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:
- I don’t have to fear that my color will get me killed.
- I don’t fear cops
- 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.
- I especially don’t fear being killed by a cop. Why would a cop kill me? Pff!
- A white person can murder a whole bunch of people and the police try to avoid shooting them.
- We whites can sue everyone for everything because we’re white.
- I don’t fear security officers.
- I don’t fear store owners.
- If I am walking home and think someone is following me, I can ask anyone for help, and they will probably do so.
- I know that justice is always on my side. And if it’s not, I can sue everyone.
- I know I can always find fair representation in any situation.
- I’m not likely to ever go to jail for a crime I did not commit.
- 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.
- What I say is considered more reliable than the words of someone of colour.
- I can be an asshole and people won’t say it’s because of the color of my skin.
- A white celebrity is a celebrity; a black celebrity is a black celebrity.
- I’m not expected to be grateful all the damn time.
- I’m not expected to say “thank you” to someone for not treating me like shit.
- I can easily get a loan. From a bank.
- People don’t assume I’m good at basketball.
- I can eat chicken every day; no-one is gonna say anything.
- People don’t stereotype the food I eat, my hair, nor the clothes I wear.
- People don’t fetishize the color of my skin and make assumptions about me based on it.
- I don’t have to change my name to get a job interview.
- 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.
- People don’t assume the worst about me because of my race.
- People don’t ask me: “What do ‘your people’ think?”
- By default, band-aids are in my skin color.
- If I could afford an expensive car, I could drive it without people thinking I stole it.
- If I could afford a mansion, I could live in it without people thinking I’m a drug lordess.
- I’m allowed to have an opinion.
- I’m allowed to be angry.
- 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.
- 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”.
- As a kid, I was told I could be anything I wanted to be and I knew it was true because…
- 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…