RE: the hand we've been "dealt"

Date: Fri Feb 25 2000 - 11:51:21 EST

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    First, In case anyone misplaced it, the McIntosh reference is available
    on the internet at/or:
    and much more on Project SEED and Dr. McIntosh's current efforts can be
    found at:

    Then some observations from the trenches since the glass is either half
    full or half empty and that is a very personal decision you make for
    you. In my narrow slit of the trench I just returned from a couple of
    experiences and I would be foolish is I assumed different isn't
    important. In both of the experiences I documented side-by-side
    stickball facilities. One set of fields (baseball and softball) is at a
    high school and the second is at a university. Neither, in my experience
    is unique, but both are extreme. Again, the glass is either half full or
    half empty and I can spend time with the definition and the similarities
    or I can document the differences.

    After I document the differences I can again make some judgements about
    equity and, since two are for female participants and the adjacent two
    are for male participants, I can compare what I see with what I know of
    discrimination and equality and I then must decide: do I move to correct
    the discrimination if I find it or do I step away and know it will
    continue to exist? If I decide to confront the issues of male privilege
    (each beautiful baseball field is in the half million range and the
    softball fields are ugly and worth virtually nothing) I will need a list
    of my skills and shortcomings. This is going to be a war and there will
    be an opposing side and they will have a strategy and use a entire manual
    of tactics. My effectiveness is not based on "Making lists of
    privilege by which I can compare my shortcomings." Just as my list
    isn't, "a wasted effort leading to self-pity and whining," but only a
    list to tell me what I have as strengths and where I can expect to get
    clobbered if I attempt to use skills I don't have. If I get clobbered
    then the softball players don't get to play on nice places. The boys and
    men already have very nice places to play and the softball players know
    that since they walk past the nice ones to get to their own grubby digs
    every day as they have for the last 20 years.

    I do not whine and I am not known for self pity. I was born with
    privilege and am an old, white guy with an attitude. On the other hand
    I would never support the position that it is a good idea to head toward a
    goal without some idea of the most effective approach.

    That approach is best determined by "the hand we've been dealt." Sorry
    I took so long but succinct isn't in my vocabulary.

    Herb Dempsey

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