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What are your thoughts on "white privilege? How would you define it? Is it a state of mind?

I ask because at my warehouse my coworker is a white guy, and he comes from a divorced home, and he lives with his gf.

By VineetHonkan7
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1

I was brought up in social housing went to a second class state school and had to struggle to get to university. When I got to uni at the age of 32, there was a young black guy there who had his uni paid for because of the colour of his skin. I'd not have minded that except that he was simply not bright enough to benefit from a university education. So, in my case, no I do not think my white skin gave me an advantage having been thrown on the scrap heap at the age of 11 with a test called "The 11+" which divided society into working class and the privileged few. Being dyslexic meant that I was unable to get a good enough score to go to Grammar School. Despite that I have a 2:1 in Ancient History and Archaeology, an MA in Intellectual History and managed to get funding to start a PhD, No one was ready to hand out any special benefits to a white kid that had failed at 11.
White privilege does exist, but so does some special benefits for minorities.
Unless we are willing to treat everyone equally, and even handedly it remains the fact that one man's positive discrimination leads to another woman's negative discrimination.

chazwin Level 6 Mar 4, 2019
0

If someone can show me some special privileges I have due to my skin tone, that would be great! I'd love to try them out and use them to see how they feel!! But all that I have seen so far, is that because I am a Caucasian male with a high IQ, more, much more, is naturally expected of me in my job performances, my earnings, my ability to interact with others in a sane manner, my societal responsibilities, my trust and faithfulness level, support of my family, etc than many others. In other words, I am cut LESS slack (privilege) than "people of color" seem to enjoy!! When a darkly complected man or woman messes up, it's usually brushed off because not much is expected of them in the first place, so I see this whole "White privilege" thing as just a bunch of crap that was dreamed up by some drunken idiot coming off of a week long bender!!

Randy
Logician Level 6 Mar 4, 2019

So from your point of view it's a perception...interesting...

@Logician When you drive, do you fear for your life when you see a police car in your rear-view mirror? If not, it is because you have white privilege. One example of many.

1

"White" privilege? Or class privilege? Wealth and power are synonymous. "White" privilege implies all, or most, White people are rich. This is not remotely the case. Therefore, "White" privilege is a false concept. While class privilege is, unfortunately, the reality.

3

Many excellent descriptions of White Privilege here. As a white man living with children of color, actively engaged in Rights movements, and connected to many non-white communities, I’ve learned that I exercise my white privilege unconsciously and that it is a lifelong effort to recognize and learn and adjust. Simple being aware that white privilege exists is not adequate. As well, I’ve learned that I can use my white privilege to support POC. In the 1950s Bernie Sanders used his white privilege when he chained himself to two black women as they protested the installation of trailers to handle overflow of classrooms while white schoolrooms were well below capacity. In brief, keep reading, learning and understanding your own white privilege.

Bobbyzen Level 7 Mar 4, 2019
1

Despite years of awareness it is actively maintained today by our media that is mostly controlled by a handful of people. They spread division based on arbitrary easily seen differences.

Francool Level 5 Mar 4, 2019
1

White Privelage is the idea thrown by certain groups to claim an unfair disadvantage because of their lack of Whiteness. The only group of minorities that seemed to be affected by not being white is the same group that alienates its members for acting too white. Other minorities seem to achieve on par or better than whites.
Its a way to rebrand everyone as racist without calling everyone racist

There's some definitely truth in what you say. Honestly I disagree with this attack on whites especially white males. I think it's enough to just say we all need to insure we act in a way that promotes equality no matter your race. Singling out white males and demonizing them as many are now is just another form of racism in my opinion.

1

Your example does not seem to fit what white privileged is. His gf’s earnings are not relevant to white privilege.

ToolGuy Level 8 Mar 4, 2019

Well I'm just laying the groundwork (I honestly don't know if she earns more or not as he works in a warehouse and she works in a school as a teachers assistant)...

1

I agree with what others have said and would add that white privilege has nothing to do with whether your coworker’s parents divorced or his GF earns more. Is it possible that he is seeking to blame his situation (whatever it may be) on anyone other than himself?

UUNJ Level 8 Mar 4, 2019
9

As a white person:

  1. I don't worry about being stopped by police or killed for being white.

  2. When I walk into stores, I am never harassed because of my skin color.

  3. The KKK and white supremacists are not marching against me.

  4. Being white, I don't worry about discrimination in housing.

  5. I can be in public spaces without being abused due to my skin color.

  6. It's easier for me to get a job because I'm white, etc.

[npr.org]

As usual you nailed it! Nice link! Thanks.

5

White privilege is a very broad and complex issue. Sometimes its blatant, others times it is so subtle, but impactful for those on the receiving end.

Begin with the concept of colonialism. As explorers and conquerors, the conqueroring nation almost always relegates the indigenous peoples the status of 2nd class citizens. As 2nd class status they are constantly reminded of their inferiority as perceived by the colonizing power. The put upon class is powerless to retaliate short of outright revolution or violence, or they or their family is unmercilessly punished. Ths colonized peoples are stripped of their land, their rights, and their culture. They are forced to adapt a new culture for which they can never participate as an equal participant.

