Black Actress Schools Caitlyn Jenner on Exactly What White Privilege Really Is

June 13th 2017

Ngozi Ahanotu

Katy Perry hosted a Sunday dinner during her weekend-long live stream. Attendees included comedian Margaret Cho, activist Van Jones, and fashion editor Derek Blasberg who all participated in light conversation about current events and the state of America.

Following the dinner, television host and personality Amanda Seales, who was also in attendance that evening, was captured during the live stream explaining her passion and concern surrounding the black experience in America to Caitlyn Jenner.

On Monday, Seales posted a clip of the exchange to her Instagram account with this caption:

“I don’t take being in these conversations lightly. As a black woman they will far too often consider your intellect a threat and your passion a problem. I hope I inspired others last night to live in your truth no matter who is at the table. Let’s grow not just a discourse of love but a DISCOURSE OF COURAGE. Because that’s what it takes to face and deliver these inconvenient truths.”

Seales went on to tell Jenner: “If this is a conversation about having conversations, then we have to be listening to each other,” after recognizing Jenner's reluctance to discuss race.

Her tone was further questioned as she highlighted Jenner's white privilege even after her transition. “The reason I am so passionate ― and I’m not hostile, I’m passionate ― is because I’ve had such a different experience in this country than you,” Seales said.

Seales then broke down in just a few seconds how the government has disenfranchised black men, women, and the family structure through the welfare program. She also referred to the current climate that black men and women have faced because of it.

“Because as a black woman, the government is so much in my life, and it always has been... I think there’s a lot to understand for why people are talking the way they talk about different things. I understand why you’re talking the way you’re talking,” she explained. 

"The government literally said that the Black man cannot be in the house or else the woman cannot receive welfare. That is a big reason why there is a chasm between Black women and men in this generation." Seales explained.

It appeared as if Jenner still couldn't understand why the conversation was taking place or even why she was being "targeted" for the subject. This is isn't the first time Jenner has been called out about her privilege. When her reality show "I Am Cait" premiered on E! it was challenged by critics who argued how she remained oblivious to what people of color or even other LGBTQ people go through. This disconnect from others is likely why she could only muster to Seales in response, "I just don't understand what you're talking about," to Seales. "I said 'I believe in this country'."

However, Seales' final comeback shared a constant feeling that many black people likely feel.

“Yes. You can say that in a way that I cannot. Because you’ve had a different experience. Because this country is here for you. This country ain’t here for me in the same way, sis,” she explained.

The importance of being an ally, not only to the LGBTQ community, but also other minorities is needed now more than ever in this country. It's amazing that artists like Perry are willing to host events and safe spaces like this for conversations to take place but, ultimately, everyone has to be willing to talk about how to execute next steps in their allyship for one another.