White Privilege: Intro (sorta)

¡Hola! Everybody…
Okay! I didn’t even write about white privilege yesterday. All I did was post a cartoon about it and I was called everything from a hater of white people and of being obsessed with race (I’ve posted the cartoon again below). In fact! People! Didn’t you know I am a bigot?

I’ll be out all day, but I’m leaving part of an unfinished post I’m doing on racism… I will finish my series on race in the coming days. I simply didn’t have the time to finish this section — formatting the references and lining up all my research notes… But since I was shown so much love by my white brothers and sisters yesterday, I couldn’t help putting more out there for them.

* * *

-=[ Racism: White Privilege ]=-

White privilege exists. White privilege is pervasive. If you doubt me, then please ‘splain reeky how a poor student, failed businessman , and draft dodger became president for two terms though he never really won a plurality of the popular vote.

::blank stare::

Seriously folks: there’s just no way of denying it. Up to now, I have focused my discussions of racial inequality on labor markets, the criminal justice system, residential segregation, and education. But the fact remains that race also counts in ways that are almost invisible to White Americans. While they often go unrecognized, these patterns of racial disadvantage highlight the insidiousness and power of racism in American life. Because most Americans use a narrowly defined concept of racism (which is actually prejudice, not racism), they fail to recognize the subtle manifestations of racial inequality that are deeply embedded into the fabric of our society.

To see better the pervasiveness of white privilege, let us take something as seemingly simple and mundane as shopping. I have shown in previous posts that blacks and other minorities are denied mortgages far more frequently than whites with comparable incomes and credit scores. But even in other situations, race plays a powerful role. Researchers studying automobile dealerships in the Chicago area, for example, found that salespeople offer significantly lower sales prices to white men than to blacks, even when economic and other factors are taken into account. Another study found that blacks pay significantly more for car loans arranged through dealers than whites did, despite having comparable credit histories. Similarly, clerks in retail stores are frequently more concerned with the color of the shopper’s skin than their ability to pay (as any person of color who has been followed by security while shopping already knows). One clothing chain, for example, stamped an information form on the backs of personal checks. The form included a section marked “race,” and shoppers were classified “W” for white, “H” for Hispanic, and “07” for black (well, what did you expect: “N”?)

Sociologists have found widespread evidence that black shoppers were treated less respectfully than their white peers. One sociologist, Joe Feagin, reported, “No matter how affluent and influential a black person cannot escape the stigma of being black even while relaxing or shopping.”

[This is merely the tip of the iceberg. My full post will be more rigorous with a reference list appended as an intellectual courtesy.]

Now, you would think that any fair-minded and reasonably intelligent person, when presented with these facts, would stop and reflect, right? No! What I get from too many white people is hate and anger. For pointing out the reality of white privilege, I am often called a bigot, I am accused of hating white people, and of being obsessed with racism.

I say those people can go fuck themselves. I’ve had it with them. For me, being aware of racial inequality and benefiting from it and not doing anything about is racism.




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