Americans think that they invented the phrase “ yass ” and that it’s ghetto but in actual fact Scottish people have been saying it for literal generations like u do not understand its part of our culture even the really old people say it like “ yass Barbra hen I got my fuckin pills today yasss ”

White Privilege in Entertainment

Macklemore is a White, cisgendered man.

Macklemore is the prime example of White privilege and has even openly talked about both his unmerited societal advantage, and his advantage in the entertainment industry. Macklemore, unlike most Whites, recognizes how his race helps him not only in everyday life, but is one of the key reasons of his success. In an interview with HOT97, he further explains his unearned privilege.

“Just because there’s been more successful white rappers, you cannot disregard where this culture came from and our place in it as white people,” he said. “This is not a culture that white people started. I do believe that as much as I have honed my craft and put in years of dedication into the music that I love, I need to know my place.”

So what is White privilege?

Anti-racism activist and author Tim Wise gives an excellent definition of White privilege.

“White privilege refers to any advantage, opportunity, benefit, head start, or general protection from negative societal mistreatment, which persons deemed white will typically enjoy, but which others will generally not enjoy. These benefits can be material (such as greater opportunity in the labor market, or greater net worth, due to a history in which whites had the ability to accumulate wealth to a greater extent than persons of color), social (such as presumptions of competence, creditworthiness, law-abidingness, intelligence, etc.) or psychological (such as not having to worry about triggering negative stereotypes, rarely having to feel out of place, not having to worry about racial profiling, etc.).”

Whites have a major advantage in the media. From appropriating Black culture and popularizing it, to undeserved success in white mediocrity.

If you are a person of color you have been told that you must work three times as hard to succeed, whereas Whites can succeed with less determination and hard work. Now I’m not saying that there aren’t poor whites. I am not saying that there aren’t Whites who have struggled. But no whites have struggled because they are white. In juxtaposition with a poor Latina or Black, they still have the upper-hand.

Whites can “discover”, what have been in existence for PoC communities for years, and take it as their own in a sort of cultural colonialism.

Take twerking for example. Twerking has been a dance in the Black community 1990s, but ever since Miley Cyrus’ weak attempt to make her nonexistent asscheeks clap, Whites have up and ran with it. Why? Because Cyrus gave “permission” for them to exploit Black culture. Some would say it’s just a dance, but it’s not. It’s the prevalent and prominent double standard. Whites have the freedom to take a dip into Black culture without dealing with the struggle of being Black. For example Stacy Smith, can twerk at a house party, and have the privilege of not being racially profiled after the party is shut down by the police. Stacy Smith can wear also dreadlocks and be praised as a creative hipster spiritualist, while a Black girl would have to chop off her locs in order to get her dream job. Whites shouldn’t have the power to slice and dice Black and PoC culture, and select the interesting bits and pieces just to fill the void of not having one.

Iggy Azalea, self proclaimed  “runaway slave master”, holds both crowns as the Queen of cultural appropriation and White supremacy. From her stingily racist and homophobic tweets, to her success through her embarrassingly obvious lack of talent. There is no better example of success in white mediocrity! The media is always willing to try what works. Placing a semi-attractive white woman in an industry run and operated by society’s “undesirables” is sure to create a following. The Root describes Azalea’s success.

“Funkmaster Flex has called her music “trash,” and Iggy’s hit singles have received little airplay on Top 40 “urban,” hip-hop radio stations. Reviews of her album The New Classic have been lukewarm at best. Even XXL, which made her the first female inductee of the magazine’s Freshman Class, admits that the music doesn’t live up to the hype. If Iggy isn’t a great rapper, why is she so popular?”

I know why.

White privilege and cultural appropriation will not be fixed unless white people recognize it. They have never really had to think about their privilege because it is innate. It’s just like breathing. Why question what comes so naturally? Because doing so will tear down the institutions that oppress others that aren’t so lucky. As Tim Wise says in his documentary White Like Me, Whites should ask themselves “What does it mean to be white?” in order to recognize and understand the advantages that aren’t given to PoC. This way those institutions that oppress PoC can be recognized and changed.