Police officer feels they are being accused of something when privilege is mentioned

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: lawrence@krubner.com

It is curious that the police officer has such a strong reaction. I wonder what he felt was actually being said? I’ll say on a personal note that I’ve sometimes had these wild reactions, where people react as if I said something utterly different from what I said.

Police Captain Carri Weber, apparently as sick of his ramblings as any of us watching that video, interrupted to inform him that there is, in fact, a term for that: “White male privilege,” she says in what sounds to me to be a totally neutral, non-accusatory tone. “Cause of your white male privilege, so you wouldn’t know.”

Despite being entirely accurate, that does not go over well. The room is immediately filled with men’s voices and indignant “I’m sorrys” and “wows.”

The original unnamed officer then begins yelling. “Chief, are you going to let them get away with that? Seriously? I’m asking a legitimate question and I’m getting taught(?) ‘white privilege’? Are you serious? I find that extremely offensive … I will leave.”

The officer proceeded to file an official complaint against Weber, stating, “I was racially and sexistly slurred by Captain Carri Weber while I was asking a question of the instructor in training. I am now firmly aware of the discriminatory belief she just verbally communicated. … There is no place in the Plainfield Police administration or supervision for someone who holds and espouses her discriminatory views.”

How many times do we have to go over this? “White male privilege” is not inherently an insult. IT IS NOT A SLUR. Privilege is also not a binary between your life being perfect and total crap. It’s a thing that you’re born with, a thing that potentially shields you from certain experiences. This man not knowing that everyone’s experiences with the police are not equal is a perfect example of how privilege shapes your worldview. He didn’t know this, but here he was, presented with an opportunity to learn.