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#CrimingWhileWhite

December 4, 2014 , , , ,

While protests on American streets continue a new protest movement is taking place on twitter.  White people are discussing white privilege as experienced by them.  It captures the other side of the policing story from the point of view of the beneficiaries of a highly prejudiced system.  I think most of us know being white is an advantage, but we are not aware of how much of a boon it is to white criminals.  Equal protection under the law, if it were to be equal, would extend all the way from safe, secure protected living environments for all to criminal justice that deals out fair and equal sentencing.  If you take a look at this trending hashtag you will see some shocking examples of system failure.

I am white to the WASPiest extreme.  See my super Brit ancestors to validate my whiteness.  I live my life in such a way as to avoid all contact with doctors, lawyers, and police.  I have been highly successful with this plan, in part because I am white. I have no crimes to report, pre se, except that I was an undocumented worker in Tecate, Baja California, Mexico, off and on for many years.  As a wetback gringa all privilege and courtesy was bestowed on me by the migra on both sides of the border.  There was never any problem. I have not crossed the border since 2003 because things just became too complicated after 2001.  The era of the #WetbackGringa, wild and free, became a thing of the past.

I think the #CrimingWhileWhite phenomena comes from unconscious prejudice embedded in our culture.  I don’t think there is willful or criminal intent by police to treat citizens by different standards.  That is why the grand jury is able to rule that there is no probable cause to try the cops who ended lives while on duty.  These preferences, or assumptions that white people are not threatening society, are not consciously accepted by the individuals dealing out the uneven justice and protection.   Systemic privilege as well as systemic prejudice exist in the collective beliefs of a culture.  Just as people have shadow qualities of which they are unaware, so do institutions.  Institutional shadow qualities are even harder to nail because there is no institutional Jungian shrink to assist the patient in seeing its whole being. The very nature of shadow prejudice is to hide and stay hidden because nobody wants to believe we are acting from such base instincts.  I have been a petroleum princess in Venezuela and a wetback gringa in Mexico.  I can tell you from experience the only thing better than being a white woman is being a bilingual blonde white woman.  We are automatically above suspicion and nobody ever suspects we understand Spanish, so they say anything in front of us, assuming we will not know what they are saying. Have you ever had an experience of white supremacy or privilege, gentle reader?

What do you think?

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comments

I lived in Western Africa for a while and was treated as superior. The nice side was that men did no apply the same rules they would to their women. This means that I was welcome for their palaver and even given the most comfortable seat. I loved these discussions and because of me their women would sit with us, too. Normally, this is men only. On the other hand I was as well subject of curiosity. Once me and my man at that time (blond, blue eyes) had a flat tire in the middle of nowhere. Kids came running towards us but did not dare to come too close to a man; not even a white one. But to me as a white woman they came closer. One tried to find out if I was really white or just whitened some dark skin (I wish!). He made short work of his analysis: took my hand, spat on it and robbed. Much to his surprise it became pink (an to my anger it hurt) :-))

Liked by 1 person

Brigitte Kobi

December 4, 2014

I was in a small coastal village in Belize in about 1977 where I was a curiosity as well as a kind of celebrity. We were the first white people to stay in the village. I know what you mean.

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Pamela Morse

December 5, 2014

I thought you would 🙂

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Brigitte Kobi

December 5, 2014

I think the real issue is awareness.

Liked by 1 person

London-Unattached.com

December 5, 2014

I do not disagree with you Pam! The question is how to remedy this situation.. and it was a question on the political talk show on ABC with George Stephanopolis today!

Liked by 1 person

Stevie Wilson (@LAStory)

December 8, 2014

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