Does White Privilege Exist?
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27-06-2017, 03:35 PM
Does White Privilege Exist?
Controversial topics abundance, I tend to here this own a lot. I can't seem to come to a conclusion of whether it's just people of color trying to find something to scream in outrage about, or if it holds merit. Picking at my brain a bit, reading through history, and engaging one-on-on debates with myself. (Who knew I could disagree with myself so much.)

I couldn't really find a thread about this to read about, as I REALLY don't trust media sources. They will either me Left-Wing people who will back up 100% it exist or right-wing people who tell me it's bullshit. So while listening to music, I decided to come up with my thoughts on the topic. I'm looking to ask people here to somewhat help me come to a conclusion with evidence they present from their trusted outlets.

My thoughts on 'White Privilege' is it exist but only in certain places. It's true when we see a poor, white man this 'Privilege' seems to be just something to spark outrage in people of color.
Yet on the other hand, most people you find in power tend to be older white people who seem to not really care about those who are colored, even putting poor white people over poor color people.

It's clear, from my own observation, in some places, people are color are the last to be considered for a job over a person who is white. Do I think it's as abundant as proclaimed by 'Black Lives Matter'. No. Not at all. There are people who truly care for people despite what they look like. Just as there are assholes where ever you go, and it seems their voices speak the loudest.

I got this feeling when I visited my aunt for the summer. Her friend, possibly best friend, was black. Me, being me, I didn't give two craps if she was black, Asian, or if she was green. I judge people on their actions, not their color. Whether they be black, white, tan, if I see some random guy peaking into a stare rather than going in after a good ten minuets, yeah I'm gonna be a bit on edge.
However, my aunt seemed afraid that I'd offend her friend with how casual I was with make jokes with her and expressing my discomfort when her kids were rubbing me. Granted, I'm not a kid person, I dislike being touched by anyone. I have a bubble, please respect that I do. Yet, when I just politely asked her son to stop leaning on me and rubbing my arm, I got scolded at. Yet when I did this to my other aunts Step Daughter, it was all cool. (And yes, she was white.)

I felt often like my aunt was just afraid of something that wasn't true. Her friend turned out to be a very 'Happy Go Lucky' person. She'd make jokes about herself and with me, and understood that I had my personal space. All around, even if I didn't like being touched, her two kids were sweet and I came to like them also. (Better than my other aunts step daughter who was truly a little brat.).

But that experience was cemented into me. Made me confused, and frustrated. The term, 'I have black friends' for me, shows that I'm not blatantly racist. I have friends of all sorts of backgrounds. I judge on your actions not on your appearance. And I've made some great friends this way. Maybe I should start saying 'I have friends of a lot of backgrounds.'. What makes your skin color or culture any different to me?

So, dose 'White Privilege' exist? In my mind, not everywhere. There are places you will find assholes who will chose a white person over a colored person. Does this make all white people evil, greedy, privileged? Nope, just means you met someone who is.

Because I've seen some white people who aren't as Privileged as you'd think. And there are times I see some who are as Privileged as you'd think.

The real question, are we going to let the assholes speak the loudest and take positions of power?

But, there is my two cents. Way off? Nearly there? Or hit the nail on the head?

"Governments don't want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking That is against their interests.
They want obedient workers people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork And just dumb enough to passively accept it."

- George Carlin
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27-06-2017, 04:36 PM
RE: Does White Privilege Exist?
(27-06-2017 03:35 PM)Ruby Crystal Wrote:  So, dose 'White Privilege' exist? In my mind, not everywhere. There are places you will find assholes who will chose a white person over a colored person. Does this make all white people evil, greedy, privileged? Nope, just means you met someone who is.

I think it does exist. It's a shit privilege to have too, 'cos I didn't ask for it. I'd far rather be evaluated on my merits alone, because I think I'm pretty hot shit - although there is the sneaking thought that if I *was* actually evaluated solely on merit I might not measure up. Maybe somewhere other than where I live (South Africa) you could argue that white privilege isn't a thing, but not here. It's too blatant here.

White privilege as I see it is less of an individual thing. The message isn't "Hey *you* are privileged". It's "Hey, there's a whole class of people who're getting preferential treatment for no good reason". It doesn't imply that some of that class of people might not *also* be getting shafted by the System. But it does say that there's a skewed playing field.

Also, regardless that I don't regard myself as racist, particularly special, or particularly well off, I do and have benefitted from such privilege. It's little things and big things. Little things like people greet me in English - I don't have to learn a foreign language just to say hello to a potential employer. Big things like because of generational wealth I don't have to pay off huge loans to access education.

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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27-06-2017, 04:49 PM (This post was last modified: 27-06-2017 05:48 PM by Vera.)
RE: Does White Privilege Exist?
I'm really hoping it does, 'cause I sure as hell am banking on it big time next Thursday Unsure

But yeah, it exists, and it's not about individuals, as the maburro (or was it murundugu? Am getting old and forgetful) explained above me, it is about an entire race which for a long portion of history has been considered inherently superior to everybody else.

