British Columbia schools are dealing with some upset people after addressing the problem of white privilege. The campaign came in the form of a series of three posters showing administrators speaking about white privilege with quotes such as "Got privilege?" and "If you don't have to think about it, it's a privilege."
Superintendent Teresa Downs had this to say about the campaign:
I think it’s important to note that these three posters are really only one part of the work that we’ve been doing in the school district over the last 5-7 years around the issues of colonization, racism, prejudice, and privilege.
And this about the backlash:
I’m also not saying, and really, would like to clear up, the thought that all white people are of a high socioeconomic status. I am well aware that there are white people in our communities, as well as the province, and across the country, who are suffering from economic challenges. And the word, ‘privilege’ in this context, is not connected to affluence.
The campaign had many supporters.
Anti-racist campaigns that name white privilege tend to generate the most backlash. But it is vitally important anti-racist work move beyond "don't say racist things" and discuss systemic issues & white privilege. Kudos to Gold Trail District. https://t.co/b0W0UQD3vW— Elliot Worsfold (@ElliotWorsfold) March 8, 2018
People going ballistic over this #WhitePrivilege campaign in a BC school district, claiming its racist and divisive. Are we so fragile that the mere suggestion that skin colour still make a difference makes us lose our minds? #cdnpoli #bcpoli https://t.co/KWmfWgUwdt— Michael Serebriakov (@MichaelSilverV) March 8, 2018
A great start #BritishColumbia— Marcela (@1968inspire) March 8, 2018
We all know the people that will take issue with it so forge on!
Children are able to grasp these concepts when taught, and even more so, if parents support the efforts & acknowledge their own #WhitePrivilege #antiracism https://t.co/axqwny7Z52
And there were more than a few who took issue with it.
I’m against the posters- no one should assume they can measure someone’s “privilege” score based on skin tone or gender. There’s advantaged and disadvantaged kids of all genders, skin colour, physical and intellectual gifts, and combinations thereoff. #thisisnottheway— Trevor Panas (@Trevor_Panas) March 9, 2018
Nice...this conveys the message that being white is unacceptable. What happened to messages of equality?— Kitty Chow (@KittyChowVan) March 9, 2018
being white is not a privilege. any color any race can be privileged. who cares what color you are we are ALL people. i will not be shared for my skin and never apologize— Dennis Bole (@dbole007) March 9, 2018
Well what about asians? Why is it JUST whites that are being called privileged? Asians on average make more money than any demographic? Are they privileged too? I agree that racism is still a problem, but only targeting one group isnt how you create equality.— Dean Gibbs (@DeanGibbs18) March 9, 2018
Many tried to explain the actual meaning of white privilege has nothing to do with wealth.
You might not believe this, and you may even adamantly argue that you aren't coming from a malicious place but #thisisnottheway is literally what some advantaged person has said to every disadvantaged person any time they've stood up for themselves. #FoodForThought— Rey Johnson (@find0the0way) March 9, 2018
The thing to keep in mind about privilege is almost everyone is privileged in some way...financial privilege, physical ability privilege, and racial privilege are all real; just because a poor person is under-privileged financially, doesn’t mean they don’t have racial privilege— sh’challa (@ShetinAdams) March 9, 2018
For Christ sakes the conversation has absolutely nothing to do with individual experiences but systemic injustices. Try listening more instead of criticizing how and when people should point out injustice so YOU are more comfortable. Smh— Wise Has Awoken✨ (@xmenplay) March 9, 2018
Having privilege doesn't mean you can't be disadvantage. Someone born into a higher class family probably has better education, they can still have disadvantages if they aren't the smartest kid in the room. Privilege isn't bad, not acknowledging their privilege is bad.— Becky (@B_rmarquez) March 9, 2018
If you are still not clear on the meaning of white privilege the video below is a great resource.