White privilege. You probably have some emotions connected with that phrase. If you’re a person of color, you might find some comfort in the idea that maybe some of the struggles you run into in your life don’t have to do with you at all; maybe the deck was just stacked against you.
If you’re not a person of color, it probably gives you an impending sense of doom, waiting to hear what accomplishment will be attributed to it, and by it be diminished. What line will you be bumped to the back of because of assumed preferential treatment you’ve been given in the past.
I am not a person of color, so I can’t speak to the struggle that those who are have gone through, but the vlogger in this video is, and she’s got a few things to say about white privilege.
(Some strong language late in the video)
Firstly, let me just say that if you’re one of the white people that’s been uneasy with either holding onto or letting go of white privilege, you’ve officially been given permission from a black person, you may let it go now. It’s a little sad if you feel you have to wait for permission, but there you have it.
What’s interesting, is hearing her perspective about how black and white people buying into white privilege assumes a greater status for the white person that they shouldn’t have. If the goal is truly to make everyone’s status be merit based, making the black people start out behind by saying that they don’t possess white privilege is a pretty crappy thing to do. You’re saying that white people are better, but it’s OK because we’ll agree to be sorry for it.
If oppression is defined as “being subject to unjust treatment or control” then I think it’s safe to say that the community is safe, and maybe she’s right and the white men are the ones at risk. By contrast, privilege is defined as “a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people.” So if you’re getting things handed to you that you didn’t earn, that’s what is meant by privilege.
Victim status is really a nice thing to have. It would be great to be able to point to something and say that it’s why your life hasn’t worked out the way you wanted it to. But I think what our friend with the blunt speech is trying to point out is that giving yourself an excuse for failure isn’t going to make your life any better. Pitting yourself against entire races of people and championing a cause that has no defined solution is just going to make you mean and distressing to be around.