Quotes About White Privilege

Quotes tagged as "white-privilege" (showing 1-30 of 31)
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
“Race doesn't really exist for you because it has never been a barrier. Black folks don't have that choice.”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah

Theodore J. Kaczynski
“Those who are most sensitive about "politically incorrect" terminology are not the average black ghetto-dweller, Asian immigrant, abused woman or disabled person, but a minority of activists, many of whom do not even belong to any "oppressed" group but come from privileged strata of society.”
Theodore J. Kaczynski, Industrial Society and Its Future

Michael S. Kimmel
“To be white, or straight, or male, or middle class is to be simultaneously ubiquitious and invisible. You’re everywhere you look, you’re the standard against which everyone else is measured. You’re like water, like air. People will tell you they went to see a “woman doctor” or they will say they went to see “the doctor.” People will tell you they have a “gay colleague” or they’ll tell you about a colleague. A white person will be happy to tell you about a “Black friend,” but when that same person simply mentions a “friend,” everyone will assume the person is white. Any college course that doesn’t have the word “woman” or “gay” or “minority” in its title is a course about men, heterosexuals, and white people. But we call those courses “literature,” “history” or “political science.”

This invisibility is political.”
Michael S. Kimmel, Privilege: A Reader

Tim Wise
“The irony of American history is the tendency of good white Americanas to presume racial innocence. Ignorance of how we are shaped racially is the first sign of privilege.

In other words. It is a privilege to ignore the consequences of race in America.”
Tim Wise

Tim Wise
“...After all, acknowledging unfairness then calls decent people forth to correct those injustices. And since most persons are at their core, decent folks, the need to ignore evidence of injustice is powerful: To do otherwise would force whites to either push for change (which they would perceive as against their interests) or live consciously as hypocrites who speak of freedom and opportunity but perpetuate a system of inequality.

The irony of American history is the tendency of good white Americanas to presume racial innocence. Ignorance of how we are shaped racially is the first sign of privilege.

In other words. It is a privilege to ignore the consequences of race in America.”
Tim Wise

Martin Luther King Jr.
“We who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface hidden tension that is already alive”
Martin Luther King Jr.

“Privilege is driving a smooth road and not even knowing it.”
Ampersand

Robert Jensen
“The world does not need white people to civilize others. The real White People's Burden is to civilize ourselves.”
Robert Jensen, The Heart of Whiteness: Confronting Race, Racism, and White Privilege

Tim Wise
“Ignorance of how we are shaped racially is the first sign of privilege. In other words. It is a privilege to ignore the consequences of race in America.”
Tim Wise

Michael S. Kimmel
“Take a little thought experiment. Imagine all the rampage school shooters in Littleton, Colorado; Pearl, Mississippi; Paducah, Kentucky; Springfield, Oregon; and Jonesboro, Arkansas; now imagine they were black girls from poor families who lived instead in Chicago, New Haven, Newark, Philadelphia, or Providence. Can you picture the national debate, the headlines, the hand-wringing? There is no doubt we’d be having a national debate about inner-city poor black girls. The entire focus would be on race, class, and gender. The media would doubtless invent a new term for their behavior, as with wilding two decades ago. We’d hear about the culture of poverty, about how living in the city breeds crime and violence. We’d hear some pundits proclaim some putative natural tendency among blacks toward violence. Someone would likely even blame feminism for causing girls to become violent in a vain imitation of boys.

