If there are qualities that make things ‘easier,’ how would anyone know unless they were able to see a picture with more than people who reflect what they like to see in the mirror? No one would easily want to amend rules that gives them something extra. I think the following posts all give some fresh insight into that divide–the one that sits between life as it is and life as we say we wish it was because it’s supposed to be fairer.
First, one that goes some genuinely surprising places over at Life of Briley (And yes, I am the David mentioned). Excerpted from “More on the Flyer Incident“:
“. . . What bothered me about the Flyer Incident–that, as David points out, really is not about religion–is that the rancor was misdirected. This misdirection triggers a feeling I wish I didn’t have: that the people in the community (as in, the majority-black community that has lived in the vicinity of the former temple for the last century+) are blaming the newcomers (the majority-white people, like me) for all their neighborhood conflicts. That feeling is not about the facts; I have no idea what anyone is blaming me for. Worse, that feeling can easily morph into thinking, in the sense that, once we start to feel like someone is blaming us for something we didn’t do, we become defensive. We find ways to rationalize our defensiveness. We might know, emotionally, that the situation is not as clear-cut as we’re framing it to be, but we feel hurt, offended, put-upon, and so we find ways to defend ourselves against what we now perceive to be an onslaught of blame. And we have excellent brains, so we can come up with all kinds of support for our point, all of which sound like logic and reason when we hear them in the silence of our self-protection. We see this happen everyday. A huge hook in the Republican party line is that entitlement programs are the main reason for the national debt. This is an excellent strategy, because people who work hard and still don’t have enough can get very emotional about people who don’t work and yet seem to have enough. Witness the recent Facebook posting: ‘If you can afford beer, drugs, cigarettes, and manicures, you don’t need food stamps or welfare.’ That’s not about the truth of what people can and can’t afford; it’s about the frustration of people who work really hard and still don’t have enough money for the things they need. (Or it’s about people being angry because they’re struggling and they somehow think people on welfare aren’t struggling.)”
The writer of “In Living Contradictions” looks at “Why Me? Luck vs. Privilege” Excerpt:
“. . . I have been incredibly privileged in many aspects of my life, something that I am quick to acknowledge has made things in my life a lot easier than for some others, though it has taken me quite some time to fully accept that fact.
“But being ‘privileged’ is only half of the story, something that I hope does not discount the work that has been done by myself and those around me (quotations used to accentuate the fact that privilege is absolutely contextual and my three points above wanes in comparison to the generational privilege that others enjoy, but again, another post for another time). Equally as important at play, I’ve realized, in my life has been:
- good fortune; advantage or success, considered as the result of chance.
“Luck. I find myself on this side of the privilege-vs-luck debate as my philosophical and existential self contemplates the meaning of (my) life . . .”
In “Gentrify Me,” Jacob of IMPLODEDSANITY writes:
“The simple point is that people don’t like to be labeled as things that they disagree with, such as gentrification. But recognizing that it is a problem, while at the same time denying that you’re part of it, seems strange and counter-productive. And the problem is going to get worse if we leave the ‘anti-gentrification’ movement to those people moving in and starting businesses. It needs to be run by people that know about the local communities, economics, urban planning and business.
“I don’t mean to offend any of my friends (or girlfriend) that are moving to Detroit. And I’m certainly not saying that you should ‘stay in the suburbs where you belong’. But there are marginal decisions made on a daily basis that are textbook examples of gentrification. For example, taking advantage of low rent prices and not hiring from the local community, taking tax incentives from a municipality whose school system is in shambles or buying groceries from stores in Ferndale. These are all solvable problems, but unfortunately bad financial decisions.
“So just be wary, and recognize that you are part of a gentrification movement. But most importantly, please don’t believe that somehow realizing that there is a problem is half of the battle. It leads to egoism and a false sense of superiority. Realizing the problem is about 1% of the battle, there’s a lot more to be done if you’re actually committed to not gentrifying Detroit.”
In a recent post over at Cyborgology, Whitney Boesel writes:
“Anyway, the point here is that when I talk about a possible link between App.net’s class-stratifying $50 backing fee and the beginning of ‘white flight’ from Facebook, I’m not suggesting a 1:1 correlation between whiteness and affluence, nor am I suggesting that race and class are interchangeable. I am, however, referencing the fondness that some affluent white people have for buying goods and services that help them decrease the visibility of poor people and people of color around them.
“If the ‘white flight’ from Myspace to Facebook was like the post-war migration of white people from urban areas to tract houses in the suburbs, App.net could represent the digital equivalent of white people moving from suburban tract houses to gated communities or urban loft conversions. It contains elements of both white flight (affluent white people distancing themselves from the more diverse user bases of Facebook and Twitter) and gentrification (affluent white people creating a site that conforms to their tastes and has a higher cost of entry), and to me, these things make App.net seem a lot less appealing: I’m happy to escape ‘being the product,’ but joining a digital country club holds little appeal.”
Because it goes into what I think only looks like different territory , the self-determination (and certainly the writing) going on at http://justcallmetyra.wordpress.com/ is quite notable (You can check out that one in its entirety first).