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Xiphias Gladius

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By the way, I DO divide the world into "good guys" and "bad guys". [Aug. 19th, 2010|05:52 pm]
Xiphias Gladius
Just so you know: if you're against the building of an Islamic community center in Downtown Manhattan, you're one of the bad guys.

If you are saying, "well, sure, they have the LEGAL right to do it, but by putting it there, they're just being provocative," then you may not be particularly evil yourself, but you're intimidated by the evil people into being one of their henchmen. People doing completely normal things like building community centers aren't being provocative. The people who you are afraid they will provoke? Those are the bad guys. And if you are saying that they should modify their behaviors to do what the bad guys want, then you are saying that you support the bad guys.

And that means that you're one of the bad guys.

And THAT means that I find you a danger to me, personally. I'm Jewish. Right now, Jews are mostly considered more or less white. But that could change. And the second it does, people will start saying things like, "Well, sure, they COULD build a synagogue there, but wouldn't that just be asking for trouble?"

Everything that people are saying about the downtown Manhattan community center, I just automatically hear people saying that about something that I might want to do someday. If you're against them, then you're against me, and you're also against justice, freedom, and every ideal that this country stands for.

Just so we're clear on that.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: holzman
2010-08-24 10:19 pm (UTC)
I think that if you used the language of privilege, rather than white privilege, you will not run into the difficulties you fear.

xiphias and I do stand in danger of losing our white privilege, because it's entirely possible that Jews will at some time again be defined as "not-white." Syrians are another example of people who have been white sometimes not white others -- seriously, the Supreme COurt ruled on the question three times in 20 years around the turn of the century.
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[User Picture]From: dancing_kiralee
2010-08-25 12:29 am (UTC)
My problem is that I can't use the language of privilege, as you would use it, because it requires specificity, and I don't know the source of the privilege I lack. As far as I know, there is no universal term, no adjective such that privilege means "free of all persecution;" if there were I could say I lack privilege, but since there isn't, I'm pretty much shut out of the conversation (i.e. silenced).

As for your and xiphias's situation... I'm not arguing that you don't stand in danger of losing white privilege.

I'm arguing that in xiphias's post, above, when he talks about losing accepted-religion privilege, instead of using the correct terminology he calls it white privilege, thus conflating the two.

Why do you think, when he's comparing the (potential) response to a synagogue with the (actual) response to an Islamic center that he is talking about race and not religion?

KIralee

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[User Picture]From: holzman
2010-08-25 06:22 pm (UTC)
My experience is that if you flag that you don't have a word for the source of privilege you lack, that's sufficient specificity.

I think the reason there's no term for "free of all persecution" is that so very few people are free of all persecution. Class, race, skin, sex, sexual orientation, cis-or-trans status, body type, ethnicity, neurotypicality, and ability are only a partial list of the axes along which some people receive privilege at the expense of others.

As for xiphias, I think he's talking about both race and religion because there's an intersection of race and religion going on with regards to which religions get demonized for their violent extremist minorities. No one objects to building Catholic Churches near IRA bombing sites or playgrounds. No one's calling for a "No protestant Church zone" around Dr. Tiller's home. No one's on a mission to find out which Americans funded the IRA and prosecute them. And so on. The fact that the broadly dominant image of "a Muslim" is a person of color has alot to do with that.
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