Unbeknownst to me, being born a white male would privilege me to a wonderful life in which everything I ever wanted would be handed to me on a platinum platter.
It was going to be fantastic.
While shopping for kindergarten supplies, a momentous decision needed to be made. Crayola offered two packages of crayons: 8 colors or 16 colors.
My mother bought me 16.
As I moved through the grades, Crayola kept making bigger and bigger boxes, and my mother kept buying them. 32, 48, 64, and so on. While most of the kids were scraping by with the old 8 color set, I always had more!
I was privileged.
Now you might say that this was just a ploy to encourage a child, but no, no.
If you had looked closer at the statistics, you would see that among my classmates, there were children of many ethnicities, and fully half the class were female, but I had the big set of crayons, and they didn’t.
There is only one possibly explanation for this disparity. I had more crayons because I was a white male.
And thus my life of privilege had begun.
Naturally this abundance of coloring supplies was made possible because I came from a wealthy family. My father dropped out of high-school to become a welder and my mom worked part time at Kentucky Fried Chicken.
It was always a great thrill when my father drove our 66 Dodge Monaco through the KFC drive-through, and there was my mom, giving us a barrel of chicken.
I’m telling you, she was “this close” to the secret recipe.
We were rich.
When I wasn’t eating KFC off a golden plate with a silver spoon, I spent hundreds of hours with my crayons.
After I mastered the “seagull line” I moved on to cars, comics, optical illusions, Sunshine girls, and so on. Whatever made people say, “Ohh, that looks good,” I drew that.
After awhile, I got to be pretty good at it.
School didn’t seem to be all that difficult. I heard later that the whole thing was set up for white males to succeed, so that would explain why.
Here’s an example of blatant institutional racism:
In the sixth grade, there was a contest to write an essay about an animal, and if no one knew what your animal was you would win a candy bar.
I decided I wanted the candy bar, so during recess while the boys were playing tag and the girls were skipping rope, I went to the secret white male power center – otherwise known as a library – to see what I could find.
There were plenty of weird animals in the first couple pages, but I figured that if anyone else read this book, they’d probably choose from the first couple pages.
So I flipped to the back of the book, but someone might think of that too. Dammmit! I’m going to have to read this whole damn book if I want to win that candy bar.
So I did.
When contest time arose, and the other kids were reading the name of their animal to the class, I always knew what they were.
Someone would say, “Agouti.”
I knew that one from the start of the book and replied, “That’s a South American Squirrel.”
The next student would say, “Zorilla.”
Hey, someone actually did go to the last page, nice try but… “That’s an African skunk.”
Yes, I was pretty darn annoying to my classmates that day. And it was looking more and more like I would be the only winner of the candy bar, if only my animal choice could stump the rest of the class.
Tension was building as my turn approached. Everyone was gunning to make whatever creature I had chosen into an endangered species.
My name was called and I announced my creature, “Pangolin.”
Silence. Nobody had the slightest clue what a pangolin was.
I was the only person to win a candy bar that day, and it really shouldn’t have been a surprise. You see, even though most of the animals came from distant countries, the encyclopedia was written in English.
And England after all, is the spiritual homeland of white males, so this whole contest was culturally skewed in my favor.
Besides, the teacher was a white male and so was I, so of course I won the candy bar.
As school moved on, and guidance counselors began annoying me with questions like, “What do you want to be when you get out of school?”
I said, “I want to be a pilot.”
But as it turns out, if you want to be a pilot in Canada, and that’s where I grew up, being a white male isn’t quite good enough – you’ve also got to be able to speak French.
Even after six years of compulsory French courses, I couldn’t conjugate a verb to save my life, much less land a 747 in Montreal.
So it was back to the crayons, and off to Art School, which was really just a way to hide for four years before I had to get job, or to answer more questions about what I wanted to be.
After the first semester, I went to meet my sculpture instructor for my grade. Luckily, he was a white male just like me, so I was sure to get an A, but I didn’t.
I’ll never forget what he said to me, “You’re an average kind of guy, so you get an average kind of mark.” And he gave me a C.
See, that’s the power of the “old boys network” in action.
One thing I discovered in Art School, was that I didn’t really have a heck of a lot of talent compared to some of the people around me, who seemed to have magic powers.
That instructor really wasn’t so far off the mark.
But I picked up a few tricks along the way, and though I was not going to be the next Picasso, I was clever at getting things done quickly.
One time a friend of mine gave me $50 to do his assignment because he said he was too tired. I took the money, stayed up all night, and got it done. I got the 50 bucks, and he got a B+.
Later I found out that he wasn’t catching up on his sleep, but rather that he had a hot date. Oh, I forgot to mention that this friend of mine was Chinese. See how I exploited him?
That’s what us white males always do, exploit minorities for our own selfish gain.
Anyways, I managed to graduate, and four years of hiding out was over. It was time to find a job… for real.
So I tapped into the “old boys network” of course. Well no, actually I found an ad for a T-shirt printing shop on the school bulletin board.
Even though 60 aspiring designers had just graduated from my class, I was the only one at the bulletin board.
Naturally I got the job because I was a white male, or it could have been because I was the only one to answer the ad. Nah, that couldn’t be it.
So now I was a professional artist. Yes indeed, at $16,000 per year I was rolling in the dough.
A few months later that company went out of business, no doubt due to my enormous white male salary, and I was unemployed again.
