Bet Ya Don’t Read the Entire Blog Post!

Did you see this photo? 

Angela Peoples is holding the sign. Photo by @afroCHuBBZ

Now before you get all defensive, let’s keep it 100% here. The current president garnered 53% of the white woman vote. That’s despite his comments about grabbing women by the pussy (Saying the word pussy is the reason some women have used to dis the march. If our president can be vulgar, why can’t women?). That’s despite his total disrespect for women. Oh, but he hires women. Yeah, he does. Most misogynists do, because they like the feeling of power, and they feel they can pay us a lot less.

But I’m not here to talk about him. I want to talk about white privilege. Trump is in office because, I believe, he told a bunch of white people we are better than everyone else and should be treated as such, and a lot of us believed him.

White privilege is, “…a transparent preference for whiteness that saturates our society.” (from the Teaching Tolerance website) When I was a kid, the flesh colored crayon was a peachy color, as were bandages and pantyhose. The president was white. The governor was white. The preacher was white. Everybody on TV was white. And I was white and saw nothing unusual about that.

Like climate change, a significant portion of white people don’t believe white privilege exists. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t. Just means some folks don’t want to believe it.

But I believe white privilege is real, and I have been the recipient of many perks of being white without realizing it. Here are some the more obvious examples of white privilege I’ve noticed lately in my world:


At work I see both men and women of all ages, sizes and skin tones. But turn on the TV to watch a popular show and the actors are mostly white, young, and thin. To be sure, it’s better than it used to be. But not by much. NCIS? Mostly white. Walking Dead? Mostly white. Game of Thrones? Mostly white. The ads shown during the shows? Mostly white. The bad guy? Not white. The crew member who dies during the episode? Not white. Imagine if the only roles you saw persons with your skin tone play were villains, victims, or caricatures such as pimps and terrorists.

Even though I don’t watch television often, I still see plenty of ads. The billboard touting our local electrical cooperative? White family. The regular mailer I get from a local dentist? All white people with perfect smiles. Mailers with ads for clothing? White people. Ads for cars? White people. Ads for jewelry? White people.  What message does that send to consumers of color? I just assumed those businesses didn’t want to provide services to persons of color (or at least that’s what they wanted us white folks to believe).

Recently at work it was recommended I watch a YouTube video on Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I did. Though cartoon figures, all the main characters are white… until just before the 5 minute mark when a guy with an assault rifle attacking another guy drops down out of the sky. The victim is white; the attacker is a man of color wearing a beret (think Black Panther). The unspoken moral I got from that video? Whites are highly effective people. People of color aren’t.

I participate in wellness activities at work. The line dancing group I attend is mostly African-American women. The yoga group I went to on occasion was mostly white women. Once the leader of the dance group mentioned she’d been asked to try to make the activity more diverse. I never heard the yoga leader say anything like that. The message I got was there’s something wrong with a group of mostly women of color getting together to exercise, but not for white women to do so.

And then there’s the state government. I work blocks from the state capitol, and politics is of concern to me (as I would hope they are to everyone). Here is a recent photo released of our governor’s announcement of his plans to raise the gas tax to pay for infrastructure improvements.

1/18/2017 Governor Bill Haslam outlines legislation
Governor Haslam with Tennessee mayors. The two African-American men and one white woman are posed up front to be seen in a sea of white men, both on stage and in the audience. This is the government that represents me? (photo from


There are the confederate flag bumper stickers on vehicles. The well-dressed white woman who asked the owners of a nearby ethnic restaurant if “you people” celebrate Christmas in a polite but somewhat condescending tone. Really? She then went on to ask if they ate turkey and dressing “like we do” or ethnic foods during their celebration. The owners seemed to take it in stride, but I couldn’t hide the look of shock and horror on my face at what I was hearing.

And the thing that has bothered me most of all, on more than one occasion I have seen white men nudge their vehicle far too close to an African-American walking legally in the crosswalk. I made a point each time to let that driver know I was watching; but that, too, is using white privilege, isn’t it? Why does it take one white person watching another to stop inappropriate and threatening behavior?

White people will poo-poo this all off as me making mountains out of mole hills. Indeed, white people have the luxury of passing off lots of things we don’t want to deal with. Like gun control. Like the militarization of our police force. Like reparations.

