So the Huffington Post has decided to write “an open letter to white men in America”. Nothing new or revolutionary here. Just the usual “you all have undeserved privilege based on your skin tone and should feel bad about it” nonsense, that seems to be springing up more and more frequently. Just how much longer can they push this bullshit, before people realise the obvious reality that white people are in actuality, the most discriminated against race in the world?
Dear White Men,
You are persons of privilege.
You didn’t earn it. More than likely aren’t yet prepared to either admit to it or lose it. This letter, written by one of you, is offered to invite you on a journey of insight, honesty, hard truth and just living.
Well we’re off to a nice start. Apparently, because the author is “one of us” that means he can speak for us, and automatically gives him the right to project his own sense of privilege onto the rest of us.
Privilege can be hard to see, mostly because of what doesn’t happen to us when we have it.
Interesting theory. Clearly American blacks aren’t able to see their own privileges.
One of the four reasons James Cone offers in his landmark essay “Theology’s Great Sin: Silence in the Face of White Supremacy” for why men of privilege remain silent in the face of so much racial injustice is: “They don’t have to speak.”
We aren’t getting arrested at four times our population rate.
Hmm, is he suggesting that innocent blacks are just being arrested for no reason, while guilty whites are being allowed to go free? Ok, first of all, lets look at the racial demographics of America.
In 2010, whites made up 64.6% of the overall population. Blacks made up 12.3% of the population. Latinos, made up 16.1%. The combined white/Latino percentage is 80.7%. This is important to remember, because in FBI crime statistics, Latinos are counted as “white” when they commit crimes, even though they are regarded as a completely different racial group whenever they are victims of some injustice, or are campaigning for their group interests (for example, having their own Latino Student Unions, and lobby group, La Raza). Essentially, they get to have their crimes attributed to the white population, without being made to feel as if they benefit from so called “white privilege”
Anyway, now that that is out of the way, lets compare the percentages of crimes committed by blacks and whites/Latinos from just two years after that demographic information was taken.
So, blacks commit 28.1 of all the crimes in America, despite making up only 12.3% of the population, whereas whites and Latinos combined commit 69.3% of the crimes, despite making up a combined total of of 80.7% of the population. also, I guarantee that a large part of that percentage could be attributed to the Latino part who (if incarceration rates are any indicator) commit far more crime per capita than whites. Gee, maybe that’s why blacks are getting arrested so much more than whites. They commit far more crimes.
We aren’t being followed when walking through a department store wearing a sweat shirt with a hood.
See above for the reasons why this happens.
Real estate agencies didn’t write codes, rules and laws that kept us out of the high rent districts and middle class neighborhoods.
Well lucky enough, Obama plans to rectify this with his insane forced diversity idea. It doesn’t matter that those middle class neighborhoods exist, because the people who live there have middle class levels of income. Obama plans to force change, whether it’s fair or not.
Property values don’t go down when more than 10 percent of our neighborhood is saturated with people of our race.
Yeah, I’m sure it’s only because the markets have blind hatred for your skin colour. It has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that you have a habit of destroying the areas you live in.
Yeah, property prices obviously just decline because of hatred for your skin tone, and has absolutely nothing to do with how you effect the area.
Our children aren’t sitting in classrooms with teachers who are likely not to have even a minor degree in the courses they are teaching.
I don’t know enough about this issue to address it, so rather than trying to BS my way through, I’ll admit my ignorance on this topic. Pretending to know what I’m talking about would drag me down to the level of those I’m opposed to.
Young white men are not being gunned down by black police officers in epidemic numbers.
Yet more whites are shot by cops than blacks. You never hear about any of those cases in the media though, yet practically every single time a black person is shot by a cop, it’s a global news story. You could of course argue that per capita, more blacks are killed than whites, and that would indeed be true. However, if you consider how much more crime they also commit per capita, that means that they’re naturally going to be in conflict with law enforcement more often. Hence, it all balances out in the end. It still doesn’t explain why their deaths get so much more attention, when whites are supposedly the more privileged group, and therefore the ones, whose deaths should invoke more outrage. No, that certainly doesn’t fit the narrative at all.
