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...]

Celebs & CEOs are likely to beat the rap in college fraud.

As  someone who got into Yale the hard, old-fashioned way, the fact that celebs & CEOs are likely to beat the rap for bribing colleges outrages me. I've blogged about bias and discrimination in favor  celebs and other elites before. Most recently, here and here. The defendants are a "catalogue of wealth and privilege,” U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling  said during his press conference announcing charges.Most importantly, he also said,  "There can be no separate college-admissions system … [Read more...]

White supremacy increasing. Need civil rights activist heroes.

Calling the civil rights activist — wherever you may be. We need you now. Why" To combat the rise in hate crimes experienced worldwide. Data from multiple sources suggest this is so, not just info from news accounts about egregious crimes. The latest being the terror attacks on two New Zealand mosques, killing 50 and injuring 50. We need the likes of  Martin Luther King, Jr. and many of the men and women in his orbit. We know a lot about the civil rights activist  Jesse Jackson, for … [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...]

White economic privilege impacts crim justice system.

  White privilege statistics. I've been writing a memoir of late about how four murders seriously changed my career as a criminologist. So, how do white privilege statistics come into play? Well, among the many reasons the murders changed my worldview was the fact that the crim justice system treated the killers well. They were  all white and given remarkably light sentences  in comparison to black killers who committed similar crimes. This was back in the late 1960s and 1970s, … [Read more...]