Friday, March 30, 2012

A White Person's Guide to Recognizing Privilege

1. When, as a teenager, my friends and I wear ridiculous clothes, style our hair into something that looks like a health code violation, listen to awful music, and generally make asses of ourselves, adults around us will just shake their heads and say "Those dumb kids. They'll learn."

2. When I throw a temper tantrum and quit every job I ever have in my twenties, I know that I can go out the next day and get a new one without breaking a sweat.

3. I can go to the store and neither the employees nor the security guard will follow me around unless they are trying to help me find something (or hitting on me, but we'll save that for the male privilege post).

4. If I go to the store with no makeup on and my hair yanked up in a clip, people will assume I've been at the gym or working in my yard, not that I am a crack whore.

5. When I move into a nice neighborhood, my neighbors will be friendly or, at worst, indifferent, as long as my grass gets cut and I don't put a couch on the front porch.

6. When I go to a restaurant, the servers will not automatically try to get someone else to take the table unless I am wearing overalls and it isn't 1997.

7. I can say things like "Color doesn't matter. I don't even see color" with a straight face because of course I don't have to think about color. I'm white!

8. When my teenage son walks through the neighborhood (in a hoodie), I don't worry that he will attract the attention of police or hostile neighborhood watch people.

9. And if, god forbid, my child were murdered by a stranger with a record of violent and paranoid behavior, no one would try to say it was his fault and his known killer would not walk away scott free.