Tuesday, July 21, 2015

White Privilege

"Change your thoughts and you change the world."
-Norman Vincent Peale

I just went to Dictionary.com to check the spelling of "privilege" and found this:

1. a right, immunity, or benefit enjoyed only by a person beyond the advantages of most
4. the principle or condition of enjoying special rights or immunities
5. any of the rights common to all citizens under a modern constitutional government 6. an advantage or source of pleasure granted to a person

I am a White person. I dislike race terms; I rarely identify myself that way. But for the purpose of this post, I must say that is how I am seen, and I know I benefit from the color of my skin, so I must state that here. 

I assume I am speaking to mostly White people here...

Do we all as White people know how much we have White Privilege? Do you know how much you can do, and receive, because of this skin-deep difference?

Many of us who are White experience the privileges defined above. Number 5 is noteworthy. ALL citizens should have common rights but we don't. White people get more in general (I think so anyway).

I have heard some Black and Brown people are stopped and held back from doing whatever they are doing because of their skin-deep difference.

White people are welcome to buy homes wherever we want. Black and Brown people have not had this privilege in the past.  Hopefully it is better now. The fact that many White people can even afford to buy homes is a privilege our parents might have benefited from...and that benefit was passed to us. Learn about the G.I. Bill (this links to Wikipedia) and elsewhere.(See the book below.)

White people can get jobs easier. We can get into better schools more easily.

White people can shop in a store without being watched (see True Colors video for examples of this, below).

White people aren't asked to speak for their whole race. Or discriminated against because of a few bad apples.

White people can see police officers and might wave a hello, trusting the officer sees us as just a citizen instead of a potential criminal. And we haven't had personal experiences enough to give us reason to fear them, or not even want to be friendly with them.

That is powerful. That is very sad.

I am reading a helpful book called Waking Up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving. It is giving me the information I need to know about this privilege. For example, I learned about the G.I. Bill benefit from this book.

What does this mean I should do differently? This is what I struggle with (my first step is this: see Why this Blog?). Feeling guilt is not the answer. Let's talk, and think, about this instead. Please share this blog with your friends and family. Thanks.

Showing Up for Racial Justice: showingupforracialjustice.org
  • specific for white people to be involved

MTV's "White People" documentary
I made this its own post, go here.

True Colors - Racial Discrimination in Everyday Life 
report by Diane Sawyers.
I made this its own post, go here.

Straight White Male: The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is 
I made this its own post, go here for this helpful and clever white privilege metaphor.

see Cross-racial Conversations

Why this Blog?

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