Interaction with privilege (Online writings)

Published October 2, 2014 by djlwsu

For the next 7 days, you are to be aware of your interactions with privilege.  Create a list of 20-30 examples of your interactions with privilege, offering a brief description of each.  After creating a list, write 100-150 words that 1) reflects on your interactions with privilege; 2) offers a discussion of where these privileges come from; 3) reflects on material benefits of privilege

This is worth up to 55 points

Last day to participate – October 20


5 comments on “Interaction with privilege (Online writings)

  • 1.)Roommate got double mashed potatoes for free. I was next in line and received a less than normal sized scoop
    2.)Store worker was much more pleasant with my white roommate then me.
    3.)I noticed that my white friend got charged less at dining hall than me when we got almost exact same thing.
    4.)I put my name for RTA to come and it took almost a week to get a response. My roommate does it and by the next she contacted him.
    5.)Went to Walmart and saw that an associate was following Indian people around store. That would not happen to whites.
    6.)Racial comments made about my race and others but not whites.
    7.)Noticed that when I walked down the street at night people looked at me weird or crossed the street.
    8.)I noticed that portions I got at dinning hall were smaller than the ones other white got.
    9.)People held doors for other white people but not me.
    10.)Stereotypes were assumed of me.
    11.)I got a unfriendly cashier at the store and when my white friend went to pay said person was polite.
    12.)Janitor seemed very happy to help my whole friend but indifferent to help me.
    13.)Worker kept looking at me while I was at the self checkout line. I noticed that he was not looking at any of the other white customers.
    14.)My friend walked in my room and smelled some foul smell and immediately assumed it was me, even though my roommate had not showered for 3 days.
    15.)It took my advisor about 3 weeks to respond to my email. It only took my roommates advisor a day to respond to him.
    16.)WSU sent me a refund check for another scholarship I received. I asked some of my white friends and they say they got very few to no scholarships for school.
    17.)It seemed like workers at the store seemed more polite to my white awkward kind of rude roommate than me when I was being polite.
    18.)People seemed very surprised that I chose the major I did and was doing quite well in those classes.
    19.)People seemed surprised of the type of music I listened to. They stereotyped me and assumed I only listened to a certain type of music.
    20.)People wonder how I got into college and how I was able to pay for it. I felt that white people would not of been asked this question and I was quite offended.

    What I noticed from this last week was that privilege still exist and it is around me and my friends. From the article White Privilege: Unpacking the invisible knapsack I noticed that I did not have the same knapsack as others, mine is not as full and has different items such as my culture. I felt during this last week when noticing the privilege around me, that sometimes I felt that I wished I had more or different things in that knapsack so I could get that privilege. I realized that even though I wanted to experience this privilege I did want to change myself, I could never imagine myself as white. I realized that privilege is all around us and that it affects all of us in a negative way. One day I hope that privilege will not exist and everyone will be treated fairly and equally


