Current Events & Hot Topics

Featured Posts
becka728
S/O 50 Examples of White Privilege in Daily Life
January 24, 2013 at 9:59 PM

50 Examples of White Privilege in Daily Life

Those who believe the U.S. has achieved a color-blind society, or that racism is no longer an issue in American society ought to read some of Peggy McIntosh's reflections on race.  "White privilege" is often invisible, and often denied, but there is little doubt that it exists, she observed. Reflecting on it explodes the myth of meritocracy, and "the myth that democratic choice is equally available to all."

"I was taught to see racism only in individual acts of meanness, not in invisible systems conferring dominance on my group," she wrote. As a white person, she "had been taught about racism as something that puts others at a disadvantage, but had been taught not to see one of its corollary aspects, white privilege, which puts me at an advantage.... I have come to see white privilege as an invisible package of unearned assets that I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was 'meant' to remain oblivious. White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools , and blank checks.  Describing white privilege makes one newly accountable."

She goes on to describe the "daily effects of white privilege" that "as far as I can tell, my African American co-workers, friends and acquaintances...cannot count on most of these conditions."

1. I can if I wish arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time.

2. I can avoid spending time with people whom I was trained to mistrust and who have learned to mistrust my kind or me.

3. If I should need to move, I can be pretty sure of renting or purchasing housing in an area which I can afford and in which I would want to live.

4. I can be pretty sure that my neighbors in such a location will be neutral or pleasant to me.

5. I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed.

6. I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented.

7. When I am told about our national heritage or about "civilization," I am shown that people of my color made it what it is.

8. I can be sure that my children will be given curricular materials that testify to the existence of their race.

9. If I want to, I can be pretty sure of finding a publisher for this piece on white privilege.

10. I can be pretty sure of having my voice heard in a group in which I am the only member of my race.

11. I can be casual about whether or not to listen to another person's voice in a group in which s/he is the only member of his/her race.

12. I can go into a music shop and count on finding the music of my race represented, into a supermarket and find the staple foods which fit with my cultural traditions, into a hairdresser's shop and find someone who can cut my hair.

13. Whether I use checks, credit cards or cash, I can count on my skin color not to work against the appearance of financial reliability.

14. I can arrange to protect my children most of the time from people who might not like them.

15. I do not have to educate my children to be aware of systemic racism for their own daily physical protection.

16. I can be pretty sure that my children's teachers and employers will tolerate them if they fit school and workplace norms; my chief worries about them do not concern others' attitudes toward their race.

17. I can talk with my mouth full and not have people put this down to my color.

18. I can swear, or dress in second hand clothes, or not answer letters, without having people attribute these choices to the bad morals, the poverty or the illiteracy of my race.

19. I can speak in public to a powerful male group without putting my race on trial.

20. I can do well in a challenging situation without being called a credit to my race.

21. I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group.

22. I can remain oblivious of the language and customs of persons of color who constitute the world's majority without feeling in my culture any penalty for such oblivion.

23. I can criticize our government and talk about how much I fear its policies and behavior without being seen as a cultural outsider.

24. I can be pretty sure that if I ask to talk to the "person in charge", I will be facing a person of my race.

25. If a traffic cop pulls me over or if the IRS audits my tax return, I can be sure I haven't been singled out because of my race.

26. I can easily buy posters, post-cards, picture books, greeting cards, dolls, toys and children's magazines featuring people of my race.

27. I can go home from most meetings of organizations I belong to feeling somewhat tied in, rather than isolated, out-of-place, outnumbered, unheard, held at a distance or feared.

28. I can be pretty sure that an argument with a colleague of another race is more likely to jeopardize her/his chances for advancement than to jeopardize mine.

29. I can be pretty sure that if I argue for the promotion of a person of another race, or a program centering on race, this is not likely to cost me heavily within my present setting, even if my colleagues disagree with me.

30. If I declare there is a racial issue at hand, or there isn't a racial issue at hand, my race will lend me more credibility for either position than a person of color will have.

31. I can choose to ignore developments in minority writing and minority activist programs, or disparage them, or learn from them, but in any case, I can find ways to be more or less protected from negative consequences of any of these choices.

