Read This List of Ways White Parents Have Privilege

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Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

There’s been a lot of discussion in recent weeks about privilege — what it is, who has it and who is willing to recognise and acknowledge they have it. White parents should be at the top of that list because, as Jen Lumanlan of Your Parenting Mojo points out, our privileges are vast and they run deep:

The insidious thing about privilege is that it encourages us not to see it. The easiest, most comfortable thing to do is to keep our blinders on and just keep doing what we’ve been doing (being colorblind; being nice to black people; having a diverse library).

The first thing we need to do is to recognise our own privilege as white parents.

Lumanlan compiled a list of 57 privileges that white parents have, and the entire list is worth a read. You will undoubtedly recognise privileges on here that you never considered to be privileges before. Here are a few to get you started:

  • When white parents take our toddler into a store with their own snacks and toys without worrying that store employees will think we’ve stolen them, we have privilege.
  • When our child actually steals from a store and we can follow popular parenting advice to return the item with an apology instead of having bystanders call the police who then threaten to shoot us, we have privilege.
  • When white parents can flip on the TV to keep our child entertained and know that they won’t even need to look for shows featuring characters that look like them, we have privilege.
  • When white parents don’t have to worry that our child will be one of the only children of their race if we choose a “good” school, we have privilege.
  • When white parents can count on zero fingers the number of times our child has heard negative comments about their race, we have privilege.
  • When our primary concern about schools being closed is how to keep our child entertained all day while we work, and not where the child is now going to get breakfast and lunch, we have privilege.
  • When our child never has to respond to the statement “You only got into this school/college because of your race,” we have privilege.
  • When we engage in “free-range parenting” and allow our child to walk to school alone or play outside unsupervised, we aren’t likely to face severe consequences like arrest and having the child removed from our care. We have privilege.
  • When our child is SIX times less likely to have or have had an incarcerated parent, we have privilege.

OK, now go read the whole list.

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