Showing posts from June, 2017

Why Is the Idea of Privilege So Controversial?

“White privilege.” “Male privilege.” Heterosexual privilege.” “Class privilege.” “Able-bodied privilege.” “Christian privilege.” Though the concept of the privilege of the dominant group that’s based on culturally accepting their characteristics as the norm and others as deviants from a norm that’s somehow considered more natural, American, and human has been around for decades, its very mention to a person in those dominant groups often raises the level of a discussion’s heat.  People not a part of those dominant groups are regularly, and often silently, aware of what those phrases mean to their daily lives, but the dynamics of our culture’s intersection of the categories we use to divide people complicates the discussion. And when government or other institutions act to mitigate privilege, those actions often evoke complaints of reverse discrimination. We see this in the stereotypical attacks on affirmative action – the often misunderstood but most conservative attempt to correct h…

June is Another LGBTQ Pride Month, And It's the Pride Part that Drives Them Nuts

“If they just didn’t have to flaunt it.” “Why do they throw it in our faces?” “Can’t they just act like Americans?” “I like the ones who fit in with the rest of us.” “Why do we have to have all this Pride month propaganda?” All these complaints are akin to the recent statement by a Missouri lawmaker who has a long record of opening his mouth to change feet: “When you look at the tenets of religion, of the Bible, of the Quran, of other religions, there is a distinction between homosexuality and just being a human being.” The complaints reflect where anti-LGBTQ people who’ve convinced themselves they’re not are and how those who still raise money off of anti-LGBTQ crusades get the attention of their followers. They’re in sync with anti-LGBTQ claims that the goal of “the militant gays” (you know, like some kind of mafia) is to destroy “traditional” American culture or some part thereof. It’s also another example of what members of dominant groups say about any outsiders. White racism do…