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“Privilege” Mostly Isn’t, It Is What Everyone Should Have

2018 February 8
by Ian Welsh

This is hilarious:

Rather than increasing the pay of female staff the BBC has decided to slash the salaries of the top male earners, in a belated attempt to tackle the broadcaster’s gender pay gap crisis…

…It is understood that under new plans being rolled out to fight off the gender pay row the that has recently dogged the broadcaster, the BBC’s male stars will see their six-figure salaries slashed by up to 30 percent.

There are a few problems with the use of the word privilege. The main one is that much of what is called “privilege” isn’t, it’s what everyone should have. In the US it is often noted that a black or brown person is far more likely to be killed than a white: the police go far out of their way not to kill whites in comparison.

But that doesn’t mean that the police should treat everyone like they do African-Americans, say, it means they should treat everyone like they do whites.

As for the pay gap, the idea is that everyone should earn what white males do for the same work, not that white males should earn less. (Well, I don’t actually care how much rich white male presenters make, but in the general sense.)

Most of what white males have is what everyone should have because white males are generally treated better, even well, and that’s how we should treat everyone.

It isn’t a privilege to not be shot out of hand by cops, or to earn the same (good) pay for the same work, it’s decent and fair.

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116 Responses leave one →
  1. realitychecker permalink
    February 14, 2018

    @ dc

    Do you really think nothing happens unless somebody famous says it happened lol? Don’t you have your own mind?

    I think a lot of white folks who would have been happy to fight police violence side-by-side with the BLM activists saw the way they acted, from lying about Michael Brown and onward, and all the police ambush assassinations, and realized they had deliberately picked a slogan that excluded the interests of non-blacks, and they were just fed up with what they saw. They saw that the BLM people chose to ally themselves with Clinton and the Dems, and so they voted for Trump to show their displeasure.

    All we keep hearing from the left since the election is that many different factors were big enough to be blamed for the Clinton loss. So, I don’t know how anyone can say with certainty that this BLM backlash dynamic was not equally responsible for the Clinton defeat. How anyone can say with certainty that the Russian $100,000 spent on Facebook ads made the difference, but simultaneously argue that white disgust with BLM could not possibly have made the difference, is really amusing to me.

    Anyway, nobody can prove it either way. It’s just my opinion.

  2. different clue permalink
    February 14, 2018

    @reality checker,

    My own mind leads me to discount your theory. I myself here in Michigan didn’t hear anyone talking about Black Lives Matter. Whereas I heard any number of people talking about Free Trade Treason and the Clintons.

    Also, the truth-value of a theory is reflected in the accuracy of the predictions the theory-holder is able to make. I noted that Michael Moore made his prediction on how the election WOULD come out beFORE it happened. That to me says that his theory was evidence-based and reality-based. His fame has nothing to do with it. His predictional accuracy has something to do with it. After all, many other more-famous-than-Moore people were predicting a Clinton victory and their analytical frameworks have been proven worthless by the failure of their prediction. Moore’s analytical framework has been proven correct based on the accuracy of his prediction.

    If you can produce someone famous or obscure who predicted Trump’s victory based on voter-displeasure with Black Lives Matter, then that someone clearly had an analytical framework worth considering. But a retro-opinion after the fact is not the same as a real prediction beFORE the fact, and does not indicate any predictive value to the framework of the person offering the retro-opinion.

    Now . . . if the normally-Democratic-voting Michiganders who told Michael Moore they were voting for Trump also told him they were doing it because of Black Lives Matter, and if Moore is concealing that from us, then Moore would be lying about what his framework and knowledge-base really was. Against such a lie, I would be helpless, because how could I know? If some of Michael Moore’s respondents step forward to say they told him that Black Lives Matter was part of their decision to vote for Trump, then I will lower my opinion of the stated honesty of Michael Moore’s framework, and I will have to allow for distaste for BLM in the particular states of MI, PENN, WIS, OH being a co-deciding factor in getting a critical election-swinging margin of 2-time-Obama voters to vote for Trump.

  3. different clue permalink
    February 14, 2018

    @reality checker,

    Also, since your good opinion of my mind matters to me, I will offer further evidence of having had my own mind all along.

    Michael Moore is just as famous while calling Trump “illegitimate” and agitating for his removal somehow from office as he was while correctly predicting the Trump election without mentioning BLM once in his analysis of the 4 Brexit states. And even though he is famous, my own mind leads me to reject his dismissal of Trump as “illegitimate” and to refuse his invitation to people to ” work for removing Trump”.

    So there you go. Sufficient evidence of me having and having had my own mind all along.

  4. realitychecker permalink
    February 14, 2018

    @ dc

    I have no interest in denigrating your mind. I respect anyone who has rejected the Clinton machine the way you have.

