Editor’s note: Susan Bodnar is a clinical psychologist who works with people from diverse backgrounds and teaches at Columbia University’s Teachers College and at The Stephen Mitchell Center for Relational Studies. She lives in Manhattan with her husband, two children and all of their pets.
By Susan Bodnar, Special to CNN
W.E.B. Dubois once said that even working white people benefited from the “the psychological wages” of membership in a dominant race. There is, however, more to the story of class in white America than dominance. The hardship and success of upward mobility has created a myth about white American class structure that obscures our truth.
TV shows like "Gossip Girl" make it seem as though most white Americans are simply privileged. Yet, according to U.S. Census data, almost 22 million white people live in poverty. An analysis of reported incomes suggests that people in that income bracket, as well as those with higher incomes, identify with being middle class. In a series of interviews about class status with white Americans, most are uncomfortable being seen as poor or wealthy.
Further, many don’t know what class status they inhabit. Despite the hard work that once ensured upward mobility, many white families have seen stagnant income growth. Others have accrued wealth without anything even resembling a work ethic. When members of different cultural groups marry, diverse traditions of class meet at the kitchen table. Siblings, parents and children can occupy different financial statuses. Some identify with class backgrounds from childhood more than their own.
Behaviors like how to speak, dress, move and gesticulate define class as much as income in white America. On a visit to Westport, Connecticut, I overheard residents complain about a guy who could afford a big house filling the driveway with fixer-upper cars perched on cement blocks. He had the money but not the class.
Gene Bailly, a retired professional living in Vermont who was raised in South Carolina, felt identified with his culture of poverty despite comparative financial success.
He explained, “Even though I worked as an administrator at Columbia University and was pursuing a graduate degree, I behaved and understood the behaviors of others through the lens of a kid growing up in the cotton mills. "
My father-in-law, Sam Schatsky, grew up poor on Manhattan’s Lower East Side but become a manager of an arts supply store, proudly raising a family in a New York City suburb. The direct line from ethnic immigrant to a thriving member of the so-called melting pot is no longer typical. So many white Americans have more than one socio-economic affiliation and their connection to each has been a circuitous path rather than a straight line. Lifestyles and values interact with incomes to create a class structure that is more kaleidoscope than pie chart.
Aren’t all of us part long-skirted immigrant grandmother, part someone who longs to work with his or her hands, part kid dreaming of becoming a firefighter or part parent working too hard to achieve a secure financial future?
Further, those of us who now enjoy an easier standard of living sometimes find the concept of class alien. We have been so self-guided, self-driven, self-educated and self-blaming that we no longer consider ourselves members of any group. Many succeed economically, but falter emotionally, having lost family support and friendships in the quest to fulfill an ambition.
Some relatives and friends still feel angry that I moved on, not realizing how much it hurts to leave home and disconnect from loved ones to fulfill yearning dreams. A young woman who attended a prestigious private high school on scholarship expressed similar feelings when recalling what happened when her mom volunteered for the new school’s fundraiser: “I watched her pick up her coat and leave while the other moms stayed for the event. She couldn’t afford a ticket.”
Newly acquired class status brings the fear of losing it, and the worry about how loss would affect family and community. Even though the median net worth of white Americans is just more than $81,000, economic insecurity is at a record high of 20.5%. Especially in these times, it seems like anyone’s financial architecture could crumble without warning.
Jeanne Egan, a marketing consultant in New Jersey, who comes from an Irish-American working class family, explains, “I got here on my own and I’m still on my own even though I have a supportive and loving partner. But the minute I stop making my new life happen economically is the minute status can slip away.”
Sadly, white racism is legendary. Yet tensions between the classes also occur. Some white people aim to buttress their self-worth by enacting superiority over other white people derogatorily termed, “white trash.” Bailly, the son of the teenage cotton mill workers, revealed “even though I was in the top 15 or 20 of my high school class of 200, the guidance counselor never once suggested my going to college because I was the kid of mill workers and he didn’t see us as college material.”
Scott Lenz started working at age 14 and eventually graduated with a bachelor's of business administration in economics from a college he could afford. He was hired as a corporate logistics manager. When his job performance evaluations indicated he qualified for a promotion to the financial department, he was denied because “I didn’t have the markers of the right background.”
The assumption that white people should be able to “make it” in the style of Horatio Alger, despite economic stickiness at the higher and lower income brackets, also contributes to class tension. Is the wealth of those who work in finance a new standard that renders others less worthy? Even successful people perceive that they have failed, making excuses for what used to be considered triumphs. Doctors, artists, small business owners and teachers, as well as those performing the maintenance tasks that support a functional society, bristle at being undervalued. The fundamental respect traditionally granted to everyone’s contributions, including those still building their lives, has waned.
Charles S. Smith, a 30-year-old custodian working the night shift at a Tucson middle school, keeps trying to afford to complete college. He feels stung when people assume he is an immigrant because of the job he holds. “People come up to me while I’m at work and start speaking foreign languages to me,” he said, “as if they can’t believe that a regular white American could be doing such a job.”
Kelly Washburn, a strategy and communications consultant in New York, lost her job during the "Great Recession." Comparing her life to how hard it was for her widowed mother to raise a family, she now feels the expectation that "anyone can make it" denies a piece of reality.
She said, “We can’t, by definition, all be exceptional. We can’t all transcend the statistics."
Yet we relentlessly demand it of our selves. We trudge forward in pursuit of the same things that motivate most Americans: healthy meals, an excellent education, travel, a decent place to live, and a few good clothes. But those things now cost more money than most people have.
The real secret of class in white America is that whiteness is like our own Frankenstein. We built a giant creature of spectacle and entitlement that has taken on a life of its own, requiring more of our resources to feed it. But no matter what their class status, no white American is ever quite that white.
The opinions expressed are solely those of Susan Bodnar.
It's just an unfair and unequal world no matter your racial background. However to be borne white does not guarantee you success but it does gives you a head start where as to be borne black and in the "ghetto" for that matter vastly decreases the likelyhood of you making it in life. It is our resposibility as humans to work very hard to make it in a very difficult world.
Hispanic is not a race. What's up with not considering Hispanic, "white". Learn your races, then post!
At first I was puzzled by the article, then I was disgusted by the comments. Pure racist rhetoric is laced in what many of you are saying.
To say nothing of the hostile commenters, I'm incredibly frustrated that the educated woman who wrote this article has never heard of the term "intersectionality." Race and class, along with a variety of other societal factors, contribute to an individual's success. I feel like sociology should be included in the cannon of American education.
I too am offended by many of the racially tinged comments being made here, but what offends me even more is people who infer that because they are educated that they are above all others. You make this charge against Ms. Bodnar, but say nothing against the likes of Mr Wise who claims that Whites are priveleged soley because of their skin color. Liberals tend to be that way though.. Do as I say, not as I do"
i have experienced being both poor middle class and moderate middle class, i have also experienced being judged to to my conplection( i hate the term race). i grew up in the south to a food market employee, while upper crust kids drove to school in new mustangs, i drove an 83 honda that i worked all summer in trade to get. when things tanked in my town back in 2001 i joined the army instead of living on the streets. i was discharged due to injuries from the military and moved to NYC. i lived in the south bronx where i have narco-police jump out of their cars, to come after lill ol' me just standing outside smoking a cigar. after they searched me and checked my cigar, i asked the narco's why'd you come after me? they replied well your white in this neighborhood. then went back to their cars and left. lmfao. i was so shocked i forgot about my cigar and everything for about 10 minutes. the point i am making in this is anything can happen to anyone at any time, if you lose everything, or have a hard time making it join the military save your money see the world then use your G.I.Bill to go to college to become more. the whole narco thing was just to show "whites" which i am not white, i'm cream colored or light complected, lmfao......are also judged by our skin color. i was in a dark complected neighborhood because my wife is dark complected, i thought nothing of it, but appearently the cops did think something about, mainly i was white i should be carrying drugs because i'm in a black neighborhood.
I'm a white guy in the Bronx but by the zoo. Everyone thinks I am a cop. Nobody bothers me because of that, however at night, I seem to transform into Latino because no one believes I would be walking around there at night and be white. Kind of shows you how race is all about perception and stereotypes, haha.
ppl need to see the world and move around to appreciate every thing, life is too short and racisim is here to stay for as long as we humans are here, it is in our DNA , that's my believe and it could be wrong.
This artcle is more consumerist brainwashing, trying to convince people that if you can consume more you are better than the other guy. Countries are exceeding their domestic capacities, and compensate for their lack of local resources by depleting the resources of other countries. Over consumption is one of the driving forces behind global warming and other problems. Rather than assuming how people speak, move, or look matters we should value people's efforts to reduce their own AGW impact by finding clever ways to consume less.
It's not just about money either, it's about how well you know how to take advantage of all these dummies in order to get more money.
Stop identifying as MEXICAN-AMERICAN, or AFRICAN-AMERICAN and just be AMERICAN.
I have never seen, Scots-American or German-American, or Iranian-American listed on an application before.
I don't think that identifying as African-American or similar names is the problem. I've heard people say "I'm Italian," and no one admonishes them to say they're American. Countries like France explicitly prohibit the government from asking about race or ethnicity and what is the result? A completely excluded white population whose greivances are easier to ignore because there are no officials ways to measure the degrees of exclusion. You're suggesting that we're perpetuating the problem, but I think you're wrong. Whatever we call ourselves, we'd still have racial issues.
I meant that France has a completely excluded non-white population.
Ah's be South American, cuz Ahm frum Brminham, AL, an' PROUD uf it!
That is because they all claim to be Irish-American.
In this world, it's not about race. It isn't and it never has been. It's about money. That's all that matters. If you have it, you're in. If you don't, then tough luck. People all talk about white-this, black-that, brown-the other. It doesn't matter. There is only rich and poor.
100% correct – anything else is just race card nonsense.
And if you don't believe that, go watch real housewives of wherever.
I agree in principle, but there are still places, situations, etc. that will be barred to anybody but white people, no matter how well off they are (I'm white, by the way). There are ways around the desegregation/racial equality laws.
There are also places that are banned to anyone who isn't male, or straight, or beautiful. The sooner we all realize that at some point everyone is going to be excluded from something, the happier we'll be.
I find it rather ridiculous seeing the affirmative action being so stuck in place that the guy with his pants around his ankles gets the job I am more qualified for. Why because I am white. Additionally ever go to the social security or welfare office, Wow ethnic people are handled with kit gloves and treated very nice. White people are treated poorly even more so by the ethnic people behind the counter, Why? Well because you can't sue anyone for mistreating a white person for being white that Law doe not exist. I have seen this and confronted it in public. It disgusts me that anyone and I mean anyone should have privileges based on previous mistreatment. Fyi I am in the Middle Class, Live nicely, do not blow money on useless objects, and have been employed at the same job for 5 full years that pays about 65,000 less then I am worth...I am white. Not so funny now huh?
So regardless of your experience, of what you have endured or witnessed ...
You are still a racist who is responsible for keeping every man, woman, and child from the life they deserve.
You must be wicked powerful Chris.
"Ethnic people" are treated with kid gloves at the SS office? Are you on crack? I went to get a SS number for my son and have never been treated so contemptuously. Apparently the folks in that office didn't get the memo you got.
So Chris, if you are gainfully employed and consider yourself middle class...why are you visiting the unemployment and social securities offices?
