White privilege. Personally, it’s a topic I’m tired of talking about for a myriad of reasons. But it’s also one I can’t seem to avoid. Though apparently no one is more tired of talking about it than the people who enjoy that privilege on a daily basis. In fact, just the mere mention of that word sends most White folks into a frenzy because:
A. They’ve benefited from it for their whole life, and continue to, and don’t want those benefits brought to light in fear of losing it. or…
B. Are completely ignorant to its actual meaning.
Let’s say, at best, you fall into the second category and aren’t sure what White privilege actually is or isn’t. I’m going to clear it up for you right now…
White Privilege has nothing to do with being born into wealth, or having a position of power. Most White folks who use this argument as to why White privilege is fictional is because they are comparing themselves to other White people. What is White privilege? BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT!
What is White privilege? BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT!
By police. By employers. By store owners. By teachers. By society as a whole. White privilege is being able to be mediocre, where any other race would have to work twice as hard just to be seen as equal to a White person. Or, on a more serious note, not being seen as a threat just for your very existence.
So now that that has been cleared up, let’s talk about Chelsea Handler.
Well-known comedian and late-night talk show host Chelsea Handler is known for being very outspoken and having a “no-fucks” attitude with regards to social issues. If you follow her on Twitter, it’s clear that she is very “Left-leaning” and despises Donald Trump and anything #MAGA-related.
After two seasons of her Netflix series, Chelsea, and only one season of Chelsea Does…, Handler decided it was time for her to take a deep, sobering look at her success and how maybe, just maybe, her being a White woman gave her an advantage most women of color would have never gotten given her questionable background.
“To be a better White person for Black people.”
In her latest one-off special, Hello, Privilege. It’s me, Chelsea, she has an epiphany in her Bel Air mansion that maybe she is one of beneficiaries of White privilege, which sets her off on a course to talk to celebrities like Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish, noted activist and scholars, Orange County Republicans, and even drunken attendees at Octoberfest about whether White privilege is a “thing” or not. Her goal in all of this? As she puts it in the beginning of the special: “To be a better White person for Black people.”
This is the problem I had personally with this special. It’s only eye-opening to anyone who isn’t Black. I’m not saying that the special wasn’t well produced. There are some very intense interviews with many civil rights leaders and professors that go deep into America’s benefits of oppressing Black people. Like activist and author of Under the Affluence, Tim Wise stated in the film, “If some people are down, by definition, some people have to be up.”
"…For most Black folks, White Guilt is just as problematic as White Privilege."