Check yourself: the White Privilege Test

Please answer YES or NO to the following questions:

1. If I wish to, I can arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time.

2. I can be sure that no matter where I move to, my neighbours in that location will be pleasant or neutral to me.

3. I can go shopping alone and be sure that I won’t be followed or harassed.

4. I can turn on the television, open a newspaper and see people of my race widely represented.

5. I can go to a museum or art gallery and will see people of my race widely represented in the objects and artworks.

6. I can be sure that when told about our national heritage or about ‘civilisation’, I am shown that people of my colour made it what it is.

7. I can be sure that my children will be taught a curriculum which testifies to the existence of their race.

8. I can go into a shop and easily find the food, music or clothes which represent my race or fit with my cultural traditions.

9. I can go to a hairdresser and be sure that they can cut my hair.

10. I can count on my skin colour not to work against the appearance of my financial reliability.

11. I can swear, dress scruffily or not answer letters without having people attribute these choices to the bad morals, poverty or illiteracy of my race.

12. I can speak in public to a powerful male group without putting my race on trial.

13. I can do well professionally without being called a credit to my race.

14. I am never asked to speak for my entire racial group.

15. I can remain oblivious of the language and customs of persons of colour without feeling in my own culture any penalty for such oblivion.

16. I can criticize our government and talk about how much I fear its policies and behaviour without being seen as a cultural outsider.

17. If a police officer stops me I can be sure I haven’t been singled out because of my race.

18. I can be pretty sure that if I ask to talk to “the person in charge,” I will be facing a person of my race.

19. I can easily buy books, children’s toys, posters, greetings cards or magazines featuring people of my race.

20. As a child I had access to books where the heroes and protagonists were the same race or colour as me.

21. I can go home from most meetings of organizations I belong to feeling somewhat tied in, rather than isolated, out-of-place, outnumbered, unheard, held at a distance, or feared.

22. I can take a job with an affirmative action employer without having co-workers suspect that I got it because of race.

23. I can be sure that the gatekeepers in my life such as my boss, my local MP or my landlord are the same colour or race as me.

24. I can be sure that if I need legal or medical help, the colour of my skin will not work against me.

25. I can choose make up or bandages in flesh colour and have them more or less match my skin.

26. At school and university I could be sure that most of my teachers were the same colour or race as me.

If you answered more than 13 YES out of 26, have you considered that White Privilege may play a role in your life?
Contact the Museum Detox today and get your personalised White Privilege prescription.

Recommended by the Royal Historical Society (UK) in October 2018, the test is based on the ‘White Privilege Test’ written by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and the research on White Privilege by Peggy McIntosh.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichieis a novelist, author of short stories, and nonfiction. Her latest book Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions was published in 2017 (PenguinRandomHouse).

Dr Peggy McIntosh is Senior Research Scientist and Former Associate Director of the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW). She founded the National SEED Project (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity)