a thoughtful web.
Share good ideas and conversation.   Login or Take a Tour!
InfernalFangirl's badges
InfernalFangirl  ·  2175 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A Conversation With White People on Race  ·  

Alright I've been on Hubski less than a week but y'all seem like nice sensible people so I'd like to ask a question that I've been having problems with for awhile and I think it's because I haven't been able to have a sane conversation with someone about it that doesn't devolve into people getting defensive. I'm having problems with the concept of white privilege. Well...not problems. I get it in the Louis CK sense that if I got in a time machine right now and showed up anywhere in history with very few exceptions I would probably not be persecuted or enslaved (unless I happened to land in the Irish slavery part)....otherwise I'd probably just be told to sit down and shut up because I'm a woman. Ok. I get that and I respect that. Here's the part I get confused on.

The first time I heard the term "white privilege" thrown around (on reddit, surprise surprise) I asked what exactly the parameters were for white privileges and shared my experiences as some others were. I grew up poor in a reasonably sketchy neighborhood with lots of gang activity right on the US Mexico border. I got the crap beaten out of me regularly for being one of the only white girls in my class. I got asked to leave stores on two occasions because their "clothes weren't for hueras" (the general jist of it). I took shitty jobs, sometimes several at a time and sometimes things nobody wanted any part of and dragged my way through college. I didn't get anywhere I was going with my social connections and like lots of people I scratched and clawed my way to get where I am. And I immediately got shouted down as someone trying to deny their white privilege because I could've used it to improve my circumstances and I'm sitting there going, "How? How the hell was I supposed to improve anything about that situation by being white?" Meanwhile a guy I follow on Twitter was piled on about his white male privilege when he was half Asian and grew up so poor he had been living on donated food infested with ants, but again his human experiences came down to the color of his skin and his gender with everything else taken out of the equation.

So I guess what I'm curious about is...well not so much "how am I privileged" because once again, I get in a time machine and I won't find myself in a crappy situation more than likely, but where does socio-economic privilege come into this whole matrix of privilege? Because I hear people talking about white privilege and male privilege and all these other privileges but you ask about socio-economic and they go mum. I've had frustrated friends point out it's usually "trust fund scholars who majored in gender studies" saying all this so they're uncomfortable with the socio-economic aspect themselves, but I don't think that's it.

I'm hoping someone can have a discussion with me about his because I'd really like to understand it, and it frustrates me to a degree (probably because I've seen too much of the ridiculous radical stuff on Tumblr). Yes I know, it's not your job to educate me but give me a push here or something.