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Help explain, please.

This quote is exerpted from the article on Facebook/MySpace and its race issues.
“Many of us in this room come from privileged worlds where we want to “help” those who are not well-off. Here is where a privilege-check is necessary. How often do our language and mannerisms reflect a problematic level of condescension? Perhaps we should look at our teens. They are certainly speaking in a manner that reveals distrust and condescension.”
Truly, really, how do you know when you are working for good and when you are being a self-righteous jerk?
Having been poor, and worked through college, and now I work with the poor, I see many many posts pretty much saying privileged people should leave the poor alone and not try to “help” them, and I am confused.
Does that mean soup kitchens shouldn’t exist? Or libraries? Or if you get a good factory job that means a steady paycheck you should buy a tract house and never go back to the shack your family has?
OK, I’m privileged. I’m average looking, speak good English, went to college and pass for white. Is the ethical solution to stop collecting for the food pantry, stop talking about it, or do it in secret? Is taking in a Fresh Air person a bad thing? I work with teens, many (but not all) impoverished. They work like crazy to be helpful in the community. Some of the posts make me wonder if they ...

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