White Priviledge 

Let me start by saying I don’t claim to understand your problems, or anyone else’s.  I have enough of my own problems to deal with.  Also, I am not just some sympathizer jumping on a bandwagon.  So hear me out. 

When I was 12, I got beaten up pretty badly at school and wound up in the hospital, with a skull fracture and damage to my inner ear.  Long story short: I’m white, he’s black.  I was a scrawny 7th grader, he was an average size 8th grader.  After spending a couple days in the hospital and 2 weeks of recovery at home, I was afraid to go back to school.  I was afraid to be white, afraid of my black classmates.  I saw only the bad.  The only black people I wasn’t afraid of were raised by whites.  In high school, I stayed in a mostly white crowd, and black kids made me nervous. 

Let’s get back to the meat of all this.  I’m white.  I’m not Black, Hispanic, Asian, Muslim, Gay, or otherwise.  I have been teased, beaten; because I was the scrawny kid, the hyper kid, the smart-ass.  Discrimination is real.  But it was never because I was the white kid.  I’ve been turned down for jobs I was more than worthy of, for reasons other than because I’m white; or for that matter male, or Christian.

I know struggle, but I don’t know the struggle of the Muslim in America.  Or the Lesbian.  Nor that of any other race.  I don’t know the Black struggle. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t real.  Racism is real.  But this isn’t about racism, it’s about white priviledge. 

What does it mean, white priviledge?  To have it usually means to not know it, but that is not always the case.  The man who talks about racism and discrimination to debunk it? Yeah, he’s got it.  The white woman who can’t get welfare and assumes it’s because she’s not black. She’s got it. 

White priviledge isn’t about whites being racist, per se; it is more about our lack of exposure to racism and the subsequent ignorance we have to the struggle of non-whites.  Not just Blacks, but all skin colors outside of white.  Assuming that the struggle for another race or culture isn’t real, can’t be real, because you don’t see it.  That is white priviledge.  Assuming something for any non-white is a certain way, that is white priviledge.  Being raised in a lifestyle with minimal struggle, no exposure to poverty, not knowing racism, having confidence that you will get by and that if you can do it, anyone can…. that could be white priviledge too.  Its not inherently bad.  To be blissfuly ignorant of the hate or injustice of the world is not a reason to assume it doesn’t exist. Some people use their priviledge to advocate for the less fortunate. 

You can’t debunk white priviledge by trying to address racism, by trying to quote this statistic or that report that says there’s now this magical equality that has suddenly appeared in the workplace or the school.  To debunk white priviledge is to prove it exists. 
Back to me.  Even with permanent partial hearing loss, I have outgrown my fears.  I welcome friends of all walks of life. And when some tells me they’ve experienced racism in their life, or they’ve witness a white person given better treatment, I tend to give them the benefit of the doubt. I’ve accepted that just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there.  It’s not my place to doubt. It’s not your place to doubt. 

My ADHD made me do it

I have witnessed that support groups can be either very helpful (supportive), or unfortunately very unforgiving.  We have all experienced discrimination from people who I lovingly refer to as Normies. We act out in school, talk out-of-turn, are called spaz and retard.  This is the world we know.  A person new the the diagnosis is easy to spot, as everything that happens to them is on account of their ADHD.  When you’re talking to an entire group of people with ADHD, you don’t have to explain. In fact, for a lot of people, it’s kind of annoying.  At least, that’s how it seems to me.  Sometimes I feel like an wizened old codger watching, reading the interactions of people so much newer to the game than I.  Other times, of course, I feel helpless without the people I’ve met in the ADHD community.

For me, gone are the days of “my ADHD made me.”  I am my ADHD. Which means I must be hyper aware of what I say, how I act.  Not easy, I dare say often next to impossible.  Hindsight, though. Hindsight’s a bitch.  Shoot off an email, then realize I said something the wrong way.  But my ADHD didn’t make me do that.  My impatience did.  

I digress.  With ADHD, we know discrimination.  We know inequality. But imagine being black or Muslim AND having ADHD, or any other mental illness.  Imagine being a lesbian or transgender, and having a disability which makes self control nearly impossible.  

What I witnessed was about someone not understanding something they read about immigrants (blaming their ADHD) and how they were spurned afterward.  ADHD didn’t cause this to not understand.  That would be ignorance.  Questioning it was the right thing, that’s how we learn.  ADHD caused this person to not think about the way they asked, which further displayed their ignorance.  THEN, they were unfriended and told off by someone of equal ignorance rather than that person taking the opportunity to educate their peers.   

So while so many people are blaming their actions on the trials of life caused by their skin color, or their mental illness, or their righteousness, ignorance breeds ignorance. Racism breeds racism. Discrimination begets discrimination.  Excuses traded for more excuses.  

Be aware of your ADHD  and act accordingly. Be aware of How your race, your disability, or your lifestyle might be judged or might keep you from understanding others. Understand your own situation and how best to adress it before entering into discourse, and think about how and why others might feel the way they do, as strongly as you feel the way you do.  Be open minded about the fact that your situation may provide you with better circumstances than others.  Others’ situations may put them in worse circumstances.  Race, religion, disability; they are all real. They all cause very real problems for people. Very different problems.  
I’m not sure this is written as clearly as it needs to be.  Some things are difficult to stay PC about.  You can’t just say your problems are worse than mine or anyone else’s.  You can’t just say you know someone’s pain because you have pain.  And you can’t hide behind your circumstances.  That’s the gist of it.