Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

S/O 50 Examples of White Privilege in Daily Life

Posted by   + Show Post

50 Examples of White Privilege in Daily Life

Those who believe the U.S. has achieved a color-blind society, or that racism is no longer an issue in American society ought to read some of Peggy McIntosh's reflections on race.  "White privilege" is often invisible, and often denied, but there is little doubt that it exists, she observed. Reflecting on it explodes the myth of meritocracy, and "the myth that democratic choice is equally available to all."

"I was taught to see racism only in individual acts of meanness, not in invisible systems conferring dominance on my group," she wrote. As a white person, she "had been taught about racism as something that puts others at a disadvantage, but had been taught not to see one of its corollary aspects, white privilege, which puts me at an advantage.... I have come to see white privilege as an invisible package of unearned assets that I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was 'meant' to remain oblivious. White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools , and blank checks.  Describing white privilege makes one newly accountable."

She goes on to describe the "daily effects of white privilege" that "as far as I can tell, my African American co-workers, friends and acquaintances...cannot count on most of these conditions."

1. I can if I wish arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time.

2. I can avoid spending time with people whom I was trained to mistrust and who have learned to mistrust my kind or me.

3. If I should need to move, I can be pretty sure of renting or purchasing housing in an area which I can afford and in which I would want to live.

4. I can be pretty sure that my neighbors in such a location will be neutral or pleasant to me.

5. I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed.

6. I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented.

7. When I am told about our national heritage or about "civilization," I am shown that people of my color made it what it is.

8. I can be sure that my children will be given curricular materials that testify to the existence of their race.

9. If I want to, I can be pretty sure of finding a publisher for this piece on white privilege.

10. I can be pretty sure of having my voice heard in a group in which I am the only member of my race.

11. I can be casual about whether or not to listen to another person's voice in a group in which s/he is the only member of his/her race.

12. I can go into a music shop and count on finding the music of my race represented, into a supermarket and find the staple foods which fit with my cultural traditions, into a hairdresser's shop and find someone who can cut my hair.

13. Whether I use checks, credit cards or cash, I can count on my skin color not to work against the appearance of financial reliability.

14. I can arrange to protect my children most of the time from people who might not like them.

15. I do not have to educate my children to be aware of systemic racism for their own daily physical protection.

16. I can be pretty sure that my children's teachers and employers will tolerate them if they fit school and workplace norms; my chief worries about them do not concern others' attitudes toward their race.

17. I can talk with my mouth full and not have people put this down to my color.

18. I can swear, or dress in second hand clothes, or not answer letters, without having people attribute these choices to the bad morals, the poverty or the illiteracy of my race.

19. I can speak in public to a powerful male group without putting my race on trial.

20. I can do well in a challenging situation without being called a credit to my race.

21. I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group.

22. I can remain oblivious of the language and customs of persons of color who constitute the world's majority without feeling in my culture any penalty for such oblivion.

23. I can criticize our government and talk about how much I fear its policies and behavior without being seen as a cultural outsider.

24. I can be pretty sure that if I ask to talk to the "person in charge", I will be facing a person of my race.

25. If a traffic cop pulls me over or if the IRS audits my tax return, I can be sure I haven't been singled out because of my race.

26. I can easily buy posters, post-cards, picture books, greeting cards, dolls, toys and children's magazines featuring people of my race.

27. I can go home from most meetings of organizations I belong to feeling somewhat tied in, rather than isolated, out-of-place, outnumbered, unheard, held at a distance or feared.

28. I can be pretty sure that an argument with a colleague of another race is more likely to jeopardize her/his chances for advancement than to jeopardize mine.

29. I can be pretty sure that if I argue for the promotion of a person of another race, or a program centering on race, this is not likely to cost me heavily within my present setting, even if my colleagues disagree with me.

30. If I declare there is a racial issue at hand, or there isn't a racial issue at hand, my race will lend me more credibility for either position than a person of color will have.

31. I can choose to ignore developments in minority writing and minority activist programs, or disparage them, or learn from them, but in any case, I can find ways to be more or less protected from negative consequences of any of these choices.

32. My culture gives me little fear about ignoring the perspectives and powers of people of other races.

33. I am not made acutely aware that my shape, bearing or body odor will be taken as a reflection on my race.

34. I can worry about racism without being seen as self-interested or self-seeking.

35. I can take a job with an affirmative action employer without having my co-workers on the job suspect that I got it because of my race.

