On Being White, Female, and Privileged

I’ve never deluded myself into thinking that I have it anything other than great. I’m white. I’m educated. I live in a nation where I can have tough conversations without fear for my life. Generally. Well, it depends on the company I choose to keep. Florida. Texas. And where I choose to have those conversations.

And what saddens me most is that those with voices, those which have both the volume and reach to say what needs saying and can create an impact…aren’t saying anything.

In a Facebook discussion with one of my community members yesterday, I received this message:

Thanks for being brave with your opinion in light of how public a personality you are.

My response?

That’s the reason I have to be brave — because if I’m not, what example do I set?

What saddens me most is that, except for my very small corner of the digital world and perhaps a slightly larger corner in the physical one, I’m essentially nobody. I’m a 40-year-old woman in Denver, Colorado with a business to run and bills to pay.

But what I do have is an audience. And what I can no longer be is silent.

I find it impossible to sit here and live in a world where someone feels the need to thank me for speaking up. We’ve all been silent too long. Today’s post is a plea – from a very white woman who’s existed on multiple levels of the socioeconomic scale – to wake the fuck up.

Remember your privilege.

Having existed with less than $10 in the bank, I’ve made choices on which bills do and don’t get paid in a certain month. I’ve lived without health insurance. I may or may not have even taken a few trips around the house and down into the basement, maybe the garage, to look for things that could be sold on eBay or Craigslist. You know how that is—those times when every credit card is maxed out, a job may or may not be a reality, and the dog decided to eat a #$%^&*ing sock and needed $1,200 in surgery. All of this happens, of course, right before rent is due.

When did we become so privileged that we forgot that there are those who work to (barely) survive and rely on social services such as low-cost and free health clinics, food stamps, subsidized housing, and other social programs to make their worlds work and keep their bellies somewhat full from day to day?

And before you dare chime in that living like that is somehow their choice (because for most, it’s not), or how epically broken the social services programs in this country are (because they are), I’ll ask you to consider one thing:

When did we become so arrogant as to think that the way we’re privileged enough to live is better?

Is it better that we lose appreciation for what we have and have earned than remember what it was like to bust ass for every dollar at a wage, while abominable, but we’re oh-so-fucking glad to get the check every week?

I’ll be the first to say that I’m not signing up to shutter my small business and go live a life in a Texan border town where 90% of the population lives below the poverty line. I happily live a life filled with First World Problems.

I run out of coffee – I have to drive to Starbucks.

I’m a half hour late for my massage appointment – damn, I only get an hour-long session.

I have no reception on my iPhone and my Facebook status updates aren’t loading –HOW WILL I ENDURE THE 15-MINUTE WAIT FOR MY MASSAGE APPOINTMENT?

First. World. Problems. They’re not better. They’re different. And if I’m brutally honest, we’re each a little bit of an asshole for forgetting that our problems are, in the grand scheme of things, likely pretty infinitesimal.

The laws sweeping this nation affecting issues such as women’s rights, voting rights, and Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” aren’t written for those of us with privilege and our First World Problems.

They are systematically targeting those who do not enjoy our privilege. Those who don’t get to pick their primary care physician – they’re grateful for whoever happens to be volunteering at the clinic that day. Those who often do jobs that neither you nor I would ever deign to – as we dare to pass them by without a glance because they clean the resort rooms where our spent towels are strewn on the floor. Those who walk down a suburban street and are instantly targeted as ne’er-do-wells and hoodlums on account of the color of their skin.

These laws don’t protect people of privilege. They target those without it.

“If I had $100 to pay for birth control or pay the bill for lights, I’d pay the lights,” said Saldana, a Brownsville native and single mother. (Bloomberg)

And lately, well, lately we’ve started yelling. HALLELUJAH! Something has inspired us to speak out – but all I hear is yelling. I don’t see any action. And here we sit, people of privilege – yelling and doing nothing with the access we have and the financial clout we hold.

WHY yelling is useless without ACTION

Maybe you have that friend who has the same crisis, over and over, and you give them advice and they still go back and date that asshole because he says it’ll be different this time.

