All Articles Tagged "white privilege"
One of the biggest blowouts that occurred during the most recent season of Love & Hip Hop was between Raqi Thunda and Jen The Pen. The blowout ultimately ended with Raqi calling Jen a racist and Jen referring to Raqi’s promiscuous reputation. Although bitter feuds are very common and perhaps even a staple for many reality television shows, Jen made a statement the caused many viewers to question whether or not they’d heard her correctly. “I’m White honey, I’ll get it done,” Jen told Raqi in the midst of their feud. While Jen has since come forward to apologize for her statement, once words are released, it’s really hard to take them back. During a recent interview with VH1, Raqi revealed that this wasn’t the first time that Jen has said questionable things about race and made offensive allusions to White privilege. Check out some of what she had to say.
On women of color being scrutinized more than White women:
“Listen, the problem I have with her is – even in her rebuttals on Twitter– she said something like, ‘Raqi was trying to use my race to get put on’ which is basically the same thing she said, but just in different words. I would never think a white person could get a job over me in urban radio. I was trying to extend my hand, I was trying to do something different, I was trying to get two different perspectives from two totally different women, two totally different cultures. I used the statement ‘she can white my wrongs.’ What I meant by that was that White woman or just uncolored women have a luxury of saying whatever it is they wanna say, for instance, in one of the episodes she said, “Oh, you could be a hoe. I’m a hoe. We’re all hoes.” Nobody batted an eyelash, but if I said it as a woman of color then I’m hit with the stigma and I’m stoned. There’s Jenny McCarthy who now has a show on VH1 – she could stick her tongue in someone’s ear, and no one would think anything of it. Meek Mill has a song: “white girls, we don’t judge ‘em we don’t judge ‘em.” So, what I was trying to do was present the other side of the coin by bringing her to Hot 97 and I think I went around the question.”
On Jen wanting a “Black rapper” so that she could have a “Black baby:”
“I spoke to the producers about not wanting to deal with her, and not wanting to do the Hot 97 thing with her because she said things like, ‘Oh, Raqi, are you always this brown? Because I go tanning. That’s why I got with a Black rapper so I can have a Black baby.’”
On other “racist” comments allegedly made by Jen:
“Then with the Hot 97 ordeal the first thing she said to Vado when he walked in was, ‘I didn’t know who you were, but you look like a f—-g Black rugby player.’ I almost choked on my tongue. She had used the black card several times prior to dropping the white card. If you research her online she has a video with Young Berg who said he doesn’t deal with darks butts and her response to that was, ‘I can get in his pool ’cause I’m lightskin.’ She goes on to say, ‘Oh, I’m 50 Cent’s favorite White girl.’ So, she’s very entitled. I think Consequence is breeding a rough dog.”
The University Of Wisconsin-Superior has been getting major flack from conservative blogs calling an advertising campaign supported by the school as “anti-white.” But the university says it wont cave in to pressure to pull the ad campaign called “Un-Fair,” a local advertising effort to raise awareness of and fight misconceptions about racism, reports the Huffington Post.
The advertisements show Caucasian people with statements like “Is white skin really a fair skin?” written on their faces. In a statement, UW-Superior said the school is “proud to host the diversity dialogues” as a partner in the Un-Fair campaign, and will work to “reshape the message” to avoid alienating anyone in the community. According to the statement, the school said: “We have an obligation to engage in difficult conversations about complex, even controversial social issues, with a goal of finding workable solutions.”
The school is just one of the sponsors of the campaign. “In fact, the campus is part of a coalition of 16 third-party community sponsors,” the statement reads. “That coalition includes a wide range of education, civic, religious, and service organizations.”
The Un-Fair campaign was conceived in 2011 by a committee of the Duluth YWCA and a local ad agency. Now it’s received support from local churches, the NAACP, community groups and Lake Superior College. According to the Un-Fair website, the campiagn’s mission is to “raise awareness about white privilege in our community,” and the tagline reads “It’s hard to see racism when you’re White.”
The campaign, however, has lost some of its partners. According to HuffPo, last summer, the University of Minnesota-Duluth dropped its support of the campaign, calling the ads “divisive” in a statement. Some of the same conservative blogs now criticizing UW-Superior claim to have caused UMD to drop the campaign.
