Last weekend, while most of us were going on about our business, something called the “White Privilege Conference” was taking place in Madison, Wisconsin.
Built on the premise that “the U.S. was started by white people, for white people”, the conference boasts a long list of radical partner organizations, including Code Pink, The Social Justice Training Institute, and Hip Hop Congress, whose co-founder, Shamako Noble, has collaborated on projects with Public Allies, an organization whose Chicago branch was first led by Michelle Obama.
But what exactly is ‘white privilege’?
According to some of the speakers and conference goers in this video, ‘white privilege’ is a “transparent preference for whiteness that saturates our society,” and if you are white, it means “there is a whole part of you that you are not naming and you’re not understanding because whiteness is just normalized and it’s just there…”.
Long story short: It was an opportunity for white people who already hate themselves to be lectured that they deserve to hate themselves, and need to teach other white people to hate themselves.
One “educator” was moved to denounce herself, for not hating her own whiteness enough. (But also mostly, to claim, she was still morally superior to white people who don’t hate their whiteness yet).
“I have to everyday wake up and acknowledge that I am so deeply imbedded with racist thoughts and notions and actions in my body that I have to choose everyday to do anti-racist work and think in an anti-racist way.”
She argued that until white people admit they have a problem, they will not be able to fight against white privilege.
“We’ve been raised to be good. ‘I’m a good white person,’ and yet to realize I carry within me these dark, horrible thoughts and perceptions is hard to admit. And yet like the alcoholic, what’s the first step? Admitting you have a problem,”
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