We Need to Talk About How We Talk About White Privilege

PrivilegePolice600.jpg
Photo by Matty Ring
What do you think of when you get pulled over?
White privilege. With the exception of "Kim Kardashian," there is no other two word phrase that gets people frothing at the mouth in irrationality quicker than those two. The phrase "white privilege" hits a switch in certain individuals and turns them from normal, friendly people you don't mind knowing on Facebook to... well... listen, this blog isn't about name-calling, so let's just say that become less-friendly.

This isn't about shaming one side of the debate, either. Both sides, those who believe in white privilege and those who don't, can be just as mean-spirited, snarky and dismissive as the other.

Which is a bummer, because it's absolutely a discussion worth having.

Because white privilege does exist, and it's never going to go away if we don't talk about it.

White privilege, in an extremely dumb-downed nutshell, is the idea that being born white grants a person certain advantages. They may not be aware of these advantages, there won't be a blinking sign pointing them out, but they're there. They exist. That is reality.

Examples include: you're more likely to see people of your race represented in popular media; you'll rarely be called a "credit-to-your-race"; if a cop pulls you over it will rarely if ever be because of your race; it's probably easier to find an emoji that looks like you.

Now, if you're thinking to yourself, "that's what other races are upset about?" you're missing the point. It's not about the individual privileges, it's about how they add up as a whole.

Now, it's easy to see why both sides of the debate would be upset with this idea:

1. If you don't believe in white privilege: it can be really annoying to have someone tell you you're benefitting from something you may not have even been aware of, especially when you've had major difficulties in your life.

2. If you do believe in white privilege: it can be really annoying to have someone tell you your life experiences are irrelevant because they don't live in a mansion/aren't rich/weren't aware that white privilege is a thing.

Now, it's highly unlikely a blog on the subject is going to switch someone over from being a non-believer in to a believer, and that's not why this blog exists. This is simply about trying to change the public discourse, and get both sides away from foaming-at-the-mouth rage.


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23 comments
Joe Speaks
Joe Speaks

Dodd Melcher, the author and publishers of this blog spelled out why 'We Need to Talk about Why We Need to Talk about White Privilege'; because they know it's such a severe and pervasive symptom that even if it's all spelled out - clearly and concisely - "something" is prohibiting the dialogue (and progressive action) from moving forward. It doesn't matter whether I adequately address those fallacies you've submitted. I rest assured in the belief that if it were my 'race' of people who were currently supporting the most unjust governing system the planet has seen in its recorded history, then the least I would do is refrain from openly engaging in verbal and mental gymnastics - especially, against members of the oppressed group/s. That's just me though...

Dodd Melcher
Dodd Melcher

What do you want me to say? You're just habitually the victim? You don't think anybody else has had problems with overzealous cops? Search police brutality on YouTube and you will find that it happens to white people as well. Shocking, I know, but you may want to look in to that before you passively suggest it's totally racist. Joe Joe Speaks

Zach Brinker
Zach Brinker

Whats funny about your comment joe speaks is that ive never had a problem with a black cop when getting pulled over but ive had white cops pull me over and harass me and give me shit even handcuff me feel me up and all that bs. Seriously like wtf. Cops in general I think have an issue with handling their power. White black mexican, whatever. But like I said my experience has only came from white cops and I myself am white in case that wasnt already clear hahaha

Joe Speaks
Joe Speaks

Dodd Melcher, 'So, "a white guy getting pulled over by a black cop" on a conjured up probable cause. Then, the cop plants drugs and guns on him...' Is that where we're going with the story?

Joe Speaks
Joe Speaks

Guy Black, any white kid who had to go to school in acres homes had the privilege of going to that school and being conditioned to know (because it's true) that Uncle Sam ultimately controls the school and the neighborhood. Now, if "any white kid" didn't learn that at school, rest assured in the fact that the black children learned it.

