Let's chat. Redditor u/coronorbakery wanted to hear from everyone who was willing to chat about about understanding their place in life and how they got there by asking.... (Serious) White people who grew up in low-income families or didn't experience "the good life", what does white privilege mean to you and how do you feel about the term?
I view privilege as a way of describing statistical tendencies. Are Black Americans more likely to experience a negative encounter with police? Yes. Does that mean that every white guy has had only positive experience with police? Of course not. It's a probability metric, not an exact description of each person's individual life.
It is entirely possible that you have an attribute that, on average, favors you... but you were extremely unlucky and landed in the bottom end of the bell curve. Experiencing tough times personally doesn't invalidate statistical averages.
The only time it really annoys me is when people assume they know all about someone based solely on privilege and generalizing from a few obvious traits.
The 2 of Us.
I grew up very poor. Luckily with my parents who are good people.
My partner also grew up poor with his amazing mom who brought them from a war torn country in Africa to the Bronx as refugees before finally getting refugee status here in Canada. If you look at us both based only on economic backgrounds, how much money we had and that we both know what it's like to go without hydro or heat or food you could compare our situations but that is where it ends.
I've never been arrested for being poor. He has. We've both done illegal things to survive yet how come I have never spent a day in jail and have a squeaky clean record yet he does not? I've never been pulled over for driving over a year with expired tags because I couldn't afford the renewal yet he gets pulled over all the time for nothing. Especially now that we have a nice car. I've never been harassed or beat by police for just existing in my body, he has. When I went to university it wasn't assumed that my athletic ability got me there. When I dropped out of university to work full time to support my parents it was not assumed that I dropped out because I wasn't smart enough. I was not considered a drop out.
He was. Today, as a successful, educated woman when I present myself to people who do not know my background no one assumes anything about how I got here. No one asks me how I could possibly do it. They assume I earned it and that I had what they consider a normal upbringing. He does not get that assumption.
There's so, so much more. At the end of the day we both pulled ourselves out of poverty and suffering but yet the assumptions made about us are not the same. Not at all.
Among the Ivy League.
We were immigrants from Eastern Europe. Although we never thought of ourselves as poor I guess that's what we were - our furniture came from the street, my dad worked pumping gas and driving cabs, my brother got beat up in school for wearing the same clothes every day. My cousins all went to prison, I dropped out of high school.
I have a white collar job now and work among Ivy League grads. No one knows I'm a dropout. Was it easier for me because I'm not black? Probably. Do i feel guilty? Hell no, I've had my share of problems and more in this life and I'm happy for every advantage I got. That's not to say I wouldn't want to see Black Americans succeed and play on a more level field, I very much would. But i can't feel guilty about my own success.
I was able to work my way out of it and never once worried that my appearance would be the deciding factor in an opportunity (unless you're thinking about the hospitality industry - then it's about attractiveness no matter the race.)
EDIT: Thanks for the awards.
Also, I meant to say that the hospitality industry discriminates based on attractiveness AND race, not that it doesn't discriminate on race. Many, many other jobs do too, but probably not to the same degree.
I wasn't dirt poor but had a single mom, lived in a duplex and was on welfare periodically. To me white privilege was when I was caught smoking or trespassing or some stupid kid stuff and I got sat on the curb and picked up by my mom while my black friends were cuffed, went to the station or were threatened with violence.
Edit:For those saying "I'm white and I still got in trouble" I'm not implying that I never got in trouble because I'm white. That's not true. However throughout my teenage years it was blatantly obvious that my black and latino friends consistently faced harsher consequences for similar transgressions.
I grew up below the poverty line and was homeless at times, one in which I lived in a semi truck with my mother, her husband, 3 of my sisters, and 2 of my brothers. My bed was literally the passenger seat floor board.
That being said, white privilege means to me that I can get pulled over or stopped by the cops without the fear of being shot. When I go to the mall, no one assumes I'm shoplifting.
