White Privilege Quotes

Quotes tagged as "white-privilege" Showing 1-30 of 128
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

Reni Eddo-Lodge
“White privilege is an absence of the consequences of racism. An absence of structural discrimination, an absence of your race being viewed as a problem first and foremost.”
Reni Eddo-Lodge, Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race

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

“You have to get over the fear of facing the worst in yourself. You should instead fear unexamined racism. Fear the thought that right now, you could be contributing to the oppression of others and you don't know it. But do not fear those who bring that oppression to light. Do not fear the opportunity to do better.”
Ijeoma Oluo, So You Want to Talk About Race

“Our police force was not created to serve black Americans; it was created to police black Americans and serve white Americans.”
Ijeoma Oluo, So You Want to Talk About Race

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

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

Adam Rutherford
“When you have only ever experienced privilege, equality feels like oppression.”
Adam Rutherford, How to Argue With a Racist: History, Science, Race and Reality

Celeste Ng
“Maybe that’s too big of a question. Let’s back up. May Ling has been with you for fourteen months now? What have you done, in the time she’s
been with you, to connect her to her Chinese culture?” “Well.” Another pause, a very long one this time. Mr. Richardson willed Mrs. McCullough to say something, anything. “Pearl of the Orient is one of our very favorite restaurants. We try to take her there once a month. I think it’s good for her to hear some Chinese, to get it into her ears. To grow up feeling this is natural. And of course I’m sure she’ll love the food once she’s older.” Yawning silence in the courtroom. Mrs. McCullough felt the need to fill it. “Perhaps we could take a Chinese cooking class at the rec center and learn together. When she’s older.” Ed Lim said nothing, and Mrs. McCullough prattled nervously on. “We try to be very sensitive to these issues wherever we can.” Inspiration arrived. “Like for her first birthday, we wanted to get her a teddy bear. One she could keep as an heirloom. There was a brown bear, a polar bear, and a panda, and we thought about it and decided on the panda. We thought perhaps she’d feel more of a connection to it.”
Celeste Ng, Little Fires Everywhere

Danielle  Evans
“Boy-next-door, Rena knew, always meant white boy next door. When America has one natural blonde family left, its members will be trotted out to play every role that calls for someone all-American, to be interviewed in every time of crisis. They will be exhausted.”
Danielle Evans, The Office of Historical Corrections

Chloe Gong
“Paul jumped, unable to hide his surprise. Then he grinned and said, "Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. For a Chinese woman, your English is extraordinary. There is not a trace of an accent to be found."
"I have an American accent," she replied dully.
Paul waved her off. "You know what I mean."
Do I? she wanted to say. Would I be less if I sounded like my mother, my father, and all those in this city who were forced to learn more than one language, unlike you?
Chloe Gong, These Violent Delights

“In order to prevent chronic discomfort, Whites may learn not to notice.
But in not noticing, one loses opportunities for greater insight into oneself and one's experience. A significant dimension of who one is in the world, one's Whiteness, remains uninvestigated and perceptions of daily experience are routinely distorted. Privilege goes unnoticed, and all but the most blatant acts of racial bigotry are ignored. Not noticing requires energy.”
Beverly Daniel Tatum, Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?

Louis Yako
“Yet, we must remember that even White privilege is not distributed evenly among Whites. Many White people never get a piece of the pie. This fact, sadly, instead of making them unite with other marginalized and oppressed American employees, it makes them unload their rage and disappointment on the already suffering low-income, refugee, or poor ethnicities, accusing them of ‘stealing our jobs’, or ‘destroying our country and values’. In doing so, they miss the chance of working together with a significant number of allies for real change. Furthermore, they vote for and side with their oppressors thinking that voting for racist and supremacist candidates will change this ugly reality. What they fail to realize is that politics is literally a nasty business that is fed by the masses’ hatred and, once in power, that business never thrives by changing the way the business is done. If all these supposed problems are solved, where will future politicians get their fodder to feed hatred to masses who will bring them to power?”
Louis Yako

Petra Hermans
“Little hearts cannot speak for themselves.”
Petra Hermans, Voor een betere wereld

Celeste Ng
“If she ran off to Washington to join the protests, where would she sleep? How would she stay safe? What would become of her classes, would she be expelled, could she still graduate and go to college?”
Celeste Ng, Little Fires Everywhere

Celeste Ng
“Does May Ling have any dolls?” Ed Lim asked.
“Of course. Too many.” Mrs. McCullough giggled. “She loves them. Just like every little girl. We buy her dolls, and my sisters buy her dolls, and our friends buy her dolls—” She giggled again, and Mr. Richardson’s jaw tensed.
“She must have a dozen or more.”
“And what do they look like, these dolls?” Ed Lim persisted.
“What do they look like?” Mrs. McCullough’s brow crinkled. “They’re—they’re dolls. Some are babies, and some are little girls—” It was clear she didn’t understand the question. “Some of them take bottles, and some of them, you can change their dresses, and one of them closes her eyes when you lay her down, and most of them, you can style their hair—”
“And what color hair do they have?”
Mrs. McCullough thought for a moment. “Well—blond, most of them. One has brown hair. Maybe two.”
“How about the doll that closes her eyes? What color are her eyes?”
“Blue.” Mrs. McCullough crossed her legs, then uncrossed them again. “But that doesn’t mean anything. You look at the toy aisle—most dolls are blond with blue eyes. I mean, that’s just the default.”
“The default,” Ed Lim repeated, and Mrs. McCullough had the feeling of being caught out, though she wasn’t sure why.”
Celeste Ng, Little Fires Everywhere