  • 1.) Going to Southside café and getting food from different categories of the menu. The cashier was supposed to just count specific items, but instead she makes the order into 2 combos. I asked her come the other guy in front of me who basically got the same thing as me only paid for 1 combo. She looked at me and said, I don’t know. Honestly I was offended, but didn’t want to pursue anymore because she already started to talk to the other cashier about girl things.
    2.) At Walmart I was going to buy alcohol. I had another Asian friend in line with me and he didn’t bring his ID. I told the cashier that if I were to come back into the store without my friend there can I get the alcohol? She said, “Once you leave this area I will call my super intendant and mark you as unable to purchase alcohol.” I had this happen to me before with another cashier, but he “white male” was super chill about it and said I was able to buy it at the spot. The cashier that didn’t let me was “white girl”. I ended up not getting the beer and didn’t want to try to get back in to cause more trouble.
    3.) Going out with my white roommate much older than me to a bar “Mikes”, I literally had to push my way to the counter to order drinks while my white roommate was greeted and let into the counter without any people pushing or shoving. This might also be because of timing, but still it felt a little awkward. I thought to myself, even though I am the only Asian in the bar at the moment have you guys never seen an Asian before?
    4.) Smoking in the smoking area where a couple of black and white students were at, right after they left the security guy looks at me and says can you move closer to the ash tray. I looked at him and just starred, he instantly took his words back and walked away to another area.
    5.) Ordering food at JImmyJohns, the cashier talked with my white roommate about recommendations about which sandwiches are better. As for me, they didn’t even think I could speak English and started to talk very slowly. I literally smiled at her and ordered. I felt as if she was in shock that I didn’t stutter when speaking.
    6.) Getting a taxi, I find that girls have such a better service because for a guy the taxi driver never asks for tip and even helps with extra “muscle” if needed. For my it’s always like, “hey you going to give me tip?”
    7.) Sometimes people hold the door open for me, but I would like to say that guys would always hold the doors for girls no matter what.
    8.) I was at the cub trying to borrow controllers to try the games, I couldn’t log into the accounts and I asked one of the helpers “white girl”, she told me she would be right there and it took her around 20 minutes to get back to me while she helped a guy who was behind me first. I guess she liked him. In the end when she did come, she couldn’t even figure out how to log in and wasted another 20 minutes just calling help on the phone.
    9.) Panda express ordering food. I was waiting for some of the dishes to come out, so I was just standing next to the first person in line and letting all the other people go in front of me. The employee told me it would take another 2 minutes or so. I was ok with that and stood there waiting. The food came out and a group of girls who I let go first got a much larger portion on the same dish as me. Theirs were overfilling the sides of the bento box and for mine the guy even took some off.
    10.) Taxi fee from the Pullman airport to campus cost my white roommate 7 bucks while my fair was 15 bucks. Did I get a slow ride?
    11.) Walking down the street, my white roommate doesn’t even have to smile and other just simply smile or nod at him. For me they look at me with curiosity or they try to look away from me.
    12.) At the rec center trying to play 5 v 5 basketball, the blacks, whites, and tall players always get picked. Whenever I get picked they are like “good luck” to my other 4 teammates. That happens in the first game, but after that they know that I can play on par with them and they then treat me better.
    13.) Using the lockers, my white roommate always get the newer locks from the front desk, while I always get the older locks even though they are right next to the newer ones.
    14.) For the basketball, this too I always get the more worn out basketball even if there is a better ball on the rack. Unless I ask for it then the staff will give me the better one.
    15.) Using the school bus, white students in front of me didn’t have to show their ID, while I had to.
    16.) Going into lecture and finding a seat. The person next to the empty seat says its taken and during class half way through I find that the seat isn’t even taken.
    17.) Going to the barber, my haircut takes around 10 minutes because the guy rushes it and when a white male get his hair cut, all of a sudden he goes super slow and asks constantly if he is cutting the hair to the guys expectation.
    18.) In the bar line, blacks and whites cutting in line right in front of me next to the bouncer pretending to be friends with the group right in front of me. Clearly the bouncer knows that they are cutting, but still lets them go while smiling at me. I asked the guys why they are cutting when there a lot of people behind me waiting too. One guy responds because I’m white. There was a white girl right behind me and she overheard that remark and instantly called the guy out. The bouncer (who was black) looked at the white kid, shook his head and told him to get into the back of the line, while his friends who also cut went in before him. The kid was in shock and tried to get in even though he was told to get in the back of the line. He threw a fit and just left.
    19.) My refrigerator was not working and I filled out a work form, it took the janitor 4 days before he came to my room, while I asked the front desk how long it takes usually, they said in 1 day or less. Either he was really busy or he forgot.
    20.) Stoneworkers usually smile when my white roommate orders something, but for me they talk to be with a straight face. The vibe that I get is, “hurry up and order, there’s people behind you”.

