I ran across the Privilege challenge on Facebook. A friend posted it, and I took a minute to watch it. I ended up with 4/10 fingers still up. Not bad for a minority.
In case you think this is just some liberal thing, I actually found this reported on Fox News with a link to the video when I searched.
I recognize in many cases I don’t put myself in positions that would get me into trouble. I’m cautious and conservative by nature, and I don’t go out late, don’t make disturbances or trouble, and am very careful when traveling. I think about where I go and when.
Because I have to. Not because I want to, but because it potentially could get me into trouble.
Not likely to, but could. I do actively have this in mind.
I’ve slipped into the white American world for much of my life. My Mom is white, I’ve been economically successful, I tried to blend in, and I try to pass. As a result, I’ve been in conversations and situations where whites, law enforcement, those in power, etc. have denigrated or actively abused people of color or women.
I worked in a bar where the police were often used to harass, prevent entry to, or expel blacks. Why? Prejudice. I’m somewhat embarrassed I didn’t stand up for others. It felt bad, but I was looking out for myself. Police were happy to comply and complain about and support, the desire to discriminate.
I’ve been in discussions with management where they were against hiring minorities. Often when we get down to the last 2-3 candidates, I’ve heard discussions that we should pick the white man because he fits in better than the colored person or woman.
I’m privileged in many ways. I’m a man, I’m financially successful, and I act and speak in a way that fits in with what’s expected in the US. Maybe one other thing that stands out to me is my name. No prejudice often when someone gets a note from me or sees my name in print.
I’m also not so privileged in some ways. I am a person of color. I’ve been harassed by government officials. I’ve had people give me poor looks, step away, or refuse to touch me. I’ve had people drop change on a surface so as not to give it to me, when they didn’t do that to the person in front of me.
There could be other explanations for these situations, but collectively, they always serve to remind me that I’m different from many others.