The other day, I shared the following meme on Einstein’s facebook page.
Yesterday morning a friend commented on that post, “If the Supreme Court of the United States never had to determine if you have the same rights as every one else, you have white privilege”. My first thought was…..”where is the logic in that?” What about woman’s rights, suffrage etc? One does NOT equal the other!!!
I responded, “I disagree. Woman’s right’s? so I am not only not white privileged, I am testicularly challenged?”
My friend responded, ” Yes, but have you ever had to go to court to ride the bus, eat at the lunch counter, go to the school closest to you, live in the neighborhood you wanted to, be passed over for promotion or a job, get less pay than a coworker that did the same job, marry a person you wanted to? I have a cousin who’s father was half native american. Her mother and grandmother went shopping one day and took her with them. At noon they stopped at a restaurant on the way home. They were refused service because they thought her skin was too dark.”
GRRRRR! I am aware that things like that happen, but NOT on my watch!!! I have never treated someone differently because of their race or skin color. I have also never sat by and watched something like that happen.
I responded to his comment with, “I am not disputing that discrimination’s is DISGUSTING. I am disputing being told that I have a certain privilege because of the color of my skin. The entire argument is about HUMAN right’s no? Then why not focus on the fact that we are all human instead of pointing out differences in skin color, religion, hair color etc? I’m just saying that ‘picking a fight’ with someone telling them they are privileged is not the way to get their support is it?”
Our conversation pretty much ‘ended’ there. He went on to say that things won’t change unless the ones with the power admit there is a problem. I agree. But that still doesn’t mean that many people, including me, aren’t bothered or offended by the term “White privilege”.
I’m trying not to be bothered by it, (sticks and stones and all) but I am. Maybe I don’t understand the definition of privilege? I spent a good portion of the day yesterday (off and on) googling privilege. The first definition I found was “a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group.”
The next search showed:
- a right, immunity, or benefit enjoyed by a particular person or a restricted group of people beyond the advantages of most:the privileges of the very rich.
- the unearned and mostly unacknowledged societal advantage that a restricted group of people has over another group:white privilege based on skin color; male privilege; children of privilege.“
While I still don’t like the term White privilege, I will say that for all of the reasons I have been discriminated against (weight, hair color, sex, tattoos, single parent, being agnostic, etc) I don’t believe that I have ever been singled out because of my race. Does that mean I don’t understand and disagree with discrimination? I don’t think so. 😦