Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Defining Terms…

White privilege (or white skin privilege) is the societal privilege that benefits white people over non-white people in some societies, particularly if they are otherwise under the same social, political, or economic circumstances.

With roots in European colonialism and imperialism,[1] and the Atlantic slave trade, white privilege has developed[2] in circumstances that have broadly sought to protect white racial privileges,[3] various national citizenships and other rights or special benefits.[4][5]” – White privilege

Note: There is privilege of different kinds, BIPOC may also benefit from different types of privilege, for example, if your skin is lighter you may be less likely to be perceived negatively.

Activity #1: Watch the What Is Privilege? Video?

What was the most interesting thing you learned from watching it.  

Activity #2: Do the Privilege Walk (Privilege Points Exercise)

This is usually an exercise where you get up and move around, but today we’re going to use points:

  1. Add 1 point if your ancestors were forced to come to the U.S., add 3 points if your ancestors came willingly to America.
  2. Add 3 points, if when you learned about the history of this country and of civilization in general your racial group was primarily represented, if not add 1 point.
  3. Add 3 points if you can be pretty sure you or a family member who looks like you will not be followed by store security while shopping because of your race, add 1 point if you can’t be sure.
  4. Add 3 points if the color “nude” refers to your skin color, add 1 point if it does not.
  5. Add 3 points if when in school you received materials that taught you the history of your race, add 1 point if you rarely received materials that taught you the history of your race.
  6. Add 3 points if in most cases when you ask to speak with the person in charge you will be facing a person of your race, add 1 point if in most cases you would not be facing a person of your race.
  7. Add 3 points if a cop pulls you over you can be pretty sure you weren’t singled out because of your race, add 1 point if you may very well be singled out because of your race.

Source: Tam Warner Minton

Watch:

Heartbreaking Moment When Kids Learn About White Privilege | The School That Tried to End Racism

Watch:

If someone doesn’t understand privilege, show them this…

Activity#3: Privileges For Sale

Complete the Privilege For Sale exercise ➡️

Reflection

  • How did these activities make you feel?
  • What did you learn in relation to privilege?
  • Why do you think the amount of money was randomly assigned?
  • Did anything surprise you?
  • What would you add to this list of privileges?

Challenge

How can you use your privilege to help others with less privilege?

Final Reflection Questions

  • How did these activities make you feel?
  • What did you learn in relation to privilege?
  • Why do you think the amount of money was randomly assigned?
  • Did anything surprise you?
  • What would you add to this list of privileges?

Listen

Excerpt from "I Can't Ignore Racism"