Now how does this relate to the modern American society. Western Europeans took over this country by brute force. They were imperialistic colonizers in every sense of the word. At first it was held by superior weaponry. As the colonizers stole and settled the continent from ocean to ocean, the weapons gave way to control of the new weapon, finances. The white colonizers controlled the access to all finances. Native Americans were relegated to out of the way locations (reservations) at the time, thought to be generally useless land, undesired by whites. Blacks were owned and bought and sold as cattle. Hispanics had their traditional lands stolen, and were belittled as inferior once again.

For the next 150 years , up to today, minorities (includes women) were forced to live under a different set of rules. And once again they had no way to stand up for themselves. The rules and laws were set up to protect the white class and stacked against minorities (and still are). Jim Crow, Lynchings, kkk burning crosses, overly harsh jail times and penalties were exacted against anyone who raised a hand against a white member of society.

Whites knew that they could do almost anything to a member of a minority (including women) with impunity. Leaders in society were white, most law enforcement officers were white, judges were white, economic leaders were white. Minorities had no recourse in which to turn.

The sad part is that these suppressed groups knew they were living by a diffetent set of rules. That an institutional double standard existed.

The even sadder part is that the children of these white rulers of society were aware of it as well. Children have a tendency to be very cruel. This becomes exceptionally pronounced if you believe another group is below you and deemed inferior. Coupled with the knowledge that you, as a white person, will be believed over any group you are abusing or discrimenating against. These children grow up to be even larger societal abusers and discriminators.

So the roots in our society had its beginning in western European colonization. It has been passed down from one white generation to the next. Minorities grow up under the mantle of this repression, also knowing there is no support for them or their plight. Whites are deaf to their complaints and disparities.

White privilege exists in this country as the result of two sets of unequal rules. Different rules for getting loans, from where they can live, for job hiring, for criminal justice, for social aide, representation in media, the list goes on and on.

In closing, the greatest example of white privilege in recent months was the situation that occurred on the Capital Mall between the catholic students, the Black Hebrew group and the Native American drummers. There is plenty of blame to go around for all parties. However, a blatant example of white privilege could be witnessed in that exchange. When the young white catholic student faced off with the Native American who was drumming, a obvious smirk could be clearly on his face the whole time. The young catholic youth had no hesitation about getting right up into the drummers face and stare him down. He knew that he would not be challenged, and if he was, society would automatically come to his defense. And they did. Over the next two werks, the young man was made into a national hero, invited to tv talk shows, and the white house.

This is a typical example that happens daily across this country. Times are changing slowly, mostly due to changing demographics. Whites feel they are victims of reverse racism. They are not, and it is not. Is an example of burgeoning equality in which rules and dictates more clisely resemble the true make up of society.

t1nick Level 8 Mar 3, 2019
0

I appreciate your answers to my question thus far...

8

White privilege isn’t a thing you do or think. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have challenges or problems. It means that the problems you have aren’t because of the color of your skin.

White privilege is NOT being followed in stores because of your color. It is NOT being challenged for your right to be in public spaces. It is NOT wondering if the cashier was rude to you because you’re not white. It is NOT worrying that you, or your child, might be executed by the police for doing something that “looked dangerous.” It is all the things that you don’t have to deal with because society doesn’t categorize you as “other.”

I really appreciate this description. I have struggled to understand this concept and you've just cleared it up for me in a huge way. Thank you.

So am I supposed to feel some kind of guilt or remorse for the color of my skin then? Eff that!! I am who and what I am, and if people don't like that, it's THEIR problem to deal with, not mine!! I have no excuses or apologies to make because of what my skin tone happens to be.

Randy

@Logician Where did you get "guilt and remorse"? That's NOT a part of the concept at all.

@Logician you might reconsider calling yourself “Logician.” Nothing I said suggests that you should feel guilty, and remorse is incompatible with what I said, that it is NOT about something you do.
You are only asked to be aware of the advantages that others don’t get, and to consider whether your beliefs and perceptions are the result of a privileged experience that may not be shared by others.

@A2Jennifer So just what ARE these vague and nebulous "privileges" that I am supposedly enjoying right now? I'm not aware of any!
How is it considered to be a burden to someone if they are followed around in a store as a part of the store's inventory control program? Does it hurt anyone if they are followed? I wouldn't care one little bit if a stranger tagged along behind me while I did my shopping! If they did, I'd just be laughing while thinking "Boy, is THIS clown ever wasting his/her time! " Or "Gee whiz, I wonder how many other people are ripping off the store while this fool is walking around with me?".
If someone is telling me about how much better off I am than some poor schmuck because I get this or that, which the other guy/gal does not get, what is the point of that, other than trying to instill a feeling of guilt or remorse in me?? Again, what "advantages" over others do I get by being a cracker with a high IQ? Am I expected to share some of my intelligence with others who are not as smart as me? Good luck with that one!!
And this crap about "Check your privilege!", what does that mean, like checking my oil to make sure that it's full? Or check to make sure that I haven't lost any of them like I check to make sure that my fat wallet is still in my pocket? Put my privileges in check so they don't run away from me? Check them with the girl behind the desk at the cloak and hat room?
Name for me where I have not been perfectly logical! Once my ex-wife complained that I'm always being too logical, and my friend Fred used to call me Spock!!

