When They Just Can’t Win, Part 7 – Mario Brothers and White Privilege

Yea, as you might expect from the title, this one’s gonna be filled with Anita Sarkeesian style antics.

This one was particularly difficult for me, as it involved a good friend of mine from the LGBT “community”, who I supported and gave encouragement to, and even shared several facebook groups with.  But apparently that means nothing when you question the SJW narrative that mandates white guilt.

The thing of is though… this isn’t just any white-shaming.  This was, and I’m dead serious…. “Mario is white, and that helped you get a job, so you’re privileged!”  Go ahead and read below.  That’s seriously the argument.  I was smart enough to start saving the thread right from the start.

In this particular debate, I was *extra* nice about it, deciding to be as polite as I could be, and simply ask questions about the points put forward.  Apparently even THAT is just too much, and my friend decided to block me.  That was really the point I decided that I could no longer be a part of that community anymore.  This is beyond ridiculous.

Anyway, here it is.  Enjoy.

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I am trying to think of playable video game characters who fit these parameters: Human, not white, not Asian; and I am having a really hard time. I never realized before that there really aren’t many, and I definitely think that is due to my white privilege.

The ones I was able to think of off hand are:

BD Joe from Crazy Taxi
Sazh from Final Fantasy XIII
Barrett from Final Fantasy VII
Edgar from Quartet (I am really reaching here)
Ratonhnhaké:ton/Connor from Assassin’s Creed III

I am sure there have to be others I cannot think of, do any of you have any ideas?

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Dani Fox
Dani Fox Altair Assassin’s creed
Like · Reply · 2 · 1 hr
Sarah Cazee-Widhalm
Sarah Cazee-Widhalm Also from AC: Connor Kenway, Aveline de Grandpre, and Adewale. Aveline and Adewale were the main characters of the DLC games that were released alongside the main game for their respective years.
Amie Annsa
Amie Annsa Jax from Mortal Combat, Dee Jay and Balrog from Street Fighter 2
Wenda Rhiannon Rose
Wenda Rhiannon Rose Shantae (technically she’s half-genie, so I don’t know if that counts tho)
Like · Reply · 1 · 1 hr
Adrian Cardoza
Adrian Cardoza Black guy from FFXIII
Dani Fox
Adrian Cardoza
Adrian Cardoza Lucio from Overwatch
Adrian Cardoza
Adrian Cardoza RE 5 black chick
Amie Annsa
Amie Annsa I said Sazh, but the other two are totally good ones. One is even a female of color which is so rare.
Adrian Cardoza
Adrian Cardoza Yeah I didn’t know that black dudes name.
Athena Brown

Athena Brown [And here’s where the fun starts!] I would have to strongly disagree with the white privilege idea. When you asked that question, my very first thought was Punch-Out. Crazy characters from all over the globe, including the original Mike Tyson himself (honestly not sure how Glass Joe being white gives me any sort of privilege in my day-to-day life).

Oh and also, there’s Track and Field II from the NES!

Athena Brown's photo.
Wenda Rhiannon Rose
Wenda Rhiannon Rose White woman strongly disagrees with white privilege… #notsurprised [My skin colour dictates what opinions I’m allowed to have.  Nope, not racist at all.]
Like · Reply · 2 · 42 mins
Athena Brown

Athena Brown Yea, I disagree that having a white character in a video game fits the definition of privilege, which is “an advantage granted to a group of people, usually due to some immutable factor, to which other people are not entitled”. Mario being white does not help me get a job or help me get housing. He doesn’t reduce my bills or make it easier to see a doctor.  [Now keep a close eye on how polite I’m going to be about this from here on out.  Amie was a good friend of mine, so unlike some of the other debates, my tone for the rest of this is carefully measured.  I approach this by asking questions, and asking for evidence.]

I didn’t say white privilege doesn’t exist. If you can demonstrate, for example, evidence showing that a white person gets less sentencing for the same crime, that would be an “advantage” – and if its for no other reason than he’s white, that would be an “immutable factor”. That would fit the definition of “privilege”.

The presence of one instance of something happening does not preclude the existence of it happening elsewhere, and each individual assertion carries it’s own burden of proof.

