Examples of what white privilege deniers THINK it means to be told to “Check Your Privilege.”
- Apologize for being white
- Believe white is bad or wrong
- Be ashamed of being white
- Feel guilty for being white
Examples of what people ACTUALLY mean when they say “Check Your Privilege.”
- You are inserting yourself into a conversation where you shouldn’t be. Acknowledge what you are doing, apologize and stop it.
- You are making my pain about you. Acknowledge what you are doing, apologize and stop it.
- You are belittling my pain. Acknowledge what you are doing, apologize and stop it.
- You are making my fears concerns and troubles less important than your annoyance about me talking about my experience. Acknowledge what you are doing, apologize and stop it.
If you believe that PoC want you to apologize for having white privilege, you are wrong. To be honest, I don’t get why you would think that in the first place. Let’s pretend for a second that I DO want you to apologize for having white privilege. Then, let’s pretend that you actually do apologize to me. How does that help me in ANY way? You see, some of you believe that we want to take away what you have or we want you to be ashamed of what you have. This is not the case. We want to be treated like human beings and we want you to understand that you don’t get to assert yourself or your feelings ABOUT OUR FEELINGS onto us or into our conversations.
Your guilt over white privilege also does me no good. You feel guilty? Okay and…? What does that do for either of us? If anything, your guilt tends to bring out MORE racism, not less. We don’t want to be treated BETTER, we want to be treated EQUALLY. Don’t pretend you like Black Joe when Black Joe is an asshole. That does not prove to me that you aren’t racist, it proves that you ARE racist because you are ONLY “Friends” with him BECAUSE he’s black.
Again…how does that help me in any way?
So you want to know what you should do about your White Privilege? See the second set of examples and follow them to the letter. Know that even if society tells you otherwise, you are not better, more important or more valid than anyone else. Know that your opinion should not be something you hold higher. Especially in situations you have not personally lived through. Generally, stop making things about you. That’s really the basics. No one believes that things are going to change so drastically that white privilege will disappear. We are all realistic people. It isn’t about taking something away from you. It is about you not trying to add you to our lives. It’s not about you. If you can only remember one thing, let that be it. It is not about you.
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