Yet the obvious fact that virtually all the rampage school shooters were middle-class white boys barely broke a ripple in the torrent of public discussion. This uniformity cut across all other differences among the shooters: some came from intact families, others from single-parent homes; some boys had acted violently in the past, and others were quiet and unassuming; some boys also expressed rage at their parents (two killed their parents the same morning), and others seemed to live in happy families.”
Michael S. Kimmel, Angry White Men: American Masculinity at the End of an Era

Ronald Takaki
“I believe our education system as a whole has not integrated the histories of all people into our education system, just the Eurocentric view of itself, and the White-centered view of African Americans, and even this is slim to nonexistent. What I find is that most people don't know the fact they don't know, because of the complete lack of information.”
Ronald Takaki, A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America

Valerie Baber
“How is it that we can punish women who are paid by politicians yet allow freedom and forgiveness to the politicians who pay them? The irony of the situation is that if we allow Sptizer’s deep pockets to buy his way back into our homes and hearts, then it’s not young women he hired who are whores, it’s the people of New York.”
Valerie Baber

Simon S. Tam
“People buy into this false notion of reverse racism, where they believe that just because there’s a group of people getting together to share something about their heritage that we’re excluding white people. But that’s not the reality.”
Simon S. Tam

Robert Jensen
“Whiteness–the whole constellation of practices, beliefs, attitudes, emotions that are mixed up in being white–is the problem. Whiteness is degraded and depraved[…] To the degree that we accept any of the meaning that the dominant society gives to whiteness, we white people are degraded and depraved.”
Robert Jensen, The Heart of Whiteness: Confronting Race, Racism, and White Privilege

Thomas Norman DeWolf
“Today's youth cannot escape the shadow of racism that has been passed down organically from parents and others who cling to a distorted image of American history, one informed by, and articulated from, a worldview permeated by white privilege. [sic], these biases are so hardwired that most of us have no idea how quickly and automatically they kick in and how enduring they can be.”
Thomas Norman DeWolf, Gather at the Table: The Healing Journey of a Daughter of Slavery and a Son of the Slave Trade

Black Hawk
“Bad and cruel as our people were treated by the whites, not one of them
was hurt or molested by our band. (...)
The whites were complaining at the same time that we were intruding upon
their rights. They made it appear that they were the injured party, and
we the intruders. They called loudly to the great war chief to protect
their property.

How smooth must be the language of the whites, when they can make right
look like wrong, and wrong like right.”
Black Hawk, Black Hawk: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY

Ralph Ellison
“You're a Black educated fool, son. These white folk have newspapers, magazines, radios, spokesmen to get their ideas across. If they want to tell the world a lie, they can tell it so well that it becomes the truth; and if I tell them you're lying, they'll tell the world even if you prove you're telling the truth. Because it's the kind of lie they want to hear.”
Ralph Ellison

“When I got off the train back home, I saw the WHITE and COLORED signs that had been there all along, as it it was the first time.”
Dorothy Hampton Marcus, I Didn't Know What I Didn't Know: A Southern White Woman's Story about Race

“I don't know which hurt more: his rejection, his punch, or my own elder siblings laughing at my pain.”
Dorothy Hampton Marcus, I Didn't Know What I Didn't Know: A Southern White Woman's Story about Race

bell hooks
“When we leave the realm of cinema, it is obvious that the dynamics of white supremacist capitalist patriarchy---which has historically represented black females as "undesirable mates" even if they are desirable sex objects, and so rendered it socially unacceptable for powerful white males to seek committed relationships with black women---continue to inform the nature of romantic partnership in our society.

What would happen to the future of white supremacist patriarchy if heterosexual white males were choosing to form serious relationships with black females?

Clearly, this structure would be under mined. Significantly, The Bodyguard reaffirms this message. Frank Farmer is portrayed as a conservative Republican patriarch, a defender of the nation. Once he leaves the black woman "she devil" who has seduced and enthralled him, he returns to his rightful place as keeper of the nation's patriarchal legacy. In the film, we see him protecting the white male officers of state. These last scenes suggest that loving a black woman would keep him from honoring and protecting the nation.”
bell hooks, Outlaw Culture: Resisting Representations

Martin Luther King Jr.
“In the treatment of poverty nationally, one fact stands out: there are twice as many white poor as Negro poor in the United States. Therefore I will not dwell on the experiences of poverty that derive from racial discrimination, but will discuss the poverty that affects white and Negro alike.”
Martin Luther King Jr.

