Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Use White Privilege for Justice

I'm a white mid-30s, heterosexual woman. I have all the advantages of life and rarely am discriminated. Except that I'll always make less money than my male counterparts and get cat-called by men fairly regularly. Favorite example: "Wow, girl, you got dat black ass." My ass is so white that I make a marshmallow look tan.

Discrimination happens every. day. And if you think privilege isn't a thing... take a moment to think about these:

How often do you hear disparaging remarks about skinny women?
How often are you suspicious of a white guy in a hoodie?
Do you get followed around in a retail store?

Privilege is real.

I want to talk about white privilege.
In the world today there's plenty of "stances" people can take. Women's rights. Gay rights. Black lives matter. There's a lot of inequality and there's plenty of people fighting the good fight to make it right. But there's a problem...

When a woman cries feminism she's doing it because she's a woman.
When a gay guy cries for equality, he's doing it because he's gay.
When a black guy cries for justice, he's doing it cause he's black.
These are not the people of privilege.

If you want gay marriage to be legal... If you want black lives to matter... If you want women to be paid as much as men, you have to use your privilege for justice.

When a white privileged male stands up for all those things he does it because it's the right. thing. to do. Let me repeat that, it's the right thing to do. Privileged voices are heard much greater than the underdogs. It's like when your mom tells you you're beautiful and you think "She's my mom she has to say that." And that's true.

But, maybe you're a white male that supports gay marriage and thinking "But they'll think I'm gay."
1) Grow up.
2) The only way that perception can change is if more and more heterosexual males become comfortable enough to not give a fuck about the "gay agenda." More people who don't give a fuck = less fucks will be given. Basic 8th grade algebra.

This is a call to action to everyone with White Male Privilege out there.  Wield your power. Use it for justice. If you're standing idly by and not actively talking about these issues, or showing your support then you are basically taking advantage of it.

And that makes you the problem.

Use your white privilege for justice.

Plus, if you don't use it, it falls off. Or so I've heard. 

6 comments:

  1. First, let me congratulate you on a well-written, articulate, cogent article. You made a convincing argument in favor of those with privilege to use their power to remove privilege.

    Do you really think those that actually disagree with you and wish to keep their privilege will do anything to reduce their own self-image, (by their terms)???

    That is what I believe those with white privilege actually think.

    Personally, I do not think the vast majority of people EVER change their minds once they are emotionally invested in one side of an issue. Empirical evidence, gained over my observations of a lifetime of seeing many different people, all around the globe, multiple cultures, etc.... They are all more afraid of being exposed as being wrong on an issue that they are of actually being wrong. Because of this, they will argue for a position they intellectually KNOW is wrong, because to do anything else would be so humiliating that it is simply unthinkable. What I am saying is that peer pressure is a greater factor than what is actually right or wrong.

    In my daily life, I try to be as rational as possible - I try to treat everyone the same, regardless of their skin pigmentation, or which part of the planet their ancestors came from, or what genitalia they have. My circle of friends are diverse, and complex, and smart, and sometime a hot mess... and I love them that way. It has made for a fuller, more interesting life.

    I was brought up in the Deep South, part of a blue-collar family with many of the stereotypical prejudices. It has taken many years of rejecting the superstitions of my loved ones (they tried to educate me with the best of intentions, and I understand that and forgive them). Some may remain, and I am always on the lookout - I want to believe as many true things and as few false things as possible.

    The best possible course of action I’ve found so far is to lead by example – enjoy a life without the filters of tribalism, ageism, sexism, etc. Have a blast, and don’t be afraid to let EVERYONE see the wonder, the coolness, the enhancement removing the blinders gives. Invite them to take off the blinders to join the party, rather than berate and belittle them for having them. Many will refuse – and they will die that way. A funny scene from a movie comes to mind – the sunglasses scene from “They Live”, where there is a HUGE fight to get a guy to see the world through some special sunglasses that expose a giant conspiracy – but he refuses, and both sides escalate, beating each other senseless.

    https://youtu.be/vSz9Vhd1s_s

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    Replies
    1. I'm responding numbered to your above paragraphs (or what's separated by a new line):

      1. Thanks for the kudos!
      2. I'm not sure about this question and the way it is phrased... but my post was to educate people that if you have privilege, you have to use it for justice. Otherwise you're just enjoying your privilege. I hope that's the message that came across.
      3. I believe that there are many that don't believe in white privilege at all.
      4. I agree.
      5. I agree. To take it a step further to you speak out when you see injustice?
      6. I agree.
      7. Did you think my post was berating or belittling?

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  2. (((((((((sending to friends)))))))))

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  3. Nice perspective! Refusing to take action in this world creates the same negative karma as improper action. We should all strive to speak truth to power, and live according to the values we hold!

    Anyway, it's been two years since we spoke together in the Ignite Fitness Keynote at FitBloggin 13 in Portland. Glad to see that you're still as fiery as ever!! Take care!

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