How To Tell if Privilege Group Members are Operating from the Individual/Thought Quandrant

1. Justification– “Yeah, but I didnt mean it” or “I know I said that,but I was joking.”

This is not taking responsibility for your actions!!

2. Data pile on- Show me facts, statistics, proof, etc.

When you confront someone about something racist, sexist, etc, and you point out the societal inequality, they will often ask for “proof”, as if they don’t believe you.

3. Perfectly logical explinations- “Maybe its not racism, maybe its…”

This is denial, and down-playing the real issue.

4. “Im colorblind”– or variations of this such as “were all equal.”

This is ignoring the fact that in our society, we are NOT equal.

5. Pull Yourself up by your bootstraps- The belief that anyone who works hard enough will reach success, after all, this is America.

This is NOT acknowledging that our society has target groups, not to mention CLASSES that make it hard to get yourself anywhere if you don’t have a shitload of money.

6. Reverse Racism- “People of color are just at racist as white people.”

Its NOT possible to switch the system, but discrimination is possible.

7. “Don’t blame me” – or things like ” I never owned slaves”, “I never voted for…”

This is ignoring the role you have a privilege group member.

9. Innocent by Association- “Some of my best friends are.. (gay, people of color, etc).”

This is refusing to see that you are part of the system of oppression.

10. “But what about me” – Look how I have been oppressed!

This is only focusing on ones self, not the oppression of others.

I know its easiest to go to things like this, taking the blame off of yourself. But what you can do is: If you notice that you, or anyone around you has this mentality, bring awareness to it. I think this quote fits pretty well on this topic:

“Being an ally is not about comparing who has had it harder; it’s not about comparing my oppression to your oppression. Being an ally is about recognizing that even if you have experienced marginalization, that experience does not mean you are not responsible when you perpetuate the marginalization of others.”

I got this quote from:

Thanks for reading!


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