You know how some argue that people who swear lack the vocabulary necessary to have an intelligent conversation? I’m starting to think comedians who rely solely on racial epithets to cause controversy lack the comedic talent to garner that same attention otherwise.
Lisa Lampanelli the same comic — term used loosely – who famously — term used loosely again — commented on Larry the Cable Guy’s catch phrase “Git R Done, during a 2009 roast,” saying ”You’ve beaten that concept so hard it’s now dating Chris Brown,” again has people’s PC panties all in a bunch, and for good reason in my opinion. Two days ago, she tweeted the above photo with the caption:
(Oh and FYI, the asterisks are ours, she shamelessly spelled the n-word out)
I don’t know much about Lampanelli outside of her routine comedic controversies that always seem to involve black people for some reason and, truthfully, I don’t have much desire to. I honestly wouldn’t care if Lampanelli really did look at all black people like n*gg*rs, in fact I’d probably prefer that she was a 51-year-old Connecticut-bred racist. See racists, I can deal with. What bothers me here is Lampanelli isn’t talking about black people at all, she’s referring to a white girl of all people, and asserting her white privilege to refuse to be banned from using the n-word like all those other n-words, I mean black people do. You mean we’re back on the rules of the n-word debate again? Yup, I’m taking it back there.
Firstly, though, I should explain that I’m sure all that didn’t go through Lampanelli’s head when she captioned this pic two days ago — evidence of white privilege itself — I’m quite certain, disappointingly so, that at 50-plus she still thought being able to type the n-word and post it on social media was cool like a 13-year-old smoking a cigarette for the first time. But her refusal to take the caption down and the boastful nature of her Twitter timeline as it relates to the controversy that has erupted as a result screams, “now I’m even more cool because black people and socially conscious whites who otherwise wouldn’t care that I was breathing are now googling my name, go me!”
I guess — not. The only thing funny about Lampanelli’s move is that she thinks she’s winning, when in reality her name will soon fall to the bottom of Google’s analytics very shortly and once again no one will care about her or her n*gg* whom she enthralled in this mess with her. And considering the drama that has already plagued “Girls” and their lack of diversity, Dunham might want to reconsider who she associates herself with. But then again maybe not, after all in the infamous words of Jen the Pen, she’s white and it will get done — it possibly being the Golden Globe she won just a few weeks ago.
You could say why even dignify Lampanelli with a response, and I would half agree with you there. Except I feel it’s only right to spread the message of just how much her antics prove she’s really losing, that is before she fades into obscurity once again and another white person who wants to be down — or try to come up — goes the “lets offend an entire race of people to gain fame route again.” Honestly guys — and gals — it’s played out.
If you jumped on Twitter last night and wondered why “I’m white” was trending, you can thank Love & Hip-Hop. During Monday’s episode, a heated exchange took place between Raqi Thunda and Jen the Pen after the ladies realized it wasn’t going to work for them to do a radio show together. Jen essentially tried to tell Raqi she didn’t want to work with her because “internet p***y” seems to be less of a nickname for her and more of a way of life, as exemplified by her overly flirtatious behavior during their trial Hot 97 interview. As expected, Raqi didn’t take that feedback too well and subsequently tried to belittle Jen’s whole life, claiming that Consequence, Jen’s man and the father of her child, tried to sleep with her, and adding that she was the one who put Jen on and the chances of her getting another shot at radio were slim to none. At this point, Jen decided to do Raqi even one lower and remind her, “I’m White. It will get done.”
Immediately my mind went back to our “I Always Wanted to Ask” series in which we posed the question,”Do White people understand White privilege?” The consensus seems to be that though there may be plenty who would try to deny it’s existence, I can only suffice that that very denial, like Jen’s statement, is proof that White people are quite aware of how the system works, most times they just don’t want us to know — except, of course, for when they want to remind us of our place. Though Jen’s comment rubbed me all types of the wrong way, it’s not because I think she’s racist like so many viewers have accused her of being, it’s because she’s absolutely right — and her boldness is making that statement was further more proof of that privilege. What’s most unfortunate, though, is she’s not talking about Jen Bayer and Antonique Jenkins vying for the same spot in the Senate. She’s talking about another urban radio station jumping at the chance to employ a white woman, who doesn’t appear to be too enthralled in the rap game, to disseminate information to a predominately Black audience, over another Black person.
