Do You Feel Lucky?

(and feel free to comment! My older posts are certainly no less relevant to the burning concerns of the day.)

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

"White Privilege" Doesn't Work.

"White Privilege" doesn't work. And I've tried. For about the past fifteen months or so, any time I'm in a social setting and things go awkward, I'll take a step back, put my hands up and say "Whoa! Whoa whoa, whoa. White Privilege!" I'll accompany that with a light brush of my cheek with the fingers of the left hand, turning the palm outward after. As if to demonstrate and invoke skin tone as a confrontation-stopper.

It doesn't work, folks. It has no effect. Sometimes, it will result in an engaged and passionate discussion of white privilege, and of how people have misunderstood its nature or pervasiveness, but the point is it doesn't work for what it's supposed to allegedly do: exempt us (or if you the reader are not white-identified, "we people") from the harmful consequences of racism and in particular, racial dysneogyny ("racial dysneogyny" is a term for people suddenly bitching about racism all of a sudden, especially unexpectedly). While it's true this can lead to an active, engaged exchange with the beneficial outcome of everybody on the same page, the fact remains: "White Privilege" doesn't work like we've been led to believe. It's basically a bill of goods.

Consider yourselves warned, everybody - white OR nonwhite. And try to tread lightly on other peoples' sensitive areas. Worst of all, in case it happens, remember: if somebody calls you out on racism - that person is an ally. Not your ally necessarily, but definitely an ally.

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