What Is Privilege?

What Is Privilege?


– Some people are born into families where they have to walk miles just to get water. All I have to do is turn on
a faucet- that’s privilege. (deep music) – I think privilege is when
some people have some things and other people don’t have things. – I feel privilege is
something that you don’t even really even have control over. – I think it’d be silly for me to say I don’t have a fair amount of privilege, considering the country I live
in and the job I get to do and the college I was allowed to go to. – I suppose being a
white male will help me end up somewhere towards the front, but I’ll take a few steps
back from being gay. – I don’t think I’ll make it to the front. I think I’ll maybe be in the middle. That’s just a gut feeling I have. – [Voiceover] If you parents worked nights and weekends to support your family, take one step back. If you can show affection
for your romantic partner in public without fear
of ridicule or violence, take one step forward. If you were embarassed about your clothes or house while growing
up, take one step back. If you have ever been
diagnosed as having a physical or mental illness or
disability, take one step back. If you have ever been bullied
or made fun of based on something you can’t
change, take one step back. If you get time off for
your religious holidays, take one step forward. If you came from a supportive
family environment- If you can see a doctor
whenever you feel the need- If you are able to move through the world without fear of sexual assault- If you took out loans for your education- If there were more than 50
books in your house right now- So these are your final positions. (deep music) – I think it felt kind
of strange for everyone. – It’s a hard thing to
discuss or even reflect on. It was very awkward. – I think when you can represent
it so visually like this and so immediately, it
definitely takes on a new form. – Oh, I think we’re all joking
around in the beginning. It was pretty lighthearted and as soon as the
questions started coming in, the mood shifted immediately
and it was just silent. – Just looking back and seeing a bunch of people behind you is not a good feeling. – It’s like weird how
you want to hold onto explaining a certain privilege like, “Oh, but that’s
not actually me because I hard to work really hard for that.” So it’s weird to take a step
forward when you feel like you’re taking a step
forward with someone else, but you wear a lot of the baggage of how those things were hard. – It was more emotional
than I though it would be. – It reminded me of when
they talk about slavery in high school and you
feel angry for a few days, but then you just realize
like, this is how it is. – For me it was just kind
of frustrating almost to look back and see how much further some people were behind me and realizing that, you
know, a lot of that stuff, no amount of hard work or even legislation can make up that gap. – It’s interesting being an Asian American because you’re not really sure where you fall on the spectrum of privilege. – I know that for me one
of the reasons I ended up so far back was that there
were questions around safety. As an African American, as
a woman, as a gay woman, there was just so many different ways that I don’t feel safe. – I feel like I just learned to be grateful for what you have. You know, we’re in such
a huge society where it’s always complaining
about what you don’t have. – It just shows you
that for some families, like each family, you’re
meant to do better. My grandparents did good,
my parents did good, and I’ll do even better. – I do think if you’re not
aware of privilege you should do this exercise, but it’s more complicated. (deep music)

About the Author: Garret Beatty

100 Comments

  1. Congratulations. Looks like the creators of this video have discovered that privilege could be completely alleviated if children simply refused to be raised by parents who made sound life choices. Problem solved.

    Does anyone really believe this crap?!

  2. I hate the term "privilege" when describing someone's race, gender or sexuality. In my opinion, the first way to stop discrimination is to stop the privilege test. It separates us and measures us based on what we have as people. It's not a competition to see who has it worst. And when people say they want to be treated the same yet they say people are privileged based on qualities they can't control, it's hippocritical.

  3. Some people are born much more fortunate than others. That’s how it works. It’s a universal lottery. You can’t change that.

  4. White privilege only applies to about 25% of whites but when we have it it can be defined as.  "not breaking the law, studying hard to gain employment or start a business, paying taxes, working harder than your competition.  Buying real estate and investing. contributing to society"   there's the recipe, enjoy.

