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What White Privilege Means To Me

One of the many illustrations of white privilege via dailytrojan.com

 

When I stumbled upon the twitter hashtag #whiteprivelegemeans, I actually thought that it would be used to educate the misinformed. And while there were some tweets that brought to light the horror of trying to survive in a society where the odds are stacked against you, there were also way too many tweets that denied its existence and even went as far as to mock the idea that white privilege actually actively thrives.

The tweets vary from:

White privilege means being considered last for college applications because of affirmative action. Is it so bad to attempt to prevent all-white colleges from existing more often than they already do?

To:

White privilege means using an abstract concept to be racist to whites. Reverse racism does not exist; you have never been oppressed!

NEWS FLASH! White privilege is alive, and it’s tiring that we have to keep repeating this same message over and over again because you’re just not getting it. So here we go again, folks.

White privilege means being able to shop at your leisure without the wondering eyes of employees, always watching, and following, urging you to make the smallest of movements just so they can kick you out. It’s being able to walk through the aisles as slow as you want and leaving because you want to and not because the store attendant’s uncomfortableness is making you uncomfortable.

White privilege means being able to eat at any restaurant without feeling unwanted. To walk down most streets and feel accepted, and not intimidating or as a threat. To buy a house in most neighborhoods and feel comfortable and safe and not like the elephant in the room, or should I say on the street.

White privilege means not being criticized and mocked for your hairstyle, or your clothes, or the way that you talk. It means not having your culture taken as a joke.

White privilege means being able to attend nearly any college and automatically become one with the majority. It means rarely being the only white person in the classroom or any room for that sake. It means that teachers judge you because of your grades and not your personal life or color of your skin. It means seeing yourself in every history book and lesson (besides slavery, and the month of February). It means automatically being more likely to go to college, it means never being the subject of racist frat parties. It means not having to fake-smile or awkwardly laugh when someone makes a racist joke or says the n-word.

White privilege means consistently seeing yourself on TV, or in movies, or on Broadway. White privilege means consistently being the American beauty standard.

White privilege means being statistically less likely to go to jail.

White privilege means being able to look back at any point in history and always see your race come out on top. It means not having to be constantly reminded of slavery or lynchings or unjust persecutions. It means never being deemed inferior and unworthy. Your history is power, superiority, and chilling on plantations drinking lemonade. Ours is chains, persecution , and discrimination.

White privilege means being able to be openly racist. And having the honor to justify your racism with your heritage because #heritagenothate, right? It means being able to parade your racism on the back of your cars and on tee-shirts without any repercussions.

White privilege means being able to argue for your freedom. It means being able to talk back to the police and not end up dead. It means being able to fight for your life and not losing. It means surviving traffic stops. It means surviving police searches. It means being statistically less likely to be shot by the police. It means being protected by the same laws that are hurting us. It means not being scrutinized for standing up for your people.

White privilege means living a comfortable life in America.

And if you truly cannot see white privilege it means that you have it, or some form of it; trust me, you’d be able to see it loud and clear if you were standing on our side of the white privilege fence where the grass isn’t as green. White privilege means being unable to see your white privilege.

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Nyah Hardmon
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Nyah lives in Miami, FL where she studies journalism and creative writing - any questions, comments, or concerns can be sent to nhardmon@affinitymagazine.us.

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