    I’ll just tell you that I predicted Trump would win the same day he hired Kelly Anne Conway, and I backed up that prediction by casting my only Republican vote ever for any person in any office for Trump on November 8. I knew Trump did not need my vote here in Georgia, but I wanted to take a stand against the duopoly, even if it meant risking being called for jury duty lol.

    So, may I submit that, according to your logic, my cred as a predictor is just as good as that fat fuck that used to be Michael Moore. I can’t imagine why you’d consider him a more reliable political weather vane than moi, but chacun a son gout. 🙂

    I know a lot of people that were really turned off by BLM’s antics, and I can certainly understand why. I’m comfortable with my opinion.

  5. Tom W Harris permalink
    February 14, 2018

    Speaking of gout, I had an attack of it once. So I gave up shrimp.

  6. realitychecker permalink
    February 14, 2018

    @ Tom

    Ouch! I had to give up more than shrimp lol. Don’t get me started . . .

  7. different clue permalink
    February 15, 2018


    Well! You should have told me about your before-the-fact prediction of Trump’s victory based on Kelly Anne Conway’s hiring into the Trump Campaign. (Unless you did post your prediction on the Internet and I missed it . . . which is certainly possible given my limited computer screen time and limited thoroughness of reading).

    Therefore, your analytical framework has been proven at least as correct as fat fuck ex-Michael Moore’s framework, and perhaps at a deeper level given that yours far predated his. And if his prediction about the 4 Brexit states was “political weathervaning” rather than political analysis, still . . . he did tell us which way the wind was blowing and was going to blow in those 4 states. So if I hear any other Michael Moore predictions, I will watch to see if the events occur as predicted. And I will certainly watch your predictions with seriously respectful attention as well.

  8. different clue permalink
    February 15, 2018

    While random-walking the Internet, I stumbled across this little post which contains an embedded clickable 10-minute self-taken video by a Clinton-supporter. If this was passed around to enough thousands of people in key crucial razor’s-edge makes-a-difference voter zones, this could also have recruited voters to the Trump side. Here is the link. ( And notice how implicitly confident the Clinton-supporter is in her white privilege to interact with the police officer the way she does. And given his extreme patience with her, she might be correct to be confident. Then again, the officer might just be extremely patient and humane). I can see how such utter filth as the person self-starring in this video could recruit a lot of undecideds to the Cause of Trump. Or at least decruit them away from the Cause of Clinton.

    Anyway, here is the link.

  9. realitychecker permalink
    February 15, 2018


    Well, many thanks for not calling me a liar, as so many others on the Internet would have found it easier to do lol.

    Predicting is what I do, mostly about the markets, but that inevitably involves predicting specific events, outcomes, and effects of things that can affect markets. I do this by drawing on my background experiences in business, psychology, media, law, trading stock index futures for 30 years, and growing up streetwise in Brooklyn. 🙂

    But not to claim too much credit, my call based on Conway was simply based on seeing the raw populist energy of Trump, and knowing that she was a very savvy political operative who would have a good chance of channeling and harnessing that energy into efficient campaign management.

    The prediction was not based on BLM, nor was Moore’s, iirc. I would submit that the reasoning process you applied to Moore is not a sound one; to be sound, it would have needed more data on Moore’s thought and reasoning process, not just that he got the result right (broken clock thingy?).

    But re BLM, I am puzzled to see how many fail to perceive that there was obviously a lot of white resentment against BLM for seeming to exclude whites in order to push blacks to the front of the squeaky wheel line, so to speak. Call it a bridge too far, jumping the shark, the straw that broke the camel’s back, whatever you prefer, but it was clear to me that the sentiment was as I perceived it. A united front would have been preferable IMO, what they did instead was inherently divisive, and I wonder at those who refuse to see that.

  10. realitychecker permalink
    February 15, 2018

    @ dc

    Please forgive me if I don’t click on the link you provided–as computer-limited as I am, I have learned to limit opportunities for bad thingies to get into my computer and render me totally helpless and frustrated lol. (Nothing personal, I already seem to have demons buzzing around inside the damn thing.)

    To make an additional observation, Bill Maher was also cautioning his decidedly pro-Hillary audience not to take a Trump defeat for granted, in the couple of months leading up to Election Day. He also did not refer to a BLM effect in doing that.

    FYI, Maher used to be a hero of mine, back in his Politically Incorrect days, and even up until the Obama years. But when he started making million dollar donations to Obama and Hillary, he lost me, because he has since become so unbalanced, so reckless, and so low-class in his anti-Trump, pro-Dem rhetoric that I really don’t know how he can look himself in the mirror anymore.

    Which is just to illustrate, from a slightly different angle, that getting the result of a prediction right is good, but much less so if the prediction was not based on a sound reasoning process.

