And by ‘privileged’, I don’t mean rich people, at least not alone. I mean people afford societal advantages based on inherit traits i.e. skin color, gender, sexual orientation, etc.
I talk about white racism…a lot. So, I’m assumed to hate white people, or so it’s believed. There’s nothing intricate about it. It’s an open-and-shut case, a zero-sum game.
Not to throw any puns, but it’s not that black and white.
One thing I’ve noticed when it comes to people with societal privileges, they seem to can’t stand it when the lesser privileged puts them in an unfavorable spotlight. Right away, the immediate response is that they hate them and has unfairly placed them all into a tight box. The comments usually range in between “not all of us” to “you hate us”, which hints that they’re feelings aren’t used to being pointed out. As such, their emotions appear fragile enough to initiate rejection, deflection and condemnation.
Some will go into an extensive diatribe, which can be plagued with guilt tripping and derailing, in an attempt to prove the lesser privileged wrong. They will throw them under the bus in order to protect their feelings, ego and keep their bubble from getting burst. As stated earlier, they’re not mentally or emotionally prepared to have their privileges check as they’re taught all their lives that they don’t have to do any secondary thinking from beyond their mindset. Asking them to do so, puts them in an uncomfortable position, a place there they don’t want to go, and they tend to not want to go on any journeys.
I’m black, but I’m also a male. I don’t have white privilege, but I have male privilege. Racism effects me, but not sexism or misogyny. I’m also straight. So, I don’t have to worry about homophobia. Yet, my straight male privileges have me think that I have authorities to talk about things that only the LGBTQ and women understand. It wasn’t until I “grew up” that I learn to check my privileges more often.
But being a person of color in this country, I’ve dealt with realities of racism and how it’s a part of every institution here. I know that white racism is still in existence and is still dangerous. I’m forced to deal with this truth everyday. All people of color have to.
White people dominate every institution in America. Politics, business, technology, even education. There are mostly white people in high positions. Yet, despite that, there are white folks who genuinely believe that they’re now discriminated against.
You would think that it would hint them at what people of color deal with on the daily and feel more sympathetic. Some do. Some don’t. Those who won’t end up becoming the problem, becoming racists themselves believing that people of color are racist against them and that white people are undergoing a racial genocide due to affirmative action and interracial dating.
With the growing crisis of sexual harassment in Hollywood and politics becoming the talk of the media, it should come to no surprise that there are men who want to remind women that not all men are sexual deviants. Even though that’s true, women – and even men who are also victims – the point is not to condemn men but to speak out against a crime that powerful people, who happen to be males, have made a mission to keep under wraps to cover their asses and maintain high status.
Yet, we men think that those women, and feminists in general, simply hate men and are actively working to take down powerful ones. Our privilege make us suspect the worse, ignoring what’s fact and what must be done. Men have it better than women in a patriarchal society to where our crimes against women are usually excused or justified. What’s worse is that our privilege will turn us into defenders of the status quo adding to the problem and making it worse.
To make things as clear as crystal, most people of color don’t hate white people. Most women don’t hate men. Most LGBTQ don’t hate straight people. And so on. They – we are just sick of the truckloads of shit done to us for the lamest of reasons. It’s not the color of white skin, the penis or the attraction to the opposite sex. It’s the content of the character…or lack thereof.