Amie Annsa
Amie Annsa They have to be playable characters, as well as human. I really wouldn’t count characters with no name either as they really arent characters as such.
Like · Reply · 1 · 35 mins
Amie Annsa
Amie Annsa Having white video game characters be the majority of characters is really a form of privlige as that helps to reinforce the idea that white is the normal and the default. Its the same with PoC representation in any art/media form. I never really thought about it because I am white and with that I am shielded from thinking about why there aren’t more depictions of people like me in media (not including the whole trans thing). It does overall lead to discrimination against people of color in subtle ways that people don’t realize as people in positions of power (hiring positions for example) [There you go.  Mario being white leads to me getting hired.  Now lets ask some innocent questions regarding this claim and see what happens.] also see white people and their norms (think about what’s considered professional) as being more of the standard and baseline.
Chastity Julian
Chastity Julian Actually white privilege also falls into having something more readily available because of your race. In this case it’s non white playable main characters for video games. You’re white so this is your white privilege making you blind to this but people really enjoy having relatable characters in their media. And their race being represented in the media.
Part of that PRIVILEGE we as white people have is the ability to be anyone in a videogame because of our race. We have the privilege of not being more commonly reduced to thugs or back up characters in media.
Like · Reply · 1 · 27 mins
Wenda Rhiannon Rose
Wenda Rhiannon Rose I wouldn’t bother arguing with her; anyone whose opinion she doesn’t like she just publicly shames on her MRA blog [4th Wavers stands for 4th Wave FEMINISTS!!!  Doesn’t matter though.  We’re still somehow MRA.]
Like · Reply · 1 · 25 mins
Athena Brown

Athena Brown I’m pretty sure people understand that being black is normal though. I’m also not connecting the claim of being seen as normal with any actual advantage received, which is a necessary part of being privileged.

Can you demonstrate evidence that white people in video games contributes to discrimination against PoC?

>> Actually white privilege also falls into having something more readily available because of your race.

^^^ Privilege *must* include “advantage”. If poison mushrooms were more readily available to my race, that wouldn’t be a privilege. Why? Because it is not an advantage. The advantage has to be there for it to be a privilege.

>> You’re white so this is your white privilege making you blind to this

^^^ Sure. That’s why I’m asking for evidence. Maybe I really *DON’T* know. [Like I said, very measured.] So I’m taking the definition of the word “privilege”, and asking where the advantage is according to your claims.

>> but people really enjoy having relatable characters in their media.

^^^ I can relate to Leonardo from the TMNT, and he’s not even human. So this claim doesn’t stand.

>> Part of that PRIVILEGE we as white people have is the ability to be anyone in a videogame because of our race.

^^^ Really? Athena Brown can be in a video game?

Because I don’t think Mario is white, Athena is white, therefore, Athena is in a video game really works.

>> I wouldn’t bother arguing with her; anyone whose opinion she doesn’t like she just publicly shames on her MRA blog

^^^ I don’t have an MRA blog. I’m a feminst, and 4th Wavers is a feminist blog. You can see more about what 4th Wave Feminism is here: https://4thwavers.wordpress.com/about-this-site/

4th Wave Feminism has three goals.  This distinguishes it from egalitarianism. First, much…
Wenda Rhiannon Rose
Wenda Rhiannon Rose Yeah I do recommend you take a look at her blog, it’s very…ahem…enlightening.
Chastity Julian
Chastity Julian I stopped reading at you claiming as a white person you are so sure people know being black is normal. [Now keep this one mind.  Being black isn’t “normal”.] Like, I’m sure as a white person you know exactly what it’s like being black. I’m fucking dying laughing.
Like · Reply · 1 · 19 mins
Athena Brown

Athena Brown ^ So if I went outside right now, and asked people “is being black normal”…….. what would they say? [Everyone reading this, please leave your feedback.  Do most of you think black people are normal?  Is it really me being blind to my white priivlege that makes me think we live in a world where they’re normal, but no one else except me, and others who are “blind-by-privilege” think so?]

Because I’ll actually do that with a camera phone and youtube it. I’m extremely confident I know what people will say. I’m willing to bet a side of you also does, and you’re just being contrary.

