I recently read this study finding that white people in the US believe that they face more racism and oppression than black people, even though there are no statistics or proof of any kind to back this up. It’s really gotten to the point where white people are complaining about being discriminated against despite the evidence of white privilege that they live in every single goddamn day.
Are you serious? Are you high? Are you fucking kidding me?
Being white I have some particular insight into why white people are so insistent that they’re actually the ones being discriminated against even though the opposite is true. First off, white people don’t recognize white privilege. It’s how they’ve always lived, it’s how they’ve always been treated. They have no idea what it’s like to be a person of color and have no idea what it’s like to face actual discrimination and live in the shadow of a history of oppression. So the mindset becomes that privilege is normalcy. This is the first problem.
Then there’s a general lack of empathy. I find that this is pervasive throughout just about every topic in the world. Someone presents their experiences and point of view, someone reads/sees/hears it and dismisses it because it’s not their point of view. The experiences of non-whites are outside of white person’s experiences and therefore can’t be valid or even considered because if it didn’t happen to me then it might as well have not happened at all.
The next problem is that whenever racial oppression is brought up white people seem to have reached a place where they’re tired of feeling left out of the conversation. It’s gotten to where white people are so determined to make conversations about race about them that they created a conversation that doesn’t have any basis in reality. Then there are assholes like the reporters on Fox News who rush to assure white people that they have a valuable voice to add to conversations about people of color and tell them that the truth is that white people are the new black people.
Even people who don’t watch Fox News and don’t believe any of the bullshit they usually spew still have the idea implanted that white people face the same, if not worse, discrimination and treatment than their peers with different melanin in their skin. This leads to taking shit entirely too seriously.
I’ve seen white people claim that being called a “cracker” is the same as a black person being called the N word. And it’s not. The term cracker has a short history and no oppression behind it. The N word has both a long history and a loaded meaning. It’s no longer a word anymore. Cracker is still a word. But without knowing what real oppression is like, without knowing what real discrimination is like, it’s all too easy to take the word “cracker” and create inequality.
All of these elements combine and BAM! Whites are discriminated against and people of color are the oppressive majority who are cruelly treating us like less than people when we couldn’t help being born white. It’s a bit like a Victoria’s Secret model talking about how people discriminate against her because she’s just so beautiful and what a victim of her own pulchritudinousness she is.
Unfortunately, without empathy, compassion and a healthy dose of reality, there isn’t much to be done about bullshit white people. I know because I used to be one and nothing would have convinced me that I was wrong. Only reading about the experiences of nonwhites, particularly other women, and learning about what life is like for people who don’t share my privilege have I learned just how well off I am. We all have problems, no matter what color we are, but race, for white people living in America, is not one of them.