh jeeze - the poor white man being subject to assumptions about his race.

Dude - seriously check your privilege. I'm totally assuming you're a white guy here because I can't see these words coming out of anyone else's mouth (except perhaps a white woman's). The fact is people treat you more positively because you're white. They just do. You didn't do anything to make that happen, you didn't earn it - you were just born white. 

When you interviewed at law firms I'm willing to bet that a lot of people you interviewed with talked about "how you were just a good fit" and that "they really just felt comfortable around you" -- part of that is probably because they are white too and they are more comfortable around other white dudes. You didn't earn that - you were just born white.

If you and a black/brown/asian woman were born at the same time, in the same hospital you came out with an advantage due solely to the colour of your skin. That - right there, is privilege. Sure, you probably totally had to work hard to get where you are, but anyone, LITERALLY ANYONE who is not white and male probably had to work harder than you to get to the same position. You didn't earn that - you were just born white.  

Just take a moment and accept that - because nothing infuriates me more than having privileged white guys walk around and basically complain about "reverse racism" because they've been stigmatized with the label of being "privileged". 
 

And once again all the assumptions in the world come out....

I'm in no way saying that being white isn't a privilege beyond even what we can fathom, and that it hasn't benefited me greatly because I'm sure it has. But I in fact HAVEN'T had a lot of those experiences you talked about, and have in fact experienced a lot of discrimination because, surprise surprise, race isn't the only thing in the world that matters. I'm from a minority religion and I was heavily discriminated against growing up all throughout school. And yet, particularly in law school where I didn't talk about my religion much if at all, I was told time and time again that as a white girl I couldn't possibly understand discrimination because my life was perfect because I was white. An assumption that you demonstrated pretty well in your post as well.

So yes, being white is an incredible privilege and I never want to forget all the ways that I might not struggle that someone else who isn't white does. But could we please stop forgetting that race isn't the end all be all of reasons that people that struggle or are discriminated against? Lots of other factors affect a person's life, and you can NEVER know someone's experience based purely on surface level factors like skin colour. You could be the richest, whitest person in the world and have lived through excruciating domestic violence, or you could be black as heck and have grown up a millionaire. You don't know someone's life experience, and yet we feel comfortable assuming their experiences based purely on race - that serves no one. We can be aware of the privileges of our race without making assumptions that go far beyond that.

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