Truth is that despite my anguish at what our president is doing, it won’t affect me too much. I’m a white American. I don’t have to worry about my child being killed by a police officer. I don’t have to worry about being deported or if I’ll be able to return if I leave the country to visit my family. I don’t have to worry about being brainwashed into thinking something is wrong with me because I am homosexual or transgender. I get insurance through my employer. I’m post-menopausal so no abortions needed. And at my age I’ll probably not live long enough to see the end of the world due to climate change. Those are the advantages of privilege.

So why bother to talk about it?

Because it’s not fair for me to get better treatment because of something beyond my control.

Because privilege and misogyny go hand in hand.

And, frankly, white privilege is dangerous.

It’s time for us white people to become aware of how different the world is for us than for persons of color. We need to quit saying we’re one nation under God, and start acting like it. Talking about why we’re not is the first step toward getting there.

What do you think?









85 thoughts on “Bet Ya Don’t Read the Entire Blog Post!

      1. I see it at the hotel; we’ve hired dozens of minorities in recent months and it’s causing friction and in some cases, favoritism towards white workers.
        Something definitely needs to change.

      2. Thank you. On the one hand it’s good the persons of color are being hired. On the other hand, what’s so great about white workers that they get treated better?

  1. Read the whole damn thing and worth the time! In my area we had a heavy influx of both Dominicans and Syrians back in the 70s-80s. It’s changed our area a lot. It was mostly German immigrants from the early 1900s prior to that. We have much more diversity as people got educated and better jobs. Our local government is more diverse but they are still fighting for better inner city education and opportunity. Most killings are non-white. We still have white privilege here.

      1. My thoughts…so many refuse to acknowledge the fact that white privilege exists. So thank you for acknowleding we definitely have a problem. It baffles me. It’s one thing to say hey yes it exists and I’m taking advantage of it. But to those who walk through life claiming there is no such thing and then continue acting as if people of color are somehow delusional in what we experience. I have a problem with that. Where is their humanity? Don’t try to brainwash me into thinking I’m over thinking the perks that come with not having melanin. To those who address the truth and stand up for equality I stand with them in spirit.

      2. Thanks. Because, let’s be honest, these are only a few things I happened to notice. How can I be aware of all the ways I experience privilege if I don’t talk to others?

  2. I wondered if those 53% believe that the loss, of clean drinking water, the pollution of our streams and environment will not effect them? I wonder if they believe that the climate change will avoid them? I am part Native American so have a very strong awareness of inequalities but I am more concerned about what that privilege does to the environment when it makes someone like the current congress and white house the representatives of this country.Perhaps this is not a topic that fits this blog post but I see the interconnection between that unawareness or disregard for all things different affecting not just people but everything.

    1. I think this is all somewhat connected because the common denominator is always white people. Do they think it won’t affect them? Well, they did think if the pipeline wasn’t built near their majority white people city that the pipeline couldn’t cause them harm. I guess they have no clue where their water comes from.

      1. Is it that they really are that uninformed? If so then making them aware of the way all things connect might be the way to stem the tide of chaos that is threatening to overwhelm this country and the world, because they[rest of the world] look to this country as an example of how things should be and what to strive for.

      2. Yes that is true but have you noticed that you connect with people with your words and awareness, so do I and that is the best we can do. It may not seem like much at times but it is a good start.

  3. One thing that makes it even harder for well-meaning white people to see our privilege is because we’re so segregated. Schools are nearly as segregated today as they were before the Civil Rights era.

    MLK pointed out that the most segregated hour in American is Sunday at 11 a.m. That hasn’t changed.

    Nothing hit me in the face more about my privilege than living in two different neighborhoods that were 99% African American (according to the census). And that’s an experience that few white people have. Even your line dance class makes you a total oddball.

    I remember stores in my neighborhoods that had signs on every surface telling folks to drop their bags at the counters. But when I did so, the clerk said I didn’t have to give up my bag. I also remember men hanging out on the street corner asking if I was a social worker because the only white people who ever appeared on their street were cops or social workers.

    What also stood out was that mostly white Philadelphia neighborhoods were still burning crosses on the laws of black people who moved well into the 1990s. But I never encountered anything but kindness (and some curiosity) from any of my neighbors.

    I’ll end with a funny story. Because I think humor heals.

    I grew up on MD where hamburger subs with mayo on the bun were popular. When I moved to Philly, I used to order cheesesteaks from the corner with mayo on the roll. They thought I was nuts but they always did it.

