I Always Wanted To Ask…White Privilege

58 Comments
January 22, 2013 ‐ By Liz Burr

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Black people certainly know white privilege exists because we live with the reality every day. But the question we’ve always wondered is do white people realize the position of privilege they’ve inherited or are they oblivious to the constructed reality and all the benefits that come with it? That’s what we asked the ladies of The Frisky in this candid discussion on race and the choice to acknowledge privilege.

Check it out and weigh in below.

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  • RTS

    I’ve never seen a scholarship for whites only and blacks get the privilege of calling whites derogatory names without being called racist by the media. It’s 2013 and you’ve got equal rights and that means you have the equal right to work hard and earn your lively hood on your own merit. Affirmative action an insult to women and blacks a like. Your just as capable of competing with whites but your leaders won’t tell you that because if you stop believing your a victim you won’t need them anymore. It’s not whites keeping you down it’s them, question their motives and agenda.

  • sean

    Also, black people and minorities are the privileged ones in London in a lot of other places as well, I’ve applied for a job and been denied numerous times and given the reason for denial due to the fact that they need to represent more minorities, i emailed back saying white british are the minority. Its also known throughout the world that minorities (especially black people) not only get jobs before the white man even if less qualified but get into universities much easier. So please stop the Bulls***

  • Manifesto

    I’m a white male, the truth? No most white people are very ignorant and honestly believe in the myth of the American dream they are taught in school. We as a race don’t understand that institutionalized racism still exists and that just because you aren’t dropping the N-word that doesn’t mean you aren’t being racist in more stubble ways. Racism is a system of control designed to keep the lower classes fighting amongst ourselfs so the elite can do whatever they want without being questioned. It’s sad that in 2013 a discussion like this has to happen, but I’m happy to see you guys tackling an issue like this. If more people just talked to each other racism might truly become a thing of the past.

  • http://twitter.com/Kurt_Steinberg Kurt Steinberg

    What “white privilege”? In the U.S., the blacks are the privileged ones – look at all of the unearned government handouts received by members of the black community solely on the basis of skin color, such Affirmative Action and minority quotas. Blacks have been getting a free ride in the U.S. since at least the 1960s.

  • TiredofHypocrisy

    I always wanted to ask why black people are so in denial about their black privilege

    I always wanted to ask why Crystal Magnum was quickly forgotten by the media when it was revealed that she LIED about the Duke Lacrosse rape case. Had she been a white woman lying about being raped by black men we know how that would’ve turned out, but who cares about a bunch of “privileged” Ivy League white boys anyways? They aren’t human

    I always wanted to ask why Lionel MacIntyre of Columbia University wasn’t charged with a racially-motivated hate crime when he assaulted a white female co-worker at a bar over an argument about “white privilege”. He only got a few days of community service.

    I always wanted to ask why African Americans will form massive protest rallies at the drop of a hat when a young black man is killed by a non-black person(Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant) while not holding similar rallies when any number of young black men are murdered every year by other young black men.

    I suppose I can’t expect answers to these questions, because that would require black people to step outside their beloved identity of victimhood and start cleaning house.

    Black victimhood=privilege. Don’t try to deny it. Victimhood is a racket.

    • Sunshine

      I love you.

  • M

    What a bunch of crybabies and whiners here! “Oh, those whites get this and that and WE DON’T!” Boo, hoo, hoo….that’s a load of sh*t!

  • crysi_ann

    I think that as humans we put so much thought into this which is creating more of a split between us, I have been reading some comments “like white people have everything handed to them” thats like if I would say “all black people live in the ghetto” which I know is not true, we are all hurting ourselfs by thinking one race has it better then the other and so forth, there are white people who live in sketchy areas, as there are some black people that live rich. It shouldnt matter what color you are it should just matter about your character. Until we can all get off the they have it better band wagon or Im better then them we will always have violence and hate. I see it that we are all playing this game called life and if we dont join together then we are in deep deep crap, but I mean that is our main problem already theres too much hate and people thinking they deserve everything. So I guess my main thing is no I normally dont think about white people being privilaged or about the difference between black and white poeple the only difference I see is the darkness of skin, everyone should just judge people on their character and not what or what they dont have.