I am a white male of 46 years old. I read stories like these and just can't see them as factual. I know very few people that bring in 80,000 a yr. or over, without a spouse working a full time job to make ends meet. But even then most are under 100,000 a year. My father lost his dad when he was 8 and went to work in the copper mines shortly after, being one of six children, he did what he had to do. At 18 he went into the service and upon leaving after the Korean war he got his diploma and went to work for Bell. He retired in the early 90's never seeing 80,000 a year without a ton of overtime. He was never home because he worked All the time. We didn't then, and don't now buy name shoes, clothes, electronics, wheels or what have you, just because of a name brand. I never could see buying a tee shirt that cost 40 dollars more because it had a product logo's name on it.The only shoes I have ever bought that cost a hundred dollars was steel toed boots made specificallly for climbing in jobs I have had. I went to work at 12 years old and was paid under the table to buss tables at a restaurant. I worked my way through college and paid my tuition while working as I went with student loans that I paid off after finding a job in my chosen field. I worked at a company called Worldcom for 17 years and lost everything because of mismanagement at the top, and had to start over in 2002.I lost my retirement, house, car, and went through a bad divorce. But I got up, and still get up because that was what I seen from the example my dad set for me to see.The only governemt benefits I have used is unemployment while trying to get back on my feet. I took minimum wage jobs to pay bills and put food on the table, till I could land a good job, unlike people turning their nose up today thinking they were to good to do that type of work. I don't drive the niciest cars and spend thousands on steros, boosters, rims etc. Here again, I look for quality in a used car that I can maintain and work on.I don't have HBO Cinamax or Stars. My cell phone is just that. But you know I have it pretty good. I worked for it, sometimes ending up paying for things twice ( another story). I don't blame anyone for where I'm at in life, matter of fact I'm blessed to have a decent home, five children, a loving wife, and a life we built with our own hands. I don't relate to this story at any angle.And I take responsibility for myself, and my actions. The avenues are there for all to better themselves no matter race or wealth. Its up to you to make the most of it. You want to complain because someone did better then you, or made better choices? Preach it to the choir. If you want to change your destiny, start looking forward, and leave the past where it lies. It will keep you down. The only thing that matters is the present and the future. The past is already written, but the future is a blank sheet of paper. I don't think it matters much what color of paper you write it on.
Well said thunderbolt. I think we forget how spoiled we all are.
People, it is "privilege," not "privalege" or some of the other letter combinations posted here.
Coming up on CNN
Soledad O'Brien chronicles the journey of eight African-American entrepreneurs in "Black in America: The New Promised Land – Silicon Valley" at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET February 11 and 12.
Yes, blacks have no voice in this country. ZERO.
Is their a WHITE ENTERTAINMENT NETWORK?
Is their a WHITE MUSIC AWARDS
Does STARZ have a STARZ IN WHITE channel?
Yeah I know blacks sure don't fit into those channels.
"Is their a WHITE ENTERTAINMENT NETWORK?"
Yes, it's called CMT. How many non-whites have you seen on there. I watch both BET and CMT and there are far more whites on BET than there are blacks on CMT.
"Is their a WHITE MUSIC AWARDS"
Yes, there are many. The Country Music Awards, Country Music Choice Awards, etc. Is it OK if they're all white as long as they don't have "white" in the name? Is it OK to have complete racial exclusion as long as you never mention race? Is it the B in "BET" tha's so bad, even though they feature any number of white rap and hip hop artists? Is it just the name?
Does STARZ have a STARZ IN WHITE channel?
Yes. It's called STARZ. Put another way, exactly what percentage of shows that you watch have 95% black casts? Few. You probably enjoy watching movies with overwhelmingly white casts. So why should you object to blacks having movies that have overwhelmingly black casts? Or is it the name again. Is it calling the name "black," that's so bad?
Your reply makes no sense.. Anything that doesn't have White in front of it is automatically a White thing?/ Huh.. Not sure where your logic comes from.. The NBA doesn't have White in it's name, but most of it's athletes are Black. The music stations I listen don't have Black in their name, but most of the artist are Black. President of The US doesn't have the term Black in it, yet he is a Black man.. Try to use arguements that make sense please...
Actually they name those channel "Black" this and that so whites will know to change the channel quickly.
And yet many white youth do watch them.
The victim role doesn't suit you.
Whites not only get good jobs because they are easier to teach, they get good jobs because the clothes fit better and they look better on camera as well. Compare Romney and Perry...even Gingrich...to Herman Cain. See what I mean?
Cain is the best you can do. What about comparing them to Obama. I guess you point might fall short then.
Obama? How black is he really? You'll never see an African-looking black make president of anything for very long. Looks do matter, admit it or not.
I know you're a troll looking for attention, but even so, I'll respond. As far as biracial people go, President Obama is pretty African looking.
Whites think they look better because since they are the dominant culture, they set the standard of beauty according to their own physical attributes. We aren't born thinking white features are better than African or Asian. Attractive people come in all shapes, sizes, and colors.
Um....what the hell are you talking about? Hmm? You have 4 faces to one face to compare. Newt Gingrich is a watermelon head ugly a**. Gross. Mit Romney has a more pleasant face. I hate when people do this. 100 million white folk vs like 30 millino blacks. I'm sorry, but even if 5% of each of those groups were attractive, you would STILL have more attractive white people. Yes, Herman Cain is a ugly a**. But I can bet your bottom dollar things would be different if he looked like Will Smith. If Newt Gingrich was your standard of beauty, I'd hate to see what you look like.
Before you type anything, press the Caps Lock key, please.
Haaaaa, I knew it was you.. Missed ya Ghost.... 🙂
Blacks usually don't have any parents, so you can't expect much success out of blacks. They also tend to come from the ghettos, so you can't really teach them anything. They are also prone to violence more than any other race. So basically, being black is a lost cause, while being white is always cool.
your mother is a no good $lut I heard she got that NASTY woman hore DISEASE!
You are embarrassing yourself..
Dunces cannot be shamed.
are you serious? you are the most disgusting, ignorant, racist i've ever met. coming from a white woman and knowing from experience being black doesn't mean you have horrible parents and you can't be taught anything. it depends on the person. i'm tired of people blaming everything on race when it's the person themself that creates that environment for themself. am I the only person in this world who's tolerant of everyone but ignorant delinquents like you?
So this article makes some valid points, however white privilege does not necessarily mean that because you are guaranteed success or that things will be great for you. Disclaimer; these are general statements talking about a broad issue, I understand that these are not always the case but merely generalizations made based on my experiences of living in an urban American city.
For instance being white I have the privilege of walking into a store without being followed, I have the privilege of being greeted by a stranger with a smile rather than being sized up, I have the privilage of not being stopped and frisked by the police. If I wear clothes with some paint on them or allow my hair to be a mess people tend to assume im a painter or artist and i'm just having a messy hair day. Even if im acting out in society, people just say that im young and I have some issues im working through rather than labeling me a scourge on society (also they don't jump to assume that my actions are a result of bad parenting but rather im just acting out.)
There are countless more examples as well but my point is that it goes way beyond getting a job, it can even be just what you have to think about, or are privileged not to have to think about on a daily basis. By the way I agree there are many other factors including class and cultural differences, but that doesn't exclude the privilege we receive just based on our skin color. So even if your individual case has hardships and even though weve made huge strides towards a more equal system and towards a more unified mindset, in general it is easier to lack melanin in America than to have any other skin color. Anyways thats just my point of view on the whole thing, feel free to disagree.
In the words of the great Haile Selassie I “Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned, everywhere is war and until there are no longer first-class and second-class citizens of any nation, until the color of a man's skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes. And until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race, there is war. And until that day, the dream of lasting peace, world citizenship, rule of international morality, will remain but a fleeting illusion to be pursued, but never attained...now everywhere is war.”
Very insightful. People insisting that being white doesn't confer privileges should watch that show on ABC called "What would you do?" It illustrates how people act in biased ways and then insist they were motivated by bias. They had one clip where there were three white teens vandalizing a car. Passersby told them to stop and then kept going. One person eventually called 9-11. Then they had three black teens do the same thing. 5 calls immediately went in to 9-11. Oh, and while the three white kids were vandalizing the car, two younger brothers of the black kids were in their own car doozing while they waited for their brothers to finish filming. Just sleeping. Two white citizens found two black boys sleeping in their car in a "white" area threatening enough to call 9-11, one insisting that they were getting ready to rob someone.
Unless you are somehow stating whites are the only race to have racists.
And if you are, I would like to invite you to my neighborhood.
I think your heart is in the right place, but you fall into the same trap as many liberals. You feel free to make these generalizations which have little to do how people actually live, but if someone of an opposite view sites a bad example for a person of color and then uses that to lable all persons of color they are called a racist. These kind of generalizations make it easier for people like "RTB" to infer that all White people have priveleged lives and only have what they have because of this privilege..
You sir, win all of the internets today. And you get a cookie! The most insightful thing coming from a white person I have heard in a while.
90% of media/magazines/etc is catered to whites. You can go into a DG/Abercrombie/Gucci store and see yourself/skin well represented. You aren't instantly labled as a 'worker' at some high end event that you are participating in. The list can go on, buy you know what I mean.
Here's another cookie.
It's true, blacks can't compete. It's because they are black. Their large amount of melanin in the skin causes lowered I.Qs.
you were coceived though consensual inscest between your momma your uncles and grandpa (the imperial kkk wizzard)..... that's why you're RETARDED and SUICIDAL!
We have to stop thinking about race, period.
Talking about it rationally is OK. Obssessing about it is what's causing the problems.
Obsessing on anything is not healthy; nor are most of your defensive comments.
Yes RTB, I am calling you a racist.
I'm black but both my parents are white. They tell me sometimes it just skips a generation. 🙁
you so craaaazy!
Yeah...nody in America has it harder than the straight white man.
What a brutal run we have had throughout history.
This lady kidding me?
You're an idiot.
According to the 1860 U.S. census, 393,975 individuals, representing 8% of all US families, owned 3,950,528 slaves.
Please stop thinking every white person benefitted from slavery. Slavery is still a problem in parts of the world with 12 million to 28 million people currently enslaved.
Do not tell a black person the truth everyone else already knows.
Any other race can listen to reason.
If you really think in such crude simplistic terms, then you are not very bright.
You would go blind simply standing in the same county as my intellect.
Find a toadstool, grub.
Hey joe ROCKHEAD: there is no REASON why there is not a complete brain between the 4 republican IDIOTS running for president............let alone an INTELLEGENT THOUGHT!
Is that supposed to be glib? You don't have to have owned a slave to benefit from racial privilege. Following WWII, millions of white veterans were given access to cheap mortgages through the FHA. At the time, the FHA had an explicit policy of excluding black people from getting FHA insured loans. And the majority of builders and lenders practiced flagrant racial discrimination. The result was that millions of whites were given (yes GIVEN) an opportunity to build wealth through home ownership that was explicitly denied to similarly situated blacks. But since none of those whites ever owned any slaves, I guess, according to your reasoning, they didn't enjoy the benefits of those preferential policies, did they? They only impact that slavery has is in setting the social order that people of good will are still trying to correct today.
"You don't have to have owned a slave to benefit from racial privilege." You read into it to far and then took it to a whole different subject. I said not every white American owned slaves and benefitted from slavery. You changed slavery into racial privilege.
I am Irish/who knows what my family came to America during the Irish famine. I can tell you for a fact Irish were not treated as white people in the mid 1800's based on stories told from older generations. And in the 1700's 9 out of 10 indentured servants were Irish if you believe Wiki.
Well, someone's got to benefit from having slaves...otherwise, what good are they?
Joe are you really that clueless not to look over the figure you post. If 400K people represent 8 of the population then your say we had only 5 million whites in the country at that time. and we had 4 million slaves?
Come on now. If just shows people will post any kind of crap as facts expect you to believe it.
To the author: Poverty exist in all races, but just because anyone can be poor doesn't mean racism is not problem. The blinders those in privilege wear completely surrounds them.
Reading 101. I said 8% of all families. There were 36ish million Americans in the 1860s.
She cites Gossip Girl- in that instant she lost all credibility whether the premise is valid or not. There are Zero adults who believe that that show is indicative of reality for anyone.
She didn't site it. She was using it as an example.
The media always represents a level of reality, whether it's exaggerated or not.
Don't be so naive... The "Gossip Girl" lifestyle IS reality for many...
As usual, demanding someone give you a handout. Do it yourselves, like the "evil" whites do.
Eidently you feel that typing in all caps makes your post seem more important.. I bet you have an Ivy League education??
She left out how being white puts you at a disadvantage for college admissions, getting a job, and being a member of the DNC.
That's interesting Flipper, because I am white, got into and graduated from undergrad and grad school. I have a great job, and I am a member of the DNC. Maybe it's not your race. Maybe you just need to work harder.
You're female, and part of the minority. There is a point where the scales tip to far, and federally subsidized student loans are one of them. I believe no one should have to carry any burden, and instead, be given a level playing field.
@JP Isn't one's eligibility for federally subsidized student loans a function of their economic situation? Not race? How is that relevant in a discussion of white privilege? Surely you don't mean to say that the children of a lawyer making 300k/year should be equally eligible for these loans compared to the children of someone making 30k?
First, what does me being female have to do with student loans???
Second, you are right. Only white, straight men work hard and deserve what they have. The rest of us are lazy and settle for hand-outs (something I've never received nor would I accept unless I was starving to death). Somehow, when we do succeed you are threatened by us and quickly put on the victim label.
