Take some time and think back over your personal life, list the times that the color of your skin has been a personal privilege? And the times the color of your skin has been a personal disadvantage?  Not another persons privilege or disadvantage, not some story you have heard of others.  Yours personally, some you may qualify as a guess or perhaps a could have been so.

But seldom does anyone actually have someone else say I am giving you privilege or disadvantage because of the color of your skin!  You can state that you could not see it, you were one out of a hundred people that applied for the same job. You did not see the other 99 so you have no idea who they were or the color of their skin. You might have got the job, but would have been the only white out of the hundred meaning the other 99 was a minority.

So, that means you should feel guilty of being the beneficiary of racism right?  You should be recognizing that there is white privilege and that is a point made by a guest on the Dillon Ratigan show.  Now since looking back, you personally, of all you have or had was it in your mind because of the color of your skin or because of your efforts?

On a personal level, I can not imagine anyone actually saying that the car in the drive or the roof over your head was because you are white. There is the problem that Torne said is the stumbling block to an understanding between the races.  The refusal of the whites to acknowledge on a personal level that they benefit from ‘White Privilege.’  But like the guy who asked me if I felt guilty for what my people did to his people? When everything he could list is something I had not done and knew no one who had.

One of my best friends grew up in a family of five children, where each day one member had to not eat a meal and their mother only ate once a day because there was not enough food for everyone to eat.  Over the years they lived in houses that were not much better then what people house their chickens in or store the mower in the winter.  It is vulgar, but is the truest example of how poor this family was:  “My friend’s family was so poor when he was growing up that if he did not wake up with a hard-on, he had nothing to play with the rest of the day!”  For his third birthday, his mother gave him a broken alarm clock as his birthday gift.  The rest of the story and one that is true of the rest of his life.  He took it apart and made it work!  And the alarm clock is an example of everything that life has given him.  Whenever life has given him a broken alarm clock he has taken it apart and made it work.

Therein lies the problem, few if any of us can look back and point to any time that white privilege has worked in our favor. We have seen the story of our life from the inside out not the other way around.  To tell my friend that because of being born with the color of his skin he has he was privileged. You would be expecting him to believe something that is invisible to him.

The same problem a Christian would have with a non-believer.  Without an example in his life to point to, you can not convince him that he should recognize it being there!

The same goes with me, never have I ever felt like because of the color of my skin that I have been privileged.  It was not until KAKE TV said it that I knew I lived in a “Socially-Economically depressed neighborhood”.  Only on  rare occasions did I ever feel like the color of my skin has been a disadvantage. In a life time everyone can and will feel that as an explanation for the outcome.

That your age was a matter, the color of someone else’s skin was a deciding factor, the gender you are was the matter.  Sadly like the stories you hear of, it is the truth.  Defecation occurs and life, people and society is far from perfect.

And like history, it can not be charged once written only the blank page of the future is write-able.


Filed under Original writings, Racial equality

27 responses to “WHITE PRIVILEGE

  1. tosmarttobegop

    Sorry the link is not working and it said it can not find the page.

  2. Your talented friend who took the alarm clock apart was what I call mechanically inclined. He could see what should have made that clock tick by taking it apart and seeing how everything fit together. If I could have even gotten the clock apart it wouldn’t have told me a darn thing. But I don’t see what race has to do with that. I don’t see what gender has to do with it. I just see his abilities and my lack of them. What did I miss?

    • tosmarttobegop

      He is white so there for he has privilege. He needs no talents or ability according the theory that because of his skin color he has an advantaged. The only advantage he has ever had is that ability, he uncanny ability to understand how things work often to the point he is able to dumbfound even though who have extensive training and education.

      More then once I have heard someone who’s livelihood depends on them knowing a lot about what ever it is. Suddenly exclaim that won’t work only to finally say OMG that will work!
      He never finished ninth grade and only after almost twenty years got his GED.

      Life has never just handed him anything, no one has ever assumed that he was anything he did not have to prove he is. Perhaps I am getting a little emotional, but it is insulting to say he had it any better simply because he is white.

