All That We Share

TV2Danmark, YouTube, May 24, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I've been listening to the recent discussion on white privilege (including a show on CBC as I type). Some of the discussion centers around a worksheet being used in local schools. It makes people uncomfortable, and as has been noted, it's hard to explain white privilege to a broke white person. Race is not of course the only sort of privilege (or lack of privilege) a person can experience. The discussion brings to mind the term the term baizuo (白左), or literally, the ‘white left’, as it is used in China, "is used generally to describe those who 'only care about topics such as immigration, minorities, LGBT and the environment' and 'have no sense of real problems in the real world'". Me, I am less interested in the putative causes of oppression (because pretty much anything - race, caste, gender, religion - can be used as an excuse) as I am the effects - poverty, homelessness, injustice, violence, inhumanity, hopelessness. I feel we all have an obligation to those people who are oppressed for any reason to help and support their personal empowerment, freedom and opportunity through concrete action.
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