    I’ve always thought myself to be a really good progressive, but life moves like pendulum swings, and I was very aware that political correctness and identity politics had both reached an unreasonable crescendo, and needed to be pruned and trimmed to get back closer to reality and reason.

    The interplay between Trump and the various Establishment players and interests presents great educational opportunities for all of us, IMO, if we will just observe carefully all the cross-currents and logical contradictions that get revealed. This is not a good time to be cheering any ‘team’ IMO, this is a time to understand the extent to which regular folks like us don’t really have a team that is FOR us.

  11. highrpm permalink
    February 15, 2018

    politics in this country has degen’ed to all spectacle. the playground of sociopaths. hollyworld. i get suicidal thinking about it.

    but hey, the disproportion of elites to slaves is what fueled the growth of christianity in its infancy in rome. its magical thinking gave hope to the hopeless. when the 99% couldn’t afford the animal sacrifices of the many and various popular gods, christianity offered, “only believe.” the rest is free. free grace. pax judaica. onwards and upwards.

  12. different clue permalink
    February 15, 2018


    Your comments deserve more better careful thought and reply than what I have right now in the 15 minutes before I have to sign in and get to work.

    So I will just respond to the very last item and paraphrase Gandhi in saying that we will have to be the “team on our side” we wish to see in the world.

  13. MojaveWolf permalink
    February 15, 2018

    Mostly, this comment is not going to be about the election, but all I will say on that front:

    (1) I absolutely think Russian influence had zero to do w/it. I can’t prove a negative, but I confess to automatically lowering my respect for anyone who thinks this (while admittedly still respecting quite a few, since they seem otherwise mostly sane).

    (2) Single biggest reason for the Trump victory in the close states, imo (and totally unprovable): the failure of HRC and the non-Bernie wing of the Dems to admit that the economy wasn’t good and that a lot of people were suffering due to policies that had been perpetuated by the Dems as well as the Rs for a long time (which would not have mattered if the econ was really as good as the pundits keep saying it is, yet, strangely, the idiot American voter insisted on believing their personal experience over what the TV was telling them, thus calling into question whether Democracy is still a viable strategy)

    This lack of focus on the economy (or, rather, delusion about the economy, or, collaboration in making up an imaginary economy to report on) is one of the three biggest reasons the Republicans are still a viable political party, even though most people really don’t like what they are advocating.

    Another, going back sort of to what we are talking about, is the leftist obsession with divvying everyone up into competing identities. I think here’s where we get into some of the disagreements about BLM. To what extent are they a part of the whole nutjob SJW thing? (I’m talking about current arguments here in this thread between people who I think would agree w/my “nutjob SJW” reference, but clearly disagree on the utility of BLM) Certain parts of the left are doing identity politics (which doesn’t have to be a bad thing, and *can* be a good thing) in a way that alienates people who should be allies (see: me, if you want an example, and say whatever you want to about me, hate on me if you will, think I’m awful if you will, but honestly guys, if you’re pissing off me on this subject on multiple fronts, I’m pretty sure you’re doing it to a lot of other people a lot worse, just most of them aren’t going to speak up) (for examples, see the entire Evergreen college fiasco, the youtube of the girl at another Cali college trying to insist that the white guy wearing dreadlocks HAD to stop and listen to her berate him and HAD to agree w/her that he was doing something wrong, or the YouTube of the girl at another Cali college who stole this guy’s MAGA hat and then was genuinely perplexed that she was in trouble for taking his hat off his head and not giving it back rather than him being in trouble for wearing the hat, which in her mind was a call to genocide, or the prof at the New England college who said white people were responsible for every instance of slavery in history and in fact invented it, or, well, the mere existence of websites like “Everyday Feminism”, which I haven’t looked at in a very long time but is probably still there and probably just as hilarious as ever)(note: I consider myself a feminist; many other feminists mock everyday feminism, I actually thought it was a parody site making fun of certain types of lefties when I first followed a link there). There are about five million other examples of this sort of thing. Possibly five million on a daily basis. I’m not even sure I’m exaggerating, though probably a little with that last stat.

    And lastly, the whole idea that various narratives on the left are beyond criticism, or discussion, or analysis, and anyone who attempts to question these narratives are evil genocidal and probably stupid bigots who should be either silenced or shunned because, ummm, I’m never quite clear on the “because” part, but I think it has something to do with bad words and thoughts being worse than actual physical violence if they are coming from unapproved people, or something like that. This will do a great job of shutting down arguments on blogs or in large groups where people don’t want to be shunned or mobbed, but it also does a great job of getting people to think they might be more at home on the other side. This, again, is an SJW thing, which used to be only in obscure circles but has become mainstreamed. So we are in a position where the right wing invites D candidates to Liberty College, and the left no platforms damn near everyone they don’t 100% agree with on college campuses.

