I Have White Privilege: And This is My Checklist

I have white privilege. My white privilege is something I’ve accepted for a while but I was reminded of it today when I read about a pregnant woman who was shot by the law enforcement agents she trusted to protect her and thought I’d discuss some of the things I notice that benefit me in my white little world. I hate the inequality of one group of people getting treated better than another, but that is sadly how the world currently operates. How we can stop that?! I wish I knew… But the first step to solving a problem is accepting you have one. So, here’s my white privilege checklist:

  1. I don’t have to fear that my color will get me killed.
  2. I don’t fear cops
  3. If I call the police about a burglar in my home, I know they’re not gonna turn up and think I’m the burglar.
  4. I especially don’t fear being killed by a cop. Why would a cop kill me? Pff!
  5. A white person can murder a whole bunch of people and the police try to avoid shooting them.
  6. We whites can sue everyone for everything because we’re white.
  7. I don’t fear security officers.
  8. I don’t fear store owners.
  9. If I am walking home and think someone is following me, I can ask anyone for help, and they will probably do so.
  10. I know that justice is always on my side. And if it’s not, I can sue everyone.
  11. I know I can always find fair representation in any situation.
  12. I’m not likely to ever go to jail for a crime I did not commit.
  13. If I committed a small crime, I know I’d probably do community service for a short time whereas a black person would serve 10-20 years.
  14. What I say is considered more reliable than the words of someone of colour.
  15. I can be an asshole and people won’t say it’s because of the color of my skin.
  16. A white celebrity is a celebrity; a black celebrity is a black celebrity.
  17. I’m not expected to be grateful all the damn time.
  18. I’m not expected to say “thank you” to someone for not treating me like shit.
  19. I can easily get a loan. From a bank.
  20. People don’t assume I’m good at basketball.
  21. I can eat chicken every day; no-one is gonna say anything.
  22. People don’t stereotype the food I eat, my hair, nor the clothes I wear.
  23. People don’t fetishize the color of my skin and make assumptions about me based on it.
  24. I don’t have to change my name to get a job interview.
  25. If I get turned down for a job interview, I know it was because I suck at job interviews, not because of the color of my skin.
  26. People don’t assume the worst about me because of my race.
  27. People don’t ask me: “What do ‘your people’ think?”
  28. By default, band-aids are in my skin color.
  29. If I could afford an expensive car, I could drive it without people thinking I stole it.
  30. If I could afford a mansion, I could live in it without people thinking I’m a drug lordess.
  31. I’m allowed to have an opinion.
  32. I’m allowed to be angry.
  33. I can choose to ignore my race or not; speak about it or not. I’m not constantly reminded of my color. I’m not forced to be a spokesperson for my race all the time.
  34. My race is the default race. If I search on Google Images for: “man”, “woman”, “girl”, “boy”, “family”, “mail man”, “clerk”, or any other image of a person, I see images of my own race. By contrast, if I search: “black woman”, it asks if I want to refine by stereotypes like “angry” or “attitude”, or sexual definitions like “thick” and “voluptuous”.
  35. As a kid, I was told I could be anything I wanted to be and I knew it was true because…
  36. My race is represented EVERYWHERE – to the point where even white people end up sick of seeing white people!
    White people in politics.
    White people on TV.
    White people reading the white news.
    Giving me the white weather.
    White people on the chat shows.
    White people in the movies.
    White history documentaries.
    White people policing the streets.
    White people putting out the fires.
    White mayors and leaders.
    White doctors and white nurses.
    White people singing on the radio.
    White people dancing on the stage.
    White bank clerks giving me my white bank loan with a white smile.
    White people teaching me in school.
    From books by white authors.
    Who are written based on research conducted by white researchers.
    White people in the magazines.
    White fashions, white hair, white make-up.
    White people at the conference.
    White people DJing in the club.
    White stewardesses serving me white food on the big white plane!
    White people in my Twitter feed.
    White people in my YouTube feed.
    White people on WordPress.

And so on and so forth, ad nauseam, ad infinitum…

That Grammarly Advert Is Anoying

Oops, I meant That Grammarly Advert Is Annoying. You know the one I mean, right? What do you mean, they’re all annoying? Ok, you’re right! But this one, especially so!

