Dismantling White Supremacy : White Privilege Pt 1: What it’s not.

☀Topic 2: White Privilege Pt 1 – What it’s not.☀

(Part 2 tomorrow night maybe)


Here’s a loose analogy and forgive me for trying to frame it this way but I had to try…


Imagine that you are Edward Scissorhands. You walk through town, you have sharp pointy things on your hands. Until someone points out that those scissorhands can hurt someone, you’re not going know it are you? But knowing that doesn’t mean that your pointy, scissorhands are inherently bad. The pointing out is not to shame or deride, it’s meant to make you aware that you might be carelessly brandishing a sharp tool. It just means you have to be careful, mindful, and judicious with where you put your hands. They are still useful and can be a tool for haircuts! 😂 But if you are careless with it you can hurt someone you might not mean to.


I see a lot of defensive reactions to someone pointing out that we have white privilege. I don’t believe it’s being pointed out to make you be ashamed of being white, you can’t help your skin color any more than any one else. It’s being pointed out because knowing you have white privilege in a society that doesn’t care for its black communities is an essential awareness. If used properly it can actually help people (be careful of that white savior complex, tho. More on this later).


Denying that you have white privilege is a wall between understanding the racial dynamics of the country. This is something that white people inherently have in our society, whether you realize it or not. It’s a shield whereas a person’s blackness is often seen as a target.


Shedding all other factors, socioeconomic background, type of vehicle you drive, type of clothes you wear, what kind of extracurricular activities you participate in, white privilege has everything to do with your whiteness or how white you appear to be.


There is a bit of a linguistic confusion here because people see the word “privilege” and think that means they are supposedly getting free handouts.

Read this line multiple times: ❗White privilege is not what EXTRA happens to you, but what DOESN’T happen to you.


❗White privilege is not what EXTRA happens to you, but what DOESN’T happen to you.


❗White privilege is not what EXTRA happens to you, but what DOESN’T happen to you.


Whiteness is an inescapable feature about you, however…


You will not be denied a job because of your whiteness. You are not assumed to be a criminal because of your whiteness. You are not assumed to be lazy because of your whiteness. You are not assumed to be from “the ghetto” because of your whiteness. You are not passed over in the job applicant pool because your name sounds white. You are not pulled over on the freeway multiple times a day or week because of your whiteness. You are not seen as an immediate danger because of your whiteness. No one will call the police on you because of your whiteness and hanging out in a park. You will not be harassed walking around your neighborhood because of your whiteness. You will not be told to leave Starbucks because of your whiteness.


These are all the things that won’t happen to just because you happen to be white.


However, if you flip it… If you were black, more often than not, the following is your reality.


You will be denied a job because you are black. You are assumed to be a criminal because you are black. You are assumed to be lazy because you are black. You are assumed to be from “the ghetto” because you are black. You are passed over in the job applicant pool because your name sounds black. You are pulled over on the freeway multiple times a day or week because you are black. You are seen as an immediate danger because you are black. Someone will call the police on you because you are black and hanging out in a park. You will be harassed walking around your neighborhood because you are black.


❗Understanding your place in the dynamic of white privilege is important for dismantling the structural and societal forgiveness of white supremacist and racist acts and speech.

Ask yourself these questions and think about how your experience might be or will be different than someone who is black…


–Will I be pulled over just because I am white?


–Will I be able to go running through my neighborhood without someone thinking I stole something or am running from the law?


–Will I make it through a DUI arrest? Can I expect a “fair” penalty? (Expense aside, will I make it out alive?)


–Can I get a job in my chosen field without someone judging me for the color of my skin, the texture of my hair, the name on my application?


What do you do now that you know you have white privilege? Read about it with an open mind.


I’m still learning, too! Today I read a very famous paper by Peggy McIntosh called “White Privilege: Unpacking The Invisible Knapsack” and there were things in it that I didn’t consider.


It’s important to know what white privilege is not, but it’s also important to know what it is! But that’s for tomorrow.

Stay tuned for the second part of this topic: How White Privilege is Oppression. Yes, that’s a inflammatory title, sorry guys this was the nice part, part two is gonna rip us a new one. 😁

Questions and/or comments?

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