Privilege or Right

There is a new meme going about mis-using the term “white privilege” (and its cousin “male privilege”) to describe why white males ‘have it better’ than non-whites and non-males. (To be clear, I am not disputing that in the US in 2014, the average white has it better than the average black for a variety of historical reasons. I am also not disputing sexism exists. Lots of other types of discrimination exist as well.)

In general application, the “privilege meme” frames it wrong. The things that whites do that blacks get arrested and tasered for (such as sitting in public spaces in skyways) are not white privilege. They are civil rights violations. Everyone has the right to not be arrested in such circumstances. It is not a privilege not to be arrested for not breaking any laws.

It is a privilege to drive your car on a public roadway. You earn this privilege by passing exams, and being able to buy a car, and not violating any motor vehicle laws subsequently.

It is a right to walk. I don’t need a license to do so.

It is a right to board a bus and sit wherever you want.

It is a privilege to serve your country in public office. You earn this in an election.

It is a right to vote in an election.

It is a privilege to afford an expensive high-powered lawyer. You “earned” this by either earning or inheriting money.

It is a right not to be harassed, assaulted, or raped, or murdered.

It is a right to have an attorney provided for you, if you commit a crime such as harassment, assault, rape, or murder.

It is not a privilege to commit a crime such as harassment, assault, rape, or murder.

It is a privilege to be immune from punishment for a crime such as harassment, assault, rape, or murder. You probably didn’t earn this.

License Tabs

Time to renew the motor vehicle license tabs, so I go online to mndriveinfo.org – Minnesota Department of Public Safety – Driver and Vehicle Services – Online Services. It turns out they want more money to pay online (+$1.75) than to pay by check. Net out the stamp at $0.44, I am up $1.31 by paying by mail. This is insane for 2011, it ought to cost them more money to open envelopes and process it than the electronic surcharge they pay US Bank, but they just aren’t pricing it properly. Also, they don’t do billpayer services. It is an embarrassment to the state of Minnesota

Woman passes 950th driving test

From BBC Woman passes 950th driving test

Cha Sa-soon says she needs a licence for a vegetable-selling business
A South Korean woman is celebrating after passing the written exam for a driving licence – on her 950th attempt.

What did Shakespeare say about a thousand monkeys on a thousand typewriters?