I’m just going to make this official – you cannot, as a white person in 2017, ignore the reality of your white privilege. Please… do not come at me with your “reverse racism” noise, whining about the United Negro College Fund or Latinx Pride until you’ve got centuries of systemic exclusion, discrimination, and disadvantage behind you. I don’t want to fucking hear it.
One more time, real loud for the people in the back: you benefit from white privilege whether or not you willingly or knowingly contribute to systems of racial inequality and oppression. You benefit every time you don’t get shot by a trigger-happy cop. You benefit every time someone assumes you’re an American citizen instead of asking for proof. You benefit every time you are not “randomly selected” for extra TSA screening at airport security. I am sick and tired of white tears for racial discrimination that originated in your overactive fucking imaginations. Here’s a mantra to practice if you need a little extra help: “I am white. My whiteness comes with perks. It is up to me not to be a dick about it.” Feel free to change “dick” to an expletive of your choosing.
Anyway – this is not to say white people cannot experience forms of marginalization independent of skin color, like homophobia, transphobia, ableism, fat-shaming, or misogyny. White privilege means that if all other factors – income, sexual orientation, gender identity, body type, to name a few – are the same (ceteris paribus, if you’re into Latin), a person of color will usually experience more difficulties than a white person because the variable of racism adds hardship to fucking everything else.
But Linda, you interject between bites of avocado toast in the bed of your rental van, I’m not a racist.
I hear you, friend, I do.
But listen here: identifying as “not a racist” does not make it impossible for you to do racist things or say racist shit. You could be racist without meaning to – it happens and it’s an uncomfortable lesson to learn, but dammit kid, you gotta be open to learning it if any kind of post-racial anything is going to happen, for reals.
Also, if this wasn’t clear before, white privilege does not benefit racists exclusively. It’ll benefit your white ass no matter where you find yourself on the political spectrum.
So. You’re white, reportedly not a racist, and you’re neck-deep in sweet, sweet privilege – what do you do about it? Acknowledge it, for fuck’s sake, before I go the fuck off – and use it to help people. Racists, ignorant white people, and the otherwise problematic will listen to you in a way that they just won’t listen to people of color.
And stop calling yourself color-blind – it’s not cute. You can’t fight ignorance with more ignorance, it doesn’t work.