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Debunking White Privilege

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posted on Aug, 7 2012 @ 01:29 PM
reply to post by cetaphobic

With respect, I disagree strongly. I'm white and I have no problem at all discussing, respecting, and empathizing with the problems of others - including instances of racial discrimination. I happen to live in Atlanta, Georgia - which is a very, very racially charged place. I've seen discrimination first hand... but I've also seen the race card played erroneously - on both sides of the issue.

With as many problems as we have in the world these days I can promise you, from the bottom of my heart ( and I believe myself to be in the majoriy here ) skin color is the least of my concerns on any level. People are people. If we continue to propegate the divides and focus upon our differences then we'll never ever regain control of our world from corporatism and the greedy...

I apologize for covering all of this in one response - much of it is general and not specifically directed at you!


posted on Aug, 7 2012 @ 01:35 PM
reply to post by Hefficide

That you might handle their experiences with respect is likely not enough assurance since I have witnessed plenty of racism on ATS and a blatant inability to respectfully handle a person of color telling a white person they're wrong. You might be different, but that is really no consolation.

posted on Aug, 7 2012 @ 01:45 PM
I think if you cant admit that as a white person, you have some significant benefits, you arent paying close enough attention to the struggles of the non-white citizens.

This is not to say, that white people cannot have the EXACT same struggles as a person of a different race.

When you see the numbers on how many people use drugs... and its pretty evenly racially distributed, then you see the drug arrests, and the VAST MAJORITY of them are people of color, it tells you something about the freedom to just do drugs, and the relationship that has with your ethnicity.

This is just one example I could think of quickly. White privileged is something that's real and I think its weird when a white person tries to combat this, as if they have an understanding of NOT BEING WHITE. If you talk to any black person, any latino person, any person of color, they will unanimously tell you there is a difference.

posted on Aug, 7 2012 @ 01:50 PM
I think the main problem with the POV of the OP is that your saying, based off my experiences, all of these things have or could happen to me as well.. That (to you) is a valid point, but leaves a gaping black hole in the facts. Once again, you are talking about your experiences as a white person. You cant claim to have an understanding of other ethinicities struggle without living in their shoes and feeling it. Black people are arrested WAY more often then white people, even tho statistically crimes committed are equal between wht/ltn/blk generally. However, people of color have the most intense accountability for their actions compared to white offenders.

Be more open minded. Just because you dont like the idea of white privilege doesn't mean it isnt a clear reality for many many many people all around the world, not just in the US

posted on Aug, 7 2012 @ 01:57 PM
reply to post by SamLuv

i'm gonna go with "it's a regional issue" more profound in some and less in others.
you said ...

Black people are arrested WAY more often then white people, even tho statistically crimes committed are equal between wht/ltn/blk generally. However, people of color have the most intense accountability for their actions compared to white offenders.

Be more open minded.
ok, in a sense of open-mindedness, i now have to wonder, since you claim black ppl are arrested way more often ... which may be true ... in my region, the majority of cops are also minority persons of one kind or another, so, what does that mean ??

posted on Aug, 7 2012 @ 02:19 PM
reply to post by cetaphobic

That's kind of my point, I suppose... there is no consolation for trespasses - other than to forgive or to rise above. If we all woke up tomorrow with the same color skin, the same color hair, the same color eyes, and the same general appearances, it wouldn't take a week before somebody came along and began to try and create a new caste system. Only by refusing to participate can we end it.


posted on Aug, 7 2012 @ 02:28 PM
reply to post by Kastogere

100 percent true depending on the area. Several years ago I was in bad shape. Eating at food lines etc... I qualified for Food Stamps. They honestly would have made a world of difference for me at the time.

So I go down to the the County offices wait for 6 hours. Get denied. In fact they didn't even deny me. They refused to talk to me. People with no appointment would go ahead of me. Taken right in given five star treatment.

Me I just sat and sat and sat. Finally someone takes me in to talk to me. Well they weren't even going to look at my form I filled out or check anything. They simply took it and stared at me like. WHo do you think you are showing up here to get food stamps. I honestly got the impression they thought I was some white guy trying to scam them. No honestly I think they flat out refused me because I was the only white person in there. Minorities went in some dressed really nice with jewelry and clothes. No line. No forms. Just sure ere yo go food stamp EBT cards!!!! make it rain EBT cards. The manager a hispanic guy would come out and look at me every hour and frown like as if to think "that asshole is still here! doesn't he know food stamps are for minorities!"

I left with the distinct feeling they didn't want anybody white in there. So if you live in certain parts of Los Angeles. Being white actually works heavily against you. I left that office that day starving. THey literally let a starving person walk in get refused service and forced to leave and live on the street.