Zach Brinker
Zach Brinker

Ya but what genre or class of people that the "white" kid falls in while in your setting of say primarily black acres homes has a lot to do with it too. Its too easy in the case of this conversation or any conversation about race to make a generalized statement due to the fact that one; people usually attack outside of their own culture because I think its human nature and secondly because I think its easier to blame or put the focus on the stereotypical minority then to educate yourself or oneself and speak with or react in a way thats not defensive to our own race or culture. Truth be told, we're all slaves today to corporate America, whether its ran by white black brown purple or GREEN! We are all just running a rat race and dont even realize it. Money talks bullshit walks and cash is KING. Not just in America but the world. Sadly its true. I think part of a large problem that our country has is with the message given by pop stars and so called "icons". Lil Wayne is idolized by so many and yet so many ppl dont know he graduated from U of H with a bachelors degree in Psychology. Think about that for a second. Easy to brainwash and manipulate ppl with a mind as powerful as that

Guy Black
Guy Black

Totally agree with your comment. I don't deny that privilege exists, but my only problem with the term is that, to people who don't study it in depth, it paints the idea of social privilege being and absolute one way street, when in reality it's a lot more complicated and there are certain specific settings where being white is not a privilege. Just ask any white kid who had to go to school in acres homes.

Zach Brinker
Zach Brinker

This article is unfortunately true and I know for a fact that in much of my life, especially career wise I have benefited from the color of my skin. Ive had many friends who were lets just say it they were black and could weld as good or better then myself and were turned away from a company that I told them was hiring but was told otherwise by management when they came to apply, even told that we had no applications. Its bullshit, especially when people are really trying to better themselves to be treated like that. Ive experienced that in a way too at one point due to some poor decisions, but not all my life. Those same places would have huge advertisements for jobs, large signs outside even. But let a white person come there or better yet a Mexican. Cause for whatever stupid reason in this industry theyre quick to jump at hiring mexicans even over whites. And thats the truth. But I think that is any industry now that is vocational, which comes to the reason why so many Americans (whites mostly) complain about immigrants (mostly mexicans). Which makes us (whites) feel that the white privilege may not always exist or apply to us. Just a sporadic thought. Sorry its manic friday I guess!

Ian T. Komouss
Ian T. Komouss

Brian Phan Can I hire you to do my homework, I mean... You're asian afterall. You must be smart. lol

Ian T. Komouss
Ian T. Komouss

lol at the asian that doesn't believe in white privilege when so many of us fetishize you.

Brian Phan
Brian Phan

I'm Asian and I don't believe in white privilege. I do see a problem with ghetto culture. And those dipshits are span all races.

Ian T. Komouss
Ian T. Komouss

You still have white privilege because this is a function between *two* people. It's not enough that you don't care about race. You don't go through life interacting with people just like you. Wake up.

Rodney Barnes
Rodney Barnes

Maybe you treat them differently, I don't. I treat others the way they want to be treated. if you act like an animal, you get treated like one. If you can't act responsibly, then I will give you no responsibility. Maybe if others would consider this, then they wouldn't have time to drone on and on about something they haven't earned.

Ian T. Komouss
Ian T. Komouss

White privilege *is* a real thing dude. You're trying to say that basically, white don't treat each other any differently then when dealing with other races and that's blatantly untrue for the most part. When these interactions occur when one of the individuals is in a position that can benefit the other, then that's called white privilege.

Rodney Barnes
Rodney Barnes

So...since I don't feel 'White Guilt' I'm now supposed to believe in 'White Privilege"? Horse shit! I say, if you take responsibility for yourself and your actions then you get treated like a human being. Why try and make those who follow the law and take responsibility for themselves look like naive racists? All I got from this article is an attempt to try and reprogram people who are too naive to know what they're being told.

Derek Woodard
Derek Woodard

Ain't nothin to worry about but the other way is

Dodd Melcher
Dodd Melcher

So a white guy getting pulled over by a black cop…

Anse
Anse

I think "most unjust governing system the planet has seen in recorded history" is a bit much.

h_e_x
h_e_x

Oh boy, I can't wait for this kind of rhetoric to be thrown back into the faces of the people who say it now. I just pray to god I'm still alive, it's going to be hilarious.

KHorn
KHorn

@Anse  Which tells you all you need to know about Joe Speaks.  His is completely irrational and should be ignored.

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