It never is. And it’s annoying. And you’re stuck hearing that same story at three weeks intervals because the same shit happens again and again.

This is what happens when we yell at our government instead of taking action to effect change.

On Facebook, I see people who agree with one another yelling at one another instead of wising the hell up and asking how – together – we can make a difference.

Stop moving your mouth. Start acting.

The first thing you can do is hold lawmakers accountable for the measures they pass. We just have to begin speaking their language. It’s one filled with dollar signs.

Here’s how to be fluent in two steps: skip it and fix the ignorance.

Just Skip It

Your purchasing power is one of the most powerful tools you hold in any business or legislative situation. Pissed at how corporations are buying favorable legislation? Become one of them.

You’re already not eating at Chick-fil-A because you don’t like their stance on gay marriage.

Why the FUCK would you consider going to Texas or Florida and spending your hard-earned cash if you’re upset about legislation in those states?

You can skip SXSW 2014. You can also skip those Disneyworld and Florida beach vacationss. There are plenty of other conferences where you can canoodle with friends — and vacation spots? Well, they abound as well.

Let’s have a look at the impact of decisions like those and the dent you and I can make together. You can speak a language that lawmakers understand. With your actions, not just with words.

The impact you can have by skipping SXSW 2014

When convention organizers weren’t fond of Arizona’s SB 1070, the one essentially allowing for racial profiling in the name of “immigration reform,” they voted with their wallets. The State of Arizona reports a 30% decrease in convention traffic since 2009 (SB 1070 was passed in 2010), amounting to a difference of $136,000,000 per year. The state is also just now beginning to see the true effects of convention organizers boycotting their state, as organizers (according to the article) tend to book locations three to five years in advance.

Here’s how YOU skipping SXSW 2014 in Austin, Texas can have the same impact on the Texas economy as immigration “reform” did for Arizona:

  • SXSW reports $190,000,000 added to the Texas economy over the nine-day period for the 2012 event.
  • Demographic breakdown: Attendees are 60% male and 40% female – 302,700 attendees reported for the 2012 event

By those figures (and might I say, damn), women alone represent a purchasing power of $76 million dollars for the Texas economy over a mere nine days.

You can do something about that.

Tell SXSW that you’re not going to drop the $2,000-$3,000 to come out this year. Why? Because Texas isn’t friendly to women. SXSW is one of the leaders in encouraging more women to “be at the table” in the tech community. So – why would they host an event in a state that doesn’t want women sitting down…pretty much anywhere? Head to their event in Las Vegas instead this August. Nevada has plenty of places for women to get the care they need without the draconian laws of Texas. And if it’s a concern, there are no public funds allocated for abortion except in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest.

Tell the Austin venue where you book your company’s party every year that you’re not booking this year because you can’t contribute to an economy that says the covering on a clinic’s floors and the number of parking spaces makes a clinic “safer.” It only makes it harder for clinics to comply with surgical center standards, effectively putting them out of business. Oh, and you should probably follow the money on how Rick Perry, the Governor or Texas, and his sister both stand to gain from this legislation mandating abortion clinics upgrade to ambulatory centers. Nothing shady there. Nope.

You could also hit up World Domination Summit in Portland, Oregon next year instead.

And as a woman raised in the State of Texas — I’m not turning my back on Texas. I don’t even live there anymore, but when you grow up in the South, a piece of your heart and soul are there forever. I want to see my adopted home state do better. And my choice is to hit the state where it hurts: my contribution to that $190M of which roughly $76M is coming from those with an XX chromosomal pattern. I’ll stand with Wendy Davis alongside countless others. And I’ll look forward to the day where I can tell my mother, who still resides in Houston, that I’m coming to visit again.

If you’re pissed about Stand Your Ground laws in Florida

Stop going to Disneyworld. Stop taking speaking engagements and attending conferences in the Florida (I just canceled one in November for the South Florida AMA). Stop booking your beach vacations in Miami. Trust me, there are plenty of other beaches out there, in cities that would love to have you and each with awesome deals on Groupon, Living Social, and other outfits like Expedia – who stepped up last year with a bold message about gay marriage, unafraid to join a divisive conversation in an election year.