36. If my day, week or year is going badly, I need not ask of each negative episode or situation whether it had racial overtones.

37. I can be pretty sure of finding people who would be willing to talk with me and advise me about my next steps, professionally.

38. I can think over many options, social, political, imaginative or professional, without asking whether a person of my race would be accepted or allowed to do what I want to do.

39. I can be late to a meeting without having the lateness reflect on my race.

40. I can choose public accommodation without fearing that people of my race cannot get in or will be mistreated in the places I have chosen.

41. I can be sure that if I need legal or medical help, my race will not work against me.

42. I can arrange my activities so that I will never have to experience feelings of rejection owing to my race.

43. If I have low credibility as a leader I can be sure that my race is not the problem.

44. I can easily find academic courses and institutions which give attention only to people of my race.

45. I can expect figurative language and imagery in all of the arts to testify to experiences of my race.

46. I can chose blemish cover or bandages in "flesh" color and have them more or less match my skin.

47. I can travel alone or with my spouse without expecting embarrassment or hostility in those who deal with us.

48. I have no difficulty finding neighborhoods where people approve of our household.

49. My children are given texts and classes which implicitly support our kind of family unit and do not turn them against my choice of domestic partnership.

50. I will feel welcomed and "normal" in the usual walks of public life

Thoughts

by on Jan. 24, 2013 at 9:59 PM
Replies (21-30):
stacefaceninja
by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 12:58 AM
I've read this.

Quoting mama3814:

 It seems that some people tend to forget that it's only been a few decades since segregation ended. I've seen comments both on CM and other websites stating that slavery ended 150 years ago. They seem to forget that slavery was replaced with things like peonage, convict leasing, black codes and Jim Crow.


There's a book called Slavery by Another Name written by Douglas A. Blackmon that covers the topic of what really happened after slavery ended. For anyone interested, here's a link to see the documentary version www.pbs.org/tpt/slavery-by-another-name.



 


Quoting mommajen32:

How would you feel? What if you also lived in the legacy only a few decades removed from segregation? How would life be different?



 

Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
turtle68
by Mahinaarangi on Jan. 25, 2013 at 1:34 AM
1 mom liked this

 I get frustrated at certain posters hellbent on being right.  To be honest I really dont understand the NEED to be the historical good guy and the consequences it brought to the present day.

My history lessons about the US is probably the same as every other country in the world...all depended on your teacher.  We learnt the basics....slavery, civil war, segregation, thanks giving, independence day, George Washington, Lincoln and Kennedy.  The Vietnam war was big with us as we were allies.

Having said that...I am 44yo and am well read and thankfully open enough to take on board the actual people who live in the US...to understand the US history quite well.  That whole post went off key because basic common sense was lost...the ability to join the dots from basic historical facts was lost on people ready to dismiss someone simply because theyre not American.

I could never dismiss the experiences of the indigenous and AA of America because the historical white figures couldnt possibly be anything but good.  Captain Cook discovered New Zealand when I was growing up....fact is, he didnt.  All history books were notated and dated and new history books were rewritten with what was found to be fact. 

People got a lot of things wrong back then.  Accept and try to fix the spillover...dont try and cover with chocolate and pretend its all sweet.

 

Quoting mama3814:

To be honest, that's why I usually don't reply to the posts. The very people saying we need to "educate ourselves," are the ones who won't take the time to learn anything. Why not have an open mind, and challenge what you've always been told. I knew back in my high school AP History class that something was missing. The narrative we were being taught was incomplete.

I noticed the negative response you got when you challenged the U.S. History narrative. I think one lady stated that since you're in Australia, that you couldn't possibly know anything about U.S. History. Unbelievable.
 

Quoting turtle68:

 the people that need to read and understand this....wont. 

 

 

 

MaySheWillStay
by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 6:32 AM
3 moms liked this

Good read, and I wholly believe white privilege and white backlash against the increasing presence and power of minorities, is a very real thing.


Though of course the article is correct in what it says and aims to prove, I think there should be follow up on it in terms of other kinds of privilege. It's not "only" white privilege. There's a definite native privilege (not native as in native American Indian, native as in born in the US), there's a religious privilege, male privilege, heterosexual privilege.

When it comes down to it, the country and culture is still heavily swayed and controlled by white, Christian, heterosexual males.

