Saturday, September 19, 2015

Talking Point #2

Allan G. Johnson, Privilege, Power, and Difference


       Johnson argues that people who are privileged aren't necessarily aware of the struggles people who aren't privileged go through or how their privilege affects other. The whole article which is from his book explains privilege and the power of certain words like "sexism", "white", "racist". As stated in his introduction, "... my primary goal is to change how people think about issues of difference and privilege" (Johnson). As a white heterosexual man with privileges he could talk about and own up to how wrong it is and how it affects people of color, women, and homosexuals. He wanted to raise awareness of the white supremacy and hope that by raising awareness to it the problem could be addressed and possibly be changed. He discusses how primarily white people try to redefine or delete words like "racism" and "sexism" and by doing this they are ignoring the actual problem. They get offended and are apparently put in uncomfortable situations because they automatically think it's a personal attack when in reality it's a global issue that needs to be addressed. Johnson also spoke about his own experience with these words and being told to explain certain issues without the use of the keywords, he described this situation as "... a doctor trying to help a patient without ever mentioning the body or naming what's wrong. We can't get anywhere that way - and we haven't been".
This is so true, it's stupid to even think of doing that. In this article he brings up the late Rodney King's question "Can't we all just get along?" and tries to explain why we haven't been getting along. It has to do with our social status and privileges. According to Johnson the only way to solve the problem if for people of privileged mainly white people is for them to empathize with those who aren't privileged and according to this system will never be. By empathizing they can see it from a different perspective and stop the hate and segregation that has been in us from generation to generation. He hopes that it will not carry on into the next generation.

I wonder how it would be if people knew they were privileged and how it affected others. Is being aware of it all that it takes to end this hate? I think that there is more to it for equality. Empathizing is only the beginning of the solution.

1 comment:

  1. Empathizing is DEFINITELY only the beginning. The entire human race needs to begin to try and understand each other in order to create peace and begin gender equality and just equality in general.