Casual privilege is not being a [minority] but thinks [minority] Awareness Week is stupid and pointless.
In case you’ve been away from your favorite media consumption outlets of late, Chick-Fil-A has come under fire for its president’s successful campaign to sound like a homophobic jackass.
Since the President/CEO of Chick-Fil-A openly admitted to focusing Chick-Fil-A ‘ethics’ efforts on anti-gay causes and organizations, it seems a small PR firestorm of varying stripes has erupted. While a great deal of the dialogue has been directed at rightly condemning Chick-Fil-A for promoting a culture of homophobia, a growing trend is emerging of ‘conservatives’ telling ‘liberals’ to be respectful of Chick-Fil-A and their principles. And often enough, to my amusement, the word ‘tolerance’ is used to in this discourse.
And then, I came upon this gem: “We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles." This failed attempt in playing the persecuted, again, brought to you by none other than Dan Cathy.
Why do I find these grammatical hijinks amusing? Namely, because most of these people wouldn’t know honest-to-god intolerance or discrimination if it bitch-slapped them with a giant black strap-on. You see, in a country where LGBT-focused crimes make up an estimated 19.3% of reported hate crimes, including everything from curb-stomping to sexual assault, I’d say tolerance is VERY much needed - but not by those angry with Chick-Fil-A. Want to know who could actually use tolerance and compassion? To start with the obvious, how about the LGBT community, that is so rarely discussed with dignity or respect? While we’re at it, how about migrants, who are treated as sub-human by everyone from press outlets to Border Patrol agents? How about individuals from the groups most often bearing the brunt of abuse resulting from the War on Terror or the War on Drugs, often in the form of unchecked police brutality and imprisonment? How about women demonized for simply desiring improved birth control access? You see ladies and gentlemen, THESE good folks could use some of your outrage and compassion. Not some fast food chicken chain that happily sponsors groups as inglorious as NOM.
However, apart from “Fun Times with Manipulating Oppression Discourse,” newer forms of defending the indefensible have come about in the form of righteous indignation at the masses for boycotting economically over a ‘political’ issue. I put this word in quotes, because it’s not political to people on the receiving end of that discrimination. It’s pretty goddamn personal. And it isn’t for that reason alone that this argument falls short of garnering support in any significant numbers. Allow me to demystify this: average citizens don’t usually boycott an entire franchise because they’re butt hurt over someone disagreeing with them. They boycott because they understand that their individual purchases support something they find morally reprehensible. Sometimes, that something is a company’s history of donating millions to WinShape and ex-gay ministries; sometimes it’s a company’s exploitation of the impossible situations of Palestinians within Occupied Palestine; and sometimes, it’s the antics of a colossally idiotic Fox News host making a living by exploiting racist myths to elicit fear. And before you forget, please note that we do tote this approach as a prized diplomatic tool on a regular basis at the international level. We call them “sanctions”. However, unlike when applied indiscriminately at the international level, they are far more likely to work as intended on a localized, national one. So allow me to sum this up: those making this argument don’t usually do so based on the desire for tolerance of a differing opinion – at best, it’s an attempt to cover up bigotry. At worst, it’s an attempt to justify apathy.
At the end of the day, tolerance is being a big enough person to recognize the basic humanity in others, even if they are very different from you. Tolerance is refusing to discriminate against a class of people in the name of preserving the status quo. Tolerance is NOT the right to go without criticism or accountability for your actions. But please, do invoke your right to piss and moan about how no one’s kissing your privileged little ass anymore.
White privilege is echoing oppressive dichotomies about Islam that lead to the discrimination and death of Middle Eastern people, and then instantly becoming the victim when you get death threats because of it.
I really do wish there were more remote-access type jobs in NC. Namely, because it might just give me some shot in hell of earning a paycheck. Then I might even get every lucky, privileged jackass off my back who says I’m just “being uppity” and not going for jobs like Walmart (fun fact: Even the Walmart here isn’t hiring, I checked). I’m not saying that people don’t work hard - I know they do. But they seriously take for granted both their socio-economic status and family connections. I lack both of those.
You see, if there’s one thing that’s aggravating, it’s being bitched at for not having a job while living in a PROFOUNDLY economically depressed area, especially in this part of the state - it’s too far and remote to even commute. If it’s not the people around you who are so much better off, it’s people on the television telling you to be ashamed for being a ‘burden’ or ‘too uppity’. You just can’t win for losing here.
I mean Jesus, I can type 80-90 words per minute, I’ve worked in IT for 4 years straight, I served as supplemental instruction for several college courses, I volunteered at a crapload of organizations for increasing diversity and reducing disability & poverty-related problems for YEARS, but hey, apparently I’m some sort of entitled lazyass for not being able to find a job in a place where even minimum-wage jobs aren’t hiring.
Internship culture has become a source of class division, favoring the privileged, excluding others from opportunities granted to their better-off peers.
There is a job opening! It seems perfect—full time, in the non-profit sector, based in New York City. It’s obviously a prestigious position—they’re looking to hire someone with at least a masters’ degree, though in certain cases this can be interchangeable with five years of related work experience. There’s only one small problem: it’s unpaid.
According to statistics from the National Association for Colleges and Employers, the number of students at four-year colleges who took internships increased from nine percent to more than 80 percent between 1992 and 2008. Once the economy crashed, and a paying job became a luxury rather than a fact of life, many jobs were re-packaged as internships, promising experience and career connections in exchange for free labor.