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This is Your Nation on White Privilege

By Siv O'Neall  Posted by Siv O'Neall (about the submitter)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 2 pages)
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opednews.com Headlined to H2 9/16/08

For those who still can’t 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 “every family has challenges,” even as black and Latino families with similar “challenges” are regularly typified as irresponsible, pathological and arbiters of social decay.

White privilege is when you can call yourself a “fuckin’ redneck,” like Bristol Palin’s boyfriend does, and talk about how if anyone messes with you, you'll “kick their fuckin' ass,” and talk about how you like to “shoot sh*t” 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’t all piss on themselves with laughter, while being a black U.S. Senator, two-term state Senator, and constitutional law scholar, means you’re “untested.”

White privilege is being able to say that you support the words “under God” in the pledge of allegiance because “if it was good enough for the founding fathers, it’s good enough for me,” and not be immediately disqualified from holding office--since, after all, the pledge was written in the late 1800s and the “under God” part wasn’t 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.

White privilege is being able to be a gun enthusiast and not make people immediately scared of you.



White privilege is being able to have a husband who was a member of an extremist political party that wants your state to secede from the Union, and whose motto is “Alaska first,” and no one questions your patriotism or that of your family, while if you're black and your spouse merely fails to come to a 9/11 memorial so she can be home with her kids on the first day of school, people immediately think she’s being disrespectful.

White privilege is being able to make fun of community organizers and the work they do--like, among other things, fight for the right of women to vote, or for civil rights, or the 8-hour workday, or an end to child labor--and people think you’re being pithy and tough, but if you merely question the experience of a small town mayor and 18-month governor with no foreign policy expertise beyond a class she took in college and the fact that she lives close to Russia--you’re somehow being mean, or even sexist.

White privilege is being able to convince white women who don’t even agree with you on any substantive issue to vote for you and your running mate anyway, because suddenly your presence on the ticket has inspired confidence in these same white women, and made them give your party a “second look.”

White privilege is being able to fire people who didn’t support your political campaigns and not be accused of abusing your power or being a typical politician who engages in favoritism, while being black and merely knowing some folks from the old-line political machines in Chicago means you must be corrupt.

White privilege is when you can take nearly twenty-four hours to get to a hospital after beginning to leak amniotic fluid, and still be viewed as a great mom whose commitment to her children is unquestionable, and whose "next door neighbor" qualities make her ready to be VP, while if you're a black candidate for president and you let your children be interviewed for a few seconds on TV, you're irresponsibly exploiting them.

White privilege is being able to give a 36 minute speech in which you talk about lipstick and make fun of your opponent, while laying out no substantive policy positions on any issue at all, and still manage to be considered a legitimate candidate, while a black person who gives an hour speech the week before, in which he lays out specific policy proposals on several issues, is still criticized for being too vague about what he would do if elected.

White privilege is being able to attend churches over the years whose pastors say that people who voted for John Kerry or merely criticize George W. Bush are going to hell, and that the U.S. is an explicitly Christian nation and the job of Christians is to bring Christian theological principles into government, and who bring in speakers who say the conflict in the Middle East is God’s punishment on Jews for rejecting Jesus, and everyone can still think you’re just a good church-going Christian, but if you’re black and friends with a black pastor who has noted (as have Colin Powell and the U.S. Department of Defense) that terrorist attacks are often the result of U.S. foreign policy and who talks about the history of racism and its effect on black people, you’re an extremist who probably hates America.

White privilege is not knowing what the Bush Doctrine is when asked by a reporter, and then people get angry at the reporter for asking you such a “trick question,” while being black and merely refusing to give one-word answers to the queries of Bill O’Reilly means you’re dodging the question, or trying to seem overly intellectual and nuanced.

White privilege is being able to go to a prestigious prep school, then to Yale and then Harvard Business school, and yet, still be seen as just an average guy (George W. Bush) while being black, going to a prestigious prep school, then Occidental College, then Columbia, and then to Harvard Law, makes you "uppity," and a snob who probably looks down on regular folks.

White privilege is being able to graduate near the bottom of your college class (McCain), or graduate with a C average from Yale (W.) and that's OK, and you're cut out to be president, but if you're black and you graduate near the top of your class from Harvard Law, you can't be trusted to make good decisions in office.

