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10 hours ago, square_25 said:

As someone who also came from the Soviet Union, I absolutely do get benefits from being white. People don't treat me like a threat. People aren't surprised that I'm smart. The way I talk (even though I have a bit of an accent) marks me as someone who probably has enough money. 

Furthermore, there's an issue of cultural capital. My grandmother taught me to read and do math before I went to school. I have two grandparents who are high school teachers, in fact. My dad is a university professor. My first stepdad is a university professor. 

I am not coming at this from the same perspective as someone who is brought up by potentially uneducated parents in a difficult community who is struggling to make ends meet. I also get the benefit of the doubt the way those kids do not. 

So do I now that I live in the deep South--- but they are all because of racist people who decide to favor white people- as in individuals.  I also got two instances of racism against me by blacks when I was younger ( the first instance was so scary-  I was in a bus with a black bus driver and everyone else was black- I was going to my orthodontist at Georgetown University Dental School- the bus driver refused to stop the bus for me even though I rang the bell and it was the stop.  I asked him to stop and he kept ignoring me as we went by two stops.  A very kind elderly lady rang the bell and he stopped.  SHe didn\'t get off, she was just helping me.    I had a lot of anti- my nationality growing up and I am fairly sure I am now having that happen again in the South too.    And furthermore, whatever benefits the few racists I have met who decided to favor me (totally unwanted by the way and it really repels me), are far, far, exceeded by the ableists who decided to discriminate against me.

As to your second point, there are plenty of educated black people not struggling to make ends meet and there are plenty of white, Latino, Asian, etc parents who are not well educated, living in difficult communities who are struggling to make ends meet.  My dh grew up in such a home. 

Everybody is basically privileged in some ways and disadvantaged in other ways.  Yes, I got intelligence from my parents but I didn;t get athletic abilities, artistic abilities, and also got a whole slew of autoimmune diseases.  I do not feel guilty in the least bit about my privilege because that is completely useless.  What I do do is put my money where my beliefs are---so I fund music education that goes to schools where there are no music programs, scholarships to Space Camp, books for kids who wouldn't get them otherwise, etc, etc, etc.  But I do not decide that kid A is disadvantaged because he is black and kid B is privileged because he is white.  I think making such assumptions is racist.  You have to look at individual circumstances.   

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On 7/28/2020 at 5:28 AM, square_25 said:

I don’t think there’s any point feeling guilty about one’s privileges, because it’s futile. However, it’s worthwhile being aware of them and being grateful for them. 

I think is extremely important. Just recognizing that I have had privilege based on my race has helped me see some of the systemic discrimination I didn't recognize before.  

I have two friends. Friend A is white and her husband is black. She has 3 very LARGE sons. 6'6" and UP. It's crazy how tall they are and they are very dark skinned.  When they are walking down the street in the city ,she said she can't even count how many times she has been stopped by white men and asked if she "needs help" and "everything ok?"

I had this conversation with her and another friend who ALSO has 2 sons that are huge!!!! Not quite as tall but definitely over 6ft and the mom is TINY so they totally dwarf her. She/hubby/kids are all white. She told us she has never had the experience of Friend 1. 

Its not that Friend A's kids are scary looking and B's kids are sweet as homemade apple pie. Actually Friend B said her kids are more apt to be scowling. 

It's the perception that a white woman walking down the street with 3 large black men must be in trouble. That's the privilege I've never had to experience.

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