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Fri Jul 15, 2016, 07:14 PM

EDITORIAL: What I Said When My White Friend Asked for My Black Opinion on White Privilege

Yesterday I was tagged in a post by an old high school friend, asking me and a few others a very public, direct question about white privilege and racism. I feel compelled not only to publish his query but also my response to it, as it may be a helpful discourse for more than just a handful of folks on Facebook.

Here’s his post:

“To all of my Black or mixed race FB friends, I must profess a blissful ignorance of this “White Privilege” of which I’m apparently guilty of possessing. By not being able to fully put myself in the shoes of someone from a background/race/religion/gender/ nationality/body type that differs from my own makes me part of the problem, according to what I’m now hearing. Despite my treating everyone with respect and humor my entire life (as far as I know), I’m somehow complicit in the misfortune of others. I’m not saying I’m colorblind, but whatever racism/sexism/other -ism my life experience has instilled in me stays within me, and is not manifested in the way I treat others (which is not the case with far too many, I know).

So that I may be enlightened, can you please share with me some examples of institutional racism that have made an indelible mark upon you? If I am to understand this, I need people I know personally to show me how I’m missing what’s going on. Personal examples only. I’m not trying to be insensitive, I only want to understand (but not from the media). I apologize if this comes off as crass or offends anyone.”

Here's my response;


https://goodblacknews.org/2016/07/14/editorial-what-i-said-when-my-white-friend-asked-for-my-black-opinion-on-white-privilege/

14 replies, 2935 views

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Arrow 14 replies Author Time Post
Reply EDITORIAL: What I Said When My White Friend Asked for My Black Opinion on White Privilege (Original post)
ismnotwasm Jul 2016 OP
irisblue Jul 2016 #1
sheshe2 Jul 2016 #2
dhill926 Jul 2016 #3
guillaumeb Jul 2016 #4
Squinch Jul 2016 #5
SheilaT Jul 2016 #6
zentrum Jul 2016 #7
lovemydog Jul 2016 #8
heaven05 Jul 2016 #9
JustAnotherGen Jul 2016 #10
Chitown Kev Jul 2016 #11
Todays_Illusion Jul 2016 #12
GeoWilliam750 Jul 2016 #13
irisblue Jul 2016 #14

Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 07:30 PM

1. how did I know the "old high school friend" would turn out

to be an oozing mass of white male entitlement.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 07:49 PM

2. Actually, I am glad he asked the question

and I love Lori's response sad though that it needed saying at all. In some cases it is the start to understanding for some.

Thanks, ism.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 08:01 PM

3. K & R...

an outstanding and enlightening read....

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 08:04 PM

4. Thank you. What an excellent letter! Recommended. eom

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 09:13 PM

5. Jason sounds like an ignorant ass. Good letter.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 10:12 PM

6. Absolutely amazing. Thank you for posting this.

 

It's incredibly hard for white people to understand that they are surrounded by white privilege all the time, because it's essentially invisible to them.

I've recently become aware that I am the beneficiary of older white lady privilege, the kind the means when I get stopped for some minor traffic violation (speeding or not stopping full at a stop sign) I always get a warning, never a ticket, even when someone else (say a black man) would probably get one. Or even my young adult white sons.

I have on rare occasion been witness to incidents along the lines of what Lori Lakin Hutcherson has described. I've never had to live with such stuff. I have had the experience of being the first woman in a job formerly held only by men, and that wasn't terrific, although it was not the hell that some women in that sort of situation experience.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Fri Jul 15, 2016, 10:15 PM

7. He's like a poster

…child for WP.

Fantastic reply-letter. Hope as many White people as possible will be able to read it.







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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Sat Jul 16, 2016, 02:26 AM

8. Excellent article.

The entire article is well worth reading. Thank you for sharing it here ism! Here's a small part that struck me:

10. Six years ago, I started a Facebook page that has grown into a website called Good Black News because I was shocked to find there were no sites dedicated solely to publishing the positive things black people do. (And let me explain here how biased the coverage of mainstream media is in case you don’t already have a clue – as I curate, I can’t tell you how often I have to swap out a story’s photo to make it as positive as the content. Photos published of black folks in mainstream media are very often sullen or angry-looking. Even when it’s a positive story! I also have to constantly alter headlines to 1) include a person’s name and not have it just be “Black Man Wins Settlement” or “Carnegie Hall Gets 1st Black Board Member” or 2) rephrase it from a subtle subjugator like “ABC taps Viola Davis as Series Lead” to “Viola Davis Lands Lead on ABC Show” as is done for say, Jennifer Aniston or Steven Spielberg.) I also receive a fair amount of highly offensive racist trolling. I don’t even respond. I block and delete ASAP. The point here is – not having to rewrite stories, headlines or swap photos while being trolled by racists when all you’re trying to do on a daily basis is promote positivity and share stories of hope and achievement and justice – that is white privilege.

https://goodblacknews.org/2016/07/14/editorial-what-i-said-when-my-white-friend-asked-for-my-black-opinion-on-white-privilege/

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Sat Jul 16, 2016, 09:43 AM

9. thank you

 

so very true.......all of it.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Sat Jul 16, 2016, 12:19 PM

10. Epic!

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Sat Jul 16, 2016, 05:19 PM

11. Thank you!

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Sun Jul 17, 2016, 11:54 AM

12. No white person can legitimately claim there is no white privileged in the U.S.A.

I can't imagine being as shallow as the person doing the asking, is this person blind, deaf, and dumb.

Thanks for posting your response it is thorough and detailed to make the point and I agree with you it is pervasive, not occasional, the white privileged, and yes, I am as sad and angry as you are but I still am only discriminated from not being rich enough, not for automatically being questioned and dismissed before anyone knows my name and I have been aware of it since I first attended
school, and saw how the teachers behaved to some students.



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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Sun Jul 17, 2016, 04:59 PM

13. Thank you for posting this

And please keep up the good fight

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Mon Jul 18, 2016, 02:54 PM

14. This editorial has a thread in General Discussion today.

I did post in that thread that this one was here.

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