“I need some white privilege!”
Those are the words one young black woman wrote in the headline of an online fundraising campaign she launched to raise the money she feels she’s been denied over the years because of her lack of white privilege.
The unique idea is the brainchild of GoFundMe.com user Yaya M., who launched this impressive campaign on Wednesday and has already garnered the support of thousands from people who have called the campaign “brilliant.”
“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,” Yaya writes on her campaign page. “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.”
Yaya’s ultimate goal is to raise $135,000 — which she says she has calculated based on her work history and the financial disadvantage she has had over the years when compared to whites in the work force.
“I’ve been earning anywhere from 63-69 percent of what a white man makes for the same work since I entered the workforce in 1999. Even if I control for part-time work as a teenager and consider increases in pay as I grew older/more experienced and changed my field, that still averages out to about a $9000 deficit for each year I’ve been employed. Multiply that by 15 years of hustle and you have my total,” she wrote.
So far, she has raised close to $5,000 in seven days — and for each dollar amount users are willing to give, Yaya has even listed a separate reward of her own black privilege.
If given a $5 contribution, Yaya snarkily says she will “agree to be the black friend you are referencing when you tell people ‘I’m not racist, I have a black friend!'”
If given a $65 contribution, Yaya writes she will “allow you to touch my hair without asking, enabling you to potentially absorb some of my magical afro powers.”
Donations and responses from users have been pouring in — many of them celebrating Yaya’s stance and her interesting way of using the platform to address the discussion.
“I’m donating because this is the single best crowd funding site I have ever seen,” one woman wrote. “Also, white privilege has helped me out a ton, and I’ve got more than enough to share.”
In response to all the feedback, Yaya posted an update to the page campaign page on Thursday thanking everyone for their support:
“It was one of my intentions to find a way to foster dialogue about a serious issue in a light-hearted way, and you all have given me faith that this is more possible than I could have imagined.”
In the same text, she also sent a message to folks who she says spewed words of hatred and impolite disagreements. To these critics, she wrote:
“Just because I like you, and because I’d hate to see you die alone in your apartments surrounded by only your indignant loathing and a dozen or so equally morose cats, I offer you the free gift of the following article, no donation required: http://thefeministbreeder.com/explaining-white-privilege-broke-white-person/”
Follow Lilly Workneh on Twitter @Lilly_Works.