Don’t understand privilege? Maybe this will help.

Warning:  This post may offend some readers bc I’m going to talk about that most dreaded of words: P R I V I L E G E.  While there are many types of privilege and multiple social groups that benefit from the concept, all too often, I hear the whines of white folks who deny the existence of White Privilege. Denial to the point of Losing. Their. Shit. The way some of them (please note the wording for you #notallwhitz people) react to that word, you’d think speaking it conjured a demonic entity that spews vomit, does 360º head spins, masturbates with a cross, and wants to spend eternity joined in unholy matrimony by their side. Common refrains of “I’m not privileged. I’ve had a hard life” or “I grew up poor, how can you say I have privilege” can be heard by these poor beleaguered souls doomed to an eternity of matrimonial bliss by the side of a demon from the nether regions of hell.  But really, I need you folks to calm down. Stop being so damned testerical. Breathe. Engage those logical thought processes that you are so fond of proclaiming you possess and listen. Yes, it’s that time again. That time when you sit down, shut up, and listen. I’m going to attempt for the umpteen thousandth time to explain the concept of privilege. I have no idea why bc to be honest, bc some of you nincomfucks are *still* not going to get it. But here goes:

Continue reading “Don’t understand privilege? Maybe this will help.”

Don’t understand privilege? Maybe this will help.

“You have privilege” is not an insult

Heard (read would be more accurate but ::shrugs::) on Facebook:

Good story, but I’m a little offended with the term “white privilege”. How about instead calling it what it truly is- empathetic HUMAN compassion and leave race and skin color out of the equation.

The story being referred to in the quote doesn’t matter for the purposes of this post. What I wanted to address was this person’s offense with the term ‘white privilege’. I’ll begin with a little prayer:

Oh dear god whom I don’t believe in bc I’m atheist-save me from people who get offended at the term white privilege.

With that out of the way, let me don the teachers cap:

Continue reading ““You have privilege” is not an insult”

“You have privilege” is not an insult

"You have privilege" is not an insult

Heard (read would be more accurate but ::shrugs::) on Facebook:

Good story, but I’m a little offended with the term “white privilege”. How about instead calling it what it truly is- empathetic HUMAN compassion and leave race and skin color out of the equation.

The story being referred to in the quote doesn’t matter for the purposes of this post. What I wanted to address was this person’s offense with the term ‘white privilege’. I’ll begin with a little prayer:

Oh dear god whom I don’t believe in bc I’m atheist-save me from people who get offended at the term white privilege.

With that out of the way, let me don the teachers cap:

Continue reading “"You have privilege" is not an insult”

"You have privilege" is not an insult

A white privilege sighting

white privilege card
My fellow social justice warriors are familiar with white privilege-the sociological concept that describes the unearned benefits and advantages society confers upon white people (as a result of their race) that enables them to move through life with greater ease than those who do not possess white skin. But it’s one thing to understand the concept. It’s another thing entirely to explain it to others in such a way that they understand it-especially people with little to no background in social justice or sociology. Many an SJW has tried explaining this concept to people unfamiliar with the term-often the people most in need of understanding it-only to quickly find themselves deeply frustrated. Responses like “stop trying to make me feel guilty for being white” or “I earned everything I have in life” or “I’ve suffered too” or “I haven’t gotten any special privileges in life” are all too common. Such responses have caused untold facepalms and headdesks. Like many other SJW’s, I’ve had many firsthand experiences with both. And like many others, I have often failed. There have been countless times I have wished there were an easy way to explain white privilege such that people could grasp the concept. Is there a perfect illustration of white privilege that highlights the stark differences between the treatment of white people in society versus the treatment of People of Color? Yes, I think there is:

Continue reading “A white privilege sighting”

A white privilege sighting

White people sure are lucky

Michael Brown, Jr.

Rekia Boyd

Kendra James

Walter L. Scott

Edward Foster III

Know what all of these people have in common? They’re all dead at the hands of police officers. The all-too common response we hear from cops who kill African-American women and men?

Continue reading “White people sure are lucky”

White people sure are lucky

Until they confessed, I had no idea they were racist

Happy Saturday! The sun in shining. The birds are chirping. Racist scumbags are being racist scumbags.

In an interview with Channel 4, the pair of neo-Nazi’s in the above image proudly proclaimed their racism, whined about the imaginary discrimination faced by white people in the United States, and showed off their, um “lovely” headquarters.

Continue reading “Until they confessed, I had no idea they were racist”

Until they confessed, I had no idea they were racist

It was an act of terrorism by a white supremacist

You can’t go a day without hearing someone say “The United States is a post-racial country”. In other words, racism, racial discrimination, and prejudice based on race are all things of the past. Leaving aside the fact that people who feel this way have an incomplete understanding of racism (seriously, they need a 101 lesson), these ignoramuses are also blind to the individual examples of racism that occur all the damn time. Normally I would list 5 examples of racism in the United States, but today I’m going to focus on one example.

