Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I’ll continue the conversation if that’s OK with a few things in random order. It might end up more than a few words ;0)
The following is not about what a wonderful guy I am but as a matter of perspective. You could say that my formative years were the 60s. I went to a vocational magnet HS where I graduated as a minority. As a 13 year old 5'6" 98 LB freshman in class with 6'+ 16 year old kids from the Pruitt-Igo and Peabody projects I wasn’t always comfortable, but I learned more than the teachers taught. The civil rights movement was gearing up. Interracial relationships were not so cordial. At 17 I enlisted in the Marine Corps and arrived in Vietnam at 18. Don’t thank me if you are thinking of that. I grew up in the shadow of WW2. There was a war going on and I didn’t want to miss it. In retrospect not a virtuous reason but it shaped who I am. And now to the point of this. If two white Marines or two black ones got into a fight it was a fight. If one was black and the other white it was an interracial incident. It may have had absolutely nothing to do with race, but that was assumed, often with unjust consequences. That has continued until today where people act like they are mind readers who know what motivates people and throw the racist word around. There are times when it’s easy to tell if something is based upon racism, and many times when it is not and the assumption is wrong and unjust. Nobody likes unjust accusation aimed at them.
When my wife and I were refused service many years ago in Georgia because she isn’t white and the guy said so. There was no doubt that he was a racist. When a store employee follows her around in a department store it might have something to do with racism (easy to believe) or something else. There are many cases pertaining to politics where it is beyond inappropriate. AOC just threw the race card a Nancy Pelosi, in my opinion unjustifiably. I could go on and on but this is a clue as to why it is actually an extreme exercise in self control for me to not become openly hostile toward people using the word racist based upon knee-jerk confirmation biased assumptions as if they are mind readers. I need not enumerate other accusatory classes of accusations that walk under the same umbrella. I hate racism far more than this set of thoughts might lead you to believe, but rendering the word meaningless with abuse deserves to be called out.
On the word privilege. I can’t justify it with logic, but I feeeeeeel that it is purposefully used with negative intent. I would certainly embrace the word advantage though. The fact that there has been advantage in being white is old news but it fits the current evil white man narrative that I think is sometimes used in spite or hate, but is true. But then I’m not a mind reader so while in some cases it seems like it might be true I can’t accuse. The thing is, there are all kinds of advantage that go without a word. There is beautiful woman and handsome man advantage that crosses racial boundaries. Intelligence, advantage. Unions provide longevity advantage for people who may be incompetent. I could make quite a list but I think you will get the point. They are not a part of the current identity agenda and not useful politically so they go unacknowledged and unspoken.
My statement about the universal, without regard to race, dark side of humanity was just based upon my experience as a world traveler with a sizable number of refugee friends over the years. I’ve seen the brutality with my own eyes. I have also seen the good side on a more personal level where in my travels I have been treated with kindness, been invited to stay in peoples homes and had them go out of their way to insure that I enjoyed their cultures. Years ago I said, “So-and-so is a good guy. I like him.” and my wife replied, “That doesn’t mean anything Honey. You like everybody.” In the age of the internet where people feel free to say what they want without fear of a fist in the face it is a bit harder to cling to my basic impulse to like everybody. All the negative stuff gets presented to us as something ubiquitous when it is actually rare and something we might never see in out real world.
Finally, I am a very strong believer in the virtue of the electoral system. With it each of the tribes (state) gets a say in the national election. Without it we have pure democracy (a big group of people who hold less in common than within localities). Gang rape is an example of democracy where the majority gets it’s way by force, just as a majority from a few populous places would allow them to have their way with the rest of the country by force of government. I see no virtue in democracy, it is rule by the crowd which is easily manipulated or goes along with the zeitgeist which made slavery acceptable for most of human history. I won’t turn this into a long rant.
Personally I would like a government so weak that people have far less reason to fear who is in office, rather than the one we have that sticks it’s nose in places it doesn’t belong on behalf of people who don’t know when to mind their own damned business.
Peace and blessings to you.