Guest Post: Identifying White Privilege
Josianne was born and raised in NYC. Her first encounter with overt racism was when she was 16 and encounters have only gotten harsher in the more than a decade that has passed since then. After discovering Sociology in college she committed herself to educating people about the realities of racism and subtle prejudices that exist in 21st century.
Can you say “yes” to ANY of the following?:
Have you ever said:
- “I don’t see race?”
- “I don’t pay attention to politics.”
- “I don’t like to deal with/post about/etc controversial topics”
- “Affirmative Action is reverse discrimination.”
- “I know what you feel because on my mission/when I was in another country/the time I went to the ghetto/etc …”
- “Racial profiling does not exist”
- “Why don’t people pull themselves up by their bootstraps?/!”
- “… illegal alien …”
- “That’s not about race, it’s about …”
- “Why do you/they always have to make everything about race?”
Have you ever:
- Used a racial slur with your friends that you would never use in the presence of someone from that racial group?
- Changed your outfit because you felt/knew wearing a certain thing would jeopardize your safety? (If you said “no” to this question it counts as a “yes” for the final count)
- Thought someone was beneath you/suspicious/dangerous/
stupid/classless/ghetto because they had more melanin than you?
- Stayed quiet when something you knew to be untrue was being taught?
- Heard about/seen someone be followed around a store and thought “they probably stole something”?
- Heard about/seen someone get followed around a store and think/know that would never happen to you?
- Been told an apartment/job position/promotion position/etc was filled just minutes after you inquired about it on the phone and was told it was available but seconds after the decision maker met you face-to-face? (If you said “no” to this question it counts as a “yes” for the final count)
Are you white?
If you said “yes” to more than half of these things, you are in great need of racial education. Should you decide that is something you want, leave a comment below reaching out to the author of the piece and she will respond. If you decide there is nothing wrong with having so many “yes” answers, know you are officially part of the problem.