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To ask when you’ve experienced white privilege

(375 Posts)
Whitepriv Fri 05-Jun-20 18:56:27

Sadly I know I have. In East London at a high rise, was checking into an Airbnb and couldn’t find the lockbox despite instruction so was looking extremely dodgy, looking under lots of the block of flats windowsills. There’s a young black man hanging out a few metres from me smoking a cig.

Police come by and ask me if I could do with any help and if I’m okay. I tell them that I’m fine but thank you. In less than a minute, I see the same police moving on the young black man for hanging around outside the flats, with a ‘you can’t loiter here’. Sad 😞

OP’s posts: |
Caplin Fri 05-Jun-20 19:02:51

Not me, but my soon to be ex brother in law was trying to get a flat, he has a strong Japanese accent. Couldn’t get one.

My sister called for him, he got a flat in a day.

Growing up in a multi cultural area I saw my privilege daily vs my best mate who was black. I made me furious and weirdly I felt impotent. It was shitty.

Listen to the Louis Theroux podcast with Lenny Henry, that gives a good insight.

Beketaten Fri 05-Jun-20 19:03:03

In the Middle East, checking into a hotel on a business trip with 2 colleagues, all talking to different receptionists at the big check-in desk. We'd all requested a non-smoking room in our bookings and were told there were only smoking rooms left. They were both told there was nothing that could be done, they should take the smoking rooms and come back to reception again in the morning to see if any non-smoking were available. I was upgraded to a non-smoking suite. I'm the only white person in this story, including the receptionists.

Ragwort Fri 05-Jun-20 19:06:26

I was with an Ethiopian friend who was job hunting, she went into a well known fast food restaurant which had a 'job opportunities' sign in the window, she enquired about applying and was told the vacancies had all been filled. I went straight in and asked and was handed an application form angry.

LoudBatPerson Fri 05-Jun-20 19:06:51

I have a when travelling with a colleague. I sailed by security and passport control every time, they get the enhanced screening and questioning. This has happened in a number of countries but was very noticeably worse during a trip to the USA.

EnthusiasmIsDisturbed Fri 05-Jun-20 19:08:48

With my dad I got better service in his home country

But I think likely it happens to me often and I am just not aware because it’s so normal

Sparklybanana Fri 05-Jun-20 19:08:52

Is that white privilege or because you're female? Statistically men are more likely to engage in criminal behaviour so its not that surprising he was told as opposed to you.

Zampa Fri 05-Jun-20 19:10:08

Every day of my life.

Squirrelblanket Fri 05-Jun-20 19:10:58

I'm white, I experience white privilege every day. 🤷‍♀️

longwayoff Fri 05-Jun-20 19:11:03

Always, by virtue of being born English. Can't escape it but need to be aware of it.

Andpiglettoo Fri 05-Jun-20 19:11:54

Think people on this thread are missing an understanding of what white privilege. If you live in the UK or USA you have it just by being white.

Having better opportunities and outcomes because you are white is white privileged. What is being listed is examples of times you have seen overt racial discrimination I.e. people openly being treated worse because they are not.

LadyLeucadia Fri 05-Jun-20 19:11:56

Everyone I go to a shop and am not followed around making sure I 'behave'.

rhowton Fri 05-Jun-20 19:12:00

I go skiing with a group of 8 people every year. One Indian guy. We all know he is going to be "randomly" selected when going through security. To the point where he will actively go in between all of us so it's clear he is in our group. Happens every time!

LadyLeucadia Fri 05-Jun-20 19:12:16

Every time, FFS

Cadent Fri 05-Jun-20 19:12:18

Great thread

Thorilicious Fri 05-Jun-20 19:12:21

Basically, every day of my life. Being able to walk down the street, and not have someone cross the road to avoid me. To not be suspected of a crime, just because I happen to be in the vicinity of it happening. To be able to shop without security follow me around.

Whitepriv Fri 05-Jun-20 19:12:35

@Sparklybanana I honestly don’t know, but we were both of a similar age I think (twenties). Could be gender, could be race. Either way not cool

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Themostwonderfultimeoftheyear Fri 05-Jun-20 19:12:45

I agree with Zampa, every single day and I won't be aware of most of it because I will take it for granted as it's just normal for me. White privilege is built into our lives in too many ways for us to count.

Ontopofthesunset Fri 05-Jun-20 19:12:52

I imagine all the time.

BankofNook Fri 05-Jun-20 19:13:23

Several months ago there was a huge furore on the residents FB group as some posted a warning that at school drop off they had seen "an ethnic looking man" taking a photograph of the school gate and whatsapping it to someone. The thread went absolutely batshit with several parents posting that they'd rang the school to make them aware, several more people posted that they'd contacted the PCSOs for the area and asked them to do a patrol of the area to see if they could find him and a patrol at home time to check the children were safe. Someone queried whether it should be reported as a terror offence in case he was casing it for an attack, a very small middle school in the arse end of nowhere apparently being a prime target for the likes of ISIS. Someone put a call out "to the men of this village!" urging them to band together and go look for this guy to protect their children. Utter shitshow and the admins ended up banning people as it was getting out of hand. Anyone who said they were overreacting was shouted down.

The local councillor then appeared on the thread to post that he knew who the man was and everyone had it wrong. The man himself then posted to explain that he was new to the area and his child was new to the school. His wife hadn't done pick up yet as she was usually at work but was doing it that day and he had sent her a photograph of the school gate so she would know which exit to wait beside (the children go in one side of the property and leave on the other side).

I have used my mobile phone outside that school most days while I'm waiting for DS to come out, as have many of the other parents in our predominantly white area of the country. No one ever made a FB post about us or reported us to the police.

Whitepriv Fri 05-Jun-20 19:14:23

And @Andpiglettoo you’re completely right. I never thought of it like this. Probably due to white privilege blush

OP’s posts: |
StepAwayFromGoogle Fri 05-Jun-20 19:19:07

I assume every day of my life. But I don't even notice or know.

Allihearischasemarshallskye Fri 05-Jun-20 19:19:25

@BankofNook omfg

Unescorted Fri 05-Jun-20 19:19:26

Every single day...

Brought home by walking across Piccadilly Gardens after the Manchester bombings and being approached by some one screaming to fuck off home you fucking foreigner.... my colleague turned to me and went "Yeah fuck off Unescorted" He was shaking after that.

Samtsirch Fri 05-Jun-20 19:22:11

You are absolutely right.
I have read a fair bit about this with regard to education,which of course directly impacts employment prospects and lifestyle.
It is truly shocking.

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