Manipulative racists started the phrase “White Privilege” in an attempt to redirect anger for very real problems that do exist in black culture, but they did it to serve an agenda. That agenda is to misinform the black culture from where the actual problem originates.
Indulge me and lets take a look back in history, not that far back, I’m talking about the 1990’s. There were two major movements that defined the 1990s. There was 1. an acknowledgement from youth of all colors that a problem exists. We learned about it as we listened to a very informative gangsta rap movement which opened our eyes to issues most white culture did not know existed. The music and lyrics saturated the radio airways. We heard anger which was rightfully directed towards a corrupt system created by corrupt politicians, a corporate system that is designed to suppress those they feel are too lazy to overcome the obstacles they deliberately created to prevent upward movement, and law enforcement who routinely abuse their badges. We heard you. We understood you. We agreed with you. Then there was 2. A peaceful integration lead by the 1990s youth.
In the 1990’s I remember smiling as I watched all races intermixing. There was a lot of love. There was a lot of peace. There was a lot of acceptance. Blacks and whites were best friends, lovers and family. I remember thinking, “Finally! They’re doing it! This generation is getting it right!”. When a horrific situation of racism was displayed to the white population we were thankful that, “It’s almost over. That old generation is dying off and we are now a united majority”. We held our breaths together.
Then something happened. I don’t know who, why or where but like wildfire it spread. Black men entertaining themselves by using the threat of brawn to intimidate. Suddenly there was a rising of angry black men who would not hesitate to look at an older white woman and wind back as if to throw a punch. It happened to my grandmother. It happened to my mother. It happened to me. When it happened to me I did not flinch. The young black man who intended to intimidate me asked me why I didn’t flinch and why I wasn’t scared. I told him, “because I am capable of killing you with one punch”, which I am. I have always lived alone so I learned advance self defense skills. I’ve never actually tested those moves and I hope I never have to but this doesn’t define the feelings of safety of other women who don’t have my abilities and have experienced repeated aggressive behavior by black men. He smiled at me in appreciation because I wasn’t afraid of him. To him it meant I was his ally. To me, it made him my enemy.
The movement of black men using intimidation and the threat of violence didn’t stop until P. Diddy/Puff Daddy/Sean Combs made an appearance on Oprah. I’m pretty sure it was probably two separate shows but I can’t remember, either way, both topics were centered around race issues. The thing I remember most about the two segments, and I do believe this is the way it was intended to be remembered by Oprah, was that Oprah said to her audience, “I want you to look around the room and find a person you would most like to sit next to, and do it”. After everyone was in place in their new seat, Oprah turned her attention to a young black man who chose to sit next to an elder white woman who appeared to be dressed in luxury brand clothing. Oprah asked the young man why he chose this woman. He said, “because usually when women similar to this see me coming, they clutch their purse, refuse to make eye contact, and rush past me”. Oprah then asked the elder white woman how she felt about the young black man choosing her. She smiled. She said something to the effect that she was happy that he chose her and she welcomed him because it showed his intentions were positive. At the end of the segment I quote P. Diddy/Puff Daddy/Sean Combs who looked straight into the camera and said, “Oh hey guys, quit scaring the little old white ladies”. He sneered, chuckled and shook his head in a no motion. That seemed to end it but the damage had already been done. The “Induce Fear” movement had already successfully convinced white America (especially women) that black men are to be feared because they are dangerous and capable of violence.
Guess what? We get it. We understand. Most of us forgive.. but with caution. Hollywood, since it’s beginning, is guilty of demonizing black and brown skin. I grew up believing that anyone from the middle east is evil and black men are criminals. Add the “Fear Movement” to a world who has already been taught wrongly, and we’ve wiped away all of the love, peace and integration our 1990s youth were so wonderfully bringing the world.
I was once part of the middle class culture and well on my way to upper middle class. Between the corporate greed culture and political corruption (and other dark forces I will not cloud this article with), I am now a member of the poverty class. I am white. I have no privilege outside of food stamps which were promptly taken away at the hands of one black female social worker who deliberately did not send me necessary paperwork, and deliberately omitted telling me necessary information that was needed to do to obtain my hand up. She admitted to doing it and she was promptly fired. She blamed me for her job loss and called me a snotty white bitch. It was actually another black social worker who caught the mistake while speaking with me on the phone to try and figure out why I am living on less than $11k/year but am being denied a hand up while I do the hustle every day for 7 days a week to pull myself out of my situation.