Debbie Leeflang
Debbie Leeflang Grand Theft Auto has some ethnic characters. Though it’s perpetuating some terrible stereotypes with them.
Like · Reply · 1 · 45 mins
Amie Annsa
Amie Annsa I couldn’t agree more.
Chastity Julian
Chastity Julian I’d have to strongly AGREE to the white privilege thing. Sure there are a bunch of fighter game characters that aren’t white/Asian but most video games in which there is only one main character they are white, second most Asian. In the fighter games, in my opinion, the other diversities are just so they have more character types, but still MOST or white/Asian. You could also say any sports video games have non white/Asian, but hey those are actually MORE REALISTIC because they are based on actual people and teams. Shock.
Chell from Portal is said to be Hawaiian because she is modeled after Hawaiian actress Alésia Glidewell, though I’m not sure if that’s confirmed.
I’m surprised no one said Skyrim, but I guess they aren’t real races…?
The Prince of Persia game guy..?
Is Mario white? I mean, he’s white but does that count?
I honestly can’t think of any others…
Like · Reply · 3 · 33 mins
Chastity Julian
Chastity Julian There are more games I can think of that have animals or made up animals/aliens as main/playable characters than non white/Asian.
Athena Brown

Athena Brown So how does that actually help me then in my every day life?

Privilege necessarily includes “advantage”. That’s a required part of privilege. So what advantage do I get from Mario being white?

Sofia Alexander
Sofia Alexander You get a character, actually countless characters that you can more easily identify with and empathize with, and you don’t have to imagine yourself as something you’re not in order to put yourself in their boots, so to speak.
Like · Reply · 3 · 22 mins
Chastity Julianwon the argument
Chastity Julian You have the advantage of being white and whining that something that is heavily white isn’t helping you get a job. Boo hoo.
But do you know what? There are other people in the world! So lets bring up an idea of other humans and other jobs than your line of work, shall we?
You can look up TONS of reports of people in the specific line of creating video games. First off, white people and Asians STILL get these jobs more than any other race in America. Past that if someone tries to create a video game with a non white/Asian main character it’s REALLY unlikely to go through, and even less likely to be popular. You can look this up OR you can just look at the lack of titles there are for this. It’s really obvious.
And you? It does personally help you. Having everything white washed makes your race less scary, and more relatable to the common other person. You aren’t as heavily stereotyped and even if you are, hell, there a billions of other characters to wash that one away. So when you walk into an interview, you’re your own person. You’re not a stereotype people see over and over as back up, not so great, characters in media. So yes, it helps you. Congrats.
I also think it’s funny you clearly didn’t read the original post well at all. Because you’re fighting that lots of white characters aren’t privilege (which is laughable) but the original post was of her saying she PROBABLY DIDN’T NOTICE because of HER PRIVILEGE. Not even that it was a privilege in the first place. Yuk yuk yuk.
Like · Reply · 3 · 21 mins
Athena Brown

Athena Brown [Notice how I’m responding point by point, with the “>>” being copy pasted from her, and the “^^^” being my reply]

>> You get a character, actually countless characters that you can more easily identify with and empathize with, and you don’t have to imagine yourself as something you’re not

^^^ I don’t have to imagine myself as something I’m not?

Okay, so… Mario is an Italian Plumber.

… but because he’s white… and I’m white… I don’t have to imagine I’m an Italian Plumber? … because I’m neither Italian, nor a plumber. So if I wanted to imagine myself as being him…

I’m reallyyyyyyyy not seeing how you’re connecting the logic on that one. I’m a mental health worker and social researcher. I’m not aware of any video game character who fits that description, so if I wanted to imagine I was any of them, I would most certainly be imagining myself to be something I’m not.

Which is actually part of the fun. It wouldn’t be fun at all to imagine I am something that I already am.

>> You have the advantage of being white and whining that something that is heavily white isn’t helping you get a job.

^^^ Well first, disagreeing with you is not an advantage that only I have for being white. In the US, everyone of every race has their freedom of speech protected. So again, this claim also does not stand.

You’re making the claim that a video game character being white gives me an advantage. I’m asking you what that advantage is. I used getting a job as an example. If I do have some kind of advantage – and thus, privilege – please do point it out to me. I really want to know.

>> But do you know what? There are other people in the world! So lets bring up an idea of other humans and other jobs than your line of work, shall we?

^^^ Sure. Show me how I have an advantage that other people do not, and how I got that advantage from video game characters being white please.

>> You can look up TONS of reports of people in the specific line of creating video games. First off, white people and Asians STILL get these jobs more than any other race in America.

^^^ So you’re saying people get jobs making video games, and the reason is because video game characters are white?

Okay, interesting claim. Do you have a study I can look at? A published report? Statistics? I would really be interested to see that claim validated.

