When Is Privilege Okay?

Page 3 of In today's society, we hear a lot about certain groups of people having certain privileges that others don't. "White privilege" is often at h... 52 comments | 2624 Views | Go to page 1 →

  1. #31
    True blue (and gold)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beechwoodfan View Post
    On that, we can agree.
    Isn’t being born into a good family an example of privilege? That’s not something we have control over or have earned. I lament daily about students of mine that don’t have that privilege.
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  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beechwoodfan View Post
    So, let’s say you have a high paying job that you earned 100% on your own. Along the way you met a lot of great people and made connections.

    Your college age child shows an interest in your business. You would never use your job or connections to help him/her get an internship or a job?
    I know you aren’t asking me, but that would sure demonstrate the privilege of my child, if I did. I earned it, my child didn’t.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by True blue (and gold) View Post
    I know you aren’t asking me, but that would sure demonstrate the privilege of my child, if I did. I earned it, my child didn’t.
    Yes, I agree. My point is that some people think using priveledge is never ok. Whether it is called priveledge or advantage, I think everyone uses it on some level at some point in their lives. It is certainly not wrong in many circumstances, IMO.

    It is wrong in many others. PP gave a perfect example. Three college kids commit the same crime. The two with money get off and the one who has a public defender goes to prison. That is definitely wrong, but whose fault is it? Should the wealthy parents not be allowed to hire good attorneys? The legal system failed that kid IMO.

    I think there is no question that, overall, white people enjoy priviledges over black people. I also believe that the wealthy (of all races) have priveledge over the common folk. It is human nature to use whatever advanatages you have in life. Does that make it wrong? If it is wrong, who is to blame? There will never be a world in which everyone is truly equal.

  4. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by True blue (and gold) View Post
    Isnít being born into a good family an example of privilege? Thatís not something we have control over or have earned. I lament daily about students of mine that donít have that privilege.
    This is where the label of 'privilege' gets off base it seems. A good family environment is in no way a 'privilege'. A bad family environment is bad deal of fate.

    Let's acknowledge the bad deal instead of demonizing the better deal and develop ways to help those in a negative environment.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluegrasscard View Post
    This is where the label of 'privilege' gets off base it seems. A good family environment is in no way a 'privilege'. A bad family environment is bad deal of fate.

    Let's acknowledge the bad deal instead of demonizing the better deal and develop ways to help those in a negative environment.
    Love this!

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by True blue (and gold) View Post
    Isn’t being born into a good family an example of privilege? That’s not something we have control over or have earned. I lament daily about students of mine that don’t have that privilege.
    Yes. That is my point. Privilege is often spoken of as a bad thing. It is when a millionaire uses his wealth to get around the law.

    But there is a "privilege" that is bestowed by one generation on the next through good decisions, good values, and consistent behavior. These things reap benefits that bring positive consequences for them and their offspring. For instance, I know an immigrant family that came to the United States for a better life. The father works hard for his family driving a cab. He has instilled a strong work ethic in his son and the importance of education. His son did well in school and is going to U of L Speed School. His children will most likely enjoy privileges that he did not have as a child.

    The good news here is that it only takes one generation to change the trajectory of a family. It is this kind of privilege that is desirable. It is available to everyone. Everyone can make choices in his or her life that will have positive benefits for his or her children. Your children can have privileges you didn't have as a child because of the decisions you make as an adult. Education is one that comes quickly to mind. Why vilify this kind of privilege?

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluegrasscard View Post
    This is where the label of 'privilege' gets off base it seems. A good family environment is in no way a 'privilege'. A bad family environment is bad deal of fate.

    Let's acknowledge the bad deal instead of demonizing the better deal and develop ways to help those in a negative environment.
    We will have to disagree.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldgrappler View Post
    Yes. That is my point. Privilege is often spoken of as a bad thing. It is when a millionaire uses his wealth to get around the law.

    But there is a "privilege" that is bestowed by one generation on the next through good decisions, good values, and consistent behavior. These things reap benefits that bring positive consequences for them and their offspring. For instance, I know an immigrant family that came to the United States for a better life. The father works hard for his family driving a cab. He has instilled a strong work ethic in his son and the importance of education. His son did well in school and is going to U of L Speed School. His children will most likely enjoy privileges that he did not have as a child.

    The good news here is that it only takes one generation to change the trajectory of a family. It is this kind of privilege that is desirable. It is available to everyone. Everyone can make choices in his or her life that will have positive benefits for his or her children. Your children can have privileges you didn't have as a child because of the decisions you make as an adult. Education is one that comes quickly to mind. Why vilify this kind of privilege?
    Not everyone can have that privilege. No one controls who their parents are.

    I didn't vilify any privilege. I lamented about it being one of the privileges some of my students don’t have.

  9. #39
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    Seems to me that everyone on this thread is privileged. We all have access to some kind of an electronic device, so we must all have some kind of financial means. (Privileged?)
    We are all intelligent individuals, and Iím going to guess that most of us have education beyond high school. (Privileged?)