Backstory: Ok, so, sometimes I’m on YouTube and because YouTube is owned by Satan, they force me to watch these evil advertisements. And despite turning personalized ads off 17 hundred times I still get personalized ads, right? Because: Pfff! So anyway, I get all kinds of crap about… well… Grammarly.

So I keep seeing this ad, right? Follow along now…. while it’s still available…. don’t wanna miss out on the fuuuuun….

Ok, so here’s this lil white hipster with perfect teeth and a rich dad. And she’s like 12 years old, lives in a $1 million apartment and has the whitest name Grammarly could think of: “Lily”. What even-? She’s the new Social Media Manager :slow-fucking-clap: Not the new intern, ok? The new manager. Stay with me. So, there she is at the computer…, “managing”, if we dare call it that :raised eyebrow:

[Scene 1, Act 1]
Lily: La-de-da, type-e-type-e-whitey…

Stereotypically hunky male co-worker with deep husky voice: “Oh no, look, Lily-Wily (can I call you Lily-Wily?), our servers are down! By the way, my name’s Todd, maybe we can go for vanilla milkshakes later at the White Cafe, you know the place, with the white tables and chairs… they serve rice and cauliflower and…. stuff…?” :smouldering look:

Lily’s like: “Sure… but, oh no! The servers are down! How will I cope with the biggest challenge of my life… responding to Twitter comments. Not just any Twitter comments! Twitter comments with angry emojis in them!”

:gasp: The struggle is real.

All she’s doing is responding to twitter comments? She’s a manager and that’s her job?

Is that even a job? Are you srrious? Oops, I mean, serious. (Thank you Grammarly for saving my life :big fake slow-motion smile complete with hair swish:). People get paid to respond to Twitter comments? If she’s the Social Media Manager then what does the Social Media Assistant do? Insert emojis…? Turn the computer on and off again…? Staple shit…?

And “Lily”, by the way, is in an office that doesn’t look like it hires managers on the cheap. I mean, have you seen the expensive furniture and the exotic plants! So…, I can only conclude: she’s on a six-figure salary. To respond to Twitter comments. Okay, whatever! Obviously, long ago (when Grammarly was created), I slipped into some sort of alternate dimension where everything is fucked up.

Ok, now, Grammarly is a load of bullshit because… a, b, c – where do I even begin! Does Grammarly and the people who buy Grammarly not know that most computers have like an automatic spell-checker thingy? I don’t know where it is or exactly who is controlling it… :looks under and behind computer: all I know is when I type stuff on the internet it automatically highlights spelling errors for me like an invisible lil buddy. Aww! Some of my devices even auto-correct. That’s why the term “auto-correct” exists because that is an actual thing that exists… And I’m going to assume most people have this or some other free alternative to Grammarly, because: common sense. And I didn’t have to pay rich white people for it (grammar, nor common sense).

Ok, next thing is, watch the ad closely…. closely… Lily is spending like HALF AN HOUR correcting the FIVE MILLION typos she made. It’s a 4-step process: she has to direct her mouse to the typo, right click, find the correct word (does she even know…? Shhh, don’t distract her, she’s concentrating very very hard…) then click the correct word and “Yay!” she applauds herself for being so goshdarn smart! But she has to do this for every single typo she has and…

Ok, this is the next part that gets me: she made tons of typos in a 160-character comment! Not just one comment either, every.single.comment she wrote! How the hell did she get that job in the first place if her grammar is that bad?

Ok, I’m done. Time for my weekly mental breakdown.

Footnotes:
*I know how to grammar, don’t start with me.
**Some aspects of Grammarly are free but I still think it’s a load of pointless crap, that’s my opinion.
***I’m white and even I get annoyed by how white, white people are! Gotta put my shades on sometimes for I am blinded by the white!

Scam: Save Our Oceans

They want you to buy their Krole and Sons Vintage Traveller’s Watches!

Hey guys. I’ve been away for a while because: my workload is greater than the number of hours in a day. But nothing spurs me on for a blog post quite like assholes on the internet. So I’m back for one day only…

So I’m browzing through Facebook posts this morning and you know these annoying spammy ads they have? Well, I see this one: FREE GIVEAWAY!!! 5000 Krole and Sons Vintage Traveller’s Watches. RRP $79.99!! FREE! ENDS MIDNIGHT! QUICK! BUY BUY BUY!