And then of course if your of the "privilaged white MALE class", women have an advantage.
The "privilaged white male class" has always oppressed and controlled everyone else.
We need to to implement governemnt enforced Social Justice Programs so people of color and women get a little payback for all the past transgressions of the white male privilaged class.
You're just complaiining because you're insecure about having to compete.
That's funny Flipper. I've never heard that sort of opinion from a white person that couldn't be classified as coming from a well off family. I'm sorry that there are scores of well off white children with 4.0+ GPAs, private tutors, and stacked resumes that you (presumably) can't beat out for admissions so you take it out on the minorities that the UNIVERSITIES want because pictures of a largely white student body don't look particularly attractive or PC at top notch schools in 2012.
Having class is a good thing, it is the way you treat people. The folks from Westport, CT that spend their time talking about others and putting others down, clearly do not have any class.
Since when did "ourselves" become a two word as in "our selves?"
Grew up in a Upper Middle Class family. We were rich by national standards, not rich by local standards. Still well off though.I didn't have to take out loans for college, neither did my two siblings. Up until the youngest was in high school, my mother didn't work outside the home. So yeah, that's pretty well off. That also happened though because my father, who grew up solidly middle class, worked really hard, a lot of long hours to get where he was, and he didn't blow his money on things he couldn't afford early on, as so many do.
Remember, this entire financial crisis started with Barney Frank telling Fanny and Freddie to give houses to people who couldn't afford them. Obviously, it's more complex than that, but essentially, that's what it boils down too. Irresponsibility on the part of the government, the banks that listened to the government, and individual people as well.
As for me, right now, I work in an industry where I will more likely than not, stay on the upper end of the middle class at best. Right now, I am certainly not on that upper tier, making 32k a year. Actually, considering I live in the NYC metro area, I am on the lower end of middle class with that salary. But it's okay because I am only 26, don't have kids and don't plan on it for a while.
Also, I am not bitter at those who do make more. Many of my friends make double what I make, but they also went into finance. I have no desire to go into finance. Probably could've, but don't want too. So as long as I make enough to not worry about bills too much, and to take a decent vacation once a year eventually, I will be happy. I don't need to be rich, not even as rich as my Dad turned out to be. I'm not into cars, having a big house seems like way too much work with upkeep, and I also don't feel like dealing with the absurd property taxes. So I am good.
Point is, it's all about decisions you make. If you decided to be a teacher, don't expect to make a million bucks a year. You can't have your cake and eat it too. I know plenty of other people my age working 80 hour weeks on Wall Street, miserable at their job, but they keep going because having more money than they can spend is important to them.
So just prioritize. Hey, if you can find a job that makes you both rich and happy, then go for it. But you are far more likely to find one or the other. Just don't be envious at the people who have what you don't have, despite how much the President and media is telling you to be.
Good post.. and you're right on several points.. but i do have to ask... How in the heck are living off 32k/yr in NYC?? It would be very difficult to live off that much in Alabama ,, let alone NYC
An interesting post, but you are wrong about the financial meltdown having started with Barney Frank making Fannie and Freddie make loans to people who couldn't afford them. The financial crisis was a creature of Wall Street. Private Wall Street banks made billions by securitizing crappy sub-prime loans into bonds and selling them around the world. Wall Street needed the pipeline of loans to keep producing loans so they could keep cranking out bonds. Loan originators made their fees up front and then sold the loans, so they didn't experience the losses if the loans went bad. The result was a complete collapse of basic underwriting standards. The Wall Street banks encouraged the origination of sub-prime loans because Fannie and Freddie dominated the market for loans to middle class borrowers with solid credit scores. It was only at the end of the bubble that Fannie and Freddie got into the sub-prime game. Try reading the book "All the Devils Are Here," for an outstanding analysis of the roots of the financial crisis.
This is such a non-story its laughable. 99% fluff, where is the substance?! Not to mention it barely held my attention. You didn't really lay out any true arguments for when being white doesn't help. Are there poor white people? Of course. That suggestion is no less likely than their being wealthy blacks. But writing an article on "not all blacks are wealthy" would be just as ridiculous as this one.
Um, you mean the heel of bolshevik Democrats don't you?
everyone black sould have a white assistant to deal with good housing, good education, the law on your side, good finances..you know... the things that blacks wern't privilaged with having in the first place.
3 of those things come from good parents
Where do I sign up?
I find carrying all this white guilt burdensome.
Good post Ken.. Witty an to the point..
blacks just can't get good parents no matter how hard they try
They're noisy. They're nasty. They're white trash. And when you give them a little Pabst Blue Ribbon they can't help getting arrested.
You'll NEVER be poor and stupid enough to make it in NASCAR!
This article is great because you never hear from the other side.. but now since it has been said it is a real eye opener... and once quote i want people to understand is this...
"We trudge forward in pursuit of the same things that motivate most Americans: healthy meals, an excellent education, travel, a decent place to live, and a few good clothes. But those things now cost more money than most people have."
now that has nothing to do with being white, black, asian, mixed, or what ever... but material things that changes as the wind blows.... but as people we are to blind to see this......
White trash is more about behavior than income, IMO. If you start fights because you think someone is looking at you funny you are white trash. I grew up in a white trash neighborhood with a high crime rate and these rampant, ridiculous fights. The thought of having to live around people like that for the rest of my life motivated me to pursue higher education and get the H out.
I truly believe that upward mobility in America is based on a the most basic principle. Teach the next generation what you know, give them what you can, and hopefully they will end up just a little better off than the current generation. No guarantees, no government gimmies, no short cuts, no excuses.
That is a good start to life, but it is not the end-all-be-all. You can have the best parents in the world in a poor family and still remain economically poor as an adult. What you would not have from this upbringing is opportunity. Wealthy families are rich in dollars, but it is the opportunities created from their social status (money) that allows their children to find success with less effort. Let's face it, everyone is "working hard" toward some goal, but the hard work alone won't get you anywhere if there is no opportunity.
Off topic of this article but on topic for these comments.... Why does it seem that every the term racist is only applied to white people. Growing up my Haitian buddy was always open harassed by African American kids about being Haitian and being too dark. At the same time they would say he was too "white" for hanging out with white kids (including couple of South Americans). That was the first time I can remember observing openly racist comments. Now Sam makes well into 6 figures and has a great family. I guess being "white" did pay off.
I don't think society at large only attributes racism to whites.
No, it does.
So maybe I should be part Cheroke... Oops sorry not allowed anymore as all the sports teams had to remove them names.
I send out my white husband when I want to purchase a houses in white neighborhood, and when they sell it to him..I show up to sign the closing papers...being white DOES have it's privilages
When I want to apply for college, job (specially any government job), or grant I send my non-white wife.. Being non-white does have it's priveleges..
when my white husband drives I never get stopped by cops..so he does the driving...i learned how to exploit white privilage...so far it has worked..my kids want to go to private school..i send my husband to do the paper work...they never refuse him, or his money
maybe your husband drives better?
kelly..you lie when it comes to jobs because only YOU can do the interview..if I had someone white for that..i'd send them to do interviews for me too.
mmm, now is that any way to talk. I have not called you a liar.. Name calling is the last resort of those who have no actual point.. My point was that people of color do have advantages in cetain situations, and you didn't address it at all.. mmmm, wonder why??
But if you don't get the job you applied for you can file a discrimination law suit, demand big settlement and live happily ever after. I would say that's a privilege unavailable to white people, especially men.
My next door neighbor's son was just rejected in becoming a Reno, NV firefighter. He had a 4 year college education, 3 years of fire fighting experience of fighting wildfires, scored in the top 2% of all entrance exams. He was beat out by a black high school educated man who NO college education, NO fire fighting experience, and the guy scored in the 50 percentile. Being black DOES have its privileges, which is all what "affirmative action" or what really is government sanctioned racism is all about.
Strange. My next door neighbors are both black, and all their parents are black. Who did they ask for help?
It's guaranteed that blacks must have help from the government in some way in order to get ahead.
Maybe being a total fraud and bigot helps you justify your assumption and methods. If someone White when into a colored neighborhood with a Black proxy buyer to get a cheaper price would you object to that ?
OK Helen Willis. This isn't 1977 anymore. This country is much less white now, and what you are saying only exists in small hick towns, for the most part. A racist idiot here and there doesn't count.
You don't have to be a laborer to "work with your hands". Scientsts. Engineers. Doctors. Artists. Architects. etc etc.
The real story is how thoroughly rejected all poor people are, and how hard it is not to "act poor" once you finally get out.
I grew up poor, and I'm still learning how not to act poor. I learn new things about how rich people think that are completely foreign to my life experience and assumptions. The wealthy operate in a different world, and they don't even know it. There's this bizarre assumption of honesty and integrity that I still can't fathom. I can fake this trust-factor well enough to get by, but I can't really embrace it. Experience shows that it is a bad assumption, among the poor and the rich.
The poor know not to leave valuables out – valuables won't always get stolen, but sometimes they will. The wealthy leave valuables out, and assume that because it wasn't stolen the last time it was left out, it won't ever get stolen. Then they get all surprised and upset when, eventually, their unattended valuables vanish – sometimes even denying that it was plainly stolen instead of "misplaced" because they prefer to pretend no one who's wealthy steals things. Then the wealthy get all huffy if you don't subscribe to their crazy notions of trusting complete strangers not to take valuables.
I talked to another grad student about leaving cars at long-term airport parking. I said something about never leaving valuables in the car when you do that. The kid insisted that the long-term airport parking was safe and secure. I told him about several instances I knew of where people had suffered break-ins at the local airport. He told me that he'd once left a rental car unlocked for several days in a similar parking lot and nothing had happened to it. I asked him if he could prove that no one had searched the unsecured car for valuables – the answer was no, of course. He steadfastly asserted that the fact that the car itself wasn't stolen meant that the parking lot was safe. I took it to mean that the rental car was probably not worth the effort (they often have anti-theft measures, like GPS tracking), and that they hadn't left anything of value in it.
I have seen exactly what you mean. But part of it is that certain things don't have the same amount of value to people who are wealthy. Many seem to take a lot of things for granted because...well because there's no reason for them not to.
Sometimes you're not necessarily "rich rich" but lucky and clueless enough to not realize you're in a bubble. I lived in a certain neighborhood in Oklahoma where I would leave my car unlocked all the time. I would forget and not think anything of it.
I moved to Ohio to a decidedly different neighborhood (I was young, like 20) and made that mistake. I hadn't quite moved all of my things out of the vehicle, and someone went into the trunk via the unlocked front door and took clothing. Clothing that probably didn't have a lot of value to whomever but it was valuable to me (because they were mine!). Whoever this person was, they were obvioiusly going to every driveway in the neighborhood and checking the doors. All it takes it once. I never made that mistake again.
I grew up outside of Boston with a single mother, who had a high school diploma, but nothing more. She had the standard Boston accent, which sounds poor, even if the speaker isn't. I too had that accent as a little kid, but as a gift student who was able to attend a prestigious college, I unintentionally changed my accent somewhere in that time away at school. To the point now where you couldn't tell that I was from Boston if you met me (forgiving the occasional slips of "wicked" in my sentences. My brother, who didn't attend college, goes in and out of the accent, as if he too sees that it's seen as an accent of the poor. The very way that you speak can act as a barrier to opportunities.
Somewhere I read "With our thoughts we create our world"... we create what and who we are. To assume that man cannot rise above environment and influence is naive
agreed....each post focuses on race and class. No one has mentioned commitment, relentless drive, discipline, hard work, and sacrifice. Do some people have more opportunities than others? Yes. But no person is deprived of opportunity.
One thing that's interesting about this story (that isn't in there). The average net work for white Americans is $81K. And this is with huge, huge overall numbers.
For blacks it was something completely scary, like $16K. With significantly fewer overall numbers factored into the average.
That tells the story right there in some ways when you're looking at the big picture. Being white definitely counts even though it's no guarantee. But I thought it was an interesting take on class "movement" within a lifetime. That can be applied to many different backgrounds.
Why do people insist upon using averages in comparisons like you are making? Of course that is going to end up like that. Look at the top 10 richest people in the world, most are white and American. You add several billions of dollars together from 3-4 people course you'll get an average disproportionately higher than the "normal" white family. You were right about the numbers being greater but that also includes several billionaries jumping the "average". Try looking up the median results next time.
