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The W - Current Events & Politics - Take the Privilege Walk!
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Grimis
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Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

Since last post: 1303 days
Last activity: 1100 days
#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
These are the questions from the "whiteness studies" classes of the privilege walk that are, allegedly, designed to make white people uncomfortable from all of the prviliges we supposedly get. They come from a Michigan State site:
(Incidentally, I wound up with one step: damn near missing my affirmative action privilege).

If your ancestors were forced to come to the USA not by choice, take one step back.

If your primary ethnic identity is American, take one step forward.

If you were ever called names because of your race, class, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation, take one step back.

If there were people of color who worked in your household as servants, gardeners, etc., take one step forward.

If you were ever ashamed or embarrassed of your clothes, house, car, etc. take one step back.

If your parents were professionals: doctors, lawyers, etc. take one step forward.

If you were raised in an area where there was prostitution, drug activity, etc., take one stop back.

If you ever tried to change your appearance, mannerisms, or behavior to avoid being judged or ridiculed, take one step back.

If you studied the culture of your ancestors in elementary school, take one step forward.

If you went to school speaking a language other than English, take one step back.

If there were more than 50 books in your house when you grew up, take one step forward.

If you ever had to skip a meal or were hungry because there was not enough money to buy food when you were growing up, take one step back.

If you were taken to art galleries or plays by your parents, take one step forward.

If one of your parents was unemployed or laid off, not by choice, take one step back.

If you attended private school or summer camp, take one step forward.

If your family ever had to move because they could not afford the rent, take one step back.

If you were told that you were beautiful, smart and capable by your parents, take one step forward.

If you were ever discouraged from academics or jobs because of race, class, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation, take one step back.

If you were encouraged to attend college by your parents, take one step forward.

If you were raised in a single parent household, take one step back.

If your family owned the house where you grew up, take one step forward.

If you saw members of your race, ethnic group, gender or sexual orientation portrayed on television in degrading roles, take one step back.

If you were ever offered a good job because of your association with a friend or family member, take one step forward.

If you were ever denied employment because of your race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation, take one step back.

If you were paid less, treated fairly because of race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation, take one step back.

If you were ever accused of cheating or lying because of your race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation, take one step back.

If you ever inherited money or property, take one step forward.

If you had to rely primarily on public transportation, take one step back.

If you were ever stopped or questioned by the police because of your race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation, take one step back.

If you were ever afraid of violence because of your race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation, take one step back.

If you were generally able to avoid places that were dangerous, take one step forward.

If you were ever uncomfortable about a joke related to your race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation but felt unsafe to confront the situation, take one step back.

If you were ever the victim of violence related to your race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation, take one step back.

If your parents did not grow up in the United States, take one step back.

If your parents told you you could be anything you wanted to be, take one step forward.


What a crock...




""I haven't seen a starting nine like that since the '62 Mets"
- Dennis Miller on the Democratic Presidential Candidates
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Since: 2.1.02
From: The Las Vegas of Canada

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#2 Posted on
I have a hunch they would be highly disappointed to know that my white ass ended up 5 steps back of where I started.

HOWEVER, I would be interested to take a cross-section of socioeconomic groups and do this test. I would like to see if there is any noticable clustering that occurs when done. I know I end up behind where I started, and would be curious to see if I was the only white face there.



and maybe I should open up my sensitive side/but really, the sensitive side sucks./I've been there./You can only imagine the kinds of sweaters they make you wear.

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Pool-Boy
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Since: 1.8.02
From: Huntington Beach, CA

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#3 Posted on
Agreed totally. I ended up 5 steps back as well. I must not be white! Woo hoo!

I am glad to no longer belong to the most hated race this country has to offer. Thank you MSU!





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Mr. Heat Miser
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Since: 27.1.02

Since last post: 2579 days
Last activity: 681 days
#4 Posted on
This is really fun and easy for everyone to pick apart.

Some of the assumptions implicit in these questions are verging on racist in and of themselves, IF the intent of the quiz is for the palest students to end up at the front of the room and the darkest at the back.

The test really seems to be selecting for social class - the following are all about income, in my view.

------------------------------------------------------------
If you were ever ashamed or embarrassed of your clothes, house, car, etc. take one step back.


If there were more than 50 books in your house when you grew up, take one step forward.

If you ever had to skip a meal or were hungry because there was not enough money to buy food when you were growing up, take one step back.

If you were taken to art galleries or plays by your parents, take one step forward.

If you were generally able to avoid places that were dangerous, take one step forward.

etc, etc, there are about 10 others with the same general gist.
------------------------------------------------------------



And I think the following are only designed to measure if your parents were supportive or not - I'm not sure what that has to do with class or ethnicity.
------------------------------------------------------------

If you were encouraged to attend college by your parents, take one step forward.