    (oh, wait, I forgot, fourth reason for keeping the Rs viable–that the Ds just plain suck, and cheated in the primary to make sure they kept sucking so they could suck up rich donor dollars, and have since continued to put more effort into backing Rs who just changed parties without changing policies, while actively funding candidates against anyone who might be progressive; I don’t agree w/Down with Tyranny on everything or many things and have mostly quit reading them cause they really pissed me off w/their utterly pointless and reprehensible “Melania is a whore” posts back in the day, but they’ve done a great job of covering who the D leadership chooses to back and still do, when I occasionally check back there. They also publish Gaius Publius’ posts on the environment and global warming, which are some of the best going; tho I usually read the Naked Capitalism reposts instead)

    Anyway, while I personally think BLM is pushing a false narrative with (in most but far from all cases) the best of intentions (because they actually believe the false narrative, as do the people here who are defending them, who almost certainly think *I’m* the one who has the narrative wrong), all I’m going to say is check the facts and look at them honestly, if you have the time. If you come to a different conclusion than me, so be it. I personally think this false narrative is a part of the whole lefty groupthink tribalism that is most likely being pushed by a bunch of rich fucks to help keep the rest of us arguing with each other instead of addressing the actual problems and yeah, that sounds all conspiracy theory, as does pointing out no one shot Malcolm X when he was talking about the evil white people but he got shot when he wanted whites and blacks to work together, and likewise MLK didn’t get shot until he started really pushing for a unity of the white and black working class against the rich power structures. Narratives that keep pushing groups apart instead of bringing them together help keep Jeff Bezos and Dick Cheney and their fellows rolling. If you’re going to push one of those narratives, at least make sure it’s well grounded in reality (the issue of women’s bodily autonomy and reproductive freedom is one that certainly causes division, and I’m not backing down an inch on that one, so obviously, I’m not advocating backing down from a position just because it causes dissension; if you’re right, you’re right and some things are worth the fight).

    In general, though, I’d say, as MLK did, that the working classes of all races have more in common with each other than any of us do with the corporate powers that be or the people who are comfy schmoozing each other up in their ladder climbing offices (I have made a number of career decisions that seem deranged to most people simply because I’m not comfy w/this, in fact I view most of these people rather like I view Logan in Westworld, who I think kind of was supposed to be a stand in for such), and we need to be looking for ways to appreciate that commonality and to work together to get people into power who will help all of us, instead of help almost no one while insisting to poor whites that ethnic others are taking your rights on one side while telling the ethnic others that evil whites are keeping you down. It’s more like a bunch of evil fucks are keeping us all down, and doing their very best to keep us all at odds w/everyone who doesn’t fit our particular group.

  14. MojaveWolf permalink
    February 15, 2018

    @RC — yes, we do have a lot in common. I twice bailed on a career in law where I could have had smooth sailing to a comfy life because I wasn’t comfortable taking some cases and you can’t pick and choose at the beginning, became a partner in a talent & literary agency and sold my part out because I genuinely hated the necessary schmoozing and networking–it was genuinely painful to me, and passed on what most people would have considered an absolutely golden opportunity to be in politics because I just couldn’t stand the thought of spending every day hanging out with these people and acting like them (one reason I give so much credit to Bernie–I don’t think most people have any idea how hard it would be to spend so many years in that environment and still be true to a completely different set of values while still remaining relevant; mad props to that man). I went more the razor’s edge path, which has been great for my personal enlightenment and development as a human being and horrible for my bank account. Congrats on the successful trading. As much as I’m fine with what my choices (extreme dislike of well over a decade and a half of being poor or struggling notwithstanding) I confess to thinking I should have been more financially conscious for the sake of my family. They would have all been better off if I’d chosen a more conventional career track. I may deserve a fair amount of guilt there. Probably deserve a fair amount of guilt there. Also on that front, my god, I should have gone the political route, even if I would have made no difference in the world at least I would have been in a place to try, but by all powers that be I had no idea they were going to fuck things up so badly.

  15. realitychecker permalink
    February 15, 2018

    @ MW

    Excellent next to last comment, I agree completely with your take.

    Re your last comment-we should talk sometime. It would be interesting.

  16. realitychecker permalink
    February 16, 2018

    @ dc

    I don’t know if you intend to continue this dialogue, but let me just point something out to you, which is that Moore and Maher are so totally and openly pro-black in every way that it would be an extraordinary moment of political honesty for either of them to EVER attribute Trump’s success to anything related to BLM or black people generally.

    That’s just normal team politics, IMO, and does NOT constitute what I would ever consider to be probative evidence that they don’t think BLM had anything to do with it. They are just choosing not to cast shade upon their friends. Typical modern political dynamic.

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