In a recent interview with The Cut, Issa Rae addressed the toxicity of white male privilege in society. She alluded to the constant tone-deaf nature that some of the majority in this country have against people of color, highlighting their inability to see struggles that surpass their own because they simply don’t need to.
Through her hit HBO show, Insecure, Rae excels at challenging that privilege and showcases its grim realities. Within the program, viewers witness Issa dealing with a slew of microaggressions from her white co-workers at a non-profit for disadvantaged inner-city kids.
Additionally, we see how Molly (Yvonne Orji) deals with being paid less than her white male counterparts; seemingly all because she is a black woman.
Here’s how Rae once again breaks down white privilege in her own words:
They don’t get that we’re not all starting from the same starting point. Straight, cis, white men don’t have the same obstacles — there’s not much in their path. That’s not to say they don’t have any of their own problems, but the playing field is not level by any means. It’s easy for people to dismiss your history, dismiss where you came from. Just because we graduated from the same college doesn’t mean we have the same opportunities. There’s bias, even in the hiring process, and that’s something not enough people are aware of. It feels like a vicious Catch-22 when there aren’t diverse people behind the scenes. That [lack of diversity] alters the company or organization perspective, which means they’re not going to have people who look like the people they are trying to recruit. Even when we do these diversity events, I find that we tend to include other diverse people who also know the struggle and who are already familiar with the burdens, where the audience should be mostly white men and women. People aren’t aware, and they choose not to be. For so many people, unfortunately, the issues with people of color don’t affect them, so why would they burden themselves with caring?
Read the full interview where Rae also talks about meeting Michelle Obama here.