In really, really odd internet news, I’m sure many of you have heard about a white man named Zack Brown who created a kickstarter to raise funds for a potato salad….and even while writing this, I can’t help but just think what an idiot. Tons of white guys think they’re funny and they live for the mighty laugh because everything is a joke; however, tons of folks are upset at the massive amounts of money that Zack is actually starting to raise.
For those of you that don’t know, kickstarter is a fundraising platform where anyone can pitch their project idea and receive random donations and funds from the public. It’s actually become a space that many minoritized people have utilized because our voices and ideas are regularly marginalized in the mainstream. So, if you have an idea for a web-series, a film, or a product, you can pitch it on kickstarter and receive funds [assuming people like your idea]. It’s been noted that many minoritized people have a difficult time reaching their full requested amounts because our projects are not as easily funded.
So, cue Mr. Zack Brown who has already raised over $47,000 for a potato salad.
Yes….over $47,000….for a potato salad.
The fact that he has such an easy time raising joke funds for a potato salad speaks to the ways that projects featuring white people and white voices are prized over serious projects put forth by minoritized people.
In response to this ridiculousness, a Black woman [with natural hair!] named Yaya created her own fundraising page on the platform “gofundme” and is attempting to raise funds for white privilege.
In fact, her page is called, “I need some white privilege.” Her description on the page states:
“I am writing you today to ask that you assist me in acquiring some white privilege. Although I have layered oppressions that have affected my ability to access my slice of the American Pie™, no issue has affected me more readily than my lack of white privilege.
From being assumed to have “cheated” my way into programs for gifted children AND college (via affirmative action), to having my natural hair viewed as unprofessional amongst professional peers, to having people make negative assumptions about my competency level, interests, and job knowledge, to being viewed as naturally dangerous or threatening, my lack of white privilege has created numerous obstacles as I’ve struggled to successfully compete in a white dominated workforce. I am hoping that, through this campaign, I will begin to make some headway towards closing the gap that white privilege has created in my life.”
Over 170 people have already donated to her page, and based upon these numbers, I’m assuming she will receive even more funds from people who are frustrated by Sir Potato Salad White Man.
While I get that tons of white guys have the time and energy to engage in trivial jokes constantly because not having to worry about systemic racism or sexism opens up a lot of free time on your daily schedule, I think that the kickstarter joke can easily be interpreted as someone flaunting their white privilege in the faces of those of us who are not so lucky to have people willing to donate to our critical projects….or in his case, a potato salad project. People are more willing to fund a potato salad project because it’ s connected to a white man, rather than a project with some substance created by a minority person.
If you ever needed a ripe representation of privilege, this is it…with a side of potato salad.