“You see things through tunnel vision because society has set it up to where you don’t have to see so much.”
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Transcript for White Privilege
They did this experiment in the 1960s that was with baby dolls. It has to do with a lot, like, with elementary school kids. And they would have a white baby doll and a black baby doll. And they would ask the kids questions about them and stuff. It was really shocking to a lot of people how much the African American children favored the white baby dolls and thought that the black baby dolls were bad.
And like they recreated this experiment recently. They had this whole spectrum of the same picture of a person but with different skin tones ranging from really light to really dark. They would ask these little kids like Okay, can you point to which one you think is the good child? Can you point to which one you think is a liar? It was the same results. It was just, you know, really incredible.
For me, I don’t know, a lot of White Privilege is what you don’t think about, what you don’t have to see. And that’s the privilege of it, not having to realize there’s a racial problem.
There was an article called “The Invisible Knapsack” by Peggy McIntosh. It’s a really short article that’s like a great introduction to even realizing you have privilege. She describes it as carrying around an invisible knapsack, and she just lists off, off the top of her head, the things that she can think of, the ways she’s privileged on a daily basis. You know, I can go around places and feel safe, I have the opportunity not to go through “dangerous areas”, I just have the option not to see so much stuff, and going into a job interview, I never have to worry that they are going to have prejudice against me.
I think the biggest thing is realizing how little you know, and like how limited your own experiences are if you have white privilege. Because you see things through this very tunnel vision, because society has set it up so that you don’t have to see so much. So I think the most important thing is to realize (a) you’re never going to have those experiences that so many other people have because you’ll never have to, you never had to, and people just won’t treat you the same way.
So I guess the most important thing is to realize that you have to listen to people, not just listen to what their saying but believe what they’re saying. Because people will just no, that couldn’t happen. The cops aren’t racist anymore. People don’t do that anymore. You know, everything was solved with Civil Rights so we don’t have to work on it. And you’re just an angry minority person if you’re saying that because obviously, that kind of thing doesn’t happen. I don’t see it happen. I don’t know people who I have to believe, people I’m related to or people who I have to take seriously, that have said things like that so I don’t have to believe you. So I don’t have to deal with how I’m complicit in the system. And how I’m fine when the cops pull me over because I’m a white female. Usually if the cop is male, he’s not going to see me as threatening in the least bit, and I’m the least likely demographic to get a ticket. I’ve only been pulled over twice ever, and I’ve never gotten a ticket so it’s like I benefit from that.