  • crysi_ann

    I think that as humans we put so much thought into this which is creating more of a split between us, I have been reading some comments “like white people have everything handed to them” thats like if I would say “all black people live in the ghetto” which I know is not true, we are all hurting ourselfs by thinking one race has it better then the other and so forth, there are white people who live in sketchy areas, as there are some black people that live rich. It shouldnt matter what color you are it should just matter about your character. Until we can all get off the they have it better band wagon or Im better then them we will always have violence and hate. I see it that we are all playing this game called life and if we dont join together then we are in deep deep crap, but I mean that is our main problem already theres too much hate and people thinking they deserve everything. So I guess my main thing is no I normally dont think about white people being privilaged or about the difference between black and white poeple the only difference I see is the darkness of skin, everyone should just judge people on their character and not what or what they dont have.

  • HoneyThunderbolts

    What is always intriguing (and only for the deeply astute) is how easily ‘conversations’ like this one employ exemplify white privilege. To pose this question and see that the first responses come from white women reinforces whose voice carries more weight and warrants more value. Furthermore the ‘progressive parents’ mantra and the default to Jewishness as an entry into ‘disenfranchisement’ are stock, banal, and oh so predictable.

    The deeper question is what is it like to be white while watching whiteness annihilate everything including and especially white folks (white women get an extra beat down from whiteness because of their proximity to the oppressor and distributor of oppressive behaviors) and then turn and think recognition of white privilege is a destination worthy of accolades. That recognition is only a very miniscule beginning of the ever convulsing complexity of white racialized identity. Game on!

    • PassingBy

      The question was posed to the white women on the panel, so of course they were the ones to respond. Perhaps the one woman’s note of being raised by “progressive parents” was intended to say she did not think it was common. As for the Jewish girl’s supposed claim of ‘disenfranchisement’, your statement struck me as quite ignorant. Blacks may have hurdles due to their race, but they don’t have a monopoly on discrimination. You can’t discount another person’s experiences as inconsequential and then ask them to be sensitive to your own. We all have our trials in this world. It is not a contest.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JAKQLXWSXSMCLNSA4NUEWKQBQM Sunko

    Why would someone reaping the benefits from their privileged go against it? Ask yourselves this question. We live in white MAJORITY!

    • M

      And what if the US was a black majority?

  • http://www.facebook.com/sooki.barns Sooki Barns

    What a ridiculous video. I’m not black or white. But you people have a chip on your shoulder and then some. No wonder the world sometimes rolls its eyes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sooki.barns Sooki Barns

    What a ridiculous video. I’m not black or white. But you people have a chip on your shoulder and then some. No wonder the world sometimes rolls its eyes.

  • old school

    Regarding Junior – troll alert. Regarding Klion the statement the world doesn’t revolve around you has to be taken in context – which you did not provide. But in short, check out the poster who stated white privilege didn’t exist because ONE person SHE knew wasn’t effected by it. THAT statement deserves a the world doesn’t revolve around you response because her individual experience with ONE person is not key but he/she seems to think it is. The world is larger than just her and her friend.

  • dddooonnnttt

    In your community microcosm, maybe not, but out in the world, where people don’t know who your parents are, she would get preferential treatment from most white people. Have you ever thought about an example using a white person/friend who has as much or more money than you?

  • Junior

    White Privilege? had this been a discussion taking place about 20 years ago, alot of this would probably still apply. in no way am i saying racism isnt around.

    its 2013, we have a black president. black folks in the senate and house. Military personnel that are black.

    white privileges? I would agree that in certain parts of the US, the older mentality still applies, so I can see where someone would misconstrue racism with a privilege. That being said, i feel as if people, especially folks that are in a superior positon or a position of power(i.e a supervisor, manager, Chief, etc) will lean towards an individual they know and prefer. I dont see how this is somehow a white privilege.

