Simple comic strip explains the complexities of white privilege

Man, imagine if you were allowed to generalize like this about …oh I dunno…blacks, or asians or latinos. what would people say if you just made assumptions about who they are, what they’ve been through, all based on the color of their skin.


But Bob’s ancestors built this great country of ours!

Googles ‘Washington D.C. slave labor’

OK look, don’t underestimate the importance of proper management…


Based on recent events, I’d suspect they’d say “Good morning, officer.”


Yeah, it’s almost like the comic artist was making sweeping generalizations about people of European descent, without looking at any of the details. It appears that there are no factions within that group and all “white people” have had a nice life together in perfect harmony. With this new found representation of the world, I can be perfectly sure that Irish, Italian, and Polish immigrants never had to deal with segregation from the white anglo-saxon, protestant citizens of this country that may have immigrated before them.
It’s clear to me now that “white privilege” is really just some racially ingrained trait where white parents look to achieve in the world in order to pass on wealth to their posterity.
How disgusting.


I’m guessing this is somewhat america-centric.


Good to see the #notallwhitepeople task force has been alerted to this post.


This comic covers a young adult male, his parents, and his grandparents. In other words, what life in the U.S. has been like for whites in the 20th to 21st century. Things like WWII veterans getting FHA-backed mortgages to buy new homes in the suburbs…except for the returning black veterans, who were redlined instead.

So, were your great-great-great grandparents Irish, Polish, or Italian immigrants? Did it take one whole generation in the U.S. before the family was settled in a community with a stable family life? How many generations have been able to attend school at least through 12th grade? How many generations ago did your ancestors own their home and therefore have equity to pass down to their descendants?


Except of course that whites in America have had a rich tradition of using name changes, accent modification, and marriages to obscure their “negative” ancestry, allowing them to enjoy at least partial coverage of white privilege. It’s much harder for non-whites to follow this avenue. And just to make it tougher, we kept plenty of anti-miscegenation laws on the books until recently.


Actually this cartoon does generalize about blacks, it implies they have all been treated unfairly-- surely the existence of wealthy African-Americans means the cartoon is dead wrong.

Or maybe wealthy blacks are just outliers, the exceptions to the rule who were successful despite being treated unfairly.

I’m sure in 1860’s Alabama there were a few white people opposed to slavery, so I guess we shouldn’t generalize about racism in the American South of 100 years ago.


Man, imagine if people who have been afforded cultural advantages could be honest with themselves and admit it instead of trying to obfuscate and detract from any conversation about it.



FFS, people. Step one is admitting there’s a damned problem.


Seriously, there is no better illustration of white privilege than the treatment of WWII veterans benefits. The GI Bill and associated housing practices are what made the middle class in this country, and it was largely a whites-only affair.

Although if I were forced to come up with another one, it might be the (de facto) asset seizure and imprisonment of Japanese-Americans during the war, in contrast to the treatment of the slightly-harder-to-identify descendants from the other two Axis Powers. But now I’m just nitpicking.


What can be said is that if you are not a member of the predominate race, the predominate gender, or speak the predominate language then you will be greatly disadvantaged.

Today, in the west, we call that white privilege. What do they call it in Japan?


hey! Not all of the #notallwhitepeople task force act in bad and/or blindly-ignorant faith!

Some are on vacation, some are asleep, there’s one who’s in a medically-induced coma for tax purposes…



Soo - just what is the point of all this? Yes, any group that is a majority in something will make it more difficult for the minority to get in. This goes beyond just race, but any established system with an “in” group. One can benefit from this system with out directly contributing to it. So what exactly does one propose we do? I should reject a job offer because I wasn’t hired solely on my merits?

Life isn’t fair. The best I can do is personally treat people with respect and individuals on the content of their character. But I am not going to feel bad because the system is fucked up. Do I get a free pass because my heritage includes a people who were victims of genocide?


First step would be to lose this attitude.


Why? Should I feel bad that my ancestors killed your ancestors?

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold


…unless that majority group holds basic human equality as a value.

Nah, step #1 is to realize that you are never hired solely on your merits, and neither is anyone else.

Step #2 is to use that knowledge to make the world near you better in whatever small way you are able.

Like, if someone near you is like “poor people should just get jobs!” you can challenge them on it. Or if someone opposes taxation because of “welfare queens” you can correct them. Or you can help the org you’re a part of make better hiring choices. Or lots of things. It’s kind of a “butterfly flapping its wings” effect. Once you realize that it’s a problem and look for ways to do something about it, opportunities present themselves.

You can encourage others - and especially organizations - to do the same.

So maybe your first step should be to develop some frickin’ empathy?


I’m sure you can point out where that is the case.


Yes. And while not unique to America, the ability to publish such a cartoon without fearing for one’s physical or economic safety is limited to too few countries.