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What Did Discussing The Walking Dead TV Series Online Teach Me About White Privilege?


5. You are exaggerating and complaining. If you don't like The Walking Dead make your own show.  Translation.  The reasonable concerns or claims of people of color or others about white racism or sexism really don't matter very much. If you don't like what is going on do your own damn thing and shut up.

6. T-Dog is our favorite character, what is your problem? He isn't depicted in a racist way. We love him.  Translation. White folks are the universal "I" and "We." White people are a stand-in for all of people's opinions and sentiments. If we do not see a problem, one does not exist. Go along with the program and be quiet.

7. The writers and directors of The Walking Dead are not racist. Even if things are not perfect from your point of view, they did not mean it that way.  Translation. Racism only matters and occurs according to the standards of Whiteness, and those people accused of being racist. If we did not mean it that way, said action can not possibly be "racist." We have the power and are the ultimate decision makers on such matters. Know your place.

8. Okay, the show may be racist or sexist in some ways. Just enjoy it. What do you want? It is just TV!  Translation. White racism and white privilege are just inconveniences. If you just overlook it, as opposed to critically engaging it, things will be okay. Ultimately, talking about racism is the real social problem. If you just relaxed, things would be okay.

9. I have black, Hispanic, and Asian friends who like The Walking Dead TV show and never complain about this stuff. There is even  a black actor who plays Tyreese who says all this racism talk is silly. Translation. "I have a best friend who is black, brown, Asian, etc." they said what is going on is not racist. Their opinion trumps everyone else's because he or she tells me what I want to hear.

10. The Walking Dead TV show is an accurate depiction of how people would act in a bad situation. This is what I would do. I wouldn't trust anyone at all. Stop all your racism and sexism talk. Racism and sexism would not motivate people in a zombie apocalypse.  Translation. Racism and sexism are normal types of behavior from my point of view. In fact, I may deny that these dynamics actually exist in other situations or when questioned. But, I will excuse-make for racism or sexism--and defend such motivations--when I see them in TV shows or movies.

11. Okay, you may be able to talk circles around people on this racism stuff. So what? Who cares? We are right!  Translation. The evidence about how this society is structured in inequalities and hierarchies of Power along lines of race and gender may be accurate and true. But, I do not want to hear it. Defer to white authority or I may get angry and have to cry, call you names, or play the victim. Those who talk about racism are the real racists! Shut up!

12. All of the stuff you are talking about regarding racism and sexism in The Walking Dead doesn't bother me. It doesn't bother anyone else. Stop bringing it up. Translation. White privilege 101.

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