    This thing people refer to a privilege; something that allows the individual to get away with a little(or a lot) more, that allows folks to be friendlier then to someone else, that thing that provides you with a little extra cushion in situations….. its not privileges! Its education!

    im neither black nor white and am not ignorant to whats going on around me and people. that being said, its not a privilege that white folks are reaping; its our general bias and our internal racism that allows us to embody it as an edge that whites have over most.

    again, 20+ years ago i would agree of a privilege that whites had. in my area the minority became the majority and major postions suddenly were filled by non-white individuals…. and guess what? little by little positons became more diverse and the superivors or people in charge, would start to hire people they like, people they know, family. did this all of a sudden become a privilege to a specific race? NO! its our bias towards certain people and our way of thinking that does that, not some so called privilege. that doesnt exist anymore.

    Do you want to know what IS a privilege that actually still exist very predominately? so much so that its the ultimate leverage in the great US? MONEY , the almighty DOLLAR.

    Black,White, Brown or blue, you have money and lots of it then you are granted all of the privileges the world could offer :) go ahead and ask Jay-z or Russell Simmons, Carlos Slim, Arturo moreno or anyone who is weathy and isnt white :)

    White Privileges? HA. thats a defeated mentality of someone who needs an excuse for their shortcomings. still blaming the whites ah?

    • http://www.facebook.com/gera.anderson Gera Anderson

      While I understand the point you are attempting to make, I feel your assertion that a “white privilege” discussion is no longer relevant is misguided. There are many privileges including male privilege and economic privilege. I am a

  • Jamie P

    I am sorry about my comment. Whites do have priviledges. They do get away with a ton of stuff. For example, they don’t have to have work experience they can get a job and don’t know anything or have a degree in it. They can screw up and mess up all the time and still have a job sometimes and it is no big deal and some people don’t have a problem with them messing up royally, big time. Some black men worship the ground white women walk on ( instance Kim Kardashian, she has no talent), you have some blacks think all whites are smart, which is not true you have dumb whites and dumb people in other races . I know this is a surprise to some people. They can act a fool on television, cuss and fight and get away with. Some whites can say what they want (especially about blacks) and mean it and then supposedly “apologize” when I don’t believe are sorry for saying and in some cases they still keep their jobs or get jobs elsewhere. They can do wrong to people (especially blacks, example how the right wingers in Washington and mainstream media disrespecting President Obama), but they don’t want nobody doing it to them. White priviledges is that they think they are immune and it is not going to happen to them and they can do whatever evil and say whatever they want. I am sorry, this is how I look at white priviledge.

    • MLS2698

      Amen! They can be working at an ice cream shop one day, and the next day, be YOUR supervisor! They give jobs to friends, family, whoever needs a hand. And it’s not about education, because they will train on-the-job, and act just like they have had the position for 10 years. Pure BS!

    • Veronica

      That’s funny. In the company I work for a little white girl with exactly the same qualifications was passed over and the job was given to another girl because she was black. And Kim Kardashian isn’t white. White people don’t claim her. She’s Armenian. Secondly, “right-wingers in Washington and mainstream media disrespecting President Obama” would be happening whether he was black, white, chinese, or spanish.

      Now here’s a fun question: has any black person ever admitted to the sense of entitlement that can be found in the black community? I doubt it.

  • Nikki

    I went to a predominately white school and a white teacher gave us the white privilege speech. She was raised by her nanny, who was a black woman.

    I think the younger generations are better when it comes to racism.

  • Miyako

    Most of them don’t, and never will.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/thesapphireempress96?feature=results_main A.J.

    Oh, they’re definitely aware of their privilege, but they don’t want to admit it. Doing so means they would have to face up to reality, including their role in keeping Blacks down.

  • Klion

    Okay, I am afro-american and i was told once that, “the world don’t revolve around me”. By another afro-american person. I never understood what was meant by that and in which terms it came about. I treat everyone fair and equally. So I assume that that person was thinking,that I thought I have white privileges? I was just raised to be self-reliant. That’s like me thinking unfairly by saying to her you are just not, “self-reliant” cause she never had a job but just went to school.

  • MLS2698

    This is sooo funny. Today I was entering my child psych class as another class was leaving. I overheard a white lady apologizing to her professor for falling asleep in class. She stated that she records the sessions while in class, and she gets home late, so she ” felt ” herself nodding off while he was talking. The professor just basically said he understood. But personally, I feel if one of ” us ” had fallen asleep, we couldn’t get away with a ” I understand.” Translation: They always have a way to explain away their BS.