People aren't scared of me or think I'm in a gang just because of the color of my skin. Finding a job in my adult life has been relatively easy. My only real struggles now, as an adult, are that of being a woman, but I do not face the same hurdles women of color face daily. I hope that helps in some way to answer your question honestly.
I grew up poor with a mother who was very irresponsible (spending money we didn't have and time better spent raising her kids doing drugs). I got into a lot of trouble in my teen years with drugs and generally being a screw up. Im only half white but i look white, and to me white privilege is not getting into as much trouble as i deserved to be in. So many times i was let off with a warning for loitering or shoplifting or brushed of by teachers as being "tired" or "troubled" when i was showing up to school high, and i know i wouldn't have gotten that kind of leeway if i wasn't (mostly) white.
The Way of Words.
I think the word privilege irks people a bit. "I had struggles, how am I privileged? Everything I own I earned myself!" I can understand how people would feel that way to some degree and it usually comes from a lack of understanding due to the phrase of white privilege. That and racism... sometimes.
"Reduced discrimination due to being white" doesn't have the same ring to it as "white privilege."
"what's he up too?"
I legit walked in with a black friend to a store. He got tailed by the store clerk whole time. I didn't.
Friend got called pretty for a black girl. I got told I have nice hair. Heard "wow he sounds so professional I thought that he was white".
Its not about living the good life. I grew up poor. I grew up with a kerosene heater in my kitchen because our lights and power were cut off very often or "let's have a camp fire tonight!" Cause we didn't have electricity for the stove to turn on.
It's about how you are treated. White privilege isn't "oh you didn't grow up poor" white privilege is being treated like a human being because you're a human being and your skin tone being ignored. I don't get shot if I steal I get arrested. I get the benefit of the doubt.
Its not about your money. Or your class. It's about not being treated like you're a criminal or a sub human.
the good life.
I grew up white and dirt poor. I had nothing even remotely resembling "the good life". My life was sh*t by most standards and yet I:
- Didn't feel the need to fear the police in my neighborhood
- Didn't get the police called on me for simply walking down the street
- Didn't cause people to cross to the other side of the street to avoid walking past me
- Was able to walk around a store without being followed by security
- Was statistically far less likely to end up in the criminal justice system
- Saw good role models on TV that I could relate to
- Never had someone be surprised that I accomplished something or could "speak well".
- Could find Band-Aids in my skin color.
I worked my tail off to claw my way out of the mess of my childhood and it was hard, but I have no doubt it would have been exponentially harder if my skin wasn't white.
There are many other examples. White privilege is not about money, nor does it suggest that white people don't struggle for what they have. It is about the fact that the systems we live under were designed by and for white people and others have to adapt to them, change them, or fail.
It's about the unconscious power of the status quo.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Remember the Dreamcast? If you don't, then you've been missing out. Sit down, sweet summer child, and listen up.
The Dreamcast was a console so ahead of its time that console has been a Dreamcast since there was a Dreamcast. Too advanced to match its competitors, not appealing enough to be considered part of the next generation. I have fond memories of that console. Crazy Taxi was a gem.
Not everything comes out at the right time. We heard about a few other examples after Redditor rentinghappiness asked the online community,
"In your opinion, what’s something that flopped because it was way ahead of its time?"
"It was vastly overhyped..."
"The original Segway. It was vastly overhyped, but now, we're seeing rental scooters and e-bikes change the way people get around urban areas. If the company had offered a Lime-style rental system from the beginning, the product might've become ubiquitous."
The problem with Segway seemed to be that they could not make them cheaply enough to fit into a reasonable personal transportation niche. They were the price of a small, used car. Not great.
"This was before major smartphones..."
"In 2005, two guys tried to create a service called “MyMobileMenu.” The idea was you could order food using a cell phone, similar to DoorDash."
"This was before major smartphones, so When that flopped, they later tried a new adventure and created a company you might’ve heard of: Reddit."