And the watch looks so nice and exensive and unique. And it’s by a company called Save Our Oceans. They sound so trustworthy and reputable, right? They sound so giving and caring and generous, they want to save our oceans, they want to resuscitate turtles, we must support their cause! And it’s Krole and Sons, that sounds so legit, right? Like some expensive, vintage, family run company that really cares about you, not just your purse.

Anyway…, ok fine, I’m a sucker, I fell for it. Initially! (It said “free!”)

I’m thinking this “giveaway” musta gone already cause they have 5000 available and there’s 1.7k likes so F me, I always miss out on everything! But I click it, right? And hell, it’s still available! Right there, I’m like, “Hmmmmm….., is this a scam?” cause I never catch a break… Buy it’s still saying free so I don’t care! I go through the checkout and it’s like “you have 10 minutes to checkout” so of course I’m thinking, gotta get this, gotta get this, gotta get this. Hurry, hurry! Buy buy buy! But then it says $10.99 for shipping. Hmmm…. but…. the watch is RRP $79.99 so this is still a bargain, right?

But then I think, “Wait a minute…” The 8 minutes I had remaining on checkout gave me enough time to Google this and sure enough it’s a big fat scam. False advertising? Nah, c’mon, that’s too polite. It’s a big fat scam run by big fat crooked con artists who do not give a sh*t about resuscitating turtles! They just want your money! And they want it by MIDNIGHT!

The exact same item is available all over the internet for an average price of 1 dollar. Here’s an example on ebay.com for $1.27 with free p&p. It’s exactly the same item.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Fashion-Men-Women-Watch-Global-Travel-By-Plane-Map-Denim-Fabric-Wrist-Watches-/182350625241?var=&hash=item2a74f1b9d9:m:m1FE8f6wBD63jvlYtzNYD1Q

Save Our Oceans’ Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Save-Our-Oceans-1720412714898164/) is dedicated not to saving our oceans but to selling cheap costume jewellery at extortionate prices. Take a look yourself and you’ll see constant “giveaways” and “special offers” which claim to be short term but which repeat every few days and no-one seems to notice :twilight zone music:

What can be done about this? Absolutely nothing! We live in a society that favors con artists and punishes people who have a problem with that.

I called them out on their Facebook page as scammy assholes. I even got a message back…, it read:
“Hi Aliquo, This is Ruth from the Save Our Oceans team. Thanks very much for your interest in our Kröle & Sons Vintage Traveler’s Watch. 🙂 I just wanted to send you a quick note to let you know that this is probably the last day we’re giving them out. Here’s the link to get one if you’re still interested! —> https://goo.gl/N0QorU. Yours, Ruth. Customer Service Manager”.
So obviously they didn’t read my message. Also I imagine they delete any negative comments they get. I didn’t scroll through all 1.3k comments but from the 30 or so I looked at none directly called them out. The closest I saw was: “this sounds too good to be true…”

I reported the page: I don’t know if Facebook actually takes any action from someone reporting a page because they don’t tell you when you click that button. They offer: “to resolve this you can block or hide their posts“. Well I don’t want to do that, I want them to be reported so they stop scamming people.

This is their website: saveouroceansnow.com where you can find many more items at extortionate prices which are available on ebay for 99c + free p&p. They also do “giveaways” and “special offers” there: get it now! Quick quick! Offer ends midnight! Last one! Quick quick! Buying over-priced costume jewellery saves turtles! Buy buy buy! Only $10.99 for shipping and handling!

“Are you passionate about our oceans? So are we!” Awwwww… so fake! Bye bye bye!

 

A Year Without You Here (I Still Miss Prince)

I was checking through news features earlier today and saw articles about the Queen’s birthday. Then I realized, “If it’s the Queen’s birthday then…” It must also be a year since Prince died.

Since Prince “transformed” on April 21 2016, I don’t often Google him or twitter search for him or YouTube him, in fact I had to dump the few Prince fan friends I had because every time one of them mentioned Prince I would cry into my cappuccino. I just couldn’t deal with hearing about him. I still can’t listen to his music. Nothing Compares to You has me bawling on the floor in the supermarket. And it’s so weird hearing Prince music in public places now he’s not alive to sue us all for playing his music. God, I wish he was alive to sue us all for playing his music! I miss those crazy days!

