Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain


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

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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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