I decided to try to work on myself at least by identifying some of the daily effects of white privilege in my life. I have chosen those conditions that I think in my case attach somewhat more to skin-color privilege than to class, religion, ethnic status, or geographic location, though of course all these other factors are intricately intertwined. As far as I can tell, my African American coworkers, friends, and acquaintances with whom I come into daily or frequent contact in this particular time, place and time of work cannot count on most of these conditions.
From White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh, my responses will be in red.
I can if I wish arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time. Black do this as well, in schools, and in public meeting, kind like kind.
- I can avoid spending time with people whom I was trained to mistrust and who have learned to mistrust my kind or me. I know no one who has been trained mistrust anyone, she must be speaking for herself.
- 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. I cannot do that, I nee five acres at least and room for horses.
- I can be pretty sure that my neighbors in such a location will be neutral or pleasant to me. This is bullshit, getting a good neighbor is the luck of the draw. I have numerous black neighbors who are as welcome as any whites. I do have one black neighbor down the street that bought a house with at least a $150K barn on it next to the house. Shortly after he moved in it burn down, he blamed it on racist neighbors who did not like having a black living there. The insurance paid out, and he rebuilt a little $5K, at best, storage building. He has had no further incidents of racist behavior since then, and still lives there 5-6 years latter.. Had I wanted him gone, it would have been his house I would have burnt, not an empty barn! Draw your own conclusions.
I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed. I see black in this part of the world going about their business along or otherwise without being
I see black in this part of the world going about their business along or otherwise without being harassed. she must live in a different neighborhood than me.
- I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented. Now this too is a reflection of a different age that Progressives/liberal like to ignore. You cannot watch a news channel. sitcom, movie, or even a commercial that do not have blacks in them. And it is getting as though it is obligatory to have gueers in as the new shows as well.
- When I am told about our national heritage or about “civilization,” I am shown that people of my color made it what it is. For the most part, this is true in the New World, and in in Europe, like it or not.
- I can be sure that my children will be given curricular materials that testify to the existence of their race. What the hell does that mean? She lost me there.
- If I want to, I can be pretty sure of finding a publisher for this piece on white privilege. I sure wish that I could get published as easily. I have to self-publish.
- I can be pretty sure of having my voice heard in a group in which I am the only member of my race. Sometimes true, sometimes not, let he fo to Ferguson and try telling the black there that they should abide by the juries decision and not riot, that Officer Darren Wilson deserves due process and if it is found that he acted accordingly he should be allowed to live his life in peace.
- 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. So can black, bet she cannot give an example otherwise, just assert that it is so.
- 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. What town does she live in to not see the same services provided for black folks? Supermarket will sale what they can make a profit on, and not bases upon what the race of the purchaser is. If the neighborhood is 80-90 percent white they will pick products to sell to white purchasers. If the neighborhood is 80-90 percent black they will pick products to serve that market. The same thing goes for Mexican and Asians, etc. No store is going to stock stuff for an occasional shopper as opposed to the regular shoppers.
- Whether I use checks, credit cards or cash, I can count on my skin color not to work against the appearance of financial reliability. I see black using both without incident, although I also see them using EBC along with white, no one in my present has anyone of them ever been questioned about their means of payment. How many do you reckon that McIntosh has saw and how many has she just heard stories about?
- I can arrange to protect my children most of the time from people who might not like them. And how does she perceive that black cannot? Can she protect them from the risk of people seriously hurt, and even killed by the unprovoked attacks by blacks on white playing the “Knock Out Game”?
- I do not have to educate my children to be aware of systemic racism for their own daily physical protection. I wonder if she makes them aware of racists like the likes of those in the Black Grievance Industrialists who milk $billions upon $billions from the taxpayers from scams like the Pigfordsettlements for an example “The New York Times reported Friday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has likely enabled massive fraud in the Pigford series of legal settlements, in which black, Hispanic, female and Native American farmers have claimed to be victims of past discrimination.”
- 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. ” if they fit school and workplace norm” therein lies the rub. Blacks set in trouble in school mush more for their behavior than for their race. And no the Federal Government is pushing schools not to dispalein black kids with “A routine school disciplinary infraction should land a student in the principal’s office, not in a police precinct,” Holder said upon the release of first-of-its-kind school discipline guidance in January.” It is because of pressure like this on the school systems that Trayvon Martin’s possession of stolen property was not reported to the police. See The Curious Case Of Trayvon Martin’s Backpack With Stolen Jewelry and Burglary Tool…
- I can talk with my mouth full and not have people put this down to my color. I wonder when she saw thiis happen to a black person, I never have
- 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. In spite of her assertion, this does not happen to black people either.
- I can speak in public to a powerful male group without putting my race on trial. So do the black people I knoe, the last two Commandants of my Marine Corps League Detachment have been black, and they have no problem speaking up.
- I can do well in a challenging situation without being called a credit to my race. That is another thing that is in out history, and not our present. When is the last time you have heard it uttered?