In all honesty, Jen wasn’t telling Raqi anything she didn’t know. After all, Raqi was the one who pointed out Jen’s marketability to “white her wrong.” She picked Jen to be her co-host for a particular reason — because she’s White — and now that racial reality is probably going to bite her in the butt even harder than Ebro probably got in it when she practically tried to bounce up on Vado when he was on their audition show. For that reason, I’m mad at Jen, but I’m not mad. What she said during her spat with Raqi was about the equivalent of another girl calling her friend the b-word when things get a little too real during a heated argument. It was said out of frustration that Raqi might be right about Consequence trying to get on, anger that their opportunity at Hot 97 was now blown, and ego because Raqi tried to blow up her unemployed spot. It was wrong, but not racist. I just wonder what Jen is going to tell her biracial son when he’s passed over for a job because it went to someone as lily White as his mom is?
Check out the clip to see the drama that went down last night. Who do you think was in the wrong?
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.
KEEP THE DISCUSSION GOING WITH MORE EPISODES OF I ALWAYS WANTED TO ASK.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH!
I thought white privilege was one of those indisputable truths of the world, like what goes up must come down, but apparently parents of students in one Wisconsin public high school don’t see if that way. According to Fox News, the “American Diversity” class at Delavan-Darien High School is now being investigated by its school district after parents complained that their children were being taught that minorities have been oppressed by white people throughout history. While for said minorities this probably sounds like an accurate relaying of history, one mother of an 18-year-old boy at the school, told Fox:
“They’re teaching white guilt. They’re dividing the students. They’re saying to non-whites, ‘You have been oppressed and you’re still being oppressed.’
“I felt it was indoctrination,” she said of the handouts her son was given in class. “This is a radical left agenda and ideology that is now embedded in our school. If you’re white, you’re oppressing. If you’re non white, you’ve been a victim.”
According to the handouts Fox obtained, the teacher of the class taught students about “white privilege,” which was defined as, “a set of advantages that are believed to be enjoyed by white people beyond those commonly experienced by non-white people in the same social, political, and economic spaces (nation, community, workplace, income, etc.” To explore this ideal, students were asked to visit the toy aisle of their local WalMart.
“They were told to go and count the number of dolls that were representative of blacks as opposed to whites,” the parent said. “It’s meant to divide and victimize non-whites and condition whites to feel guilty and to be more passive.”
When the parent brought her concerns to school officials and the new superintendent of the Delavan-Darien School District, Robert Crist, he saw things from her perspective, telling Fox:
“A lot of red flags go up in my mind when I look at the materials. Her concern has merit.
“Ideally, you would want to present one theory that might be way on the left and another theory that may be way on the right and if you find one in the middle you can present that, too,” he said. “Now you have a well-rounded discussion in my opinion.”
With this issue now being looked into, the class will not be taught again until the investigation is complete. Even then, it may never be taught again at all, considering the same concerned parent also brought the class to the attention of the Young America’s Foundation. There, staff member Brendan Pringle called the course out as race-baiting.
“This course offers a snapshot of a larger trend that has plagued university curriculum for years and has only recent crept into high school classrooms,” he wrote in an essay. “Professors and teachers are increasingly telling white students that they are part of the problem of racism, and are telling black students that they are second-class citizens. This race-baiting technique is an attack on American values and can only breed bitterness and envy.”
Sorry, but while I think ideas always need to be presented in a balanced manner, to me, this entire argument sounds more like white people playing the victim themselves. Only those who benefit from white privilege have a hard time seeing it. This is why we get bombarded with this heroic American ideal of “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps” and the assumption that everyone has boots, or at least an equal chance of getting a pair. White people need to understand the privilege they have in society so that they can recognize institutional racism and not unconsciously (or consciously for that matter) play into it. It would be silly to try to make white teenagers feel guilty for things that transpired years before them and contributed to our current societal makeup. But it’s just as silly to act like this type of hierarchy doesn’t exist in our society.
