The other day I got into a debate (a very nice word for it) with a couple of WASPs about what exactly “white privilege” means. Most white people I have talked to–and this might not be a completely accurate generalization, because I live in a “former” Confederate state in the Bible Belt–will agree that WP is a myth.
“White privilege” does not mean you get everything handed to you on a silver platter because you’re white. It doesn’t mean you live in Suburbia where you throw weekly BBQs and drive a Beamer while black men are being told “no you can’t have this job at a Fortune 500 Co bc yeah, you’re qualified, but you’re also black”. That’s not what this means, and that’s your first problem–you don’t understand what the term is referring to. You work, you pay for your own education, and that’s truly awesome. I’m doing the same thing, and we’re blessed to have the opportunities to grow the way we’re growing.
“White privilege” is when suburbians in Bismarck, ND rejected the pipeline going through their land for fear of it polluting their water, so they set it up to pass through Standing Rock instead, because Bismarck was an “area of higher consequence”. White privilege means that white North Dakota shook their heads at polluted water, so we laid it on the shoulders of Native Americans instead, despite their peaceful protests, their stand-ins, their months of pleading and praying and petitioning. White privilege is taking a continent from an Indigenous people, and having the gall to set aside land for them out of the goodness of your hearts, and then later polluting it because the white majority in Bismarck didn’t like that.
“White privilege” means throwing a fit when they remove the 10 Commandments from a government building, and then bulldozing Native Americans’ sacred burial grounds.
“White privilege” is the 1960s, when our white government refuses a $2M program to rid a black neighborhood of a severe rat infestation, where Martin Luther King Jr. famously said “they value rats over people”, because…they were black.
“White privilege” means getting to wave a Confederate Flag because of “rights”, and defending (or ignoring completely) the KKK because of “rights”, but when Beyonce gets on stage with her dancers dressed like the Black Panthers (a group formed to teach minorities self-defense against, you guessed it, police brutality), white America screams “HOW DARE SHE?!?!?! THAT’S SO RACIST!!!! I AM BEING OPPRESSED!!”
“White privilege” is white people throwing a fit because how come there’s a BLACK history month but no WHITE history month??? Because it’s not like Anglo-American history is taught year-round…
White privilege is praising Donald Trump for not paying billions of dollars in taxes over the last two decades because it makes him “smart”, but blaming undocumented immigrants for not paying thousands of dollars in taxes (fact check: undocumented immigrants do pay taxes).
“White privilege” means there are black boys spending YEARS in prison for marijuana, while we’ve got Brock Turner, David Becker, John Enochs, Daniel Kopin, Paul Nungesser (I have dozens more–they’re all white college kids who rape people, if you hadn’t guessed) are still walking around free.
“White privilege” means white people have been running over people for several millenia and taking shit that wasn’t theirs and killing people they had no right or reason to kill (Crusades, slavery, the slaughter of millions of Natives, etc. etc.), but so many of y’all have the NERVE to complain about “Mexicans/Muslims taking over our country”. Our country??
“White privilege” is ignoring, or even laughing about the fact, that Donald Trump has 5 kids by 3 different women and brags about sexual assault, but…what would you have said if that were Obama talking? How would white America react to a black man with 3 different baby mommas talking about grabbing pussies left and right running for president?
“White privilege” is John Howard Griffin literally medically turning his skin dark and BECOMING BLACK and writing a WHOLE BOOK about how different and scary it is to be black, and y’all can still sit here and say “oh well I’ve never seen it, so it’s not real”.
“White privilege” is being able to read over all of that and say “white privilege is a myth”, because you will never experience the world in any other way.

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