Friday, November 1, 2013

17 Deplorable Examples Of White Privilege?

Before reading further please refer to the following "article"
 http://www.buzzfeed.com/michaelblackmon/17-harrowing-examples-of-white-privilege-9hu9

Read it? Very good...let's proceed.

Right off the bat let me say that I will not argue that racism, and further systemic racism do not exist. Of course they do. Racism is bad in any incarnation, it's negative and it is a self perpetuating beast.

I want to address each point of this article, if only to express my personal experience and opinions.

1. Because of white privilege, you’ll never have to worry about becoming the victim of law enforcement officers. 

This first point is well taken, but completely untrue. Please do your own research in the matter, but anyone with unchecked power will abuse it against anyone...I have recently seen video footage of police beating and harassing white men and women, and children...their own children for that matter. Maintaining the idea that whites are somehow immune to police misconduct is counterproductive as it only throw up barriers where there should be bridges.

2. Thankfully, you’ll never have to know what it feels like to see your teenage son’s death being mocked.

This is in reference to some idiot dressing up as Trayvon Martin w/ a bullet wound for Halloween. Of course that entire case is a a prime example of how venal our "legal system" is...and no, I do not know what it is like to have the death of my son mocked; in all fairness neither does the person who wrote the 17 Deplorable Examples of White Privilege article. 

3. Because of white privilege, you’ll never have to inform your children of the harsh realities of systemic racism.

Correct. But no one HAS to do anything. Many families of all cultural backgrounds make their children aware of racism and systemic racism. 

4. White privilege means you can be articulate and well spoken without people being “surprised.”

This is simply untrue. I am told this all the time. I have a record, I am heavily tattoo'd...I gave up my membership card to "the white people club" many years ago...This is one that I take personally, because everything I do is a surprise to people..."Oh, well you are so well spoken/read. I would have never thought that with all those tattoos" This is my day to day life, generally anytime I meet someone new. 

5. Because of white privilege, you’ll never know what it’s like to have the following statistic looming over your head.

I wonder what experience the author has with the correctional industry. I have been on the other side of the wall...I know all too well what it is like to have a statistic looming over my head, as do a lot of working class people.

6. You can wear and act however you’d like without being labeled a thug, low life, gangster, etc.

This point is driven home inthe original article with several pictures of Justin Bieber looking alternately thuggish(Beverly Hills thuggish) and Backstreet Boyish...Ok, I am not going to act like I dont have a sense of humor. I think that the author Michael Blackmon was inserting a little bit of humor here, so yeah...hahaha, it IS funny how celebs can dress however they want. Michael ends the segment by saying "Everyone wants to act black, but no one actually wants to be black" Is there a universal way that all black people act now?

7. White privilege allows you to speak on any particular subject without being the sole representative for your entire race.

Unless the roles are reversed and a white person becomes the minority...which does happen.

8. White privilege means no one questions why you got that really great job; it’s assumed you were just highly qualified.

This sounds good online, but in the real world it isn't that clear cut. What about white women? What about people with disabilities? I am a very "myob" sort of guy...anytime I see ANYONE of any color with a great job I assume they worked hard to get it if it crosses my mind at all; which generally it wouldn't.

9. White privilege means not having to worry about your hair, skin color, or cultural accessories as the reason you didn't get a job.

Because jobs are simply handed out to whites, right? How many unemployed people do you know? I know a lot, of ALL colors. 

10. White privilege means you don’t have to worry about being monitored in a store just because the hue of your skin is a bit darker than most.

In general, I agree with this statement. Again, racism is bad...I think that this type of behavior is small minded and ugly.

11. Having white privilege means people will never label you a terrorist.

I grew up with a couple families of Palestinians. They consider themselves to be Caucasian. There are further points but they would be over kill. 

12. White privilege means not being affected by negative stereotypes that have been perpetuated and ingrained so much into American society that people believe them to be fact.

Sarcasm reads something like this: "No, I have never been personally affected by negative stereotypes."
In case you can't hear it online I am shaking my head and chuckling right now. Silly. Naive. Innocent opinion. Talk to me once you have a couple more years under your belt.


13. White privilege means you never have to explain why cultural appropriation is a bad thing.

Not that I am the spokesperson for any race...my Mom is white, Dad was Spanish. But here is my humble opinion-Who cares? Focus more on yourself. Morons exist...nothing we can do about that. If white people want to wear giant gaudy sombreros on May 5th, go for it. 

 14. White privilege means not having to worry about being stopped and frisked.

I can personally debunk this one...and I have a crew of friends in NYC that can attest that this is simply untrue.

15. If you benefit from white privilege, you’ll never be told to “get over slavery.”

True. Slavery was a wretched act. What more can be said about that?

16. White privilege means that you’re never just your own person.

Here the author points to Nicki Minaj being called the "black Lady Gaga"...I have never heard this comparison, then again I know next to nothing about pop music and mainstream MTV stars. I think our author was running out of steam at this point.

17. Benefiting from white privilege means you can walk the Earth unaware of your color.

This one is a giant stretch. True assumption...being mixed I was constantly aware that I didn't fully fit in anywhere. A couple of Irish guys I grew up with in Cleveland were well aware that they were the only truly white faces for blocks...My mother was very aware that she was the only white person at her job for some years. Sit down with me and exchange stories, ask Ian MacKaye what it was like to be the only white kid at his high school in D.C., ask my friend Scott what it was like to have the only white family in Collinwood, Ohio.


The point of this retort was not to dispute that racism exists, it does; it is an ugly. I think that Michael Blackmon meant well but failed to see that the majority of people in this country are on the receiving end of discrimination...and no one can do anything about it while we remain divided along color lines. There is a powerful excerpt in Howard Zinn's People'S History of the U.S. that I want to cite now. I have to paraphrase here...A slave owner's wife wrote something to this affect in her journal: "More than having to separate the Africans and Irish to avoid violence, we should do well to separate them lest they come together and realize strength in numbers."  Very powerful stuff indeed. Don't do what the system wants you to do...break the color barrier in your own life. 

I want to end this with a quote from Siddhartha Gotama: "Not through hating hatred ceases, in this world of tooth and claw. Love alone from hate releases, this is the eternal law."