« on: April 06, 2008, 08:57:25 PM »
Its even worse at higher incomes. This happened to me Saturday. I am at the car wash getting my car detailed for spring. So Iím at the window watching the cars come through. There is a mid 30ís white guy to my left and a late 20ís early 30's black guy to my right. The place is pretty dead other than us because itís right when they opened. The white guys has typical polo type shirt and Dockers and a newspaper under his arm. Black guy has baggy pants, t-shirt and baseball cap, not gangster but, but not dressy. So in comes a brand-new 2008 Bentley Continental GT Speed with temporary tags. That s a $200k car. It goes through; I want to find out who owns it because I want to ask the guy about because Iím a car nut. I start to turn to the white guy to ask if thatís his car when he walks towards the waiting area. So I think, hmm maybe itís the black guys car.
So I go through the possibilities, maybe this guys a pro athlete, maybe heís a rap star, maybe heís a lot attendant getting the car washed for someone to pick up. Anyway, by now my cars outside so I go out front. The white guy goes up to the Bentley starts inspecting it as if he is looking for dirt they are missing while wiping it off. So I start to think wonder if this guy is a partner at a big firm, or maybe a heart surgeon or CEO of some company, or maybe a pro golfer. Just then, the car wash guy waves his hand and the white guy heads over and gets into his 2000 silver Accord. A few minutes later, the black guy comes out and gets in the Bentley. I still have no idea what either of them do for a living, but I assumed what they did based on little more than what they looked like.
Like it or not we would all likely go through the same assumptions and stereotypes I did in trying to place strangers with their cars. I would have had to go WAY down the list of possible jobs that allowed the black buy to buy that car before I got to doctor or lawyer, but the white guy based on his dress and his skin color I automatically thought he was some rich professional.
That is white privilege even at the insanely wealthy range. I donít care if youíre the most race blind person in the world, we have all seen more rich white people than rich black people, we are going to assume FIRST the expensive car belongs to the white man. Because in movies and TV and in everyday life we see white people driving expensive cars, when we see a black guy in a Ferrari its an athlete or rap star on MTV cribs.
We assume and place things on people based on our sociological perceptions and stereotypes of those people and what they can achieve, we assume things and white folks get the benefit of the doubt more than black folks. Thatís white privilege. What would I have thought if I saw that car at 2AM parked in front of my house and that same black guy was reaching into the open window or that same white guy was reaching into the open window? What would your first assumption be? Who would get the benifit of the doubt that they owned the car?[/quote]
I do not believe your perception had much to do with skin color, it was much more based on dress. If it was the white guy in baggy close and whatnot and the black guy all dressed up with the newspaper you probably (at least I and most others) would assume that it was the black guys car. This shows that it isn't about your race but how you carry yourself, which many times goes along with socioeconomic status.