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To think we are more divided by class, than race.

(140 Posts)
WendyLooes Sun 09-Aug-15 19:29:42

I keep hearing the phase white privilege and can't understand it. I live in the North of England and some of the communities up hear are 99% white and living in poverty.

I understand that in many parts of London minority communities are also in poverty. I think that these people are bot victims of classism in modern Britain.

I once heard a story about Tudor Britain, London had a small black community which was protected by the English peasants.

This is not to say racism is not still a problem, however I believe classism is much more of an issue then racism.

I reject terms like white privilege because I think we need to make a bigger deal of class privilege. I honestly believe very few people are racist. The idiots that I have come across are reading (insert right wing paper) and doing exactly what the upper classes love a divided working class.

So aibu to think terms like white privilege keep us divided. The same as the right wing press. They both cause resentment.

ApparentlyImDoingItAllWrong Sun 09-Aug-15 19:31:46

I think it depends on where you live, I've seen it swing both ways. We moved recently, from somewhere divided more one way to somewhere divided another.

ApocalypseThen Sun 09-Aug-15 19:32:47

Yeah, it's both easy and convenient to dismiss problems that don't effect you.

WendyLooes Sun 09-Aug-15 19:37:09

Forgot to mention, i view most people as working class. I view a good 95% of the population as working class and the top 5% as upper class.

BernardlookImaprostituterobotf Sun 09-Aug-15 19:37:20

You honestly believe very few people are racist?
Not in my experience, and that is as a white woman with Black African and Pakistani Muslim family.
You reject white privilege?
I don't really know what to say to that.

fakenamefornow Sun 09-Aug-15 19:42:34

Actually I think you're right. And I would add in that it's more of an issue than gender as well. I'm not exactly sure 'class' is the right word though. Also I think that our perceptions of how much money people have is maybe the route of discrimination in the first place. In that people may look down on black people (for example) because they think they'll be poor.

I wouldn't say very few people are racist/sexist/bigoted though, I think we all are to varying degrees and so it's something that we should be constantly aware of in ourselves.

MarchLikeAnAnt Sun 09-Aug-15 19:42:48

I think class and racism are about equal to each other in the UK.

Fishwives Sun 09-Aug-15 19:43:12

It's hardly an either/or situation, OP. Just as it's possible to be discriminated against on racial and gender grounds, it's possible to recognise the effects of class and race privilege.

And yes, Tudor London had a small non-White population of several hundreds - there were black people in Britain from Roman times - but of completely different origins and statuses, definitely not some homogeneous group under any kind of 'peasant protection' confused. And there are references in the Cecil papers to annoyance among the native population at the presence of increasing numbers of black foreigners, including freed slaves from other jurisdictions, so hardly a colour-blind utopia.

WendyLooes Sun 09-Aug-15 19:44:39

We reject white privilege because I think a disadvantaged white child and a disadvantaged black child are both disadvantaged by the person who had say a private school educated and a well connected dad.

HowDdo2You Sun 09-Aug-15 19:44:59

Racism exists and it's not just white on non white, white people can be targets too. We were laughed at years ago for the upset caused to my white daughter who was told repeatidly by a Muslim Asian girl that white girls were not as" good " as Asian girls. hmm

prorsum Sun 09-Aug-15 19:47:09

Sorry Wendy but you're on a loser here. Poor white people do not necessarily feel a solidarity with poor non-whites, in fact they may see them as an economic threat.

I live in an incredibly diverse area in terms of race and class and see how WP works in very insidious ways.

BitOutOfPractice Sun 09-Aug-15 19:48:38

I totally agree with you OP for what it's worth.

WendyLooes Sun 09-Aug-15 19:49:48

Prorsum poor white communities are more likely to be in or near ethnic minority communities. Who do the richest people live with fellow rich people.

MaxieMouse Sun 09-Aug-15 19:50:00

Why does it have to be one or the other? Class, gender, race, income - they are all divisive. I don't think there is a lack of recognition of class division, you hear all the time how middle class kids perform better than working class, how private education leads to higher income, how class mobility is stagnating. White privilege definitely exists as well, racial stereotype is rife. You seem to imply that racial division only happens to the working class, did I get this right? I beg to differ. Just look at the proportion of black students at Oxbridge.

carriebrody Sun 09-Aug-15 19:51:08

White priviledge exists, but poor white people have more in common with poor black people than they have with a mostly white ruling class.

WendyLooes Sun 09-Aug-15 19:53:39

White privilege does exist. But in my opinion has no or very little effect on poor whites. However I think its more upper class (mostly white) privilege.

MizK Sun 09-Aug-15 19:55:15

Of course white privilege exists .
Just because not every white person is wealthy doesn't mean that we don't have inbuilt advantages when it comes to functioning in a country traditionally run by white people.

Think it seems more of a problem in the US from what I've read recently but that's just the impression I get.

WendyLooes Sun 09-Aug-15 19:56:03

People don't choose class and social mobility is so low anyway. It often amazes me that people are so against racism (which they should be) but defend private schools, which act as a pillar of our class system.

Theycallmemellowjello Sun 09-Aug-15 19:56:13

Agree that it's not an either/or situation. The existence of powerless men doesn't disprove the existence of white privilege. Also, people from ethnic minority backgrounds are more likely to be poor, so the interests of the poor and those of ethnic minorities often overlap.

Theycallmemellowjello Sun 09-Aug-15 19:56:44

*sorry that should read male privilege obviously!

GoodbyeToAllOfThat Sun 09-Aug-15 19:58:21

I agree. Class is a much greater divide than race. Wealthy white people are absolutely not insulated from wealthy people of colour in the same way that wealthy people are insulated from poor people.

MizK Sun 09-Aug-15 19:59:02

However I will say I don't feel guilt simply for being white and therefore not facing racism. I just think that it's up to everyone to be aware of it. If I ever found myself in a position of power then I hope I would be fair and judge others on their merits not on their race, class, gender etc. If everybody did that then there wouldn't be a problem.

Blistory Sun 09-Aug-15 19:59:05

White people do not experience the systemic and institutionalised racism that people of colour do. White people haven't been oppressed by people of colour. White people may suffer from individual occasions of racism but they do not experience structural racism.

White people experience the very basic privilege of seeing those around them in positions of power as the same colour as them. Society's notion of beauty is based on a white one.

You can't compare different isms as easily as that. Compare a poor black woman and a poor white woman and in the vast majority of cases, the black woman will have suffered from sexism, racism and classism and how they intersect. The white woman will have experienced sexism and classism. That is where even a poor white woman benefits from white privilege.

WendyLooes Sun 09-Aug-15 19:59:39

I want the poor from all groups to unite and beat this awful establishment of our society. The division between us and the rich is the biggest.

GoodbyeToAllOfThat Sun 09-Aug-15 19:59:40

It often amazes me that people are so against racism (which they should be) but defend private schools, which act as a pillar of our class system.

I can kind of appreciate this sentiment, but people will very rarely pick what's best for society over what's best for their child. No one wants to send their kid to a failing school so that they can change the system from the inside.

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