Vote with your wallet. It works in more places than just the Chick-fil-A drive-thru.

The bigger issue – that of ignorance

In recent days, I have seen some incredibly intelligent people say some pretty stupid things.

First, we’re a nation based on the principle of innocence until proven guilty and must prove that guilt beyond any reasonable doubt. That means that a jury must return a verdict of “not guilty” unless those reasonable doubt standards are met. Don’t know what constitutes reasonable doubt? You’re in luck – here’s a primer. Remember that we know only what we know from our first-hand experiences and what the media chooses to tell us. In the case of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman, there are only two people who know the whole truth. One, sadly, will never tell his story. Stop posting these blow-by-blow accounts of what you think happened that night. And stop the yelling for appeal — as you can’t appeal a not guilty verdict in a criminal case, for fuck’s sake. This blog made me laugh and cry at the same time, crafted by a criminal attorney in Florida following Saturday’s verdict.

Secondly, take a look at the schools your children attend alongside your own knowledge. Amidst conversations about teacher salaries (they always deserve more), school closures, STEM education, and encouraging more women to pursue tech-related courses of study – we seem to have forgotten to teach kids and ourselves how things work in the legislative, judicial, and executive branches of our nation’s government. If we’re going to be subject to a government here in the United States OF the people, BY the people, and FOR the people – we have to become students of those subjects. How many of you can score a passing grade on the U.S. Citizenship Quiz, with 96 questions taken from the actual citizenship test (I took it and scored an embarassing 8 out of 12 – yikes)? Find ways to ensure that you and your kids know the fundamentals of how laws are made. Schoolhouse Rock is a great start (though grossly oversimplified in a world of legislation riders and lobbyists). Talking with your kids about current events is even better.

Finally, we can fix ignorance, but it has to start with us. Yelling without action exacerbates what ails us and will never bring the solutions we crave. Posting a ranty Facebook status or blasting out a tweet isn’t acting. It starts powerful and occasionally productive conversations. Mostly, it’s feeding an argument soon to be lost in the digital ether. Talking is something. Doing is everything. Here are a few ways you can get involved and participate in the democratic process in the republic that is America (PS: America isn’t a democracy – it’s a republic):

  • Contact your representative: Use this site to find your representative in the House of Representatives.
  • Contact your senator: It’s beyond simple – this page lists every U.S. Senator and a link where you can contact each, immediately and online.
  • Join a cause: News stories are ripe ground for finding organizations both backing and fighting issues. Get off your ass. Make a donation. Sign a petition. Attend a rally. Volunteer. You don’t have to march in order to support those who do. Introverts and extroverts each have their powerful contribution to causes.

So – what will you choose?

Change doesn’t come through silence. It comes through those who have the strength, commitment, and determination to say what needs saying and do what others will not. I speak up because, for me, it’s the right thing to do. I can no longer in good conscience say that the laws being passed in this country are for the benefit for and not to the detriment of my fellow Americans. And I have a voice. I have an audience. By doing something (instead of just talking), perhaps I can help effect change.

And it’s not about being a Democrat or a Republican. I’m an American. If we’re going to have a two-party system, I want parties and elections to offer real choices and not simply the lesser of evils. And I want the party that says they’re about less government to stop championing more and more laws that do nothing to improve the lives of their constituency. I want to look at the political parties and go, “Damn – that’s a great point” instead of seeing pundits from one side or the other push out incendiary remarks like this:

erick erickson coat hanger tweet


By the way — that link? Links to coat hangers. Stay classy. (Source: MSN Now)


You’ll find your threshold of action – but how many more Facebook statuses and tweets will you post and share until you’re willing to do something? I can’t deny that I am white, female, and privileged — and there are days I’m truly embarassed to be each of those things when I see how we treat one another in this country. But I also can’t deny that should I fail to use that to speak up and do something, I’m only part of the problem. File me away under A for apathy. I mean, hell — we’re a nation that gives more bandwith to a shitty sci-fi flick called “Sharknado”  than our fellow man. You can filed that away under F for…well, you know.

