Chain Letters about White Privilege

I recieved a chain letter long ago, and it came around again. this chain letter is about White Privilege. It touts it as a good thing, it even lists examples of privilege. The person who forwarded it to me had a note at the top, stating they didn’t see the big deal. I do. I have discovered most of my favorite blogs that are about feminism are written by People of Color. I am also aware of my white privilege. I wasn’t always but, I must address this chain letter. The letter will be in red, my responses will be in black.

So very sad, but so very true. I am not a racist….I am an American. I am very proud of my ethnicity, as all should be in this melting pot we call our home. But if we are all “equal” why is it that these comments are so true today???

Just how are these statements true? Why do we need labels for each culture that has been added to this melting pot? (Insert required fondu joke here)

Something to think about. . .

This e-mail does contain wording that is meant to express an open opinion to a major problem in the USA . It is estimated that only 11% of those receiving this e-mail will read it all the way to the end. In addition, it is estimated that only 1% of non-white color will read this past this point and 99% will blow it away because of the title. It is a shame this sentiment exists when we tell the world that the USA is the best place to Live, Worship, Work, and Play.

Very bogus statistics. Any time you estimate a percentage without any numbers to work with, it is meant to cause a reaction. I see this with doctors even, trying to ignore rare diseases. It is only rare most of the time, due to a lack of acknowledgment. We tell the world the USA is the best place, but, we live here so of course we will try and seem tough and good. I often see the USA as a little kid throwing a tantrum. If I could immigrate to somewhere I would. Not every person in the USA worships either.

“WHITE ” Pride”

White Privilege.

This is great. I have been wondering about why Whites are racists, and no other race is…..

Plenty of other races are. Every human has the capacity to be racist.

Proud to be White

Michael Richards makes his point………….. Michael Richards better known as Kramer from TVs Seinfeld does make a good point.

He does?

This was his defense speech in court after making racial comments in his comedy act. He makes some very interesting points…

He verbally attacked a man in the audience based on race, because he was heckled. As a public performer I know better, as do most. There was no excuse for his outburst. He could have used any other word.

Someone finally said it. How many are actually paying attention to this? There are African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Arab Americans, etc.

ETC? You want to label people, just to enhance your privilege. That is what I see from this.

And then there are just Americans. You pass me on the street and sneer in my direction. You call me ‘White boy,’ ‘Cracker,’ ‘Honkey,’ ‘Whitey,’ ‘Caveman’… and that’s OK.

No it is not okay. Every citizen of the United States is JUST an American. It is your own racism that is showing as you write this out. My friend who just became a citizen after immigrating is still JUST AN AMERICAN.

It is never acceptable to use racist terms against any person. I also do not know of Caveman being used against whites. I have heard it used against Persons of Color, predominantly those of African descent.

But when I call you, Kike, Towel head, Camel Jockey, Beaner, or Chink .. You call me a racist.

If you call someone those names, you are a racist. I am white too bub, you are being racist.

You say that whites commit a lot of violence against you…. so why are the ghettos the most dangerous places to live?

Whites do a lot of racial profiling in order to further their white privilege. Ghettos are not the most dangerous places to live, in reality they are dangerous yes, but only due to the negligence, police profiling and poverty. You will now likely argue that poverty is a choice. I never chose to be disabled or poor, to have to fight for my right to buy cheese. Neither did they. It is much harder to get a job if you are not a white man. You have privilege. Deal with it.

You have the United Negro College Fund. You have Martin Luther King Day.

We have pretty much every other holiday on the map, and we white folk also have most other scholarships. We too share Martin Luther King JR day. Do you think that the entirety of Black History has no white men in it? Are you really going to claim that the Civil Rights movement had nothing to do with white folk? Some marched with our friends who happen to be of color.

You have Black History Month. You have Cesar Chavez Day.

We have White History Year.

You have Yom Hashoah. You have Ma’uled Al-Nabi.

Again, we have white history year.

You have the NAACP. You have BET… If we had WET (White Entertainment Television), we’d be racists. If we had a White Pride Day, you would call us racists.

We have White Pride year, we have ABC, NBC, HBO, CBS, and every other network out there for what we want. A lot of lily white people on my TV. Not all of them as talented as some of the folks on BET.

If we had White History Month, we’d be racists.

Again? Are you running out of ways to show your privilege? White history year. Every history class focuses on white white white history. I barely heard of the civil rights movement in school. I only learned it happened because one of my teachers happened to be a PoC. I am glad for that because my education would be even more incomplete.

If we had any organization for only whites to ‘advance’ OUR lives, we’d be racists.

The GOP comes to mind. As does Wall Street, oh wait, Harvard!