What do you think about this class?
Would Conversations Have a Different Tone If The Newtown School Shooter Were Black? CNN Panelist David Sirota Thinks So
As more details of the Sandy Hook School shooting are revealed and the news of this horrific tragedy begins to settle in the minds of many Americans as they try to make sense of it, many questions and issues have risen to the surface. Gun control and mental illness have been major topics of conversation stemming from the tragedy and now, race and ethnicity has also become a factor. In an article featured on Salon.com entitled “Time To Profile White Men?”, author David Sirota somewhat rekindled the age-old conversation regarding the imbalance of criminal profiling between White men and men of other races.
“ Any honest observer should be able to admit that if the gunmen in these mass shootings mostly had, say, Muslim names or were mostly, say, African-American men, the country right now wouldn’t be confused about the causes of the violence, and wouldn’t be asking broad questions. There would probably be few queries or calls for reflection, and mostly definitive declarations blaming the bloodshed squarely on Islamic fundamentalism or black nationalism, respectively. Additionally, we would almost certainly hear demands that the government intensify the extantprofiling systems already aimed at those groups.”
Of course, Sirota was painted as a villain by several news outlets for “injecting” race into discussions of the tragedy. Sirota recently appeared as a panelist on Don Lemon’s CNN show to discuss the controversy as well as his stance on the subject.
“I think we should ask the question why is America 30 percent white guys, and 70 percent of the shootings in the last many decades have been at the hands of white guys … I do think it’s interesting to note that had 70 percent of mass shooters been let’s say Arab or African-American men, I think the conversation would be … much uglier.”
David also expressed that he felt this odd imbalance was a form of White privilege.
“And and I think that it’s good we’re having a nuanced conversation about all sorts of things — mental illness, gun control — but I hope that the next time something bad happens … that if it’s not a white guy, that we remember that we shouldn’t ascribe to entire groups … the bad actions of individuals. Because we’re not doing that right now, and I’m not saying that we should, but I think we should remember that the reason we’re not, is because it’s a form of white privilege.”
What do you think? Would discussions of the Sandy Hook school shooter be more harsh if he were Black? Is it too soon for this conversation to be taking place? Check out footage of David Sirota’s conversation with Don Lemon here.
Generally, I’m down for anything that makes a white person have some sort of introspection on race, but I’m genuinely a bit torn on this new University of Minnesota effort known as the “Un-Fair Campaign.” Running with the tagline, “it’s hard to see racism when you’re white,” the goal of the effort is to get Caucasians to do just that: see racism. And so phrases and questions like “is white skin fair skin” and “we’re lucky we don’t get followed by security when we go to the store” are splattered on the faces of white men and women to force white people to realize that they often overlook true instances of racism because they don’t understand their own privilege.
It’s a novel idea and highly progressive considering it originated in one of the whitest cities in America: Duluth, MN, where 90% of its population identifies as white. But can this movement truly spark change or just controversy? When I first saw the campaign posters my mind immediately drifted to the idea of light-skinned guilt and how this effort is quite similar in theory. From my perspective, there is no sense in trying to make someone feel guilty for being born a certain complexion, race, ethnicity, or nationality when that’s completely out of their control. Granted if you’re a lighter skinned minority, you’re still a minority and certainly not equal to a white person in terms of society’s view, but there are instances when that melanin deficit plays into one’s favor—just listen to any rap song today—however the person in the privileged seat isn’t responsible for that inherent privilege. This why questions like, “is white skin fair skin” are not fair themselves. The issue here isn’t the skin, it’s how you allow that skin to serve and position you throughout life.
What’s interesting is how this campaign wants to force white people to see racism but then makes the practice an external being, by telling observers, if you see racism speak up. I don’t know that white people (speaking generally here) have so much of an issue recognizing racism when it’s exercised by other people, I think a far more effective method would be to challenge people to recognize their own racist behaviors—assuming they have them. That’s really the only way change can come about because racism is built on ideals and truly it’s not enough to just think, am I suspicious of black people or do I think they should be followed around in stores, it’s why do I think that way and how do I implement practices that reinforce my own privilege, like not hiring black people or voting for legislation that disadvantages them. One of the posters does touch on this idea by pointing out on a white man, “what you do is worse. You give me better jobs, better pay, better treatment and a better chance all because of the color of my skin and you don’t even realize it.” This is the type of confrontational message that can spark change, otherwise you’re just reminding white people of all the reasons why it’s good to in fact be white and then trying to make them feel bad about it. That’s probably not going to work.
