It was last summer, I think around this time, although I can't be sure because my Google calendar doesn't go back that far and I can't even remember how I kept track of my schedule before. I was living at home with my Mom and working for a local peace organization. My friend, Aly, invited me to a dinner at the co-op house of a co-worker of his, a fellow staff member at the other peace organization in town -- the bigger, older, more radical one. I was told the dinner would be almost all, if not entirely, made from their organic garden. We set up tables outside - the weather was perfect and the bugs weren't too bad. The dinner, a variety of vegetarian delicacies, was delicious. We spent a good amount of time discussing a number of controversial topics over dinner and wine, including the Israeli Occupation of Palestine, vegetarianism and cruelty to animals, and a topic I brought up single-handedly -- white male arrogance. For whatever reason I was feeling especially heated about the topic that evening. I was feeling really annoyed about the fact that I couldn't seem to find a single white male friend who was willing to admit that he was privileged in our society -- that he was more confident about his opinions and maybe even a bit arrogant because he had never really faced the kind of adversities that others face. It was one particular guest at the dinner table who set me off. It was really just the way he expressed his opinions, as though they really just couldn't be wrong. I admit I was kind of an ass about the whole thing and surely alienated the guy just by the way I brought up the topic, but it really just pissed me off that he wasn't even willing to admit that his skin color gave him some privilege -- or had given him some privilege up until that point that had made him into a more confident individual. I suppose I was thinking a lot about my friend, Aly, a dark-skinned black man, who, once while walking down the street in Chicago, was accosted by police and pinned to the ground while they searched his bag, because he looked similar to a person suspected of dealing drugs or something. I remember him pointing out the irony that he had a book about Gandhi in his bag. I remember the sound of his voice breaking a bit as he told me that they didn't even apologize when they realized he was the wrong person, but rather left him with a look on their faces indicating that they might not have caught him this time, but they'd get him the next time. I think that was the worst of the stories he told me. There were others. I can't even imagine what that must have been like. Aly is an incredibly intelligent, mellow, thoughtful person. I know there are exceptions to every rule (I do know many white men who I would certainly not call arrogant, though it is rare to find one who is not very confident about his opinions), but do you feel that white men are generally more confident than other people and if so, do you attribute it to the fact that white men are a privileged class of people? Why or why not? Let's dig!