When White Privilege is Underprivileged

I was at the Stuff White People Do blog a while back and I found a very interesting video, made by a young fellow named Josh.  I followed the Youtube link and found his blog, Josh on the Street  and discovered that he was a new blogger.  The premise of the video he created was to show white people what it is like to be considered “illegal aliens” in the place where they happen to live, and be treated as a criminal based on their skin color as a matter of course. 
So in the skit, the “police officer” goes about seeking “illegal European immigrants” to arrest and deport back to Europe.  After all, they happen to be living illegally on the stolen land of Native Americans. The video is very clever and funny, and supposedly, the message and lesson is right there, for those who are open to hearing it. 

But IMHO it doesn’t touch on the reality of People of color who suffer racism ALL the time.  The white people who are being “arrested”  for being illegal Europeans are somewhat amused by the experience.  When they are “released”  after a few minutes, they tell stories of the “degradation” of being hunted based on their skin color.  But this little game can easily be forgotten because it was just a simple and cute test–a few minutes out of their lives to try and empathize with POCs.  I don’t believe that they really learn anything from this exercise.

But there are times when white privilege is a brutal underprivilege.  For example, when white people travel to certain countries with the idea that they can navigate in their white privilege.  They do foolish things, thinking that they can get away with it because they are white and American. Instead, they can be arrested and detained indefinitely, as the three UC Berkeley students who were “hiking” near the border of Iran and were caught and arrested.  These youngsters have been jailed for more than a year now, with the woman just recently being released due to her health.  It’s obvious that she has undergone some profound change in her personality because of her experience.      (An interesting lesson in what can happen to “Ugly Americans” in foreign countries–listen up college students!) 

Or the time when Lisa Ling’s sister Laura Ling and her friend Euna Lee were doing some investigative work near the North Korean border and were arrested for being spies.  Although they aren’t white, they are American.  They were jailed for five months and if not for Lisa’s connections to ex President Bill Clinton, they may have been there longer.  There are many more stories of white American youngsters, and other white western youngsters, who have navigated in their “white privilege” and ended up in huge messes, like the young couple who were recently jet skiing on a lake straddling the U.S./Mexican border, and were shot at with the boyfriend being hit in the head and killed.  Or the young Amanda Knox who’s accused of murder in Italy.  And who can forget Michael Fay who was caned in Singapore for his reckless vandalism spree.


These young people went forward with a white/American privilege mindset, and it backfired viciously on them.  In a way, I think it’s a bit unfair on the young people indoctrinated in this soul stealing mindset.  But as we know, it’s a necessary evil in a racist society.  They need to believe that they are superior in order to fit into the machine and keep the racism going.  But even though these situations are very difficult for the youngsters, they are actually in an interesting position, and can learn very profound life altering, humanity restoring lessons, if they manage to survive.  A lesson that can completely dismantle the poison of white privilege that they learn at the knee of their parents, family, schools and friends–their western culture and society, basically. 


The lesson is a simple one, but an infinitely profound one.  It’s this: that they, as white people, are simply NOT superior in any way shape or form to any other of the world’s people.  That’s the lesson.

In my opinion, I think that all western white youth indoctrinated into the cult of “white privilege” should travel to certain places in the world.  Not other western nations, such as France and England and Switzerland.  No.  They should travel instead to places like Singapore, where white privilege is not practiced, nor respected, nor coddled in the least.  They should go there and live for a period of time, maybe learn the culture, and learn to respect others as equals.  Actually live outside of the scope of white privilege.  I think this is a good start towards unlearning white privilege, which brutally crushes the human spirit.

23 Comments Add yours

  1. N3 says:

    Beautifully written! melanin deficient privelege = ignorance Now given our experiences as a people, could you imagine if we take our humbleness and mix it with our great history what things we could accomplish? Do you have any case and points regarding Singapore’s staunch disregard for the smugness and false sense of superiority that melanin deficient people display?

  2. Anna Renee says:

    Greetings! Well the one specific case is that very case of Michael Fay, who lived with his mom in Singapore back in 1993. He was a teen who made the bad decision to vandalise street signs and cars, and was caught.
    His punishment was their standard one, caning on the buttocks (very painful, yet lesson teaching). The entire thing became an international incident because Americans felt the punishment too harsh for the crime. It went all the way to the president of the US interceding on the child’s behalf, all to no avail. He ending up getting his punishment. He was to get 6 licks but they brought it down to 4.

    Singapore was uninterested in white American privilege. The child thought he could get away with his deeds because of his whiteness and so did most other Americans, but in Singapore, when you do the crime, you pay the dime!!!
    His butt cheeks weren’t so happy, but he learned a very important lesson–respect!! 😉

    1. N3 says:

      Thank you for the response! It is like europeans globally are like big children, they do not get what they want so they sabotage, destroy or throw a tantrum. In the light of the mature we are the adults because we face life as is and still come out on top with fortitude, integrity and strength. Agree?

      1. Anna Renee says:

        Yes!! We blacks have a long history of dealing with poverty and other hardships. We know how to do it and remain joyful. This blows the minds of westerners, when they go to places in Africa and the poverty stricken people actually are singing songs of freedom and joy!!!