There is an assumptive nature about the campaign still that is hard to overlook. It assumes one, that white people don’t recognize their privilege, and two, that they’re all responsible for the system of institutional racism because of their inherent whiteness, which isn’t totally fair. In addition to being oblivious to one’s privilege, there are also people who are fully aware of it and who see no problem with having the luck of the draw so to speak in terms of their race and I think those are the people who are far more dangerous because they’re more inclined to use that power as their God given right to keep the privilege going, but that’s a mindset no poster or billboard can fix.
The University of Minnesota-Duluth is certainly ruffling some feathers with this campaign, which could be due to the sheer fact that it makes people uncomfortable because it forces them to look at all the ways they’ve been given the upper hand, but its accusatory nature also runs the risk of alienating the very audience it was intended for and accomplishing nothing in the end.
Check out a couple promo videos from the campaign below. What do you think about this whole effort?
By Rachel Garlinghouse
I’m an adoptive parent. I’m white. My two daughters, ages three and one, are both black. It’s glaringly obvious that my kids and I don’t “match” and that they are adopted.
We have been asked a slew of questions. “Are you girls REAL sisters?” “Did you hear that Katherine Heigl adopted another baby?” “Are your kids full or mixed?” “Why didn’t their birth parents keep them?” “Why couldn’t you have your own kids?”
One question that I found incredibly interesting, and one that the media is asking more than ever is, “Why didn’t you adopt one of your own kind?” (Yes, this is exactly how the question was asked.) It has been implied that there are plenty of white babies who need good homes, so why would we, as whites, pluck a black child out of the mix of available kids? (This is actually not true. Many adoption agencies have a tremendous need for families to be open to adopting black children, including sibling groups and kids with special needs, as many white parents only want to adopt healthy white infants.)
The media and the public are asking these questions of transracial adoptive parents: Are you trying to capitalize on some sort of trend? Why are you stealing a black baby away from her racial culture? Are you trying to make your child white? How in the world can a white family raise a black child properly?
The increase in media attention on celebrity adoptive parents, particularly transracial adoptive celebrity families like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, Sandra Bullock, Charlize Theron, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Tom Cruise, and Katherine Heigl, has brought transracial adoption to the forefront of pop culture. I have read, much to my dismay, article after article that begins by prompting the public to question the integrity and intent of such parents.
I have to admit, I don’t necessarily blame people for their assumptions and skepticism regarding transracial adoption, particularly white parents who are raising black kids. Whites have a long history of treating blacks and other races in degrading, dehumanizing manners. There is a seemingly natural and underlying distrust between whites and all other races. Despite people claiming to be “colorblind” and spouting that “the world is a melting pot” which is magically full of harmony and unity, I know otherwise.
You might question if parents are adopting minority children because it’s the trendy thing to do. Here are some truths, from my experience, regarding transracial adoption:
1. Transracial adoptive families are double-minorities, facing endless discrimination.
Until we adopted our first daughter, I was, unknowingly, enjoying white Privilege. No one ever looked twice at me in a shopping mall or restaurant, no one questioned my motives, no one asked how authentic my family was, if we were a “real” family or not.
But when my husband and I brought our first daughter home, we were quickly inducted into the life of a minority. We have been asked by an airline to provide our youngest child’s birth certificate to prove that she is actually our daughter prior to us boarding a plane. When we went to obtain a social security card for her, the attendant gave us several glares, making it clear she didn’t approve of our transracial adoption. She then asked, quite judgmentally, a question that had nothing to do with the application for the social security card: “Do they [our daughters] have the same parents?” I’ve been asked about the girls’ “real” mom, as if I am the fake mom. A cashier at a local store asked why the hell my girls’ birth parents would “give them away” because after all, the girls were “so pretty.” My family deals with, on a daily basis, discrimination related to adoption and race.