But it’s ok to grieve over dead rock stars because we can do and feel whatever we want. Rules of behaviour are just imaginary things people made up! If you wanna feel sad about something, go ahead, it’s none of anybody else’s business. People usually don’t understand until they go through it themselves and everyone has a beloved rock star or actor whether they realise it yet or not.

If you’re an old-school, hard-core fan who grew up with Prince, I got the utmost love and respect for you. You guys are the original gangsters. Prince was your youth and that’s bound to make his loss more painful.

I still miss him like crazy. I mean, hell, I’ve cried over this little punk more than I’ve ever cried over anything, ever. I could’ve replenished Lake Minnetonka with my tears, man! I could talk about his talent here and what a loss it is to the world, but if there’s one thing everybody agrees on, it’s that Prince was a helluva talented guy. It goes without saying what a loss that is.

For me personally, his death has led me to completely change my life. I quit my job, went back to university, fell in love and now have many scary-exciting plans lines up for the near future. Something about losing someone forces us to face our own mortality. Someday soon we’ll be forever silent and what do we want to leave with the world as our legacy?

We may not be as talented and successful as Prince, but doesn’t mean we can’t make the world a better place in our own small lil way. Prince certainly did; he changed the world of music forever and his legacy will last a long, long time. I’m sure he’s out there somewhere, exploring the moonbeam levels. And I know we’ll see him again because we were all born in the heart of stars and someday we will find our way back home.

Until then,
Peace and Be Wild.

Yes, There Are Missing Girls In Washington D.C

0325-missing-girls-metro-pd-2-1200x630If you’re on social media, you may have seen an article doing the rounds with the title: “WHERE IS THE MEDIA?: At Least 25 Black Teen Girls Are Missing In D.C Since Feb 1st!”

Is it true? Not exactly… but it’s not far off. Yes, there are missing girls in Washington D.C but behind the headlines there’s more than meets the eye.

First of all, let’s take a minute to remember that the media is an evil distraction factory and a poor substitute for the police. We should not be outraged about ‘where the media is’ because the media is not a government department and does not find missing children, it merely reports skewed facts about missing children and feeds off public hysteria.

What we need to look at is the Washington DC Police Department. Now, a big reason for the sudden interest in missing black children is that this year the Washington Metropolitan Police Department started publishing missing person notices on their Twitter feed. Because of this people have more awareness of these missing person cases, which is a good thing, but people don’t seem to realize these are normal levels of missing person cases. This is not the Twilight Zone, these are just average stats for any major U.S city. Also because of the demographics of Washington DC, which has a majority black population, it’s likely to have more missing black people than other races.

Worldwide, an average of 85,000 people are missing at any given time (NamUs 2016), around 50% are typically white adult males with black people making up 37% globally and minors 40% (USA Today 2014). Around 12,000 people are currently missing in the U.S (NamUS 2016).

Back over in Washington DC, so far this year the Metropolitan Police Dept have logged 774 missing people cases (501 juveniles and 273 adults), of which only 38 currently remain unresolved. On the other hand, the Washington PD solved 736 missing person cases in the last 3 months alone, and 479 missing minors were found. It’s so easy to focus on the negatives and forget all the hard work the Washington police department puts into protecting its community.

As you might imagine, the figures for missing people change frequently as citizens are found or others go missing. The good news is the stats represent a steady drop in missing person cases since 2015 and the Washington PD reports only 9 remaining unresolved cases between 2012-2016, so the vast majority of people who go missing each year in the state are found.

Most young people who are reported missing are runaways and turn up soon after being reported, with very few cases remaining unsolved. However, many social media users worry that missing black girls will be trafficked. Unfortunately, there are no official figures on human trafficking in the US because cases are rarely reported or known, but no doubt young girls and particularly girls of ethnic minorities are more at risk of being trafficked or prostituted and further at risk of violence because of socio-economic factors which affect girls and people of color in the US.

“Our frustration is, we deal with a very desensitized public,” says Robert Lowry of The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. “The natural inclination is that the child’s behavioral problem is why they’ve left.” But sometimes these children are running away from “abuse or neglect or sexual abuse in the home”.

