Facing Facts: White Privilege 

I’ll keep this one short, but there was no way I was going to pass up on this educational moment. I saw an amazing Netflix promotion on Facebook this morning featuring the hashtag #FirstTimeIsawMe. A Latina woman was speaking on the positive impact of seeing herself and her culture reflected on television as opposed to the caricatures that many minorities grit their teeth and bear under the rationalization that “at least a (insert applicable underrepresented minority) is getting a chance to work in Hollywood” or “some representation is better than no representation”.

And then my eye was drawn to the first commentor who appears by his profile picture to be a white male. The comment read as follows:

Almost instantly you see several underrepresented minorities leap into the role of providing this man with some information to help him correct his mindset on the message that Netflix was promoting because as URMs, we are programmed to try to help white people better understand us and our needs. We feel compelled to explain things that most white people never bother to think about as the dominate sub culture in the U.S.  That is a part of how privilege works.

Now you’d think at this point Max would have just walked away from the conversation realizing that while this may be his stance that perhaps this was the wrong venue to share this opinion.

Think again.

Notice that when Netflix responded to his comment how Max went full blown defensive?

This ladies and gentleman (and those who prefer not to be defined by binary gender standards) is a peak into the reality of being a minority in the U.S. We deal with this nonsense on a daily basis. This was a case for the White Nonsense Roundup, but honestly, I didn’t want to even engage this man in that way by tagging in those wonderful ladies who offer to check their own people. They live the phrase I’m using more and more since this last presidential election #GoGetYourCousins whenever I see nonsense like this abound in the news and on social media.

Thank you to the folks over at Netflix for persisting in doing the right thing by inviting everyone to the table and taking the risks that we need to work towards becoming an inclusive society. 

For the Max’s of the world, admiting that white privilege is real does not mean that you are a horrible human being. Inclusivity doesn’t have to mean that you “lose” because this is not a game, this is life and we all have the ability to make life better for the human race. The question is do we have the will to make that change together?

Here’s the link to the original post:

~ Marta C. Youngblood

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