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I think that white privilege exists.
First of all, especially in the US, “white” doesn’t necessarily align with any sort of specific cultural background. To some people, Italians are “white,” while others would think this is preposterous. Are Jewish people white? These racial divisions are real.
So “white” is a thing, and you either are white or you aren’t. You are told whether you are “white” or not by the people around you, who let you know your status through subtle shifts in the way they interact with you.
In America, white privilege looks like never having to feel as though you are not “normal” because of your skin tone. You can go somewhere and be confident that your wants and expectations were considered. You will not be made to feel exotic in your own homeland. People won’t always ask you what you “are”. You won’t have to deal acquaintances making “jokes” about your race’s stereotypes and wonder how serious they were being.
White privilege exists because nearly everyone, whether they realize it or not, treats people differently because of how they look. And while there are more and more positive associations with people of color, there is still a very heavy cultural bias towards whiteness. It doesn’t say that being of color is bad, but maybe that being white is the best.
Has anyone here ever read “White Like Me” by Time Wise? It’s an eye-opening read all about this topic of white privilege, written by a white man. One of the things he talks about is how easy it is for white people to ignore what they know is going on amongst people of color, and they can ignore this because they do not face the same struggles as people who are not white. It’s luxury given to white people at birth, and certainly not anything we’ve earned.
Daniel, white privilege absolutely exists! And that fact that you believe it doesn’t is a large part of the definition white privilege. White people have the privilege of not seeing their own privilege. We think we earn everything that comes our way, when that is not 100% true. But just as most racist employers would not admit to not hiring someone because he or she were black (or fill in the blank with any non-white race), an employer would also likely not admit to hiring someone primarily because they were white. That employer may not even realize he’s hiring the white person for that reason. White privilege starts from the minute we’re born, and so it’s not something we’re consciously aware of until we really take the time to think about racism from the white end, not just how it affects non-white people. White privilege exists, not matter how much volunteering you do, or how hard you work to not be racist or pejudice. That’s not the point. The point is you are white (right? I actually have just been assuming you are…? Please correct me if I’m wrong) and in our society white means, to some extent, unearned privilege. Period.
And just because you live in an area where people who aren’t white display animosity towards you does NOT mean you don’t have white privilege. In fact, that’s likely part of the reason the animosity is there in the first place. Saying that white privilege no longer exists is just as ignorant as saying that racism no longer exists. They both do. Stop living in denial and open your eyes.
White privilege is real and organised segregation very much exists to this day. I’ve worked in social services for six years and you absolutely see it every day. The way governments and organisations treat minority groups is still disgusting but most of us are blind to it because of this stupid “reverse racism” concept. Discrimination and exploitation of non whites exists where even you least expect it – you just need to look harder. My experiences are localised to my own country however.
That’s all I’m prepared to say on the matter.
I don’t understand your question. It isn’t an idea–it’s a reality in the US. I can’t speak to the experience of white privilege in other countries.
As to what I think about it: it’s stupid to base opinions off of class, race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.
@Bird They’re varying degrees of white . The whitest people that get the most white privilege are white anglo-saxon protestants, then Jews, then Catholics (Irish, Italian, etc), then po’ white trash at the bottom.
@Bird, Wouldn’t that apply to everyone, making it “Racial Privilege” not just white? I was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida, one of the most crime stricken and historically black areas in the state. I, having lived there for 18 years, would still not feel comfortable walking down the sidewalk downtown. I’m not welcome there even though I volunteered at the shelters and fed the community. There is such a racist agenda that it’s simply unsafe for white people to walk in that area. There is no white privilege there, if anything it is the other way around. All of this “privilege” bologna is dependent on the area that you live in and whites really get a bad rap for it. No one race gets any more benefit than another race, well unless you’re ethnic and qualify for race-based scholarships or we’re talking about affirmative action. That’s a whole new argument but I digress. Sorry for rambling but my point is that there is no white privilege anymore, that existed 40 years ago but not today.
@Daniel Fair enough. It sounds like it doesn’t exist in your community. I know in the shitty areas that I live in though that it definitely does.
However I agree, I think it’s more just general image-stereotyping that happens and people get especially sensitive about racial stereotyping.
on the plus side, black people automatically seem like 3x cooler.
@meta, have you seen this documentary – “Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible”?
“Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible is a brilliant documentary and a must-see for all people who are interested in justice, spiritual growth and community making. It features the experiences of white women and men who have worked to gain insight into what it means to challenge notions of racism and white supremacy in the United States.”
Aw, so now I get it.
So then, I am multi-coloured. I was born white. When I blush I am rosey, when I am angry, I turn a shade of red and when I am angry, I turn red. I am green with envy, beaten I am purple and blue. I’m so special. hahahaha
white privilege does exist, to an extent…It just depends on the area you live in. being an african american can be tough some times in terms of equal opportunity, but I am fortunate enough to have never really experienced this, as I live in a very liberal, progressive area. that said, I can’t say the same for my cousin who is working all the way out in Kansas right now, and may find it difficult to cope with the whole ideas of white privilege and affirmative action, but again, I’m one of the lucky ones who grew up experiencing complete racial equality so I’ve never had to be threatened/wary of white privilege
-Brandon James Pinkney, the Gateway Black