Posts tagged white privilege
Posts tagged white privilege
Anyone writing an academic paper on white privilege and is looking for a primary source?
Meet Suzy Lee Weiss.
Before I start, I dare you to not put your fist through your monitor while reading her
opinion editorial Facebook-worthy bitchfest.
She didn’t get into the college of her choice and it’s everyone else’s fault because she took the advice of “be yourself” and it backfired. Here’s a passage chock full o’ cluelessness and racism:
For starters, had I known two years ago what I know now, I would have gladly worn a headdress to school. Show me to any closet, and I would’ve happily come out of it. “Diversity!” I offer about as much diversity as a saltine cracker. If it were up to me, I would’ve been any of the diversities: Navajo, Pacific Islander, anything. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, I salute you and your 1/32 Cherokee heritage.
I also probably should have started a fake charity. Providing veterinary services for homeless people’s pets. Collecting donations for the underprivileged chimpanzees of the Congo. Raising awareness for Chapped-Lips-in-the-Winter Syndrome. Fun-runs, dance-a-thons, bake sales—as long as you’re using someone else’s misfortunes to try to propel yourself into the Ivy League, you’re golden.
Suzy bemoans not having a tiger mom, or two moms, or not hanging out with an African orphan named “Kinto” — as Gawker points out, just a little too close to Kunta Kinte.
And lest you think Suzy is in dire economic straits, here’s a news article profiling her parents’ custom-built, luxury $700,000 home.
Basically, nothing is her fault — she can’t help being straight, white, well-off! Y’all should cater to her for it because she’s a hard life. Well, at least life’s been SO HARD since she found out she didn’t get into the college of her choice.
SHE’S JUST SUPER PISSED YOU GUYS. And since her sister used to be an opinion features editor at the Wall Street Journal, Suzy was able to flood the presses with her righteous white whine.
White privilege is when I get pulled over by the cop while blaring Killer Mike, he loses the swagger with which he walked up to the car and says, laughing, “You’re not who I was expecting.”
White privilege is when he tells me he’s running my license as a formality and not that he’s checking for wants and warrants — he didn’t even ask if I have any.
White privilege is him assuming I’m a college student and not just up to no good, even though I was in a rich neighborhood.
White privilege is when I get respect and a warning, instead of disrespect and handcuffs.
Oh, Lisa Lampanelli. I’m disappointed in you. I’ve never been a huge fan, but I just have a couple of questions about this: Did you think using that word was a pseudo-knowing eye-roll at Lena Dunham’s critics or cutesy hipster racism? Or just Instagramming without thinking? Either way, you’re funnier than that.
This link was submitted to me several weeks ago by Chris K., who wrote, “There’s just so much wrong here that I don’t know where to start.”
Well, neither do I, except to say that someone’s race or ethnicity isn’t your goddamn social experiment, white people. You don’t get to try it on like Tyra Banks and her fat suit, and then come away saying, “Gosh, I learned something. Life is just SO UNFAIR to those people.”
As the author wrote in her reasoning for doing this:
“At first I wanted to keep this story between me and a few close friends, but in light of what has just recently happened at the Islamic Center of America, I feel that I have to share this story. This is no longer an issue on religion. This is outright discrimination and intolerance. If my story can inspire others, or at least affect someone on a personal level, then I’ve done all that I can do.”
How about you actually ask Muslim women what it’s like to wear the hijab? Let their stories inspire people. Or ask an American Indian about their culture versus donning a headdress and discussing how spiritual it makes you feel? And for fuck’s sake, blackface and afro wigs are never okay.
A few excerpts of this piece that made my blood boil:
“[A]n idea occurred to me when I was driving home from the mosque. Back in high school, I wanted to do a social experiment for my Sociology class. My sister gave me the idea to wear a hijab out in public to see how people treated me. Back then, I didn’t know where to find a hijab. Now that I had one, I thought I would give that experiment another shot. So I put on my new hijab and set out to three public places: a bookstore, the mall, and a restaurant.”