So, maybe you’ll skip Texas and Florida this year and maybe you won’t. But after reading this, what I hope you realize is that you have the ability to:

  • Use your purchasing power to create an impact.
  • Hold our elected officials responsible — through multiple avenues — even those in states in which we do not live.
  • Make a choice — which is something that women in Texas (North Carolina, North Dakota, and 12 other states) are watching fade away and that Trayvon Martin probably never had because of a law that says I can pick a fight with you. But if you fight back, I can kill you.




What an amazing post; and to think, I came to this site expecting plain old branding/marketing advice!


Excellent article. Having lived in Latin American and Asian countries the past ten years, I have to say that we really do take our rights for granted in the U.S. We have the right to speak out and fight back, whereas in China you get disappeared or dead for doing so, even today. In the U.S. women have more rights than they do anywhere else in the world, unlike in Latin American countries where there are subtle, unspoken negative consequences for women who demand their rights and speak up to get them. So I always appreciate it when someone in the U.S. with a big audience writes a motivational activist article like this one. Love it! And, really, if you want a not-so-mainstream take on what's *really* happening in the U.S., check out Greg Palast's work because he's a reporting genius.


You. Are. Awesome. 

Not solely because I agree with the premise of the  article. But because it is so eloquently written and unabashedly honest. And I think I'm in love with you.

I dont know how I stumbled upon your blog but Im happy to be here. Props to you all the way from Sunny gunny Florida.


I seriously just went from "that Erika chick is pretty badass" to a full on girl-crush.  I LOVE this.  Twitter/Facebook outcries drive me completely bonkers.  This is an awesome post and I just sprayed it across every social media outlet I'm tied into.

Stay awesome Erika!


Thanks for this conversation. 

We'd have a fighting chance of making a difference with our votes if politicians were actually accountable to their constituents instead of the highest bidders. Until campaign finance laws are changed we have to keep fighting. 

For those that suggest we "just get over" conversations about race, I think we can do that when it doesn't make  a bit of difference in the outcome (both in judgment and societal reaction) if Trayvon had been white and Zimmerman black. 

And for fuck's sake, nobody should dictate what a woman can or cannot do with her own body.  Unless,of course, legislators also tell men they either have to cover their penises or get a vasectomy. 

Keep up the good fight, Erika.

SL Clark
SL Clark

@Melissa2161 Hi Melissa, my view on all women's issues, not just abortion, are *extreme*, here goes: 

Men should be allowed to vote on such only after they volunteer to be surgically castrated. This eliminates 99.9% from the discussion and removes the rest from the gene pool. Women should be the only ones discussing and deciding such issues for themselves, both individually and as a society.

Unfortunately, women are STILL, at least subconsciously, considered "property" in every corner of the globe, including here in the US. Sad, especially when its an old privileged white guy saying this, but I did grow up in CA where some of us are feminists.



Your post on this really moved me. The comments were hard to take as they seemed to devolve into the usual name calling and point missing diatribes. But your thesis is sound. The only way to invoke chenge is to actualy do something! I really got that you have nothing against SXSW, rather that with their power, if they see attendance drop and a movement affot to hurt their bottom line, that they might join the action and speak up from a higher platform than the average reader holds. I'm with you about being something like a 1950's republican, the latest party line is to be against special interests, when in fact, the whole party is moving to the beat of a very few small (okay really large) special interests. Thanks for your advocacy, change is hard and the roots of division are very deep and hurtful in America, but both sides take issue with the current madness and soemthing needs to give. Bra-fucking-vo to you!!

SL Clark
SL Clark

Oh Bitchcakes, try old, white, privi'd and male. Sheesh, every damn day I'm reminded how many of my gender are chromosome challenged!

I've never considered SXSW, because it is in Texas! Oh, and the beaches in Hawaii are starlet approved, making Florida a sick joke on itself.

Without untold violence, how does one dude educate another? How can sharks get it, where male humans fail? http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070523072254.htm


Choosing not to eat at Chick-Fil-A hurts the company. Just that one company, and the people who own it and subscribe to views many of us find reprehensible. But SXSW isn't put on by the Texas legislature or the governor. The Texas state government doesn't own the hotels or restaurants people patronize when they're here attending that or any other event. 