But you know what. I survived. i didn't make some whiny case out of it. I moved on. Now I'm doing fine. But it was no thanks to the bums who worked at that county human services dept or whatever. Where was my white privilege then?

posted on Aug, 7 2012 @ 02:34 PM
reply to post by SangriaRed

Very true!!! My very first girlfriend was a chinese girl. My family thought she was great. But whenever her dad would come around to pick her up she would go. Hi dad this is my friend .... I wasn't even allowed to hug her goodbye in front of her dad. She would push me away. A girl I was making out with 30 minutes earlier. ANyway it turned out that because I was white she had to break up with me because her dad was livid.

My best friend growing up was korean. His mom freaked out when she found out he was dating a hispanic girl. He got revenge anyways on his mom and ended up marring a dutch white girl. His moms still angry. But loves the grandkid whos half white half korean.

posted on Aug, 7 2012 @ 02:38 PM
reply to post by BASSPLYR

this sounds a lot more like internalized feelings about having to use food stamps.. Your perceiving all these looks and feelings from others that I just cant agree with.. Since I too live in LA, and was (yesterday actually) one of many many many white people in the Food stamp office. I got no weird looks.

and also.. White people use government assistance more then black people and latino people. .So again, whatever your feeling, statistically isnt true. To say you felt unwelcome getting Govt assistance because you were white.. Seems a little far fetched (with respect) since the majority of people on EBT/Food stamps are white.

Its a fallacy that black people use Govt assistance more then other races. We forget Govt assistance wasnt available to black people til a few decades ago.

I respect your experience, But im just saying.. I am white, and have gone to the food stamp office and had no issues qualifying (legally) or talking to someone. Assuming that you waited and waited because you were white.. I mean, come on.. Realistically, they probably lost your name, or skipped you or whatever. That place is a mad house. You cant say for certain that any of your experiences there had anything to do with the color of your skin my friend.

I am a whitey too. And I was helped with open arms. and without judgement, and extremely by the book. They wouldnt allow me to receive a cent I was not legally entitled to.

posted on Aug, 7 2012 @ 03:47 PM
I believe the office I went to (Panorama City) had an issue with me being white. I was all smiles when I was in there and didn't come with any preconceived notions or biases. I was more like. Yes finally some help! Sadly it wasnt going to end up that way.

For the record when I went to the Panaorama City offices I was the only white guy period. Only white guy visiting the place or even working at the place. I had the distinct impression I was not welcome there because I was white. And the next day I was talking to a black friend of mine who went to the same office to get food stamps/EBT and he said that it was probably because I was white and that he noticed no white people there wither.

I have no beef with the people that work there. Like I said I could have turned it into some huge whinefest and ranted at them. Instead I said OK if thats how they're going to play this out than I'll find another way to survive. And thats what I did.

edit on 7-8-2012 by BASSPLYR because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 7 2012 @ 03:54 PM
reply to post by BASSPLYR

Ok, just for some accuracy and for the sake of a honest argument.. Can you disclose the reasoning given behind rejecting your EBT request? Since you must formally be denied? There is also an appeals process, I would think if I was rejected for food I was legally entitled too, I would appeal it.. Especially if it wasnt because of anything other then the color of my skin..

I think its easy to say.. Its cuz Im white.. But the goal at that office is to prevent as many people from improperly getting benefits as possible.. If you come in and DONT qualify, you get NOTHING. If you qualify, it doesnt matter what you look like, you get the benefit.

And this one circumstance is one aspect of a huge amount of variables when it comes to white privilege, you cant say.. It doesnt exist because you, as a white person, didnt have an easy time getting govt assistance.

posted on Aug, 7 2012 @ 05:17 PM

Originally posted by Wildbob77
reply to post by smyleegrl

So when a minority group excels in the US it is because of their culture.

But when a minority group lags behind, it is because of white privilege holding them back?

I did not clarify myself, thanks for noticing. I was actually referring to Asian schools in Asian countries, not in the US.

And no, I don't think white privilege is holding our students back.

In my class I have a fairly equal mix of races and ethnicities. That doesn't matter. What does matter is that they ALL deserve a quality education.

posted on Aug, 7 2012 @ 05:54 PM
Why is the term "Asian privilege" non-existent? After all, the Asian minority has higher test and IQ scores than white people, and they have a higher average income. If the criminal justice system unfairly targets non-whites, then why do Asians have a lower crime rate than white people?