Oh, and this:
“I wrote this in my status on Facebook: Muslims put up with some of the worst customer service. I am not exaggerating when I say this.”
If that doesn’t sound the WORST DAY EVER for a privileged white person…
“I want it noted that when I stepped into the mall, I was not wearing a burqa (Muslim clothing that covers all of the body and the face), a chador (Iranian clothing that covers the entire body) or a niqab (a veil that covers the hair and face which reveals only the eyes). In post-September 11th America, the clothing listed would understandably be considered suspicious in case of a burglary or a bomb threat. The clothing makes it difficult, if not impossible, to make a clear identification in case of those threats. Had I been wearing those, I would understand the neglectful salespeople and the security guard trailing me, but all I wore was a hijab. All I was covering was my hair.”
Get that, Muslim women? If you’re in any traditional clothing but a hijab in post-9/11 America, it’s okay that you’re discriminated against because security.
I just don’t know what else to say here, other than you’re doing it wrong.
ETA: As it was pointed out to me, there are Muslims of every skin color. I may not have been clear, but I’m referring to non-Muslim white people.
“What is white privilege?”
I receive this question in my ask box at least once a month. Either that, or the statement that it doesn’t exist.
Well, let me give you an idea.
I went to Cheyenne this weekend to a political meet and greet, then decided to meet up with some pals at a dive bar that evening. I was heading down Pershing St. through a residential neighborhood, window down, smoking a cigarette, and listening to Dead Prez. Loud. It was dusk and nice and cool, so why not?
Suddenly, two cruisers pulled up behind me. Mind you, I was going maybe 31 in 30. I slowed to exactly 30. One officer pulled up beside me on the driver’s side in a 20 mph zone, and rolled down his passenger side window. He peered into the driver’s side of my car. His compadre was right on my bumper. The cop next to me flicked off his flashight, stuck his hand out of the driver’s side window, and waved back at the other officer, who proceeded to back off. They fell back, and within a block, they were both gone.
Why is this an example of white privilege? As analyzed by a pal of mine, Daymon, who is a person of color and went to high school in Cheyenne:
“1. Your first thought was that you were speeding, not driving while Black. Like me. That’s the flank move. Assuming they’re gonna need backup because your ass IS GETTING PULLED OVER.
2. You never turned the music down or anything. Why would you? It’s not like it suddenly made you more Black, unlike me. And by that, I mean a dangerous, suspicious Black man in a mostly white neighborhood. I’m probably there to do something to their daughters, you know? Doesn’t matter I was a loan officer in town when I moved back. A professional. Who lived in that neighborhood. I was just a snazzy-dressed uppity negro in a nice car daring to roll through their neighborhood.
3. When they found out you were white, you got a golden ticket instead of one for noise ordinance. I know a bunch of guys who got tickets for noise in white neighborhoods, even though we had our shit lower than their precious lily-white Ashleys and Dakotas listening to Eminem or some shit emo. If it had a beat, and you’re Black, obviously you’re a gangsta looking to deal those kids dope.
4. You wondered what the hell happened and shrugged it off. I don’t get that luxury.
In summary, congratulations, you’re white. Please move to the front of the line.”
I would imagine he’s not the only man who’s experienced this, nor the only person of color. And that, my friends, is an example of white privilege and its not-so-subtle benefits. I feel like an asshole for not recognizing it off the bat for what it was — like I said, I thought I was getting a speeding ticket.
And anyone who claims we live in post-racial America, well, I invite you to drive down Pershing Ave. listening to hip-hop — or another major residential street in a “nice” neighborhood. Daymon said he’s been pulled over on that street every single time he’s been home to visit family, even when listening to NPR — as he said, “it isn’t the stereo, it’s the skin, but listening to loud hip-hop isn’t going to plead my case for being a ‘legitimate’ Black man. This shit doesn’t happen in Denver. As much.”
Do it. See if you get flanked. Two cops having a bad night, a good night, or yet another example of systemic racism? You can probably guess where I stand.
- That awkward moment when Whites have one of the lowest unemployment rates.
