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1. Privilege, Power & Difference Allan G. Johnson Chapter 9
Getting off the Hook
2. Denial and Resistance No one likes to see themselves as connected to someone elses misery, no matter how remote the link.
So their first response is to find a way to get themselves off the hook.
But we are all on the hook [ 117]
3. Deny and Minimize Racism and sexism used to be problems, but they arent anymore.
The American Dream is alive and well and available to everyone.
There are no gays or lesbians where I work, so sexual orientation isnt an issue here.
Affirmative action has turned the tables
4. Minimize Acknowledge that it exists but doesnt amount to much i.e.
Women & minorities whine
just get on with it!
Denying the reality of oppression also denies the reality of the privilege that underlies it, which is just what it takes to GET OFF THE HOOK!
5. Blame the Victim One can acknowledge that privilege and oppression exist and even that they have terrible consequences for people and still get off the hook by blaming it all on them!
If blacks were smarter or worked harder or got an education, theyd be okay.
Some women are hypersensitive
They had no business being there.
They were asking for it.
6. Blaming the Victim The result of such thinking is that oppression is blamed on the people who suffer most from it, while privilege and those who benefit remain invisible and relatively untouched. And off the hook.
7. Call it something else A more subtle way to deny oppression and privilege:
battle of the sexes
Women are from Venus and Men are from Mars p.120, 121
This is most highly developed in relation to gender inequality because women and men depend on one another in ways that other groups do not.
8. Its Better This Way Blacks prefer to live among other blacks.
But really its whites who want to live with their own kind.
Economics is used to justify segregation when it is really racism.
Our patriarchal culture promotes this kind of privilege. [122
9. It doesnt count if you dont mean it. We use an individual-guilt model to explain just about everything that goes wrong so its easy to confuse intention with consequences. 
If your intentions are good, then nothing bad can happen from them.
Women object to consequences they dont like and men defend against conscious intentions they didnt feel they had.
10. Meaning comes from Culture Men can think theyre just being nice guys without realizing the patriarchal system they are promoting.
Men may not consciously intend to put women down, and what men do often does put women down.
We need to ask ourselves what we mean whenever we say I didnt mean it.
11. Im one of the good ones Bad things happen because of bad people
But the truth is that our silence, inaction and especially our passive acceptance of the everyday privilege that goes along with group membership are all it takes to make us just as much a part of the problem as any member of the Klan.
12. Sick and Tired The feeling of being annoyed by something, put upon. Thus it can seem as though its everywhere
This discussion disturbs the luxury of obliviousness that comes with privilege.
Life is hard for everyone, dont bring us your troubles, we got troubles of our own
 Sick & Tired is a defense 
13. Getting off the hook by getting on On the hook also means being committed, obliged and involved 
Off the hook is to live in illusion and denial as if one can choose whether to be involved in the life of our society and the consequences it produces.
14. What Can We Do? The challenge we face is to:
Change patterns of exclusion, rejection, privilege, harassment, discrimination and violence
These have existed for hundreds (or thousands) of years.
Think about the trouble in new and more productive ways.
15. Silence & invisibility allow trouble to continue! Removing what silences them and stands in their way can tap an enormous potential of energy for change.
We have to reclaim some difficult language that names whats gong on. Language that has been so misused and maligned that it generates more heat than light racism, sexism and privilege.
16. The Core Reality The problem is privilege and the power that maintains it.
Privilege exists when one group has something that is systematically denied to others not because of who they are or what theyve done or not done, but because of the social category they belong to. 
17. What are the Tools we have? Reclaim the language
Understanding the social system
Get used to the paradox of privileged and unprivileged at the same time
Matrix of domination (or matrix of privilege)
Know the forms of oppression (avoidance, exclusion, rejection, unequal access to resources and rewards, and violence.
18. More Tools This trouble affects everybody
This trouble affects entire social systems
Being aware of this gives everyone a reason to include themselves in the solution, how the trouble operates in the world and what we can do about it.
Privilege and oppression are not a thing of the past, its happening right now.
19. Tools (cont.) Organizations approach to change
Tin cup approach
business case argument
Third choice: Think about the trouble as everyones responsibility everybodys hook- and nobodys fault. (This is especially difficult for members of privileged groups who have a hard time seeing themselves in relation to privilege without feeling guilty.)
20. Tools (cont.) We tend to use the individualistic model that reduces everything to individual intentions or goodness and badness 
We have to look at what were participating in and how we choose to participate in relation to paths of least resistance.
Understand the reality of privilege 
21. Myth 1: Its Always Been this way and it always will Nothing has always been this way or any other 
Society, and systems happen only as people participate in it, it cant help being a dynamic process of creation and re-creation from one moment to the next.
22. Myth 2: Gandhis Paradox and the Myth of no Effect If we are going to be part of the solution, we have to let go of the idea that change doesnt happen unless were around to see it happen.
We need time constancy
We must live with the paradox of mattering and not mattering.
We must travel without knowing where we are going.
23. We may cling to the belief that there is nothing we can do precisely because we subconsciously know how much power we do have and are afraid to use it because people may not like it.
When we openly pass up a path of least resistance, we increase resistance for other people around that path 
24. What can we do? Acknowledge that the Trouble exists
Change how we think 
Maintaining a critical consciousness takes commitment and work; awareness is something we either maintain in the moment or we dont.
The only way to hang on to an awareness of systems of privilege is to make it an ongoing part of our lives.
25. Pay Attention Read and make reading about privilege a part of your life.
What we think we know is, if not wrong, so deeply shaped by systems of privilege that it misses most of the truth.
Look at yourself and the world to see if you can identify what youre reading about
26. Little Risks: Do Something Make noise, be seen Break the silence
Find little ways to withdraw support from paths of least resistance and peoples choices to follow them, starting with yourself. Interrupt business as usual
Dare to make people feel uncomfortable, beginning with yourself.
27. Things we can do Openly choose and model alternative paths
Actively promote change in how systems are organized around privilege 
Support the right of women and men to love whomever they choose.
Pay attention to how different forms of oppression interact with one another.
28. What we can do Work with other people 
Understand what people of color need from white allies: respect, find out about us, dont take over, provide information, etc. 
Talk to other white people 
Dont keep it to yourself.
Dont let others set the standard for you.
29. Whats in it for me? When white people make a commitment to participate in change, to be more than part of the problem, they free themselves to live in the world without feeling open to guilt simply for being white.
Acting with courage empowers in ways that can extend to every corner of our lives
30. Whats in it for me? With each strand of the knot of privilege that we help to work loose and unravel, we dont act simply for ourselves, we join a process of creative resistance to oppression, unfolding for 1,000 of years
Dare to make a difference to look at things as they are, to imagine something better, and to plant seeds of change in yourself, in others and in the world.