Spotting Privilege In The Wild

My conscious mind just boggles
When confronted with their view
It’s as if they’re wearing goggles
Only letting in one hue—
They can see the world around them
And they think that all is fine
Where a rainbow might astound them,
They just see a curving line.
You can talk about the beauty
Of a multi-colored sight
And as if it is their duty
They say “what about the white?”

In yesterday’s Washington Post, an article on the awarding of the Congressional Gold Medal to the surviving hundreds of African-American veterans, those who were on two fronts simultaneously–fighting World War Two, and fighting for integration in the armed forces.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi told the Marines: “You served our country at a time that it took an extra dose of patriotism to do so. Because all of the freedoms that you were fighting for were not afforded to everyone in our country at that time.”

Speaker of the House John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell also spoke.

“Allowing blacks to serve the Marine Corps was seen as an experiment,” Boehner told the crowd. “If it was an experiment, it didn’t last any long. Before the end of the war, the Marine commandant at the time said the experiment was over. The men trained at Montford were Marines, period.”

In the very first comment, missing the point entirely…

uh’ seems like there were a few white marines in that conflict also, did they receive a bronze plaque?….


  1. Cuttlefish says

    I know– the words “wearing goggles” are linked to his post. I try to cite all my sources!

  2. smhll says

    Chiming in to like the goggle metaphor.

    I’ve been wondering if discussions of the social justice concept of privilege with skeptics who are new to the idea would get off on a better foot if we called it an experience filter.

  3. Die Anyway says

    > “…the Marine commandant at the time said the experiment was over. The men trained at Montford were Marines…”

    When the Commandant speaks, the Marines listen.
    My father was a Marine who enlisted right at the end of WW-II. He was from rural Louisianna and rather racist, but he told me that as much as he would not normally associate with “coloreds”, if they were in a Marine uniform they were treated like any other Marine. Not particularly a super-great attitude but a small step that could be built on.

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