Unfortunately, claims made without evidence are dismissed without evidence. Sorry bout that.

>> Past that if someone tries to create a video game with a non white/Asian main character it’s REALLY unlikely to go through, and even less likely to be popular.

^^^ Would absolutely LOVE to see the evidence on that one! Links please?

>> You can look this up OR

^^^ Whoa whoa whoa! Hold up there!

You might wanna look up how the whole “Burden of Proof” thingy works. Here’s a helpful link: https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/burden-of-proof – the one making the claim has the burden of proof. So it’s you who’s gotta cough up those reports.

That’s how you get your claim accepted.

>> And you? It does personally help you.

^^^ Great! How?

>> Having everything white washed makes your race less scary, and more relatable to the common other person.

^^^ http://dailycaller.com/…/poll-shows-young-white-men…/ <— soooo… how did that happen? [Sorry the links are a bit cut-off from facebook’s automatic shortening… hopefully you can get an idea of the source from what you can still see]

>> You aren’t as heavily stereotyped

^^^ White men have only one thing on their mind.

They think of sex every seven seconds. http://www.gq.com/…/health-myth-does-the-average-man…

Whites are scared of other races. They’re scared they’re “losing something”. http://susanarinderle.com/dear-white-people-exactly-what…/

White’s are responsible for all sorts of horrible things and have to apologize constantly. http://www.experienceproject.com/…/White-People…/2309682

There’s even a wikipedia page of stereotypes against white people: https://en.wikipedia.org/…/Stereotypes_of_white_people… [But notice how I’m backing my claims up with links?]

So if your claim were true, how did all of this happen? Whites don’t appear to be less scary at all.In fact, there’s the proud black man, the proud Asian man, the proud Mexican, the proud lesbian, and the proud white.

Which one of those is racist? Without me telling you, and with no other information, which is it?

Long and short of it – I’m not seeing how having white video game character makes me less scary. But you’re certainly free to respond back with any of those studies you referred to earlier.

>> So when you walk into an interview, you’re your own person. You’re not a stereotype people see over and over as back up, not so great, characters in media.

^^^ Another interesting claim. How do you know that? [About as polite as I’ve ever been during one of these.  And she blocked me anyway.]

>> So yes, it helps you. Congrats.

^^^ Evidence, and I’ll change my mind.

>> I also think it’s funny you clearly didn’t read the original post well at all. Because you’re fighting that lots of white characters aren’t privilege (which is laughable) but the original post was of her saying she PROBABLY DIDN’T NOTICE because of HER PRIVILEGE.

^^^ Right, and I disagree with the notion of privilege. I did read her post. I’m just disagreeing with that part. It’s also very possible that you don’t notice things simply because you’ve always seen them and gotten used to them. Ever put something down then forget where it was?

You said that the burden of proof lies not with the person making the claim, but with someone else to disprove.
Athena Brown
Athena Brown Going to bed now. Certainly look forward to seeing links to the research you were referring to in the morning. [No one ever posted anything backing any of their claims.]

Like · Reply · 2 mins

Chastity Julian
Chastity Julian I like the part where you rant on and on but totally don’t listen to any of my points. [And there you go.  I literally just answered her >> points ^^^ in >> line ^^^ by >> line ^^^ fashion.  It looks like she didn’t even read what I posted.  She just saw a bunch of text, considered it a rant, and didn’t even look at it before concluding I didn’t listen.] Like when I say it does help you then EXPLAIN HOW and you just reply “HOW?” [One of your claims was that I’m more likely to get jobs because video game characters are white.  That’s not explaining how, that’s an utterly ridiculous statement and only increases the question of “how”] Like, are you for real bro? [Sis] Fucking dying laughing. So I’m not gonna rely to any of yours. Please tell me where you work so I can eagerly avoid it and help others avoid it. I’d really hate for you to be the one giving advice to someone. And please stop calling yourself a feminist when you are clearly a racist [Remember earlier when she said black people aren’t normal?  Now I’m the racist.]. No true feminist can be a racist. And yes, whining about how you don’t have white privilege makes you a racist in my book .
Also there is a wiki page on how to drink your own piss, doesn’t mean it’s gonna convince the masses it isn’t a bunch of bullshit. [“I can find a website that has false information on it.  Therefore any links you posted are also false.”]
http://www.wikihow.com/Drink-Urine-(Urophagia)

Many people enjoy drinking urine for a number of reasons, from religionJoseph S. Alter. Yoga in…
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So that’s that.  Mario being white helped me get hired at my current job.  Because he’s white, I’m seen as “normal”, so I got hired (despite being a transgender woman – and my skills, experience, and qualifications apparently had nothing to do with it).  And if I ask for an explanation as to how that even makes sense, that’s enough for a good friend to block me.