I'm not saying this will not show a disproportion, because there is. But being poor is not a race thing, it is a class thing (as the author tries to show). The same types of programs to raise a black person out of poverty will work on a poor white person and this is what we should take away from these studies. People need help.
Net worth is more than just salary. That's also savings, home equity, retirement accounts, etc. $81K sounds like a lot until you see how it is broken down.
Not a very well written article. It's hard to understand what, exactly, is her point. It's all over the place. There is no such thing as "White America" or "Black America". Those are the stupidest labels I have ever heard. We are all "American". I do not and will not claim to be one or the other, just American. The color of my skin does not define who I am, and I am insulted that CNN would even post something so absurd. Our skin color is just the color of our skin. It does not make me one way or another. We are all humans with the same needs and wants. We are all Americans. CNN shame on you for all of your racist stories. You are trying to divide this country more than Obama. I love everyone and I hope everyone loves me.
I love you.
wait, are you hot?
This is an opinion piece not an article. However, i will agree that it was all over the place.
Thank you lisa, I'm sick of hearing adjectives put in front of American.
Hi Lisa, I just wanted to address your comment. I believe you misunderstood the purpose of this article, the author is not trying to drum up support for notions of a white or black America, but instead trying to break down the walls that we have set up when we try to separate the ourselves by socio-economic classes, ethnicities, country of origin, etc. If you take a closer look at the article she is showing anecdotal evidence to the contrary of commonly held perceptions, showing us how fallible our preconceived notions of others are.
Be Well 🙂
As wages have stagnated since the 70's profits for the rich have gone through the roof, and the gap is getting wider. The rich say get a job and work hard but we no longer value work. Wages bear this out. US productivity is the higest in the world so where are rewards for all this hard work.
this is so true.......they rather we live off credit
The investors in a factory or other capital intensive business would say that they were the ones who invested in the new machines that made workers more productive and that the worker is not actually doing much more labor. It is obvious then that the additional profit from increase productivity should go to investors.
White or Black, Asian or Spanish, whoever you are: money is the deciding factor. If you have it, people will flock around you. It matters little if you pack your BMW or Cadillac on the street. Your voice will be heard. If you don't have money and you are white, or black or purple? Sorry. I saw North Koreans on YouTube publicly weeping to mourn their late premier and I thought, it's a national culture of perpetuating poverty. I see white beggars, I see black peddlers, I've worked with those who saw my color as outside and therefore undeserving... Even some of my employees have treated me that way... Make the field plain and let everyone try their hands. The middle class has never rejected people on account of skin color. Only people with small brains try to perpetuate it.
I have been white most of my life. I have never gotten anything special due to this. Public schools, U.S.Army, worked hard all my life. What did i miss?
great....you never been harrassed for being white..good for you...yep..you missed the point by a mile
Harassed on a daily basis, by Raceist like you..no need to cry about it. just a part of life
You are harassing him now. For being white.
Wow just me – you are dumb.
last time i checked bragging about being white and untouchable is racist, not pointing out that you're an @$$ hole
mmm, that was an intelligent comment.. Are you trying to say that beining White exempts you from any and all harrassment? You need to come back down to earth..
What were you for the other part of your life that your weren't white, since you were only white for most of it?
You've been white MOST of your life? LORD BE PRAISED! WE HAVE ANOTHER MICHEAL JACKSON!
If you have the time to post here, spend that time where it will do all of us some good, regardless of color. The reason we are all seeing our futures and fortunes decline is DIRECTLY related to your congressmen, both Democrats and Republicans alloiwng tens of millions of U.S. jobs to be sent overseas. Contact your congressman, they have a website, just type their name in a search engine and complain about the unemployment you and/or your family and friends are suffering due to them allowing American jobs to be sent cross border. China has "Most Favored Nation Status" – that is most favored nation to send your job and your future to. This will be constructive to all our concerns. And, don't stop with just one e-mail or letter to your congressmen, do it every week, do it until you start seeing Microsoft, Apple, RCA, Westinghouse, Whirlpool, and other major U.S. corporations opening plants back in the U.S. These politicians had to be involved to allow your job and your future to be sent overseas. Stay after them – don't let up. March in the streets. March in front of Congressional Buildings. March in front of the ports where Chinese goods arrive. Write, E-Mail, March. Collectively, we will eventually win. March in front of Microsoft, Apple etc. Use social media to arrange demonstrations. Do It! Stop Complaining and take Action!
Miss. Susan Bodnar article is not racist but unjustified; here are the reasons why:
1. Miss. Bodnar is giving her point-of-view of the American Culture. Over the years, many have came forward trying to rationalize why other races, other than "White", always complain during down economic times. When in fact, Blacks, Asians, Native Americans, and Hispanics have been screaming of unfair working and living practices in this country for decades.
2. "Once on top; Always on top!" Whites have been the dominant race, for what seems like forever, and yet, when times get hard, they blame others who have been trying to excel all their life. In their minds, they believe that falling down is unacceptable because only then they see others they have left behind in the bottom of the barrel. In other words, they see their sins of their past, and fear it.
3. The one reason why Miss. Bodnar article is unjustified is simply because Miss. Bodnar is White. She does not know the pain, the heartache, the disparity nor the struggle of being any other race but her own. Therefore, she can say that "it may not easy being White" but believe me, if she was offered of a million dollars just to be Black, Asian, Native American, or Hispanic for one day....I guarantee she would accept a cup of coffee with three creams and two sugars instead of the former.
The word "dominant" is a natural tendency of a larger population group. If white Americans are 70% of the population (I'm only guessing) how does anyone expect other groups to be dominant? I worked in a branch office of a national bank for three years. There was for the first two years a true diversity of co-workers. In my last year, I was the only minority left. I too had to leave because of "dominance" by the dominant group of co-workers and things were unbearable for me. It's a reality and fact of life.
With that mentallity, we would have never had a black president, or senator, or representative, or supreme justice. I could keep going and going. I may not know what is like to be black, asian, native american, or whatever, but you don't know what it's like to be white and have people blame you for there problems. You don't know what it's like to be white and have to listen to this crap over and over and over. If it were not for sympathetic and compasionate white people that followed in the civil rights movement and numerous white people that have contributed to the advancement of minorities than where would you be. Not all white people are to blame and they are not to blame because they are white. Wrong is wrong no matter the color of your skin. We are all God's children! "Can't we just get along!"
Great comment, and it was done with no name calling or racial slurs.. Many here could learn from this..
Really? You don't think a white person would take $1 million in exchange for being a minority for 1 day? I think we all would.
Let's be honest; really honest. No, white person would do it because of the fear. The closest any white person can come to being black is a sun tan; lets be honest here for a minute. If you ask a young white kid: "...Who is their favorite Rapper?" he or she may say Jay-Z. However, if you ask that same white kid if they would like to be part of a race where their ancestors were raped, murdered or lynched; they would say "HELL NO!" They will steal a black person ideas, a black person song, a black person family and a black person money. However, they will never dream of being black.
we still live in a country where racial profiling of minorities still occur..till that ends..whites still got it made in america.
Ok, let's say you are correct.
I still get to pay for all the illegals who steal from this country daily.
So yes, F U.
illegals are you native American?
guess what idiot..black hispanics asians and indians pay for illegals as well..so go F yourself...you can't justify racist laws in the name of everyone white you xenophonic sociopath.
Majority of poor people in America are White.. mmm, what is it called when you judge and/or lable an entire race because of the actions of a few.. mmmm, let me think.. Oh yeah, racism..
I feel both ways about this. First of all what the heck is a white person? Black person? I have african american, Polish, Puerto rican, Friends, lets stop CALLING EACHOTHER COLORS, then we can truely see how diverse we are. I do feel like Minorities get breaks even when they do not need them, I also feel that and I hate to say"White People" had a head start in a race to become great americans. My grandparents had nothing, My father struggled as well, I am educated and my generation has gotten a better shot, but I dont own property or have a great savings because my family did not have the same rights during times when minorities where not treated equally. So White people had the oppourtunity to leave homes and Businesses to leave to the next generation. I feel like minorities are catching up and now it is showing. I do agree we need to stop seperating are selves we are all americans
The difference between the current influx of immigrants to the US compared to previous migrant waves is the latest batch does not:
1. Choose to learn the language,
2. Become legal citizens
3. Embrace American culture/traditions
4. Pay taxes.
Until THIS ends, illegals will stay illegal.
white man can drive on an expended licence, and bad plates for a year before being caught, black man in the same situation would be flagged before he even makes it a block from his house...YOU miss the point!
*expired or suspended licence*
I got a ticket for a license tag that was expired for only week, and I am White.. Happened a few yeras ago, but you get the point. Oh yeah, you don't get the point.. You see everything in racial terms..
just me, you obviously live in a different country then the rest of us. White people in the USA have to have up to date registrations etc. Sad, but true.
They do pay taxes. They pay sales tax, property taxes, gas taxes, excise taxes, payroll taxes, cigarette taxes, and into benefit like Social Security that they'll never be able to draw from. And they conform more to the American culture than you think. But really, most immigrant groups keep their home culture more prevalently, at least for the first generation. It's the subsequent generations that conform more. If you think this didn't happen with other immigration groups, then explain the Chinatowns and Little Italys that most major cities had. It's people clustering together with people who understand them the best, and where they can engage in their own culture without the blowback from xenophobes such as yourself. There's nothing wrong with that.
Also , with the growing number of minority groups , eventually the caucasian race will become a minority group,if it hasn't already, will it then be given the same benefits and charitable organizations that many different ethnicities have had the privilege of having for many many years?
Most economist state Caucasians will be a minority in the US by 2054.
We will probably be subject to some version of Sharia Law by then.
And, we don't want it, either.
Discrimination will always exist, it will never go away. The only difference today is that Whites are also in that circle of racism. We, not only as Americans but as Humans need to have a little more respect for each other. White, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, etc. are no different from each other, we all discriminate or have been discriminated against at one point or another.
This has happened to me but I just brush it off and keep striving for a better future for myself and family. I am Hispanic and have been discrimated on by both Black and White, but I cannot judge a whole group of people for the decisions that a ignorant few make. I think some people get to caught up in self pity and forget what the true goal in life really is. If we let these things affect us, we will never accomplish anything.
I think it has become very apparent that in north america , regardless of which country, we have become so accustomed to being generous to the minority groups that the caucasian race has been overlooked. Many different ethnicities have programs ,foundations,organizations,etc. that assist those of the same ethnicity. However , whites have a limited access to assistance when needed. If there were to be an assistance organization created to benefit those of a white background , it would be considered to be racist or discriminatory. Even in the entertainment field, there are many ethinic-specific programming , that if whites were to create an "all-white" channel or program , it would be scrutinized by many ethnic groups and leaders as being racist.
Im not sure if this is the same south of our border , but even in such essential services such as policing and firefighting, we have become to hire those of different ethnicities,gender and backgrounds to appeal to the minority groups in our country. With all due respect , i would feel more comfortable being rescued by a white man or woman who can perhaps help/carry me out of a situation , rather than have someone of a different gender who cannot. There are many positions being filled to appeal to the minorities , that not only affect our security , but the way of life as well.
I grew up poor (I liked to say lower middle class, but I knew it was a lie) and now am in the top 5%. Yes, I worked very hard, much harder than the rich kids who had all the advantage of parents who could introduce them to their colleagues or even help them navigate the college application process. BUT, I had some wonderful supports. I had loving parents who had an amazing blue collar work ethic. I had great public school teachers. I had great medical care. I am also white, and in my neighborhood growing up that saved me a lot of abuse from the mean white kids who really hated the Hmong families that moved into are area. All of this put together helped a kid who has worked a wide range of jobs (babysitting, landscaping, retail, restaurant work, etc...) "make it" in our society.
I see my upbringing as a strength. I can interact with the company president AND the janitor (though I understand the janitor better than the president). I appreciate everything I have, but I know I would survive just fine without it. I feel strongly about being that person a kid needs to succeed.
The author does raise some good points, but she, like most of us, tries to simplify the issues of class and race in America. None of us are simply the labels placed on us by our society. When we realize this, we can actually start moving forward.
I'm Native,. I have a great job in the apparel/fashion industry,.. this is the life we are given,.. this is who we are,. we can either do something with it and lead by example or we can crab about the past,. how are we ever to blossom as a people white, black, red or yellow when all we do is complain about how disenfranchised we are because of our race.
I guess because some races are given more oppourtunities, There where times when minorities could not walk in certain areas.
