Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain

White Privilege: I Don’t Think it Means What You Think it Means

22 Comments

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We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. ~The U.S. Constitution

This picture has been making the rounds on social media this week.  It’s intended to show that white people are poor, too, I guess.

What is this thing we’re calling white privilege?  If you’ve never had to think about it, you’re privileged.

If you’ve never had to worry that driving through an affluent neighborhood in a nice car would make you suspect, you’re privileged.

If you’ve never had to worry when you walk into a job interview about whether or not you’ll get the job because of the color of your skin, you’re privileged.

If you’ve never had to worry about holding hands with your significant other because of the color of your skin, you’re privileged.

If you’ve never had to think about whether or not the quality of service you received was because of the color of your skin, you’re privileged.

If you’ve never worried about whether you could get health insurance, car insurance, a mortgage, or whether the rates you are offered for any of those things is higher because of the color of your skin, you’re privileged.

Being rich or poor has absolutely nothing to do with white privilege.  You see, being poor might make you less privileged, but if you are white you are privileged nonetheless. There may be a cast system here where some are more privileged than others, but discrimination based on the color of your skin isn’t something you’ve likely every experienced if you’re white.

The mere fact that a white person felt freedom enough to post such a meme means you’re privileged.

Hating or disliking white people doesn’t render them powerless, it doesn’t oppress them, and it doesn’t deny them equality.

I detest the notion anyone might hate another based solely on the color of their skin.  However I do understand where it comes from.  We tend to disdain those who have more privilege than us.  Especially if we believe that those with the privilege are either keeping us oppressed or denying, or at the very least begrudging, us equality.

It is honestly absurd that any white person in America cannot see that they do, indeed, have privilege no matter their economic standing.

When I saw this meme I was immediately both embarrassed and angered at the same time.  It is a straw man.  Clearly those who perpetuate this fallacy have not really considered what it even means.  Nor have they considered what it might be like to walk around in the shoes of a black person for even one day.

White privilege:  I do not think it means what you think it means.

 

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22 thoughts on “White Privilege: I Don’t Think it Means What You Think it Means

  1. Human beings are insane. In your case it is skin colour and here it is tribe and I keep asking how stupid can we be to hate a person based on something not of their choosing?

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I hate it that posts like this even have to be written. But unfortunately they do because we’ll always have people who won’t value all humans the same way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It probably seems a little strange for a white woman to even write a post like this. I can’t possibly imagine what it must be like to walk around with a different color skin for even a day. But I do recognize that I have privilege because of that.

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  3. Madness indeed…. And I blame it all on chocolate brown haired people, the bastards.

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  4. Well, you know where I now live and you know ( I presume?) the history of the country … so , nuff said.

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  5. ….. all men are endowed —– with certain unalienable Rights —–. Agree. But …..all men are created equal….., ss that self-evident? I never understood that statement. Isn’t it a fact that we come to this world with different genes, we are received by different parents, grow up under different circumstances, have different tempers, show little or no tolerance of things or individuals we don’t like, that we [white people, that is] taught to avoid, to humiliate persons whose skins are of a different color – especially when it’s black? Why the privilege?
    I think that White Privilege is a hateful cultural mistake. Probably it means something else, so I’m looking forward to the possible conclusions of this forum on a great posting!

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    • I think that White Privilege is a hateful cultural mistake. Probably it means something else…

      I’m not sure I follow what you mean here. Can you elaborate?

      But …..all men are created equal….., ss that self-evident? I never understood that statement. Isn’t it a fact that we come to this world with different genes, we are received by different parents, grow up under different circumstances, have different tempers, show little or no tolerance of things or individuals we don’t like, that we [white people, that is] taught to avoid, to humiliate persons whose skins are of a different color – especially when it’s black?

      When each person is born they are equal in value and worth. They all have potential. Yes, we are different, but different shouldn’t equate to less valuable. When we deny others equality we are essentially devaluing them as human beings.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. We stayed in Harrison, Arkansas, over Labor Day weekend last year, and there’s a giant billboard on the north side of town that says basically the same thing. In fairness, the town has been trying to get it taken down, but then that’s problem with free speech, especially where it intersects with the free market…

    The problem with racism is that it is a default setting. It is so deeply ingrained in us as a society that either we unconsciously embrace it, or we spend our lives “protesting too much,” as Hamlet would say. And, like all prejudice, it operates largely on a macro-level, making it a perfect candidate for Internet meme-ery. Being from where I am from, I know many people who are still stuck in the mid-20th century, race relations-wise. For Pete’s sake, we have a part of town still referred to by some as “Color-town.” But one-on-one, these same people are open and accepting. A more contradictory situation is hard to imagine, but such is the role of race in our society. It makes us all a little two-faced…

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    • “…we have a part of town still referred to by some as “Color-town.”

      Here we have sections referred to as ‘the hood’.

      I get that racism might be a default setting and that many of us were taught this from a very early age BUT I don’t get how we cannot recognize the privilege we have. And not liking someone or desiring to spend time in the company of someone of a different hue is one thing. Denying them equal rights is another altogether.

      I get what you’re saying about the one-on-one thing. I live in South Georgia. It’s probably not much different from where you live.

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  7. I’ve been reading a post on internal oppression today which was really good. It’s very sad that people don’t get privilege, male privilege being my main gripe eg black male (Obama) trumps white woman (Clinton) or realise how the continue the same old prejudices.

    Years back on a forum, some British man was moaning about how oppressed he was. The White working class male was being discriminated against and he couldn’t get a job which, natch, was his right. Welcome to the real world ****hole.

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  8. I’ve got a male cousin who is also a Veteran. He is always moaning about how oppressed he is because he isn’t given privilege in being hired. Now me and my big mouth just had to say a little something about that. His specific gripe was that he wasn’t given the tools/skills during his time in the Army to do a “real world” job. Pardon me, Roy, but wouldn’t the Army have given you any education you wanted on the GI Bill? Um, er, don’t blame them because you didn’t take advantage of all that was offered.

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    • Don’t start me on that one Ruth. The number of ex-mil that come out WITH A GOOD PENSION, take a few courses and set up in business in competition with people who have been trying to make a living for years drives me up the wall. Yes, they put their lives on the line – knowingly – and yes, they should get a pension if they survive intact. However you look at it, all the ones I know could actually live out of their pension. Yet, must get more, while non-mil people are struggling to get money in … tough times.

      Military skill training though doesn’t always suit the real world though. In Gib we know a few ex-MIL’s and none use anything learned in service, but, they can live off their pension, or basically take unskilled jobs.

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      • I know that, in his specific case, he could have gotten any education he wanted. While he may not have learned the skills in whatever position he held while on active duty, the military provided him with the opportunity to go to college/university at their expense if he completed the course of study when his initial tour was up. He did go to university for nursing and dropped out just a few credits shy of completion. The military wanted their money back, of course, and that sent him on a rant all it’s own.

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  9. After reading every single installment of “The Book of Ruth”, it is SO EXCITING to read the words & thoughts of an EMPOWERED woman!!! 🙂

    Good post Ruth!

    Like

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