I no longer count myself as being part of the LGBT community, as I’m beginning to see that this community is just as intolerant as 3rd Wavers and SJWs in general.

I attended the Pride March in June, where I got to hear speaker after speaker explain to me how oppressed I was, and how the reason I can’t get hired is because of my identity (I’m already hired and love my job, but hey that’s probably only because Mario and Luigi were white).  I was told that because I transitioned, I’ll now get paid 77 cents for every dollar I used to get paid (as a man I got $10.00 per hour, I’m now making well over $13 per hour).  And of course, I was told how everyone hates me for being trans (except the only time I see people hating me is when I disagree with them over this kind nonsense).

Around 2 weeks ago, I had another good friend who I protested trans discrimination at Multnomah University with block me simply for asking how I, living in Portland, was a victim of the Orlando shootings, when I’m 2,000 miles away, and wasn’t shot.  I mean I understand the reason to feel bad.  But victim??…  Aren’t the victims the ones that got shot?  Asking the question is all it took to get blocked.  The very next day, another trans person who I worked with at an employment agency here in Portland had called me out and tagged me on her wall telling me I was “cruel” for asking the question.  I’ve been unfriended or blocked by so many others that I haven’t been keeping track, but it was that time getting blocked 2 weeks ago that made me re-think where I stood, and this incident that has definitely made it clear.

We are not actually a community.  You’re only allowed to remain in if you agree with the faith based dogma.  There’s a lot you must agree with, on faith, with no evidence and despite any contradictory evidence, and asking questions is forbidden.  That’s hardly what I’d call a community, and definitely not something I’d want to be a part of anyway.

What Is Privilege?

I had to come up with an innocent enough sounding title that would convince a newcomer to not X out the tab as soon as they got here.  I think a simple 3 word question will do.  Get ready to rage quit about half way through though.  This one’s gonna be fun.

Lets start off by actually defining what the word means in social parlance.  According to the dictionary:

PrivilegeBut of course we’re not going to rely on just the dictionary definition.  We do have other sources.  And if you’ve been a reader of this site for any length of time, you probably know which source we’re definitely going to include.

According to the Fox News of social science, privilege is “Any unearned benefit or advantage one receives in society by nature of their identity. Examples of aspects of identity that can afford privilege: Race, Religion, Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, Class/Wealth, Ability, or Citizenship Status“.  The article goes on to mention white privilege 4 times, male privilege 4 times, and even “right-handed privilege” twice.

By the way if the editors at Everyday Feminism ever happen to find their way here, sentences can be grouped together in paragraphs.

You don’t need to make every sentence it’s own paragraph.

It’s true.

You really don’t.

And according to http://www.whiteprivilegeconference.com – which boasts an annual attendance of 1,500 of education workers from around the globe, and even offers Continuing Education Units for participants – privilege “exists when one group has something of value that is denied to others simply because of the groups they belong to, rather than because of anything they’ve done or failed to do“.

Now those aren’t too far off the mark, to be honest.  But lets make this even easier using a fun analogy!

Lets say you and I are standing at the bottom of this wall, and we’re about to climb it:

climbing_wallWe’re gonna see who can get to the top first.  But before we do, someone comes by and straps a 50 pound backpack on your back, then says “ready set go!”

I don’t have a pack on my back.  Does his make me privileged?

NO!

It doesn’t.  It makes you disadvantaged, but it doesn’t make me privileged, because remember the definition of that word; it’s first and foremost an unearned advantage that I have that you don’t.

Now some might point out that you having the pack on your back “gives me an advantage”.  That’s true in one sense, but if my privilege were really defined by your disadvantage, then there would be no end to privilege.  After all, someone out there has asthma.  Does that mean I have breathing privilege?  Someone else was born without legs.  I have walking privilege?  Someone else is blind.  I have seeing privilege?  Oh hell lets make it INSTITUTIONALIZED SEEING PRIVILEGE because most of the world is designed with eyesight in mind!  You can think of a million things another person has that’s makes them worse off – this doesn’t mean you’re privileged.  It means they’re disadvantaged.  This is important because the focus belongs on removing their disadvantage, not on penalizing me for not having their disadvantage.

