There are times when I wonder if some liberals are more interested in getting that self righteous finger wag than they are in actually changing policy. Yes, both sides “do identity politics”, but the right wing does it more effectively.
This infuriates liberals. But we insist on throwing around our precious “isms” at all costs. Example: notice how Will Bunch seems to imply that the critique about Elizabeth Warren not being ‘likable” is, well, sexist?
LOL…that charge hurt Al Gore and John Kerry as well.
And note that when a female politician is attacked, especially unfairly and by dishonest means, said attack is labeled as “sexist“? Yes, such stunts are tried on men, all of the time.
Then there is the subject of race. I honestly think the whole concept of “white privilege” really doesn’t help race relations at all. There is some evidence to support my conjecture.
Her team was curious about the impact of teaching people about white privilege. Would it make people more sympathetic toward poor blacks? As part of their research, Cooley and her colleagues offered study participants a reading on white privilege—based partly on the seminal work of Peggy McIntosh, who originally formulated the concept in the 1980s—and then described to them the plight of a hypothetical man, identified as either white or black, who is down on his luck.
What the researchers found is that among social liberals—i.e., participants who had indicated that they hold liberal beliefs about social issues—reading a text about white privilege did nothing to significantly increase their sympathy toward the plight of poor blacks. But, as Cooley told me, “it did significantly bump down their sympathy for a [hypothetical] poor white person.” (Among conservative participants, there was observed no significant change in attitudes at all.)
What accounts for this? One possibility is that social liberals are internalizing white-privilege lessons in a way that flattens the image of whites, portraying all of them as inherently privileged. So if a white person is poor, it must be his or her own fault. After all, they’ve had all sorts of advantages in life that others haven’t.
When we talk about racial inequality, it is important to understand that we’re often talking about structural or society-wide averages, not the status of all individuals at all times. It is true, for instance, that African Americans are disproportionately impacted by poverty. That means a higher percentage of African Americans live in poverty as compared to whites. But the largest number of individuals in the United States who live in poverty are white. We can’t, and we shouldn’t, assume anything about any individual’s life solely based on his or her race, or based on larger facts about racial inequality.
Racism exists, of course, and its impact is disproportionately felt by society’s minority populations. I have personally spent a decent chunk of my reporting career documenting this. But the fact that disparate treatment is inflicted on racial minorities doesn’t prove the existence of an all-encompassing pattern of white privilege. “If you’re white, chances are seeing a police officer fills you with one of two things: relief or gratitude,” writes one advocate of a privilege-centric worldview. But around half of the people who are killed every year by U.S. police officers are white. True, police violence falls disproportionately on ethnic minorities, especially African Americans. But if you’re white and you’ve been abused by a police officer, your individual experience may be just as painful as that of a black person who’s suffered similar abuse.
And speaking of racism: it might be possible that white nationalist groups becoming bolder is driving more people to become…LESS racist. Really:
A new study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania suggests there is room for doubt, despite rising incidents of hate crimes, notably in the very counties that hosted a Trump rally in 2016.
Racial prejudice has not increased among white Americans since the explosive 2016 election, argues political scientist Daniel J. Hopkins. It has actually decreased by some measures, he found, possibly as a reaction to Trump’s unexpected ascension to the White House.
Hopkins told The Washington Post that the results initially surprised him. Upon reflection, however, “it’s quite conceivable that Trump has simultaneously galvanized a small number of highly prejudiced white Americans while also pushing millions more to affirm that they are not as prejudiced,” he argued.
In other words, Hopkins believes the study provides evidence that the racially incendiary rhetoric and policies issuing from Trump’s White House have pushed the majority of Americans in the opposite direction.
Yes, it is only one study. But it is interesting. But think about it: do you think that, say, the KKK marching incites people to join with them?
The outrage bandwagon Remember the headline “lunch lady fired for paying for a poor kid’s lunch?” There may have been more to this story…and these sorts of situations keep me from jumping on the “righteous outrage bandwagon” too quickly.
Democratic debates I’d rather the major candidates go after each other; I don’t want to listen to the fringe ones.