One of the most unexpected hashtags trended in the US on Twitter on Saturday: #MyWhitePrivelege. A number of people are using the hashtag to honestly share stories of the most outrageous things they've gotten away with because of the color of their skin — from spitting in cops faces, to not being judged for single motherhood.
The trending topic seems to have begun from user @Freeyourmindkid, who asked, "White people - What is the most outrageous thing that you've gotten away with as a white person that you know damn well a black or brown person would have never gotten away with? #MyWhitePrivilege"
White people - What is the most outrageous thing that you've gotten away with as a white person that you know damn well a black or brown person would have never gotten away with?#MyWhitePrivilege
pulled over for a burned-out taillight. never once did it occur to me to think about where my hands were, or how fast I went for my wallet. by the end of the encounter, the state trooper and I were both standing by the side of my car, cracking jokes. and that is #MyWhitePrivilege
Renewing my Greencard I was seriously taken from the back of a hours-long line & put directly in the interviewers office. I thought I was in trouble for something actually, it scared me. In & out in 15 min. It wasn’t till I was leaving that I realized it was #MyWhitePrivilege
I’m a single mom struggling to make ends meet. I often sell items on Craigslist, donate plasma, & let bills go unpaid. Everyone tells me I’m strong and admirable for what I do and I’ve never been told it’s my fault. No one has criticized my single parent status. #MyWhitePrivilege
But while some are using this as a gesture to call out their white privilege, and recognizing systematic racism, it looks like many are also ridiculing the hashtag, and also using it to deny the existence of white privilege, calling it a "myth," and accusing those who are sharing stories of "race-baiting." Some are giving supposed "proof" that it doesn't exist because they weren't able to get away with certain transgressions.
What these Twitter users are not understanding is the very definition of "white privilege," which is mainly just the fact that their skin color does not contribute to making their lives more difficult.
All in all, while the hashtag initially had well-meaning intentions, this is a seriously confusing Twitter moment that isn't really benefiting anyone. It's really just spurred an endless debate on the Internet that no one really asked for, and has unleashed some catastrophically ignorant tweets from a number of catastrophically ignorant people.
Going through the replies to the #MyWhitePrivilege Twitter Highlight, and there are a lot of people doing awful things and getting away with it. It makes the whole point feel less like "if I wasn't white I'd be in trouble" and just more about bragging about being a piece of shit.