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Ignorance cartoon
(Rilsonav, Pixabay)

Privileged Pawns
(Camera-man, Pixabay)

Privilege cartoon
(unknown source; fair use, educational)

Privileged Protest
(StockSnap, Pixabay)

A whiite suited man with corks in his ears, atop a pedestal inscribed with 'Ignorance' Privilege Quotes

Because what is privilege, really, if not the continual distortion of the world to reflect our comfort? (Sam Byers, The Guardian, posted and accessed 29 March 2021)

They were careless people … they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made. (F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby)

Privilege does not mean that you are rich, that you’ve had an easy life, that everything’s been handed to you, and you’ve never had to struggle or work hard. All it means is that there are some things in life that you will not experience or ever have to think about just because of who you are.
(Chescaleigh, 0m44s, posted 22 November 2014, accessed 7 June 2020)

When you're accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression. (Seen on the internet)

It’s easy to ignore privilege when it works in your favor. (Rachel Cargle)
[Rachel Cargle urges us to examine our privilege in her free #DoTheWork course]

A chess board with 4 upright white pawns and 4 felled black pawns at their feet

There isn’t one law and order.
There are two separate and distinct systems.
One is a system where the law serves people of privilege – and order preserves their privilege, where the police work for them. And the other is a racist system of predatory policing that systematically devalues black lives, and which acts as an occupying force in their own communities.
And now we’re seeing that system unleashed on mass demonstrations across the country...
(Seth Meyers, 7m47s, posted 8, accessed 9 June 2020 [post George Floyd death and BLM protests])

We do live in a culture steeped in white supremacy and class bigotry, as well as patriarchal values. But the solution to this injustice isn’t to wallow in self-hatred. Instead, heed the words of the writer bell hooks. “Privilege is not in and of itself bad; what matters is what we do with privilege,” she writes. “We have to share our resources and take direction about how to use our privilege in ways that empower those who lack it.” You’re not going to empower others by disempowering yourself.
(Steve Almond, The New York Times, posted 14 August 2018, accessed 19 July 2020)

White privilege doesn't mean you've never experienced any difficulty in your life.
It means that your racial identity has not been one of the barriers you've encountered as compared to someone in exactly the same situation, who isn't white.
The Black Lives Matter movement has highlighted the reality of racial inequalities around the world.
The questions we have to ask ourselves now are: why and how have the inequalities come about? What are the structures that maintain them? What part might I, as a white person within these structures, be playing - often unwittingly - in simply reproducing inequality?
(Dr Myriam Francois, who studies whiteness, cited at BBC, posted and accessed 22 July 2020)

A race about to start - on the left an old white suited male with few obstacles, on the right a young black female with many dangerous obstacles

A friend told me the following story: his father was a survivor of one of the Nazi concentration camps. He said that the people who had the best chance of survival in the camps were the ones who had come from poverty and hardship in their lives before the camps. Those who had come from privilege were the first to die.
(Catherine Ingram, dated 2021, accessed 29/8/2021)

People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material portion of their privilege. (John Kenneth Galbraith)

I think every white person has benefited from white privilege. (Mark Bullingham, chief executive of the FA, quoted in The Guardian, posted and accessed 9 June 2022)

Some people commented on the lack of diversity in Insulate Britain [a UK protest group], arguing that such a blase attitude to arrest is possible only for white people less likely to be mistreated by the system. People within the movement argue that they need to use their privilege for good. “I’m a white, grey-haired, 65-year-old woman and I realise that puts me in a privileged position,” Lewis [Giovanna Lewis] says. “What am I doing with my life if I’m not using that for everybody?” (The Guardian, posted and accessed 17 December 2022)

A group of male protesters behind a banner that says 'Men of Quality respect Women's Equality'
Privileged people can use their privilege to protest on behalf of everybody

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Page last updated: 7 April 2023.