Amen brother! Live the life! I wish more people would listen to you. Take life in your own hands and make the best of it. There is so much to be thankful of and I am thankful of what you have posted. Good job!
Love the comments. Don't really get the article.
My two cents is that race matters. Always has. However, I'm not white and I'm doing well. I love America despite her flaws. I was still able to go to grad school, have a cool job, and get along with 99% of people.
I don't blame anyone for my problems. I'm aware that some people hate me because I look different, but so what. I still achieved what I set out to do.
People should stop crying about race (all sides) and just move on. Racism will always be there, but in our country you can still amount to something if that is, in fact, your goal.
Love it! Great outlook on life.
Bravo, best reply in here.
even if your school is underfunded, gangs run your streets, this is based on you not all americans I have friends who where shot dead on there way to school, very driven individuals. So whatever life you had does not apply to everyone, I got a shot to attend school and I have a great job but I dont forget those who tried to make it but there enviorment stopped the dream.
If the roles were reversed and whites were a minority, do you think the other races would chip in to help us based on the color of our skin?
Middle-aged white men are the most despised on the planet.
We also pay the most in taxes.
So everyone of you can kiss my azz
It looks like your truth has ruffled the feathers of someone who like to change his/her name a lot.
Great! I love your outlook on life.
Nice post, glad to see that you are doing so well..
Why do white people have to be different from anybody else, the government and the citizens should look at a country of people and instead of the citizens being "African American" or "Latino American" they should be Americans, people should stop looking at their race as an excuse to get a scholarship or some kind of government program. As Americans we all go through hardships, not because we are black, but because we are Americans. America has been established for a little over 200 years now, and it's time for us to stop looking at where people came from before they became citizens, race, and how we can make those people feel better, and look to the improving the future. I'm am tired of this crap where every time I make a decision it's always has to be racial driven. The people who look at work ethic and the character of a person, instead of their race, props to you!
The Racial Grievance Industry is BIG BIG MONEY.
It's not going anywhere. They depend on being identified as a distinct Race and being victimized for it.
Whether it's real or imagined. Not just the Rev Al and Jesse, but La Raza and now CAIR as well.
Please note, no such groups for caucasians are permitted to exist...because we are by default the Racists.
Which ironically , IS racist.
Oh yes.. Race Pimping is big money.. regardless of race.. How do you think Rush Limbaugh and Fox News stay at the top of their ratings for their industry..
Ken, white people have had KKK (to mention one white group) around for generations! lol
And many many KKK members were the Americas leaders.
The fact that your kind may wear white sheets, does not mean that your blue eyes are not visible to the wise. lol
Yeah, your right about Rush.
I've never actually listened to his show, but my liberal friends tell me he's always saying white power this and white power that, he's even a David Duke supporter, that's what I've heard, although, like I said, I've never listened to his show. Fox News says all those things all the time too, but I don't watch Fox News because I don't have to watch them to formulate an opinion about them. I get my news from Jon Stewart, who's at least honest and "real".
I'm going to say the KKK as it exits today, is probably worth something less than $100K per year in donations. Meanwhile the Rainbow Coalition, the NAACP and the National Action Network takes in Millions. The media does not allow the KKK to speak, while they trip overthemselves to have Grievance industry reps on their shows. To imply there's some sort of equivalence is disingenuous. NONE of these groups should exist, is my point.
Ken your argument is invalid..
The reason why the KKK is a group "The media does not allow the KKK to speak" as you say is because their message is not even remotely popular.. their membership is in the 10,000s of a country of 300 million people..
Maybe if they didnt wear combat gear and carry Nazi flags and pledge allegiance to Hitler.. their voices will be heard...
Its tough to drum up advertisers for a TV show that will show someone extolling the values of Mein Kampf and who believes Jesus Christ was an aryan..
Even the NAACP, UNCF, and La Raza give scholarships to white kids.. Did you even know the NAACP's first president was white?
The NAACP has had brilliant people associated with it from WEB DuBois, Martin Luther King Jr, to even someone like Bruce Gordon, who was Verizon's CEO.
The KKK.. uhh.. Robert Shelton who ordered church bombings.. Eldon Lee Edwards, who was gunned down in the streets by other Klansmen.. and people like Sen. Robert Byrd who shamefully denied his association even on his deathbed..
and here you are wondering why the KKK aren't media darlings.. did this help?
BTW I meant Strom Thurmond. Robert Byrd was a member and acknowledged but later denounced the klan, segregation policies, racism and even supported Obama in 2008... Thurmond always denied he was a KKK member..
white people are not different. when you are poor, your life sucks. skin color does not apply at this point. your life sucks
I started reading the beginning of this article then started skimming it. She was all over the place with her examples. I couldn't really get a clear point out of it although I could probably piece one together if I tried.
The NAACP should either renounce affirmative action or Martin Luther King as the two ideas are opposite. Make a choice: be color blind or color victim.
The Racial Grievance Industry is BIG MONEY.
It's not going anywhere. They depend on being identified as a distinct Race and being victimized for it.
Whether it's real or imagined. Not just the Rev Al and Jesse, but La Raza and now CAIR as well.
Please note, no such groups for caucasians are permitted to exist...because we are by default the Racists.
Which ironically , IS racist.
MLK's main message is for americans to be color blind. So that is the answer to your riddle. very simple.
Yea, everything is hard. So What!!! I feel like people who think too much (like this writer) are turning us all into a bunch of lazy whiners. If my father saw this article (coal miner / 5th grade education) he would laugh out loud. Or as he would say SHUT UP and START DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
"Newly acquired class status brings the fear of losing it."
If it's newly acquired, it's not class status; it's money. Class is something different, more like caste. My hunch is that there are about ten socio-economic classes in America. Furthermore, I suspect that, if you trace back the history of white people with family that was present in the country at the time of the American Revolution, you will find a statistically significant correlation between the socio-economic status of their ancestors and their own socio-economic status today. It would not be a 100% correlation, but it would be a statistically significant correlation. The reality is that people naturally try to help the people they are most closely related to and, after that, the families of people with whom they form close friendship and business associations. That means that people who are born into an advantaged socio-economic class are more likely to receive help from other people from the same advantaged socio-economic class. This is completely natural, but it tends to perpetuate inequality. Furthermore, if there is a historical incident that tends to create advantages improperly (e.g., slavery), the natural tendency for "charity to begin at home" tends to get in the way of any self-correction of improper advantages over time. That is what the political debate about "tax" versus "spend" is really about. It is incorrect to view class differences in the U.S. as being solely between different ethnic groups in the United States. It is also true for class differences involving ethnic groups represented by more than one class in this country. There are probably at least three African-American classes and at least four European-American classes. Not all of these are rich and not all are poor. Some of that ugliest rhetoric involves the perception by some middle-income European-Americans that they are being unfairly exploited to serve the advantage of upper-income African Americans. What these middle-income European-Americans may not understand, however, is that they are being even more exploited by European Americans of a more advantaged socio-economic class (who they have mistaken for their allies because of similarity of appearance) and who are misdirecting attention to upper-income African-Americans in a classic scapegoating tactic.
Well said Bob. I'd like to cut out the original article and paste your comment in its place.
I have to say that your analysis does indeed demonstrate that you do have a good grasp of the Big Picture of class and race in America.
However, the statement "There are probably at least three African-American classes ..." is artificial.
And since it does not fit, you must quit.
Considering that African culture has never had anything to do with 'class', with which Europeans invaded the Americas, seeking to force them in the class culture is merely promoting & projecting european divisiveness onto a people who have never had any use for class differences.
This article at bottom is not about race; it's about classism. Whites trying to live up to the myth of their superiority and the myth of success. Mistakenly, the author is looking only within the white community, yet the topic concerns all communities. Take for example, the issue that many are poor but still cling to the illusion that they are middle- class, this is something that concerns all Americans. "We can’t, by definition, all be exceptional. We can’t all transcend the statistics." This thought too is colorless. The lack of respect we grant to labor is also a subject the author brings up, but this problem also belongs to Americans as a whole.
Very well said!
one of the biggest myths is the perception that poor people are poor because they are lazy. there are plenty of hardworking americans – performing 2-3 shifts daily in multiple jobs – to put food in the table and take care of their families. furthermore, the fact of the matter is that the middle class will one day be non-existent. one of the main vehicles for this is the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) which taxes the middle class unfairly to help the rich not pay taxes. congress, with rich people in their pockets, do not want to change the AMT rules because that would mean that they would have to pay their shair of taxes.
A poor minority person is seen as being poor because they are so "disadvantaged because of their color".......a poor white person is looked at as being just stupid for not being able to use their color to their advantage to navigate the system.....this is all Bull.
I'm white and college-educated, yet worked as a roofer and construction worker in Detroit alongside other poor working class people.....moved to Silicon Valley where now I work in IT and get paid real well. My color had nohting to do with that, just my intellect and drive.
I have black friends who come from Watts and work at Cisco Systems in IT, they did it with their intellect and drive too.
This whole "Oh, minority people are poor because of their color and the system keeps them down" is a load of crap.....
THE PRESIDENT OF THE USA IS BLACK.
It's all economics, it's a class war......there used to be race discrimination but now it's all about MONEY.....It's ALWAYS ABOUT MONEY.
I think you are on to something, but it isn't that simple. If you grow up in a neighborhood where the schools suck or the closest grocery store with fresh produce is miles away or there are no health clinics, you may be at a disadvantage compared to the kids growing up in a community where they have wonderful teachers, healthy food options and great medical care. If we level the playing field, then it will be all about who works the hardest. You are right that it is about money but it is also about power and people trying to keep the power for themselves and their children (note I didn't say race because there are great middle class Black neighborhoods as well as poor inner city Black neighborhoods just like there are great middle class White neighborhoods and very poor rural White areas). The poor kids ARE at a disadvantage and have to work much harder to get to that great IT job in Cali.
Het Chinatown, it's always been about money. Slavery was about money. Jim Crow was about money. White flight was about money. White skin privilege is about money. Yes things are much better than ever they were. Yes the POTUS is black. Yes, there is still white skin privilege. No it's not the be all end all of getting ahead. But it is a leg up and it has a more significant influence on success in some indurtries than others.
That is 98% correct and I totally agree, but it is that "other" 2%, thet group that is so much the focus of the angst in this country....that group runs this country, not the president, the congress or the judiciary...that group is 100% white and believe me, the Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerburgs need not apply. It's not money, it's about the founders of the nation we call America. You can't see, or find, their wealth. Their power usually results in those they want being elected and doing their bidding. Trace Obama to Annenberg, as an example. These families run silent and they run deep and they control EVERYTHING.
Well said Chinatown..
What did Martin Luther King say in his "I have a dream" speech, and how does that relate to racial preferences for college admissions and government grants and employment?
Careful Susan, the screamers are going to attack you for daring to say that being white doesn't cure all your ills. In the era of political correctness to the nth degree where affirmative action is the only way a company can not be sued by the ACLU, daring to say such a thing is dangerous, no matter how close it is to the truth.
The ultimate privilege of being white is having having no doors or ceilings to worry about. Sort of like a celebrity and how he/she walks into a club with no need for a guest list.
Asians do not need affirmative action for no one will ever question their intellectual abilities.
Most Latinos and African Americans are not academically inclined.
One needs to look no further than last years Intel/Westinghouse award participants and you will see why we are so far behind in academia.
Latinos and Blacks DO need AA otherwise how else would they even compete with the brilliant disciplined minds of Jewish/Europeans/Asians, and now Africans.
So wrong so wrong – ever try to get a job in governement in a Black countrolled town? As most southern cities are controlled by blacks
How about getting accepted at a university, easy if your black; hard if you are white.
"As the author of this piece" Ms. Bodnar, you now see what happens when you unleash the Political Correctness Thought Police. How dare you posit the "privilaged white class" might be oppressed! If can't be discussed.
Did we read the same article? I don't think she was saying that whites are oppressed, only that being white is not a cure-all. Our privileges are not just about race, but socio-economic class as well.
She isn't saying we, white people, are oppressed but that we are victims of the little fantasy we've all created about what a successful white person is. At least, that's what I think she's saying.
I'm commenting on the comments.
To even broach the subject of white people as a distinct group (if it's not in a purely racist context or a black person stating it), is Politically Incoorrect. She's swimming in dangerous waters.
This article does not do any good for anyone...
Exactly. As if people are too dumb to know this. All she is doing is stirring the pot.
