The Great White Male Disprivilege
Disclaimer: This article is meant to be purely satirical with no intention of offending anyone but rather laughing at myself.
White privilege here, white privilege there, white privilege everywhere. Rest assured, if you come to the US you will encounter it sooner rather than later. Be it about politics: Trump, his campaign, Trump supporters, or Democrats with the Clintons. Be it about injustice: unrest among Blacks over police brutality, the rape of an unconscious woman behind a dumpster, or even AirBnB hosts’ hidden racial biases. Be it about certain industries: male dominance in tech, cultural fit criterion in finance or old established law families.
Never before have I been described as privileged on the basis of my skin colour. Having been raised in Poland, a predominantly white country, I never really experienced this dreaded privilege. If anything, Polish public scrutiny focuses on affiliations with communists, which I did not have either. I joined a startup in SF through a reference of a college friend which is why I probably did not notice any issues with the privilege I am discovering these days.
Us, white males, should not yield to the rigged media. It is understandable for the angry to attribute all the inequality to the so-called white privilege. The same strategy of channelling the anger of the masses away from current affairs has been used successfully by politicians for centuries.
As usual, there is a flip side to being a white male which mainstream media tends to ignore regularly. News outlets like to think that being part of the white race does not have any negative sides. I would argue to the contrary. Let’s call these problems white disprivilege.
Living in California, I am exposed daily to one of the most brutal enemies to the white skin colour — the sun. It is a worthy opponent who does not give up attacking me every day. It would be fine if all I did in life was work in the office during a day and cruise around the city at night. Life is not that simple though. Oftentimes in SF, hanging out with friends over weekends means spending time outside , say, hiking. Every time a hiking invite pops up on my phone, I imagine the ultimate ending of the hike with friends of other races asking, “What?! How do you sunburn so fast?”. If only they could understand that putting copious amounts of afterburn aloe gel instead of going out is not the most pleasant activity on earth.
How often do you ask yourself, “Why does Donald Trump’s hair look slightly weird?” I bet you do every time you watch a highlight of his speech. Hair. It’s what makes us, white people, stay awake at night. For my whole life, I have been told by my relatives how wonderful and dense my hair is. Yet, the awakening came after 19 years when I went to college with people from around the world. I made the innocent mistake of supplying an old picture taken as a high school freshman for the college ID. This poor decision came back to haunt me halfway through first year, when a non-European classmate of mine looked at my ID when entering a club and said: “Oh wow, I have no idea how the bouncer let you in, you look so different in the picture. When was that? Your hairline has receded a lot since then.” Ever since then I can’t help but be sad while looking in the mirror brushing my teeth every night.
These are just two of many examples conveniently ignored by many. I wish the general public was more aware of the struggles we face each day getting out of our rooms. It is high time the mainstream media focuses on the real issues rather than blaming everything on white privilege. It is easy to accuse Donald Trump and those alike of abusing the privilege but why don’t we look past it? The elections should focus on fair assessments of each candidate’s political programs to help voters make informed decisions instead.
It may be too much to ask but why don’t you leave us alone and let us struggle in peace? After all we, white people, have more pressing issues to address rather than defending ourselves in media. I, for example, have my sunburnt balding spots to take care of after visiting a typical white holiday destination: Hawaii.