They actually started Reddit from the same code base and haven't updated the video player since.
"Brilliant show that perfectly toed the line between history and fiction. Extremely compelling characters and kick@ss cast. Wasn't very accurate but always authentic."
"Got way too expensive and was canceled after two seasons. If it had been released after GOT or any other epic show in this day and age and it would have been a smash hit."
James Purefoy as Mark Antony is one of my favourite performances from any media ever. What a show. We were robbed of so much further glory!
"An airline called Muse Air failed in 1985 largely in part because it was the first all non-smoking airline. Now everything is nonsmoking. It was purchased by Southwest and dismantled two years later in 1987."
And look at airlines now! Poor Muse Air.
"Those poor bastards waited..."
"Apparently Skype. Those poor bastards waited for the TV Guide channel to slowly scroll for years and just when what they were looking for showed up, they got distracted by the infomercial in the top right corner."
Somehow Microsoft bought it and despite consistently overwhelmingly negative feedback from users, its new director went forward with his own personal vision, and not only put in changes that no one wanted or asked for, but started stripping legitimate preexisting functionality out of the program.
"Sega Channel was such wizardry for the mid-1990s. It was like Christmas every month when they cycled in new games."
I remember this! It was so ahead of its time. It felt like being in the presence of actual magic!
"The movie tanked..."
"Videodrome '83. The movie tanked, but it was so spot on about people being addicted to media, ultraviolence becoming the norm, people adopting online personas, etc."
Truly... David Cronenberg is a twisted genius.
"It was the first commercial film to be shown in stereo and it used an early precursor to surround sound. WWII, high production costs, and the burden of building the sound equipment for showings prevented it from making any money at the time."
This is true! It's a spectacle that was definitely not appreciated at the time of its release.
"Smirnoff has been the laughing stock of alcohol for years. Now all of sudden everyone and their mother wants to drink fermented sugar drinks."
Funny how people came around – seemingly overnight.
"I distinctly remember..."
"The TV show Arrested Development. I distinctly remember the commercials for it and thought, Jesus that looks moronic. Fox chose the more obvious jokes to highlight and tried to make it seem like a zany hijinks type of comedy. They practically added slide whistles and “boing” sound effects to the commercials for it."
"Once I finally watched it I realized it’s brilliant. It was the first American show to do that style of comedy. Hand-held camera work, flashbacks, cutaways, etc. Which is ironic because later everyone would do it."
They made a huge mistake.
Arrested Development is a cult classic, a show made for streaming years before streaming was a thing.
You don't always realize you have a great thing going – and so much of success comes down to timing.
Have some examples of your own to share? Tell us more in the comments below!
Consumers who have money to burn often buy things they don't really need, like travel accessories, specialized sports equipment for an activity they've only done once, or even cookbooks, when plenty of recipes can be found online.
They might be missing out on buying things that could actually make life so much easier because it never occurs to them.
Curious to hear recommendations of items that can improve your life, Redditor icandoitw asked:
"What are some life-changing purchases that are 100% worth it?"
People thought it was worth spending a little extra for a better quality of life.
"Sounds simple but honestly, something as basic as a good pair of shoes that fit you well."
"A good mattress and pillow. We spend a third of our lives lying on it, why not invest in it? Anything that you use a lot, you should seriously invest in, like I have a $400 custom mechanical keyboard. People say I am crazy, but I use it every day, for hours on end, it’s my job."
"If you have trouble sleeping, a weighted blanket. I’ve gone from about 5.5 hrs average sleep per night to 7 hours average which is incredible for me, and I wake up feeling so well rested"
Better In The Dark
"Blackout curtains. Especially in the summertime, they help you sleep so much better."
"Good quality re-useable ear plugs. Soooo much better than the cheap foamy ones."
"They will definitely improve your life if you go to loud concerts. Filter our overtones so you can hear the music better at a loud punk show. Also hearing loss is irreversible and there's no cure for tinnitus."