Those big conferences and companies will still get by because not *everyone* will choose to boycott them, but a lot of locally owned, mom-and-pop businesses also depend on conference-goers and tourists. And I'm willing to bet many of them don't agree with some of the laws Texas is passing. 

Punishing them isn't going to change those laws, or change the minds of the people who wrote and passed them. I'm all for voting with your wallet, but to compare Chick-Fil-A to the Texas government--to the entire state and the people who live and work here, and who don't all subscribe to the same views you find abhorrent--and suggest the same tactic to show displeasure with those views is, I think, a bit off base.

Another way to vote with your wallet is to donate to political campaigns or grassroots movements that stand for what you believe in. You don't have to live in Texas (or Florida), or even be affiliated with the same party--or any party--to do that. So maybe instead of saying, "I'm not setting foot in your house until you clean it up!" you can actually help clean it up. 

Isn't that what friends--what Americans--do for each other?


@MichelleDLowery Michelle, with all do respect, I think the two are exactly the same.  You are right that locally owned small businesses will feel the pinch, but that's entirely the point.  They will start acting as well, reaching out to their politicians to say enough is enough - you claim to support small business but your extreme politics are killing us - and that is how change will happen.

Change doesn't really happen at the top, it happens at the bottom when the mom-and-pops and average-o citizens stop tolerating the abuse.

Excellent point on donating to campaigns and organizations that stand for what you believe in - you are so right. Not all of us can lobby or march, but we can volunteer for these groups or write a check.  And your alternative of not boycotting but stepping in to help is also a completely valid approach.  The point, really, is act rather than just whine.


Thank you for the post, Erika! I'm glad you do speak your truth, and I always appreciate your straightforward nature. I am reminded of a quote: "When a sleeping woman wakes, mountains move." Here in Texas, many of us are awake and ticked.


Pssst. Your white guilt is showing. 

It appears you aren't too hip on Texas and Florida. I can understand that with them showing off their great economy and booming job markets. Showoffs. 

You lefties get all bent out of shape and try to drag the rest of us into your guilt complex. I hate no one of any color unless they deserve it for their actions. Thoughts don't scare me, but actions do. I have friends of all colors and sexual persuasions. Makes no difference to me just mind the law, pay your way and be a good citizen. Not all that hard.

We can't make it "fair" for everyone. No system can do that anywhere. It's been proven. What you can do is give everyone a "fair shot". That is exactly what the United States of America was founded on. And although it is more fair for some than others it is still the best option anywhere in the world. People aren't beating down the door to get into Sweden, France or insert any other Socialist state here. They want to come here because they have a shot. You can't legislate "your shot". You lay it out the best you can and let people decide how bad they want it.

But like any group, company or society there are always people who can't make it. No drive, no will, just not very bright it doesn't matter you choose the malady. Now those that "truly" and I mean truly need the help I am all in to help them. I do it now with m checkbook and with my time. We need to care for those that can't care for themselves. But we don't need to care for people who have no desire to help themselves or to move their lot up in life. 

And guess what. I have absolutely zero guilt for that. We all do what we can to make the best life possible for us and our families. Lastly, this whole Women's Rights thing is befuddling to me. Everybody acts like they need special help to get by and make it. Come on. They are smarter than men, are graduating from college more and generally have their shit together more than men. Chill on the special rights they need. Just say what you mean - we want free birth control because we are entitled to it and we would like the ability to kill our child anytime before it is born.


@shane304 Shane, as a Black woman in a Ph.D. program in Sociology in Colorado, married to a White man, you offend me with every word you type, and reveal that not only do you lack the willingness to think critically about democracy, you also seem uninterested in participating to achieve that. If there was a fair shot for all, our schools would not be both segregated by race and socioeconomic status. The recession would have hit us all equally badly, not decimated the wealth and resilience of the middle class. We would not be 37th in Birth outcomes in the WORLD. So, Shane, in love, get a grip.