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by True blue (and gold) View Post
    Not everyone can have that privilege. No one controls who their parents are.

    I didn't vilify any privilege. I lamented about it being one of the privileges some of my students don’t have.
    I understand that you did not vilify this kind of privilege. I was not clear in my previous post #36, but when I asked that question at the end of the post, I was not referring to you but generalizing the question. I actually agree with what you said in post #31. Again, sorry I was not clear.

    Yes, being born into a good family is a "privilege." It is the kind of "privilege" that in my first post I said "is the way it is meant to be." I had given a description of how I had benefited from my father's good choices in life. One of those benefits was gaining my first full-time job because a guy at the company I applied at had known my Dad and his good character and work ethic. I was the beneficiary of privilege, a privilege that was earned, not by me, but by my father. My life has been one of far more material blessing than my father experienced. I give him credit for setting me up for it.

    Another clarification, I do not think everyone is the recipient of this kind of privilege. As you point out, we do not choose our parents and the kind of privilege I am speaking about is the result of the choices made by the previous generation. My wife works in the public school system and I volunteer there. It is heart-breaking to see the consequences some of the students suffer because of their parents' choices. My own extended family bears the record of consequences on children due to poor choices made by parents.

    My point is that we all have the capacity to provide a good kind of "privilege" for the generation behind us. If our parents did not make the kinds of choices that promote good things for their offspring (us), we can break that cycle by being the kind of persons that do this for our kids. That is what I meant when I said it only takes one generation to change the trajectory of a family.

    The story of one family I know begins with the great grandparents who immigrated to America from Europe in the aftermath of WW I. Let's call them Gen 1. They were looking for a better life in America than the one available to them in their home country. They had a son who got married. Let's call this new couple Gen 2. The man and woman of Gen 2 both had grown up on farms. The man quit school in the 10th grade, the woman quit school in the 8th grade, both in order to work the family farm and help earn money to feed younger siblings. When this man and woman met and were married, they passed up a lot of material things to send their two children to parochial school. Their children's lives were filled with good things neither of them enjoyed when they were growing up. Although Gen 2 didn't value education beyond high school, their daughter was able to go to a local community college and earn an associate degree and as a result of her degree was very employable wherever she lived. She got married, so let's call her and her husband Gen 3. She helped her husband earn a bachelor's degree and then a Master's degree. Gen 3 valued education and passed that value on to their kids, Gen 4, who all were able to earn scholarships to private colleges. The individuals of Gen 4 are still writing their stories but their future offspring, Gen 5, will benefit from the blessings, values, and examples supplied by all the previous generations combined.

    Each generation was blessed by the choices of the previous. I didn't say we all are the recipients of that kind of privilege. What I am saying is that we all can be the kind of people who pass that kind of privilege on to our offspring, at least at some level. It is about the choices we make as adults that will affect the lives of our kids. And btw, the best privileges passed on to the next generation are not material in nature.

    Sometimes, a reference to one who benefits from "privilege" has a negative connotation. I think we should be careful to distinguish what we mean by privilege.
    I don't think it is good to begrudge a person the kind of "privilege" I described above. This is the kind of privilege we should encourage. And it is the kind of privilege we all should seek to pass on to our offspring.

  11. #41
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    Main reason for that is the private attorney has more time to spend on the case. I see it every day. You are better off with a private attorney.

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    I don't think that is privilege, that is just how things happen.

    I think the word privilege has taken on a negative connotation in the past few years.

    To the OP question, privilege should never override the law.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluegrasscard View Post
    This is where the label of 'privilege' gets off base it seems. A good family environment is in no way a 'privilege'. A bad family environment is bad deal of fate.

    Let's acknowledge the bad deal instead of demonizing the better deal and develop ways to help those in a negative environment.
    A good family environment is not only a privilege but it is a catalyst to even more privilege as well. Acknowledging that isnít demonizing it all.

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoops5 View Post
    Seems to me that everyone on this thread is privileged. We all have access to some kind of an electronic device, so we must all have some kind of financial means. (Privileged?)
    We are all intelligent individuals, and I’m going to guess that most of us have education beyond high school. (Privileged?)
    Absolutely!!!

  15. #45
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    A lot of people are quick to try to pigeon hole a person into a specific category, so that a judgement can be made on who has or who doesn't have "privilege". But, the bottom line is that there are soooooo many categories (influences) that come into play for each and every person/situation...that by doing so, you are showing a bias as to what that category means to you.

    If your family is poor, then somebody wealthy is likely looked at as privileged, even though both parents may be working 70 hours a week to make that money, and are totally ignoring their children.

    If you grew up with a single parent, then somebody who has both parents still together is considered "privileged", until you find out that the dad is drunk and beating the mom.

    Bottom line is...there are no absolutes! Stop trying to classify people into these broad categories and then use that to judge them on an individual situation.

    Sorry, rant over...I'm getting off my soapbox.

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