"There is something undeveloped about parents who demand respect. Obviously, they have failed to inspire love in their children, and so they demand an inferior substitute. Parents who are really fair and square with their children do not require repsect. If you want to be respected by your child, act in such a manner that the respect comes naturally - which means deservedly - and not because your child fears reprisal." - A.S. Neill

Debmomto2girls
by Platinum Member on Jan. 25, 2013 at 6:45 AM
That thread gave me nightmares! I tried to argue and argue that because you live in another country doesn't mean you never learned US history. Many people I know from other countries are well versed in US history.

Actually, it is Americans who are ignorant of their own history.


Quoting turtle68:

 I get frustrated at certain posters hellbent on being right.  To be honest I really dont understand the NEED to be the historical good guy and the consequences it brought to the present day.


My history lessons about the US is probably the same as every other country in the world...all depended on your teacher.  We learnt the basics....slavery, civil war, segregation, thanks giving, independence day, George Washington, Lincoln and Kennedy.  The Vietnam war was big with us as we were allies.


Having said that...I am 44yo and am well read and thankfully open enough to take on board the actual people who live in the US...to understand the US history quite well.  That whole post went off key because basic common sense was lost...the ability to join the dots from basic historical facts was lost on people ready to dismiss someone simply because theyre not American.


I could never dismiss the experiences of the indigenous and AA of America because the historical white figures couldnt possibly be anything but good.  Captain Cook discovered New Zealand when I was growing up....fact is, he didnt.  All history books were notated and dated and new history books were rewritten with what was found to be fact. 


People got a lot of things wrong back then.  Accept and try to fix the spillover...dont try and cover with chocolate and pretend its all sweet.


 


Quoting mama3814:



To be honest, that's why I usually don't reply to the posts. The very people saying we need to "educate ourselves," are the ones who won't take the time to learn anything. Why not have an open mind, and challenge what you've always been told. I knew back in my high school AP History class that something was missing. The narrative we were being taught was incomplete.


I noticed the negative response you got when you challenged the U.S. History narrative. I think one lady stated that since you're in Australia, that you couldn't possibly know anything about U.S. History. Unbelievable.
 


Quoting turtle68:


 the people that need to read and understand this....wont. 


 


 


 

Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
Debmomto2girls
by Platinum Member on Jan. 25, 2013 at 6:49 AM
2 moms liked this
I agree. I think living in a city in which the percentage of black and white is pretty even has been an advantage to both myself and family. Though this city was very much a "neighborhood" city, in the last 15 years or so has become very blended but still has pockets of black only or white only neighborhoods.

I think living in areas that are majority white makes it hard to understand where a minority is coming from.


Quoting mommajen32:

Most people in the majority may not realize how important those things are...things they take for granted. Now surely folks will come in and tesrify to having a boss that is a minority, or being followed in a store or not having their opinion heard. It's missing the forest. Life is different if you are a religious or ethnic minority.





I ask that folks pause for a moment and imagine America as 80 plus percent black or Hispanic. If everywhere in your life (grocery store, work, television, newspaper, movies, etc...) where you see white people and imagine they are black. How would your life be different, what products would be on the shelves, what about beauty products,
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
little.worthen
by Tess on Jan. 25, 2013 at 6:50 AM
2 moms liked this
Some of these are vs, and some are just stupid. Like, opening the paper and seeing white people? Wth.. The BLACK president is in the paper all the time.

And this lady is racist, because not all black people are African.. Isn't that right?
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
turtle68
by Mahinaarangi on Jan. 25, 2013 at 7:08 AM
1 mom liked this

 I saw you hanging in there....I was going to enter into the discussion, but really the main "star" was just not worth it....sorry :-(  Her discussions or "debates" just dont have substance and  she hunts down information to back her bullshit...without even listening to those who are living it.  closed box and small minded.

History can be learned by anyone...you dont have to live in the country to know it.  Being an american only means you have lived on that ground your whole life.  History for a majority of people is something you learn...not live...otherwise its not "history" LOL

Having said that...indigenous, AA and those who had no means of writing down or having people hear them can be learning sources...if only you are willing to hear :-)

Quoting Debmomto2girls:

That thread gave me nightmares! I tried to argue and argue that because you live in another country doesn't mean you never learned US history. Many people I know from other countries are well versed in US history.

Actually, it is Americans who are ignorant of their own history.