We have a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, a Black Chamber of Commerce, and then we just have the plain Chamber of Commerce. Wonder who pays for that??

From what I recall, chambers of commerce sprang up out of a need. The local Hispan@ chamber of commerce came up because the white boys wouldn’t let the persons of hispanic descent in. We pay for it, because we also refuse to share.

A white woman could not be in the Miss Black American pageant, but any color can be in the Miss America pageant.

A disabled person cannot enter the Miss America pageant. It is inaccessible. Even white disabled people. I have no issue with Miss Latin@ America, Miss Black America, or even Miss Fat America. They all exist. If we limit ourselves to one choice for everything, it does not circumvent our privilege and continues the absolutely obvious racism.

If we had a college fund that only gave white students scholarships… You know we’d be racists.

We used to. Most Ivy League schools qualify. We are pretty darned racist.

There are over 60 openly proclaimed Black Colleges in the US . Yet if there were ‘White colleges’, that would be a racist college.

Did you forget about SEGREGATION? A lot of people get illegally denied access to education based on skin color. I am all for the underclassed, non white, or non male having a leg up. It’s called EQUALITY. You claim you want it but you are spewing racism.

In the Million Man March, you believed that you were marching for your race and rights. If we marched for our race and rights, you would call us racists.

A lot of different groups march for their rights. The disabled even do it. Do you really believe there were no non blacks in the Million Man March? What about the Suffragettes? These women were mostly white fighting for the right to vote. They marched. The White folk in this country already have their rights, it is not about taking from you. It is about making certain that everyone has an equal opportunity.

You are proud to be black, brown, yellow and orange, and you’re not afraid to announce it. But when we announce our white pride, you call us racists.

I am proud of who I am, my ancestry is a part of that. This does not mean that as the ruling race, I have the right to expect those who have been dominated, abused, and beaten to not find pride in themselves when a large part of the American Culture is to try and devalue their race.

You rob us, carjack us, and shoot at us. But, when a white police officer shoots a black gang member or beats up a black drug dealer running from the law and posing a threat to society, you call him a racist.

The phrasing on this implies that only persons of color commit crimes. A lot of white people car jack, murder, and beat on one another. Violence with in race is often very high. This includes white people. Not every black person who is shot is guilty, in a gang, or a drug dealer on the run. Not all people of color are posing threats to society. Nor is every white cop going to racial profile. Do you deny that beating a person who is already in cuffs is appropriate? Denying the wrongs that happen does not make the rights apparent.

Why is it that only whites can be racists??

Delusion. If only white people could be racists then, the world would be very different.

There is nothing improper about this e-mail. Let’s see which of you are proud enough to send it on. I sadly don’t think many will.. That’s why we have LOST most of OUR RIGHTS in this country. We won’t stand up for ourselves!

We have lost most of our rights? Since when? Do you mean that enslaving other races is just fine? Do you mean that denying innocent victims is fine? What about segregation? It sure sounds like that is what you want. I am white. I am also aware that being white means I am automatically given more respect than a person of color. We white people have not lost our rights. This letter is a reaction to the fear of losing your power over another culture, race, or religion. There is a lot wrong with this letter, as you can see.

Why is it alright for us to stand up for our rights but if a group of women, disabled, persons of color, or even Gays, Lesbians, Transgendered Persons, or any mixture of the above do, your rights are suddenly going to vanish. Why is a culture and society advancing towards the elusive goal of equality so hard? Why do you see nothing wrong with trying to be aware of white privilege? I am a womanist. I am a white person. I have all my rights. Check under the couch for yours.

BE PROUD TO BE WHITE!

I would rather be proud to not be a bigot, I would rather be proud to be aware of my privilege, and I would rather be proud to look someone in the eye and see that they are a person not a threat.

It’s not a crime YET… but getting very close!

Congress, Most of Obama’s cabinet, and the Senate…. most of them are white. Why would they make it illegal to be white? Are you insane? I think you are.

It is estimated that ONLY 5% of those reaching this point in this e-mail, will pass it on.

It is estimated that ONLY 95% of people reading this letter and reaching this point have not deleted it because it is completely inappropriate, incorrect, and full of racist, white male patriarchial, and white privileged propaganda.

I do not understand the need to defend a racist action. This is the same as blaming the victim for being beaten, raped, or saying someone deserved to be murdered. What ever you believe, at times it is wise to question it. This can shake the foundations of your reality. It can also make you a better person.

I remember reading this letter several years ago. I was fresh into my legal adult status, and I felt things. Disgust mostly. I feared it was true, and realized upon a small bit of research that this was fake. I deleted it and asked the person who originally sent it to me to please go away and not talk to me anymore. My moment of realization caused some over reaction, but, I became aware of the Isms, the discrimination of others.

