Fantastic post on privilege

First, Andrea Smith posted a killer essay on privilege. (Quote is linked)  It's really good:
     Silva’s analysis thus critiques the presumption that the problem facing racialized and colonized peoples is that they have been “dehumanized.”  Anti-racist intellectual and political projects are often premised on the notion that if people knew us better, we too would be granted humanity.  But, according to Silva, the fundamental issue that does not get addressed, is that “the human” is already a racial project.  It is a project that aspires to universality, a project that can only exist over and against the particularity of “the other.”
     Consequently, two problems result.  First, those who are put in the position of  racialized and colonized others presume that liberation will ensue if they can become self-determining subjects – in other words, if they can become fully “human.”  However, the humanity to which we aspire still depends on the continued oppression of other racialized/colonized others.  Thus, a liberation struggle that does not question the terms by which humanity is understood becomes a liberation struggle that depends on the oppression of others.
What do you think about this?  I love the way she calls out the press to valorize oppression as a goal; the invention of new oppressed categories among the privileged.  I must definitely read more.

Second, Kotsko has an engaging ruminationon the discourse of privilege as well.  He has some very helpful considerations about the word "privilege" and how it can be better defined.  And he also pokes at white guys:
The goal is not, however, to make white dudes feel less prickly and defensive, because as I said, prickly defensiveness is one of the core pillars of white dude identity. The way to deal with white dudes is to figure out a way to make them a different type of person than a white dude, and that can’t happen through strong arguments or carefully calibrated rhetoric — it’s a matter of figuring out how to jar them out of their subject-position, not “convincing” them to accept some kind of opinion in an extrinsic way. Provoking prickly defensiveness in certain white dudes may actually be helpful here, in that it might shock white dudes with the potential to become something better into realizing how obnoxious white dudes really are. This is a tough thing for liberal activists to come to terms with, I know, because one wants to believe that open, honest dialogue can change everything, but the sad truth is that it can’t.
There's an earlier post on the subject, too.

And for the record,  a moment of self location



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