An aspect of this 'white privilege' ideal that I often hear is that blacks have to live with some sort of 'fear' of white people. A white person is far more likely to be a victim of a violent crime at the hands of a black person than vice-versa. This isn't the 60's. A lot has changed in 40 years.
edit on 8/7/2012 by Charmed707 because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 7 2012 @ 06:18 PM
I've never had any benefits that these people speak of of. I don't even know what they are?

Wealth? I don't have it.
Political power? I don't have it?
First choice at a job? Nope.

What are these mythical benefits? I don't see them.

In fact, I see more benefit for illegal immigrants than I have.

And it's far easier to get them for them.

I don't have a child so I can't qualify for any benefits. I'm a single man so I don't qualify for any benefits.


People talk about them but they don't define them or list them.

The truth of the matter is, most of the wealthy people are white, and that's what this bs white privileged stuff is based on, and it's just a few of them controlling everything.

posted on Aug, 7 2012 @ 07:45 PM
reply to post by SamLuv

Yeah I was homeless at the time, living in my car, with not enough money to eat or even put gas into said car to repark it so peoples homes I would park in front of for the night wouldn't get pissed.

Did you not read the part where they didn't even talk to me or look at any of my paperwork. And when somebody near closing time finally took me to talk the person sat behind their desk basically said " need a EBT card?" with a snide tone of voice. She then got up and came back with some supervisor. The guy who was giving me dirty looks throughout the day. He sorta just stood there and stared at me, then walked away as if to get somebody else. Then she tells me that they are closing and can't help me today and to come back some other day. Even though I got there around 10:30AM. and plenty of other walk ins were welcomed and given service within 45 min to 2 hours. Me I got the silent treatment.

So for all honesty's sake. do you really think that there wasn't some sort of foul play going on. no sort of discrimination. They were just doing their job, making sure all those EBTs ere going to the right people. Yeah right. That explains all the other people in there clearly doing better than me, frauding the govt and getting EBT cards, while a honest citizen was told basically to piss off, go starve somewhere else. have one of your white people help you.

I'm not a biased racist guy at all, and i came in there hopeful not looking for some agenda. I walked out of there feeling like there was some "reverse racism" going on.

posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 02:59 AM
reply to post by James1982

I am the poster who linked this article in the other thread. The point of providing the link was to "enlighten" the people I was talking to who claimed there is no such thing as privilege at all. The article was written in 1988, and yes some things have changed, but it is still very relevant. Its an easy starting point for someone just learning about it because it gives you items to think about. This thread has in no way debunked privilege based on race or gender, there is a ton of peer-reviewed literature on it if you want to learn more. I am not going to address every item, but let me "debunk" the "debunking." I hope im not wasting my time.

Originally posted by James1982
Anyhow, here is number one:

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

The same goes for minority groups. Nothing is stopping them from having a social circle of their same race. At work, I as a white person am not able to avoid associating with those outside my race (nor would I wish to) so I fail to see any legitimacy to #1.

Clearly, you missed the point. This item is talking more about life in the workplace. This is a problem minorities of all races face in professional careers. White people are the majority in America, therefore most professional careers are dominated by them, so when a white person takes a job somewhere they don't have to think about being the only white person because its pretty much a given that most of the people will be white. Minorities on the other hand don't have this convenience. Think corporate office, law firm, etc. (This also answers number 2)

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.

This has absolutely nothing to do with race. This has to do with financial security. Next.

Not so fast there buddy, housing discrimination still occurs. Read this

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

This isn't something that can be assured for people of any race, social class, religion, age, or gender.

For the most part yes it can be. Lets leave out social class though, I mean you can only live where you can afford, so people separate themselves by social class and that most likely would not be an issue. Lets say you are a straight white christian male with a wife. If you move into a predominantly white suburban area nobody will really think twice about you and will probably be neutral towards you at first. If a gay couple moved into the same area or a family of traditional Muslims, do you really think they would receive the same treatment? Even Black people still face issues if they seem too "urban."

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

This is true for me as a white person. Aside from the fact that there are at least two black TV networks I'm aware of, numerous black magazines, and tons of black websites, a black person would have no problem watching TV or reading media targeted for them. But that's not the issue. Whites are the majority in this country. Notice he said "widely represented" and not "fairly represented" Black people account for about 13% of the population of the USA. Judging from the TV channels I watch, well over 13% of the people I see in advertisements are black. It only makes sense that the majority would be represented more than the minority.

This is not just a black and white issue. Having said that, you are kind of missing the point, this essay is pointing out something you take for granted as a white person that minorities do not experience. You are not in the out-group, you turn on the tv and see members of your race represented positively everywhere. You dont have to seek it out. This is talking about mainstream media outlets though, not media that was created as a result of lacking said representation.


posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 03:01 AM

Originally posted by James1982

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.