It is how Obama is apparently the first "Black" president, even though he is as much white, as he is black, but we all know black blood is like tar in a jug of milk - even the tiniest drop and it's spoiled and can never ever be that purest of white that is the height of genetic perfection...

I had plenty more to say, but on second thought - nah, not worth the effort...

ETA: Actually, I'll let these videos speak for themselves. Yep, not such thing as white privilege. None whatsoever.









Because the subtitles are autogenerated and are totally worthless, they show the subjects pictures of people in different situations, first white people and then black people in the exact same pictures and ask them what they think is happening in the photos. The white woman is a housewife, the black lady is a maid. The white person running is a jogger, the black one - a thief escaping the scene of a crime, the white guy in a business suit is an executive of some sort, the black one - security. The are ALL like this. And this is Brazil, where EVERYONE is mixed.

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderĂ²."
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27-06-2017, 04:52 PM
RE: Does White Privilege Exist?
Claiming "you people have so many privileges" is the new prejudice.
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27-06-2017, 04:57 PM
RE: Does White Privilege Exist?
[Image: giphy-1_36.gif]

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderĂ²."
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27-06-2017, 05:35 PM
RE: Does White Privilege Exist?
It does, and Morondog hit things pretty nicely. When I was in grad school, I went into a GNC looking for some supplements. The store was not organized to their corporate standards, so it was taking me a while and I was on a phone talking to someone. The only employee on duty followed me everywhere. It was a weird experience for me, because I know that person thought I was trying to shoplift. I normally don't encounter that, but my African American students often describe it in the Reaction Papers I do in 101 about various topics. They've also described watching a cop beat their boyfriend or brother into the hood of a car during a traffic stop, something else I don't have to worry about thanks mostly to the color of my skin. People assume, as Morondog said, that I speak English, and I'm not expected to learn a foreign language.

People don't assume I'm at where I am professionally because of my skin color, none of the cries of "he got into his doctoral program through Affirmative Action" that some guys I know have heard. People don't say about me, "oh he was hired to fill a diversity quota", they assume I'm here on my own merits. People don't assume I'll speak or dress a certain way due to my skin color. When I read a history book about my "national" history*, the people who share my skin color and male-ness will be disproportionately highlighted and given more room. When I read books in literature courses, with only two exceptions, they were white male authors; the exceptions being Ursula LeGuin, a female white author, and a Japanese author whose name I sadly do not recall.

Now don't get me wrong, class privilege is a very real thing too. In my home state, it's often far more about who has the money and power, than it is about race. NPR has referred to it before as the white equivalent of an Indian Reservation in terms of poverty. In the words of a family friend's father who worked in the coal mines, and put all seven of his kids through college after his wife died, when my dad asked about racism there, "Management gave a shit about race [dad's name], but us guys? We were all black when we came out of those mines."

The reason I bring this up, is that often in America, when people discuss white privilege, they often confuse or interchange it with class privilege. My dad was the first in his family to graduate high school, let alone college. Many times people talk about 'access to education', but that can often be a class issue as much as a race issue; that said, yeah, we do mainstream our educational system in ways that students of a Caucasian background receive an advantage. Which is a great example of how interchangeable the two can be. White students tend to do better on standardized tests not because they're smarter, but because we tend to design them with their 'culture'/upbringing/references they'll get, more in mind.

This idea that people can be privileged in some ways but not others, is known as intersectionality. Because I was born in the U.S., I have citizenship, this means I'll enjoy certain rights and privileges that non-citizens in the U.S. will not. By being born white in America, this means if I'm in one of the border states that have been passing 'papers please' type bills, I won't be asked to prove I'm a U.S. citizen based on my skin color or by having a last name that sounds Hispanic. By being a U.S. citizen and white, I have a better chance at not being 'randomly' selected by the TSA for "additional screening" when I fly home in about two weeks. That said, I'm far from wealthy. I pay exorbitant costs for healthcare. I haven't taken a 'vacation' in years that wasn't me taking a day out of a conference I'm required to go to for work, to see the local sights. If I were to end up in jail, I couldn't afford an attorney. So yes, I do have a great deal of privileges, but not a royal flush of them, and that's basically the core of Intersectionality as a concept.

Anyhow, just because there are poor white people, it doesn't invalidate the whole concept of privilege existing. "Privilege" as its commonly thrown around is a bit of a misnomer for a wide array of issues that are hideously complex and lead to a ton of arguments.


*Great book on the subject is Lies My Teacher Told Me by James Lowen. His thesis, which he heavily footnotes each thing he says, is that American history textbooks are propagandist, much of the time, and often very much racially so.

