Sunday, December 29, 2013

More On Privilege

Since this is pretty much a 101 site, with a dash or two of 201, when it comes to issues of marginalization, I do welcome comments and questions, no matter how basic, including why do you keep writing on this stuff? I'll let you in on a secret ~ I would love to stop writing about this stuff. But I can't. Because we as white people, white women, aren't getting it.  How do I mean we're not getting it? Look around. At television shows. At boycotts. At Halloween costumes. At hiring practices. At the excuses we are making and making in massive numbers recently. Yes, throughout time, but recently we have lost our damn minds.

See, even "good" white women are still part of the problem. I know, I know. You're different. This doesn't apply to you. It can't. You're not like that. You're a "good one." You recognize your privilege and check it at the door. Some of us even actually do that, not just talk about doing it. But here's the thing ~ we are still white. We still carry white privilege. The power culture that exists is still completely in our favor. Even if we are doing our best to reject it, we can't. We are white and nothing changes that. 

Thinking that we can go into spaces where we aren't welcome because we're "cool" ~ privilege. Thinking people of color owe us their gratitude for being "cool" ~ privilege. Thinking we can wear blackface because we don't mean it "that way" ~ privilege. Continuing to watch shows like Duck Dynasty or Paula Deen because, after all, our skipping it won't actually change anything and/or that's just how they are down there ~ privilege. Thinking we get a pass because we are hipster or ironic ~ privilege. Thinking we can reject our whiteness because we understand social justice ~ privilege. Until and unless we can come to understand that, we aren't nearly as "good" as we think we are.

While we're on this, I have finally learned the phrase I will be using in place of ally/allied. Look for the acronym COSW, or maybe even COSWing, or any number of combinations that I haven't come up with yet. It stands for Currently Operating in Solidarity With and comes from Mia McKenzie and this post on Black Girl Dangerous. Go there and read why. Because...thinking your own voice can tell someone else's experience better than they can and not giving credit where credit is due ~ privilege.

There are decent white women. There are no "good" white women. Getting that is a vital first step toward COSWing ~ and one we all have to take if we have any hope of being good people.

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

ETA: (which means "edited to add" for those of you unfamiliar) Want a painful example of what I'm talking about in this post? Read this article. White women, claiming to be feminists and implying alliance ~ you know, "good" white women ~ pulled this shit, right here. Now, ask me again why I keep writing about this stuff?


MikeC said...


I know that your religious perspective does not derive from the traditional Christian viewpoint. I also know that I am privileged that you look favorably on some Episcopalians, including Cats and me. So I thought you would be interested in this blog:

leave it lay where Jesus flang it

Margaret, the author, is "an Episcopal priest in Eagle Butte, South Dakota on the Cheyenne River Reservation." She serves multiple congregations and she deals daily with poverty, hunger, addiction, death, and the complete polar opposite of privilege.

I could not do what she does, and I am filled with gratitude every time I read one of her blog posts that she continues to summon the strength to do the work she is doing.

Her writing is a smack in the face to those of us who get complacent with privilege.

BostonPobble said...

Mike ~ Thank you for this link. Already, she has taken my breath away.