Ta-Nehisi Coates
“Some days I would take the train into Manhattan. There was so much money everywhere, money flowing out of bistros and cafes, money pushing the people, at incredible speeds, up the wide avenues, money drawing intergalactic traffic through Times Square, money in the limestones and brownstones, money out on West Broadway where white people spilled out of wine bars with sloshing glasses and without police. I would see these people at the club, drunken, laughing, challenging breakdancers to battles. They would be destroyed and humiliated in these battles. But afterward they would give dap, laugh, order more beers. They were utterly fearless. I did not understand it until I looked out on the street. That was where I saw white parents pushing double-wide strollers down gentrifying Harlem boulevards in T-shirts and jogging shorts. Or I saw them lost in conversation with each other, mother and father, while their sons commanded entire sidewalks with their tricycles. The galaxy belonged to them, and as terror was communicated to our children, I saw mastery communicated to theirs.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me

Tom Wolfe
“Laurie piped up again. 'At State, everybody calls diversity dispersity. What happens is, everybody has their own clubs, their own signs, their own sections where they all sit in the dining hall--all the African Americans are over there? . . . and all the Asians sit over't these other tables? -- except for the Koreans? -- because they don't get along with the Japanese so they sit way over there? Everybody's dispersed into their own little groups -- and everybody's told to distrust everybody else? Everybody's told that everybody else is trying to screw them over--oops!' -- Laurie pulled a face and put her fingertips over her lips -- 'I'm sorry!' She rolled eyes and smiled. 'Anyway, the idea is, every other group is like prejudiced against your group, and no matter what they say, they're only out to take advantage of you, and you should have nothing to do with them -- unless your white, in which case all the others are not prejudiced against you, they're like totally right, because you really are a racist and everything, even if you don't know it? Everybody ends up dispersed into their own like turtle shells, suspicious of everybody else and being careful not to fraternize with them. Is it like that at Dupont?”
Tom Wolfe, I am Charlotte Simmons

“All we can infer (from the archaeological shards dug up in Berkshire, Devon and Yorkshire) is that the first Britons, whoever they were and however they came, arrived from elsewhere.
The land (Britain) was once utterly uninhibited. Then people came.”
Robert Winder, Bloody Foreigners: The Story of Immigration to Britain

“Other unsolved murders or untimely deaths were readily blamed on the supposedly sinister Jews: If a Jewish doctor failed to save a life, the whole Jewish community might be attacked and fined.”
Robert Winder, Bloody Foreigners: The Story of Immigration to Britain

Malcolm X
“It's like the Negro in America seeing the white man win all the time.
He's a professional gambler; he has all the cards and the odds stacked on his side, and he has always dealt to our people from the bottom of the deck.”
Malcolm X, The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Nicolò Govoni
“Eppure realizzai per davvero quanto caotica e in prestito fosse la mia fortuna, la fortuna d’essere nato sulla guancia giusta del mondo, soltanto quando un vecchio, per strada, pianse e disse: "Sei bianco come Dio.”
Nicolò Govoni, Uno

Barack Obama
“I had begun to see a new map of the world, one that was frightening in its simplicity, suffocating in its implications. We were always playing on the white man's court, Ray had told me, by the white man's rules. If the principal, or the coach, or a teacher, or Kurt, wanted to spit in your face, he could, because he had power and you didn't. If he decided not to, if he treated you like a man or came to your defense, it was because he knew that the words you spoke, the clothes you wore, the books you read, your ambitions and desires, were already his. Whatever he decided to do, it was his decision to make, not yours, and because of that fundamental power he held over you, because it preceded and would outlast his individual motives and inclinations, any distinction between good and bad whites held negligible meaning.”
Barack Obama, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance

DaShanne Stokes
“Whites saying "make America white again" is like millionaires saying "make the wealthy rich again.”
DaShanne Stokes

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
“White writers can be blunt about race and get all activist because their anger isn’t threatening”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah

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