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View Diary: Privilege; What it Means to be White. (158 comments)

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  •  Good point (4+ / 0-)

    Many people talk about white privilege as if wealth comes with it.
     It doesn't.

     And a poor white might have it better than a poor black, but not by much. I never lived in a housing project, but I did live literally right across the street, so it wasn't that much different. (when I wasn't growing up in trailer parks)

    None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

    by gjohnsit on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 03:58:28 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I lived in a housing project. (13+ / 0-)

      Charles Terrace, on the east side of Detroit, in the 50s and 60s. We poor whites had it much better than poor blacks did. When poor white kids got in trouble, the cops would bring us home to our parents. When poor black kids got into exactly the same trouble, the cops would beat the crap out of them and take them to jail.

    •  bit more subtle than that (10+ / 0-)

      wait until you are stopped by cops because you appear successful.  I have minority friends who are lawyers, doctors and even cops and they find themselves routinely stopped because they do appear successful (conversely, if they don't appear successful, they are still stopped albeit for different reasons)

      •  I'm seeing a consistent theme here (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greenbell

        that the "white privilege" seems to involve dealings with police officers 90% of the time.
           Don't misunderstand me: I totally agree here. The numbers back it up (if you look at minorities in prison), so I don't need to be convinced.

          However, given that ever conversation about white privilege involves the cops, perhaps what we really have is a police problem more than a society problem?

          It's something to consider. If you are stuck coming up with examples of white privilege that don't involve the cops, then maybe the cultural problem here is the culture within the police force.

        None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

        by gjohnsit on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 08:20:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  In response to "gjohnsit", read the history (3+ / 0-)

          of our country.
          You will be less confused.
          And only then, you can understand all ramifications.

        •  Your post above (11+ / 0-)

          stating your belief that "poor whites don't have it that much better than poor blacks" illustrates that you don't really get it.  And it's not simply about cops.  

          It's an unspoken, nearly unconscious presumption of normalcy and acceptance that is not given to other groups of people.  The diary itself tells the story of a poor White (and a pretty unkempt one at that) who is given respect and the benefit of the doubt in stark contrast to his Black friend -- it doesn't matter that it's by cops.  

          It's shop owners. It's school teachers and administrators.  It's politicians and pundits.  It's all sorts of people who by default give fellow Whites the benefit of the doubt in ANY given social situation and receive the same in turn.  It's a thread which runs through the whole society -- you can't reduce it to 'cops need more diversity training'.  

          White privilege will cease to be an issue when the same privilege is extended to all.  

          Period.  

        •  cops are merely the most egregious example (5+ / 0-)

          Trust me, I have seen hospital medical staffs behave little better than the local cops

        •  It isn't just cops. (5+ / 0-)

          It's everywhere. It's trying to rent an apartment or just going shopping and not being followed around like a criminal. It's trying to get a job or just trying to live.

          ~War is Peace~Freedom is Slavery~Ignorance is Strength~ George Orwell "1984"

          by Kristina40 on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 05:01:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  not stuck coming up with examples at all (9+ / 0-)

          i'll give you a few obvious societal privileges off the top of my head:

          better public schools in white areas (related to housing discrimination), including widespread access to teaching materials about the accomplishments of members of your race

          preferential treatment in the job market, from not being able to get an interview if the name on your resume "looks black" to better pay and promotions once hired

          preferential treatment in rental housing and being able to purchase a home in certain areas (not to mention restrictive covenants, which still exist)

          better medical treatment for various illnesses than blacks receive, and medical research on almost exclusively white subjects misses racial variations in effectiveness of treatments

          the ability to shop in any kind of store from a 24 hour convenience market to a Fifth Avenue boutique without being followed by security guards

          white farmers have an easier time getting loans, white homebuyers have an easier time getting mortgages, white business owners have an easier time getting lines of credit

          most of the people with decisionmaking power during the most crucial turning points of your life have been people of your own race

          one of the most important ones:  you have the ability to arrange your life so that you do not have to be concerned about being evaluated by others because of your race

          and to end on a lighter note:  I was an adult before I realized why band-aids were that color!  (I only buy clear band aids now)

          Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
          Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

          by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 05:54:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  As others have stated... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tonedevil

          ...not just police. However, that is perhaps the largest concern since it is the most lethal outcome of institutionalized racism. I've personally witnessed black people being treated differently at restaurants, at hospitals, at theaters, at retail stores, and at schools.

          Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

          by moviemeister76 on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 10:17:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  well... you might be surprised at the $ advantages (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      I love OCD, Diogenes2008, Tonedevil

      it may not be "wealth" wealth, but there are financial advantages

      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 04:50:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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