  5. I was supposed to go to an IVY league University but my friend got my spot even though I have higher grades and has way more social activities under my belt. My friend got in because he was Ethiopian, I'm happy for him but even he thought I deserve it more than him. I decided to just enroll at a nearby college because I was rejected in all my applications. There was a limited scholarship grant and I have to fought hard to acquire them because the committee wants to give it to minority folks (who are actually better off financially than me). I've worked at a pig farm just to support my studies. I had to both study and work hard at the same time, sleeping at around 11 and even 12 just to cover everything academically. It is my perseverance that got me to where I am currently at. White Privilege is a myth. It's a way for civil rights wannabe folks to shut down discussions and debates that don't favor them. Respect people as individuals and not because of their skin color.

  6. Do it with people that are not people who you can select from your buzzfeed staff that have such a white guilt and victim mentality.Also most of the questions are based on how you feel about it.

  7. Privilege is not good. It is not bad. It is something everyone have. Some people have more of it. Those people need to recognize their privilege and stop looking down on less privileged people who work just as hard as them but end up in lower places in social or economic status. They need to stop acting like someone telling them they're privileged is dismissing their achievements. It isn't. Success doesn't determine someone's worth. It is hard work and understanding that determines your worth to society, as well as your achievements.

  8. To sum it up, since there are no legal privileges any groups, races, or religions enjoy over others, in the US- 'privilege' is most accurately described as reverse envy, or reverse jealousy. "Anyone who can do more, or who has more than me (especially things I want), are privileged…" No, you're just envious of what other people have. Don't be so basic, and shallow.

  9. I'm a white cis male, and I followed this video to the t. I would actually be behind that beautiful lady in the back. I think that this video only fits the millennials who haven't actually tried to make their way in life. Just expectations. No actual work toward a future.

  10. "if you got loans for your education" how is thats a good think a lot of the time. You get you owe your working life to someone, nice

  11. I don't know because I was unable to take the quiz too many questions interrupted how can this be a teaching moment?

  12. privilege is not worrying about the future, not worrying and stressing when the next emotional and mental hit is…. y’all are lucky to have a loving mom 😪

    cuz I never did… she never was

  13. Privilege isn't complex it's pretty simple. It doesn't exist except for the wealthy elitist. All of these questions were gerrymandered and had more to do with personal choices and the choices your parents made while raising you. That's not the equivalent of privilege, it's the equivalent of blaming society for a string of bad decision making.

  14. I do not understand what the purpose of this video is, everyone is different with different lives this idea of others having the upper hand in life can be some what real but stuff like this really doesn't matter as long as you can eat, live in a home and you are mentally stable and surviving then you are doing just fine, the idea of having privilege isn't something you should really care about and it's stupid all together

  15. Bullsh*t questions. They should've had a much more diverse group too. This was hand picked to make white men still seem like they have more privileges than ANYONE else when they have less than minorities do.

  16. I'm looking for a white privilege summer camp for our son Reginald, he mustn't spend a lot of times out of doors and is hard to please.

  17. Odd how they never talk about the thing that people have done in the past to give us these things they call privilege. If you build a house with your own hands and someone else doesn't have one that is not privilege. You EARNED it.

  18. I am:
    -Wealthy
    -Diagnosed with a physical disability
    -Female
    -Bisexual
    -White
    -Able to go to college

    I think I'm pretty split.

  19. The variety of these issues shows that this is a leveling word that becomes meaningless.   It takes away specific issues and turns it all into "you should feel bad because of anything good in your life."  Not "everyone should have this and it should be the standard."  Not seeking equality by raising up.  Seeking equality by shaming success or happiness.

  20. ''Privilege'' is simply code word for ''Superiority''. Some people were just born better than we are whether it comes to race, family structure, income, religion, sexual orientation. Diversity destroys what makes us unique and valuable and creates envy among people.

  21. Hi! I would like to contribute Japanese translation of this video. I think this video is amazing and would be very helpful for people in Japan to understand the concept of privilege.
    Can you make this video available for translation??
    Thanks!
    -Halim

  22. Those questions are in an awful order if you're trying to tally it yourself.
    Here 'ya go. One set for "forward," one for "back."

