I present to you: Privilege Denying Dude

I was contacted by the person who owns the stock photo that was used to make Privilege Denying Dude and asked to remove the images from the site.

I am new to the world of the tumblr. My current favourite is definitely stfuconservatives, which is a (mostly) tongue-in-cheek listing of unbelievably stupid things that conservatives say. There is a stfuliberals as well, but it is somewhat… lighter on content.

However, I have just recently discovered what I think might be the greatest tool that a blogger like me can have:

Privilege Denying Dude

Some of my favourties:



This one’s for Brian:


And of course…



I don’t get a lot of them, and there are some repeats, but it’s a hilarious meme that I want to see continue.

I made one too, just for grassrute:


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  1. says

    Weird, I don’t know why that happened. I have fixed. If it happens again, I am just going to steal the images and re-post rather than URL linking (based on my theory of what happened).

  2. grassrute says

    Thanks for thinking about me Crommunist. I would have felt I was loosing privilege had you not. Also, thanks for the chuckle; Privilege Denying Dude is certainly entertaining.
    You mention that you don’t ‘get’ all of them. That’s simply because you’re not quite as extremist as others who whine about the ‘privilege’ of others. Those who deny privilege exists may not ‘get’ any of them.
    A fine example is “women are better at multitasking…I’m not sexist, that was a compliment” You may or may not label this statement as evidence of ‘male privilege’ depending on your level of extremism. Considering my wife uses this statement all the time to expose just how handicap I am when trying to do two things at once, nullifies this as evidence for privilege in my books.

  3. says

    No problem, buddy.

    Yes, all those “extremists”. You know, the type that murder doctors and blow up hospitals, firebomb synagogues and wage war in the name of feminism. Those darn extremists, they’re so extreme.

  4. grassrute says

    I think you’re confusing ‘extremist’ with ‘terrorist’, let me help:
    extremist – a person who holds extreme views
    terrorist – a radical who employs terror as a political weapon; usually organizes with other terrorists in small cells; often uses religion as a cover for terrorist activities

  5. says

    Most of these I find hilarious, but I have to admit, it has always bugged me that white people tend to be lumped categorically under “white,” as if we have no cultural heritage outside of our “white-ness.”

    Part of my reasons are admittedly selfish (“does my Celtic heritage mean less than Black African heritage, in terms of being able to celebrate my culture?”) but I think I actually *really*, truly decided this bugged me after watching a game overthinker talk–I THINK it’s this one, where he very interestingly (and I think probably rightly) observes that white people tend of think of themselves as a “tabula rasa”, that is, a default state of humanity, with people of color’s defining characteristic as human beings being their color itself.

    A great example he pointed out was a cover of an Avengers comic, where all of the white heroes are costumed, but Luke Cage is just “a black guy;” it’s as if white people [subconsciously] think of Blackness *as* a costume, as a defining trait in and of itself, rather than an element of someone like their eye color or their ethnic heritage.

    I think that by grouping white people into one category and saying other people have “color” (that is, white is “blank”, tan/black/”yellow”/”red” have “color”) we may be perpetuating the idea of whiteness being “default” or “normal” and other skin colors as being defining personality traits in and of themselves (at the same time that we deny any defining traits caused by being “white.”)

  6. says

    Katherine, thanks for your comment. I meant to address it hours ago, but I got caught up in the webcast of the Hitchens/Dembski debate and forgot. My apologies.

    “does my Celtic heritage mean less than Black African heritage, in terms of being able to celebrate my culture?”

    This comment needs to be parsed, because there are two different things contained in it. First, the bit about “being able to celebrate my culture”: I am not aware of any person of Irish descent who faces opposition (nowadays, Jen tells me that this has not always been the case) for being able to celebrate their culture. They may face some discrimination in terms of cultural stereotypes, which are absolutely deplorable, but that doesn’t disqualify them from enjoying skin-based privilege – an employer or police officer or person at the bank or what-have-you would likely not know of a person’s Irish background, but being Chinese is not so possible to miss. This brings me to the second point, which is that having African heritage does mean more (de facto) because it cannot be anything other than obvious, and contributes meaningfully to any face-to-face discussion.