    Being Asian I never had such an issue coming from California. As for Pullman, I am quite astonished at how the campus says they are not racist or is a racist free environment, when I constantly get these small differences in service for being Asian. If I were white, I can almost safely assume I would have a much smoother service. Privilege is something that I never had to deal with because I was treated equally in where I am from. Now I know there’s a huge difference that might even cause a win/loss in different scenarios. If this happened to me when I try to apply for a job with the same standards or better, I might get out picked simply because of my color. Privilege is an untold story that people really don’t talk about and think they are doing, but truthfully people treat people differently right from the get go of appearance. I can’t say it’s true for everyone, but there are those that do it innately and aren’t trying to be racist in anyway. I played sports all my life and was picked in the first few picks. During rec for pickup basketball I was laughing at how people picked players that weren’t even good over me because they never seen me play, hence they put me in the category of novices. In the end, I proved them wrong, not all Asians suck at sports.


  • 1) Group activity, my comm teacher seemed very patient with a fellow student who didn’t get the assignment (he was white) but when I asked a simple question he was very rude to me.
    2) During indoor soccer the guys didn’t want me because i was a girl
    3) When I was getting a wrap at southside cafe the worker was very polite to my white friend but really rude to me. My wrap was also horribly made.
    4) I was walking home at night with my hood on and the police kept looking at me and only me
    5) The people on my floor assumed I listened to Mexican music
    6) My supervisor asked if I’ve ever been on Welfare. He did not ask my other white co workers this question
    7) My friends told me they had to take out a lot of loans (who are all white) because they didn’t receive a lot of scholarships. I got most of my school paid for
    8) I went to the store and the cashier had his eye on me the whole time
    9) My RA told everyone to write on her door of our favorite candies. I wrote mines just like everyone did. Everyone got their candy except me. I am the only Mexican on our floor.
    10) This guy opened the door for me but he basically slammed the door at the guy behind me
    11) I was carrying a bag of groceries, some guy said “be careful, don’t break a finger nail” laughed and walked away.
    12) I went to the rec, I took my bag up stairs to the tredmeils and the worker immediately told me to go get a lock for my bag when he told this white girl who also took her bag upstairs that it was okay and to just remember to get a lock next time
    13) I made an appointment with my advisor way before my friend did and she got an appointment before me. My advisor then told me she was booked for the next two weeks and that i had to wait
    14) My dad was pulled over for no reason. He wasn’t speeding or anything.
    15) When i went home we played soccer with a couple of my friends and their friends. They had team captains but the team captains weren’t my friends so they didn’t know how i played. I got picked first while the asians were picked last
    16) I was standing in line at carlitas, i was the only Mexican standing in line and i felt uncomfortable. I saw these girls laughing and turning around looking at me. The worker also looked at me weird and i saw that even she chuckled a little
    17) One of my friends roommate asked me if I was born here, assuming that i was born in Mexico
    18) I recently just bought a new car and my friend asked me how i was able to afford that and if i was getting financial help
    19) I told the people on my floor i played a sport and they automatically assumed i played soccer. Yeah i do but it made me kind of upset they just assumed that.
    20) My roommate is black and she told our floor she likes to play sports and my RA thought she played basketball.
    Looking at all theses privileges it made me notice how much racism there is on our campus. In my home town there is so much diversity so I’m used to being my true self without getting judged. It’s gotten too far that i even considered transferring. I feel super insecure about who I am now, applying to jobs and even making friends just because I’m Mexican. I come think maybe if i was white then i would’ve gotten accepted to that job i really wanted (which i was much more qualified than the other workers), getting an appointment early with my advisor, or just being treated good in general, why do others get treated so poorly when they have done absolutely nothing wrong? I am a Mexican girl who has done nothing wrong. Why should i get no respect?


