I am writing you today to ask that you assist me in acquiring some white privilege. Although I have layered oppressions that have affected my ability to access my slice of the American Pie™, no issue has affected me more readily than my lack of white privilege. From being assumed to have "cheated" my way into programs for gifted children AND college (via affirmative action), to having my natural hair viewed as unprofessional amongst professional peers, to having people make negative assumptions about my competency level, interests, and job knowledge, to being viewed as naturally dangerous or threatening, my lack of white privilege has created numerous obstacles as I've struggled to successfully compete in a white dominated workforce. I am hoping that, through this campaign, I will begin to make some headway towards closing the gap that white privilege has created in my life.
In return for paying for my white privilege, I would love to give you some "black privilege" in return! Yes, it is difficult being a black person but there are some neat perks, as you will discover if you donate!
((For those of you interested to know how I came up with a dollar amount for white privilege the answer is less complex than you might think. As someone who has historically been classified by the United States government as a Black/African American woman, I've been earning anywhere from 63-69% of what a white man makes for the same work since I entered the workforce in 1999. Even if I control for part-time work as a teenager and consider increases in pay as I grew older/more experienced and changed my field, that still averages out to about a $9000 deficit for each year I've been employed. Multiply that by 15 years of hustle and you have my total.))
- Ellen Ruddick-Sunstein
New York, NY