Including a talk by the author here, just because it's interesting to hear him discuss U.S. history textbooks (and he does touch on the race stuff)...like for instance, how most U.S. history textbooks don't mention the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921. During that riot, white civilians stole military biplanes and bombed Tulsa's affluent black district, destroying 35 city blocks, killing as many as 300 (if we use Red Cross numbers), injuring as many as six thousand, and dealing a blow that Tulsa's race disparity has never come back from.




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27-06-2017, 05:38 PM
RE: Does White Privilege Exist?
Ruby Crystal,

It shouldn't be called privilege. Because people respond as if it refers to being rich or well off, exactly as you have. It has nothing to do with economic well being. It's the benefit of the doubt. An experience that ought to be normal, but cannot be taken for granted by certain demographics; at least not to the same degree as a normal white person.

The focus ought to be on those who are routinely denied it. There is nothing to feel ashamed about for having it. I agree the name causes some resentment among those who feel they are not privileged just for being treated fairly. But when something is denied to others, those others eventually see it as some sort of privilege.

It shouldn't be difficult to find examples which abound online, if you are open to understanding this poorly named phenomenon.

We have to remember that what we observe is not nature herself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning ~ Werner Heisenberg
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27-06-2017, 05:49 PM
RE: Does White Privilege Exist?
I'm Offically split on this one, On one hand it might exist, on the other hand I'm skeptical that it is as bad as people claim it is, because it's being used for stupid shit.
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27-06-2017, 05:50 PM
RE: Does White Privilege Exist?
(27-06-2017 03:35 PM)Ruby Crystal Wrote:  Controversial topics abundance, I tend to here this own a lot. I can't seem to come to a conclusion of whether it's just people of color trying to find something to scream in outrage about, or if it holds merit. Picking at my brain a bit, reading through history, and engaging one-on-on debates with myself. (Who knew I could disagree with myself so much.)

I couldn't really find a thread about this to read about, as I REALLY don't trust media sources. They will either me Left-Wing people who will back up 100% it exist or right-wing people who tell me it's bullshit. So while listening to music, I decided to come up with my thoughts on the topic. I'm looking to ask people here to somewhat help me come to a conclusion with evidence they present from their trusted outlets.

My thoughts on 'White Privilege' is it exist but only in certain places. It's true when we see a poor, white man this 'Privilege' seems to be just something to spark outrage in people of color.
Yet on the other hand, most people you find in power tend to be older white people who seem to not really care about those who are colored, even putting poor white people over poor color people.

It's clear, from my own observation, in some places, people are color are the last to be considered for a job over a person who is white. Do I think it's as abundant as proclaimed by 'Black Lives Matter'. No. Not at all. There are people who truly care for people despite what they look like. Just as there are assholes where ever you go, and it seems their voices speak the loudest.

I got this feeling when I visited my aunt for the summer. Her friend, possibly best friend, was black. Me, being me, I didn't give two craps if she was black, Asian, or if she was green. I judge people on their actions, not their color. Whether they be black, white, tan, if I see some random guy peaking into a stare rather than going in after a good ten minuets, yeah I'm gonna be a bit on edge.
However, my aunt seemed afraid that I'd offend her friend with how casual I was with make jokes with her and expressing my discomfort when her kids were rubbing me. Granted, I'm not a kid person, I dislike being touched by anyone. I have a bubble, please respect that I do. Yet, when I just politely asked her son to stop leaning on me and rubbing my arm, I got scolded at. Yet when I did this to my other aunts Step Daughter, it was all cool. (And yes, she was white.)

I felt often like my aunt was just afraid of something that wasn't true. Her friend turned out to be a very 'Happy Go Lucky' person. She'd make jokes about herself and with me, and understood that I had my personal space. All around, even if I didn't like being touched, her two kids were sweet and I came to like them also. (Better than my other aunts step daughter who was truly a little brat.).

But that experience was cemented into me. Made me confused, and frustrated. The term, 'I have black friends' for me, shows that I'm not blatantly racist. I have friends of all sorts of backgrounds. I judge on your actions not on your appearance. And I've made some great friends this way. Maybe I should start saying 'I have friends of a lot of backgrounds.'. What makes your skin color or culture any different to me?

So, dose 'White Privilege' exist? In my mind, not everywhere. There are places you will find assholes who will chose a white person over a colored person. Does this make all white people evil, greedy, privileged? Nope, just means you met someone who is.

Because I've seen some white people who aren't as Privileged as you'd think. And there are times I see some who are as Privileged as you'd think.

The real question, are we going to let the assholes speak the loudest and take positions of power?

But, there is my two cents. Way off? Nearly there? Or hit the nail on the head?

Here in America, white privilege definitely exists, on the sociocultural level -- preference in jobs and housing, in particular. It's that basic.
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27-06-2017, 05:51 PM
RE: Does White Privilege Exist?
People have no end of ways to hate someone else.
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