Continue reading “It was an act of terrorism by a white supremacist”

It was an act of terrorism by a white supremacist

White USAmericans need their own Ghandi or MLK

The face oppression in all 50 states.

They face remarkable levels of discrimination.

In all areas of society they are underrepresented.

In all walks of life, they face increasing marginalization and victimization.

No, I’m not speaking of Black people. Or Asians. Or Hispanics. No, the group under attack…the one most in need of help…of being saved…that group is white people.

Please refrain from laughing.

Yes, here in the United States in 2015, white people face a grave, grave danger. One so monumental that white nationalist group American Renaissance recently held a debate on whether or not the “race problem” in the U.S. could be solved “within the U.S. political system”. The debate was held during their annual convention last month in Tennessee and featured several swell folks, including a fringe racist figure (but who cares about that, since racism is over in this country), a former KKK attorney (who probably lets black people use his restroom), and a few mainstream conservatives (I’ve heard they’re all really wonderful people):

Last month, the white nationalist group American Renaissanceheld its annual conference in Tennessee, bringing together fringe racist figures like AmRen’s Jared Taylor, the National Policy Institute’s Richard Spencer, and former Klan attorney Sam Dickson with activists who have ties with more mainstream conservative movements, including former National Review columnist John Derbyshire and onetime CPAC speaker Peter Brimelow.

American Renaissance is tied to the leadership of ProEnglish, a regular sponsor of groups such as CPAC.

The event included a debate about whether “the race problem” can be solved within “the U.S. political system,” with Brimelow and Derbyshire arguing that it can, and Spencer and Dickson arguing that it cannot.

Spencer argued that white Americans are becoming marginalized and victimized by an increasing non-white population, a problem that can only be confronted by finding “a white-advocate Martin Luther King or a white-advocate Gandhi” who can similarly “start from a position of weakness and capture people’s imagination.”

Again I say: no laughing

Yes white people are being marginalized and victimized, and a look at some statistics shows how awful it is for white people in the United States:

  • The majority of police officers are white
  • 65% of politicians are white
  • In the boardroom, corporate CEOs are overwhelmingly white
  • Of the more than 1.2 million licensed lawyers in the U.S., 88% are white
  • In the physician workforce white people again make up the majority racial demographic
  • Roughly 82% of public school teachers are white
  • The vast majority of journalists are white
  • More than 89% of those who receive lead roles in films, 87% of film directors, 92% of film writers, and 94% of lead actors in broadcast comedies or dramas are white (source)
  • Nearly 77% of active circuit court judges, roughly 90% of senior circuit court judges, almost 75% of active district court judges, and almost 90% of senior district court judges are white (source)
  • The vast majority of credited, solicited creators of comic books at Marvel and DC (the largest comic book publishers in the U.S.) are white
  • White people are the majority racial demographic among Major League Baseball rosters
  • Among college and university presidents, white people dominate
  • In 2011, white people made up 79% of instructional faculty members in U.S. colleges
  • By a landslide, the majority of business owners are white

I could go on and on (and on and on) about the plight of white people in this country. They are clearly being pushed to the fringes, have diminished representation in all walks of life, and wield an ever-shrinking amount of political and economic power. How anyone can look at the above figures and reach any conclusion other than white people are marginalized, oppressed, and discriminated against due to their race is beyond me. Clearly they need an inspirational figure…someone like a Ghandi or Martin Luther King, Jr…to capture people’s imaginations and work to address the social, political, and economic inequality facing white USAmericans.

 Ok, now you can laugh.

Disclaimer: the mockery contained in this post (yes, it was mockery) is aimed at the idea that white people face oppression, marginalization, discrimination, and/or inequality because they are white. Other factors, such as sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, and class do indeed affect white people (on the whole though, they are affected to a lesser degree than People of Color, bc contrary to people who think like Bill ‘domestic abuser’ O’Reilly, white privilege does exist), but again, none of that is because they are white.

White USAmericans need their own Ghandi or MLK

My response to Rep. Fiore (R-NV)

I sent the following message to Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, in response to her comments suggesting that racism is a thing of the past:

Rep. Fiore,

I recently became aware of the comments you made during a hearing before the Nevada Assembly’s Legislative Operations and Elections Committee. These comments indicate that you feel racism is over. It is not, and the fact that you think so worries me. I also feel that you have a very limited understanding of racism.

Racism is not just “discrimination or bigotry towards an individual or individuals based on their actual or perceived race”. The sociological definition of racism is ‘power plus prejudice’ and is inclusive of individual acts of bigotry as well as systemic race-based discrimination.

Racism is more than lynching (have you read about the hanging of Otis Byrd yet?).

It is more than calling black people, American Indians, Latinos, or Asians one of the many bigoted slurs used to deny them their basic humanity (slurs which continue to be used to this day).

Racism is more than making black people sit at the back of the bus or enter the back door of an establishment.