    Years later, my brother-in-law found himself at the same corner joint and ordered a cheesesteak. The person at the counter asked if he wanted mayo on the roll. He shook his head and said, “No, that’s crazy. Why would you ask such a thing?” The counter person replied: “I thought all white people out mayo on cheesesteaks.”

    I guess I left my mark.

    1. I think it’s incredibly sad we are not more connected. I have had the privilege of working with persons from all sorts of backgrounds. I’ve driven into neighborhoods where every person stopped and watched me. They also thought I was a social worker (my car would never pass for an undercover police car).

  4. Trump frightens me. His minions are frightening as well. His flurry of Executive Orders (where is Congress screaming about the Executive Orders like they did with Obama?) are taking us way, way, back. Damage will be done to our environment. Wanting to register non-Christians is terrifying. We are supposed to have separation of Church and State. Confederate stickers are supporting a government that was anti-Union therefore treasonous. White privilege is a problem. Elevating one race or religion is wrong. Well written post and thank you.

    1. Trump may be the personification of your fears, but I remind myself that he didn’t get where he is by himself. There are lots of little Trumps in my neighborhood, in my office building, and maybe even in my circle of blogger friends.

      1. True. And the optimist in me tries to remember that there are lots of little John Lewis’s, Cesar Chavez’s, Wilma Mankillers, and bell hooks’s out there too.

        They are the block captains and poll workers and teachers and bloggers too. We just have to work hard to empower them and ourselves.

        That said, I’m also finding the many conversations I have with Trump supporters to be very disheartening. I’m finding the South to be a challenging and provoking region to travel.

      2. It’s amazing and shocking how many of these people have seemingly let go of their reason and allowed a REALITY STAR to lead our country. Pandering to the lowest common denominator. And now they truly believe what he is doing is GOOD. We are in for some dark ages.

  5. Decades ago, my grandmother, along with my then 11-year-old mother and my newborn aunt, was rescued from a gas chamber because a German officer “realized” that the “wrong” group of people had been processed. I remember hearing my grandmother tell this story while sitting in her kitchen when I was 9 or 10 years old. She always told it with great gratitude that their lives were saved. I always heard it wondering “how could there be RIGHT people?”

    The concept of racial priviledge is planet-wide.

    When we moved to Harlem a decade ago, white faces like ours were few and far between. It didn’t take long to recognize my neighbors and engage with them on community affairs. At that time, the neighborhood was predominantly African-American, with a strong Latino/a presence, and white people were definitely the minority. As rents further south on our island have skyrocketed, our demographic balance has shifted. With the influx of white people, the African-American and Latino/a presence has noticeably diminished while the white presence is considerably more noticeable. I don’t recognize as many faces on the street because the new population is more transient, less stable. And the neighborhood is shedding its character, becoming more homogenized.

    It felt more like home ten years ago. 😉 xoxoM

    1. Wow. That is such a powerful story. As for the neighborhood shift, that’s white privilege too, isn’t it? White people can move into non-white neighborhoods but non-whites moving into white neighborhoods is not so easy. There’s still discrimination in renting and still attacks on persons and their property to attempt to intimidate persons of colors to move.

  6. Right on! “White people will poo-poo this all off as me making mountains out of mole hills. Indeed, white people have the luxury of passing off lots of things we don’t want to deal with. Like gun control. Like the militarization of our police force. Like reparations.”

  7. thank you for a fine article. I resent the generalization displayed by the protest sign. placing all white women in the basket of deplorable s. the fact is some black women also voted for Trump. I am a white women, I did not vote for Trump, fear his hateful rhetoric of divisiveness,misogyny, racism and dangerous bullying agenda. The sign is further hateful rhetoric and divisiveness when those of us who come together to protest need to unite. Wake up folks, you are aren’t doing our cause any good.

      1. I have not received white privilege. I have worked with many people of different ethnic backgrounds. I was not treated differently, or paid differently. Many of us became good friends, I have many people of color as neighbors, many ethnic groups, latino, black, muslim.If I have been treated differently, it is to receive the message that I am not really welcome in the latino grocery store or the black place of business. I am not racist but many people of various races are. The sign is antagonistic and when we are out there rallying for equal rights, we don’t need that, but to rally as a driving force, not one against the other.

      2. I would encourage you to read Peggy McIntosh and see if you still feel that way. As far as your insistence that other groups should respect your protest, there are a lot of white women who think the protest was bunk too. And many white men.