Ta-Nehisi Coates
“The people who believe themselves to be white are obsessed with the politics of personal exoneration.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me

Glennon Doyle
“Every white person who shows up and tells the truth -- because it is her duty as a member of our human family -- is going to have her racism called out. She will have to accept that others will disagree with how she's showing up and that they will have every right to disagree. She will need to learn to withstand people's anger, knowing that much of it is real and true and necessary. She will need to accept that one of the privileges she's letting burn is her emotional comfort. She will need to remind herself that being called a racist is actually not the worst thing. The worst thing is privately hiding her racism to stay safe, liked, and comfortable while others suffer and die. There are worse things than being criticized -- like being a coward.”
Glennon Doyle, Untamed

“What kind of person would call a fireplace a "flame vaperator"? A person given to pretentious labels, one who wished to measure self-worth by material objects, one unwilling to look upon reality (bricks and mortar) and call it by its correct name. A person, in other words, characteristic of the master-oppressor class, looking upon slavery and calling it beneficent. Such whites, thanks to the labor of slaves, sleep on a "flowery bed of ease," and psychic satisfaction arises from the opportunity to label it truthfully.”
Robert Hemenway

Maya Angelou
“I asked why he was so angry all the time. I told him that while I agreed with Alabama blacks who boycotted bus companies and protested against segregation, California blacks were thousands of miles, literally and figuratively, from those Southern plagues.

"Girl, don't you believe it. Georgia is Down South. California is Up South. If you're black in this country, you're on a plantation. You have to deal with masters. There might be some argument over whether they are vicious masters, but be assured that they all think they are masters . . . And if they think that, then you'd better believe they think you are the slave. Maybe a smart slave, a pretty slave, a good slave, but a slave just the same.”
Maya Angelou, The Heart of a Woman

Andrzej Sapkowski
“I don't care a shit about their time. What have I done to them?" groaned Dandelion. "What wrong have I done them?"
"Think carefully," said the white-haired elf, approaching without a sound, "and maybe you can answer the question yourself.”
Andrzej Sapkowski, The Last Wish

Madeleine Ryan
“Far too often, privilege seems to be the result of conquering things, and stealing things, and copying things, and trying to make money out of things, before moving on to the next thing to conquer, steal, copy, and make money out of. . . . It's as if nothing is sacred to us except for money and our own whiteness. We don't care for what we have. We don't use our so-called privilege very responsibly so, more often than not, we don't seem very privileged at all.”
Madeleine Ryan, A Room Called Earth

“America, birthed from the soil of a stolen seed, was impregnated by a bastard named Insurrection. On Jan. 6, their babies made a bold appearance trying to capitalize on their unrighteousness. Now their heirs want to pretend as if nothing happened”
Reginald Williams

“These demographics presented real threats to white planters, including a potential cross-racial labor movement. Plantation work was close and intimate, and it fostered a troubling solidarity between the growing Black population and white indentured servants. White planters could not afford for such a dangerous bond to form--which is why in 1705 Virginia's legislature did as much to codify white privilege as it did to establish Black subjugation.”
Kai Wright, Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019

Jessica Bruder
“a vast majority of us vandwellers are white. The reasons range from obvious to duh, but then there’s this.” Linked below the post was an article about the experience of “traveling while black.” That made me think: America makes it hard enough for people to live nomadically, regardless of race. Stealth camping in residential areas, in particular, is way outside the mainstream. Often it involves breaking local ordinances against sleeping in cars. Avoiding trouble—hassles with cops and suspicious passersby—can be challenging, even with the Get Out of Jail Free card of white privilege. And in an era when unarmed African Americans are getting shot by police during traffic stops, living in a vehicle seems like an especially dangerous gambit for anyone who might become a victim of racial profiling. All that made me think about the instances when I could have gotten in trouble and didn’t. One time I got pulled over at night while reporting in North Dakota. The cops asked where I was from and recommended some local tourist attractions before letting me off with a warning. In general, people didn’t give me grief when I was driving Halen. I wish I could chalk that up to good karma or some kind of cosmic benevolence, but the fact remains: I am white. Surely privilege played a role.”
Jessica Bruder, Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

“This is the essence of white privilege: when you’re used to having your way, it’s easy to feel threatened when you’re devoid of power. (...) They can’t deal when you don’t act scared, so they fire handguns to reclaim authority over the people they look down upon.”
Marcus J. Moore, The Butterfly Effect: How Kendrick Lamar Ignited the Soul of Black America

“It's the expectations that many white men have that they shouldn't have to climb, shouldn't have to struggle, as others do. It's the idea not only that they think they have less than others, but that they were supposed to have so much more. When you are denied the power, the success, or even the relationships that you think are your right, you either believe that you are broken or you believe that you have been stolen from.”
Ijeoma Oluo, Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America

Abhijit Naskar
“In a so-called civilized world, a person with white skin is worth more than a person of color – thus they receive privileges in every walk of society, whereas the person of color faces doubt and suspicion every step of the way.”
Abhijit Naskar, Solo Standing on Guard: Life Before Law

“Banning weapons is the most white privilege idea ever. Rich liberals scoffing at the idea that a person might need to defend their own life is a tower so ivory you can't look at it in direct sunlight. It's the personal safety equivalent of "just have the maid do it.”
Caleb Howe

“White privilege is about the word white, not rich. It's having advantage built into your life. It's not saying your life hasn't been hard; it's saying your skin color hasn't contributed to the difficulty in your life.”
Emmanuel Acho, Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man

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