  3. I grew up in a family with seven children and we were poor. But we had no idea in the world we were poor! First, most everyone in our neighborhood (which was our world) was about the same. There were a few we considered ‘rich,’ but they were few and they weren’t really rich, it just seemed they were in comparison.

    We did learn to make things last, to take care of what we had, that someone (not me) could probably repair whatever it was, and repairing was what we always thought of first. We entertained ourselves, we made toys out of empty thread spools, sticks, boxes, scraps of cloth… We didn’t buy what we couldn’t afford.

    I feel blessed to have lived that life and I think it helped me to be satisfied more easily. In downturns the people who didn’t have much never seem to suffer as badly as those who had a lot they couldn’t really afford to have.

  4. I think there is white privilege. There are still too many people in America who feel the white race is a superior one for me to believe they don’t give favor to white people while discriminating against those who aren’t.

  5. prairie pond

    I guess I’ve seen both sides of this. I didnt realize how the color my skin mattered until I lived in Beaumont, TX, which is 20 miles from Vidor, the current home of the KKK. No kidding. They MARCH along I-10, and the guy who tried to integrate their public housing, in both Beaumont and Vidor, was murdered after he moved into Vidor. It was the damnedest thing, to hear a banker refer to the civil war as “the recent unpleasantness”.

    I didnt really notice a lot of it personally until I lived with a wonderful African American woman who pointed out when things were happening, and what they were.

    But the most dramatic incident was when I was turning my territory in Mississippi over to a wonderful African American co-worker. We drove all over that state, and when we met with one of the community colleges that I brokered training from, the white bastard showed his true nature.

    My coworker would ask him a question, and he’d turn to me and answer it. The first time I thought, WTF? But it happened over and over in the hour we met with him. She’d say something, and he’d turn to me and reply.

    She later told me that’s an old southern trick. Just ignore the uppity n…. and she’ll learn her place. I was horrified. And maybe that isnt a strong enough word. I was humiliated to be white, and felt like I needed a shower after that meeting. But Janice was cool, professional, and took it all in stride. I wanted to whip his pussy southern ass. I wanted to file a complaint with the college, but she said not. She said it wouldnt do any good, especially in MS., and it would just make her job more difficult later on.

    On the other hand… I’ve lost out on a couple of jobs because I was white. You all know I did small business consulting for a long time, particularly in assisting them in obtaining government contracts. There were these things created in the late eighties and early nineties called MBDC’s. Minority Business Development Centers, and one of their primary missions was to help “disadvantaged” (Read minority owned) business access set-asides and regular government contracts.

    I applied twice to be the director of the Austin MBDC, but to no avail. I was far and away the most experienced and qualified candidate for that job, but… I was told on the QT that they would NEVER hire a white girl to do that job. The clients just couldnt relate.

    C’est la vie. What’s a white girl to do?

    I sure never had any trouble attracting minority owned businesses as clients in my PRIVATE consulting practice…. They just wanted the best help they could find, and didnt mind paying for it!

  6. prairie pond

    Oh yeah, and after I fired a couple of African American employees in Beaumont, not because of their race, but fired them for cause, the number one commercial real estate broker in that town complemented me for “cleaning up my office.” She noted the over all color had lightened up and she was glad I was doing that.

    WHAT THE F? No kidding. It was a whole different world down there.

  7. Freedomwriter

    I have lived in the north, south, and midwest. The regional differences in how the majority addressed racial issues varied significantly.

    I came face to face with those differences, when I began dating outside my race. I was promptly fired because they said people lost confidence in me!

    I soon was hired by an all-black agency, and had the honor of being the only white person. They welcomed me with open arms and playfully nicknamed me “Snow.” There I was accepted by the staff as well as by their clients. My color was not a factor. It pains me that if the color balance had been reversed ( if I were black working in an all white agency), I doubt I would have been treated with the same warmth and respect.

