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siannan: (despair)
[personal profile] siannan

Privilege exists. Everyone pissing and moaning over the White People special that aired on MTV? Stop. Reflect.

You are not being asked to be ashamed of your status as whatever dominant subset you belong to. You cannot control that. You cannot control it any more than people who are oppressed and subjugated for their skin tone, gender, sexual preference, disability, or ethnicity could control where they were born and into what body they reside. And when people try to change their bodies, they are still vilified, i.e. transphobia and "passing".

I'm white, cisfemale, I can pass as able-bodied and cognitive. I was born into an economically privileged area of an economically dominant country. I had access to education. I have not known famine or dire poverty. I am bisexual, but married to a hetero cismale. I have health care and can obtain the medications I need to control my physical and mental conditions somewhat. I own my own home. These are some of my privileges and I am aware of them. I am neither guilt-ridden or proud of them. They simply are what they are, as part of me.

I take it for granted that when confronted by an officer of the law, I will be able to ask questions about the situation and the handling thereof without being considered "arrogant" or "troublesome" and I don't live with the fear of ending up dead.

I can apply for services at financial institutions and only worry about my economic status being a factor as to whether or not I will be approved for those services.

I can enter a realtor's office and know I can inquire about properties in any location without being deterred or rejected.

I can shop in stores without being closely monitored or tailed through the aisles.

People do not clutch their belongings or cross to the other side of the street when they see me. They do not thread their keys through their fingers or reach into their pocket, purse, or holster to fondle a taser, spray can, or weapon upon my approach.

I can walk into any hair salon in a 15 mile radius and trust that they know how to style my type of hair. I can find cosmetics close to my skin tone, and beauty aids that suit my needs, and the standard of beauty for my race is promoted as the ideal.

I can attend public celebrations of my ethnicity and culture (i.e. St. Patrick's Day) and not have the gathering characterized as a riot or potential breeding ground for crime and violence, and the existence of those celebrations is not questioned by the mainstream media.

Do I really need to enumerate this shit? Do I? That in itself is fucking privilege.

full disclosure: I have not watched the entirety of the White People doc, only clips from before the airdate. I don't have cable anymore. But the reactions I am seeing on social media are telling me that 40 minutes was not nearly long enough. Stretch it out to a Roots-length miniseries.

And then enroll yourself into one of Jane Elliott's workshops for a day. Experience it from the other side.

There is no shame in learning. You have time to learn.

And if you tuned this out after the first couple of paragraphs...you have much farther to go than you might ever realize.
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