When “Life Hacking” is Really White Privilege: Blogs You Should Read

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Through this series of notes, I will share links of Blog posts and/or websites I’ve found that I see as being too great to keep to myself.

These resources will come from a variety of areas of service and interests, with the common theme being a focus on issues related to diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice.

Some of them will be websites that I regularly look to for information and inspiration for my own personal growth, advocacy, and professional development, while others will be resources that I may have just discovered and want to get the word out.

Today’s Note highlights the blog post, “When “Life Hacking” is Really White Privilege” from the blog Get Bullish.

The Link

http://medium.com/get-bullish/a5e5f4e9132f

Why I like it

This article reminds me of a day when I was waiting in the checkout line with my mother at a grocery store when I was much younger.  The line was long, but we only had a couple of items in the cart that day.

I can still remember how relieved she was as we inched closer and closer to the front because this was the first stop of many time sensitive errands.

As our turn came, the person at the register (who was white) looked passed my mother and I, and invited the person behind us (who was also white) to come to the front. Now this person had just walked up.

“Excuse me sir, we were here first” My mother said. “But I thought I saw this gentleman here miss”, said the clerk.

As my mother explained otherwise, the man who walked up behind us, silently made his way up to the register, and was checked out.  He then went on his way, not saying a word.

We left the store that day without the groceries we came for, but with the experience heavy on our minds as we went to our other stops.

Sometimes, when sharing experiences such as these with people who are white, people of color can be met with dismissal or invalidation; having their experiences explained away as something other than what it actually is.

I think this blog post hits on those kinds of experiences. By highlighting ways in which the “rules” can play out differently depending on skin color, it also make links to ways in which the idea of “positive thinking” can be used to  ignore the reality of racism and reinforce white privilege.

A sample from a post (or posts) from the site that I’ve read, and think you should too.

When “Life Hacking” is Really White Privilege

“It happens all the time that white people claim not to be racist because they didn’t intend to be racist; they weren’t thinking about that at all.

But there are many situations in which it is precisely your job to think about that. Nothing induces more rage in others than your taking what you do not deserve and not even noticing.”

“There is a difference between “being nice to everyone” and “being nice to everyone you happen to notice.

“Megapastor Joel Osteen — in godly-abundance manual It’s Your Time — suggests that God gives him the best parking spaces and wants him to have a spacious home. Plenty of positive thinkers on Pinterest repin pretty pastel graphics offering up NO NEGATIVE THOUGHTS ALLOWED and A NEGATIVE MIND WILL NEVER GIVE YOU A POSITIVE LIFE.”

“Let’s just pretend injustice doesn’t exist so we can keep thinking happy thoughts”.

“If you seem to be “getting everything you want,” you should probably examine whether you’re getting it at someone’s expense…”

Continue Reading When “Life Hacking” is Really White Privilege

Ubuntu,

From Aspiring Humanitarian, Relando Thompkins, MSW

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Written by

I’m a Social Justice Educator and Aspiring Humanitarian who is interested in conflict resolution, improving intergroup relations, and building more equitable and inclusive communities.

“Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian” is my blog, where I write about issues of diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice. By exploring social identities through written word, film & video, and other forms of media, I hope to continue to expand and enrich conversations about social issues that face our society, and to find ways to take social action while encouraging others to do so as well in their own ways.

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