Privilege, Power, and Race — Whiteness explained.

Allan Johnson, Privilege, Power, and Race. Privilege, Power, and Race. One of my favorite sociologists,  Allan Johnson,  died recently.  I've been meaning to pay homage to him and one of his key books. His thoughts on privilege, power and race reflect notions I've expressed here and elsewhere. The following is an excerpt from Johnson's book Privilege, Power, and Difference, 2nd edition, which deserves being quoted in it's entirety. "Individuals and systems are connected to each … [Read more...]

Discrimination, Blackface and the Bullying Connection.

Worries about discrimination and racism are at the heart of efforts to get Virginia Governor Ralph Northam to resign from office. But did you know there's a connection to bullying in all this? More on this later, but first the controversy. Northam's 1984 med school yearbook page shows a picture of a person in blackface and another wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood . . . next to different pictures of the then doctor-governor-to be. Discrimination and racism. Northam's many critics feel that 1) … [Read more...]

Most privileged celeb of all – Mirror, mirror on the wall? A Scorecard

Which of these most privileged celebs are you following to see if justice is done—Ryan Seacrest, James Franco, Gerard Depardieu, Aziz Ansari, Dustin Hoffman, Asia Argento, or Sylvester Stallone? They're among the over 250 people accused of sexually inappropriate behavior since #MeToo started. Who will be the most privileged of all as 2019 moves forward? Thanks to mighty help from Vox, a trendy-left-leaning ezine, I can provide you a scorecard. Use the    background info and basics Vox … [Read more...]

Lust, blue collar crime, and A DEATH IN BELMONT.

I've been reading a lot of true crime books lately as well as finishing up a series of paintings I call "The Seven Deadly Sins."  Currently, I'm reading Sebastian Junger's A death in Belmont, and my painting of "Lust" in the series seems especially apropos. You see, the book is about the sex-crazed Boston Strangler who terrorized parts of Boston during the 1960's. Blue collar crime...and lust. Here's a summary of the book: A fatal collision of three lives in the most intriguing and original … [Read more...]

Understanding White Privilege – its sociological origins.

  In an effort at understanding white privilege from an historical perspective, I wrote a post back in January. In this post, I'm into understanding white privilege from a sociological perspective. For a variety of reasons, one engaging perspective of this sort by sociologist Alan G. Johnson starts off with the notion that the British were instrumental in the development of the idea of racial superiority. According to Johnson's perspective,  the British were not the first to believe that … [Read more...]

Am I privileged? Try these exercises.

I'm writing a book about how the American criminal justice system treats "privileged" murderers  different from others.  The murderers' privileges in my book (working title "Four Murders & a Funeral") start  with being white males and in some cases end with being privileged in yet other ways.) Because of my book topic, people often ask me what I mean by "privilege." Well, here's a definition from a white male who's also gay, and you wouldn't be alone thinking 'maybe he's not privileged if … [Read more...]

To “Check your privilege,” watch Dominick Dunne on the Justice Network.

As I write my current book, I'm outraged at the light sentences given to several of the privileged murderers I've gotten to know over the years. (I'm a criminologist and embrace the "check your privilege" movement.) For these reasons I've developed an affinity for Dominick Dunne. He's the late American writer, investigative journalist, and producer who covered the trial of his  daughter's murderer. Like me, Dunne was incensed at the verdict (acquittal of  2nd-degree murder charge in favor of … [Read more...]