If your parents told you you could be anything you wanted to be, take one step forward.

If you were told that you were beautiful, smart and capable by your parents, take one step forward.

------------------------------------------------------------

So, yeah, it's a crock.


Since more minorities are poor, it's easy to conflate "race" with class, but I think that the goal should be to avoid doing exactly that.

(Full Disclosure of my results, I'm at 3 forward, BTW)



-MHM, winner of the 2000 Throwdown in Christmastown.
calvinh0560
Boudin rouge








Since: 3.1.02
From: People's Republic of Massachusetts

Since last post: 595 days
Last activity: 9 hours
#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00
    Originally posted by Grimis

    If your ancestors were forced to come to the USA not by choice, take one step back.



Does not having enough food in your home country count as being forced to leave or was this question not meant to be for anyone but those who ancestors were slaves?

(edited by calvinh0560 on 11.7.03 0024)
Gugs
Bierwurst








Since: 9.7.02
From: Sleep (That's where I'm a viking)

Since last post: 552 days
Last activity: 3 days
AIM:  
Y!:
#6 Posted on
The following post expresses the opinions of a raving Jerichoholic. He is biased, opinionated and bitter. You have been warned.

It was meant to mean slaves, but yours is more than acceptable, I think. My little finger-dude taking the test for me so that I could still see wound up two steps back. How can a fat, Irish white boy from halfway between Boston and Worcester end up closer to poor oppressed black man than The Man?

(edited by gugs on 11.7.03 0231)


The preceding post expressed the opinions of a raving Jerichoholic. He was biased, opinionated and bitter. You were warned.

Desperately seeking help with new avatar! Suggestions welcome! PM me!
Grimis
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Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

Since last post: 1303 days
Last activity: 1100 days
#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29

    Originally posted by gugs
    It was meant to mean slaves, but yours is more than acceptable, I think.

That's he problem with the entire exercise. The experiences that the questions are designed to highlight are ubiquitous amongst most cultures and ethnicities...



""I haven't seen a starting nine like that since the '62 Mets"
- Dennis Miller on the Democratic Presidential Candidates
The Thrill
Banger








Since: 16.4.02
From: Green Bay, WI

Since last post: 223 days
Last activity: 70 days
#8 Posted on

"America may have some problems, but it's our home. Our team. And if you don't wanna root for your team...then you should get the hell out of the stadium. Go America." --Stan Marsh, South Park

Hmmm...6 steps forward. Shouldn't I be rich by now?



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asteroidboy
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Since: 22.1.02
From: Texas

Since last post: 1464 days
Last activity: 372 days
#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.95
Yeah, I feel like my white privilege should have gotten me a hell of a lot further than 3 steps forward. Damn those off-brand clothes in junior high!



-- Asteroid Boy


Wiener of the day: 23.7.02

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Since: 27.2.03
From: Seattle, Washington

Since last post: 2179 days
Last activity: 231 days
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#10 Posted on
Five steps ahead...although I was once called "the white black guy" by someone because I didn't act or dress the way "a black person should" so...four steps ahead, I guess...



"So you're Ben Affleck. You're sitting next to Jennifer Lopez, who's your fiancee, you're eating a eight-foot high sundae, and members of the Boston Red Sox are coming up to you and asking for autographs. If that's not heaven, what is?" - Tony Kornheiser, PTI
MoeGates
Andouille








Since: 6.1.02
From: Brooklyn, NY

Since last post: 36 days
Last activity: 2 min.
#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.28
This is (I think) a neat little tool for self-examination that many 17 and 18-year-olds might not have. Teens generally think that the world is typical of their upbringing, and it's a good thing to show them - no matter who they are - that maybe it isn't.

That said, #1, how is not having enough to eat the same as trying to avoid ridicule by your peers? They're both one step. Couldn't going hungry at night be two steps back at least?

#2 - I really don't know what most of these have to do with "whiteness", and it seems like they're trying to force it based on a very specific middle- and upper-middle class view of America. A few examples.

If your primary ethnic identity is American, take one step forward.

Ok, definitely a higher percentage of black people I know would call their primary ethnic identity "American" than white people I know. And most of them would be damn insulted if you suggested otherwise. On a college campus, maybe this is reversed, but once you get to the WWII (or even Vietnam) generation, there's a really different paradigm at work.

If you were ever called names because of your race, class, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation, take one step back.

I don't think I know anyone who hasn't. I'd say if you HAVEN'T if probably reflects a narrower upbringing than if you have. Any 12-year old with a friend of another race, class, ethnicity, gender, or S.O. is going to good-naturedly tease them about it. I mean, look at Cartman - Kyle relationship in South Park. I can't count how many "Jew" comments I got as a kid from my friends. That's what kids do. It's (IMHO) a lot better than not having friends outside your particular group.