Absolutely. When people are taught the history of the US in school, they all learn about slavery. It is well understood that black people made major contributions towards the building of this nation, albeit not by choice at that time. The fact that slavery was a negative part of history is made perfectly clear. When discussing civilization in general the big ones that pop out to me are the Egyptians and Sumerians. Neither of them are my race, and I don't take issue with that. Whites didn't built the Egyptian or Sumerian civilizations, why would we be represented when discussing them?

I have to disagree here. The achievements of non-white people and how they influenced America is largely ignored in US history classes. Native Americans are mentioned but even that is half explained. The contributions of Mexicans and Asians are largely ignored. There are probably others but those are the two groups I can think of off the top of my head. Slavery is mentioned but how crucial it was to America's success is not talked about. Just thought i'd add Black people have done other things for America besides work in the fields, your mind goes there because thats whats taught in school. When I learned about ancient civilizations are usually taught in world history classes. Moot point.

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

Honestly to me this sounds bad. It makes it sound as if he believes his race to be so important that even in a group where nobody else was white everyone would recognize his opinions as important simply because he's white. Even if true, which I honestly doubt, who's fault is that? This is totally down to the group you are with, and has nothing to do with race.

You can't always control the group you're around. It happens.

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.

I think you will find most all music shops carry music from almost every race and culture out there. Is he implying there are a large number of music stores that only carry "white" music? What does that mean anyway? Rap and Pop music, which are currently some of the most popular types, represent different races extremely well. If he means authentic cultural music, I think that would be more difficult to find regardless of your culture. Again, no white privilege here.

The music portion may be a little outdated but the rest is still relevant. I mean in my city there are supermarkets that cater to specific cultural groups because they are not represented in the chain supermarkets. But of course this can vary somewhat. I mean I went into an ACME that was in an area with a high concentration of Jewish people and there were a couple of aisle with Israeli products. But for the most part non-white cultures cannot go into a chain supermarket and find staple food. Hair care products and salons are also things white people can go pretty much anywhere and expect to find which I know black people cannot(I don't know much about hair care of other race).

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.

I'm not sure if I just have such an inferior intellect compared to this man that I cannot understand what he means here, or he is being intentionally vague as to say basically nothing at all. I've had plenty of people money-pen 20s that I've given out, if that's what he means....

Lending Discrimination

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.

The number of teachers who are going to discriminate against a student for not being white has got to be incredibly low. Any instance of a teacher going against a student because of their race would most likely make headlines and end with the teacher being removed from the classroom.

I'm glad you think every incidence of racism makes the news, lol. It doesn't, at all, the little bit of stuff that pops up on ATS is just the tip of the iceberg. Eh, but heres an article for you. Minorities receiving harsher discipline

edit on 8-8-2012 by acmpnsfal because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 03:03 AM

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

I think he is just making things up now. Honestly, like I said I think he's giving is a glimpse into his own bigoted mindset than exposing some grand conspiracy of white privilege.

Nope, not at all. When you are not in the majority and not widely represented people tend to generalize between people whose only connection is skin color based on their personal experience or whats seen on tv.

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

Where in this country would that be deemed acceptable to say to someone or any race?

Im glad you realize how incredibly inappropriate someone saying that would be, it does happen. However, it wouldn't happen to someone who was white because its expected for them to succeed.

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

I can't even recall how many times I've been asked "what do white people do/think/etc about this or that" while involved in conversations with people outside my race. I think it's fairly common when in doubt about another race to ask a member of that race. Who else would you ask?

I disagree. One person does not provide the baseline for what everyone of whatever race thinks. I have never asked someone of another race what does their race think about anything, thats incredibly ignorant. Opinions vary from person to person even between people of the same race. See you're learning!

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.

Bzzzzt. Wrong. Other than the scores of jobs I've wanted to apply for that require me to be bilingual (spanish) Other than that, why on Earth as a citizen of the US should I have to know how to speak the language and be knowledgeable of the customs of other countries? Which ones? ALL of them? I know the language and customs of the country I live in. When/if I go to another country I make sure I know their customs to the extent I don't do anything offensive. I also do my best to speak their language. I can assure you if I MOVED to another country I would totally be expected to learn their language and customs.

