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Why I Will Never Check My Privilege

Posted by Alysia Smiles • 16 Jun 2014

The idea of “white privilege” has been a hot topic for the left-wing media. The phrase “check your privilege” is commonly used by leftist activists as a way of telling a person who is making a political point that they should remember they are speaking from a privileged position, because they are white, male, heterosexual, or wealthy.

After watching the footage captured by Progressives Today at the 2014 White Privilege Conference, I became highly suspicious of what these activists are asking for when they demand someone to check their privilege.

One of the presenters was Kim Radersma, a former high school English teacher in California and Colorado. Radersma is currently working toward her Ph. D. in critical whiteness studies at Brock University in Ontario, Canada. After hearing Radersma’s speech, I find it hard to believe this wasn’t actually a conference for white supremacists.

“Being a white person who does anti-racist work is like being an alcoholic. I will never be recovered by my alcoholism, to use the metaphor,” Radersma said. “I have to everyday wake up and acknowledge that I am so deeply imbedded with racist thoughts and notions and actions in my body that I have to choose everyday to do anti-racist work and think in an anti-racist way.”

Another topic of discussion was how altruistic actions performed by white people, like donating to charity, are inherently racist. A white attendee of the conference told a story about how her family donated school supplies to one of her classmates when she was in elementary school because the family could not afford them. According to the attendee, the family had just moved from India. While she was happy to be helping when it happened years ago, she is now questioning her family’s motives.

“It was like ‘well why don’t you swoop in and save the day and give her all this stuff because we can afford to do that for them’ kind of mentality,” she said in the session. Radersma agreed and said the receiving family likely felt discriminated against.

“It’s that savior mentality, like ‘save them, because they are not like us,’ and that normalization of whiteness. Whiteness is best and those poor others aren’t as good as us,” she said. “So, we need to think of them and give them our sympathy and our charity and our generosity, which is so demeaning to the people on the receiving end. It’s so demoralizing and disempowering to be receiving it.”

I am absolutely appalled by the blatant racism these WPC attendees and speakers displayed. I don’t feel the need to check my white privilege because, unlike Radersma, I don’t see skin color – I see people. It truly breaks my heart to see these supposedly “anti-racism activists” undermining everything people of color have fought for and accomplished.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” I thought we had finally reached that point and I’m not alone.  In a brilliantly written article “White Privilege explained” Kevin Jackson claims, “As a black man, I long to experience white privilege. Until the National White Privilege Conference came along, I thought I was getting as much privilege as any white man. Apparently not.”

Speakers and attendees of the White Privilege Convention have made the content of their character very clear and it’s not pretty. They should be more honest in 2015 and declare their bigoted and hateful speeches a “White Supremacy Convention.”


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  • Auke

    Nice article. It’s just a real shame that people who have polar opposite ideas with racists find the same “solutions” for their problems (Some races are worth less (white people for these idiots, black people for the KKK(also idiots))). It seems like the people who host these events think that instead of learning who the person is who’s standing in front of you, you have to guess how victimized or privileged the other is based on ethnicity and act accordingly. It’s a shame that idiots are the loudest most of the time.

    P.S. The name of the author of white privilige explained is from Kevin Jackson by the way, not Kevin James.

    • Alysia Smiles

      Thanks for catching the typo :) It’s fixed now!