Social: Privilege

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.

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2 Responses to Social: Privilege

  1. PrivilegeIsNotExclusiveToAnyRace says:

    As a white male who grew up in a very mixed area I grew up around a wide variety of ethnicity’s and because of my preference for the rap/soul culture I was often the minority in the group and because of this I very much experienced discrimination, not from those I hung out with but others in their circle who saw me with hate, called me cracker, made jest how no white boy had rhythm and thus couldn’t dance. I’ve also seen discrimination between darker and lighter skinned people of the same ethnicity.

    This so called Privileged Challenge is another attempt to stir anger between those of different races. The author may not call it Racial Privilege but every item she listed is something regularly attributed as being done by white people to non-white people.

    Discrimination is not something exclusive to white people but you’d never know this because the anti-white discrimination that goes on in other parts of the world is ignored in favor of focusing on only those that help drive friction between the races. This idea that somehow the vast majority of modern day privileged belongs solely to white people is non-sense and continued efforts to push this false narrative is only going to make things worse between the races, not better.

    Its your blog so you can post whatever you want but if you keep focusing on social issues when this is supposed to be a blog about all things SQL related then you’ll keep driving people away.


  2. way0utwest says:

    I tagged this specifically as social because some people don’t want to read these topics, however, you are welcome to leave and never come back or read anything I write.

    This in no way says that discrimination is only experienced by blacks or people of color. That’s your reading in this. In predominantly black, or Japanese, or any culture/ethnicity areas, there is discrimination against minorities there. You are commenting with the same distraction as “all lives matter”, in not looking to remotely discuss or address the issue i’m talking about.

    This isn’t try to imply there aren’t other issues, but that this is an issue. This doesn’t seek to divide, but highlight a divide that exists and ask that we reduce that privilege. There certainly is anger from people that have lack privilege in an area, but it seems more often than not, I find someone like you commenting with an implication this seeks to divide when it seeks to highlight the need to unite.

    I don’t see you noting that.


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