Quoting turtle68:

 I get frustrated at certain posters hellbent on being right.  To be honest I really dont understand the NEED to be the historical good guy and the consequences it brought to the present day.


My history lessons about the US is probably the same as every other country in the world...all depended on your teacher.  We learnt the basics....slavery, civil war, segregation, thanks giving, independence day, George Washington, Lincoln and Kennedy.  The Vietnam war was big with us as we were allies.


Having said that...I am 44yo and am well read and thankfully open enough to take on board the actual people who live in the US...to understand the US history quite well.  That whole post went off key because basic common sense was lost...the ability to join the dots from basic historical facts was lost on people ready to dismiss someone simply because theyre not American.


I could never dismiss the experiences of the indigenous and AA of America because the historical white figures couldnt possibly be anything but good.  Captain Cook discovered New Zealand when I was growing up....fact is, he didnt.  All history books were notated and dated and new history books were rewritten with what was found to be fact. 


People got a lot of things wrong back then.  Accept and try to fix the spillover...dont try and cover with chocolate and pretend its all sweet.


 


Quoting mama3814:



To be honest, that's why I usually don't reply to the posts. The very people saying we need to "educate ourselves," are the ones who won't take the time to learn anything. Why not have an open mind, and challenge what you've always been told. I knew back in my high school AP History class that something was missing. The narrative we were being taught was incomplete.


I noticed the negative response you got when you challenged the U.S. History narrative. I think one lady stated that since you're in Australia, that you couldn't possibly know anything about U.S. History. Unbelievable.
 


Quoting turtle68:


 the people that need to read and understand this....wont. 


 


 


 

 

aShaShA
by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 4:10 PM

 


Quoting turtle68:

 I saw you hanging in there....I was going to enter into the discussion, but really the main "star" was just not worth it....sorry :-(  Her discussions or "debates" just dont have substance and  she hunts down information to back her bullshit...without even listening to those who are living it.  closed box and small minded.

History can be learned by anyone...you dont have to live in the country to know it.  Being an american only means you have lived on that ground your whole life.  History for a majority of people is something you learn...not live...otherwise its not "history" LOL

Having said that...indigenous, AA and those who had no means of writing down or having people hear them can be learning sources...if only you are willing to hear :-)

Quoting Debmomto2girls:

That thread gave me nightmares! I tried to argue and argue that because you live in another country doesn't mean you never learned US history. Many people I know from other countries are well versed in US history.

Actually, it is Americans who are ignorant of their own history.


Quoting turtle68:

 I get frustrated at certain posters hellbent on being right.  To be honest I really dont understand the NEED to be the historical good guy and the consequences it brought to the present day.


My history lessons about the US is probably the same as every other country in the world...all depended on your teacher.  We learnt the basics....slavery, civil war, segregation, thanks giving, independence day, George Washington, Lincoln and Kennedy.  The Vietnam war was big with us as we were allies.


Having said that...I am 44yo and am well read and thankfully open enough to take on board the actual people who live in the US...to understand the US history quite well.  That whole post went off key because basic common sense was lost...the ability to join the dots from basic historical facts was lost on people ready to dismiss someone simply because theyre not American.


I could never dismiss the experiences of the indigenous and AA of America because the historical white figures couldnt possibly be anything but good.  Captain Cook discovered New Zealand when I was growing up....fact is, he didnt.  All history books were notated and dated and new history books were rewritten with what was found to be fact. 


People got a lot of things wrong back then.  Accept and try to fix the spillover...dont try and cover with chocolate and pretend its all sweet.


 


Quoting mama3814:



To be honest, that's why I usually don't reply to the posts. The very people saying we need to "educate ourselves," are the ones who won't take the time to learn anything. Why not have an open mind, and challenge what you've always been told. I knew back in my high school AP History class that something was missing. The narrative we were being taught was incomplete.


I noticed the negative response you got when you challenged the U.S. History narrative. I think one lady stated that since you're in Australia, that you couldn't possibly know anything about U.S. History. Unbelievable.
 


Quoting turtle68:


 the people that need to read and understand this....wont. 


 


 


 

 

Exactly

 

aShaShA
by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 4:11 PM

This is a learning experience.

pamelax3
by Gold Member on Jan. 25, 2013 at 5:01 PM
2 moms liked this

Very good information.. However, I do think some of these are going to the extreme, like lateness, that is not a race thing that is a individual responsibility

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)