    • PassingBy

      You do not know the professor, nor do you know the lady involved, the circumstances, nor her previous behavior in the class or their previous interactions. You “feeling” that this particular individual would treat someone of another race differently is insulting and illogical and your insistence that “they always have a way to explain away their BS” is more indicative of your own collectivist racism than of anything else. Would you have felt differently about the exchange if the woman had been black? Would she still have been “explain[ing] away [her] BS?” If you’re going to insist that others should make a conscious effort to evaluate people fairly irrespective of race, you need to walk your talk. We would all do well to attempt to understand and relate rather than prejudge individuals based on bias.

    • sean

      Gotta give the black person credit for relating everything to race, “oh my god this guy short changed me he must be racist” “this guy cut me off hes a black hater all right” Jesus move on mate, if we all thought like you were still be stuck in the dark ages. By dark ages i am not referring to race but a period in time, just to let you know retard

  • TRUTH IS

    Perfect e.g. Queen of England (the biggest welfare queen)….will we ever see an african american royal family?

    • Lisa

      What?!?!?!?!?!!!!!

    • AnonyChick

      Whaaaa?! I don’t get the point you’re trying to make here. For one, we don’t have a royal family/monarchies here in the US, so… please explain.

      • TRUTH IS

        Oh so you think white privilege is a USA thing only….phahahahahah….waiting for one of the royals to marry a sister!

        • AnonyChick

          I never said White privilege was an American thing. YOU jumped to that conclusion. I just don’t understand why we would have an AMERICAN royal family when we don’t have royal families/monarchies here.

        • SMHgurl24

          I see what your saying, everybody assumes that racism can only be found in the US, but in actuality its anywhere and everywhere. Its not just a color thing either, there are white ppl fighting racism also. Personally I don’t understand why this is on top of the list. We all need to stop dividing ourselves with this mess and come together because believe it or not, there are worse things going on at the moment that we all need to figure out together!

        • dddooonnnttt

          Actually 2 have married black women. They aren’t African American though, they’re English. And even so, most people marry someone their own color, it’s not exactly white privilege you’re talking about, its financial privilege.
          And Africa has a few countries that still have monarchs, so there are African kings and queens.
          There aren’t White American kings and queens in America though, there never has been, and hopefully never will be.
          What is the point you are ttrying to make??

  • kierah

    White privilege is like gravity. You don’t have to be aware of it, but it is still holding you down.

    • A

      Excuses, excuses.

  • Ms_Sunshine9898

    I met a white guy at work named Isaiah Williams who told me that he didn’t believe white privilege existed until he started applying for jobs as an adult and he wasn’t getting call backs. The real kicker was when he’d check white on his application and they’d go back and check black because they thought it was a mistake. Even better he told me about his social experiment where he swapped names with a black friend of his with a white sounding name at his friend’s suggestion to see how his job hunt would go. First white person I ever met that can talk about and defend the black experience just as well as a black person. . .

    • http://twitter.com/HollyGrove7 Holly Grove

      Wow! That is very interesting. Does he have a blog or anything of the sort speaking about his experiences? It would be a great read. I wanna know more! (Sorry. Sociology major here. lol)

      • Ms_Sunshine9898

        Not that I know of. I met him a plane about a year ago and I never forgot him or his name because I was so attracted to him and two his intelligence and ability to relate to so many of my moral and political views was mind blowing. So off topic, I know LOL . . .

        • undergraduate

          He sounds like a self hating white ultra liberal idiot of a moron to me. Let me know when blacks get over their oppression mentality and maybe a conversation can take place.

          • Marie

            Oppression mentality is a good phrase for it. I’m reading this blog and trying to figure out what the heck is going on,
            1-Maybe White privilage means being raised by other White people.
            2-Maybe it means not going through life as a Black witch and turning everyone off.
            3-Maybe it simply means that in Japan an
            asian person is more accepted. In Africa a Black person is more accepted and in the USA a White person is more accepted. This may just be human nature. I’m going with #2. Victims are the meanest of all people.

            • Stephanie

              FYI, the actual logical conclusion to your number 3 statement should be that NATIVE AMERICANS are more accepted.

