Saturday, March 8, 2014

White Privilege

Kate Hallet
March 8, 2014

Racism 101: White Privilege
Understanding and Admitting White Privilege

I cannot deny the White privilege I have, I experience it each and everyday of my life. Sometimes I feel so much shame and/or anger from it because I get treated so differently on a regular basis simply because of the color of my skin. Ironically, it is not even White people who often make me the benefactor of these privileges, it's often African Americans, Latinos, Asians or Arabs. Let me give you a few examples from the last 24 hours.
A couple of hours ago I bought gas and I also bought some windshield washer cleaner. When I was walking out, the guy inside asked if he should send someone to assist me to put it in? I turned him down on the offer. On the drive home, I said, 'I doubt he'd have made that same offer if I was African American.' I truly believe he wouldn't because I see the different way people treat me, as opposed to the way they treat the other loved ones in my life. I have quite the eclectic family and group of friends.
Another example is at the gym. The computer system is messed up there and for some reason the ladies at the front desk are always rude, difficult and usually refuse to allow my African family members in. However, when it enter into the building first, even though the problem remains the same, they do not give me any hassle nor cause any fuss. They smile, are friendly and are most willing to let me in. Yet these same people who are aware of the situation are rude and difficult to my family members who are African. How can you honestly say it has nothing to do with the color of my skin? It has absolutely everything to do with the color of my skin. It makes me so irate when this happens because people often don't even realize what they are even doing. It is innate and habitual, it's instinctual and natural to them. The culture is broken. The culture is broken for Black people to automatically treat me better than their own... Now, I am not saying we should treat one another differently, of course we shouldn't, however, if you must be kind, be kind to your own kind first. We've got to fix our culture and our mentality. We've got to love one another based on the fact that we are here together. We are the solution not the problem. I dream of the day where I am not treated any better or differently just because I happened to be born White.

1 comment:

  1. Its not the color of your skin. You are privileged. You aren't just white, you are white with enough money to live in (an expensive) foreign country. There are a lot of other Americans, white or otherwise, that dream of having such privilege.

    You are treated differently for several reasons - 1) foreigners such as ourselves have demonstrated repeatedly that we are incapable of doing the most menial tasks (such as changing our windshield wiper fluid). Nigerians often think of us as completely helpless. They see us having grown up in a life of wealth (correctly or incorrectly) with domestic help all around, and they have to do things for us.

    2) We are visitors to their country. Just because we Americans treat our visitors quite badly doesn't mean that people in other countries do the same. Sometimes, they just want the visitors to be happy.

    3) You are seen to have money - rightly or wrongly. I guarantee you the treatment you get is no better than the treatment a very wealthy Nigerian gets. Service providers tend to have that mentality worldwide.

    So, yeah - your skin color probably creates prejudices of wealth and incompetence, and if people got to know you they might eventually form a different opinion. But they aren't rolling out a red carpet just because your skin is lighter than theirs.