    I have my own philosophical issues with the phrase “person of colour”, but it is a useful phrase to describe the mutual issues faced by a segment of the population. It is an accurate description of a sociological group, although it does have its drawbacks as you have noted. The rock and hard place we find ourselves in is that on one hand we do not wish to perpetuate the “default” characterization, but on the other there is a group that faces obstacles based precisely on that characterization. “PoC” is perhaps the lesser of two evils, in that it draws our attention to the issue and invites us to acknowledge it.

    As with any attempt to apply skepticism and rigour to a fuzzy phenomenon like race, the further down you go the more difficult it is to stay consistent. I hope you do continue to follow the blog, and contribute more great comments.

  7. says

    If I had to make a guess at the single most accepted form of irrationality within skeptic and atheist activist movements, privilege denial would be right at the top of the list. It’s the one area where I feel like we have a serious need to step up policing our own.

    I guess this meme is one way of doing that.

  8. says

    I don’t know if it is the single most accepted form, but it is certainly a form of argument that we don’t address a lot. It’s only become more mainstream as the skeptic movement has overlapped with the LGBT/feminist community, wherein privilege has long been discussed. It’s one of those things that’s notoriously hard to see, but once you see it, you see it.

    Thanks for the comment!

  9. says

    You make some great comments, and I basically agree with you–we are indeed in a rock vs. hard place versus whether we try to acknowledge the idea of a “PoC” and highlight it to bring more awareness to the discrimination such people face, or if we try to downplay the idea that people of different ethnicities can be lumped into some kind of crayola-esque category. X)


    I should qualify this quickly, because I want to make it clear that I *don’t* think that Celtic heritage means you have it “tough.” That wasn’t the kind of cultural heritage I’m talking about (although that kind of cultural history is VERY important, and possibly more so, than the kind I am talking about.) I was talking specifically cultural heritage in the form of things that are *celebrated* about a person’s history, like their music or art or achievements–NOT the suffering that they are or may have endured in the past.

    More so, I sometimes feel like whiteness has become sort of culturally homogenized in the US; there’s only one thing that “White heritage” means, and it ain’t pretty or something that any self-respecting white person wants to be associated with. If someone asks what your “western european heritage” is, that question isn’t automatically a loaded Nazi gun, and you could give a response like “Irish” or “Italian” or “German.”

    I don’t know. Maybe it’s just my white privilege™ talking. :-/ Race confuses the shit out of me sometimes.

  10. says

    I don’t think that asking for/wanting clarity is indicative of privilege. I think talking about ‘white culture’ is as erroneous as talking about ‘black culture’ or ‘asian culture’.

    These prefacing adjectives are, essentially, amalgamating vast swathes of people and cultural practices under one single uniting banner, and I think that this particular designations obscures more than it reveals.


    When speaking of group actions, of ‘how blacks are treated in white America (or Canada, or where ever)’, it seems to be a reasonable shortcut/rubric to speak in terms of white/black/asian dichotomies.

    The problem is, in my opinion, the problem of the vernacular: the shifting of the use of terminology that is valid in one context (speaking of social discrimination), to an invalid context (“white culture”). Spanish culture is distinct from Irish as Polish is from French.

    The four colour system also obscures national boundaries, and ignores the fact that there is vast difference of skin pigmentation within ethnic groups: many Koreans are more white than many Greeks, many Japanese are more dark than many ‘Blacks’.

    So I think that the problem of terminology is largely dealt with by being specific about the context of use, and acknowledging when it fails to accurately describe things, rather than slavishly using the designator in all possible situations and denying any exceptions.

    And, frankly, I find the notion of ‘white culture’ to be spoken of from a position of privilege: it’s typically used in the context of wealthy WASP-originated culture. When someone starts going on about ‘white culture’, bring up the alpine horn, or the Czech language, or Oktoberfest, and watch their head spin.

    All that said: I don’t find Crommunist’s usage objectionable, because I believe that he’s always using the descriptors in a highly specific context. But I’ll shut up now, and let him speak for himself. 😉

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