White privilege can be a tricky thing for people to wrap their heads around. If you’ve ever called out white privilege before, chances are you’ve heard responses like “But I’m didn’t ask to be born white!” or “You’re being reverse racist.” The next time that happens, just show the nay-sayer this succinct comic explaining what white privilege is — and what it isn’t.
Race & Ethnicity
White privilege is a concept that far too many people misunderstand. People of color aren’t unfairly discriminated against, the argument goes; they are just unwilling to work hard to get ahead. But structural inequality disproves that. Here are just a few of the things that are more than likely to be true if one happens to have been born white in America.
Justice is supposed to be colorblind, especially in America. But is this really true? Simply put: no. Black people in the United States face overwhelming racism within the criminal justice system. This infographic from ArrestRecords.com provides an overview of how black people are disproportionately profiled, arrested, and convicted within the United States.
In many families with African bloodlines, rejection of natural hair is passed down from generation to generation. Mothers teach their daughters to “fix their hair,” and daughters learn to fear for their own children’s hair. Elizabeth Acevedo has had it with this family tradition. Watch her embrace the possibility of having daughters with natural hair in this spoken word poem.
In a perfect world, the most qualified applicants would gain the attention of those responsible for filling job openings. But that’s not the world we live in. Something as simple as a non-White sounding name can immediately reduce your chances of getting hired. Watch what happened when one man decided to change only one letter of his resume, going from José to Joe.
Asian America: It’s a land of stereotypes — at least, according to television and film. Unfortunately, these stereotypes too often fall under the popular radar and aren’t discussed or acknowledged as much as they should be. I want to get the discussion started. I’d like to examine three of the most pervasive Asian stereotypes we see so often in mainstream media.
Many times when wealthy people move into a low-income neighborhood, they truly want to help. Oftentimes, they even start community programs and become leaders in the community, often through beautification projects. And while I get why this seems to be good at first glance, it really isn’t. Gentrification hurts communities of color, and these are some of the ways how.
In social justice activism and feminist circles, there is a lack of discussion on Western privilege. And this is becoming a huge problem for social justice activism. We should interrogate the ways various oppressions and privileges interact with Western privilege, not deny its existence entirely. So here’s a list of some examples of Western privilege.
Think all Muslims are anti-feminism? Think again! There are a lot of misconceptions about what it means to be a Muslim woman. But the truth of the matter is, it’s entirely possible to be a feminist and a Muslim. Watch this frank discussion between two feminist Muslim women about some of the common misconceptions people have about Muslim women.
Chances are, if you’re a person of color, someone has asked you where you’re from. “No, where are you from from?” And then proceeded to recite a series of cultural stereotypes back to you to show how much they ‘understand’ your cultural heritage. Check out this spot-on comedy sketch with a twist from Wong Fu Productions, as they also spotlight the prejudiced stereotypes still common about rural America.