  • 1. Some store workers are much more pleasant with white peoples then me.
    2. I notice people have that weird look when I walk down the street.
    3. I am sure stereotypes were assumed of me.
    4. It always seemed store workers are more polite to white peoples than me when I am being polite.
    5. Stereotyped on the types of music I listen to – they assume I only listen to certain type of music.
    6. Some people seemed surprised about my major and I am doing well on classes that I am taking.
    7. Going to Southside Café to get food and seeing strange look in the cashiers face when I am paying and pleasant look when white people are paying/talking.
    8. Ordering at Subway the cashier talks with white people about their day and recommends them about types of sandwiches but only talk to me when necessary (ask for type of bread, and other stuffs).
    9. Getting food at Panda Express, I got extra food for having to wait few minutes.
    10. I always notice that walking down the street people don’t smile at me even though I am smile or nodding at them but they smile/node to white people even though they are not smiling at them.
    11. When getting a hair cut barber have that weird look and ask many stupid questions, I think he assumes that I don’t know anything about hairstyles or don’t know how to take care of my hair.
    12. Sometimes people slam the door at me.
    13. Very little English or I think when people look at me they assume I don’t speak English.
    14. I think people wonders how I get into college and how I am paying for it.
    15. When playing sport other guys laugh at me because I am not that strong and well built.
    What I have noticed is that privilege still exists and it is around me and people surrounding me. I believe I have less privilege than other people but I do acknowledge that every people have some sort of privilege. Privilege is something that I never had to deal with because I was treated equally in where I am from. I believe people think they talk about privilege but privilege is an untold story and people really don’t talk about and they start treating differently right from the beginning. I just hope we all realize one day that we all have privilege and instead of denying we should acknowledge and use it to bring changes and use our privileges in positive ways.


  • 1) My roommate did not have any money to pay for his totaled car. I had enough money to pay for a brand new one. Even though he had a cheaper car, I still had the money.
    2) My friend has to have a job to pay off student debit. I have enough money that doesn’t require me to work.
    3) My mother said over the phone that she did not have the money to go straight to a university out of high school; she could only afford to go to WSU as a junior with her AA. I was able afford to go straight out of high school to a university.
    4) I went to my advising appointment and my advisor told me that she had to go to the food bank because she did not have money and he parents did not support her. I just use my parents money to buy food
    5) My friend was intoxicated on Greek row and wanted to take a cab home but did not have the money so she took Women’s transit. I cannot because I am a male.
    6) My roommates wanted to go play football with their friends at night. I wanted to play but they thought the idea of a gay man playing football was impossible
    7) My black roommate got a ticket on the highway to Moscow going 10 over and got a ticket. The same officer pulled me over because I was going 20 over and I did not get pulled over.
    8) My roommate and his girlfriend went to the hospital for his broken arm and he concussion, the doctor asked his girlfriend privately if she was being abused but In reality all they did was get in a car crash.
    9) My black roommate got in an elevator and a woman grabbed her purse and put it up to her chest and stepped away. A white man got in a stood behind her and she remained idle.
    10) My friend was able to get her Biology and Statistics credits waved with AP classes. My school could not afford to hold those classes.
    11) Fraternity parties allowed my friend to get in. I was not allowed in because I was a male.
    12) My roommate held his girlfriends hand and walked down the street. I held my boyfriends hand and I got told “fuck the homos”
    13) My friends had their aunt pay for their shopping trip. My roommate had no parents and paid with his own money.
    14) My black roommate was jealous of my hair.
    15) I was told my friend that had diabetes that I went to the gym; she rolled her eyes as she was over weight.
    16) My roommate cannot pay for electric bill because his family is on the GI bill and it did not come in time. I have a good financial plan.
    17) I was running up the stairs in the Chemistry building and saw a woman with a cane and she was going to the same class but had to wait and take the elevator.
    18) My roommate got back from talking to financial aid and was stressed. I don’t need financial aid
    19) My gay Mormon friend is afraid to come out to his parents and fears rejection. I have supportive parents.
    20) I had a choice of choosing Buddhism as a kid; my roommate must be Christian forced by his parents.

    For the majority of my interactions with privilege, I was in a situation where I had the privilege of either wealth or whiteness. I believe that I noticed this more than anything. It is extremely obvious that we either try to or end up becoming unable to avoid privilege. With some of these examples, I wonder if I was of a different color, heterosexual, or even not economically stable than it would change my interactions with privilege. As explain in “How to talk to someone about privilege.” Privilege affects everyone. Not just someone that is black or just poor. Until we comprehend this fact, only the people that are critically affected by privilege will fully understand that it is an ongoing issue. As for those people that are putting on the privilege or “have” the privilege, they will continue to either ignore or deny situations to protect their privilege and their benefits. This prime example was deeply explained in “Why privilege is so hard give up.” The solutions are clear in front of everyone’s blind eyes.


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