  • Limeaide

    There
    happens to be more whites on welfare then a lot of us know, their sense
    or privilege comes out of the history of this country and what it was
    built on, which is pure racism. If my ancestors came here to America,
    stole the land, put whites into slavery called them all kind of names,
    abused them and worked them to death, & as a result lived off the
    fat of this land, and were told that they are better as a result. I
    guess Black people, or any other group of people would be more privilege
    too. Even poor whites in South Africa that were used to getting over
    because of the color of their skin & though they where better then
    Blacks, now have to fall back, cause educated Blacks that earn their
    entitlement, by hard work and getting a solid education are now more
    privileged. Same scenario in America for Whites today, look at how the
    Republicans treat our President. They are angry and fighting him because
    of the same mentality of being privileged. Look at history & then
    you will realize why whites are so much more privileged in this country
    & South Africa. White South Africans stole the land from Black South
    Africans and it was conquer and divide, using poor whites to do all
    the rich thieves dirty work, by keeping Blacks in line, just like it was
    done in this Country. It’s History, READ about The true History of
    these two countries, and there lyes your answer. You sure won’t find the
    truth in school text books.

    • PassingBy

      “Same scenario in America for Whites today, look at how the
      Republicans treat our President” This is a fallacy… assuming a racial motivation without supporting that statement with any objective facts. Political and philosophical differences are real. Assuming disagreements stem from race is insulting to all parties and diminishes the very real ideological divides in this country.

  • Limeaide

    To me, too many white people have a sense of entitlement just because they are white. This is bogus and they have been lied to. All of the lies that they (whites) have been taught are justified by their ancestors coming to America and stealing this rich territory from under Native Americans and then adding Slavery to the mix. It kills me when poor whites have tried to come off like they are better, just because they are white. Personally I will not buy into white people being more privileged or better, whether they are rich, poor or indifferent. Hopefully this next generation will have a more realistic view of themselves, cause gone are the days of entitlements, just because you are white.

    • dddooonnnttt

      It’s not lies though. They really are entitled to more than the rest of us. Deservedly? Hayl no!

    • Manifesto

      ha! see that’s that’s racism as a system of control in action. A black share cropper and a white share cropper had more in common with each other than with the white land owner. But if you demonize blacks then it doesn’t matter how poor you are because “hey at least you’re white!”. Now that doesn’t make it OK but it’s important to recognize that white entitlement has a long standing history in this country and it won’t go away until we start having real discussions between whites and blacks (and other races). To fix the next generation we need to start by fixing our education system so it’s actually equal and teaching history in a more engaging and realistic way. Check out “lies my teacher told me” if you want a book with some real American history.

    • Veronica

      No, the entitlements have just switched sides.

  • realadulttalk

    They know they do. That’s why they handle life different. Many comedians have made jokes about how whites and blacks handle police interactions so different–and that is so true. I’ve heard white dudes re-tell stories of being pulled over and cussing out the officer and a whole bunch of ish no black person would ever live through.

    • M

      So whom exactly gives “white” people this privilege?

      • realadulttalk

        Did you really ask that question? If you don’t know…I can’t help you.

        • PassingBy

          This type of response is not conducive to spreading awareness. It’s easy to assume questions are satirical or blame people for being unaware, but how about trying to enlighten rather than shame?

  • Dawnn

    Whites do have priviledges. Everything is catered around them, they can get away with a WHOLE lot more stuff than blacks do.

    • Beyondtheaccepted

      Of course they can, they’re seen as “Sweet, kind, innocent, and pure” though they’re far from it. You have white loud overbearing images on reality t.v. and no one bats an eye lash or generalizes the entire group and apply it to every single white individual they encounter. Not the same for black people and minorities. All it takes is one apply to spoil the bunch in society. Image wise people just refuse to attach the worse to white individuals because they just can’t see them in such a bad light do to white=good social programming, even if they behave like the worst person on Earth. They can deny white privilege all they want to, when they make up majority of the population here how can they not see that they are a privileged group.

  • get real

    Yeah they know but they try to pretend that they don’t .

    • dddooonnnttt

      Right, who’s going to be mad and raise a stink that people are being nice to them?