    If you can show affection for your romantic partner in public without fear of ridicule or violence, take one step forward.

    If you came from a supportive family environment take one step forward.

    If you can go anywhere in the country, and easily find the kinds of hair products you need and/or cosmetics that match your skin color, take one step forward.

    If you can make mistakes and not have people attribute your behavior to flaws in your racial/gender group, take one step forward.

    If you can legally marry the person you love, regardless of where you live, take one step forward.

    If you were born in the United States, take one step forward.

    If you felt like you had adequate access to healthy food growing up, take one step forward

    If you are reasonably sure you would be hired for a job based on your ability and qualifications, take one step forward.

    If you would never think twice about calling the police when trouble occurs, take one step forward.

    If you can see a doctor whenever you feel the need, take one step forward.

    If you feel comfortable being emotionally expressive/open, take one step forward.

    If you get time off for your religious holidays, take one step forward.

    If you feel comfortable walking home alone at night, take one step forward.

    If you have ever traveled outside the United States, take one step forward.

    If you feel confident that your parents would be able to financially help/support you if you were going through a financial hardship, take one step forward.

    If there were more than 50 books in your house growing up, take one step forward.

    If you studied the culture or the history of your ancestors in elementary school take one step forward.

    If your parents or guardians attended college, take one step forward.

    If you ever went on a family vacation, take one step forward.

    If you can buy new clothes or go out to dinner when you want to, take one step forward.

    If you were ever offered a job because of your association with a friend or family member, take one step forward.

    If you are able to move through the world without fear of sexual assault, take one step forward.

    If you have ever tried to change your speech or mannerisms to gain credibility, take one step back.

    If you were embarrassed about your clothes or house while growing up, take one step back.

    If you or your parents have ever gone through a divorce, take one step back.

    If you took out loans for your education take one step backward.

    If you have ever been diagnosed as having a physical or mental illness/disability, take one step back.

    If the primary language spoken in your household growing up was not english, take one step back.

    If your parents worked nights and weekends to support your family, take one step back.

    If you have ever been the only person of your race/gender/socio-economic status/ sexual orientation in a classroom or workplace setting, please take one step back.

    If you had a job during your high school and college years, take one step back.

    If you have ever felt like there was NOT adequate or accurate representation of your racial group, sexual orientation group, gender group, and/or disability group in the media, take one step back.

    If you have ever been bullied or made fun of based on something that you can’t change, take one step back.

    If one of your parents was ever laid off or unemployed not by choice, take one step back.

    If you were ever uncomfortable about a joke or a statement you overheard related to your race, ethnicity, gender, appearance, or sexual orientation but felt unsafe to confront the situation, take one step back.

  23. I think it would be important to add religion or lack of religion to many of these questions. I've lost friends because I'm an atheist, and at work my older co-worker refused to serve two women in burkas, so I think there is a lot of discrimination in that regard too

  24. Even if you accept the weird premise that you can fully evaluate a person advantages and disadvantages to one value and judge the person solely on that, the question of what action you take is most important. Do you tear "the privileged" down or do you pull "the unpriviliged" up?

  25. some of these questions have to do with personal fears or confidence. everyone has to work up for confidence that doesnt necessarily mean you have mental issues or privilege just because youre confident.

  26. If you were born in the United States, you're privileged. Stop whining and using every disadvantage as an excuse for your own bad choices!

  27. "If you can show affection for your romantic partner in public without fear of ridicule or violence."

    What if you're an incel?

