An extremely 'well intentioned' young white guy I work closely with said to me the other day that, appalled as he was by this "new" notion of white privilege he'd just heard of, thank god he'd never been its beneficiary. Others had, of course, but not him and man! would such a thing suck if it actually did exist.
While trying not to either laugh at him or slit his throat, I informed him about a study done by U of Chicago and MIT professors. In that study, identical resumes were sent in response to their local papers' want ads. Identical, that is, but for names like "Jennifer" v. "Tanisha," and "Jamal" v. "Joe". Let's just sum it up thusly:
The authors find that applicants with white-sounding names are 50 percent more likely to get called for an initial interview than applicants with African-American-sounding names. Applicants with white names need to send about 10 resumes to get one callback, whereas applicants with African-American names need to send about 15 resumes to achieve the same result.
"Testers" (fake applicants sent out to rent apartments, buy cars, etc.) find basically the same results.
He could only stare at me in silent bewilderment that his white skin had ever, ever helped him. Him, with his Martin Luther King T shirts, pants sagging off his ass, and tongue stud but white bread name, let alone skin. I love the kid but he doesn't yet know that anybody can cover up their piercings, but only some of us can lose melanin for the brief duration of an interview. C'mon white folks. Tim Wise can't do it alone. Get a clue already.
Now comes an equally delicious way of proving that sexism and male privilege are all too alive and well (hat tip: Andrew Sullivan.) From Time: