Copyright Tim Wise
For those who still can‚Äôt grasp the concept of white privilege, or who are looking for some easy-to-understand examples of it, perhaps this list will help.
White privilege is when you can get pregnant at seventeen like Bristol Palin and everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of your family is a personal matter, and that no one has a right to judge you or your parents, because ‚Äúevery family has challenges,‚Äù even as black and Latino families with similar ‚Äúchallenges‚Äù are regularly typified as irresponsible, pathological and arbiters of social decay.
White privilege is when you can call yourself a ‚Äúfuckin‚Äô redneck,‚Äù like Bristol Palin‚Äôs boyfriend does, and talk about how if anyone messes with you, you’ll ‚Äúkick their fuckin’ ass,‚Äù and talk about how you like to ‚Äúshoot shit‚Äù for fun, and still be viewed as a responsible, all-American boy (and a great son-in-law to be) rather than a thug.
White privilege is when you can attend five different colleges in six years like Sarah Palin did (one of which you basically failed out of, then returned to after making up some coursework at a community college), and no one questions your intelligence or commitment to achievement, whereas a person of color who did this would be viewed as unfit for college, and probably someone who only got in in the first place because of affirmative action.
White privilege is when you can claim that being mayor of a town smaller than most medium-sized colleges, and then Governor of a state with about the same number of people as the lower fifth of the island of Manhattan, makes you ready to potentially be president, and people don‚Äôt all piss on themselves with laughter, while being a black U.S. Senator, two-term state Senator, and constitutional law scholar, means you‚Äôre ‚Äúuntested.‚Äù
White privilege is being able to say that you support the words ‚Äúunder God‚Äù in the pledge of allegiance because ‚Äúif it was good enough for the founding fathers, it‚Äôs good enough for me,‚Äù and not be immediately disqualified from holding office–since, after all, the pledge was written in the late 1800s and the ‚Äúunder God‚Äù part wasn‚Äôt added until the 1950s–while if you’re black and believe in reading accused criminals and terrorists their rights (because the Constitution, which you used to teach at a prestigious law school, requires it), you are a dangerous and mushy liberal who isn’t fit to safeguard American institutions.
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Copyright Tim Wise