Yes, not ‘all white people’ are racist and shitty, but all white people do benefit from our society being deeply engrained with racist behavior, both socially and economically.
Not 'all men’ are horribly misogynistic, but all men benefit from and unintentionally partake in misogyny through a system designed to promote the idea of women being inferior.
Not 'all straight people’ are homophobic/transphobic, but all straight people unintentionally promote homophobia/transphobia by asking invasive and personal questions, and try to cram LGBT+ individuals into their own boxes of what a 'gay’ person should be.
Having privilege doesn’t mean that you are a bad person; it means that you might not be aware you are acting like one.
I do not understand how people can claim Dear White People to be “anti white” when there is literally a white character for relatively the sole purpose of showing how white people can, in fact, live their lives not only avoiding racial tensions, but also possessing the intellectuality to co exist with POC’s, as well as successfully avoid any type of racial injustices, appropriation, or just flat out racism all together in their day to day lives.
The series dedicates an entire episode/chapter to this white character, and even highlights how sometimes checking your privilege can, in fact, be a stressful, tricky and not to mention potentially frustrating situation…and then even goes as far to portray that as understandable.
So Dear White People, a TV show written, directed and produced by black people, who are trying to voice their struggles in a society that many times fails to let them be seen at all, still goes ahead and gives the white man a voice, in THEIR series, so that no matter who you are, you find the subject matter relatable. Can white character driven shows say the same thing?
Like what the fuck else do you want? I’ll tell you- you want it to not exist. Because you don’t want to admit you’re wrong. Because you don’t want to cop to the fact that white people can suck sometimes. Because you don’t want to take the time and effort to understand the privilege you were born into in this country and adjust yourself accordingly. Because even if you don’t want to admit it to yourself, deep down, you’re a least a little bit of a racist.
So please, sit the fuck down.
(And if I’m a girl talking out of turn y’all I apologize, but my fellow white people piss me OFF sometimes)
People that attack others for their “insert buzzword” privilege are the type of people who belong to collectives, if you were an individual instead of sticking to a collective that focuses on the group and not what benefits you -then you would have privilege too.
CISPHOBIA IS NOT A THING
HETEROPHOBIA IS NOT A THING
REVERSE RACISM IS NOT A THING
THESE ARE NOT THINGS BECAUSE SOMEONE CALLING YOU A CRACKER IS NOT BACKED UP BY HUNDREDS OF YEARS OF OPPRESSION AND HATRED AND AN ACTUAL CIVIL WAR OVER YOUR RIGHTS
THESE ARE NOT THINGS BECAUSE NOBODY EVER QUESTIONED YOUR RIGHTS. NOBODY EVER HAD TO FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT JUST TO EXIST.
THIS IS NOT “DOING TO THEM WHAT THEY DID TO YOU” BECAUSE SOMEONE SAYING DOWN WITH CIS IS IN NO WAY EQUAL TO ONGOING UNLAWFUL KILLINGS AND OPPRESSION AND IT SURE AS HELL DOESN’T MAGIC UP A HISTORY OF IT.
WHEN SOMEONE SAYS “LMAO THE STRAIGHTS NEED TO STOP” IT DOESN’T EMBOLDEN SOME HOMO-SUPREMACIST TO GO KILL/BEAT UP SOME STRAIGHT PEOPLE. IT DOESN’T ALLOW/PERPETUATE A SYSTEM OF OPPRESSION AND DEGRADATION.
IF YOU THINK YOU ARE OPPRESSED YOU NEED TO TAKE SEVERAL SEATS AND CHECK YOUR ASSES PRIVILEGE BECAUSE IF YOU THINK THAT’S BAD BOY HAVE I GOT NEWS FOR YOU.
Something that’s been on my mind a lot lately is how a lot of people fundamentally don’t understand the reality of anti-Semitism. Here’s the thing: aside from Israel, which is a tiny speck of a country, there’s no country in the world where Jews are more than a small fraction of the population. We’re talking less than 1% most places, and a whopping 1.8% in the US.
It would be one thing if no one bothered us, but Jews have been discriminated against, oppressed, and murdered consistently for millennia all over the world. There’s this idea that Jews control the world, but first of all, that’s an anti-Semitic trope that you should be very wary of believing, and second of all, if there are Jews in powerful positions, it’s probably in large part because we’ve had to grab as much power as we can to protect ourselves. Even then, many times throughout history, it wasn’t enough, and we couldn’t count on the people around us to help. 6 million Jews were murdered while much of the world stood by, and that was far from the first time people hadn’t cared enough to help.
That’s why it makes me feel so sad and isolated when anti-Semitism is left out of the causes by people claiming to fight for marginalized groups, as it was at the march I went to yesterday and very often is. It feels like we’re on our own again, and do you understand how few of us there are? We can’t save ourselves alone, and it’s absolutely getting worse in many parts of the world.
This is an issue in itself, but it also connects to how people see Israel without taking into account what it means to many Jews. Israel as a state literally exists because the world felt bad about letting the Holocaust happen. Many people, including my grandparents, moved there because their neighbors in other countries had turned their backs or even helped in the murder of their families and friends. My mom visited Israel recently and she said she heard so much more French than she used to there. That’s because the increased anti-Semitism in France has caused a lot of Jews to no longer feel safe there, and so they moved to the only place where they could escape that. A lot of Jews would be perfectly content living in other countries if they didn’t face so much anti-Semitism there.
That’s what it comes down to, that Israel is the only place in the world where Jews are not a tiny minority that faces at best unconscious prejudice and at worst outright violence from other citizens. But even then, it’s a place where there is a danger of violence, and much of the Arab world wants to wipe Israel off the map entirely. Think about how that feels, knowing that a lot of people think the only place where you can completely belong shouldn’t even exist.
I think a lot of Americans have strong opinions of Israel without knowing anything about the history or current reality of the region, which is a whole separate rant, but what I think the colonialist view that a lot of people have misses most is that this isn’t a case where a colonizing power can withdraw back to their home country. This is a case of people who have no other home country, or whose home countries have made them feel that they don’t have a place there, or who have been kicked out of so many countries they no longer have a home. This is a very important and very overlooked point to understand.
I also think that a lot of criticism of Israel is rooted in anti-Semitism that people don’t even realize they’re playing into, like the Jews rule the world trope or the downplaying of how the hatred of other Middle Eastern countries for Israel a) influences the situation & b) is based on hatred of Jews, and it’s frustrating that people don’t see that. As you yell about privilege, make sure you realize your own in being able to not see subtle (or sometimes really not subtle) currents of anti-Semitism in the way people talk about the world. That doesn’t mean there’s no valid criticism, but criticism that doesn’t take into account the complicated reality of the situation is counterproductive because it just makes Israel feel more attacked. (I’m looking at you, UN.)
I have a lot more to say, but I’m running out of steam, so in summary:
1. Please remember Jews when you talk about fighting oppression, because we not only don’t rule the world, but we’ve been fucked over by it too many times to count and there aren’t enough of us to fight anti-Semitism on our own.
2. Check your privilege and really think about what it’s like to be a religious/ethnic minority that’s a tiny, tiny fraction of the world’s population and yet disproportionately hated.
3. Acknowledge the role of anti-Semitism in both how the world views Israel and how Israelis and many Jews feel about the country, because they really can’t be separated.
(Written by my sister and posted here with her permission.)