Home Depot Steps in It

This is something that’s been making the rounds all last week. I first heard about it while listening to the morning show here in DFW and simply shrugged my shoulders. Big corporate entities with have diversity finishes by and large.

But I finally got my mitts on one, and it reads even dumber than it sounded on the air. Just scanning the definitions of social and white privilege in general I can’t help but thinking there’s a reason why pride and envy are deadly sins. A quick scan can pick out a whole lot of faulty premises and logical fallacies. This is part and parcel of a culture that starts believing its own bullshit.

Instead of a general rant on diversity and inclusion in general, because there is some merit to it, small as it may be, let’s fisk what these privileges look like one by one by somebody living on planet real-world:

“If you’re confident that police exist to protect you, you have white privilege”

I don’t know about you but I have no such confidence and never did.

Even “Officer Friendly” who came to visit us as kids didn’t say they weren’t there to protect us. Police exist to keep the order and enforce the laws, while keeping themselves safe. That’s three lines that, if crossed, will cause trouble for anyone. Missing in this statement is any concept of guilt. I’ve seen plenty of videos where things went pear-shaped with the police. In everyone, the escalation was caused by the perpetrator. I’ll use one of my favorites as an example; there was a black woman who took the tags off her mother’s car and put them on her car. The scanner in the police car picked up on this mismatch and they had a chat with the woman. She, of course, was incensed that because she wasn’t moving (She was parked on the side of the road) they had no right to stop her, which is nonsense. It escalated until she got the inevitable beat down. Which mostly consisted of them restraining her, and putting the cuffs on her, while her child watched from the car I might add.

Now I’ve been in a similar situation plenty of times with dead tags. I knew damn well my tags were dead, and was unsurprised when I got stopped. Now had I been in her situation, having borrowed a pair of tags (which I think I may have done at one point) the best outcome I would hope to expect would be that they impound my car and I would have to get a ride home. An optimal outcome would be that I get a ticket for no registration, for which I would have to then register my car and show the clerk of the court I had done so, and they would release the charge. I know from being told, and experience of others, that if I argue with the cop or put my hands on them in any way I’m going to get a beat down and not only will my car be in the impound lot, I will be “detained”.

That’s my expectation. None of that is a privilege trust me. I have every confidence what would happen.

“If while growing up, college was an expectation of you, not a dream, you have class privilege”

I was expected to grow up and move out of the house.

I was expected to get a job of some sort, preferably after going to college. And since I had to pay for half of it, it was a decision that I worried over. These days the expectation of going to college after high school is made by the high school and Education Inc. I’ve seen more than one study that said what’s wrong with our education system is that it’s designed to graduate kids and send them to college when many of them don’t need,  or don’t want, to go. When I went to high school there are all sorts of vocational classes you could take. These had the benefit of giving kids exposure to the greater world around them and allowed them to graduate with some sort of skill that they could parlay into a job. That was my expectation – that if I didn’t go to college I’d find a job using the skills that I learned in my elective classes like Shop and Electronics.

Those programs are gone now.

In addition they made companies get rid of aptitude tests which would have enabled someone with a well-rounded high school education to get a good job at a good company. You could go take a test at Ma Bell, and if you did well you were able to get a good union job that you could work for decades and then retire. There were plenty of minorities and poor folks that took advantage of that and did OK for themselves. That path is gone now as well.

The expectation is there because there’s nothing else.

“If you can expect time off of work to celebrate religious holidays, you have Christian privilege”

The nation was founded by Christians and is still a majority Christian country. That said, nowhere that I’ve ever worked has made somebody work on their religious holiday whether they were Jewish or Muslim. As a matter of fact for decades every company I’ve worked for has had a minimal set of holidays, the only Christian one being Christmas, and then a handful of optional days that you take throughout the year.  Some use them for religious observation, others use them for simple PTO. The only time I can expect off of work is generally time that I’ve earned. By the way most companies follow the federal guidelines.

Everyone has those days off it’s not a privilege.

“If you can use public bathrooms without stares, fear, or anxiety, you have Cis-Gender privilege.”

This is a faulty premise. Men don’t care who is in their bathrooms as long as they follow man rules, the primary one being you don’t pay attention to other men in the bathroom nor do you strike up a conversation. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say you go in the women’s room and you’re plausibly a woman minding your own business, no one’s going to care much. And I’m guessing the fear and anxiety caused to cis-gender women by, let’s say an anomaly, in their restroom doesn’t matter.

It’s pretty much a given that you should be able to do your business in peace and security.  A lot of people don’t get this but there is a ton of nonverbal and nonvisual communication going on when you meet another human being. Women have certain mannerisms, gestures, habits, even facial expressions that are really hard to mimic. Males don’t have them.

We also put out pheromones, not unlike bees. These are nonverbal cues that give confirmation to what their eyes are telling them.  So there are certain things no matter how much you look like a woman you can’t ape. And that’s why they stare. In addition women are used to being preyed on by men. Even if it’s only to ask them out. So they have highly tuned reflexes for this. They deal with it all day long. That’s why you get stared at in the women’s room.

“If you don’t have to worry about how to get into a store, you have able – bodied privilege”

This is a logical fallacy. Being ambulatory is normal. If you have handicap issues you are disadvantaged, but those without those issues do not have an unearned advantage. This supposedly was written in Canada. Here in the good old USA we’ve been under the Americans With Disabilities Act for decades. I can’t think of a single commercial establishment that does not have a wide door, ramps, handicap parking spaces and whatever is needed to accommodate handicapped. I have a friend that years ago was running an air conditioning supply shop. Think AutoZone for HVAC systems. He had to install men and women’s handicapped enabled restrooms even though handicapped people generally aren’t going to climb into an attic to service an HVAC system nor were there very many women coming in and those that did were okay with the one-holer that was there.

“If you don’t have to explain that your spouse is of the same gender, you have heterosexual privilege”

This is a faulty premise, and an ignorant one at that. Let’s just say upfront that culturally the norm here is heterosexual couples, homosexuals being I believe 5% of the population. Adding to the fact that gay marriage is a fairly new thing you can’t expect that people won’t be surprised. That said I’ve run into homosexuals my whole life many of them married these days. The only one that I’ve ever heard use wife instead of spouse or partner was a woman. Let’s put this on the table to; if we don’t know you’re gay already were pretty sure of it, for a whole host of reasons, using the word “spouse” or “partner” being one of them. So if you’re a male and you say “my husband” or a female that says “my wife”, we get it. The only reason you would explain it would be in your own head because I sure can’t explain why you’d have to qualify that to me. I got it.

“If you don’t have to think about it, it’s a privilege.”

If you don’t have to think about it, it’s normal. Thinking something that is normal in a culture is a privilege is unjustified envy. Thinking you have the right to badger those acting normal, the vast majority, is Pride.