  28. Diversity test? Please work hard!! Privilege is a made up excuse for millennials being lazy!! Kids are to damn lazy!! Work hard!!! Then you will get rewarded!! Period!! Pathetic

  29. I'm not sure where I would be. Probably somewhere near the front. I am a black, white, malaysian, and bisexual girl which may put me a few steps back. However, I was born and raised in america with a very loving and supporting family. I've never had to worry about food, shelter, water, clothes, etc. In addition to that I am fortunate enough to get lots of toys and have access to lots of electonics and other things. It makes me sad when I realize that this is how the world is. We can try so hard to recognize our privilege and where we stand in the world, and attempt to help others less fortunate than us. But at some point there is only so much that one person can do. And unless the majority of the world's population do these things too, we're never really going to get anywhere.

  30. more like how woke are you? also lol at the black guy talking about slavery its all they ever talk about

  31. Privalige is not being discriminated against and when you r realy rich and it’s not always in your power and you shouldn’t be shouted at by some sjw feminist because out it

  32. "Privilege" is useful in only one way. It allows us to know something important about anyone who uses the word in any context other then the traditional way of expressing gratitude for getting to do something (ie. "it's a privilege to be here"): they are just too stupid to take seriously.

  33. You should feel bad since you or your parents loved you enough to hard for because someone lazier than you is jealous of.
    It's a concept as old as Cain and Able.
    Guess what happened when Cain thought Able was privileged?
    Read the Bible and you might not get caught up in this leftist garbage thinking.

  34. it's so cooool, i'm white european. I want my privilege, please send my green card, plane tickets. I want Ferrari, luxuary hous in L.A. and ~100k dolars/month

  35. Stop focusing on other people's "privilege" and focus on making your own life better. No matter how privileged or unprivilaged you are someone always has it better or worse then you.

  36. Privilege – “ a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group.”

    What you mean is advantage ….,, and in most cases those advantages came from hard work either by the individual or their ancestor.

    In a western society no matter your background everyone has the same means to attain privilege

    Stop whining end of story

  37. They show how the people in front realize that they're privileged but what these videos never show are how the people in the back feel about the whole experience.
    My school ended up doing this and I ended up in the back and it felt like question after question it was just beating down on factors in my life.
    I know it's not supposed to be a fun game, it's supposed to show people what privileges they have so they can be more grateful, but when you're in back it just does the opposite and continuously shits on your life.

  38. None of these questions had to do with privilege. And the ability to turn on a faucet isnt a privilege because you still have to pay for that water or the electricity to pump it out of your well. A privilege isn't having something someone else doesn't it's being given something with out have to extract something from your self to have it. And black people aren't hated by cops Imater of fact cops are probably the people who want blacks to be successful the most cause then there not getting shot at by them or are accidentally coming of as racist when the feel more threatened by them because of the reputation blacks have for shooting cops. Also it doesn't matter if a the person is black or white because when you pose a threat to a cop as so as you start shooting training kicks in and he shoots back

  39. Colin Kaepernick would be ahead of all of them for privilege, yet he is protesting our flags for being oppressed. Hmmm.

  40. I'm white, but I would have been in the back for these privilege exercises because I was poor and my parents were divorced. I also have have disabilities and the school harassed me as a child.

  41. Privilege is being a woman or a girl in countries like America, Australia, Britain and other modern day countries.
    Those women are a lot more privileged then men when they are born in those types of countries.

  42. They speak of circumstances NOT privilege. Privilege is knowingly accepting an edge when you know others won't have that edge. Privilege is intentional gain above others. Getting my water from a faucet is circumstantial and a product of the gains made by the society I live in. Those that don't have my circumstances are NOT in any way diminished in their life experience until maybe you go rub it in their face that they don't have what "you" have. The irony is that they would probably still be leading a far more fulfilling life than you, as they aren't all butthurt because of the guilt of that massive imaginary privilege the perpetrators of this "social ill" created. Sheesh…

  43. If the primary language spoken in your household growing up was not english, take one step back.

    Ummm wouldn't that be take one step forward for being at least bi-lingual?

    If you have ever felt like there was NOT adequate or accurate representation of your racial group.

    Ummm… If you are a minority in America that would be almost everywhere because America is 70% white.

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