White privilege is… being able to walk somewhere with a group of similar people and not have kids or other people mock and pretend to speak the non-English language. (I turned around when a group of kids did that to me literally behind my back and told them “I speak English perfectly well, thanks!”, to which their reaction was “oooh, BUSTED”)
White privilege is not having someone tell you that you would really like a tv show because it blends the cultures of China and the Old West, only for there not to be any use of Chinese other than to sound profound or to curse… and for there to not be any Asian actors on the show in question.
White privilige is being able to watch 2 shows of “pretty white people” and pretend that there is not any Asians in the area where the shows are set even though there are sizable Asian communities in both locations.
white privilege is not getting called in airport security to see if you’re carrying cocaine, marijuana, etc, due to your nationality.
White privilege is going to the States and not getting asked if “You have some drugs I can buy” or “Do you now how to make pot brownies.”
My nationality and my race don’t make me a drug exporter.
White privilege is ignoring the opinions of PoC while arguing against racism. If you do not experience the ramifications of racism then you cannot tell people how to end it.
White privilege is having to make up fake scenarios where “racism” could happen to white people in an attempt to prove that white people can experience racism too.
White privilege is never being discriminated against and not rented a place solely because of your race, even though it may be illegal. I had been finding it unusually hard to find a place to rent in London - I could provide all the necessary paperwork, pay for 6 months up front and have been employed for years, but for some reason lettings agents always seemed to be making excuses not to rent to me or saying that “the property is off the market/somebody new just took the place” whenever I called to make an offer or ask to view a property.
When I finally did find a place, it was with other black women whom a mutual friend recommended me to. I told them in puzzlement about how it had taken me months to find a place, and potential landlords and estate agents seemed to dislike me and be brushing me off for no reason at all, whereas everyone else I know who has moved to London has been able to find a place within a couple of weeks at most. They told me that, though it’s illegal for estate agents to discriminate, they can still do it on behalf of landlords if the landlord so requests - they’re just very secretive about this.
I read some online articles they showed me about this and was horrified - a couple of British newspapers did some undercover journalism, and apparently the majority of estate agents in a certain area would see no problem with not letting to people of a particular race if the landlord asked for it. They were even filmed saying stuff like “We can tell by speaking to them on the phone what colour they are” on camera! That was when I realised that just because racial discrimination is supposedly illegal does not make it impossible for racism to still take place and go completely unpunished.
White privilege is not even thinking twice about reporting something to/calling the police.
I had a friend who in college once came back to his dorm covered in mud and fall asleep on the floor because he was so tired. He sometimes sleeps with his eyes open. His roommate went into the room, saw him there, thought he was dead, and left the room and went to class.
When my friend showed up for class, his roommate thought he was seeing a ghost. When his roommate told him what happened, my friend asked why he didn’t call the police.
His roommate told him he was afraid that he would be blamed for murder and went to class to have an alibi.
Society has scared black people to the point where they can’t help others. That’s seriously beyond messed up.
White privilege is going up to someone of color and trying to “speak their language” despite being completely wrong and just laughing about it afterwards despite clearing being racist in that moment. Just because someone is tan/of color doesn’t mean they are [insert race], and just because someone is tan/of color doesn’t mean they speak [insert language].
White privilege is the ability to write awful and grammatically atrocious lines as a well-paid copywriter, then criticize non-white students for “displaying a lot of trouble with English” only because they speak with an accent.
White privilege is protesting about ‘Shariah Law’ (without having a clue about what that is) in country you’ve never heard of just to get the feel good feeling that you did something for those poor voiceless brown folk.
White privilege is being able to disregard and belittle literature from cultures that are not yours by saying that “they use stupid words” and “these African names are too hard to pronounce”, and then think that the PoC that calls you out on this is overly-sensitive and needs to get over it, because you weren’t trying to be offensive.
White privilege is being able to throw a “Forbidden City” Prom with little to no consequences. White privilege is being able to tokenize and reduce my Chinese culture into a gimmick while simultaneously mocking me as a the “super smart Asian girl.” White privilege is seeing such acts of misrepresentation as cultural celebration. It’s only acceptable when white people appropriate it, right?
White privilege is not being street harassed because of your race. It is not being called a “fucking Paki bitch” as you go shopping and walk past a bunch of teenage boys waiting for the bus, who laugh and jeer at you and call out ethnic stereotypes despite the fact you are minding your own business. It is not having a white boy yell at you “What? Speak English!” and pretend not to be able to understand you after you turn around to ask him what his problem is in perfectly good English and call him out. It is not having said white boy then pull out his phone and try to take a picture of you “for Facebook”.
White privilege is not having to take a different route back from the shops, holding your keys in one hand in case you are attacked, and glancing around you constantly. It is not wanting to call the police, but knowing that they never do anything, that the last time this happened they were dismissive, got there half an hour after you called (by which time the harassers had long left) and told you off for wasting police time. It is not being scared to go out again that day in case you see those people again.
White privilege is not ever having to question and doubt and blame yourself, to wonder if you should have gone out, taken that route or even confronted them at all, despite the fact you were taking the 5-minute walk to the shops in one of the most expensive to live, and supposedly safe, areas of one of the most diverse cities in the UK (Birmingham), in broad daylight. White privilege is not wondering if you should move, as this is not the first time this has happened, but also wondering, if you’re already living in a supposedly “nice” and “safe” area in a city full of POC people and still get street harassed for your race, is there anywhere really left to move?
White privilege is Jennifer Lawrence’s status as America’s BFF cemented by getting wasted at the Oscars and vomiting in a drunken stupor at Madonna’s party. This is celebrated “real person” behaviour, down-to-earth and adorable by the general public. I’m pretty sure the same plaudits would not be extended to fellow nominees Gabourey Sidibe and Jennifer Hudson if they did the same.
Submission from http://noiresque.tumblr.com