If you showed up to a car accident and someone was bleeding all over the pavement, you wouldn’t look at me and start blame me for not bleeding – you would get some gloves on and start patching up the one’s who’s injured.

Okay now back to our rock climbing wall… lets say I had someone at the top of the wall who was pulling on my rope and helping me climb.  Would that be a privilege?

YES!

That’s exactly what privilege means!  It’s an unearned advantage that I have that you don’t!  I have someone helping me, and nobody’s helping you.  This means I might have privilege where you don’t have any disadvantages.  Or I might have a privilege and you could be disadvantaged at the same time.

There are also some gray areas.  In real life, I just happen to be a performance athlete.  I can land around a hundred one-armed pushups in generally less than 4 minutes, and can pull 385 off the ground at a body weight of 140.  So if you’re not an athlete, and we’re about to race to the top of this wall… am I privileged?  This one’s tricky – I’m definitely advantaged!  However, I earned that advantage.  I hit the gym nearly every day for a year, and worked hard to get where I am fitness-wise.  I followed a super strict diet that entire time.  I made the sacrifices.  So yea, I’m advantaged, but for it to be a privilege, it has to be “unearned”.  Keep that in mind because we’ll come back to that in a bit.

And here we’re at that rage-quit part I mentioned earlier, so go ahead and place your cursor over that X at the top there and get ready to tell your friends about this horrible conservative neo-nazi KKK page you stumbled upon.

If we’re climbing that wall, someone could be tugging the rope at the top for you………. even if you’re black.  Or you could have that 50 pound backpack strapped on and still be white.  Colour does not automatically necessitate privilege or disadvantage.  Now, there’s lots of times where that’s the case!  It’s indisputable that institutionalized and systemic white privilege does exist, and Laci Green – as much as she is wrong on so many things – actually did a good job of laying this out.  But let me say it again – colour does not automatically necessitate privilege, advantage, or disadvantage, in any given situation.   This means that each individual instance of privilege must be examined independently, and according to the facts, avoiding narratives and presuppositions as much as possible.

Whether or not you want to call white privilege “racism” depends on how you define racism.  It’s very possible for a system to be set up in favor of one race or the other without any conscious intention of racism being present.  So if you mean to call a situation racist, or call it “systemic racism”, then that’s probably accurate.  Just be aware that the people running that system may not themselves be racist, and the way the system is designed may be a left over artifact from an earlier generation that made it that way.  Address the problem without attacking the people (unless you can show the people are the ones at fault).  This same thing applies to all forms of privilege.  You solve more problems that way, make more allies, and piss fewer people off.

Alrighty, now with that out of the way, lets examine how privilege is discussed by your typical SJW (Social Justice Warrior) by looking here: http://www.buzzfeed.com/dayshavedewi/what-is-privilege

Nice heartwarming look at how much worse everyone else has it than you, and why you should feel guilty and ashamed for having it so good (i.e. being “privileged”) – although there are a few legitimate examples.  We’ll only cover 10.

1. If your parents worked nights and weekends to support your family, take one step back.

^^^ This might make me disadvantaged in some ways, but how does it make YOU advantaged?  Or even privileged?  Remember my 50 pound backpack doesn’t give you climbing privilege anymore than my asthma gives you breathing privilege.

2. If you are able to move through the world without fear of sexual assault, take one step forward.

^^^ We’ve covered this pretty extensively in another post.  But yea, if you walk through a developed nation like the US with fear of sexual assault every day, you may want to speak to a therapist.  Either that or stop visiting Everyday Idiots.

3. If you can show affection for your romantic partner in public without fear of ridicule or violence, take one step forward.

^^^ Definition of privilege.  My disadvantage doesn’t mean you have an advantage.  We need to focus on the stigma of a man kissing another man, and fix that, rather than focusing on a man kissing a woman, since that’s not the issue.

4. If you have ever been diagnosed as having a physical or mental illness/disability, take one step back.

^^^ Again, my wheelchair doesn’t mean you have walking privilege.