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White privilege is what all white people just from... by Nfamous on Tuesday, Sep 16, 2008 at 5:11:00 PM
This should be read in schools. I  feel like ... by Mark Sashine on Tuesday, Sep 16, 2008 at 6:22:21 PM
I'm tempted to use it in the classroom (I teac... by Mikhail Lyubansky on Wednesday, Sep 17, 2008 at 6:11:12 PM
http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_mark_sas_0... by Mark Sashine on Friday, Sep 19, 2008 at 10:19:23 AM
Racist drivel like this is a turnoff and not helpf... by pft on Tuesday, Sep 16, 2008 at 8:31:36 PM
This is not drivel nor racist. White privilege exi... by JC Garrett on Wednesday, Sep 17, 2008 at 2:36:24 AM
The existance of white privilege does not mean tha... by Leep on Thursday, Sep 18, 2008 at 11:10:59 AM
This was written by Rev Jer Wright.  If there... by Mad Jayhawk on Wednesday, Sep 17, 2008 at 2:28:19 AM
Comment from Ratings:   It is becoming m... by Mad Jayhawk on Wednesday, Sep 17, 2008 at 2:41:59 AM
Comment from Ratings:   The cold hard tr... by Michael Green on Wednesday, Sep 17, 2008 at 5:02:35 AM
A person describes what we've seen happening befor... by Hargrove on Wednesday, Sep 17, 2008 at 7:42:28 AM
 How you are all hung up on the word 'rac... by Siv O'Neall on Wednesday, Sep 17, 2008 at 10:56:51 AM
Noticing race is not racism.  It is not even ... by Mikhail Lyubansky on Wednesday, Sep 17, 2008 at 6:00:40 PM
Thank you Professor Lyubansky.That is exactly the ... by JC Garrett on Wednesday, Sep 17, 2008 at 8:29:14 PM
Thanks for the link, I have bookmarked it under wo... by abuelitaromo on Thursday, Sep 18, 2008 at 3:22:51 AM
What absolute racist drivel! This is like somethin... by Ben Compton on Wednesday, Sep 17, 2008 at 9:45:17 PM
How can someone debate an alien from the Twilight ... by abuelitaromo on Thursday, Sep 18, 2008 at 3:32:50 AM
Ben's arguments are problematic in many aspect... by Mikhail Lyubansky on Thursday, Sep 18, 2008 at 8:48:17 AM
and I thank you for the gentle chiding.... by abuelitaromo on Thursday, Sep 18, 2008 at 2:40:00 PM
I don't think you're racist by intent, but... by Mikhail Lyubansky on Thursday, Sep 18, 2008 at 9:53:39 AM
Hopefully we all agree that different individuals ... by Leep on Thursday, Sep 18, 2008 at 11:25:11 AM
We not only have double standards in this nation, ... by abuelitaromo on Thursday, Sep 18, 2008 at 3:06:26 AM
This article was cross-posted on buzzflash and gen... by Mikhail Lyubansky on Thursday, Sep 18, 2008 at 9:10:44 AM
The main fallacy of the article is that it confuse... by Jack McDaniel on Thursday, Sep 18, 2008 at 12:53:21 PM
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,424484,00.html... by abuelitaromo on Thursday, Sep 18, 2008 at 2:45:54 PM
The video didn't show, but it appears the mour... by Jack McDaniel on Thursday, Sep 18, 2008 at 7:15:07 PM
here are some more white privilages - my parents c... by CW Blanchett on Friday, Sep 19, 2008 at 8:23:57 AM
There are lots of white kids (and adults) with bad... by Mikhail Lyubansky on Friday, Sep 19, 2008 at 3:41:25 PM
sorry, but that's something different. when I ... by CW Blanchett on Friday, Sep 19, 2008 at 7:29:08 PM
What your husband experienced (relative to you) wh... by Mikhail Lyubansky on Friday, Sep 19, 2008 at 9:16:15 PM
McCain is just as 'untested' as Obama.&nbs... by UncleSim on Friday, Sep 19, 2008 at 4:55:46 PM
Comment from Ratings:   most worthwhile ... by vthom on Saturday, Sep 20, 2008 at 9:01:06 AM
right here on OEN comments. The comparisons were r... by shirley reese on Saturday, Sep 20, 2008 at 1:41:31 PM
I would send this to all my "conservative&quo... by Julee Pearce on Sunday, Sep 21, 2008 at 4:53:33 PM
I'll believe that there is a true desire to ac... by Ben Compton on Monday, Sep 22, 2008 at 2:23:30 AM
Even though I'm a white male, I agree with mos... by Robert Riversong on Tuesday, Sep 23, 2008 at 11:00:49 AM
Now that I've investigated the background of t... by Robert Riversong on Tuesday, Sep 23, 2008 at 12:34:34 PM
This is a fantastic article, really, and I was sch... by Pedro Querido on Tuesday, Sep 23, 2008 at 11:41:50 AM
Comment from Ratings:   Folks, if those ... by Heidi Betke on Tuesday, Sep 23, 2008 at 1:32:13 PM
Heidi,This same argument that you make above was b... by Mikhail Lyubansky on Tuesday, Sep 23, 2008 at 5:37:36 PM
It was an outrage of an equal. ... by Mark Sashine on Wednesday, Sep 24, 2008 at 2:19:38 PM
It really doesn't get any clearer than this, t... by Heather Meyer on Saturday, Sep 27, 2008 at 9:36:31 PM
These responses prove that what Tim Wise has said ... by Nfamous on Sunday, Sep 28, 2008 at 9:50:03 AM

 

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