Clear The Air
"For blind/visually impaired people: A smartphone. They literally are life changing, and can function as numerous separate and extremely pricy accessible devices and can do things like color and money recognition, text recognition, the uses are amazing."
"In general though, if you have allergies, especially seasonal or pet, AIR PURIFIER. When we bought our hous a few years ago, my allergies got so bad, we were almost considering moving, but then i bought an air purifier and it was so life changing, i got one for each floor of our house. One of the best purchases ever."
Life can be made easier with the help of these items.
"A second monitor."
"Suprised i didnt see this yet, but it improves productivity so much as you can have tabs open and type whatever you want on the other or even watch youtube etc."
Taking Stock In This
"3+ gallon stock pot. Boil pasta, potatoes, or whatever without a boil over. No more starch water burning all over the burner."
"a fully functioning computer."
"many people don't have one, they exist in phones or tablets, and holy sh*t they are missing out."
"Washer and dryer. No planning days and accumulating quarters for laundry. Just dump a load in a go about my business."
Save your back and your money by hiring people to do hard labor.
Refrain From Heavy Lifting
"paying for movers to do everything from pack to move all of it."
"never doing that sh*t again."
You Deserve It
"People really underestimate the power of this."
"At least in my social circle, for a long time it was just understood that if someone was moving everyone was showing up that day to lift and lug from house A to house B with the rich reward of beer and burgers after, as if it had all been some fun party everyone loved. This persisted even after people could conceivably afford movers."
"I personally think it is A LOT to expect of friends do that for you. Yeah, when you're young and you have three bags of clothes, two boxes of books, and a futon (and no disposable income at all), it's understandable. But paying for movers and then packers is something I did as soon as I had any money to pay for it. That is what money is for, it's not necessarily what friends are for."
The best pandemic purchase I made that was worth every penny was for several sets of free weights.
Once I canceled my gym membership, I invested in some dumbbells so I could follow YouTube workout videos in the comfort of my home.
They are not cheap; however, I'm saving more money in the long run without having to pay a monthly gym membership fee.
I've seen more gains from using the free weights and following an instructor on a monitor, and my motivation to work out is higher than ever.
If you find yourself plateauing at the gym, you may want to invest in making some changes to your exercise regimen that works for you.
You know, try as I might, I just can't bring myself to bother with The Walking Dead. I quit the show some years ago, probably around the time of that weird fakeout with Glen in the dumpster (and then his actual death right after that), but the truth is that the show was getting on my nerves for some time before that.
Did anyone actually care about all the nonsense going on with Deanna and the citizens of Alexandria? And can we go back a bit further and talk about how ludicrous Beth's death at the hands of some power-tripping officer in a hospital ward was? There was such a noticeable drop in quality after the third season that I questioned why I kept tuning in.
But this show is far from the only one to make people want to throw their remotes at their television screens. People shared their thoughts with us after Redditor regian24 asked the online community,
"What TV show was amazing at first but became unwatchable for you later on?"
The Walking Dead
"The Walking Dead."
"First few seasons were great with pretty good pacing. Later seasons devolve into telling one story at a time. They’d have a cliffhanger of a character maybe dying and do 3 weeks of other stories. By the time it gets back to the cliffhanger you have no idea what’s happening. That and it got repetitive."
See?! What did I tell you? After a splendid first season – one that could have been a standalone miniseries at that – the rest of the series just failed to live up to its initial promise.
"I watched every new episode of Glee when it came out and was slightly obsessed with the show. But as soon as it finished it all crumbled. The show makes no sense, is not good, and I could never rewatch it."
I just couldn't get into it. I found it grating. And the fact that the quality noticeably slipped afterward did not make my friends happy.
"Heroes: biggest drop in quality after season 1."
To be fair, the writer's strike really hurt that show's future. It never stood a chance after that – and my God, did I hear that that second season was horrible.
