Privilege (the White kind)

I am White.

I am 56 years old.

I am married to a White woman.

We both have full time jobs.

My parents, both White, love us (Hi Mom & Dad!).

Our siblings and extended families love us; there is no family strife.

We (Wife & I) split our time between our two homes.

Between us we have six college degrees.

We have two cars, free and clear.

We do not have cancer (so far as I know).

We do not suffer from depression.

We have health insurance.

For the most part we’re healthy (knock wood).

We love each other.

We have never cheated on each other.

We are not addicted to drugs.

We’ve never been to prison.

We don’t live in a food desert.

We pay our bills, have retirement savings, and some money leftover.

We are, for the most part, law abiding.

Most of our friends are White.

Most of our colleagues are White.

For certain Social Justice Warriors these and other features of our lives may be the effects of White Privilege, which Peggy McIntosh described as

an invisible package of unearned assets which I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was ‘meant’ to remain oblivious

and goes on to claim is kind of like

an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools, and blank checks

So if I understand Ms. McIntosh correctly, for the past 56 years, throughout every achievement, disappointment, celebration and time of despair, I’ve possessed and been unburdened by an unseen, unearned bag of assets which have endowed me with a special privilege, all because I’m White. Further, were I to remark, “Gee, it certainly hasn’t felt that way to me,” the Social Justice Warrior would be quick to react, “But of course – that’s because you’re White!”

What do you call something that can’t be seen, can’t possibly be felt by one who possesses it, yet gets you labeled a denier if you doubt it’s real?

Moving right along to another day in our ridiculously Privileged White lives, frolicing along as we go beneath a weightless bag of unseen, unearned assets… (puhleez)

A stern wind out of the north pushed us south along the beach today. An incessant wind that let birds fly in place. Pretty chilly, too, but nothing a warm jacket couldn’t fend off. It is October after all. We had the beach to ourselves. The Dog found a dinosaur-sized bone and wouldn’t give it up. He carried it high and proudly all the way home, even into the house where we discovered it stank something fierce. My gross anatomy isn’t all that great, but Happy Wife was pretty sure it was a ball ‘n socket joint from the hip of a moose. Probably some dude had dragged it to the beach to butcher it?

Spent most of the past week listening to evidence of wrongdoing by my fellow Alaskans. All of it criminal, but some cases were worse (far worse) than others. That’s about as much as I’m legally permitted to say about the experience. I’ve got two more weeks of service, one each in November and December. At first being a juror was kind of interesting, but as you might imagine there’s a lot of tedium as well. Plus, my employer pays my salary only for the first forty hours of service. After that I have to spend vacation (if I have it), or take time without pay. I was told but cannot confirm that Federal grand jury service goes six months contiguous (I’m on State grand jury). Not that you serve eight hours of every day during that time, but that you have to be available if called. I don’t know how your average person can survive that, being away from work and other responsibilities for that long, and without salary.

Worse, I’m told even if you have White Privilege® you’re not excused from service. So what good is it?