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July 31, 2017

“White Privilege Doesn’t Exist” is the new “The Earth is Flat.”


I promised myself I’d take a break from inflammatory topics for a little while.

No politics or religion or controversial news. I just wanted a few days of peace. But I’ve found that it’s not within my power to stay silent in the face of an assault on human rights. Lately, I’ve seen a number of threads and videos on how white oppression doesn’t exist. I’ve even had people in my life explain to me in detail how white privilege isn’t real and why.

Let me just say for the record that if you say white privilege doesn’t exist, I’ll look at you the way I look at “Flat Earth” people and Holocaust deniers. What the actual f*ck do you mean that white privilege doesn’t exist? (The Earth is round; the Holocaust happened.)

First of all, when we belong to the race with the national majority, we don’t get to tell oppressed people what their experience of oppression has been. When we deny that we have privilege based on our skin color, we’re further underlining that oppression by denying racism’s continued existence. Just because some of us are fragile as f*ck and get our feelings hurt, doesn’t mean that white privilege isn’t a thing. It sure as hell proves that white fragility is alive and well.

This isn’t about politics. This isn’t some weird “lefty” concept or something “libtards” came up with to further the tension between races. But please don’t take my word for it. I can Google as well as anyone else. Here are a few studies and reports that have concluded that white privilege is actual scientific fact (science: also not created by The Left).

Of course, I can hear it now. Something about these sources being biased to The Left. But science doesn’t have a political party. Science is about facts, not bias. In point of fact, bias within studies is something researchers pay special attention to when determining validity. So the Earth is round, the Holocaust happened, and white privilege is real.

Once more, for the people in the back—white privilege is real. It doesn’t matter if we come from a rich background or a poor one. That has nothing to do with the privileges we’re given based purely on the skin color we were born in. I’ve seen countless posts this week showing police officers dealing with white, armed citizens without using lethal force. Contrast that with the stories of lethal force used with non-violent people of color.

White privilege is a problem, but denying that it exists is infinitely worse because when we don’t understand it, we participate in the behaviors that perpetuate it.

I’m sure for every one scientific study, there are thousands of personal experiences of this, both from white people who are aware of white privilege and POC who have experienced it. Oftentimes, the personal story alone doesn’t seem to be enough, but it’s not the job of POC to educate us about it.

It is important to be aware, and to not stay silent when we hear the white privilege deniers spreading their ignorance on the subject. Because we may belong to different races, but never forget that we all belong to the human race, and when one of us is oppressed, we all are.

References:

[1] Inside Higher Ed: The White Privilege Moment
[2] New York Times: When Whites Get a Free Pass
[3] Insights by Stanford Business:  Why White People Downplay Their Individual Racial Privilege

[4] The Atlantic: White Privilege Quantified
[5] The Mic: 7 Actual Facts that Prove White Privilege Exists

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Author: Crystal Jackson
Image: Backbone Campaign/Flickr 
Editor: Danielle Beutell
Copy Editor: Callie Rushton
Social Editor: Travis May

Crystal Jackson

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