- That awkward moment when White ex-cons have more of a shot at jobs than a Black man with no record.
- That awkward moment when White company owners are the least likely to hire minorities.
- That awkward moment when the majority of companies are owned by White people.
- That awkward moment when Affirmative Action helps White Women.
It never occurs to them that they might just be shittier than the next White individual. It’s always a Person of Color stealing your shine.
Hahaha, your life is an imagined series of hardships. I’m going to need you to shut the fuck up.
Rebloggable by request:
Your white. Your uncle tomming your own race.
Meg at Cognitive Dissonance:
Holy shit! I’m white?! </sarcasm>
Damn, anon. I’m guessing you’re either trolling or willfully ignorant. Just in case you’re willfully ignorant… let’s roll.
First, I don’t think Uncle Tom means what you think it means. Or, to rephrase, what it originally meant is much different than what you intended. From The New York Times, “Rescuing the Real Uncle Tom,” June 13, 2011:
And yet, driven by a passionate hatred of slavery, [Harriet Beecher Stowe] found time to write “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” which became the most influential novel in American history and a catalyst for radical change both at home and abroad.
Today, of course, the book has a decidedly different reputation, thanks to the popular image of its titular character, Uncle Tom — whose name has become a byword for a spineless sellout, a black man who betrays his race. And we tend to think of the novel itself as an old-fashioned, rather lachrymose affair that features the deaths of an obsequious enslaved black man and his blond, angelic child-friend, Little Eva.
But this view is egregiously inaccurate: the original Uncle Tom was physically strong and morally courageous, an inspiration for blacks and other oppressed people worldwide. In other words, Uncle Tom was anything but an “Uncle Tom.”
At the heart of the book’s progressive appeal was the character of Uncle Tom himself: a muscular, dignified man in his 40s who is notable precisely because he does not betray his race; one reason he passes up a chance to escape from his plantation is that he doesn’t want to put his fellow slaves in danger. And he is finally killed because he refuses to tell his master where two runaway slaves are hiding.
The old fool who became Uncle Tom arose in the stage versions of the book, leading to the term becoming synonymous with a black man who sells out his own race, or, to a lesser extent, a person belonging to a minority group who participates in the oppression of said group.
I believe you were looking for the term “race traitor,” which is a favorite of Stormfront. *Warning* If you click the Stormfront hyperlinks, they WILL take you to Stormfront, which defines itself as “a community of White Nationalists. There are thousands of organizations promoting the interests, values and heritage of non-Whites. We promote ours.” If you don’t want to read some seriously racist, xenophobic, white-supremacist shit, DO NOT CLICK THOSE TWO LINKS. They’re linked for sourcing purposes.
Back to our discussion.
Now, white people are not oppressed. Sorry if this is a news flash, but it just isn’t so. White folks enjoy a thing called “white privilege” and it’s ever-present. So what the hell is white privilege? From The Persistence of White Privilege by Stephanie Wildman:
The core meaning of privilege encompasses both the individual beneficiary and the systemic nature of the benefit. While privilege serves the individual holder, it is the systemic nature of privilege, [Peggy] McIntosh’s “invisible knapsack” multiplied throughout the group of white people, that supplies its societal force.
Characteristics of the privileged group define the societal norm. From “flesh-colored” bandages or crayons and “nude” hosiery that depict fair skin to standardized testing, individual members of society are judged against characteristics held by the privileged.
Furthermore, privileged group members can rely on this privilege to avoid objecting to oppression or subordination. Those with privilege can afford to look away from mistreatment that does not affect them personally. The conflation of privilege with the societal norm and this option to ignore oppression contribute to the invisibility of that privilege both to its holder and to society.
If this seems detestable to you, anon, I suggest you click the Stormfront links and sign up. As such, I am not betraying anyone by giving a fuck about injustice in the U.S. and abroad, whether that injustice is based upon race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc… In fact, I would argue that by not giving a fuck, you are betraying your own humanity.
But what do I know? I’m apparently just an Uncle Tom.