. Understanding often begins with definition. This tidbit includes definitions and therefore may be abit tedious, but please take careful note that this topic requires greater concentration. We can never understand “White Privilege” without the understanding the definitions of those who invented it!! I repeat, WP cannot be understood by attempting to impose a Christian definition on a word created by non-Christians. We must use their thinking on their word! Let’s begin with a few basic definitions:
1.a right, immunity, or benefit enjoyed by a particular person or a restricted group of people beyond the advantages of most:the privileges of the very rich.
-the unearned and mostly unacknowledged societal advantage that a restricted group of people has over another group:white privilege based on skin color; male privilege; children of privilege.
2.White privilege, or white skin privilege, is the societal privilege that benefits white people over non-white people in some societies, particularly if they are otherwise under the same social, political, or economic circumstances. With roots in European Colonialism and imperialism, and the Atlantic slave trade, white privilege has developed in circumstances that have broadly sought to protect white racial privileges, various national citizenships and other rights or special benefits. -Wikipedia
3.White Skin privilege is not something that White people necessarily do, create, or enjoy on purpose. Unlike the more overt and institutional manifestations of racism, white skin privilege is a transparent preference for whiteness that saturates our society. White skin privilege serves several functions: first it provides White people with perks, that we do not earn, and people of color do not enjoy. Second, it creates real advantages for us white people are immune to a lot of challenges. While privilege shapes the world in which we live, the way we navigate with one another and with the world. -Southern Poverty Law Center
Or, how about Peggy McIntosh’s 26-point list, who many credit as the discoverer of WP, to help ‘us’ identify, i.e.define, i.e.recognize WP:
1. I can, if I wish, arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time. 2. If I should need to move, I can be pretty sure of renting or purchasing housing in an area, which I can afford and in which I would want to live. 3. I can be pretty sure that my neighbors in such a location will be neutral or pleasant to me. 4. I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed. 5. I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented. 6. When I am told about our national heritage or about “civilization,” I am shown that people of my color made it what it is. 7. I can be sure that my children will be given curricular materials that testify to the existence of their race. 8. If I want to, I can be pretty sure of finding a publisher for this piece on white privilege. 9. I can go into a music shop and count on finding the music of my race represented, into a supermarket and find the staple foods which fit with my cultural traditions, into a hairdresser’s shop and find someone who can cut my hair. 10. Whether I use checks, credit cards or cash, I can count on my skin color not to work against the appearance of my financial reliability. 11. I can arrange to protect my children most of the time from people who might not like them. 12. I can swear, or dress in second hand clothes, or not answer letters, without having people attribute these choices to the bad morals, the poverty, or the illiteracy of my race. 13. I can speak in public to a powerful male group without putting my race on trial. 14. I can do well in a challenging situation without being called a credit to my race. 15. I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group. 16. I can remain oblivious of the language and customs of persons of color who constitute the world’s majority without feeling in my culture any penalty for such oblivion. 17. I can criticize our government and talk about how much I fear its policies and behavior without being seen as a cultural outsider. 18. I can be pretty sure that if I ask to talk to “the person in charge,” I will be facing a person of my race. 19. If a traffic cop pulls me over or if the IRS audits my tax return, I can be sure I haven’t been singled out because of my race. 20. I can easily buy posters, post-cards, picture books, greeting cards, dolls, toys, and children’s magazines featuring people of my race. 21. I can go home from most meetings of organizations I belong to feeling somewhat tied in, rather than isolated, out-of-place, outnumbered, unheard, held at a distance, or feared. 22. I can take a job with an affirmative action employer without having coworkers on the job suspect that I got it because of race. 23. I can choose public accommodation without fearing that people of my race cannot get in or will be mistreated in the place I have chosen. 24. I can be sure that if I need legal or medical help my race will not work against me. 25. If my day, week or year is going badly, I need not ask of each negative episode or situation whether it has racial overtones. 26. I can choose blemish cover or bandages in “flesh” color and have them more or less match my skin.
Or, how about reviewing some of the more famous and popular promoters of White Privilege:
-Tim Wise. Here.
-Dr Joy DeGruy. Here.
-Or even Blind people on racism. Here.
Here is my point, Youtube offers what is probably thousands of people advocating for WP. What is most interesting are their differing definitions! The common thread running through the multitudinous explanations* are personal experiences! In other words, WP is defined by people’s personal experience. But why is that? Because WP requires relativism! In other words, it’s completely subjective!
For example, let’s examine a couple of Dr McIntosh’s list items: “11.I can arrange to protect my children most of the time from people who might not like them.” Look at the language used: “most of the time” or “might not like them”. This verbiage is subjective! Can Dr McIntosh honestly believe that Blacks can’t protect their children: “most of the time”? If it is true that Blacks can protect their children, “most of the time”, how then can this be an example of WP? On the contrary, if Blacks, like Whites, can protect their children “most of the time”, do Blacks also have WP?
Or, what about: “5.I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented.” This is totally subjective! Can anyone possibly believe that no Black, Brown, Yellow, or Red person can turn on the t.v. and see their own race?!?!! Really?!?! In my opinion, I’m not even sure why someone would be looking for their own race when turning on the t.v.!!!! But…if you’re Black, and want to find your race, has Dr McIntosh never heard of the BET network? Are there no Hispanic speaking tv stations? Really??!!?!?
The ‘Golden Tongue’ of WP, Tim Wise once declared, “For those who still cannot grasp White Privilege…perhaps this list will help. WP is when you can get pregnant at 17, like Bristol Palin, and everyone is quick to insist that your life, and that of your family is a personal matter, and that no one has a right to judge you or your parents cause every family has challenges even as Black and Latino families have similar challenges and are regularly typified as irresponsible, pathological, and arbiters of social decay.”
Obviously, Mr Wise dislikes Sarah Palin, so…he uses his personal opinion to explain her WP— and then turns to include America in his criticism of her! Really?!?!? In other words, according to Mr Wise, any human being--White, Black, Brown, Red, Yellow, or polka-dotted--can dislike any White person for any reason, and then turn it into an example of WP?
I challenge you to simply go to Youtube and type in the search engine: ‘White Privilege’, and begin to listen…you will hear a ‘ga-zillion’ personal experiences and definitions of WP! In other words, if every time a White person has an experience—good or bad**--and it is defined as WP, then WP has no definition!!!!
*The fact that WP requires so much explanation speaks volumes!! If WP is so obvious, why do I need hundreds and even thousands of people to explain it?
**When Bristol Palin got pregnant out of wedlock, I’m sure that was not a positive experience for Sarah and her husband. But…according to Tim Wise, even negative experiences for White people are WP!
"The worst day in a man's life is when he sits down and begins thinking about how he can get something for nothing." --Thomas Jefferson