5. If the primary language spoken in your household growing up was not english, take one step back.

^^^ I can see how this one would be connected to other areas where privilege did exist.  White neighborhoods are generally better off because of racist housing policies (some of which were outlined in Laci’s video earlier) that existed in decades passed, and those neighborhoods would speak English.  Someone fleeing economic disparity might have grown up in a household that didn’t speak English.  It’s important to examine each item on it’s own merits, and this one might have some truth to it.

6. If you came from a supportive family environment take one step forward.

^^^ Well, this is an advantage.  And it’s one you didn’t have to earn.  So this one checks out.

7. If you have ever tried to change your speech or mannerisms to gain credibility, take one step back.

^^^ This one seems pretty scattershot.  All of us change our speech and mannerisms throughout the day, depending on the situation.  We don’t act at an interview the same way we would at a family reunion.  How would this equate into a privilege?

8. If you can go anywhere in the country, and easily find the kinds of hair products you need and/or cosmetics that match your skin color, take one step forward.

^^^ I’m going to admit some ignorance on this one.  I see aisles for hair and skin products for black folks in Wal-Greens all the time, but I’d rather have black folks chime in on this one, since it’s a personal thing and they’d know more about it.  Is it really that hard to find what you need?  Do you have to drive for miles and miles looking?

9. If you were embarrassed about your clothes or house while growing up, take one step back.

^^^ If you were embarrassed growing up……. um…. okay, every single person who has ever lived through the ages of 13 to 17, take 10,000 steps back.

I get how economic disparity means some people are privileged, but this one isn’t saying that.  It’s saying “if you were embarrassed”.  Hell even the richest kids have to go through that.

10. If you can make mistakes and not have people attribute your behavior to flaws in your racial/gender group, take one step forward.

^^^ I’m white, and I’m constantly told how I don’t understand, how I’m part of the problem, how I oppress others, how I’m so lucky, how I’ll never have it so bad, PLUS!  If I’m homeless, sexually assaulted, robbed, beat up, or wrongfully arrested, I’m told “I was still privileged” (usually by people affiliated with #BlackLivesMatter who’ve not taken any time to understand what “privilege” actually means).  I hear all the time about how whites are hurting everyone else.  Sounds like a flaw in my racial group.

But then it’s not all black folks who are doing that.  It’s only a few of them.  Same like how blacks are judged in that same way, because it’s not all whites, it’s only a few vocal and open racists.

Either way, this is a narrative, not an actual unearned advantage belonging to any group in particular.

Finally, in doing research for this post, I looked far and wide for any identifiable “Black Privileges” so I could list them here, but wasn’t able to find any.  Similarly, I’ve not yet been able to find even one example of an actual male privilege, though we do have a list of numerous female privileges.

For black privileges, I found a few sources, but these failed just as badly as most of the ones we see on the BuzzFeed link above – keeping in mind the definition of “privilege”.

http://reverseracism. tumblr.com/post/63340296481/the-black-privilege-checklist

I chose this page because, to be quite honest, other lists I found were just laughably bad, and I didn’t think they should be taken seriously.  So just a handful from the link:

A black person could potentially benefit from affirmative action. There is almost no affirmative action for white people on the basis of skin, even for foreign-born whites.

^^^ This was originally placed as a counter-measure to white companies refusing to hire blacks.  So this isn’t really a privilege, it was a necessity needed to integrate blacks into the workforce.

I can pursue a career in rap, R&B, or gospel without being considered controversial.

^^^ I can’t offhand think of a “controversial” white gospel singer.  Or even why that would be controversial in the first place.  Or why controversy in any of these categories would be bad – Eminem stated himself that if he were black, he “would have sold half”.

African-americans invented the biggest forms of music in America, namely Jazz, Rock, and Rap.

^^^ How is this a privilege?

African-americans are historically portrayed as underprivileged in history textbooks. Ethnic whites who were historically underprivileged like the Irish and Italians, and Appalachian Miners are given footnotes on the side.

^^^ This is probably true.  However, how does this translate to an “unearned advantage” in any discernible way?

I can be sure of watching a football or basketball program and seeing my race widely represented.

^^^ That’s because your race puts in the time and effort to make this happen.  It’s done by choice.  There are whites who play NFL football, and there are blacks who compete in the World’s Strongest Man.  It’s just that one race tends to gravitate towards the other – but the individuals still put in the time and effort.  This isn’t a privilege.

And this of course isn’t to say that black privilege and male privilege DON’T exist – just that I haven’t been able to find any.  So feel free to leave some examples in the comments section if you’ve found a few that check out.

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