32. My culture gives me little fear about ignoring the perspectives and powers of people of other races.

33. I am not made acutely aware that my shape, bearing or body odor will be taken as a reflection on my race.

34. I can worry about racism without being seen as self-interested or self-seeking.

35. I can take a job with an affirmative action employer without having my co-workers on the job suspect that I got it because of my race.

36. If my day, week or year is going badly, I need not ask of each negative episode or situation whether it had racial overtones.

37. I can be pretty sure of finding people who would be willing to talk with me and advise me about my next steps, professionally.

38. I can think over many options, social, political, imaginative or professional, without asking whether a person of my race would be accepted or allowed to do what I want to do.

39. I can be late to a meeting without having the lateness reflect on my race.

40. I can choose public accommodation without fearing that people of my race cannot get in or will be mistreated in the places I have chosen.

41. I can be sure that if I need legal or medical help, my race will not work against me.

42. I can arrange my activities so that I will never have to experience feelings of rejection owing to my race.

43. If I have low credibility as a leader I can be sure that my race is not the problem.

44. I can easily find academic courses and institutions which give attention only to people of my race.

45. I can expect figurative language and imagery in all of the arts to testify to experiences of my race.

46. I can chose blemish cover or bandages in "flesh" color and have them more or less match my skin.

47. I can travel alone or with my spouse without expecting embarrassment or hostility in those who deal with us.

48. I have no difficulty finding neighborhoods where people approve of our household.

49. My children are given texts and classes which implicitly support our kind of family unit and do not turn them against my choice of domestic partnership.

50. I will feel welcomed and "normal" in the usual walks of public life

Thoughts

Replies

  • Naturewoman4
    January 27, 2013 at 1:12 PM

    Yeah, that's why I pretty much have given up.  I have tried by best to hang in there on any racial issues we have in this Country.  I have acknowledge their past struggles, even said that there IS "White Privilege" that goes on.  But, to also say there IS "Black & Hispanic" privilege as well.  As soon as I said that, I was called racist.  Just for saying there's "Black Privilege" & for saying the wrong "Negro" once on here.  I'm now racist for saying that. 

    When it was in content of talking about an article I read.  Where the older generation were ask & preferred being called "Negro".  Not what I said, but what THEY said.  There's also a college fund called something like, "Negro....College Fund". 

    I have a lot of stories I can share of life where I live.  Life that I have experienced.  Every since I was little.  I'm  now a minority where I love.  So, I go through it every single day as well.  But, I don't think CM's want to hear about it or even care.  That's why I said in another post, that it would be dismissed & I FEEL some think we Whites deserve it. 


    Quoting Radarma:

     Don't cha love the way your POV and life experiences are dismissed here?

    Gotta love that ol white privilege thang.

    Quoting Naturewoman4:

    Perhaps, I didn't word things right.  I didn't think or say you called me a "White Supremicist"??  I was just quoting what you said about me making the same arguments as a "White Supremicist".   Which is ok, I knew what you met.  All I was saying was that Black ppl do the same.  They make arguments that are the same as what the Black Panthers have said.  So, I don't see any difference.  Just those 2 groups take it to the extreme. 

    I do think though, even making a comment like that about "White Supremicist" & my agruments, imo, as not very nice to say.  Kinda like walking a thin line imo.

    Quoting stacymomof2:

    I don't think you read my post at all.

    I didn't call you a white supremicist.  I am perfectly aware how CM works.

    smh.  Continue on.  You just reinforced my post, IMO.

    Quoting Naturewoman4:

    Well I think there's a lot of people that make the same argument as I did.  Even here on CM.  That doesn't make us a "White Supremicists".  It's like saying the arguments a Black person uses, are the same as what the Black Panthers has used.  No difference imo.  

    Stacy, that is what we do here on CM.  Giving our POV & what we have experienced in OUR lives.  Doesn't make it wrong, anymore than what any other person of different races feel & have experienced in THEIR live.  I haven't lived in their 'shoes', & they haven't lived in mine.  

    I don't care really if a person calls me racist.  It use to bother me, because I know I'm far from being racist.  But, if in my posts some eel I am, then I can't stop them from feeling that way.  That is for THEM to decide.  I didn't know though saying I feel there are "Black Privilege (as well as Hispanic), that I would be called a racist for that.  