I can completely understand what the author is expressing. I didn't realize it until later in life but I was always on the outside looking in. As a first generation college graduate, I was in way over my head. Not in book smarts. I had that no problem. Not in work ethic. I had that no problem. It was in experience and coaching. I had no idea how to navigate "the system." In hindsight there would have been a lot of things i'd do differently had I known. But where I was just so happy to be where I was, getting a college degree, others were positioning themselves for post graduation and climbing the corporate ladder. Took me a while to find my way and figure out how to leverage the education I had. But even having said that, do I believe i had a leg up on other minorities? yes. Although I was on the outskirts I could still see in.
LOL, you figured it out. I figurered it out for my kids and they have no concept of working for someone else long-term. I put off nail appointments, shoes matching my outfit, hair appointments to put them in the finest schools. This minority mom of two figured it out as well. early.
Complaining about how hard it is to be white in America is sort of like complaining about the disabled getting all the best parking spaces.
The assumption that all people either have it made or are perpetually screwed based on the color of their skin is false. Sorry. Obama's daughters will simply have an easier time of it in life most whites. I realize that on average white people have it better than most other groups in this country, but it's not 100%. Oh... and the wealthiest group in this country are Hindus – Indians.
President Obama's daughters will have an easier time because 1.) their parents have the knowledge and will share with them how to navigate in the world and 2.) because they are on the upper side of the wealth scale. Having money and parents who nurture always helps for a young person's future. Not saying you have to be filthy rich but being financially set doesn't hurt.
race, class matters everywhere. this article brings up nothing new. things are the same as they have always been. it is just the national discussion in the news that would make us think otherwise.
My parents are both doctors(MD degree) from china, and both got a PhD here. They are both now full professors in a US Medical school. When I visited last summer, I was shocked how everyone talked about my mother's family and her family's social status. They made it seem like my dad was from the upper middle class, and my mom was from the lower middle class and they were all rather shocked at how well she succeeded in america. They even suggested that she would not have done so well in China because in China, your background matters a bit more.
so at the end of the day, race/class always matters. As a chinese-american kid from a upper/lower middle class family in china, I am now upper-middle class in the US. and I will probably be passed up for promotion to another upper-middle class white person, but I might do better than a upper-middle class black person. It is the pecking order we inherit, and it is up to ourselves to break out of that glass ceiling. My parents made it in america, and they did it without ever telling me of their social status in China. I don't see why we need to talk about it. nothing will change from it.
Can't we all just ... get along?
Sorry, again we hear from someone who is a Proffessor in an Ivory Tower Magician, telling us how the white class is so impoverished. Explain to me then how it is you only see white people asking for handouts at trafic lights and intersections?
I'm going to assume that you're not white. As a mother with one daughter without a job at one point when I was very young, I went to the welfare agency, they told me I didn't qualify and you know why? I was clean, well spoken and white, she said look in the mirror and go home to mommy and daddy. We lived out of my car until the three jobs I finally got made enough to get into an apartment. Another thing caucasion white men don't qualify for any benefits, you are SOL.
jdwood, I had a similar experience. I was young (and white) with a hungry baby and was turned down for help and given the run around even though on paper I was eligible for help. My caseworker, who was African American would send me on fool's errands to collect uncollectable information such as "prove you are not enrolled in college." How precisely does one prove that? He continually refused to send my food stamp card even though my application was approved. He stood in my way at every juncture and attempts to go over his head proved fruitless. Ultimately, I began selling plasma to augment fast food jobs and scraped through as best as we could.
Having been born with family who was middle to upper middle class who abandoned me as soon as I was of legal age, I could see how whites often feel that whites who are poor must be "lazy, stupid, or on drugs." They cannot for the life of them figure out how you can manage to be white and hardworking and still have nothing to show for it. As a poor white person you are often looked down on and disdained far more than any of the minority poor, because there are supposedly societal reasons why they can be poor. For you, as a white, there is no such excuse. This was my experience. I moved to a cheap slum so I could walk my daughter to a good private school (I had no car),that we got a hard won scholarship to. The mothers sneered down their noses at me daily. I didn't care. I did what I had to do for my child, poor or not, you find a way. Even if they spit on you. Even when they stand in your way. No matter what color, you just...keep....going. Today, I am about to graduate from college with a nursing degree. Hopefully our lot will improve, but I will never judge someone by the amount of money they have, their color, or the quality of their things.
Nonsense. If you try to assert that belonging to a CLASS makes a difference, then yes if you mean that Doctors associate with Doctors, lawyers with lawyer, etc. But what makes one succesful, a state of mind, is how well or better off he is from his kind. If you end up being part of the crowd then you are not entilted to a distinction or recognition. You have to be better than your kind to feel succesful. Henceforth the falacies and strange observations noted by the author are self evident.
Self-evident means evident to oneself.
Were the greatest nation on earth. If you work hard you can succeed. Regradless of race. as for the $81,000 median in come for whites, she got that statistic from a Dr. Edward Wolff book.He is a prof at NYU that also wrote about how Thomas Jefferson and the rest of the Founding Fathers were a bunch of racist jerks. If you tab on to the $81,000, you will also see that Wolff states that blacks in America average $10,000 per year. Nonsense. I have an MA and I don't make near $81,000 per year and I share a community that is 36% black and I would say that almost zero make $10,000 per year.
You've got to be something of a racist jerk to declare that God made all men free and equal and then tell your slaves to get back to work because you didn't mean them. No other way to slice that one.
HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA..this article is only written to make white people scared.
...except ignorance like yours.
Dave, apparently reading comprehension was not part of your MA. The article refers to a median net worth of $81,000, not an annual income of $81,000.
Read a little more carefully. The $81,000 figure is median net worth (money in the bank, equity in a house, retirement funds, etc.), NOT annual income. There's a big difference!
Not income, but "median net worth of white Americans is just more than $81,000". I think this includes assets such as houses... And this net worth is far higher than that of other Americans. That doesn't mean that there still aren't a heap of poor white people in our country. The founding fathers were racists by the way...
To the author: I recommend looking into the concept of intersectionality. I *think* what you're trying to say is that there is more than one system of oppression in this country (true), and race is just one of those. Gender, education, locality, etc. all impact how easy or difficult it is to succeed in this country. When it comes down to it, however, we have a system that supports people who are white over people who are black, all else equal. We also have a system that supports men over women, all else equal. There are many intersecting areas of privilege, and to suggest that because there are white people who are poor we are not privileged is just ridiculous.
Rachel, who is WE? I am not YOU if you are rich AND white. The intersection of those two qualities is worse when it's "white and poor" than "black and poor" since the expectation is that we grew up easy but the reality is anything but and there's no affirmative action for us bougie white trash people ahuck. Go eff yourself
Hey come on – of course there is a form of affirmative action for poor whites. It's called white skin.
Step out the Volvo, put down the latte, hang up the phone on your "I'm cool and hip so I have a token" black friend "who I can't relate with but it makes me look and feel socially conscious"
The only psychological benefit this white skin gives me in America is that which comes from within. Otherwise it's a hinderance. I'd rather be black and poor so I could inherit the benefits of hundreds of years of guilt-tripping the man instead of being thought of as the man when I'm just a hard-working mick
You're a disgrace to our people. Feminine, submissive, self-possessed and thoroughly ignorant...
"We" refers to people who have privilege as a result of their skin color. In America, that means being white. You likely don't even know when you're benefiting from it. People in privilege often don't recognize it, or like to deny it because they have had difficulties in their lives and they think that means they aren't privileged. And no, there was no affirmative action for white people. White people (even the poorest of the poor) were not subjected to working as an enslaved group to build the wealth of white people in the United States for hundreds of years.
And just a tip here, I happen to live in a very white community, and was raised in one of the whitest states in the nation. As a result, I actually don't have any black friends. And I don't drink lattes. And I'm not rich. And I'm not submissive. And my mother would love it if I were feminine, but again, not. I'm sure I could keep going, but you get the idea of what your ass-umptions just did to you.
It's called the Good Ol boys club, and it exists.
"White people (even the poorest of the poor) were not subjected to working as an enslaved group to build the wealth of white people in the United States for hundreds of years."
Tell that to the Irish or the indentured servants. And long before there were slaves in America slaves both black and white existed in Africa and Asia.
@Joe – I didn't discuss indentured servitude, because like it or not, it isn't the same as enslaving people. I don't support it in any way, but it was not the same thing.
"You're a disgrace to our people. Feminine, submissive, self-possessed and thoroughly ignorant..."
And YOU "Come On" are a traitor.
GF YOURSELF missy.
First of all, Affirmative Action was put into place for a reason! After 200 years of slavery, Jim Crow laws, separate but equal, segregation, lynchings, partial integration, etc., there was and still is RACISM! People were allowed to discriminate against people of color when it came to hiring and firing, positions of authority and hard labor, in SPITE of education and qualifications. So Affirmative Action was enacted in order to provide a level field of OPPORTUNITY to ALL people; with race in FAVOR instead of AGAINST people of color for once in the 200+ years of this country's existence.
This is 2012 and only 38 years ago, people in Wisconsin and Massachusetts were RIOTING because of the busing of children of color into white communities and vice versa. 38 YEARS AGO! It hasn't even been 50 years since the Civil Rights Movement and people are STILL ANGRY over people of color having the ability to possibly climb the social ladder and have a fair paying wage.
If you want to be angry over Affirmative Action and the fact that opportunity is given to people of color when you feel you are better qualified, then you should be just as angry with your ancestors as people of color are! For if it wasn't for their 3/5 of a person mentality and the enslavement of HUMAN BEINGS, NONE OF THIS WOULD EVEN BE HAPPENING!
Race wouldn't even be a factor all of these years later if the people who STOLE, NOT FOUNDED, this country, had WORKED HARD THEMSELVES to make it in this world instead of becoming wealthy off the backs of human beings of color the enslaved, beat, raped and starved for their own greedy benefit.
So, maybe if your ancestors had taken your advice from the very beginning, you wouldn't be so bitter about reaping the "benefits" of their actions.
Well put. Unfortunately though, it's worse than supporting "people who are white over people who are black, all else equal." With everything equal except a criminal background of a felony offense, a felon white man is still much, much more likely to get a job than a black man with no criminal history. Sad, but true.
This is what a lot of white people don't understand. As hard as it is for the average white man to get a job, it's 7x harder for a black man to do so.
Rachel, I couldn't have said it better!
The author is in a position to think about these things in a deep and thorough way and the best she came up with is (paraphrasing) if you're raised in one milieu you might have trouble adapting to a different socio-economic class."? She then has the gall to suggest that this solely the experience of white people.
of the twenty of so posts i have read about this article all have been more insightful and profound than this piece of tripe. that doesn't mean that the comments were good, it means the article is just that bad!
The fact that we have stations like BET and programs like "BLACK in America"... yadyayda just keeps this quasi-class system alive and healthy. It's all about the following: you can’t eat your cake and have it too, and yes that's the correct way to phrase it. And it takes one to know one.
The former is just about as clear to a point as the posted article is, which would be... not very.
Um, thats NOT the way it is but nice attempt at trying to make it seem like you knew something that everyone else didnt. Fail.
Bob- calm down please, What exactly, of what i wrote, are you negating? My slurry of words were just that, an ambiguos soup of text, as was the article. That's like looking into an empty room and saying "it doesn't match". You're damn right -fail-, thats was my point, or even lack of, (I'd use' lack therof', but I'd be likely be called Pretentious)
oh yeah, FYI- http://public.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/eatcake.html
So if there were no BET, then "mainstream" shows would suddenly become more welcoming to non-white shows and characters? Uh . . . no, because if they thought they could profit from doing so, they would have already. That's what MTV did when they finally dropped their color bar and found out that rap and hip hop had mass appeal. Heck, and one point, MTV was so color struck, they wouldn't even play Michael Jackson's videos. BET is nothing more than effective niche marketing and it's owned by . It's no different than CMT. But I'm willing to bet that an all-country music (and virtually all-white) station doesn't bother you a bit. BET probably has more white characters on it shows and in its videos than CMT has black. Probably by a factor of 20. Your complaint is just a superficial attempt to create equivalency where there is none.
