One time, back in high school, two of my friends gave me the ‘friends test’. Like most high school girls, both wanted to make sure I was their true BFF – probably for the purpose of manipulating me later. So like sneaky high school girls had a tendency to do back in the 90s, both called me at once. One spoke, the other listened on speaker phone.
I suppose I wasn’t supposed to know this at the time but also – I knew. You know, on account of not being retarded and teenage girls don’t know how to control their breathing while trying to silently listen to something. So when Girl One asked me “If there was an accident, and me and Girl Two got thrown out of the car and you were the only survivor and you were holding my hand, but also Girl Two’s hand, who would you drop if we were both dangling off a cliff”
Now, I knew that I was supposed to say I’d hold onto Girl One’s hand. At the very least. I could have given an excuse to hold onto Girl Two’s hand. But instead, I answered “Neither. I would have let you both drop.”
“Why?” Girl One asked.
“Because there’s no right answer to the question and holding both your fat asses up would seriously damage my shoulders.” Then, I hung up the phone and went back to watching Friends.
That, aside from being the story of how I lost my first best friend, also encompasses my philosophy of life. It’s all about me. Here’s a Tupac song to underline the statement.
The whole ‘white privilege” category is that dumb assed, mean girl phone call on a mass scale. There’s no right answer and it’s designed to make you feel guilty for just being you. There is no answer you can give that will satisfy everyone. You’re the villain, just for being who you are.
Your only response, if you make one at all, can be apathy.
Know why I’ve never been to a protest? I don’t have time. When I’m not working, I’m recovering from working and waiting to go to work again. I don’t protest because I don’t have time for frivolous, nonsense gibberish. I don’t protest because I know better. I know the only way to change the world is with cold hard cash.
But I still have children telling me I’m ‘privileged’. Let’s be honest. Most of the kids spitting out the whole ‘white privilege’ thing are children who’ve never had to deal with adversity in their lives.
I have. I’m not particularly pretty. I’m not particularly smart. Just regular, but for the fact that I’m socially awkward. I have yet to have someone approach me and promise to take care of me and all my problems for nothing. I have yet to be given something that I didn’t work my ass off for.
I’ve spent most of my life working, specifically because I’m not particularly pretty and I’m not smart. I’m no one special. But still, I’ve managed to accomplish a lot of things. You don’t get to write off everything good I’ve done as ‘white privilege’ for the same reason you don’t get to write off everything wrong you’ve done because of ‘minority disillusionment’. Otherwise, we’d both be McDonald’s managers.
So no, white privilege is not a thing. I don’t know what it is to be you, but at the same time, you don’t get to tell me what it’s like to be me. That’s the tradeoff.
That’s why the whole ‘white privilege’ thing is a mean girl’s question. There’s no right answer you can give.
So you don’t need to answer the question. You just need to hang up the phone.