Let’s all just slowwwwwwww down a little bit here. I’ve been a liberal since I was born, and I understand and have always been a supporter of Affirmative Action programs, nor do I characterize myself as a racist/misogynist. The comment I made in response to JPs post was not made with the intention of being discriminatory; I intentionally structured it to be humorous in nature. I mean, “A black lesbian transgender dwarf in a wheelchair who teaches hamsters to ride unicycles”? That’s a pretty absurd mental image, and I personally find hilarity in absurdity. Is that offensive humor? Probably. But I find offensive humor to be the funniest, so meh. In retrospect, I can, however, see how the comment could be taken as rude and/or me being “salty,” and for that I apologize. I should have thought about the ramifications of posting that comment more thoroughly before I put it online.
Now, that being said.
My “white butt” has been to Scranton, and I understand I have it good. My mother and father both grew up in South Side, and lived in West Side with my sister before they managed to rise enough in socioeconomic status to move to the Abingtons. My father was the first Cummings to receive a college degree, and I understand the sacrifices my parents made so I could live a comfortable, middle class life.
And yeah, I also understand that my skin color, gender, and sexuality all contribute to my “privilege.” As I person who has quite a few non-straight non-white close family members, I like to think I understand at least partially the discrimination they face on a daily basis, and so I sympathize and attempt to help them.
I also realize transgender people, specifically transgender Americans, do not have it easy. The suicide rate among transgender Americans is ridiculously high compared to the rest of the population, for clearly visible reasons. They are abused, demeaned, hated, and assaulted on a regular basis for being brave enough to be themselves, and that is not ok.
I understand that, like you said, the reason the college admissions process takes these factors into account when evaluating an application is because, statistically, people who are non-white, non-male, non-straight, and/or non-cis have had a harder life than straight white cis males, and so their applications should reflect this, as these people may not have had the same advantages/opportunities as SWCM (Imma use this acronym cause I have a feeling Imma be using those words a lot).
However, one thing I haven’t seen taken into account on a single application is economic status. It may be on other applications, but on my many applications, I have not seen a single section relating to how much money my family makes. The reasoning for that is simple: if a person’s application has them listed as “poor,” then they aren’t a “safe bet” for a college to accept; if a college accepts a person from a family that has little income, then that person may be unable to pay for his or her college education, making the college lose money.
But economic status is the single greatest determinant of a person’s success in life. A person who is born poor is, statistically, incredibly likely to remain poor. It is very hard to escape the “poverty trap” and gain economic stability.
I understand that, even if this was marked on college applications, I would still be unaffected, as I again, “got it good.” But it isn’t about me. It’s about an inherent problem present within the system. An African American who was raised in a middle/upper class household is already primed to be more successful in life than a poor white kid, a poor Asian kid, a poor Latino kid, or a poor black kid. That is what I take issue with. Are African Americans and Latinos more likely to be impoverished than whites and Asians? Yes. But are there still very impoverished whites and Asians and very well-off blacks and Latinos? Again, yes.
Privilege comes in many different forms. Am I privileged because of my skin color in certain aspects of life? Yes. I can easily hail a cab, for instance, and I am far less likely to be shot by police for stupid reasons. Whites and blacks also use drugs at the same rates, but blacks are arrested for drug use much more often. This is a problem, and this is an issue, and it’s not an issue I’m attempting to take lightly.
However, there is a type of privilege that people rarely recognize, because it is often falls along racial lines and is split between genders, and that is economic privilege. It is in this instance where Kanye West, contrary to what many far-left people would have you believe, is more privileged than me, or any of my friends, family, and neighbors, regardless of skin color, gender, or sexual orientation. Kanye is loaded. He’s frigging rich as hell. Do I disparage him for that? No, of course not. But if there is to be a discussion about privilege, all privilege has to be taken into account. Kanye west holds economic privilege over myself, and I hold racial privilege over him.
Hence why I am in favor of free public college education that is available to everyone, as this could potentially alleviate some of the economic strain that families encounter due to college. Then families could potentially escape the poverty trap.
I know I haven’t cited any sources at all, as I’m sitting in the DMV typing this on my phone (ooooohhhhh you’re not allowed to use your phone in the DMV #rebel). But here is where I’m going to mark the transition from what I believe to be “fact” and what I believe to be opinion. Maybe you’ll disagree with my categorization, and that’s fine, but I am marking where I believe that disparity falls. The following does not relate as heavily to the discussion at hand as the above, but I feel it merits bringing up, as it may help explain my own personal mindset on life.
I feel like our society has been split between two extremes. There are the people who devalue diversity, and want a white-washed society, and then there are the people who overvalue diversity. “Overvalue diversity? Yaboi, how can a person overvalue diversity? Diversity is rad awesome cool stuff yo.” Exactly, ghost who states things is quotes. Diversity IS rad awesome cool stuff. But the far left has taken the idea of diversity and launched it to absurd ideological extremes.
To the alt-right, not being a SWCM is bad. To the “authoritarian left,” BEING a SWMC is bad. And I see both as equally terrible. The far-left has taken the original ideals of feminism, racial equality, and anti-homophobia, and made the movements so absurd that they lose value. To the far-left, EVERYTHING is racist, EVERYTHING is misogynist, and EVERYTHING is homophobic. Dreadlocks have become “cultural appropriation,” the words “illegal alien” turned first into “illegal immigrant,” and then, “undocumented immigrant,” and now the former two phrases have been equated with hate speech. When does it end? When can discourse not be impeded because someone is “offended” by the topic being discussed or “offended” by a differing opinion? When am I not automatically branded as “racist” or “sexist” because of my skin color and gender, and my positions on policy are first heard before any labels are bestowed. This movement devalues words that carry heavy weight. Racism and sexism are big labels, and by branding everything as racist and sexist, these words lose their potency. “SJWs” have caused people to lose their jobs over this stuff. (Not saying this is Centimeter, just saying, these people exist.) To the authoritarian left, I am sexist because I supported Bernie Sanders and not Hillary Clinton. I could go on and on about everything wrong with this ideology, but I left the DMV and am now at the Waverly Community House ready to play music, so I don’t really have the time. Basically though, they’re the reason Trump won.
The alt-right emerged as a response to the authoritarian left, and it is equally as terrible. The alt-right believes NOTHING to be racist, and instead is composed of “white nationalist” movements and other discriminatory organizations. They actively discriminate against women, POC, and the LGBTQ+ community.
If I ran a business and a black man and a white man walked in with equal job qualifications, I’d flip a coin deciding who to hire. The alt-right would choose the white man. The authoritarian left would choose the black man.
I mean no disrespect by this response to your comment, Centimeter. I am merely trying to clear the record and help you to understand my own though process. You may disagree, and that’s fine. However, I have never been a racist, a misogynist, or a homophobe, and I will never aim to be. I’m sorry if my comment seemed in poor taste. I appreciate this discourse.