Saturday, October 11, 2008

White Privilege

This was sent to me in an email and I thought it to be rather interesting, please take a look and respond on what you think is the real issue here

This is Your Nation on White Privilege

By Tim Wise

, For those who still can't grasp the concept of white privilege, or whoare constantly looking for some easy-to-understand examples of it,perhaps this list will help.

White privilege is when you can get pregnant at seventeen like BristolPalin and everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of yourfamily is a personal matter, and that no one has a right to judge you oryour parents, because "every family has challenges," even as black andLatino families with similar "challenges" are regularly typified asirresponsible, pathological and arbiters of social decay.

White privilege is when you can call yourself a "fuckin' redneck," likeBristol Palin's boyfriend does, and talk about how if anyone messes withyou, you'll "kick their fuckin' ass," and talk about how you like to"shoot shit" for fun, and still be viewed as a responsible, all-Americanboy (and a great son-in-law to be) rather than a thug.

White privilege is when you can attend four different colleges in sixyears like Sarah Palin did (one of which you basically failed out of,then returned to after making up some coursework at a communitycollege), and no one questions your intelligence or commitment toachievement, whereas a person of color who did this would be viewed asunfit for college, and probably someone who only got in in the firstplace because of affirmative action.

White privilege is when you can claim that being mayor of a town smallerthan most medium-sized colleges, and then Governor of a state with aboutthe same number of people as the lower fifth of the island of Manhattan,makes you ready to potentially be president, and people don't all pisson themselves with laughter, while being a black U.S. Senator, two-termstate Senator, and constitutional law scholar, means you're "untested."

White privilege is being able to say that you support the words "underGod" in the pledge of allegiance because "if it was good enough for thefounding fathers, it's good enough for me," and not be immediatelydisqualified from holding office--since, after all, the pledge waswritten in the late 1800s and the "under God" part wasn't added untilthe 1950s--while believing that reading accused criminals and terroriststheir rights (because, ya know, the Constitution, which you used toteach at a prestigiouslaw school requires it), is a dangerous and sillyidea only supported by mushy liberals. White privilege is being able to be a gun enthusiast and not make peopleimmediately scared of you.

White privilege is being able to have a husband who was a member of anextremist political party that wants your state to secede from theUnion, and whose motto was "Alaska first," and no one questions yourpatriotism or that of your family, while if you're black and your spousemerely fails to come to a 9/11 memorial so she can be home with her kidson the first day of school, people immediately think she's beingdisrespectful.

White privilege is being able to make fun of community organizers andthe work they do--like, among other things, fight for the right of womento vote, or for civil rights, or the 8-hour workday, or an end to childlabor--and people think you're being pithy and tough, but if you merelyquestion the experience of a small town mayor and 18-month governor withno foreign policy expertise beyond a class she took in college--you'resomehow being mean, or even sexist.

White privilege is being able to convince white women who don't evenagree with you on any substantive issue to vote for you and your runningmate anyway, because all of a sudden your presence on the ticket hasinspired confidence in these same white women, and made them give yourparty a "second look."

White privilege is being able to fire people who didn't support yourpolitical campaigns and not be accused of abusing your power or being atypical politician who engages in favoritism, while being black andmerely knowing some folks from the old-line political machines inChicago means you must be corrupt.

White privilege is being able to attend churches over the years whosepastors say that people who voted for John Kerry or merely criticizeGeorge W. Bush are going to hell, and that the U.S. is an explicitlyChristian nation and the job of Christians is to bring Christiantheological principles into government, and who bring in speakers whosay the conflict in the Middle East is God's punishment on Jews forrejecting Jesus, and everyone can still think you're just a goodchurch-going Christian, but if you're black and friends with a blackpastor who has noted (as have Colin Powell and the U.S. Department ofDefense) that terrorist attacks are often the result of U.S. foreignpolicy and who talks about the history of racism and its effect on blackpeople, you're an extremist who probably hates America.

White privilege is not knowing what the Bush Doctrine is when asked by areporter, and then people get angry at the reporter for asking you sucha "trick question," while being black and merely refusing to giveone-word answers to the queries of Bill O'Reilly means you're dodgingthe question, or trying to seem overly intellectual and nuanced.

White privilege is being able to claim your experience as a POW hasanything at all to do with your fitness for president, while being blackand experiencing racism is, as Sarah Palin has referred to it a "light"burden.

And finally, white privilege is the only thing that could possibly allowsomeone to become president when he has voted with George W. Bush 90percent of the time, even as unemployment is skyrocketing, people arelosing their homes, inflation is rising, and the U.S. is increasinglyisolated from world opinion, just because white voters aren't sure aboutthat whole "change" thing. Ya know, it's just too vague and ill-defined,unlike, say, four more years of the same, which is very concrete andcertain.

White privilege is, in short, the problem

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