        Since this very hard economy, so many white folks are going mad! Killing their families, their babies, their co-workers, random people, themselves, etc.
        I say wait out this recession here in North America! Times will come back around—eat beans and peanut butter for a time, work jobs beneath your “status” and wait it out!!! Stop killing your family and friends!!!

        1. N3 says:

          We are stronger – point blank. But what happens when we all have the wealth we work so hard for. Then what?

  3. Amenta says:

    Anna Renee, I have been waiting on CBS to produce a Survivor series where the contestants are given a small amount of money and sent into some inner city ghetto in any major city including the Caribbean and made to fend for themselves. Having to learn to make a dollar outta fifteen cents. They could take not assistance from anyone other than the normal authorites, welfare, food stamps, find a job at a Black owned and run company for the lowest job and see how well they do. Your point is straight up real.


    1. Anna Renee says:

      That would get some real ratings, wouldn’t it? But thats the one reality show you and I won’t be seeing anytime soon.

      1. N3 says:

        They may have to get some bodybags too. Esp. if the contestants are not familiar with the streets and all the double, triple and quadruple crossings that go on.

    2. I’ve always found it interesting that CBS & Mark Burnett had the luxury to create a show which manufactured hardship as sport when the vast majority of the world (Black, Brown, and poor people) can claim that experience as their daily reality.

      1. Anna Renee says:

        Which show is that? I hardly watch anything but the court shows and cooking shows and culture shows anymore. My heart can’t take much else.

        Brother Reverend, thanks for visiting me, cause I KNOW you are very busy!!! 🙂

  4. Val says:

    Hi Anna Renee,

    Do you really believe that those White people who were taken into custody by Iran were really just ‘hikers’? I don’t. I think they were actually working for some U.S. spy agency.

    But you are def right about how those who are afflicted with White privilege behave in the world. Remember those White people who went to Haiti after the quake and were trying to steal Haitian children? That was a serious case of White privilege run amok.

    1. Anna Renee says:

      I have heard that, and who knows? It does seem VERY strange that they just so happen to be HIKING in IRAN???
      But it seems that if that is the case, they were snookered by whatever agency.

      Yeah, those people were outrageous! They managed to get a little bit of what’s coming to them, at least the one woman. But yes, I believe that they were more than on a white privilege trip–they were those smugglers and modern day slavers that we hear about. Kidnapping children in very vulnerable situations for their own monetary gain, no doubt. Same slavery, new day!

    2. N3 says:

      What benefits come from kidnapping children from Haiti?

      1. Anna Renee says:

        Nothing but evil, for sure. Child slavery in the DR and other places. It is said that a similar thing happened in Banda Aceh after the major tsunami devastation. A surge of orphaned asian children started becoming available as sex slaves in the months following the tsunami. Those wicked exploiters understood that there would be many Banda Aceh children without the protection of their families, who were killed.

        1. N3 says:

          That is just sick. What about an organization that just replaces the family while keeping them in that same location versus taking them to a warehouse waiting to be forcefully given away. Thanks for the knowledge as always Nubian Queen! Where is Banda Aceh located?

          1. Anna Renee says:

            Hey there N3! It is sad and shameful. Banda Aceh is in Indonesia. Remember when the tsunami hit? There was that film of a resort area that quickly flooded when huge waves hit and people were carried away. 250,000 people lost their lives in that huge disaster!!

  5. n3 says:

    Hey Anna! (If we may address you as such) We recall the death toll but not the location – thank you for the Map Link. That was very thoughtful of you! You would think that us as a people would have the maturity to maintain helping those that are no longer in the media. But if you notice natural disasters happen to US (the melanated) moreso than our counterparts that being said should we not privatize efforts to help us in crisis situations? What do you think?

    1. Anna Renee says:

      That’s always the struggle, to continue helping once the media gets its sound bites and its story!

      I’m sure there are some organizations that are continuing to help the people. I remember that Joyce Meyer Ministries was one who did help.

  6. Coco Rivers says:

    Hi Anna,

    What a great piece! I make jokes all the time about things that white folks do around me in everyday incidences that are examples of how white privilege clouds their judgement (at a minimum). That said, I love the way you connected the dots to these very public occurrences with punitive effects in foreign countries. And your solution….nothing short of brilliant.

    I’m just discovering your blog and am very impressed. Following 🙂

    1. Anna Renee says:

      Thanks Sister! I love that white privilege is NOT privilege everywhere. Some people dont play.

  7. doh says:

    This is the most idiotic thing I’ve read in days. These people were stupid and did the things they did because they were reckless people, not because they were white. Murder in italy, trespassing in Mexico-ish, and being within 500 miles of Iran and the common denominator is the color of their skin? Get a grip.

  8. SexualHarassment says:

    Could you please explain how “jet skiing on a lake straddling the U.S./Mexican border” is an example of “went (going) forward with a white/American privilege mindset?”

    What of the millions of illegals in the US that steal White services like health care and education? Maybe you should write about Mexican privilege.

    And stop calling Jews “Whites.” They’re not quite White and DNA proves they are distinct. Their “privilege” is beyond that of any other group, but you’re too much of a subhuman coward to write about it.

    1. Anna Renee says:

      Wow, look at the avatar generated for your comment!

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