I completely support “Black Lives Matter”, I just wish the movement had a different name that didn’t raise such hatred by some whites. This kind of color labeling is what I believe creates a bigger problem and more racism, rather than getting to solutions and unifying all humans. I have recently seen an increase in posts on my facebook about white privilege incidents where whites are being called “white privilege” and I have to say, stop with the color labels!
Everyone has some privileges and advantages as well as disadvantages depending on an extreme amount of factors and not just the color of your skin.
Here are a few privileges that are just as real:
- money privilege (let’s face it, this is the #1 privilege)
- family privilege
- sexual orientation privilege
- country citizenship privilege
- man privilege (the biggest privilege on the planet when it comes to money and work)
- height privilege
- athletic privilege
- body type privilege
- attractiveness privilege
- smile privilege (yes, I once got a free perk because a man liked my smile)
- luck privilege
- timing privilege
- relationship privilege
- personality privilege
- health privilege
- youth privilege
- experience privilege
- location privilege
- and I could go on and on.
Before you jump on me for not liking the “white privilege” label because I am white, let me say, I do understand why many blacks would feel that way. When you see statistics, when you watch the news, when you apply for a job that is given to a white person, when you are accused of something rather than a white person, simply because of the color of your skin, you could feel that all whites are privileged.
But think about this, when a white person is poor, has to struggle and work hard to get ahead against all odds, is denied a scholarship that went to a black person who had a lower gpa, or have to be more careful not to sound racist than their black friends. This is the kind of things that lead to this type of thought: The Flipside of White Privilege: Black Entitlement and what I believe has contributed to the Trumpism that is happening today. Which I do not agree with by the way, but the thought is growing as more blacks call out “white privilege”. Another better reference to the problem is “It’s time to talk about “black privilege” posted on CNN. White straight male does not automatically equal privilege.
As a rebel in a family of Christian, white, Trump supporters, I know this is the way whites are feeling based on my own family and the comments they make that portray their deep (and don’t realize they have) racist colors. This is what they would say…. “There are more scholarships for minorities”, “corporations have laws that force them to hire all races so I didn’t get hired”, “Whites don’t have a white history month, or white scholarship funds, or white cultural groups, if they did, people would say they are white elistists and racist.”, “Whites can’t express feelings about being white while other cultures can be proud of their skin color and heritage. Why is it ok for there to be black cultural groups, black dating sites, black scholarships, black history month, and not equally white ones?” While all of this is true, a black family has many of the same issues and then some. I don’t need to go into all of the privileges that whites receive in courts and with law enforcement because we all know that there are a lot of problems there which is why many blacks are more frustrated and have a right to be heard for a bad situation and racism that really does exist and is a whole other conversation. But does that mean that whites ALWAYS get the privilege in every situation? No. It doesn’t.
The truth is, privilege does exist for whites, blacks, asians and latinos and it’s the labels that are bad. If we want to work through racial separations and prejudices and stop looking at skin color, then we have to stop labeling each other.
Adding a label to a person such as white or black privilege is just enabling the hate and separation between races. If a white male doesn’t get a scholarship while a black female gets it with a lesser gpa, it doesn’t mean it is her fault or he is being denied because of the color of his skin. It just means he was not qualified enough. If a black person doesn’t get a job, it doesn’t mean (in most cases) that it was because they are black but because they are not qualified. But it sure sounds better when talking to your friends to tell them it was because you are black and not because you were not qualified enough for the position. Or it’s because you are white and they needed to hire a black person. This is the kind of thing that perpetuates racism, not the kind of thing that helps the cause. If you are denied something, whether it is a job, approval for a home owners association or other club, or any opportunity, we all know that it is easier to blame it on racism rather than admit someone was better or more qualified then you. Rather than admit your own faults, imperfections or flaws, it is much easier on our egos to blame it on racism or sexism, because it is true, they do exist. But not all the things that you don’t get in your life are because of that.
Look, I have experienced sexism my whole life. I have applied for plenty of technical jobs and been rejected. And wow, some of the questions I would be asked were definitely sexist. But in being rejected, I could blame it on being a woman, and in some cases, that would be true, but in many cases, I just was not as qualified as someone else. But I didn’t cry sexism every time it happened. I just worked harder to make sure I was better qualified for the next time and considered myself lucky for not getting a job with people who were clearly sexist.
The truth is, we all have our own experiences. Most of us do not have a lot of privileges but we can all find and use privileges that do exist no matter who you are. Most of us have many reasons for not getting a job, or being approved for something, and it could be a variety of reason, but blaming it on skin color seems to be the easy out and what perpetuates the problem.
Let’s STOP labeling the color of our skin. Yes it is real. But so is everything else in your appearance. If you are born male, attractive, have great skin, good health, athletic, whether you have more energy or less, whether you have a bubbly personality, whether you have an overactive brain or a relaxed personality, etc. Everything about you define the “privileges” you have inherently in life. Other privileges you have to work for. Stop blaming others and guilting others for what they have or were born with and look at what you can do with the cards you were dealt. Find the privileges that exist for you.