Combing through the classified ads, I could tell it was a recession, because there weren’t even any ads for a white male who would like money thrown at him.
Times were tough.
I figured it was time to consult the “old boys club,” err, I mean the College bulletin board again.
But now I’d moved across town, didn’t have a car, and even spending money on bus fare seemed like a waste. I mean, I didn’t even know if there would be any jobs on the board.
So I walked. In the snow. Uphill. Both ways.
There was an ad for a designer with the utility company, so I wrote down the number, and called them from a phone booth.
When it was interview time, I asked if anyone else responded to the ad, and they said “yes.” And it was another white guy.
I guess the school bulletin board only worked for white males. Everyone else must have been too busy fighting against institutional racism.
Anyways, I got the job and started raking in the big bucks — almost 20k a year. Yep, I was on a fast track to the top thanks to my pasty complexion.
Well, aside from making me fabulously wealthy, that job was kind of a drag, and in a city that was frozen for 6 months of the year.
I spent a lot of time looking at the weather reports in the newspaper, looking for someplace warmer – and that was pretty much everywhere.
Over in the corner was a computer that no one used. It could have been because no one knew what an Apple Lisa was for, or it could have been the big neon sign over it that read, “For White Males Only.”
I just love the way the world is set up for my convenience.
So one day after work, I decided to hang around and see if I could figure out how to make that computer do something useful.
It took awhile, but eventually I got to be pretty good at it. I was in the process of designing a digital set of playing cards when the phone rang.
It was my friend from art school, the one who used to pay me to do his homework, he said, “Hey man, do you know anything about designing on computers?”
“Why yes, yes I do.”
And wouldn’t you know it, he offered me a job in California. So I quit my job, packed my bags, and headed south for the border.
But at Customs, the border guards wouldn’t let me through. They said I needed a work permit or a Green Card to work in the U.S of A.
I looked at the guy and pointed to my face, can’t you see that I’m a white male? I get to do whatever I want. But he couldn’t figure it out. What an idiot.
Right around this time, Canada and the U.S.A. were passing a “free trade agreement.” Part of it allowed for professionals like doctors and lawyers to get work permits.
Well, hot damn! I thought. I’ll just get the government to add ‘graphic designer’ to the list of professions and I’ll be in there. How hard could that be?
Right around the same time, big tech companies like Microsoft wanted Congress to create a new kind of work visa called an H1-B, so they could hire tens of thousands of Indian and Asian engineers.
So when I came along and said I wanted an H1-B too, they passed it right away. Such is the power of institutional racism, all it took was one white male, and presto! The law was changed just for me.
So I was off to California, with my life savings of $500 – that I stole from Native Americans of course – to start my new job.
My friend was dating the CEO, living with her in fact. So while they went out to have lunch in Palo Alto, or scuba diving in Acapulco, they left me back at the office to do whatever needed doing.
My white male privilege of exploitation was working perfectly.
I mean, who would rather go to Acapulco when you could spend the weekend figuring out how to do 3D animation with eight colors on a 512k floppy disk?
After several years of taking advantage of them in this way, I got another job, and then another. Eventually I became a Creative Director. That’s the head honcho job for designers, naturally I rose to that position because well, you know.
Part of my job was to hire new designers, so I did what any self-respecting white male would do, and hired whoever was best for the job.
As best I can recall, I hired 3 Asian women, an Indian guy, a Philippino, a lesbian, a black guy, and 2 white guys. Aha! See, I got a couple of white guys in there just to fulfill my institutional racist quota.
While I wasn’t busy oppressing the masses, I picked up a few hobbies.
I became a pretty decent motorcycle racer, winning races and championships, naturally it had nothing to do with skill or determination, they just gave me the trophies because of my complexion.
I also spent thousands of dollars and hours on dance lessons. I wasn’t very talented, but I enjoyed it and worked hard. One day I won a big contest and they gave me a trophy for that too. They probably just felt sorry for the white guy who couldn’t dance.
Along the way, I got married, and my wife gave me a rapper nickname. She’d put her hand out and call me: “Give Me Money.”
A few years later I ran out of money and had to give up my nickname. I think it was a Tuesday, because on Wednesday my wife was suddenly diagnosed with Depression and had to move out.
I can only imagine the pain she must have felt when putting her hand out and saying, “Give me money,” and not getting any. It must have been horrible.
Just another day in my war on women.
Obviously I did not feel depressed, because white male privilege makes me magically immune to such trifles as having huge debts and no money.
So I did what any self-respecting white male would do, I found a piece of cardboard and street corner to stand on…
No just kidding. I went looking for anyone, anywhere who wanted the kind of services I could provide, and worked my ass off for whatever they were willing to pay.
It’s true, just look at me, no ass at all.
It turned out that quite a few people needed the services I was providing, and I was able to exploit them by giving them what they wanted at a price they agreed to.
It seems crazy, but it’s true. If you give people something that they want, they’ll pay you for it. Neat trick, eh?
Well, I got to be pretty good at that trick, good enough that I no longer need to work.
Now I have more time to surf the Internet, where I can read fascinating articles on white male privilege and how I owe everything I have to the color of my skin.
And looking back I have to admit that it’s true. Beginning with that box of 16 crayons everything has just been handed to me like magic, just because of my skin complexion.
I would apologize, but there’s nothing I can do about it.
I was born that way.
White Privilege Cartoon Debunked