ezekiel's chariot - 張敦楷 (pjammer) wrote,
ezekiel's chariot - 張敦楷

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White Privilege Counter-Meme

So it seems the 'privilege meme' (authored by Will Barrett) has been making the rounds; people bold the things that are true about their upbringing from this list as a way to showcase how much 'privilege' (read: unfair advantage) they had over their peers - perhaps supposed to feel guilty about it?

As an immigrant for whom English is my THIRD language (and whose parents started over in their mid-30s in a new country with a new language), the entire excercise irritates me on so many levels I felt the need to create a counter-meme. The truth is, by global standards, EVERYONE who just lives in the westernized world is absurdly privileged, and it is incredibly destructive to focus on the miniscule 'unfairness' of how so-and-so got to go to a museum as a kid, and you didn't.

Go through the list below. Bold the stuff that's true about you.

Or I'll make it easy on you and just list the stuff that's UNtrue.


1 Unlike 50% of the world, I have always had access to clean, potable water.
2 I don't know anyone who does NOT have access to clean, potable water, and until I read the above, did not know the percentage of world population that does not have this benefit.
3 I don't know anyone who died from malaria.
4 I don't know anyone who died from malnutrition.
5 I don't know anyone living on less than US$1000 per year.

Government, Education, Internet

6 I live in a country where the average citizen has a life expectancy over age 40.
7 I live in a country that has a literacy rate of over 95%.
8 I have a connection to the Internet either personally or through a library in my city, and through that, can access the repository of the world's knowledge with a few keystrokes.
9 My country does not enact nationwide internet censorship and will not forbid me from reading articles or posting comments critical of my country's leaders or policies.
10 My country does not jail or execute citizens who express dissent with its current leaders or government policy.
11 From age six to eighteen, I have access to a public education system that is free to residents of my community.

White, Heterosexual Males (others, please skip down to next section)

12 If I am financially successful, I am told the only reason I have a comfortable lifestyle is because of my 'white privilege' - any hard work, risk-taking or personal work ethic I applied to better myself during my schooling or career is discounted. I am obligated to 'share the wealth' and endure confiscatory taxes of my income and investments as 'reparations' to nonwhite strangers I'm presumed to have oppressed on my way to to top.
13 If I am financially/professionally unsuccessful, I am solely responsible for my failures and can expect to be openly ridiculed by mainstream culture ('hick' 'poor white trash' etc).
14 I must never acknowledge reverse-racism/anti-white discrimination; the existence of women-only fitness clubs, race-gerrymandered college admissions or government set-aside contracts for less-qualified competitors are all legitimate recourse against centuries of oppression perpetrated by people of my skin tone/gender.

NON-White Heterosexual Males (N-WHM)

15 If I start a business, there exists an entire federal bureau dedicated to granting me access to capital, consulting and mentoring, based on my ethnicity or gender.
16 There exists advocacy groups of my specific ethnicity/gender/sexual orientation, who strongarm special privileges for my group from governments and give me access to free legal and media representation if I ever feel aggrieved by a WHM and wish to make a big to-do about it.
17 There exists Oppression Studies majors at most universities where students can earn bachelor's and even advanced degrees just by studying/cataloging how those with my ethnicity/gender/sexual orientation don't have it as good as WHMs.
18 If I, as a minority, express an opinion skeptical of the notion of 'white privilege,' I will be scolded as a 'self-hating [minority type]' who has 'internalized my oppression;' there is only one correct opinion to have on the matter and if I dissent, I can expect to be branded a 'race traitor.'

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