@TamVanHorn @shane304  Why do I need to know you are Black? Can't we just be Americans, why do we need to have 150 different special interest groups? Just come at me with your ideas and thoughts. If you want people to quit profiling and pigeon holing everyone then quit putting labels on everybody. Judge them on actions not the color of their skin. Isn't that what you say you want?

Offended? Really? What the hell does that even mean? Since when does an American have the right to "not be offended"? You don't like my idea fine, but I'm not shutting up so you can not be offended. Chicken shit argument.

You said; "The recession would have hit us all equally bad". Again, really? You going to have a law passed that says in the future all recessions will hurt every person equally. Great idea. It is the way of the world. Those on the bottom always get hurt than those on the top. Less resources equals less buffer. Just like all those Fortune 500 companies sitting on tons of cash and not paying squat in taxes. Yet small business guys like me getting raked over the coals and paying a boatload of taxes. Not fair, it's life.

So once again excuse me who am I. Just a guy who is employing 22 people so they can feed their families while providing health insurance and dental insurance to their families as well. All while working my ass off 15 hours a day to do it while the government both state (IL) and federal do nothing but try to make it harder for me to do so. Only to watch idiots bilk and scam the system and ask me to pay my "fair share". 

Newsflash - I pay way more than my share. Boy hope you aren't offended.


@shane304 @TamVanHorn If I could JUST be an American, Trayvon Martin would not be dead. My Blackness is beautiful and important and informs what happens to me every day...you don't get that. Instead, you chose to call names and label people as liberals and claim the whole women's right's "thing" confuses you...well a lot confuses you. So you don't get it. Go somewhere else then and trouble them. You clearly are not interested in learning. And thanks for paying more than your share. My ancestors who built the country as slaves, thank you for that. Because clearly a couple of gainfully employed, childless heterosexual married people like us don't pay anything. Good on ya- you got an A in Logic, didn't you?


@TamVanHorn @shane304 Your reply makes my point. Thank you. 

Trayvon? Your ancestors? What does either of those have to do with our conversation? Nothing, but you have nothing else. Your blackness is beautiful? OK I'm good with that it just has nowhere in this conversation. 

There is nothing I personally could do, say or act on to right what happened to Trayvon nor you ancestors. So why would you throw that in? Because you have nothing else.

I am sure as a PHD you pay more than your fair share of taxes. But I can bet my bottom dollar as a percentage you don't pay close to what a small business in this country is burdened with.

Lastly, I don't care if you are heterosexual or married. You can have be whatever sexual preference you want and be married or not. That has no bearing on our conversation.

You are making my point. 


@shane304 @TamVanHorn I was pointing out the tax structure that I pay for things I don't use. So. My ancestors inform me of my connection to Trayvon Martin. I don't know you, so I can only blame you for what you put on this board. You were dismissive and when confronted with another worldview, you attacked.  Like I keep saying, you don't seem to want to know differently, you want to lecture Black people and women (groups you named in your original post) for your bad attitude. I'm ok with that, because I know you don't trust me enough to take my word for it. But dude, you come across and ranty and bananas, not articulate, inclusive, and well-informed. If you care about how you represent yourself, I invite you to do a bit more listening and asking of questions, of people with different experiences than yours, and less telling me what parts of my identity matter. Because you can't live life in this body, with this history, with these laws...you can't access that experience any more than I can access the untold privilege you have to not be questioned that your ideas are right and good. So since you can't access that experience or even know what it is like, try listening to others to come together instead of dissing everyone in your path. It's bad juju, man.  God loves you and so do I.


@TamVanHorn @shane304 Your ancestors inform you of your connection to Trayvon? Holy cow.

I don't hate you. I especially don't hate you because you are Black. I don't want to lecture Black people or Women. As stated I do not care what color you are. You keep bringing it back to race and gender. I don't care about either. 

On the bright side for you there are soon to be a lot more that think like you than me. That is evident in what is happening today. The takers will shortly outnumber the makers and the system will collapse on itself. So I guess you have that going for you.

None of my criticisms were directed at you. Don't know you or your situation. It was a statement of the current state in this country. 

And I'm not sure what bad juju is, but it doesn't sound like something I want.

