Diversity language seems to wander through a series of predictable phases. First, someone comes up with a new term like micro-aggressions, or retrofits an old dictionary word like violence. A few terms catch on and become diversity specialist standard fare, then enter public lingo, sometimes celebrated, sometimes mocked. Finally, after the heat dies down and new verbal fads replace them, those formerly-hot terms settle in for the long (or short) haul, during which people tend to mouth them in a relatively mindless, sometimes authoritarian fashion.
Unfortunately, such has been the trajectory of the term privilege. Beginning with its entrance into diversity world in the 1980’s, privilege has passed through several stages, ultimately becoming corrupted into little more than a simplistic, polarizing accusation. This is a real loss, because as formulated by Peggy McIntosh, privilege provides a valuable lens for examining the world around us. It does so by calling upon people to recognize and reflect on the unearned advantages that have been handed to them.
Continue reading Diversity and Speech Part 34: Revisiting Privilege – by Carlos E. Cortés
Is this the beginning of a revolution that finally addresses racism honestly?
Part 2: The Present and A Way Forward
The continuum of violence against African Americans and the Black Community
What has happened in the past is not different from what continues to happen today because racism is generational. Racists who have committed crimes use all the tools of systems of privilege built in their favor to avoid being held accountable. In doubtful circumstances, lawyers have changed venues for trial to predominantly White communities where their White accomplice juries can unconsciously and consciously exercise bias.
Continue reading Understanding Systemic Racism Part 2 – by Joseph Nwoye, Sabah Holmes
Even after forty years, I still remember the most important lecture I heard at college. It was delivered to me by a friend, standing in the dormitory hallway. I had once again done something thoughtless and self-centered. She had had it with me. She delivered a lecture on all of my failings, all of the ways I had let people down and acted in selfish self-interest. Defensively, I pushed back. But I also absorbed what she said.
Continue reading The Privilege of Failure – by Patti Hague