15 September 2008
this is your nation on white privilege, tim wise
For those who still can’t grasp the concept of white privilege, or who are constantly looking for some easy-to-understand examples of it, perhaps this list will help.
White privilege is when you can get pregnant at seventeen like Bristol Palin and everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of your family is a personal matter, and that no one has a right to judge you or your parents, because “every family has challenges,” even as black and Latino families with similar “challenges” are regularly typified as irresponsible, pathological and arbiters of social decay.
White privilege is when you can call yourself a “fuckin’ redneck,” like Bristol Palin’s boyfriend does, and talk about how if anyone messes with you, you'll “kick their fuckin' ass,” and talk about how you like to “shoot shit” for fun, and still be viewed as a responsible, all-American boy (and a great son-in-law to be) rather than a thug.
White privilege is being able to be a gun enthusiast and not make people immediately scared of you.
White privilege is being able to fire people who didn’t support your political campaigns and not be accused of abusing your power or being a typical politician who engages in favoritism, while being black and merely knowing some folks from the old-line political machines in Chicago means you must be corrupt.
i guess i like it when someone takes all my disjointed frustrations and incredulity, and gives them a good shake, and they all fall into the little notches of a framework i've fallen away from because i've gotten too bogged down in the smallness of my life and of manufactured discourse. the pieces were all there in my head but i let self-absorbed political narrative, and annoyance with it, crowd out the capacity to take a step back and see what's really going on.
however: i am still frustrated that palin's children, her oldest daughter especially, have been so aggressively made into ciphers for everything about her.
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