I see people of color say this all of the time, but they imagine what it is to be white and don’t know what it is actually like to be white. As a white person who grew up in extreme rural poverty and currently lives in a poor rural area again, I can say that being white has less to do with it than being in certain neighborhoods or being poor (a perception that is fueled by how you dress, your car type, etc.).
I see people of color say this all of the time, but they imagine what it is to be white and don’t…
Orchid64
11

“I see people of color say this all of the time, but imagine what it is to be white and don’t know what it is actually like to be white, because I am apparently unable to recognize the many, many privileges I am accorded because of my skin color. Instead, I will claim that something that is much less visible, poverty, is a more serious issue, and will negate the fact that I receive many privileges simply due to the color of my skin.”

Fixed that for ya. Nobody is saying that poverty is not an issue. This piece is not about poverty, it’s about racism. If you can’t acknowledge that situations like these are very different for people who are white simply because they are white, you need to take a long, hard look at the privileges you do have because of your skin. And possibly think about why you feel the need to claim that poor white people have it worse, as it’s not true, and incredibly rude and invalidating to say in response to a story about being enraged over ill treatment. I highly recommend you read Peggy McIntosh’s piece about white privilege: http://www.decolonizingyoga.com/white-privilege-unpacking-the-invisible-knapsack/

This situation absolutely would have been different were this family a white family. Because police, like most other people in society, make their initial judgments on visual clues, and in the U.S., race is the most prominent and important of these. Poverty is simply not as easy to detect.

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