RTB- Looking at your tact-less potings already on here within just a few minutes, I suggest that YOU Return-to-base and replace your dunce cap at once. Anyway BET highlights color, CMT highlights a musical genre, being black is not a genre, it's an ethnic descriptor. Regardless, I hate country music, am close enough to my toiken black friend that I call him the n-word and he laughs, racism is laughable because it does not make any damn sense. You replied to me to further polarize your misinterpretation of my original intent, which was to illicit that the article was murky at it's point. However you choose to find key elements and fire away at me, personally, not at my observations. The reason we still have race issues is yet again due to people of lesser intellect, like yourself.
"In a 2010 interview, BET co-founder Sheila Johnson said she herself is "ashamed" of what the network has become. “I don’t watch it. I suggest to my kids that they don't watch it," she said." I didn’t like the way women were being portrayed in these videos.”
Blacks can treat other blacks badly, huh?
Eat that RTB.
First let me just say that BET was created out of necessity for people of color to see those who look like them on tv. Let's be honest in the fact that 20 years ago there weren't a lot of tv shows starring people of color and the issues we face. Is the channel necessary today? Judging by the drivel they offer as "shows" I would say no. In fact I don't know very many black people who actually watch the crap they're peddling but I digress. At this point we may not have much use for channels such as BET but they hang around for the same reasons why so many other un needed things do...because they can.
Well now that Viacom (CBS) owns BET.. it is still around because it makes money.. think about it.. its a pure marketing channel, because advertisers know if they want to reach young black people, they can advertise on BET...
Most of its "black programming" today is syndicating shows that were created on bigger networks in the last 20 or so years and weren't very popular.. Do you see the super mainstream shows e.g. Cosby Show, Fresh Prince) that featured black actors on BET schedules? no.. those shows get syndicated everywhere else..
BET is far from being a mainstream network and is far from being what its original purpose served. People who complain about BET dont watch it, only get hung up on the name, and dont know what they are talking about.. because if you did, you would know that most black people older than 30 (like myself) cant stand BET and wont watch anything on it...
I totally get what she is saying.
Yes, me too. There's many of us
You should agree with each other since your IP says you are the same person.
The theme of this article is probably the reason we have "White Supremacists," and Racism in general in this country because the idea of being a "Privileged Class," throughout American History has always been the mindset of the majority, those that saw that only "They" were fit enough to control both wealth and power.
That hold has now become tenuous. Whites are now becoming the minority even though they still control much of this country’s wealth and power. Whites still believe on a psychological level that they are “privileged ” because they are white. They still retain the arrogance of generations of a privileged class that preceded them, except now and then they are faced with reality. Take George Lucas’ recent example of attempting to get “Red Tails” produced in an industry dominated and controlled by whites.
Not even his past success and wealth was enough to overcome an entrenched psychology of white privilege and dominance.
But Lucas didn't whine about it. He fought to tell a story that needed to be told.
When someone has the audacity to use the phrase: “When being white doesn’t help,” to postulate an opinion; that should be a signal to the reader that there are white American’s that still hold onto the past. Watching minorities achieve and in some cases surpass them as a majority, must be disquieting for them.
I think Mrs. Bodnar needs to keep her day job and leave the ethnic studies to the ethnologist and cultural anthropologists.
She’s way out of her league on this topic.
As a white guy, I support this statement 100%. This lady is completely unaware of her racism and she will be lucky to get another article published here if the editors know anything about these topics.
Dual families, five kids to a single room, poorest white ghetto in the world right here in South Boston MA. On behalf of my whole family, you're a moron. Being white and poor is more miserable and difficult than being black and poor. WHERE IS MY AFFIRMATIVE ACTION? Enough said. Shove your ugly mug right up your a$$
How would you know that being poor and white is harder than being poor and black? Affirmative action, what little of it there actually is, benefits the middle class and well educated. It is not for the poor, nor was it ever intended to be. You're no different than the poor black person who believes that whites have it easier because they're white. Maybe being really poor is equally hard whether you're black or white.
Spoken like a true "Southie." Take some responsibility. Stop blaming others for the choices you've made.
I am so tired of those people, like you, that adhere to the politics of grievance. This white privilege excuse for everything is getting very very old. Immigrants of color enter this country (legally) on a daily basis and do well. Stop blaming the white residents of this country for your failures and for things that happened years ago. Affirmative Action, the government's 8A set-asides and other programs have made up for shortfalls of the past. Study, learn a skill, and get to work on time still count towards success.
So everyone in America who is poor is poor because they lack a work ethic? That's a very Victorian sensibility. But what about those millions of people who work everyday, but earn little? There's a woman who works in our cafetria downstairs. I see her at lunch, cooking and serving. Then, at about 5:30 pm, I see her up on my floor starting the nightly cleaning shift. She also has a third job cooking at another building in the morning before she starts her shift here. This middle aged woman (who happens to be black) probably didn't go to univeristy, but she's hardly lazy. She works longer hours than the professionals here, for a heck of a lot less pay. She is probably barely working class. She's considered part time in all her jobs, which means she earns a bit more than minimum wage and has no health insurance.There are tens of millions of people just like her for whom your haughty lectures are nothing but an offense.
Red Tails is a joke. This crap has been done to death already. It had nothing to do with color.
Good point. In summary this article is saying that because you are White you should be privileged. Yet, this is not the case and therefore something is wrong! The world is changing and people like her are angry because the gossip girl fiction is deviating from reality! Who cares, go get an education and pick up a $9 Emily Post handbook on etiquette!
Another reminder that Chicago is cold; because that response was the cold truth, which will no doubt freeze the little heart of Bodnar. lol
Minorities will never surpass or achieve more than whites and thats just a fact..because we did everything already.
Ha ha ha!
Ignorance can be hilarious at times. lol
This article is so full of unsupported statements and stereotypes. I am white, from a low middle class upbringing in a predominantly black area. I am now, according ot the New York Times's recent interactive income poll, in the top 6% of earners and living in the Pacific Northwest, where there are relatively few nonwhite people. Supposedly this article should be very relevant to me but I have no idea what she's talking about. And I certainly don't see what any of this has to do with race. You think other races don't also feel pressure to be upwardly mobie? You think they don't discriminate against their own according to markers of status and class? That realy speaks to a lack of exposure to other races and cultures.
Of course. It's an opinion piece. It's typical CNN garbage.
Very well said. I'm not really sure how this is a "white" thing. It is a class thing. You cannot tell me that people of color are only judged on color alone. Class issues do need to be addressed in this country, but making it solely a "white" thing makes that discussion even harder.
I understand what you are saying, but I must stop you when you say people aren't being judged on color alone. You obviously have not been a victim of such things and therefore cannot fathom it. I'm not saying that racial profiling is ALWAYS the case, but I can assure you based on situations I have seen with my own eyes and some that I have personally been affected by that there are people in this country who only look skin deep. People of all races are guilty of this.
It doesn't matter what skin color YOU have. It matters what YOUR words and actions prove YOU to be.
Maybe in your blind world. Skin color does matter because when your skin is brown you don't necessarily have the change to speak words or express your actions. Instead it is assumed that you will behave and speak a certain way!
And yet, the very same could be same for white skin, or yellow skin or red skin...etc. But you, Laface, chose to comment solely on brown skin when there was nothing of the sort in my post. Again, choose your words wisely and perhaps they'll send a better message about who you are.
This article is ridiculous. Discounting "white privilege" as some sort of conspiracy there that attempts to keep white men down (its not working btw) is just stupid.
I am a 29yr old white guy who grew up in a tin-can trailer in the sticks in Indiana. I know what it is like to be poor, to have poor parents/grandparents/cousins. I did not have a single first generation relative that lived outside my very poor county. My mother was the only person on either side of the family with a college degree. I can say as a person with experience in this matter, this article is complete B.S.
Just because there are white people who don't have much doesn't mean white privilege is not out there. It is out there and its systemic. The janitor that is "offended" that people don't believe a white guy would be a janitor isn't a victim of ANYTHING. He has a job, good for him. The victims in this situation are the minorities that our WHITE society deems worthless enough to handle the dirty work.
Oh boo hoo, hispanics speak spanish to the white janitor, his poor oppressed soul.
@Peter The reason white people feel uncomfortable talking about stuff like this is because they sound like spoiled bigots who are complaining about problems that are insignificant compared to those that minorities face every day, thats because they ARE bigots who are complaining about champagne problems.
Why does everything have to be seen in racial or ethnic terms in America?
Because America DOES HAVE a racist history FOR CENTURIES, James.
Did they not teach you that in school?
Bet they teach about the holocaust IN FOREIGN LANDS, but not in America? lol
Truth is, James, liars love lies, hate the truth, AND CANNOT HANDLE THE TRUTH!
And that is why America's racist history is swept under the rug of America's mis-educational system.
I was taught about our racist past, and guess what, i am sweeping it under the rug. Do you know why? Because I'm not racist, I never owned a slave, my parents didn't own slaves, their parents didn't own slaves, can't speak for further back then that. Point is, I could care less about our past history and the slaves we had. Every nation under the sun with any past had slaves at some point, inlcuding the blacks. It's history, move on, quit using it as a cruch, quit acting like you owe minorities or anyone anything. It's your life now, not in the past. I had a black guy say I owed him money for what whites did in the past. I looked at him and just laughed, then told him I didn't owe him nothing, and could care less about him. Look at it this way if it helps. Because of slavery, the blacks living in america today have a chance of a life time. They have the freedom to make of their life what they want. If they were still in Africa, or any other 3rd world country then their lives would be crap. Slavery was horrible, but that ugly past has given birth to a wonderful future for all the dissendants. If they cant see that then, well, sorry, can't help ya.
The issue is not that the US had a racist history or that some of it still exists today. The issue is that there are too many people trying to keep is alive; Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, NAACP, to name a few. Until we can get to the point where people will stop trying to put each other into catagories, race, financial success, etc., we won't be able to move past the issue of racism. And no, I don't believe the majority is trying to sweep this history under the rug. Yes, there are a few, but not most people.
Name a country which does NOT have a racist history and I might listen to you.
Until that time, GFY crybaby.
because of the history this country was founded on!
Because letting go of Racism means that you have to take responsiblity for your own actions.
We have a winner.
I've read this twice and the point of the article still eludes me. I thought I had it at one moment, that just belonging to the 'prestigious' white race can be confidence building – which can add to success in and of itself. But, sadly, I lost it just as quickly.
Another case of a whining white. lol
"TV shows like "Gossip Girl" make it seem" like whites are BEST POSITION to have lives & shows like "gossip girls".
When non-whites starting having their "gossip girl", then Bodnar can't try and peddle her nonsensical arguments.
What do we expect anyway from a so-called psychologist, considering that psychology is science fiction, is quackery.
and another case of a poor under appreciated under educated black complaining on how slavery still affects you...get over yourself and realize you enslave yourself by not getting an education you moron.
Well, it's not really a new thing. Contrary to popular beliefs just being white has never provided special privileges. You still have to study, work hard, save money and face accusations of racism.
Yes, YOU will still have to "study hard" at your history lesson; because you still have not yet learned that being white IS privileged in America.
For instance, you were never denied the opportunity to "study", to vote, to work, to housing, to health care, etc, for being white?
Ask non-white Americans about those experiences, which are part of American history to study.
Well actually as a woman, we have been denied the right to vote. And we weren't even considered the equal of man until pretty recently. So yes we have felt what it's like, even if we were white..
You see... this is what I don't understand... why do you always have to bring up the "we couldn't vote, or go to school"? I mean... now you can... so what's stopping you? I am so sick of people thinking that "white people" have the best possitions. I am a hispanic person, for quite sometime I was not legal in this country, and yet I worked hard and put myself through school. I went to a black/hispanic HS and I can't tell you how many of my classmates graduated college, the ended up pregnant or dealing drugs or working at factories for minimun wage. It had nothing to do with the color of your skin, it has to do with how much you work, you have to work hard regardless. Now I work with a lot of people of color, and I feel discrimiated against because they get away with EVERYTHING!!
It is hard for white people out there... you can't say anything without looking like you are racist. I've experienced this first hand (I married a white man and my son has blond hair and blue eyes). I have been discriminated against at work because of this. Enough with the bull crap about black people or hispanic people or other races have it tough.... Is not all the "white man's" fault.
Being white is a privelege in my opinion. The white race has accomplished more then any other race. Here in America, it was whites that made America so great, with the help of slavery, but then slavery was abolished, and this country only got better. Whites owe no one anything, we worked hard for what we have, and should have it. With that said, if me and a black guy walk into a job interview, and he out perfomes me, then he should get the job. Your color should never supercede that. The spoils should always go to the person more qualified to do the job.