I had yet to taste it for myself. I post this here, and I welcome you to share THIS version of the letter, if you so desire.

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6 Comments

  1. I love your version! I’m so glad I found your blog because I love the way you write. 🙂

    It amazes me that people say things like this. I am proud of my (lily white) heritage but I refuse to be offended that there might be places where it isn’t reflected back to me like the person who wrote this letter and the people who pass it on. I also have no need to be proud of my skin color because no one ever suggests that I shouldn’t be. I have no need to be proud of my skin color because I have the distinctly white privilege of being able to be treated as an individual, separate from other people of the same race as me.

  2. Thank you.

    I also can’t quite wrap my head around it. How much denial do you have to have in order to believe that white people are altruistic saints to that level? I have trouble believing such people exist, even after knowing some personally.

  3. OK, so we have this entity called White Privilege-so answer these questions for me.

    1. who decides which privilege is based on color/ethnic origin?
    2. how many so-called white privileges are there?
    3. how can a white person get rid of a privilege that a poc has as well?
    4. when white people have no more privileges who will have the privileges?
    5. many poc’s in other countries have numerous privileges-do they have white privilege?
    6. how do you seperate privilege from advantage, skill, luck, ability or education?
    7. if white people won’t give up their privilege’s what should pocs do? (I would not advise home visits).

  4. 1. who decides which privilege is based on color/ethnic origin?
    The privilege of color is created by the ruling class, enforced through certain behaviors and stigmatization of other ethnic groups. There are myriad examples of this created daily. This privilege isn’t always color, it can be able bodied privilege, ignoring the disabled person in a wheelchair because you do not want them to exist, it can exist as gender privilege, not only pushing down women, but also those who are not Cisgendered.

    2. how many so-called white privileges are there?
    I am not sure how many different privileges there are, however, I am of the opinion that each is actually a facet of the same problem, prejudice against any perceived otherness and a demonetization of the humans who are not carbon copies of what is expected.
    3. how can a white person get rid of a privilege that a poc has as well? You can never truly be rid of your privilege, however, you can become aware of your privilege and the effect it has through many methods, primarily education and self awareness. You might still fall into the trap of privilege, but putting effort out to act with the purpose of equality and to embrace those who do not have the same bags of privilege you do is a huge help. I recommend Womanist Musings ( http://www.womanist-musings.com/ ) for further reading on privilege itself, there are a lot of very informative articles, which can give more indepth answers than I have for you. I am still learning about my privilege, as are most people.
    4. when white people have no more privileges who will have the privileges? The goal isn’t to address just white privilege, the goal is to address all privilege, so that there is no privilege. When the privilege fades, we will live in a world of equality. This means that if you are a Person of Color and you are barbequing in your yard, you won’t get shot and evidence won’t be planted because surely you deserve to die based on skin color. This happens often, and it should stop. This means too, that Universal Design will become a prominent feature, instead of a rarity. This would mean of course that able bodied privilege would fade, as people discover the ease with which accommodation is possible.
    5. many poc’s in other countries have numerous privileges-do they have white privilege? Perhaps another term that would apply in those countries would be Dominant Privilege, or Dominant Culture Privilege.
    6. how do you seperate privilege from advantage, skill, luck, ability or education? By creating truly equal opportunities for all. Although true equality may never exist, creating a universal education system that is effective, offering training to everyone despite class or the amount of money they have, and opening the world up to some of the underclass and underprivileged we can make a difference. If we ignore those living in poverty, those who have been denied access to education, the problem feeds on itself. In some ways privilege is inseparable from those advantages, as it is in the teachings of society to give to the rich and take from the poor.
    7. if white people won’t give up their privilege’s what should pocs do? (I would not advise home visits). There are a lot of efforts to educate going around. If people do not let go of their privilege, then, education is necessary. If you educate people and use nonviolence the message will get out. Martin Luther King Jr used those tactics, and since we are discussing this based mainly in the realm of skin color privilege, he directly tried to educate against this. There have been changes in this country (US) and the world based on the efforts of PoC, educating, fighting for their civil rights, and the fight must continue. Jim Crow laws are no longer on the books, which is progress. Removing the legal right to discriminate has given time for the generations to create a gap based on privilege and how it is addressed.

    I hope this helps, please ask more questions if you have them. I will find the answer if I do not have it.

    Kat

  5. I usually don’t receive such an excellent clarification regarding the concept of privilege. I will have to give your responses some thought before I reply.

  6. That is a shame, I felt my response lacked some things, but, please ask more questions if you have them. I am glad for the chance to educate and learn that this discussion offers.

    Kat


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