A Simple Thought Experiment on White Privilege That Anyone Can Understand

This single paragraph settles the issue for most people

Mark Greene
Jan 10, 2020 · 3 min read
Photo by Scott Davidson

A lot of white men in the United States are suffering from unemployment, failing health, epidemic levels of social isolation and mental health challenges. A lot of white men are on the streets, victims of combat PTSD and economic disasters. Millions of white men are victims of our man box culture of masculinity that expects us to win every day and doesn’t give a damn about us when we stop winning. When we tell men whose lives have fallen apart, that they have white privilege, it can be difficult for them to hear.

I know white privilege is a complex issue, but here’s a simple thought experiment on white privilege that even these men will understand:

Not sure what white privilege is? Imagine you’re in the US. You’re driving down a country road in the middle of the night. You are far from home. Suddenly, you see police lights in your rearview mirror. You pull over and you look down at your hand. Imagine, in that moment, that you can choose to have any color skin you want. What color skin would you pick? If you choose white skin when dealing with the police, then you have just shown you know what white privilege is.

The simple fact is white people know the cops are going to be more careful about how they treat us. If that isn’t a systemic advantage based on race, I don’t know what is.

Mark Greene writes, speaks and consults on masculinity, and diversity and inclusion for organizations across the United States. To learn more about his work, go to RemakingManhood.com.

Want to learn more about how our domination-based man box culture destroys men and women’s lives? Get your copy of The Little #MeToo Book for Men. “First see the culture, then change the culture.”

It’s time for men to take back our capacity for rich human connection. In just 75 pages, The Little #MeToo Book for Men shows us how to break out of man box culture. At Amazon http://amzn.to/39v0U31

More by Mark Greene on Medium

“For This Generation of Men There Will Be No Resolution”

“Traditional Masculinity Isn’t Under Attack Because It Doesn’t Actually Exist”

“Dear APA, I Love You, But the Problem Isn’t ‘Traditional Masculinity’”

“Yes, Men Have Been Cheated”

“Equal Pay for Women Should Be a No-Brainer for One Stupidly Obvious Reason

“Mansplaining 101 for Men: Why We Do It”

“Anger and the Brutal Contradictions of Masculinity”

“Why Do We Murder the Beautiful Friendships of Boys?”

“Why Calling it Toxic Masculinity Isn’t Helping

“How Homophobia Has Robbed All Men of Touch

Remaking Manhood

The Modern Masculinity Movement: Stories from the front lines of change.

Mark Greene

Written by

Author THE LITTLE #METOO BOOK FOR MEN https://www.amazon.com/dp/0983466963 Writer/speaker on inclusion, masculinity. BBC, New York Times- http://remakingmanhood

Remaking Manhood

Manhood can seem mapped out for us by our dominant culture of masculinity’s rules for being a “real man.” Remaking Manhood seeks to end our isolating man box culture by encouraging boys and men to create something better. Have an article you think belongs here? Reach out to us.

Mark Greene

Written by

Author THE LITTLE #METOO BOOK FOR MEN https://www.amazon.com/dp/0983466963 Writer/speaker on inclusion, masculinity. BBC, New York Times- http://remakingmanhood

Remaking Manhood

Manhood can seem mapped out for us by our dominant culture of masculinity’s rules for being a “real man.” Remaking Manhood seeks to end our isolating man box culture by encouraging boys and men to create something better. Have an article you think belongs here? Reach out to us.

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