Take a look at the ethic make up of any prestigious university in the USA. You'll be surprised how many non-white kids study there. After all, Asians are non-white. And they are doing very well in America. There is only one ethnic (or race) group that lags behind. And that a big problem.
Being white has NEVER provided special privileges? Are you some sort of history denier? At various points in our history, you had to be white in order to vote, testify at trial, become a doctor, lawyer or engineer, drive a car, ride where you wanted, live where you wanted and eat where you wanted. Tellingly, whites have defended these practices throughour our history by claiming that they alone deserved to enjoy these freedoms, just as you seem to suggest that any remaining white skin privilege is the result of "hard work." Being able to use illegal drugs safe in the knowledge that white skin means you are highly unlikely to ever face law enforcement action as a result has nothing to do with hard work.
The fact that everything you just stated was in the past shows that you just like to whine. Yes, that did happen in the past, what of it? Things worked different back then wether we like it or not. This country is improving, can't say the same for some other African countries. Would it make you feel better if you could have some white slaves? Is that what all you whiners are talking about? So maybe now the roles are reversing, is that what all the minorities want now? So, doesn't that make you just like all the slavers back in the day? Oh well, I'm done with these boards, it's always the same, waaaa waaaa, we use to be slaves, I have no idea what it's like to be a slave, but it makes me mad, waaa waaaa. It has no effect on me but I'm going to blame slavery for not haveing a job, for smoking crack, for beating my girlfriend, wife, kids. You can make excuses all you want, but the only thing holding anyone back is themselves, not this past ya so love to keep bringing up. Well, just know, I'm not losing any sleep over it 🙂
Oh, please, go to Pittsburgh, Detroit, Chicago and talk to people whose white grandparents immigrated to the USA from Europe and worked 12-14 hours a day in steel mills or meat plants just to get by. What a privilege!
The bottom is this – the racism and classism expressed in this article still leads to the same path racist/ classist white people. This is no new phenomenon. Discrimination against people of a lesser class has been around forever. This was brought to America from the Brits and is still here. "Gangs of New York" gives a small glimpse of it. But when slavery existed the wealthy Whites would say "Poor White Trash" is as bad as a "colored" person although they used more offensive language! The reality is that until humans respect life regardless of socio-economic status this will always be a problem. People are shallow and worry about things that don't matter in such a short life span!
I'd rather race accussations of racism, rather than be the subject of racism. I don't think being white is privelage but it is certainly an advantage in these world as compared to other races.
As the author of this piece I appreciate the intensity of the commentators. This stuff is hard to discuss but doing so really matters. The anger can create discomfort but it can also lead to better understanding between us all. We are in this life together but sadly the many unspoken tensions as well as overt cruelty of societal systems have cleaved enemies from what could be friendship. Thank you.
As the author of this article you should be ashamed of yourself. Your "opinion" on this matter is completely uneducated on the topic of race relations and it makes you look silly at best, a bigoted history denier at worst. You should request that it be taken down from the CNN website.
If you really are the author of this price, I think you need to do some revisions and explain why you think that the existence of classism and anxiety among whites means that white skin privilege doesn't exist. You haven't really made a logical connection between your obsevations about the diversity of economic experiences among whites and your conclusion that white skin privilege doesn't exist.
Call it another case of 'white denial', another special feature of being American. lol
And 'denial' is putting it lightly. It may just be plain LYING on the part of this woman.
I meant, if you are the author of this "piece."
Maybe we should create a special 'white history month'?
After all, owing all the other months of the year, is still not satisfying for those who will begin to feel unease if there are not African people to trample below them?
Black is inferior & white superior, has been the historical and nonsensical narrative of America history.
And so, if some Blacks are on top, where does that leave the whites? The new 'inferior'? lol
This is the difficulty for white American minds to process; because they are not supposed to be the poor ones in America. They are supposed to be always superior.
When we live a childish lie, it will come back to bite us in the 'you know where'.
I am a white American and like most others on here I agree that this "piece" is garbage. It was poorly written and not thought provoking in the least. This being said, your anger is blinding you Agnim. You are obviously frustrated and more-so angry with "white america." But are you even looking at all the other comments? instead of being angry you should feel at least some peace knowing that many of the white commenters, such as myself, agree that whites in American, as a whole, are wrongly privileged. I believe "white America" is changing. We, the younger generations at least, do not hold to such ignorant beliefs that just because we are white we deserve anything. Let go of your anger and use your energy to help fix the problem instead of just throwing wood on the fire. Nothing good will come of your anger, break the cycle of hate and work together to forge a better America.
I agree with your statements; however, completely understand the people who disagree. As Americans we are a diverse people ranging from different relgious, political, educational, financial, and ethnic backgrounds. Due to this, as a people we will never be able to agree on any one thing 100%. Inherently individuals want to 'succeed' in life, to some this may be financially and to others it will mean something else. Unfortunately policies, laws, social norms, etc. are aimed at majorities. America acknowledges its racist and discriminatory past; however, America is learning causing America's 'majority' to change. Policies, laws, scholarships, etc. are now having a more difficult time targeting the 'majority' or in some situations the 'minority'.
It is important to educate the youth on America's history, but in an emotional sense we need to leave the feelings behind us. What happened to previous generations to trigger emotional responses and opinions should be taught in a way that does not trigger those same feelings and opinions to today's generations. This goes beyond the educational system and should also be reinforced by parents. This is the only way to try to beat true 'racism'. When emotionally hurt most people attempt to make themself feel better, it's a psychological defense mechanism, unfortunately this involves distinguishing themself from others... ethnicity, religion, and money are just a few of the easy ways to do this.
Post-modern liberals, such as yourself, cannot stray far from the collectivist watering hole. Identifying people in groups, races, classes etc. is the purest and oldest form of collectivism and should have no place in a just and free society. Individuals should be treated as independents not grouped into obscure and hard to define groups.
The other issue I have with your argument is that race is becoming more and more difficult to define. Traditionally, the "white race" would encompass all Latinos, Arabs, and Persians; race was defined through a basic yet unproven understanding of genetics. However, with the completion of the human genome project the original idea of race was debunked. Do some homework on what Crag Venter, the founder of the project, discovered about racial make-up.
So cute and fluffy ...
I'm white and I don't understand this article. Is she trying to be funny?
Step out the Volvo, put down the latte, and open your eyes
Being poor sucks. Being wealthy doesn't make you happy either... although I thought it would. Losing it all now gives perspective. Friends, family, and community involvement are actually much better pursuits... and don't cost a dime. However, I will never shake the feeling that I should always be doing more... just have to balance it a whole lot better than my previous attempts so if I go broke again in the future – at least I'll have people around who care.
Wow, it's almost as if I wrote this.
You can't take your possessions with you when you die. All that matters is what you've done for the world, and what life has meant to you.
Don't' forget people we're "post-racial". For example I'm a success black tech employee. I'm so glad hollywood is depicting my kind as such on a regular basis. classy
I am a Human being of European decent and I have say I have only seen my skin go "white" once. I was nearly dead from an acute illness. The doctor said I had only 24 hours to live if I hadn't been taken to the E.R. That was the only time my skin has been "white". I resent being "called" or "classified" as a color. I am human and more to the point I have a name. If you must put me into a group use my; age, income, marital status, employment status, or anything OTHER THAN MY SKIN COLOR. Let me be judged on my actions and accomplishments, not what I look like or who my parents are or were.
I agree, although you are on the lucky side. Whatever judgement comes your way because of skin color is usually positive..
I am very happy that you believe that you should be judged by your action and not by your looks. Unfortunately we do not live in a color-blind world and please let me know when you can become "see-through".
A classification isn't necessarily a judgment....
It doesn't matter what race you are. Success takes hard work.
And luck, and good health, and good health coverage, and a good education, and a fair system, and... well, you get my drift. You can pull yourself by your boot straps all you want, but if you have cancer, no insurance, your teachers and schools were crap, and are not getting callbacks from jobs because your name is Lashawn, then all your going to be doing with those boots is walking...
Good point, but you omitted very important aspect of growing up – parents. If your parents don't care, chances are you will end up uneducated and poor without health insurance.
I agree with jwk1. I always tell my children that if you are interested in having a close relationship with someone, look at his or her parents and see your future.
Lashawn, did the thought ever cross your mind that you didn't receive a call back because someone named Bill was more qualified? How can you confirm you were not called back because of your name? Did you call and ask? I'm just curious as to how you can make that assumption.
Rob D, Please look into the studies on names and hiring.
None of us pulled ourselves up by our own bootstraps. We probably did work very hard, and for that we should be proud. But, we also had some very important people (parents, teachers, mentors, doctors, role models, etc...) that helped us along the way. Now, we need to step up to be that important person to children.
Actually the main factor is luck, not anything we do or don't do. Our actions add or detract from what random chance brings us, we make more or less of our 'breaks'.... But the fact is that 'dumb luck' is the single largest factor affecting all of us.
To anyone who truly believes that all it takes is hard work to succeed, I highly recommend Malcolm Gladwell's book Outliers. He doesn't discount the role of hard work, but he shows very convincing evidence and research detailing what other kinds of factors go into it, too. You would be surprised at the things that can be huge influences. Plus, that book is actually supported by evidence, unlike every ridiculous claim in this article.
Hard WORK! YES!
It is just a lot easier for certain group of "people".
Oh I see what I did there!
This might be the worst thing I've ever read...I cannot be certain, but it's quite close. Ignorant. Poorly formed. Ridiculous examples. Wow...
I totally agree. And the author's condescending post up above just makes it more obvious that she has no idea what she's talking about.
This is one of the most incoherent peices I've read in some time. The author seems to be saying that white skin privilege doesn't exist because the white working class is losing ground. There have always been class distinctions among whites in America, just as there has always been white skin privilege. White elites have traditionally used race to distract from intra-racial class distinctions. The GOP's famed "Southern Strategy," was premised on appealing to "whiteness" to get poor whites to vote against their economic interests. The only thing that's new is the stagnation of the earnings of the middle class (black and white). This doesn't mean that racial privilege isn't an issue any longer. It just means that it isn't worth as much as it once was.
Very good point sir.
Thank you for writing this article. It does a great job explaining what a lot of white people, like myself, don't talk about. However I agree with some of the other comment here: the real issue is poverty and factors that keep people in poverty. Yes there are racial statistics on everything, but poverty is color blind and can affect anyone.
Very true about poverty not discriminating. But one thing is for sure, when you are poor and a person of color life is still a whole lot worse! As bad as it is for the White poor, mulitple that by ten if you are Hispanic, Black, Native American, etc. and poor – life is a daily pit of despair!
Haaaa, are you purposely trying to be a racist caricature?? No one can say the gibberish you spout with a straight face.. You are like a buffon.. "I am not racist, but I hate all Whites, I am not racist, but I hate all Republicans.. I am not racist, but no more Whites in the White House.." If you truly are an educated person, who teaches young people, then I truly feel sorry for thoss students.
Being white never helps, unless you are not white then you think it might help. Having faith and hope is all that can ever help. Sometimes I wish everyone were blind, then I suppose people would find other things, like having a deep voice leads to success. The grass is always greener...at your neighbor's house....but it's just as hard to mow as yours is.
Perhaps now but remember that it used to be government policy to give you "free workers" and a "power mower" if you were white. It will take a long time for those differences and their effects to be reversed. We might achieve a more equitable society, some day. Unless we fall apart like others have in the past.
I have no clue what you're talking about, but it's completely immaterial to this counterpoint:
Should we compound the mistakes of years gone by or should we instead strike at the root of why those failures occurred and try to right ourselves, so as to walk into a better future?
I'm white and my family has NOT had an easy time of things. My parents spent many summers airconditioning 1 room in a house they rented in San Antonio in the summer – the bedroom. It was airconditioned at night only. Dad put a blanket over and under the door as well as blankets (all these borrowed from family members) over the windows to insulate the room more. This cut down on their electric bill. Mom cooked EVERYTHING from the most basic ingredients possible and they still were in the red a few months of the year. This is pretty synonymous with the whole of my Dad's side of the family and part of my Mom's to some time before the Great Depression. They worked hard and were never given a lawn, much less a lawn mower or someone to mow it. Don't hand me crap about whites having been given anything because they're white. But even if they had, see the above question. Is it right to turn the axe the other way or is it right to simply bury the hatchet?
Your lawn might of started growing before your neighbor could even buy seeds.