Racism isn’t limited to the US imprisoning Japanese Americans in WWII.

It’s more than the Tuskegee Experiments.

It’s more than ‘Birth of a Nation’.

Racism is more than just the way people act, or the things they say. Racism is also about institutions. Institutions like the USAmerican criminal justice system which treats white people more fairly than people of color, disproportionately targets Blacks and Latinos for stopping and frisking, and imprisons African-Americans at an alarming rate.

Racism is also the War on Drugs.  Despite the fact that White Americans use drugs at roughly the same rate as African-Americans, the War on Drugs has had a far greater impact on Black people.

Racism is about people failing to realize that ‘People of Color’ and ‘African-American’ are not interchangeable terms.

Racism is also the way politicians speak about and craft legislation concerning undocumented immigrants.

Racism is also the way people refer to African-Americans as thugs (which is a stand-in for N*gger). Or the way political pundits drone on about “black on black” violence while ignoring the fact that white people commit almost as much violence against other white people.

Racism is also about politicians fighting to end or reduce the effectiveness of government assistance programs. Many political figures think that those making use of government assistance are all unemployed, lazy black people who shouldn’t be supported by the government. They’re ignorant of the facts that show that huge numbers of low-income people *have* jobs and still need government assistance to survive. They’re ignorant of all the poor white men and women who use government assistance, as well as the children of poor families who need it and the senior citizens who need it. Meanwhile, corporations across the country get tax breaks–i.e. government assistance–and there’s not a peep from these politicians.

Racism is also about voter ID laws which disproportionately target People of Color.

Racism is also the way people think of Muslims as being a threat (yes there is a racial component to anti-Muslim bigotry; these bigots likely don’t have white Muslims in mind when they talk about the threat of Muslims and Islam).

Racism is also about the implicit racial biases that float around in the back of the minds of even those people who think they aren’t racist. These biases affect us on subconscious levels and can be difficult to detect, but they are there. Subconscious biases lead people to make snap judgments about others, such as when a woman clutches her purse as she walks past black people.

Racism is also respectability politics. African-Americans are routinely admonished to pull their pants up,

Racism is not over. It is still alive and well. It manifests in both subtle and overt ways and can be seen in individuals or institutions. It affects African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Latinos, and American Indians. While White Americans can be indirectly affected by racism (for instance, white friends or family members of PoC), they are not the target of it. It is American Indians, not White Americans, who are directly impacted by the continued refusal of the Washington Redskins’ owner to change the teams’ name.  It is Latinos and Hispanic-Americans, not White Americans, who have to deal with racist Sheriff Joe Arpaio. It is Asian-Americans, not White Americans, who face labor market discrimination.  It was African-Americans, not White Americans, who were horribly treated-for decades-by the racist Ferguson Police Department.  And rather than White Americans, it is African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and Latinos, Asian-Americans, and American Indians who are routinely face discrimination at all levels in the motion picture film industry. As a White American, you do not get to decide when racism is over. You are not the target.

I hope the pushback you’ll inevitably receive prompts you to learn more about racism in the U.S.  There is a wealth of information available attesting to the continued existence of racism. That it permeates our culture is a fact. Unlike People of Color, that is a fact that you have the privilege of not acknowledging. As racism doesn’t affect your everyday life in any meaningful way, you don’t have to live with the daily realities faced by People of Color. By denying the existence of racism, you erase the stories of people across the country. And that in itself is racist.

So was referring to your colleague as ‘colored’.


A Person of Color who continues to be affected by racism

My response to Rep. Fiore (R-NV)

[White] Privilege has its benefits

One of those benefits is that you can be a camouflage wearing, air-gun toting, 13-year-old white male with a real gun holster and a real tactical knife, and you get to stay alive following an encounter with the police:

Officer Jason Shreves, a 10-year police veteran who spent five years on patrol in West Baltimore, was responding when he was flagged by a frantic woman in an SUV. Hurry, she said. There’s a man with a gun.

“This is about to get real,” Officer Shreves remembers thinking.

He turned a corner and saw someone dressed all in black and camouflage, carrying what looked like an AR-15 assault rife. He was wearing a ski mask and a holster with what looked like a hand gun in it.

“Drop the gun and get on the ground,” he shouted. He’d drawn his service weapon, a .40-caliber semi-automatic.

The suspect obeyed and was handcuffed.

But when the police officer took off the ski mask, he saw the frightened face of a 13-year-old boy. The teen had apparently been strutting around the neighborhood with all his Christmas stuff, an Airsoft rifle and an Airsoft pistol, both of which shoot plastic pellets.

And nobody died.

Nobody died because Officer Shreves gave the teen a chance to comply with his orders, rather than shooting him 2 seconds after exiting his police car. It’s a shame Tamir Rice didn’t get that same benefit. It’s almost as if white people are treated differently in the United States or something.

[White] Privilege has its benefits