Best to you and hopefully somebody smarter than us figures this all out.

Have a great rest of your Summer. 

Erika Napoletano
Erika Napoletano moderator

@shane304 It's funny Shane - we're not that far apart on a few things. As a fellow small business owner, I concur with the tax burden we bear -- as people who both create AND stimulate economies, the "privilege" we have of paying our hefty hunk. I've come to look at those times each quarter and month as my, "fuck yeah" times, though -- because I *can* write those checks. And I gladly do.

It's also funny that you think I'm a "leftie" (which, I don't really know what a "righty" would be, but I *am* right-handed) -- probably based on my belief that we should be expanding healthcare options for everyone, not just women. Women's healthcare just seems to make headlines. I don't see anyone dialing back prostate exams for the dudes. Maybe dudes don't want to talk about having a camera shoved up their asses. Which is probably why we (chicks) find it interesting that men want to talk about shoving an ultrasound wand up our vaginas...but I digress.

Most of my community knows that I'm pretty much as close to a 50s-era Republican possible, I just can't get behind the stance on social issues. Maybe you missed the part where I said that I truly wanted the Republican Party to succeed -- as I truly do.

But, I didn't come into this post calling anyone names. I offered options. And as a future resident of the State of Illinois (perhaps to your dismay), I'll say thanks for stopping by, soon-to-be-neighbor. It's funny, isn't it, how two people might seem so far apart but in actuality, aren't...these are the things that make me smile each day.


@shane304 I'm with you 100%. Can we stop thinking in terms of skin color -or any other minority- and look at the facts for once? Yes, racism does exist, I don't deny that; but does it have to be the issue *every single time*? Can't you people move on and  just be Americans for once? (By the way, I got 86% on the long version of the citizenship test, am I granted citizenship? :) )

Erika is right: we will never know what happened between Zimmerman and Martin; therefore, we should refrain from trying the case on the Internet. Zimmerman may or may not have acted in self-defense, Martin may or may not have assaulted him. The jury decided it was self-defense. Now we should move on.


@Erika Napoletano @shane304 Good reply as usual.

First, I am not a fan of sticking a camera up my ass. Just for the record. And what you stick up wherever -not my concern either.

You are probably correct that you and I are probably in agreement on about 90% of everything. It's just that the 10% left can be very inflammatory because we are so far apart. The Al Sharptons and Sean Hannity's of the world make a great living stirring the shit up and we all jump in the cesspool.

I would consider myself a Chris Christie Republican -fiscal conservative, but on the social issues I am a lot softer. I am Pro-choice but hope you don't, I am pro gay marriage, I am definitely no Holy-Roller thumping the bible, but I think they need to leave the 2nd amendment alone even though I own no guns. But I am also pro Ted Cruz and Rand Paul when it comes to smaller government, government waste and our civil liberties. So I am an odd duck in my circles.

As you will notice @Sarah9 and I are the only two on here that disagree with you. Guess that makes us either brave, stupid or actually informed on both sides. 

I appreciate your responses and like to look at both sides of the fence which is why I watch as much MSNBC (gulp) as I do Fox News.

Happy rest of the summer to you and welcome to Illinois land of the ever increasing tax hikes and proud owner of the worst bankrupt pension system in the country.


Erika Napoletano
Erika Napoletano moderator

@shane304@Sarah9 And I don't think it's about disagreeing. I don't mind disagreement -- this community is far from a collection of sycophants (wouldn't want it that way if it were). And you have a point. There's a segment of "fiscally conservative, social moderates" that are vastly unrepresented. I'm hoping in 10 years, that changes. Until now, we're all left with a la carte issues -- which makes for shittiness all around.

Holler :)


@Sarah9 @Erika Napoletano I am not sure who "You People" is referring to, but I will say this. Unless you have been profiled or followed in a store, then racism does not affect you every single day. You can not relate, therefore I understand why you don't get it being an issue for many people who are not white. I am in agreement, I would like everything to not be about race, but unfortunately, we have people who simple feel it necessary to remind people of any color outside of white that they are some how less than a white person. 