Randy

@Logician so, you just want to be mad about this. I will try one last time to explain this even though you seem to be intentionally distorting it.
Some people experience negative things because they don’t have the benefit of being white. For example, they are routinely treated with a little bit of suspicion, a little bit of fear, a little bit of hostility, in some of their daily interactions, merely because they don’t have the benefit of white skin. Or, they are more likely to be stopped by the police, more likely to have the police called on them for merely occupying a space where someone deems them “out of place,” and more likely to be executed by the police for some small gesture that is interpreted as “threatening.”
And the idea of “checking your privilege,” as I said and you ignored already, is merely to consider that your point of view may be very different from that of someone who has experienced a lifelong onslaught of insults and indignities, merely because they don’t have the benefit of white skin.

@A2Jennifer Well life isn't a bowl of cherries for anyone on this little dust mote in the cosmos. Just because my skin tone is different than someone else doesn't mean that I get any free passes, that I know of. If life is really so bad for someone by their body having dark skin, then they need to trade it in for a different model.
You do bring up some valid points to consider, and you know what? I have seen most of them put on myself with almost every GF I've ever had! Is he going to cheat on me? Is he going to cut a slice and then run out the door? Is he going to steal anything out of my purse when I'm not looking? Is he going to hit me if he gets mad at me or someone else? The woman I'm courting right now got ripped off financially BIG TIME by her last beau, so she's very wary of getting too involved with me. And you know what? This all sounds an awful lot to me like life as we know it!! So all of these people who are looking for some bogey man to blame for their lack of success in life just need to grow a set and deal with life and the living of it. It works for me!
And so what if someone has had a rough life? I grew up in a family of 8 kids, so we didn't exactly have a life of luxury. What am I supposed to do about their bad experiences? Rub some cocoa butter on their butt and stick a pacifier in their mouth to suck on?

Randy

@Logician yes, and those things you observe that the women in your life deal with, that’s male privilege - all the things that you don’t have to worry about or deal with as a man.
Privilege doesn’t mean you don’t have problems. It means you aren’t exposed to some particular sets of problems. Everyone has problems and challenges. But living in a world that diminishes you every day for your identity is something that can wear on you on TOP of all the other challenges.

@A2Jennifer Yeah, well I had a GF cheat on me in our bed, another one took a twenty out of my wallet while I was in the shower, and the list goes on. And I moved on from it!
So then, apparently, according to you, we all have various "privileges" and just pull out the ones we like to wear on our sleeve, is that right?? So then I'd say it all evens out in the long run and we need to do those things which make us happy and not do the things that make us unhappy. My identity is who I am and what I can/will do for others. I choose to not live in a world which diminishes me in any way, my world is full of people whom I love and cherish and respect and I will go to the end of the Earth for. My world enriches me, as I do my best to enrich it in return.

Randy

@Logician that’s easy to say when you don’t have any of the disadvantages conveyed by race or gender. Other people get cheated on and stolen from too. But the society you live in doesn’t tell you on a daily basis that you are a little less valuable because of a characteristic you have no control over.

@A2Jennifer Oh REALLY?!?! Haven't you heard yet about that Ohbomination called Affirmative Action, which is discrimination that's not really discrimination because it's discrimination that has been turned around the other way?? I'm a smart male cracker, which counts AGAINST me in many cases!! How about "Women and minority owned business" programs, where they get special privileges, which I do not qualify for? Have you ever thought about that little fact at all? There was a black guy who went and got a small business loan of 10K back in 1976, and then gave it away to a Caucasian friend of his for some bogus business he was supposedly trying to get going. It was just squandered away because neither one of those idiots had a single clue about how to launch and successfully run a business.
If me and others like me are not being told on a daily basis that we don't count for much, then why are the "teachers" in the public fool system shaming young white boys for being young white boys? Have you not heard of that yet either?? You see and hear what you want to see and hear, and the rest just doesn't exist in your universe.

Randy

@Logician ?

7

White privilege doesn't mean you get everything handed to you on a silver platter. It means that your life wasn't made difficult BECAUSE of your skin color. You're welcome.

Orbit Level 7 Mar 3, 2019

thank you...

Oh, yeah, right, I get it, I see it now!! My life wasn't made more difficult by my having to live up to higher expectations of me than someone with more pigmentation in their skin, yeah, it was made much easier!! All those extra taxes I had to pay because I earned more were really a privilege, right? That makes about as much sense as putting screen doors on submarines!!

Randy

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