"In one 1962 survey roughly 90 percent of White people believed Black children had an equally fair opportunity to get a quality education as White children. Wise recognizes that White Americans’ lack of awareness—and denial about the extent of racial inequality in America—is dated, calling it “borderline delusional”."
(Unpacking the Snowflake - Kevin M. Hemer)
In 1962— before Civil Rights legislation, when Black people were literally having their houses bombed for moving into white neighborhoods, and Black neighborhoods were being bombed in entirety for having nice houses, white people were literally releasing dogs on Black children (my parents) for walking to school, Black children and teenagers were literally leaving school to protest and then being arrested for demanding to be treated equally, police commissioners were driving through Black neighborhoods in tanks to instill fear in them for wanting to be treated equally, everything was separate with Black people getting the shittier end, they literally had lower education standards for Black schools and Black people were still getting lynched and the KKK was strong—
White people when surveyed said “there is equal opportunity“… So don’t think it’s weird that 93% or so of white people still think “there is equal opportunity” today. They’ve literally always been wrong and still are.
This post isn’t about welfare, but it beautifully illustrates a point I’ve been making (or trying to make) since I started this blog:
Privileged people do not understand the realities of people who lack their privilege.
White people assume PoC have the same education and job opportunities.
People with permanent addresses assume homeless people can just fill out an application for McDonalds or Burger King, be hired, and immediately use their paychecks to secure housing.
People who don’t receive welfare assume people on welfare are lazy and intentionally having multiple children and not looking for jobs.
This is why I am always, always asking people if they’ve ever considered that maybe, JUST MAYBE, they don’t have the whole story about their cousin/neighbor/friend’s sister. Because people in privilege tend to ascribe their own circumstances to everyone, even when that’s the exact opposite of reality.