I wrote this on the full article blog
Very insightful and a necessary conversation. A few things stood out for me:
“Exactly when courts are accused of superceding the “will of the people” they are fulfilling their role effectively.”
It recently occurred to me within this past year as to why Dobson and “family” groups are so dead-set on getting these constitutional amendments to require that marriage be between a man and a woman only -- to usurp the very power of the courts. Once it’s in the constitution, the courts are then bound to refer to this bias in their decision making.
“Privilege is the benefit that accrues to the person or group that has to endure the least bias and/or prejudice.”
In the past few years, I’ve really been trying to recognize this in myself, and I agree that “the invisible unflective privilege is the most heinous and insidious.”
I’m pretty introspective as it is, so as I’ve been seeing my own prejudices -- whether it be race, ethnicity or accent, etc. -- I also recognize how few people must actually take a look at this in themselves. Furthermore, I realize that even I can never fully appreciate the prejudice so many others experience, and more so, feel
on a regular basis.
For all the social anxiety I feel being in public, I still have the “benefit” of feeling invisible when I walk into a store. I am a white male and can pass for straight, no one is going to notice me or suspect me because of my skin color or accent, etc. - no matter how grungy I may look.
But for others, and I notice this in myself when it comes to people of color, ethnicity or the aged, there is an immediate almost gut feeling that they are “alien” and separate from me, or that I am more intelligent than them.
Fortunately, the more I recognize it, the more I am able to set it aside as a valid criteria for judging them. Interestingly, I have found that language has a lot to do with it. I used to work at a video store in Chicago, and there was one customer who was Mideastern and wore a turban, and as soon as he spoke perfect English, the turban and his dark skin washed away. Margaret Cho is another example. But that doesn’t excuse my initial feelings about people with accents.
Again, fortunately for me, the more I see my own prejudice, the more I’m able to see through it. But I can’t agree with you more in thinking that it’s the invisible and unreflective sense of privilege that’s the most insidious and dangerous.
This past election really reminded me of just how segregated we still are as a nation - my own family reminded me of that.
As proud and relieved as I am to have Obama as president, it’s still ‘odd’ to see him in that position. And I’m looking forward to that novelty wearing off…