If there were people of color who worked in your household as servants, gardeners, etc., take one step forward.

How is the kid who grew up with Jeeves the British Butler less priviledged than the kid who grew up with the Mexican gardener that came once a week?

If you were ever ashamed or embarrassed of your clothes, house, car, etc. take one step back.

If you ever tried to change your appearance, mannerisms, or behavior to avoid being judged or ridiculed, take one step back.

Again, who hasn't? A kid in a rich neighborhood who doens't have the right jeans is less priviledged than a kid from a poor neighborhood who does?

If your parents were professionals: doctors, lawyers, etc. take one step forward.

If you were taken to art galleries or plays by your parents, take one step forward.

If there were more than 50 books in your house when you grew up, take one step forward.


This makes sense. A family that instills the value of education is one the best thing a kid can get. Do I get 10 steps because there were probably over 500 books in my house (God bless Jewish parents)?

If you were raised in an area where there was prostitution, drug activity, etc., take one stop back.

If you ever had to skip a meal or were hungry because there was not enough money to buy food when you were growing up, take one step back.

If one of your parents was unemployed or laid off, not by choice, take one step back.

If your family ever had to move because they could not afford the rent, take one step back.


This also makes sense. Tough to get ahead if you've got to worry about feeding your little brother first.

If you went to school speaking a language other than English, take one step back.

I don't understand if this means you went to school already biligual (good) or not speaking English (bad).


If you were told that you were beautiful, smart and capable by your parents, take one step forward.

If you were encouraged to attend college by your parents, take one step forward.

If your parents told you you could be anything you wanted to be, take one step forward.


Also good. Parental encouragement is also invaluable.

If you were ever offered a good job because of your association with a friend or family member, take one step forward.

If you ever inherited money or property, take one step forward.


Ah. These ones should be 10 steps forward. And different people have very different idea of "good job."

If you saw members of your race, ethnic group, gender or sexual orientation portrayed on television in degrading roles, take one step back.

If you were ever denied employment because of your race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation, take one step back.

If you were paid less, treated fairly because of race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation, take one step back.

If you were ever accused of cheating or lying because of your race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation, take one step back.

If you were ever stopped or questioned by the police because of your race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation, take one step back.

If you were ever afraid of violence because of your race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation, take one step back.

If you were ever uncomfortable about a joke related to your race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation but felt unsafe to confront the situation, take one step back.

If you were ever the victim of violence related to your race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation, take one step back.


Here's where we get into the "Whiteness" stuff. For whatever reason they took "Class" out of this one. These and a few others would be a good actual exercise for "whiteness" priviledge. Combining it with some of the other stuff is stupid though. It seems their idea of a typical American neighborhood is this late 50s fantasy where the Ralph Lauren wearing crowd spends it time putting down the poor kids that are bused in from the projects.

If you had to rely primarily on public transportation, take one step back.

Hey! Why do New Yorkers have to take a step back? I'd much rather take the train than drive.

Anyway, I ended up back where I started, hut would have probably been 4 or 5 steps ahead if I had designed the quiz.





"I'm sorry, I didn't think I was going to talk about 'man on dog' with a United States Senator. It's sort of freaking me out."


Associated Press interview with Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), 04-07-2003.
bash91
Merguez








Since: 2.1.02
From: Plain Dealing, LA

Since last post: 833 days
Last activity: 19 hours
#12 Posted on
Nice analysis Moe, although you should have generalized your New York remark a bit more to include those who chose/choose alternate transportation. I'd also quibble with penalizing people who inherit money 10 steps simply because that would move me so far into the privileged world that I'd never get out because of the 200 bucks I got when my maternal grandmother passed away.

The one area I question is the focus on sexual orientation. Are we talking about "real" sexual orientation or "perceived" sexual orientation because that produces a potentially significant skew in the results? For example, a very good friend of mine was a bartender at a gay bar about two blocks from where I was then living and I would routinely stop in for a drink when he was working. It was common to hear epithets from passersby upon entering or leaving the bar, and it was sadly not uncommon to be threatened with violence because of my "perceived" orientation. Of course, it probably doesn't help that I wear my hair slightly longer than CRZ's and my daughter recently asked her mother if she could get holes in her ears like Daddy, but the point remains the same. I was insulted and threatened not because of my sexual orientation, but because of the one that the audience had chosen for me based on nothing more than appearance and location. Does that count? Should it count?

Tim



"Verhoeven's _Starship Troopers_: Based on the back cover of the book by Robert Heinlein."
Jaguar
Knackwurst








Since: 23.1.02
From: Phoenix, AZ

Since last post: 233 days
Last activity: 34 days
#13 Posted on
The question should include being insulted/threatened/whatever because of the other person's gender/race/sexual orientation.

And what about being insulted based on class?

-Jag



Roxanne from The Real Cancun on being famous:
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