“but you’re not privileged!”

It’s not even Sunday . . . but this one’s for Rosemary (who’s probably not even reading my blog anymore, LOL!)


White is — White Privilege

Webster’s New World (sic) Dictionary defines privilege as “a right, advantage, favor, or immunity specially granted to one; esp., a right held by a certain individual, group, or class, and withheld from certain others or all others.’ (Emphasis added. Third College Edition of Webster’s, 1988)The CWS Workshop defines white privilege this way:

“U.S. institutions and culture give preferential treatment to people whose ancestors came from Europe over peoples whose ancestors are from the Americas, Africa, Asia and the Arab world; and exempt European Americans — white people — from the forms of racial and national oppression inflicted upon peoples from the Americas, Africa, Asia and the Arab world.

This web of institutional and cultural preferential treatment is called white privilege. In a white supremacy system, white privilege and racial oppression are two sides of the same coin.”

Non-ruling class white people are both oppressed and privileged. They are oppressed most significantly on the basis of class, gender and sexuality, and also on the basis of religion, culture, ethnicity, age, physical abilities and politics. At the same time, they are privileged in relation to peoples of color. 

[you can read more by clicking on the hyperlink above.]

4 thoughts on ““but you’re not privileged!”

  1. “Non-ruling class white people are both oppressed and privileged…”

    This is the most interesting line… but what they are saying is that the poorest white person, even in the midst of slavery, is always going to be more privileged than someone not white? I dunno ‘Rain (and whoever else shares this opinion) – tell that to the poor white kid getting beat up on at the playground by ALL the richer kids, white, blacks or natives…

    Don’t get me wrong, I sure understand color discrimination, but to me, too many people belittle CLASS discrimination. Doesn’t matter who or what you are, when you feel terror, its terrorism, regardless of who is terrorizing…

    I dunno, growing up the poor white kid from the wrong side of the tracks has left me bitter maybe, but sorry, the black kids in “town” had and always will have more than I ever did – including their loving home!

  2. (posted and emailed)

    Does it make sense if I say that the poor white person can (at least in theory) eventually become rich, but even a rich black person can’t ever stop being black, with all that this entails in our society?

    And yes, it’s slightly different in Canadia, but not completely.

  3. Have you heard of Michael Jackson? (joking)
    I hear you, that no matter what you cannot change the color of your skin, and in fact, you have no control over people’s thoughts and reactions to you…
    It is more theoretical for a dirt poor white kid (or dirt poor any colored kid) to grow up and become rich than for a kid of color to grow up and become white.
    Sometimes I get a bit tired of white guilt is all… Maybe I should stop reading your blog!

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