You said all that and you still don't understand the concept of white privilege? Firstly, the US has no official language, some states do though. If you wanted that bilingual job bad enough, you would have learned spanish, correct? See you have a choice here, lol. You can choose not to learn spanish because its not relevant to your widely white world view. You don't have to learn about anyone's culture and if someone elses culture is given some recognition its horrible "multiculturalism." In your mind, everyone has to adjust to your standards. Every other culture is pretty much forced to learn about and function in white society. Do you see how this works now?

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

Absolutely false. I think you fellow ATSers are well aware that regardless of skin color certain people look at you with a raised eyebrow when you "go against the grain" as it were.

Eh, depends on the issue, no? It seems like everytime an controversial issue comes up on ATS people jump out of the woodwork to make whatever the minority group may be (race, sexuality, religion) seem like the bad guy. How do you think this works in the real world?

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.

How can I be sure of that? On the flipside, how can a minority know they WERE singled out because of their race?

The easiest way to figure that out is if you did not do anything wrong, lol. But there are other ways, comments made by the officer, calling for backup, asking of irrelevant questions, unwarranted searching of property, etc.

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.

Wow... really? This is again total BS. The thread I was talking about here on ATS proves this. When minorities bring up race they are coddled and agreed with. When white people bring up race they are ignored and ridiculed. He couldn't possibly get more wrong.

This is not true at all. Minorities are not at all coddled when they bring up race, unless it has merit. But see this entire response goes back to what she wrote, does it not? You feel like as a white person you have the final say in whether or not something is racist.

posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 03:03 AM

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

Load of bull. White people are constantly worried about appearing "racist" or offending people of other races. Wrong wrong wrong.

Worrying about offending someone is not exactly learning about their perspectives, is it? Learning how to not offend someone is more about learning how to phrase things and knowing what words are not okay to use. You learn zero about the individual.

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.

Uh.... yeah. That's because employers aren't forced to higher white people. Therefore there is no suspicion from coworkers that's how you got the job. If there were no such thing as affirmative action then there would be no such thing as people getting suspected as being an AA hire.

Yes, because every minority that works with an affirmative action employer is unqualified for the position. No minority could ever get a job without the help of affirmative action because they are all too dumb. This is basically what you are saying. I bet if there was some type of AA policy in government people would say Obama was only president because of it.

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

Yeah... so can minorities. He's admitting that there are times where whites will face rejection due to their race, and he just doesn't do those things. Minorities can do the same thing.

No, you missed the point. Arranging activities is basically planning things so that you are mostly around other white people. Which is quite easy for white people to do and not so much for minorities. And I can't believe you think that a minority should not do something simply because they face racial rejection. Wow....just wow.

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

Huh? What? Academic courses and institutions that ONLY allow white people? Can't think of any. Academic courses and institutions that cater to minorities? PLENTY of them! Did he even think before making this list?

Key word was EASILY. Most colleges are majority white, so there would be no need for a institution to cater to specifically to white people because thats how they are set up. You don't have to hunt down a school and travel across the country to get to it. Also, white people can attend institutions that were created for minorities if they want to.

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

Yeah, so can black people. They are called Ebon-Aide. Think I'm joking? Look it up. Standard "flesh" colored bandages are going to work for the majority of people. Whites, Asians, some Indians, their skin tone is close enough the bandages will basically match just as well for them. It just makes good business sense to sell a product that will appeal to the majority of people. So what's the issue?

Ummmm, firstly, the fact that the "flesh" colored bandage would resemble white skin is a problem in and of itself. Flesh comes in all different colors, thats why crayola got rid of the flesh colored crayon. Anywho, those bandages would not work for Asians or any Indians, lol. But you are still leaving out a rather huge population of Latinos who would also not be able to use them. Whatever this ebon-aide is, I have never seen it, you can't walk into wal-mart and buy it. So moot point.

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

There are tons of reasons a person would feel unwelcome and abnormal throughout life, a few of them are racial, but this also applies to white people. It all depends on what groups or people you are associating with, so there is no upper hand for being white. Whites can deal with being left out because of their race, too.

-_- You are still missing the point. You need to learn about other races and cultures, try to see the world through their eyes and not from a defensive standpoint.
edit on 8-8-2012 by acmpnsfal because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 8 2012 @ 12:41 PM
In regards to flesh colored bandages. It would be nice if you could go to a CVS and see a band aid kiosk much like a makeup kiosk where band aids of every color are presented.

But you also gotta look at it from the practical perspective of manufacturing all those different colored bandages and then the logistics of what area and store gets what different colors to represent every possible ethnic faction living in that area. Obviously its unrealistic to do that and that the amount of waste would kill just about any profit margin. SO look at it from Band Aids perspective. Besides who really thinks band aid has got some racist agenda making only white colored band aids.

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