I never wanted to bring this topic up or discuss things like this here. I had very different plans for today, yesterday actually. I am going in a different direction today because I feel like I must.
I just witnessed a perfectly sad example of white privilege. A whole bunch of white people complaining about the oscar boycott, a fight they don’t directly have a dog in. In my opinion, these reactions occur when the person in the position of privilege would need to admit that something is wrong and that something tips the scale in the favor of their own demographic, even though they are not directly involved in the specific situation. The situation eludes to class privilege at large and the privileged are made to feel uncomfortable. The reaction is to defend your exceptions or to point out small progress as a final acceptable result.
I am not immune to this. I am just recognizing it happens and want to do better. When faced with class privilage, I being a white, middle aged, male, go to the top of the pile. Statistically speaking the breaks all fall my way. But jason, you have a mental illness, statistically speaking you are in a higher risk demographic and life is harder for you. Yup, white dudes have it rough in the arena of mental health. Change the color of my skin and I have it even worse. There are things about me the can change my position on the privilege scale, but that position is relative to other white dudes. Life is like a game of d&d, white dude is the standard for comparison.
The system has made great strides. But the system is still set up for white males to win. Period. I get uncomfortable when someone points out my privilege. I should. I find myself wanting to explain my way out of it. I shouldn’t and I can’t. I can’t fix the oscars, the work force, or anything else. What I can do is be the best person I can be in every interaction I have, with every person I have. When I have the opportunity, like voting, I can make choices that support change. I can also choose my level of participation in things that don’t support change. I can do my best to be an example to other white dudes in how to not be a tool.
The playing field is out of balance in my favor and that is wrong.