2. Transracial adoption is a path to parenthood.
Individuals and couples adopt because they want to be parents. Maybe they couldn’t have biological kids, couldn’t have more biological kids, had always wanted to adopt, didn’t want to wait for a partner to have children, or chose to adopt to avoid passing a genetic condition on to any biological children. The reasons are many.
When I was twenty-four years old, I was diagnosed with an incurable disease: type I diabetes. I am dependent on insulin for life; without it, I will die. Type I diabetes can be accompanied by a slew of dangerous side effects, all of which can impact the life of the diabetic’s unborn baby. My husband and I chose not to have biological children because we felt the risks outweighed the benefits. So we filled out paperwork to adopt, marked “open to a child of any race,” and waited. We were chosen, twice, to adopt black children. Without adoption, we wouldn’t be parents. We wanted to be parents. So we adopted. It’s really that simple.
Ever since the media began reporting on various statistics that people of color will become the new majority by 2050 in the United States and throughout most of the globe, there have been parallel reports circulating about the plight of the oppressed white guy.
Yeah, you read that correctly. White men, who have long lived off of the divine privilege of whiteness, are now pulling out of the ole’ proverbial race card and claiming that their whiteness is somehow prohibiting them from moving ahead in society.
You need a second to stop laughing? Sure, I’ll wait. Okay, got that out of your system? Good. Let’s continue.
CNN published a story a last month asking if whites are racially oppressed. In the story, there were various accounts from white folks who thought that they were losing their country, their identity and more importantly, their jobs to blacks, immigrants and Jews. To counteract their impending loss of white privilege, one of the many things these dispossessed white folks are doing is starting courses at colleges called “Whiteness Studies.”
I’ve tried to ignore these stories, but the same premise kept showing up in other places like in a Public Religion Research study that suggested that 44 percent of Americans believe that present-day discrimination against whites has become as much of a problem as discrimination against blacks and other minorities. Most recently, Newsweek ran a piece called “Can Manhood Survive the Recession,” which highlighted the true victims of the down economy: “The same guys who once drove BMWs, in other words, have now been downsized to BMWs: Beached White Males.”
As defined by Newsweek, these BWMs are the former white corporate suits who are now finding themselves out of work and on the unemployment line with those “other” people. Apparently, its pretty bad for these BWMs—in the first quarter of 2011, nearly 600,000 college-educated white men ages 35 to 64 were unemployed, which equates to a jaw-dropping five percent of the unemployment rate. Shocking, isn’t it?
I find it hard to pity the “plight of the white man,” which so happens to be one of the most entitled positions in our society. Before I can even get to the point of shedding a tear or two for the alleged racial oppression of White America, we must first address the history of racial inequalities against people of color.
Despite Newsweek’s best attempt to garner sympathy, the story failed to acknowledge the other color spectrum of manhood, i.e. men of color who have seen an unemployment rate in the double digits since the beginning of the recession. According to the Center for American Progress, the unemployment rate in 2010 for African Americans and Latinos was upwards of 15 percent compared to 8.7 percent for whites. In that same period, homeownership rate for African Americans and Latinos was 45.0 percent and 47.0 percent, respectively, while the homeownership rate for whites was 74.7 percent.
According to the National Urban League’s 2010 State of Black America report, whites are still more than one and a half times as likely as blacks, and more than two and a half times as likely as Latinos to hold a bachelor’s degree. Also, whites are more likely to have health insurance and six times less likely to be incarcerated.
By definition, oppression is the systematic mistreatment of one group of people by another group of people or by society as a whole, with institutional power as a means of asserting that mistreatment. By sheer birthright, white men have had a historic advantage to feel secure in the fact that when it says ‘All men are created equal’ that it really means ‘all white men.’
So Mr. White Man, if you still feel like society is giving you the short end of the stick than it’s best not to point the finger at blacks, Hispanics or women. Instead, point it at your fellow white men at the very top of this pyramid, who seem to be doing quite well for themselves unlike the rest of us who are losing out on jobs and benefits.
Charing Ball is the author of the blog People, Places & Things.