    I feel you as well as a lot of other CMs here, have felt such racism in your life.  I have felt the same, yet I feel it is dismissed here on CM.  That because I'm White, it doesn't matter.  I FEEL that perhaps as a White person I deserve it.  Not for the good person I am inside, (if one should really care to get to know me), but ONLY because I'm White.  

     

    Quoting stacymomof2:

    I just want you to know that those types of arguments are used by white supremicists to blame black people for the racism of whites.

    What is prevelant in your posts is a myopic, single-minded POV, no chance of seeing a perspective other than what is in front of you.  It is like you find it impossible to realize that there are other realities, truths, besides what you see from your POV.  You continually see yourself as representative of everyone's reality.  As though you, an attractive and polite white woman, represent the whole world of people and people will see you with the same eyes as they see everyone else.

    If you don't want to be called a racist, well then you are going to have to stretch out a little bit.  Genuinely put yourself in someone elses shoes.  See something that may make you feel uncomfortable, or that challenges your worldview.  People who choose not to do this...in fact, who deny there is another reality for other people, run the risk of being called racist, and I would argue, forcefully denying this actually makes you one.

    I understood this intellectually in the past, but I will tell you, having kids and a husband who are being raised in a currently unpopular religion, and who have an unpopular heritage (my husband is an Arab Muslim and our kids are Muslim and half Arab) really made it real to me.  Just the fact that my daughter missed a class party because she was out of school for a religious holiday is an eye opener.  It IS an example of privlege (in this case religious, but still.)

    Quoting Naturewoman4:

    Perhaps, you don't really know what being racist is.  Sounds like it.  As long as Blacks continue to call Whites racist, blame Whites for their failures in life, it is only hurting ALL Black Americans.  We see it everyday & what are the results.  Blacks dying.  Blacks going to prison.  So, how is blaming Whites all the time, helping Blacks?  Just like what you & a few others do here on CM.  What is your point?  To stir problems & hatred? 

     Most of the successful Blacks, don't blame Whites.  But, I feel a lot do, because they need to blame someone.  I'm sorry, but I get sick & tired of reading posts like yours.  Such hatred, such racism.  To many Blacks, it is BS.  To many Blacks, it is an excuse.  I have heard it many times by other Blacks.  Fortunately, a lot of Blacks have White friends, White g/f's & wives.  They aren't racist.  I wonder as having a Master's in Psych., what you think the reasons why Blacks date, marry & have White friends.  Why do some Blacks prefer White women to date & marry?  Just curious as to what you think.


     

     


     

     

     


     

  • Naturewoman4
    January 27, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    Where I live I'm a minority as well.  But, we are are still treated like the majority.  Hiring & giving rights to the 'once upon a time' minorities.  I'd like to see in ALL communities where Whites now are the 'minority' get those same benefits as the 'use to be' minorities.  Where is the "Equal Rights Opport." for us now?  I don't see it happening. 

    So, I feel it all depends on where you live.  Then there's "White, Black or Hispanic" Privilege, depending on the area for which you live.  Therefore, it's happening to us ALL.  YES, there is "White Privilege" I see that.  But, there also is "Black & Hispanic" privilege as well.  So, I see no need to just bring up "White Privilege" only.


    Quoting pce68:

    Here's the 2010 census reports, which shows that whites are the minority, but just barely.

        People QuickFacts Lawrenceville Georgia
    Population definition and source info Population, 2011 estimate 29,247 9,812,460
    Population definition and source info Population, 2010 (April 1) estimates base 28,546 9,687,663
    Population, percent change, April 1, 2010 to July 1 definition and source info Population, percent change, April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2011 2.5% 1.3%
    Population definition and source info Population, 2010 28,546 9,687,653
    Persons under 5 years, percent definition and source info Persons under 5 years, percent, 2010 8.8% 7.1%
    Persons under 18 years, percent definition and source info Persons under 18 years, percent, 2010 29.8% 25.7%
    Persons 65 years and over, percent definition and source info Persons 65 years and over, percent, 2010 9.2% 10.7%
    Female persons, percent definition and source info Female persons, percent, 2010 52.2% 51.2%
     
