White privilege is my white English teacher going on about how much she loves the 1920’s era because it was so “fun and liberating” (we’re currently studying The Great Gatsby) and talking about how it was a time of gradual change towards equal rights for women, while completely ignoring that this ‘equality’ was basically white feminism and excluded WOC. White privilege is forgetting that the 20’s was actually the rise of white supremacy, where the KKK had it’s highest number of members and when books such as The Rising Tide of Color Against White World-Supremacy were published. White privilege is my white English teacher looking at me in astonishment when I answer sheepishly that I would not want to live in 1920’s America, and her not understanding why.
White privilege is not being suspected of foul play after seeing a man on the floor having a seizure and calling 911 for help, having a cop show up less than a minute later and not get out of the vehicle because he is “waiting for back up,” and when back up finally does show up, being told to “step away from the body” and “wait to be questioned” even though you were the one who called them in the first place.
White privilege is not having your boss come into your office, notice a nice painting on the wall and “joke” about whether or not you stole it from somewhere. (my Aunt’s story)
White privilege is being able to call the police about your car being broken into without worrying about them pulling a gun on you before checking out the situation. (my father’s story)
White privilege is thinking that your POC spouse of nearly twenty years has been overreacting and progressively becoming an extremist in terms of challenging oppressive societal norms until your mixed child starts telling you that they’ve had similar experiences because of their skin colour. White privilege is not believing that racism is real until it literally affects the blood of your blood. White privilege is undermining and invalidating your spouse’s struggles despite all the love you might have for them. White privilege is needing a child to tell you about racism to finally start understanding the same struggle an adult has told you about for nearly two decades. And even then, White privilege is telling your kid that they’d be happier “ignoring bigots, and not actively trying to point out racist behaviours”, because of course, it’s my responsibility not to see racism, rather than people’s responsibility NOT to be racists.
Submission from The Silly Soliloquy
White privilege is being able to view the British Empire as history’s “good guys” without controversy, for their role in the world wars, while conveniently forgetting that they also killed millions of Indians through preventable famines and massacres throughout the British Raj.
White privilege is believing that the term “paki” should only be found offensive towards Pakistanis, while all other South Asians are just “too sensitive”.
White privilege is sitting down in a shoe store with 2 shopping bags, one shoe off, wearing a colorful button up and jeans while texting and NOT being approached by other shoppers for help finding them sizes. White privilege is not being generalized as a service worker based solely on your skin color and your location in a high end shopping area, because, you know…I couldn’t possibly afford to shop here so I must be an employee.
White privilege is denying that race neutrality constitutes any kind of privilege when considering transracial adoption cases, and believing that race and culture should play no role in determining whether or not a child should go to a couple. White privilege is believing that race does not have an effect upon the lived realities of children of color and therefore need not be considered under transracial adoption cases, and furthermore that being able to consider race as one factor in making these determinations is a form of “reverse discrimination.”
Submission from funkyfreshflavor
White privilege is taking the Battle of Puebla, in which the Mexicans fought off the French and managed to succeed, and warping it into a false independence day for Mexico, using it as an excuse to dress up in ponchos and sombreros, and drink until you pass out.
White privilege is not researching and finding out that there was a second Battle of Puebla in which the French won and punished the Mexicans for retaliating. White privilege is not caring that Mexico’s Independence Day is on the 16th of September, and that was the day they won independence from Spain.
White privilege is finding out one of your friends who is a POC reads this blog. White privilege is then having your POC friend spend 30 minutes comforting you and making sure you know that they do in fact like you the way they are and your white skin is not a hindrance to the friendship, and they do not in fact think all white people are evil. It is not understanding that you are in fact oppressing them by requiring them to make you feel comfortable in your whiteness when not a single day goes by when they feel comfortable in their own skin.
White privilege is dressing up in all black with a veil and performing burlesque to “Strange Fruit”, a song made famous by Billie Holiday about the lynching of African Americans in the South. Maybe she was trying to be political, maybe she wasn’t. But for a white Canadian to make lyrics about “black bodies swinging from the poplar trees” about how sexy she is while she gets her kit off is at best an egregious display of privilege. At worst, it’s just straight up ignorant racism.
White privilege is not being voted “Most Likely To Join A Gospel Choir” in your high school yearbook despite NEVER singing once at school.
It’s never having your other achievements such as being head of the debate team, sub-editor for the school newspaper and lacrosse captain dismissed.
It’s never having the fact that after 7 years of being a multi-faceted student who is going to university to study Medicine, you are still only seen as a figure of coonery.
It’s never feeling the sadness of having to throw away your high school yearbook as it’s a reminder that to them you were nothing but a stereotype.
White privilege is having your radical, hateful, religion-driven action be deemed “upholding traditional values” and never “terrorism”.
White privilege is being welcome at any and every event on campus for different cultural groups and not having someone think you are lost because you are darker than beige and decided to support a friend and check out something new. Because obviously you don’t go here and must be visiting.