    • indypendent

      You’re right about the regional diferences. I went to college in the South and the kids from Georgia and Alabama were the ones that seemed to be filled with the most racist thoughts.

      I dated a guy from Georgia and he swore that the Civil War was going to be fought again one day and the South would win this time. When I asked him why he believed that – he said ‘because my grandpa told me so’.

      Oh, by all means, let’s go get our guns boys and commencing on that war again.

      heavy sarcasm/

  8. Hi Freedomwriter, welcome to PPPs and thanks for your input.

    Yes, racism is alive and well. Those who think it’s not must live where they don’t interact with ‘others.’ I don’t understand it, I just acknowledge its existence.

  9. indypendent

    Unfortunately, alot of that racism stems from churches. I went to college with some ‘good’ Baptists that believed the Bible was talking about black people when it referenced the beasts in the field.

    And let’s not think that discrimination is only about the color of your skin.

    When my husband and I were expecting our first baby – we went apartment hunting because we needed a bigger place. We went to this lovely little four-plex building and the real estate agent was ready for us to sign the papers right there on the spot until someone came to the door and called her out to the hallway.

    When this real estate agent returned to us, she quickly took the lease out of my husband’s hands and said that the apartment was rented yesterday.

    As we left, there was a hallway filled with older people watching us as my husband was helping me – a good 8 months pregnant – into the car.

    I called this agent’s real estate office when I got home and asked the owner (her boss) if the apartment was available for rent and he promplty answered ‘yes’ – would you like to go see it – it is available now.

    So were we discriminated against because we were a young pregnant couple that if we had moved into that apartment we would have made too much noise. Or maybe these older folks did not like kids?

    But there was no age restriction on the apartment – but as things were – could we have proved they were discriminating against us?

    Most times discrimination is hard to prove but you know it when you see it. In this case, my husband and I both are white and it did not bring us any privilege.

  10. tosmarttobegop

    It can all be called racism, but it is one of those issues that needs to be addressed and understood.
    The problem is that the perceptions are often not the truth or reality.
    As I said there are claims of “reverse racism” discounted and discredited with a swipe of the hand.
    And then defended with the remark that for over three hundred years and it goes on.

    Otherwise implying that it is revenge or pay back for sins committed by the entire race.
    The reality of that is like my response to Dudley the Black man that asked me if I felt any guilt.
    If I were to say that twi hundred years ago my great-great grandmother was raped by a Black man do you feel any guilt for that?

    He is talking about organized and institutionalized racism and I am talking about the act of individuals.
    But then both are responsible for the incidences at the time not generational responsibilities.

    Being passed on to the generations to follow after those responsible.

    the same goes for because someone is a certain skin color that they bare the responsibility and guilt for something they did not do or had any part of.
    Again a problem, when the issue of White guilt or White privilege is a stumbling point in the issue of race relations. Asking for everyone of a certain race to admit or acknowledge something that they themselves have either not done or seen in their own lives.

    Such a admittance or guilt will be at best a insincere or dishonest statement.

    Again you had no control or input none have you actually felt the effects to your personal knowledge.

    As P.P.. stated and many could that they have seen others in a isolated incident such things happen.
    But is it right or justice to blame her for those incidences? Did she chose to be White?

    By being born White does she bare the guilt of slavery and discrimination of years before she was born?

    For that matter since she was born, again she did not chose or force the incidence that she witnessed.

    If the claim was that P.P. is expected to feel guilt for a woman killing her children?

    Or that she should admit that because she is a woman and some women have received privilege for being a woman. She should feel responsibility for that or that she on a personal level have received privilege that she is not aware she has.

  11. It can all be called racism discrimination.

  12. Not all whites owned slaves. My Mennonite, German from Russia, ancestors owned what they could haul over on the ship in 1874. If anything, they did whatever they could to help anyone that they encountered. Over a few centuries they fled several countries to be able to live and worship as they believed. Do I have cause to feel white privilege OR guilt? I hate it when people paint with one broad brush for everyone.

