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Ilustrated School History of the United States and the Adjacent Parts of America. Public domain.

Thank you, Ben, for your reply. Referencing Bacon's Rebellion is an excellent way to show the origin of the classification of "races" in the first place. Everything you laid out is right on par with how I feel. Your words absolutely resonate with me.

The only caveat is that I'm not sure it addresses the issue I'm trying to fix: how can we communicate these privileges without using a term that immediately shuts down a conversation with someone who might otherwise listen to you if they weren't so needlessly insulted.

As wonderful as the Bacon's Rebellion reference is, as soon as you say "white privilege," many people you talk to won't get past "I start 400 years ago.." In fact, some of them will only dig their heels deeper and say, "Well, we're not dealing with issues from 400 years ago. I didn't beat black people, yadda, yadda, yadda."

I also agree with you regarding Bill Clinton. Laws he and his administration put into place to this day remain some of the most damaging to the black community. I’ve recently been listening to Michelle Alexander’s “The New Jim Crow” where she talks about things like the “no fault” law and Clinton’s 3-strike law. So many black men got strikes (even two) from insignificant, non-violent crimes like marijuana possession. The stories she recounts of black men and women losing their families and becoming homeless because these laws prevent them from getting jobs even Section 8 housing, are heartbreaking.

So I come back to the original premise: how would you get someone to read your excellent examples in the first place? What terms do you use to keep them engaged in the conversation?

Thanks again for taking the time to read and respond.

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