I do not have the privilege of any kind of assistance. I ended up living in my car for 4 months and when my friend found out, I moved into his spare bathroom. All of the belongings I was able to save were stored next to the toilet and I slept on a couch. For 20+ years I paid federal and state taxes but for those two years, when I needed it the most, I was not entitled to my state or federal held funds, which I paid for in the form of taxes, for the assistance I needed, which is part of what taxation is supposed to be used for. To this day I am still tax exempt because I was never able to claim what should have been rightfully mine to help pull myself out from under. I fail to see where I am privileged.
As a result of my utter despair, I turned to alcohol. I got in the car and I drove. I got caught. My only privilege at that moment was that I had the right to remain silent, which is what I did but I got my ass beat anyway. Sound familiar?
A black female deputy greeted me at the jail. Still exercising my privilege to remain silent, she looked at me and yelled, “Are you lost little girl? Lets get this out the way right now. This ain’t the Marriott and I ain’t yo bellhop”. She walked over to me and stood facing me from the side. She grabbed me by the back of the neck and threw me towards the inside of the jail where I, with my hands in cuffs behind my back, went flying chest first onto the linoleum floor, slid across the floor and crashed into a wall face first. I was then thrown into a cell and strip searched for the fact that I had a ring on my finger that over time I was not able to remove. I had been wearing it since I was a young adult and I was now a fully matured adult. It stayed on my finger as my hands grew. I ended up with permanent nerve damage at c-1/ c-2 spine. To this day my left hand and my right foot do not function properly. Broward County Jail, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I fail to see where my white privilege served me here.
While I was being beat up, completely naked, spinning around the floor and being punched and kicked by several officers, one arm up in the air as they threatened to cut off my finger, I continued to remain silent because I knew if anything came out of my mouth it would only get worse. How did I know? Because I could hear the cries and screams of a full grown black man in the holding cell next to me. The difference between my beating and his beating was that his was worse because he continued to call them names, to spit and taunt them, he tried to fight back and brought on a whole new beast to the already pumped up cops who were beating him. I think it’s safe to say that in that moment, our privileges were the same. After being bailed out of jail I obtained the arrest report. I had an additional charge on top of my DUI. “Assault on a Law Enforcement officer”. Now, considering that my hands were behind my back and I was silent, common sense tells us that because I was injured someone had to protect them self by falsifying documents. Does this sound familiar?
I believe law enforcement have come to expect our differences in the way we handled our beatings and allow it to define who we are. Remember, police operate on the system that, “If you’re not one of us, you’re one of them”. There are only two responses and two outcomes when dealing with police when you aren’t one of them. One is to keep your mouth shut and forfeit your rights or you can instigate trouble, fall back on the, “Fear Movement” and fight for your rights. The later as we all know will get you killed. It’s your privilege to make that choice and to understand that because I am white, I am not to blame for our two very different beatings. While there may be such a thing as #privilegetooperateabovethelaw, there’s also the very real fact that you have created a reputation to precede you, and while I admire the momentum of your #whiteprivilege hashtag, the fact is, I am not, nor is an entire race of people like me, your oppressor(s). I am a survivor right next to you. WE are victims of corrupt politicians who allow corporate culture and a banking system to manipulate, steal and pat each others backs as they congratulate themselves with each million earned as the 10s of thousands of people like you and me are powerless to go after it and get it back. WE are victims of corrupt law enforcement fraternities who have the ability to falsify the truth to cover their abuses. If I or you did what the real oppressors are doing, we’d be in jail. We are being oppressed by the same demons. They are using your anger to justify their ability to have the #privilegetooperateabovethelaw.
Fact: WE are all victims of a corrupt legal system who reviews the above cases and conveniently decide that the officers involved had acted appropriately and within the law. #privilegetooperateabovethelaw
We also share the same privilege of word manipulation by the media. YOU believe the “Free-trade” agreement represents the American qualities of freedom to give ourselves a hand up but I know that this agreement was created for only those it benefits and have the #privilegetooperateabovethelaw. It is the reason we are short on jobs, short on cash, short on paying the cost of living, and why our anger grows TOGETHER as our hunger pangs increase and we don’t seem to be making headway no matter how hard we hustle to overcome.
We need change. This is evident but let’s do it the right way! Change #whiteprivilege to #privilegetooperateabovethelaw, otherwise, we’re only going to continue to escalate your racial tensions, especially in our youth. Stop poisoning our youth with such toxic words.
No one should not have to defend them self based on the color of their skin any more than you should. The white race is WITH you and we support you but you make it difficult for us to hang in there with you when you demonize us.
There will always be prejudice. There will always be people who work against you, against me, against anyone with brown, black, red, white, orange, purple skin. It comes from each and every one of us. Don’t turn your supporters into your enemies. It’s not a white race or white privilege that is against you. What is against you is being apathetic to fight a culture that has the #privilegetooperateabovethelaw.