I don’t know how many times I’ve heard white people say that white privilege isn’t real. They weren’t born with a silver spoon in their mouth and they struggled… thus it can’t exist. Shoot…. I’ll even admit that I’ve even said it myself. But I’ve learned and realized that White Privilege is prevalent and all around us.
You see I was raised on the East Side of Buffalo, NY. For those who aren’t familiar with the area it is what people call the ‘hood’ of Buffalo and it is predominantly made up of African American’s. Currently there is also a growing immigrant population from the Middle East regions. My mom is a single mom due to my loser father leaving when I was 4 years old (and my sister 1yr). We grew up poor but my mom fought and kicked ass to give us a good life.
With that life though we didn’t grow up with labels and the fanciest newest things all the time. She did her darndest though to always provide for us so we were never hungry and always had a roof over our heads. In school I was usually one of a handful of white kids so I grew up feeling like the minority in my immediate surroundings and a lot of my best friends were black. Once I got to high school things became more diverse and there were kids with all kinds of backgrounds in my school.
White Privilege really is all around us.
Once it came time to apply for college is when I really started to feel angry and deny that white privilege existed. I didn’t qualify for a lot of scholarships simply based on the fact my skin was white. Even though I had the grades and my mother’s income was low enough. I ended up having to take out a bunch of student loans so I could afford to live somewhere, my textbooks, and to eat… that I am still paying on 10 years later.
Throughout that time I had already been dating my husband, so I did see the racism in the world towards us being an interracial couple but I still didn’t see my white privilege. Once we got married and had kids is when it really hit me. White Privilege really is all around us
White Privilege is:
- Being able to buy a house in a good neighborhood without worrying about if your neighbors are racist.
- Not having to avoid a neighborhood where you could get more house for your money because you know of people flying confederate flags (in the North!).
- Not getting nervous/scared/worried when you see a confederate flag.
- Thinking a confederate flag is about Southern Pride.
- Not having to choose a school district based a lot on the fact that they actually have kids of color in the area.
- Knowing there will be kids like yours in their classes.
- Not worrying about stopping to buy fruit on the side of the road in the country and wondering if the people are going to treat you wrong.
- Not having to worry about avoiding certain areas of the country when traveling because they are known to be racist.
- Being able to not have to consider how people will treat you because of your skin.
- Not having retail people treat you and your spouse differently because of your skin color.
- Never being fully comfortable in a suburb because you never know who secretly doesn’t like you based on the melanin you were born with.
- Going camping and not being the only family that looks like you there.
- Not having to be constantly aware and on the look out for how people are reacting to you and your kids.
- Not having to talk to your kids about how police may treat them differently.
- Being able to see the news of black man getting killed by the police and assuming if he would’ve just complied he’d be alive.
- Not being afraid to drive while black.
- Not having to have “The Talk” with your kids.
- Thinking that Black Lives Matter and Neo-Nazi’s are somehow the same thing.
- Thinking Black Lives Matter means White Lives don’t.
- Not having to search and search and search for dolls that look like your kids.
- Not getting excited because there is finally a show about a biracial kid.
- Being able to see people that look like you all over in the entertainment world (books, movies, shows, etc).
- Not caring that there isn’t enough representation of kids of color in books.
- Not caring that there isn’t enough representations of PoC in positive positions of power in entertainment.
- Finding toy families that look like your kids easily.
- Not having to talk with your kid about how special their hair is even though they just want hair like mommy.
- Finding representations of your family in books.
- Not having to make sure and worry that your kid isn’t the only kid of color in class or a program.
- Not having horrible things yelled at you because of your skin color or who you happen to love.
- Being able to walk around and hold your partners hand no matter what part of town you are in.
- Not having to worry about your safety after a president stated he supported violence against those that didn’t like him. #notmypresident
- Not being scared for your husband or children when White Supremacist’s and Neo-Nazi’s feel empowered because of the president.
- Thinking that what happened in Charlottesville is an isolated situation that couldn’t happen in your city/town.
- Thinking that what happened in Charlottesville and the racism associated with it should be handled with ignoring it.
- Not being scared to walk around after the election and/or Charlottesville.
- Thinking Charlottesville was about statues.
- Thinking those statues are about heritage.
- Forgetting those statues were put up during Jim Crow times to intimidate.
- Not seeing oppression and hate when you look at those statues.
- Thinking that we shouldn’t talk about it so much.
- Thinking that because you’ve struggled in life it means that White Privilege doesn’t exist.
- Not feeling like the political administration in power doesn’t care about your life or your families.
- Thinking that because you were able to “pull yourself up by the bootstraps” that means its just as easy for a PoC.
- Thinking there aren’t institutional barriers in place that make it harder for PoC.
- Wishing people would just stop talking about race and politics so much.
- Thinking that because there aren’t laws against PoC doing the same things as white people that it means there aren’t people in charge of enforcing/following those laws that aren’t racist/prejudiced.
- Not having your life be in danger because of politics.
This list can go on and on and on. Actually… I would love if you wrote in the comments what you would add to the list. Let me know down below.
Want to know what you can do about it now that you (hopefully) realize White Privilege is real? Check out my recent post on what White People can do for some ideas.
Thanks for reading.
Check out my previous post –> Strange Situations of an Interracial Couple – Dealing with Subtle Racism in America.