Zimmerman killed an unarmed teenager. Nothing about that is okay ever. Regardless of his color, he and anyone who does what he does is a murderer. I don't care what your race is, if you kill kids and justify it by saying YOU were attacked and you had the weapon, then you are a coward. Zimmerman has to live with what he did and the rest of us have to deal with the mess that is left.



Since you're asking, yes, I have been profiled (for reasons I won't go into); I am profiled all the time.  In fact, aren't you profling me right now as someone who never had to deal with racism, hence doesn't get it? It doesn't mean that I never screw up or that every interaction I have is about that perception people may have of me.

That said, I believe in self-defense. If a 6-foot  tall "kid" attacks me, I am going to do something about it. The "kid"'s skin color doesn't give him special rights, that would be reverse discrimination.


@Sarah9 No, I was not profiling you. I simply made a statement, as I was not sure what you meant by "You People." You don't have to get so defensive and attack me for asking about clarification. Using a phrase like "You People" is calling out someone who is unlike yourself. There was no need to get nasty.

I believe @Erika Napoletano entire post was to spark discussion, not personal attacks. I would expect you to defend yourself if anyone attacked you. I would not expect you to pursue someone with a gun who is doing absolutely nothing wrong and kill them when they defend themselves from an unknown, unannounced pursuer. That seems to be the one thing many are forgetting about that night. Trayvon Martin had a right to stand his ground against Zimmerman coming after him. 

You have yourself a great day. 


@lucrecer True with a lot you say. I will never know what it is like to be profiled. There are racists in our country. Both true.

Although @Sarah9 brings up a good point. You have us both profiled as white people who don't like black people, just because we are white. Not true for me and from what I've seen not true for @Sarah9. So that runs both ways.

"You People"? Don't be so touchy. I believe "You People" Sarah refers to is you people that are on the other side from her. Don't be so quick to inject race automatically every time. Like my earlier post why do we always have to push everything to race. Geeeeeeesh!

Racists also come in all colors and ethnic groups. White people don't have a monopoly on racism. There are just as many black racists as there are white that I am sure of. But for some reason it is OK for it to work that way. It is not and doesn't help the situation.

Speaking as white a guy as there is, what am I supposed to do about the white racist idiots? I'm not on their team but I always get lumped in with them because my skin is the same color. I dislike them as much as you do. I won't support anything they do. Ever.  Hmmmm profiling? 

I cannot right the atrocious wrongs that blacks were subjected to since the inception of our country, but it seems like that is what is expected. Somebody tell me what to do to make it right. I cannot just go out and erase the idiots from the white world anymore than you can go take care of the stupidity of all the black youth killed every week by other black youth. If I could fix it I would and I am sure if you could go to the South side of Chicago and make all the black on black homicides go away you would. But neither of us have that power unfortunately.

So maybe just maybe, like the Redhead said in an earlier post, you and I aren't so different after all. If I don't lump you in with the racists on the black side and you don't lump me in with the racists on the white side just maybe we could get to a solution. Or at the very least push those on the fringe so far out that they are not even a factor. Maybe?

You never know. Best to you @lucrecer 


I did not assume anyone was white. Having heard the terms You People many times, it is always meant as an insult. I simply don't see it being okay to attack people with assumptions. Many posting here, I have no idea of their skin color and I don't care. I do appreciate dialogue and sharing points of view. I thought that is what we were doing. I would never group you with racists. If that is not what you are, I would not make such an assumption. I have many wonderful friends of all colors and persuasions. I'd love for race issues to be resolved in our country. Have a great day.


@lucrecer Speaking of assumptions... I guess I should have said "you the people" instead of "you people." :) I guess I have to explain now: I am not an American. When I first moved to this country as a college student, I was surprised to see that black students were hanging out with black students on campus, and white students were hanging out with white students. I only know this particular university so I don't know if that's the case all over the US, but it's certainly not the case in my home country. Therefore, I'm always surprised when people keep bringing up skin color. President Obama is the perfect example: whenever I disagree with something he said or did, someone calls me a racist, and why is that? I criticized previous presidents on occasion, why wouldn't I have the right to criticize the current president as well?

You have a great day too, lucrecer.