This is an example of white privilege
“What is white privilege?”
I receive this question in my ask box at least once a month. Either that, or the statement that it doesn’t exist.
Well, let me give you an idea.
I went to Cheyenne this weekend to a political meet and greet, then decided to meet up with some pals at a dive bar that evening. I was heading down Pershing St. through a residential neighborhood, window down, smoking a cigarette, and listening to Dead Prez. Loud. It was dusk and nice and cool, so why not?
Suddenly, two cruisers pulled up behind me. Mind you, I was going maybe 31 in 30. I slowed to exactly 30. One officer pulled up beside me on the driver’s side in a 20 mph zone, and rolled down his passenger side window. He peered into the driver’s side of my car. His compadre was right on my bumper. The cop next to me flicked off his flashight, stuck his hand out of the driver’s side window, and waved back at the other officer, who proceeded to back off. They fell back, and within a block, they were both gone.
Why is this an example of white privilege? As analyzed by a pal of mine, Daymon, who is a person of color and went to high school in Cheyenne:
“1. Your first thought was that you were speeding, not driving while Black. Like me. That’s the flank move. Assuming they’re gonna need backup because your ass IS GETTING PULLED OVER.
2. You never turned the music down or anything. Why would you? It’s not like it suddenly made you more Black, unlike me. And by that, I mean a dangerous, suspicious Black man in a mostly white neighborhood. I’m probably there to do something to their daughters, you know? Doesn’t matter I was a loan officer in town when I moved back. A professional. Who lived in that neighborhood. I was just a snazzy-dressed uppity negro in a nice car daring to roll through their neighborhood.
3. When they found out you were white, you got a golden ticket instead of one for noise ordinance. I know a bunch of guys who got tickets for noise in white neighborhoods, even though we had our shit lower than their precious lily-white Ashleys and Dakotas listening to Eminem or some shit emo. If it had a beat, and you’re Black, obviously you’re a gangsta looking to deal those kids dope.
4. You wondered what the hell happened and shrugged it off. I don’t get that luxury.
In summary, congratulations, you’re white. Please move to the front of the line.”
I would imagine he’s not the only man who’s experienced this, nor the only person of color. And that, my friends, is an example of white privilege and its not-so-subtle benefits. I feel like an asshole for not recognizing it off the bat for what it was — like I said, I thought I was getting a speeding ticket.
And anyone who claims we live in post-racial America, well, I invite you to drive down Pershing Ave. listening to hip-hop — or another major residential street in a “nice” neighborhood. Daymon said he’s been pulled over on that street every single time he’s been home to visit family, even when listening to NPR — as he said, “it isn’t the stereo, it’s the skin, but listening to loud hip-hop isn’t going to plead my case for being a ‘legitimate’ Black man. This shit doesn’t happen in Denver. As much.”
Do it. See if you get flanked. Two cops having a bad night, a good night, or yet another example of systemic racism? You can probably guess where I stand.
I really dislike the word “ignorance”
The dictionary defines ignorance as:ig·no·rance [ig-ner-uhns]nounthe state or fact of being ignorant; lack of knowledge, learning, information, etc.It means you’re stupid, not you’re racist, or homophobic, or whatever.Yet people throw it around all the time when they get offended by someone. They’re like “You’re ignorant because you made a joke I don’t find funny!”Just seriously, that’s my least favorite word in the world.…and now, because it’s Tumblr, I’m gonna have 50 bajillion people reblogging this saying shit like “This post is ignorant.”
Shit like this post makes you lose followers.
It’s your whole perspective and lack of understanding of why someone would be hurt by your actions. Oh, it’s a joke? Then why aren’t they laughing? Oh, they are offended? Are you sure there isn’t more to it? Quit acting like a little boy and try and have some empathy and understanding. That is actual ignorance, not actually understanding why things hurt each other. So yeah, you can be ignorant, unless you understand an issue and continue with your actions. So would you rather be a sexist who knows and understands that things are not fair for women and acts that way, or would you rather be someone who just doesn’t understand the problem.
Calling someone ignorant is a judgement, but it’s also implying that they can change.
Cut out your dictionary quoting ways, it’s a bullshit appeal to authority, and makes everyone roll their eyes at this bullshit. As words have meaning only in the context they are used. Are you saying that other people are using ignorance wrong? Well tough shit, it’s a context for it, language is liquid and meanings are not static. We can talk about how we use words and the logic behind the words chosen, but just quoting a dictionary definition? Doesn’t work.
You also like the term PC, I assume you use it as a negative, and it’s a very unpopular term as well, as what PC represents means false statements and coding. PC means “don’t say the word that makes people made, say this instead!” without any actual understanding of an issue. Being PC means being dishonest in this age. The start of the Political Correct ideas were good, by creating terms to counter terminology that is inately racist, sexist, ablist and such, but has been hijacked and no longer used to think about how language separates and hurts.
So yeah, bro, you are being kind of ignorant right now. But ignorance can be fixed. Go read something, maybe start with Privilege concepts.
There is a good start about White Privilege.
Get rid of the ignorance a bit and then reassess things.
Enough ladies. I get it. You have periods.”
He applauded women like Whitney Cummings, Chelsea Handler and Tina Fey securing a voice to discuss formerly taboo subjects on TV.
“But we’re approaching peak vagina on television, the point of labia saturation,” he added.
The current female TV boom contrasts with Two and a Half Men mostly portraying women as bimbos, something Aronsohn isn’t about to apologize for.
“Screw it… We’re centering the show on two very damaged men. What makes men damaged? Sorry, it’s women. I never got my heart broken by a man,” Aronsohn earlier told the Toronto conference during a keynote address.
With all the “fun” we have being enraged by all the casual and not-so-casual racism, it’s easy to forget there’s all sort of sexism out there just waiting to angry up our blood.(via secotm)
Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple.”
Barry Switzer, former football coach for college and professional teams, giving what I think is a marvelous definition of privilege.
Pretty friggin’ spot on.