    White persons, percent definition and source info White persons, percent, 2010 (a) 48.0% 59.7%
    Black persons, percent definition and source info Black persons, percent, 2010 (a) 32.0% 30.5%
    American Indian and Alaska Native persons, percent definition and source info American Indian and Alaska Native persons, percent, 2010 (a) 0.6% 0.3%
    Asian persons, percent definition and source info Asian persons, percent, 2010 (a) 5.7% 3.2%
    Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, percent definition and source info Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, percent, 2010 (a) Z 0.1%
    Persons reporting two or more races, percent definition and source info Persons reporting two or more races, percent, 2010 3.4% 2.1%
    Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin, percent definition and source info Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin, percent, 2010 (b) 22.3% 8.8%
    White persons not Hispanic, percent definition and source info White persons not Hispanic, percent, 2010 38.3% 55.9%

    And here are the 2010 info from one of the high schools in the city:

    Total Students (2010 - 2011): 2559
    African American: 1077 (42.1%)
    American Indian: 18 (0.7%)
    Asian: 188 (7.3%)
    Hispanic: 694 (27.1%)
    Pacific Islander: 3 (0.1%)
    Two or more races: 106 (4.1%)
    White: 473 (18.5%)
    Not Specified:0 (0%)
    Fulltime teachers: 146.7
    Student/Teacher Ratio: 17.4

    Eligible for discounted/free lunch: 71.8% 

    Quoting mommajen32:

    Your experience is the minority, many States have.aingle digit minority populations...and that is only bc of their major cities.

    I am curious what is the race of most business and property owners, public officials, teachers....honest question. Also have you verified the percentage with your city census facts or is it your perception?


    Quoting pce68:


    Quoting mommajen32:

    Most people in the majority may not realize how important those things are...things they take for granted. Now surely folks will come in and tesrify to having a boss that is a minority, or being followed in a store or not having their opinion heard. It's missing the forest. Life is different if you are a religious or ethnic minority.





    I ask that folks pause for a moment and imagine America as 80 plus percent black or Hispanic. If everywhere in your life (grocery store, work, television, newspaper, movies, etc...) where you see white people and imagine they are black. How would your life be different, what products would be on the shelves, what about beauty products,

    The area I live in is probably very close to being 80% black and Hispanic. Whites are the minority where I live. At my dd's school, there are considerably more blacks, and Hispanics than whites. More of the teachers and administrators are black or Hispanic than white. In the apartment complex, it is rare to see any white people. It is probably more like 85 or 90% black and Hispanic. So I would say their race is fairly well represented around here. Mine, not as much.



     

  • LindaClement
    January 28, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    My neighbourhood is not completely white. It's also not completely english speaking. It's not completely home owners. It's not completely rentals. 

    I prefer cities for a number of reasons: backwater homogeny being one of them --and it doesn't matter to me if that 'homogeny' is all-white, all-Christian, all-Black, all-Spanish or all-bigoted .... it's the 'all-' that's the problem, imo.

    Thinking 'we're normal, they're different' is uncivilized.

    Quoting mommajen32:

    **sigh**

    It's not talking about borrrowing a cup of sugar.

    Here's an example, when dh and I were looking for houses there were many many many communities in the area that we had to scratch off of the list. We would be met w/real live hoatility bc people do not want a black or mixes family living in their neighborhood and even town. The schools are 100 percent white....and it's just known. You do not go there you are not welcomed. And certainly we took that into account when buying a house ...even moreso because how our children qould be treated in the neighborhood. The OP has an excellent point...I testify to it. I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw my neighbor's biracial.grandkids.

    And knowing neighbors is important to me as well. When my uncle.came to town my neighbor came over to find out qho he was...it's a blessing to have someone watch over your house and kids. That's how I was raised.


    Quoting LindaClement:

    #48

    Wow, is that ever none of my business. After living here 12 years, I still barely know my neighbours, and I'm completely fine with that.


  • stormcris
    January 28, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    I can say those exist. I can also say those only exist for certain groups in society. It is not merely enough to be white to gain the privilege. I think if the demographic of the area changes then it changes these privileges in many ways as well.

  • mommajen32
    January 28, 2013 at 11:51 PM
    What good is it if you don't know any of them?