- I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group. Name me the names of blacks who have been asked to do that?
- 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. You live in this country, not there, and the most of us will never go there. Our lives and concerms are here in America, not where this world’s majority live.
- I can criticize our government and talk about how much I fear its policies and behavior without being seen as a cultural outsider. Who in America are not free to do these things? It is when you want to change our laws to suit your customs that you run into problems with the people hop like the Constitution.
- 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. Would that be true if you lived in India, Pakistan, China, or Egypt? Why should it be different here?
- 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. How, the TEA Party were singled out for their political believe, that they were mostly white Christians.
- I can easily buy posters, post-cards, picture books, greeting cards, dolls, toys and children’s magazines featuring people of my race. That again depends upon where are shopping, not because of racism or white privilege.
- 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. If your are outnumbered your are outnumbered. Could you say that is you live in India, Pakistan, China, or Egypt?
- 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. That again an unproven assertion, that would depend upon many thing other that race, meritrocity also plays a role, as well as time on the job and personality.
- 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. Why should a program ever be centering on race? And why ius she assuming that this would not be true if she was not white?
- 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. The Supreme Court is all but one white. She says, “…my race will lend me more credibility…” This has not been the case in any organization I have ever worked for, nor in the Marine Corps. Right and wrong have been/are judge right or wrong on the rightness or wrongness of the matter, not upon the race of the one in disagreement. I do wonder who she has been hanging out with.
- 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. How?
- My culture gives me little fear about ignoring the perspectives and powers of people of other races. Tell that to the black cop or Black Judge.
- I am not made acutely aware that my shape, bearing or body odor will be taken as a reflection on my race.
I have been asked to use underarm deodorant, was that a reflection upon my race?
- I can worry about racism without being seen as self-interested or self-seeking. Only if it is white racism and not the racism of blacks.
- 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. If you got it because they needed a woman to fill their diversity needs you may not be thought to have gotten it because of your race, but because of your sex. Many black are put into schools they are not prepared for and failed in their effort because of their race. Today we have this headline: Harvard And UNC Sued Over Race-Based Admission Policies
- If my day, week or year is going badly, I need not ask of each negative episode or situation whether it had racial overtones. Good for you, how many black do you know have to do this? Would it not have to do with the type of work they were doing? A carpenter would not have these concerns, nor a plumber or electrician (I know blacks who do all of these jobs) and do you reckon black doctors and lawyers have these thoughts?
- I can be pretty sure of finding people who would be willing to talk with me and advise me about my next steps, professionally. And you know blacks canno,t how
- 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. Name just one that blacks do not do?
- I can be late to a meeting without having the lateness reflect on my race. Now she is just getting ridicules.
- 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. Where in America is this not true? Oh, I know, would she move here: Family Beaten For Being White In Black Neighborhood or here: The woman who was murdered for being white while campaigning for Barack Obama in a black neighborhood. Yes, I know that blacks get killed by whites too, but not near in the proportions that blacks kill whites. I am just referring to her white pl9ivlage protecting her from this, which is bullshit, what protects her from it is her staying safely away from it.
- I can be sure that if I need legal or medical help, my race will not work against me.
- I can arrange my activities so that I will never have to experience feelings of rejection owing to my race. gGive me an example of where a person race prevented them getting medical care, being poor is much more of a problem than being black. Being poor cuts across all the races, and affect them equally.
- If I have low credibility as a leader I can be sure that my race is not the problem. How? Would that not also be a function of the group you were in? If it was a liberal, conservative, northern, southern, western, white or a black group would make no differance?
- I can easily find academic courses and institutions which give attention only to people of my race. If you are black you can, black colleges are the only that have their race in their name, They are the only one with a college fund dedicated to their race. Name me one white college where only white people go to. This is another example of conflating the past with the present.
- I can expect figurative language and imagery in all of the arts to testify to experiences of my race. How does this help a white person in any manner? How dies it hurt a black person? And agin I ask the question, would it be true if you lived in India, Pakistan, China, or Egypt? If you lived there would the privilege belong to another race, what would it be, a brown privilege?
- I can chose blemish cover or bandages in “flesh” color and have them more or less match my skin. That is the power of the market, not any privilege and would not be true if you lived in India, Pakistan, China, or Egypt
- I can travel alone or with my spouse without expecting embarrassment or hostility in those who deal with us. Most other races can do that in America unless you are white in a hostile black neighbourhood.
- I have no difficulty finding neighborhoods where people approve of our household. I discussed that above with my own black neighbors.
- 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. I guess that she is talking about queers here.
- I will feel welcomed and “normal” in the usual walks of public life, institutional and social. Frome the holier than thou attitude she projects I do not think that she would feel normal in my social life. She would take offense, I am sure, at how I phrase things, my comment to freedom, including freedom of association which implies a freedom to disassociate for whatever reason a person decides be they of any race.