Our churches aren’t being burned to the ground, nor or our church members in danger of being gunned down in prayer meetings.
That one church shooting by that one white nut was certainly a terrible crime, and I condemn it as such. However, look on the bright side… you’re still experiencing much less cases of interracial violence than we are.
We are not saying to ourselves as part of a white man’s code of conduct that when a police car drives by us without pulling us over even though we are exceeding the speed limit something like: “Well, once again I didn’t get pulled over because I’m white.”
Stupid anecdotal nonsense. Means absolutely nothing. Next point.
We are not saying to ourselves when our child didn’t get her college application rejected with a questionable GPA something like: “Well, thank God she’s white and that her mother graduated from that school 25 years ago.”
Thank goodness for affirmative action giving you the leg up instead then, right?
We are not saying to ourselves when the prosecutor reduces our son’s charges from aggravated assault to loitering and sets him free with a small fine and time served: “Wow, that white prosecutor made sure my white son got a break that the black man who got convicted of that crime last week didn’t get.”
Examples of this happening?
The journey to seeing and understanding the pernicious consequences of privilege includes the harder work of seeing what isn’t there to be seen.
I have started practicing this as a discipline.
When I walk into a convenience store to get a receipt for my gas and the young woman at the counter greets me with a smile and a kind word, I tell myself “She felt comfortable doing that because I’m white.”
Or maybe she’s just providing good customer service.
When I see a highway patrolman pass me by while I’m exceeding the speed limit or, as actually happened two weeks ago, I get pulled over for that and let off without a ticket, I say to myself: “That happened because I’m white.”
Or maybe you were just polite with them so they decided to let it slide. I’m sure if you acted like a dick and started mouthing off at the cops, it would have been a different story.
When I drive through the many border checkpoints we have set up here in the Southwest along the Mexican border, and as I roll down my window and make my stop at the guard gate, and as the border patrol agent simply glances at my face before waging me on with a perfunctory “have a good day,” I say to myself: “That is the result of my being white.”
You might actually be right in this case. I’m sure when they’re doing border checks along Mexico, they’re specifically looking out for Latinos trying to cross the border illegally. Obviously, there are white Mexicans too, but they aren’t as large a demographic as Latinos, hence, it’s probably not worth the effort to target every white person they see. However, congratulations. You’ve finally made a valid point.
I don’t know in the end if any of those were in fact true statements. That isn’t the point of this exercise. The point is to create a consciousness from which I can no longer let myself escape.
This is starting to remind me of something.
“It was real…in my mind”
I want to be clear about something. This solves nothing. I can notice, and still be happy and content with the privilege I am afforded.
I want to be clear about something else. Whatever solutions are going to come that we ourselves will offer the agency of our privilege for aren’t coming without this basic awareness.
When I taught White Privilege studies to a class of Masters of Divinity students at Eden Theological Seminary, the assignment I left the students with every day was this: “Tell me what you see.” There is a passage in my sacred texts that reads: “Let those who have eyes to see, see.” There is so much more to be seen than what white men will let there eyes take notice of.
I invite the white men of America with me on this journey of discovery. Ask those who don’t share your privilege to tell you what they see. It may not have escaped your attention that whether we are talking about Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, what whites see and what blacks see are not the same thing. There is a reason for that. Privilege comes at a price — and the price is the loss of a vision that admits facts that make accepting the privilege uncomfortable.
Therefore, I extend an invitation to a seeing that engenders the kind of discomfort with privilege that creates the space necessary for real justice to emerge. Don’t worry about carrying the burden of solving this pervasive injustice: for good reason, you and I won’t be entrusted with that work. But only when we see what others are more than happy to show us about ourselves will we be open then to hearing what they have to teach us about what will be required for true equality to emerge.
The acceptance of this invitation, and the resulting years of work it will take us all to open our eyes to that we have been conditioned to ignore for the sake of our privilege, is the first step in the proverbial journey of a thousand miles. White men in America, I invite you to walk this road with me.
I may not be American, but I’ll tell you what I think any sane white man there should say to you. Go fuck yourself and save your invitations for the pathetic self hating manginas who your propaganda still works on. Those of us who know what’s really happening are not interested.