      3. I don’t think so. After marching for miles in the rain and nasty weather, I don’t like being treated like a second class citizen.

      4. No one here is treating you like a second class citizen. Your perception is unfortunate but your insistence you are a victim is not surprising. Many white people have that perception about themselves.

      5. I am trying to become more concerned about more than just me. What is it you hope to accomplish by trying to start an argument with me?

  8. I like to be optimistic and hope that media is slowly turning away from the white washing that’s pervaded it since, well, always (the main character in Moana was actually played by a Hawaiian actress!). But I agree, there is still so much work to be done and with the way the states seems to be going, it seems that work may not happen for a long time.

    1. Yes, and after years of shaming Disney for not having a main character of color they have finally come around. Now let’s see what we can do about our friend Heartafire who sees herself as a white victim.

  9. I total agree with you and its only likely to worse ,to be more actively encouraged.This is exactly the sort of thing Hitler did when he came to power …he played on those feelings of those who thought them selves to be true German people he got them to focus on Jews and others who were deemed un pure like disabled people or those that didn’t conform to the ideology and the proper-gander that he spread and brain washed them with lies mixed with half truths and then later just with lies.He actively encouraged those feelings of superiority of the German populace,and made them feel that they were better than those that were not deemed pure.Just like has been happening in the US and for a time it was getting better though some was still simmering under the surface out of sight and out of mind but now all that has been pushed back to the surface again and its likely to get worse before it start to get better again.
    What make’s this so Ironic is all Humans come from one place,we are all descended from those primitive Humans that migrated from one place and that is Africa its just we have evolved to cope with different climates which is why we have different skin tones and facial features and different types of fat layers but take that all away and we are all the same Species….something that all Human beings need to remember,Great post today,xx Rachel

    1. Oh we won’t remember that, no more than we’ll remember we’re no better than any other species of animal. We LIKE feeling superior. End the end, our egos will be our undoing.

  10. terrific post. I’m boggled by how many white woman voted for this chump. I could understand white men, just by looking at the crowd he attracted. Wondering about the stats, but as I work w/ people that play w/numbers, I’m always a skeptic. White privilege exists, it’s undeniable. As a white woman, raised in a mixed community, I’m aware of how I was treated differently in situations as my friends of color.

    1. It’s difficult for me too, but I understand that with any oppressed group there will be those who side with the oppressor for more favorable treatment. We women think if we enter into a favorable lifetime contract with a man and/or obtain a better than average job that we have accomplished something. No, those women got lucky. Those women forget that should that good man decide to leave or that good job choose to get rid of her she’ll be no better off than the rest of us.The older she gets, the greater the likelihood that will happen, and the less likely she’ll recover to the lifestyle she was accustomed to before.

  11. I proudly acknowledge and celebrate my mixed ethnic heritage – Spanish, Mexican Indian and German. A lot of people forget Spaniards are White (e.g. European, Caucasian). And you can’t get any Whiter than German; if you do, you’re not White, you’re albino. If I have to fill out some form that asks for racial / ethnic identity, I often select “Choose not to disclose,” or “Other.” The latter choice is sure to make their computers blow up.

    Every grocery store I’ve visited in recent years still has a section marked “Hispanic Foods.” And what do you know! They’re filled with every band of taco shells and refried beans you can imagine. But I still resent the insinuation that a concrete immigration policy is the only way politicians can appeal to Hispanics. Most Hispanic-Americans were born here, and of those who immigrated, most did so legally. Yet, the illegals get most of the sympathy and attention. Most Hispanics are concerned about the same things every other American is concerned about: the economy and jobs. Wow! Imagine that! Now Trump is pushing the idea that he lost the popular vote because 3 million+ illegal immigrants voted for Clinton. Even G.W. Bush wasn’t stupid enough to make that allegation. Trump is the only winner of a presidential race to contest the results. I think the gilded paint in his New York penthouse must be lead-based. How else could you explain such convoluted thinking?

    Now Trump is doing exactly what he promised he’d do: build a wall along the 2,000-mile U.S.-México border and ban Muslims. First, he said México would definitely pay for the wall. Now he’s saying they’ll reimburse us. Yeah, right. Aside from questions about payment, I’d like to know who’s actually going to build it. A bunch of skinheads trucked in from Idaho? Things always look great on paper!

