Thursday, October 15, 2009

Just When You Thought the Talk About "Privilege" Couldn't Get Any More Stupid...

Along comes this:

So Richard Leader thinks that taking a courageous stand against an unjust law is an act of "white male privilege":

The stunt has white-male written all over it. I should know: I’m a white male myself. You can see it in his straight-faced claim that he didn’t do it for attention. You can see it in his imagination that a simple school project made him a true actor in the political process.
Well, for one thing, I can say that Ian Barry is a hero and a patriot much like one of my long-time heroes who is of African Descent: Ed Forchion, aka N.J. Weedman.

But, maybe the author of Adonis Mirror, Leader, does have a point. After all, the white people who participated in the Montgomery Bus Boycott knew that they would not face penalties as severe as those whose rights they were demanding be respected. Same with those white folks who marched in various Civil Rights marches throughout the 60's. Or those men who dared to stand up for feminism back when it was about equal rights and not female supremacy, like today (Of course the men, would only face lesser penalties in terms of social sanctions; women then, as now and always, got treated with kid gloves by the legal system). When I, as a disabled teenager was being bullied by non-disabled, or less disabled teenagers, I would have been grateful for a non-disabled teenager to use his or her "able-bodied/able-minded" privilege to stand up for my rights. I did not think that the people who did or would have done these things were arrogant assholes rubbing everyone else's noses in their massive privilege, but then I obviously don't know as much about "oppression-privilege" politics as the all-knowing Leader (pun not intended -see comment).

I seem to remember reading somewhere that one of the obligations of privilege is to fight for the rights of those do not have it and cannot stand up for themselves. I didn't think that standing up for the rights of the less privileged was a bad thing if you did it in a non-patronizing way that showed solidarity with the oppressed. Well, thank Cthulhu that we have people like Richard Leader to tell us how wrong those notions are.

Edit: I decided to edit out the instances where I made fun of Richard Leader's name as this distracts from the seriousness of the issue. Besides, while he is an arrogant know-it-all who thinks he can tell everyone else how to run our lives, Leader did not deserve to be personally attacked. For that I apologize.