Oooo…this sounds psychological. I got into a discussion with a very bright woman today about discrimination. I will call her G. She is a slight woman with a spirit of steel and a very British accent. She’s from India by way of Zimbabwe so she is brown. She has a very exotic and beautiful name. She was telling me that she has to spell it out and insist that she is not Hispanic because people want to give her a Hispanic name instead of her real one. It makes no sense. She has a BRITISH accent, how could anyone think she was from Mexico or Central America?
So somehow, the subject of “privileged white” came up. I said, “I don’t feel privileged.” G replied that she didn’t think I was either. When the prospect of privileged whites came up in politics, the people of color I know were surprised. They don’t see white people as privileged. Whites, however, adopt this title and then feel guilty because they have so many advantages over everyone who isn’t white. They want to take care of the less fortunate. Anyone who isn’t white is less fortunate. Once again it’s US vs. THEM. It lumps us by color. AGAIN! When will people get to the point where they don’t worry what color everyone is and go directly to what kind of person each is.
The short answer is this: When everyone looks exactly the same. News flash. Until the entire population is composed of clones, that will never happen. Identical twins are never really identical. Even if they’re raised exactly the same, have the same education, the same opportunities, they’re different. If everyone looked the same, there would be something else to divide us into US and THEM. Geographical differences, language nuances like accents and word choices, culture preferences, heck, even hair styles will do. There was an episode of Star Trek with Frank Gorshin in “Let that be your last battlefield” where the only difference between the 2 last survivors of a catastrophic war was which side of the body was white. They end up going back to the planet and ensuring the mutual destruction and the death of both cultures on the planet. Dr. Seuss wrote about Sneeches with stars and without. It wasn’t until people couldn’t remember which type of Sneech they were to start with that they decided to stop oppressing each other. Of course, the guy with the star adding/subtracting machine made out like a bandit.
Meanwhile, back at the Privilege Camp for White Kids…White privilege is a myth. There are homeless white guys and jobless white guys and starving white guys. So what privilege do they have? They’re homeless in a nicer neighborhood? Fired from a more prestigious company? Not getting the caviar and champagne? It is a way that average people get to show dominance due to skin color. Ha HA!!!! I’m better than you because I have White Privilege! What’s that? I don’t know what it is, but I have it. So in saying that white people with privilege should listen to the Black man, what it means is that Black men don’t have any privileges and we as white people should humble ourselves from our lofty perches and listen to what these under privileged people have to say. And do what? So now, people who have never been on a pedestal before, should step off this pedestal and listen to our less privileged brethren. Why would anyone step off a pedestal voluntarily? Isn’t that why we play “King of the Mountain?” Now the people that insist that there is white privilege actually create a pedestal.
A great many of my friends are not white. At least 1/2 if not more make more money and live in a nicer house than I do. But because I am white, I should take pity on them? By using language to create a pedestal and put distance between people, that is the aggressive part of the equation. The passive part is to suggest that we humble ourselves and pay attention to what the non-white community is saying. Listen. Don’t act, don’t respond, don’t discuss, defer, take the blame for being privileged and oppressing people we haven’t personally oppressed. I should feel guilty for all those people who are non white and living in below standard housing, going to crappy schools, living paycheck to paycheck. It’s MY fault because I have white privilege. This is the aggressive part. People who weren’t dominated before, are now. My non white friends do not feel dominated.
This might be a case of Dunning-Kruger effect…people with no power or advantage think they have more than average. People who HAVE power and advantage believe they don’t have as much as they do. The fact is, we’re seeing more couples of mixed race getting together. It is not as shocking as it was in the 50’s. This is the antithesis of what would happen if there was white privilege and definitely not happen if there was white dominance or superiority. Most people of intelligence do not acknowledge the existence of white privilege. Most people of average intelligence do not think white privilege divides us. Most people of below average intelligence shave their heads and carry Nazi flags.
Passive-Aggressive Dominance is a word game that shouldn’t be played. The privilege is with the people who make the highest income, and it could be self earned or inherited. It has nothing to do with color. That is a convenient demarcation that makes it easy to see the difference between US and THEM. These behind the scenes manipulators just use these buzz words to divide us so they can sell us more stars for our bellies. (see sneeches story)