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Category Archives: Equality

Check Your Privilege

Whenever I hear the term “white privilege,” I can feel my blood pressure rising. White privilege is the idea that every white person has an easier life than anyone of any other race just because they’re white. And when whites point out that they have never received any special privileges because of their race, proponents of the white privilege idea conveniently assert that whites are all so privileged that they can’t even see how privileged they really are.

Anyone looking at this concept objectively can see that there is no way this can be universally true. Not every white person is affluent, well-educated, or receives enough inherited wealth to set them up for a care-free existence. Nor is every minority poor, uneducated, or discriminated against on a daily basis. It is simply ridiculous to believe this is the case and yet, there are people who actually think this is true.

I realize that our nation is not perfect, and that there is a legitimate history of official racial discrimination. I also realize that situations may be harder for minorities in different places around the country than they are here in Oregon. However, public policies of racial discrimination are a thing of the past, and the remaining prejudices of a minority of whites are no excuse to demonize the entire Caucasian race as the hereditary oppressors of the world.

The concept of white privilege, by its very prejudicial nature, cannot do anything to soothe the remaining racial tensions in our country. It is not a concept of reconciliation. It is a concept of assigning guilt to all whites for every injustice of the past. It is a concept of telling minorities that they simply can’t succeed and that it’s the fault of the white majority.  Quite simply, a philosophy whose only focus is telling people how much they are held down can never succeed in raising them up.

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Posted by on February 27, 2014 in Equality

 

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If It Looks Like a Duck

The TV network A&E’s best ratings come from the reality show Duck Dynasty, which follows the Robertson family and their duck hunting business in Louisiana. They are a devout Christian family, and the patriarch, Phil Robertson, has, in the past, taken exception to A&E’s editing out the name of Jesus in the family’s prayers and putting in fake censoring beeps to suggest that they use profanity.

Recently, Phil gave an interview in GQ magazine citing a bible verse that condemns homosexual behavior, and stating his views that homosexual behavior is a sin. For his views, which are what most Christian religions hold to be true, he was put on indefinite suspension by A&E, or in other words, fired.

Many people are claiming this is a violation of free speech, but let’s be clear. A&E is not a government organization, and they are free to determine the tone of their own channel. If they want to have a religiously-neutral pro-homosexuality channel, they can.

To me, the real issue is the tolerant gay and lesbian community’s intolerant response to the remarks. Phil’s actual words, while blunt, were critical of a behavior, and not of a group of people, and yet Wilson Cruz, the GLAAD spokesman, called for all of the Robertson’s sponsors to “reexamine their ties” to Robertson because of his “public disdain” for their lifestyle [1]. In other words, people who want to be treated with tolerance and respect because of their views want this man to lose his livelihood because they disagree with each other.

How is this tolerance? How can anyone expect to have a diverse and tolerant society when people are going to be fired for simply stating their opinion? A tolerant response is to give a reasoned and thoughtful rebuttal, not to call the other guy a liar and try to ruin him financially. To get tolerance, you should first give it.

 
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Posted by on December 20, 2013 in Equality, Freedom, Uncategorized

 

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The Content of a Character

The Supreme Court is again hearing a case about discrimination in university admissions. A white applicant is suing the University of Texas, claiming that she was denied admission based on her race. She believes that if denying admission to a black student based on race is unconstitutional, then denying admission to a white student based on race should be as well. However, many universities’ and colleges’ admissions programs don’t follow this line of reasoning, and give added preference to minority applicants.

In the admissions year in question, 216 minority students were admitted through an admissions program that gave them preference over more qualified students because of their race [1]. They were admitted, not because of greater merit or potential, but because of the color of their skin. In the same year, 1,714 other minorities got in on their own merit, making up 23% of all new freshmen, therefore it is obviously possible for minority students to work hard and get in without an artificial boost.

Yet there are still people that support Affirmative Action as fair and necessary. The University of Texas President Bill Powers said that a ruling against his school “would be a setback for the university and society”[2], but he fails to explain how. Minority students have the ability to be just as smart and hard-working as any white student, and they are already getting into the school on their own merit, so why should the bar be lowered for some applicants and others excluded for what should be nothing more than an irrelevant physical characteristic?

Martin Luther King, Jr. said that he dreamed of a day when his children would “one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character”[3], but the sad truth is that his dream is not yet a reality.

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2012 in Equality

 

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