There's a lot of terms you've probably heard thrown around and perhaps you're too embarassed to ask what they really mean. Well we're here to give you the details.
Let me first suggest that you start here. White Privilege is not a new concept and this essay written by Peggy McIntosh, titled White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, is a great place to begin. There is also a great article here that breaks down what White Privilege is in 10 examples and if you're a visual person, try either of these short Tik Tok videos here and here.
But to put it bluntly, white privilege is not based on your economic standing as some may believe. Ultimately, It’s getting to choose when and where you want to take a stand on things. It’s knowing that you and your race are safe because government bodies are going to protect you.
It’s having the benefit of the doubt, through being the more “humanised” race, due to consistent positive portrayals of you in the media. And it’s knowing that you can pretty much comfortably move through this world, having your needs readily met. In other words finding shampoo in Boots would be easy for you, and it wouldn’t be separated off in an ethnic hair section, if even there at all.
White Supremacy is at the face of it an ideology that being white is superior to those of any other race. Whilst, that may seem extreme, it is not just about the KKK or National Front.
White Supremacy culture effects all facets of our society. Perhaps, most prevalent in the media and education system. The white washing of these institutions promotes the ideology of White Supremacy through ensuring that the history we are taught and the news we see is continually perpetuated through a white lense and reinforces our racial interests and perspectives.
Is White Supremacy’s sis. It is at it’s core the racist ideology that exists to promote the comfort and safety of middle class white women. It doesn’t have to think about race and in turn completely ignores Intersectionality.
For example White Feminism, often is arguing for closing the Gender Pay Gap, but what it fails to acknowledge is that Black and Latina women are paid even less.
It also makes the assumption that how white straight women experience misogyny is how all women experience misogyny. You often see this on panels at events talking about feminism, where no one on the panel is part of the BIPOC community.
Finally it fails to address the fact that a white woman can often speak her mind and not be tarnished with the label of being “an angry white woman” unlike our Black sisters.
"White Supremacy will be strengthened not weakened if you give us the right to vote" - Carrie Chapman Catt - Suffragette Leader
Yep that's what the Suffragette movement was built of off babe.
You know when a black person brings up how racism has effected them, and you take it personally. That’s white fragility. Click here for a great article that explains it far better than I could.
But to keep it short and sweet, White Fragility is us, white people, making the hurt and experiences of Black people about us and our feelings and therefore, making it more difficult for BIPOC to have the conversation with us.
Wikipedia defines it as -
"Intersectionality is a theoretical framework for understanding how aspects of a person's social and political identities might combine to create unique modes of discrimination. Intersectionality identifies injustices that are felt by people due to a combination of factors.”
So for example, being a Black Gay man, it's likely your experiences of discrimination are very different than a Black Straight man or a White Gay man.
Differs from the individual racism you may be aware of. Systemic Racism refers to the "policies and practices entrenched in established institutions, which result in the exclusion or promotion of designated groups."
For example, when Cannabis was widely illegal in the states, in 2015 40% of drug arrests were just for possession of marijuana - and although White and Black Americans are around equally likely to use marijuana, Black people were 3.7 more likely to be arrested for it. And that even if they didn't get convicted of a crime that arrest could stay on their record and affect their chances at good jobs, housing and bank loans for the rest of their lives.
Furthermore, now with the legalisation of Marijuana, many Black Americans are either still incarcerated on these charges, or still bear the brunt of these previous arrests, whilst many other White American and big corporations are now in the business of selling Marijuana and profiting from it.
BIPOC stands for black, indigenous, people of colour.
Please also understand that these acronyms are often just as problematic. BAME (Black Asian Minority Ethnic) and BIPOC put Black people in to a diluted category that implies all experiences of ethnic minorities are the same and that is not the case. See Intersectionality.
*sidenote Uncle Gary, don't ever use coloured people.
Microaggressions are the every day instances of racism Black people have to deal with all the time. They're often indirect but at time can be direct too.
Have you ever asked someone "where they're ReAlLy from?" or told a Black person they are "so articulate", as if it's a shock that they could be. Those are examples of microaggressions.
You can see more examples and find out the origins of the term by checking out this Instagram Post from @TheConsciousKid.
"i don't see colour"
Ok, so this isn't a definition as such.
But, it is a VERY problematic statement and one you want to stop saying to Black people today, tomorrow and yesterday.
You know how it goes, a Black person tells you something racist that's effected them and you reply "oh but, I don't see colour" thinking this is some sort of liberal, comforting statement. Nope it's not. It's jarring and offensive.
Why you ask? Well, by saying you don't see someone's race, you are effectively saying you don't see their oppression, discrimination or marginalisation. In fact it's yet again your privilege that even allows you to make the statement "I don't see colour".
So, basically, don't say this and acknowledge why you would have ever said this to someone.
We can only fight racism if we acknowledge race.
The difference between bias and racism
Basically, racial bias is a belief that you may have formed through a number of factors such as your environment or the media you consume. Racism is what happens when you take that belief and turn into an action.
Why it’s Black Lives Matter and not All Lives Matter
Yep, all lives matter, we know we get that.
BUT FOR THE PAST 400 years or so Black Lives have not mattered. And by saying Black Lives Matter, you are not saying other lives don’t matter. You’re simply saying Black Lives are just as important.
To sum that up if All Lives Matter, why does the system continue to put the victims of police brutality on trial, rather than punishing their killers?
Yep, repeat after me, BLACK LIVES MATTER.