Friday, September 28, 2007

On Bill O'Reilly and 10 Reasons Why I'm Not Surprised

I found the video above quite interesting. There's been so much made of Mr. O'Reilly's statements but c'mon folks, why are we surprised that Bill O'Reilly was surprised??? I mean really. He's only giving voice to what many whites have been thinking and/or saying for years.

O'Reilly's recent spiel reminded me of a paper I read back in 2002 by Peggy McIntosh - "White Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences Through Work in Women's Studies." In it she acknowledges the phenomenon of white privilege and racism in her own life and how her denial of its existence had served to protect it from being fully recognized, acknowledged, lessened or ended.

Her journey toward "working on herself" began by first identifying some of the daily effects of white privilege on her own life by compiling a list of some 50+ special circumstances and conditions which, according to her, "I did not earn, but which I have been made to feel are mine by birth, by citizenship and by virtue of being a conscientious, law-abiding, 'normal' person of good will."
Here's an excerpt from her list:
  1. I can turn on the the television or open the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented.
  2. I can be sure that my children will be given curricular materials that testify to the existence of their race.
  3. I can be pretty sure of having my voice heard in a group in which I am the only member of my race.
  4. I can do well in a challenging situation without being called a credit to my race.
  5. I can remain oblivious of the language and customs of persons of color who constitute the world's majority without feeling in my culture any penalty for my oblivion.
  6. I can, if I wish, arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time.
  7. My culture gives me little fear about ignoring the perspectives and powers of people of other races.
  8. I can worry about racism without being seen as as self-interested or self-seeking.
  9. I do not have to educate my children to be aware of systemic racism for their own daily physical protection.
  10. I can choose blemish cover or bandages in "flesh" color and have them more or less match my skin.
These are simple examples of passive/institutionalized racism kept alive and well to reinforce stereotypes and justify certain omissions by some - Mr. O'Reilly definitely being among the some. Are things changing? Yes they are. As a matter of fact, I see a marked improvement in Items (5) and (7) above. Mr. O'Reilly may be remaining oblivious but SOME in his culture are bringing him to task. Who knows? In another 40 years maybe we'll have made progress on at least the other eight!

7 comments:

Smitty said...

Interesting list. I'd love to see the other points. And don't I wish whites would take a cold hard look at that list and think about it. Would make life for most of the inhabitants of this planet a lot easier.

Deb said...

Thanks for the comment! I've linked the title to the paper where you can see 50 of the other points and read the paper for the most part. To see a longer list of privileges one must pay the $4.00 to get the entire working paper. Such is capitalism! But considering there's hardly ever an opportunity to hear a white point of view that is totally rational, truly introspective and really willing to "own up" to some shit for a change, I'm not mad at her! :-)

Jimmy Shirley said...

The writer of "White Privilege" is a product of liberal teachings that eminate from Blacks. In that, many decades ago, communists, dedicated to communism, began working for the overthrow of this country. They figured out that one way was to inculcate Whites with "race guilt" by using race relations as they were back before the 40's, therefore, creating huge divisions among us. Somehow having gained control of many of the major universities, these anti-Americans taught impressionable Whites that they ought to be ashamed of their race, and these self same guilt-feeling Whites, in turn, became college professors and the cycle began.

Guilt is the tool of Satan, the deceiver of the whole world. Paul taught us that with the sacrifice of Jesus our Lord at the cross, there is no more need to keep on feeling guilty. The Devil uses accusations to control us and those who use accusations are but tools of Satan.

We can do good works but only as comes from God. Beating ourselves up for who we are is not one of them. And, those who keep trying to beat us up are not helping things either.

Deb said...

There you go again! How do you know she's guilt-ridden? Do you know her personally? Have you had a conversation with her? Could she possibly have lived and grew and considered this country is not just of, for and by white people? It's one thing to read someone's words and point out issues upon which you disagree. But it's a whole 'nother thing to call her NAMES because she disagrees with your way of thinking! Come on people we're not twelve here! I will not argue religion because everyone has a right to believe what they want to believe (that pesky 1st Amendment thing) but since you brought up Jesus - "Tool of Satan!?!??" How about Child of God?

Jimmy Shirley said...

Look,
Guilt is Satan's tool, plain and simple. And, anyone who uses guilt to get their way can only be described as a tool of Satan. Unlike what most peeople think, Satan, the deceiver of the whole world, is the most admired man alive.
When somebody tries to be good, i.e. obey the law, they are in effect saying that they do not need the grace of Christ, that Christ died for no reason. And, when someone accuses someone else of not obeying the law, which is of the god of this world, they are being like Satan when he thrice tempted Jesus to worship him, instead of the true God.

Thus, guilt is the tool of The Deceiver. Not of a child of God!

Deb said...

I tell you what Jimmy Shirley, fanaticism is really not my cup of tea. You believe what you want to believe and so will I. I'll keep writing my truths and you keep preaching yours - to someone else.

Jimmy Shirley said...

You see, this is what is wrong. Majorly wrong, with this country, with it's people, with you. You equate believing in God and His truths with fanaticism, as though that is a bad thing. Being a fanatic is not necessarily a bad thing. It is the root word of 'fan' which many sports teams have. Are you one, a sports fan?

Once, not all that long ago, I think even 30/40 years ago, this was the norm - believing in God and His truths.

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