    Backwater is a bit offensive but I understand what you mean.

    The concept is looking at the US population. The majority of the population does not live in neighborhoods like you describe...just by sheer numbers. Broaden your scope.


    Quoting LindaClement:

    My neighbourhood is not completely white. It's also not completely english speaking. It's not completely home owners. It's not completely rentals. 

    I prefer cities for a number of reasons: backwater homogeny being one of them --and it doesn't matter to me if that 'homogeny' is all-white, all-Christian, all-Black, all-Spanish or all-bigoted .... it's the 'all-' that's the problem, imo.

    Thinking 'we're normal, they're different' is uncivilized.

    Quoting mommajen32:

    **sigh**



    It's not talking about borrrowing a cup of sugar.



    Here's an example, when dh and I were looking for houses there were many many many communities in the area that we had to scratch off of the list. We would be met w/real live hoatility bc people do not want a black or mixes family living in their neighborhood and even town. The schools are 100 percent white....and it's just known. You do not go there you are not welcomed. And certainly we took that into account when buying a house ...even moreso because how our children qould be treated in the neighborhood. The OP has an excellent point...I testify to it. I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw my neighbor's biracial.grandkids.



    And knowing neighbors is important to me as well. When my uncle.came to town my neighbor came over to find out qho he was...it's a blessing to have someone watch over your house and kids. That's how I was raised.




    Quoting LindaClement:

    #48

    Wow, is that ever none of my business. After living here 12 years, I still barely know my neighbours, and I'm completely fine with that.


  • LindaClement
    January 30, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    One of the more amusing cross-border observations I've made as a Canadian living in Canada is that the two positions of the governments have --whether intentionally or not-- resulted in two very different realities.

    In Canada, multiculturalism is a foundation principle --people are encouraged (and often funded) to retain and celebrate their cultural heritage. The result has largely been diffuse neighbourhoods of Canadian-First people from all over the world, who may nod occasionally to their 'heritage' and its importance to their children's understanding of life, but hardly hold dear to its practice in daily life.

    In the US, the 'melting pot' principle of assimilation has resulted in thousands of enclaves of distinct cultures, alien to those around them, clinging hard to their language and culture deep in the heart of the largest of cities, as well as in outlying areas of exclusivity.

    Neither government could have been more successful at the other's goal if they'd tried. Intentional, or accidental, do you think?

    Quoting mommajen32:

    What good is it if you don't know any of them?

    Backwater is a bit offensive but I understand what you mean.

    The concept is looking at the US population. The majority of the population does not live in neighborhoods like you describe...just by sheer numbers. Broaden your scope.


    Quoting LindaClement:

    My neighbourhood is not completely white. It's also not completely english speaking. It's not completely home owners. It's not completely rentals. 

    I prefer cities for a number of reasons: backwater homogeny being one of them --and it doesn't matter to me if that 'homogeny' is all-white, all-Christian, all-Black, all-Spanish or all-bigoted .... it's the 'all-' that's the problem, imo.

    Thinking 'we're normal, they're different' is uncivilized.

    Quoting mommajen32:

    **sigh**



    It's not talking about borrrowing a cup of sugar.



    Here's an example, when dh and I were looking for houses there were many many many communities in the area that we had to scratch off of the list. We would be met w/real live hoatility bc people do not want a black or mixes family living in their neighborhood and even town. The schools are 100 percent white....and it's just known. You do not go there you are not welcomed. And certainly we took that into account when buying a house ...even moreso because how our children qould be treated in the neighborhood. The OP has an excellent point...I testify to it. I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw my neighbor's biracial.grandkids.



    And knowing neighbors is important to me as well. When my uncle.came to town my neighbor came over to find out qho he was...it's a blessing to have someone watch over your house and kids. That's how I was raised.




    Quoting LindaClement:

    #48

    Wow, is that ever none of my business. After living here 12 years, I still barely know my neighbours, and I'm completely fine with that.



Current Events & Hot Topics

Active Posts in All Groups
More Active Posts
Featured Posts in All Groups
More Featured Posts
close Join now to connect to
other members!
Connect with Facebook or Sign Up Using Email

Already Joined? LOG IN