Of the 38 people missing in D.C, 22 are minors and 18 of them are listed as ‘critically 1490360160673missing’: “A critically missing child is one who is at an elevated risk of danger… A child’s age or mental/physical condition can be factors in determining whether a child is deemed to be critically missing” (NCMEC 2016).

“What the community is alarmed about,” says DC City Councilmember Trayon White, “[is] we had a 10-year-old girl missing the other day, but there was no amber alert.” White feels this was due to the child being black, although the strict guidelines of when a child can be considered to qualify for an amber alert may have affected the level of support received in this case. “AMBER plans require law enforcement to confirm an abduction prior to issuing an alert” (Office of Justice Programs 2017).

All in all, the conversation about missing children and the treatment of ethnic minorities is an important one and never unwarranted. “We applaud the conversation and we applaud the attention that this issue is being given” (Robert Lowry, NCMEC). It also appears that, with the current climate of anti-police sentiments and racial tension, police departments in the US have a long way to go in terms of building and maintaining public trust.

Forgiveness is a Noun not a Verb

Look, I’m like the least forgiving person on Earth. I don’t do “forgiveness”. But it seems to be really popular these days, I keep coming across this bizarre concept all over the internet when I’m looking for advice on revenge. But there’s something a lot of these “forgiving” people are getting wrong…

My advice to the forgive and forgetters is: if you truly you wanna be all forgiving… that’s fine – but you gotta take note: forgiveness is a noun not a verb. What I mean is that forgiveness is a concrete, solid thing – like a big boulder or something. It’s a commitment you make to yourself – yourself, yourself – not other people – to improve the condition of your soul. You can’t just say you forgive someone and magically you acquire inner peace or something, it don’t work that way.

There was this chick the other day, prattling on about her ex for an hour and a half, and then she ended by saying, “But, of course, I forgive him”. Well… if she’d forgiven him she wouldn’t have just wasted 1.5 hours of her precious existence talking about how much she hates him. Think of all the things she could’ve done with that hour and a half…!

In 1.5 hours you can:

  • Learn to say “I love you” in 10 languages
  • Learn how to juggle
  • How to play “Let It Be” by The Beatles on a keyboard
  • How to make a Spanish omelette and actually make one and eat the damn thing – twice!

What a wasted opportunity!

I know that applies to me too, I’ve wasted at least – at least! – 7 years on revenge, and that other fun “R” word: Regret. I could’ve become a Guitar Hero in that length of time! But, hey, I accept my fate, because verb-ing it doesn’t make it so and I can’t turn it into a noun unless I have some Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind treatment done on my brain.

If you can forgive and forget the people who’ve wrong you then good on you, think of all the Spanish omelettes you can make with your ample free time! Just make sure your behavior is matching the words coming out of your mouth otherwise you’ll have to come join me on the Raft of Revenge, and no “Let It Be” for you!

 

Looking Forward II: Elvis Week 2017

Ok, so I’m really pumped that I actually get to go to Elvis Week this year! :jumps up and down like a kid: Every August they put on this cool week of events at Graceland in honor of Elvis Presley. This year is the 40th anniversary of his death back in 1977 – wow, time flies! I wanted to go for the 30th anniversary but… life got in the way! So this one I can’t miss! I’m kinda clueless though cause I’ve never been before…

I was talking to some other fans (veterans!) and they were all like:

:southern drawl:

……..”Which hotel are you staying at?” ……..

………”What are you doing after the candlelit vigil?”……..

…………”Don’t forget your bug spray!”………..

I was like, errrrmmmmergerd! I am so unprepared! I was just gonna show up, y’know. I hadn’t thought about all this stuff. I hadn’t even booked my hotel… and they were like:

“You know it’s Elvis Week right…? You think you can get a hotel at the last minute!?”

And sure enough, I looked and there’s nowhere near Graceland available under $400 – well, except for The Lone Pine Motel or some sh*t like that – sounds great, right? It has a rating of zero stars but comes highly recommended by hookers and druggies, so that’s where I’m gonna be staying for Elvis Week! Ermergerd!!! Well, I ain’t paying $400! I still have so much to arrange though… Like, I don’t even know what happens…. Do I have to get tickets??….. Does it cost to go in?…. Do I have to book stuff?… Do I get to meet Elvis?…. Idk! I’m gonna have to seek more advice from the veterans. This is fun though, I can’t wait to go and meet all these cool people!