    1. They’re rehabbing an old office building near were I work. Have yet to see any skinheads working there. Our president is playing to his base. He wants all those skinheads and alt-righters to stay true to their fearless leader. I guess somebody’s got to because from the sound of that leaked audio (that had to come from a GOP insider) even his own party doesn’t support him. Already.

  12. We are a mixed race couple. I don’t think we could BE more aware. We have always been very careful about where we travel and live. Until this month, we never felt actually threatened. There’s white privilege, bigotry, embedded racism … and then there’s having a fascist heading the government. Important to note that there’s a difference because THIS time, the privileged asshole at the top is in a position of enormous — virtually unlimited — power and he has no one around him with the will or ability to rein him in.

    We are aware of the more global issues, but I think it would be wise to keep an eye on the leader of this horror show. He really CAN bring this nation down for real and all.

    1. I am very well aware of the great 🍊. He can only retain power if we turn on each other. So it would bode well for us fighting the good fight to prevent that from happening by getting honest with ourselves.

  13. Where I grew up there was a mix (albeit a small number) of other ethnic groups in my school and I didn’t think much about it. However, when I was eight, I was invited to a party of one of the girls in my class. Somehow the conversation came around to heritage and I said that I knew that two of my great-grandparents had come from Germany (I later learned that they emigrated in the 1850s, before Ellis Island was the entry point in New York, and decades before Hitler had come to power). There was total shock on my classmate’s face as she blurted out, “You killed the Jews! You killed the Jews!” I felt incredibly confused and dismayed that she accused me of having something to do with the Holocaust, which I knew about because my mother had had a German penpal in high school who disappeared at that time. I assumed nothing about the religion or origins of my classmates’ families, much less suspected that I might be accused of having a part in those atrocities. I felt completely bewildered and helpless to defend myself, regardless of my innocence. I can imagine today’s immigrants feel ostracized despite legitimate reasons to be here.

  14. Not all white people will poo-poo this. I agree and until us whites stand up and hold those egregious actions by other whites against people of color, will it make a difference. Keep the volume up, girl! Some of us are really listening and trying to do something about it!

  15. Not only did I make it to the end of the post but I was cheering along with you the entire way through! I had an argument with someone the other day about this very matter. He didn’t see it and thought it was something made up to create a fuss. I think the problem is it’s one of those things that unless you want to see you don’t, and having to look for it plays right into the hands of people who claims this is all made up be people looking to cause problems.

    I can see the problem, but I am struggling with a solution. Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean I am giving up, but I just don’t have any answers right now!

    1. I think our opening our eyes- getting woke- we will set an example for others. Then when enough wake up we can stand with others of all races and cultures to force legal change.

  16. Of course I have read the whole thing. Trump with his ideas from the world is one of the scariest phenomenas of our times, also in Europe, because the ideals which words are carved in the Statue of Liberty enlighting the world once, are important for all of us.

  17. I agree wholeheartedly, Jen. My American parents and their families were herded up and in placed in internment camps during WW2. Because they were easily identifiable, and not white. The parallels to what is happening now are disturbing, to say the least. We as a nation have so much work to do…

    1. It’s so easy to blame this all on The 🍊and his staff but reading comments under newspaper articles opens my eyes to how pervasive this hatred runs through our society. But the marches and spontaneous demonstrations give me hope.

  18. A friend has no sympathy for people who come here with nothing after escaping war torn areas. Her husband is white and is here from Europe on a green card. They spent thousands on an immigration lawyer to make sure he can stay in the US, and are very resentful of people who come here illegally and “don’t have to spend so much money.” They
    have no idea how entitled they sound; it’s at the point where my husband refuses to discuss politics with them.

  19. Thank you for this, not because it supports mine and my family’s past and future struggles, but for being AWARE. Many people of all races time and time again claim to be conscious, to live consciously, to have their ‘third eye’ open but will turn a blind eye to major messages like this. Something they know is happening right in front of us, in the news, on tv, and in our daily lives. Thank you for truly being aware and acknowledging the state of our country and maybe even the world.

  20. I agree with everything I’ve read and appreciate your willingness to speak out. If we all stick together and do whatever we can to get this man and his chosen people out, Impeached, that’s what is neede. Let’s take all the polls. We need against POTUS, those for impeachment. I’ve taken a few.

What would you like to add to the conversation? Bark at me in a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s