    • Good to ‘read’ you, Moonshadow. Sounds like you are (rightfully so!) proud of your ancestors! Of course not every white owned slaves, and not everyone discriminates. I’m sorry you read ‘everyone’ and don’t think that was anyone’s intent.

  13. indypendent

    Not every white person is racist just as not every black person is racist.

    It is the actions of the few that keeps the hatred pot stirred up continuously.

    But in our country – and not that many years ago – it was the policies that gave the whites privilege. Even with Civil Rights Act in 1964, did it really solve the problem of racism?

    And to be truthful about it, didn’t our Founding Fathers go along with slavery to further their cause of getting independence?

    Politics – which makes the policies – were at play even back in the days of our country’s founding.

    But did they actually see it as racism or did they try to portray it as an economical factor? The logic was – without slaves, their plantations would not be prosperous.

    No matter if the entire world was the same color, I still believe we would have some sort of slavery. Look at today’s corporate world. How many people of all different races are slaves to their jobs?

    Many people have no power to change jobs. They have no power to stand up to their tyrannical bosses.

    So isn’t that just a different form of slavery?

    And last time I looked, the whites were just as locked into their jobs as the blacks.

  14. tosmarttobegop

    “I’m sorry you read ‘everyone’ and don’t think that was anyone’s intent”

    And that is my point of contention with either “white Guilt” or White privilege.
    Like with Dudley’s question, part of my family came here in the early 1900s.
    The other part was already here and had been forced to march from their homeland to Oklahoma.

    None of the White part were here when there was slavery and the other, often were not living any better then the share croppers. I told him I was a guiltless German, after slavery and before Hitler.

    I have lived a good life but hardly a privileged life, not due to skin color more because of my dad doing a job he hated for thirty three years. Living in rental houses and then buying a house that was small and very basic. In a area as I said was said to be Socially and economically depressed.

    I am not denying that racism has and in fact will occur nor am I denying that in some case and with some people there has been privilege given. But it is not a blanket that can be thrown over everyone solely based on skin color.

    And to make it a larger point of contention and a stumbling block to resolving the issue of race relations. Is for the most part expecting someone today to feel guilt or privilege from the sinking of the Titanic. Some may have but not as a blanket of the entire people.

    It makes no more sense then the idea that all Blacks are lazy and can not be taught.

    • I think you’re mixing two kinds of discrimination — socioeconomic and racial. Both exist, both are wrong, some people suffer from the effects of both, some people don’t suffer even if they experience it because they’ve made a point of making the best of what they’ve been dealt, and some people have no understanding, whether they have or haven’t experienced discrimination personally.

    • I don’t think we will ever have true equality. That might be for no reason than everyone has a different opinion of what equality would be.

  15. tosmarttobegop

    How true Fnord, if it can not be establish as to what someone wants it is impossible to reach it. It is like the subject of slavery reparations, a very logical solution that is realistic is that it is simply recognizing the contributions of slavery to the welfare and benefit of the slaves to this country.

    But for many that is almost the same as justifying and seeing it as a good thing.
    That has been a stumbling block to it, to find or point out how it was good for America is the same as excusing it.

  16. indypendent

    True equality will never happen because there will always be someone or some group that feels they – and only they- are more deserving than that ‘other guy over there’.

    Aren’t we seeing that in the Tea Party movement? They deserve their government socialized Medicare but no one else deserves government socialized health care.

    No matter if the entire world was one color, there would still be people breaking off into their little groups and thinking they are better than the other group. I think that is human nature.

  17. There exist a number of sociological studies which “show” the existence of white privilege. Instinctively, I agree with these, although questioning how the conclusions were arrived at. As fnord noted, there is a preference (stated or not) by humans to seek the company of others similar to themselves in their social interactions. So long as there are differences which are readily apparent between individuals, groups, etc., there will never be a situation where the subconscious preference for those who are similar will not be present, and thus no true “equality”. All that can be hoped for, IMHO, is equality under the law (at least facially; the subconscious preference comes into play, I believe, in criminal matters particularly in jury trials).