Privileged White Discrimination
While discussing feminist-related topics with my cousin over the summer, like abortion, and the lack of importance given to the Fifa Women’s Cup, she gave me this: “El hecho de que tú como hombre vienes de una posición privilegiada, hace que tus argumentos sean un poco menos relevantes.”
This line is a somewhat popular belief usually associated with the left side of politics. The classic “PSA: white people don’t get to decide what’s racist” line by politician Saira Rao line made me want to write this article.
Unsurprisingly, a lot of western culture believe that a person’s gender or skin color, and all other physical aspects that have been with them since birth, determine how much their opinions matter. These same people still claim to go against discrimination.
Coming from an arguably “privileged” position should not make your opinions less important. If you know what you’re talking about, and have a contribution - or rebuttal - to a discussion, it makes sense for everyone’s voice to be heard and equally valued. Your background as a white person or a man shouldn’t even come into the equation.
Many think this way because of rough history that minority groups and women have. It used to be nearly impossible to live peacefully, and opportunities were scarce for both groups. Seeing we’re all relatively equal under the law in the United States and somewhat so in Mexico, some feel it’s the white man’s job to “make up for” all those years of discrimination by not involving themselves on issues usually only concerning one race. It’s interesting to see the irony coming from people claiming to go against racism turning out to be racist themselves by suppressing opinions because their white skin tone.
Not looking for compensation based on previous history and focusing more on the present you can realize that in the west, women’s rights are constantly improving and racial minorities in the United States are almost catered to. There are actual cases of discrimination against men and white people that many seem to miss. According to a study by Huffington Post, men get 63% higher from prison sentences than women. As for the white race, many are starting to believe their opinions are irrelevant because, according to previously mentioned Saira Rao, they have too much privilege. Assuming all white people live perfect lives is still discrimination.
If you think people in positions of privilege, mainly white people or white men, shouldn’t voice themselves because they’re too privileged, you’re suppressing people of a certain group because of their skin color or gender. I think we have a word for that.