"Happy Days! Once Fonzie jumped the shark, while waterskiing and wearing his jacket, the show just got progressively worse."
This is the classic answer to this question. Gen Xers like me even use the term "jumping the shark" to refer to things that were once great but now suck.
"The Blacklist. So many loopholes and a never ending plot. I mean, the female hero (forgot her name) was wanted and had her pictures broadcast nationwide live, but a couple of weeks after she can do undercover work."
I couldn't even stand the first episode. I quit right after that. I could tell the quality was questionable.
"Arrow. It's what happens when you try to make so many seasons for a show meant for only a few."
This is true about lots of shows. The writers and executives just don't know when to quit.
Once Upon a Time
"Once Upon a Time. The first 3 seasons were good! And then after that they just kept getting worse."
People actually liked that show? I know, I know... I'm the worst. I just didn't see the appeal and it heard it got so ridiculous.
"A hilarious and intriguing show that slowly grew to be about a bunch of unlikable a-holes making bad, selfish decisions. When there's no one with any redeeming characteristics, there's no one for the audience to get behind."
It started out great but really started to go off the rails with characters making increasingly nonsensical choices. Nancy marrying the Mexican drug lord was the beginning of the end.
That '70s Show
"Not the worst offender, but That '70s Show tanked pretty hard once Eric left. He was sorely needed to make the chemistry of the group work."
Yeah, the way these characters continued to stick together even after that was just embarrassing.
House of Cards
"The first two seasons were amazing. After that it started to get progressively worse."
I would argue that even the second season began to stretch the limits of credulity. I lost interest after the fourth season (and both the third and the fourth seasons were a slog for me to get through).
There is some amazing television out there – I am currently making my way through Six Feet Under again – but there is even more disappointing television that should never make its way into your eyeballs.
Sorry if you've suffered.
Have some suggestions of your own? Tell us more in the comments below!
More often than not, what gets us to keep tuning in to our favorite TV shows, or drawn to certain movies, is to get a glimpse into various professions which fascinate us, but which we wouldn't ever want to work ourselves.
Needless to say, there aren't many people who find the Indiana Jones films to be a remotely accurate depiction of archaeology, or that the Jurassic Park films show what paleontology is really like.
But many people tend to watch iconic procedurals like Grey's Anatomy and Law & Order under the notion that they both give an accurate depiction of the medical field and the legal world.
Only, how accurate are they?
Redditor Just_Surround_2108 was curious to learn which professions have been documented on screen without as much research as one might expect, leading them to ask:
"What profession does Hollywood get completely wrong in films and TV?"
In case you had any doubts about hacking...
"Don't nobody code that fast lol."- lmoore0621
The better question is, what does Hollywood get right?
"Just about anything medical, including deaths."
"Just about anything dealing with space."
"Just about anything dealing with natural disasters."
"Actually, now that I think about it, I don't think Hollywood really gets anything right about anything."- Xyrus2000
"Especially in big firms, it’s a lot of just endless hours in front of a desk doing doc review."
"Sincerely, someone studying to do endless hours in front of a desk doing doc review."- geeeeeetarSeason 2 Nbc GIF by Law & OrderGiphy
For better or worse...
Don't let them in the operating room...
"Nursing."- buhzkillWake Up Coffee GIF by FOX TVGiphy
Drop that baton!
"Oh my god just take a lesson or two and learn how to hold the instrument right."- soysaucemmm
Crunching those numbers... incorrectly...
Accountants. I'm sorry, but the action Thriller "The Accountant" starring Ben Aff-lack, was in no way a true representation of my job. - User Deleted
Defying all laws of motion...
"It's hilarious how they act!."- Prestigious-Order-62back to the future 121 gigawatts GIFGiphy
At least depending on where you went to school...
If we're being honest, most people tune in to watch films or television shows to escape from reality, and aren't usually looking for a documentary on these professions.
Though, for anyone thinking they want to be a scientist after watching Back To The Future... you might want to really think that one over...