Thursday, October 23, 2014

If you are reading this, there is a good chance that you have read the blog, "Take the White Privilege Pop Quiz For Trayvon Martin and For Yourself".  (If not, click the link below)

Take the White Privilege Pop Quiz For Trayvon Martin And For Yourself

The following is a brief excerpt from a chapter in The White Privilege Pop Quiz: The Test You Can't Fail (which will be published soon).

As of June 10, 2014, 81,633 people have taken the survey. Why is that a big deal? Simply because there is the potential that 81,633 people have seen something in themselves that they didn't know existed before.

Please tweet, post, blog, incorporate it in your news coverage, share it with your classroom and pass on. The more people take the quiz, the greater the possibility for an enlightened discussion about race. And wouldn't that be nice?

In light of the tragic death of Trayvon Martin and the desperate need for a national dialog on race, I am posting a quick quiz that may be shared with friends, family members and co-workers who are perhaps curious, doubtful or even insistent that such a thing as 'white privilege' doesn't exist. And while some people accept that privileges exist, they believe (falsely) that privileges are afforded only to the wealthy.  In the age of short attention spans, I have included a partial list of questions that are meant to foster discussion.

The following questions are some I've used in workshop/discussions situations to set a context for this thing called 'white privilege' and help people understand what it means. It's not all that mysterious really but as white folks, most of us haven't really had to think that much about it. After all, that is the number one privilege isn't it? To not have to think about it. Of course there are different kinds and degrees of privilege but here we are addressing a system that rewards 'whiteness'.

So the quiz. It's simple, quick and there are no wrong answers--only truthful ones. Perhaps one or two of them will point you in a direction or inspire you to think more deeply.

Although there is no 'scoring' per say, If you answer 3 or 4 for most (or many) of the questions, there's a very good chance you are someone who is very familiar with white privilege and experiences it on a daily basis.

This quiz is meant to encourage those classified as white to explore more honestly and deeply how our internalized racial fears and biases continue to thrive--even against our best intentions. And what is most important is that we understand that internalized racial biases and fears prevent people from getting an education, over populate our prisons and cause death--as in the case of Trayvon Martin.

Whiteness is not a problem per se but unrecognized privileges as a result of whiteness, and what it means is certainly problematic.

Please feel free to share with friends, family members and co-workers. Although this just an introductory sampling of questions to generate thought,  the complete book will be out with specific examples and detailed explanations--one of these days.  In the meantime, add your own, share the quiz with a friend and keep the conversation going.

There are numerous books on 'whiteness' and privilege--including several by Tim Wise and Paul Kivel--and many others who have explored and faced 'whiteness'. And once you take the quiz and want to learn more, go register for The White Privilege Conference next week from  March 28-31st in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Just so there is no misunderstanding. This pop quiz for TrayvonMartin was inspired and informed by many folks over the years including Peggy Macintosh, Dr. Jacqui Wade, Dr. Ray Winbush, Dr. Eddie Moore JrJesse VillalobosTim WiseFrancie KendallVictor Lee LewisJorge Zeballos, Paul Kivel and many MANY others.

So take the White Privilege Pop Quiz: The Test You Can't Fail and remember, the only way you can fail is by doing nothing afterwards.  So do it.  Do it for Trayvon Martin. Do it for yourself. Do it for all of us.

White Privilege Pop Quiz: The Test You Can't Fail

by Molly Secours (Copyright Molly Secours 2012)


A) When was the first time you were made aware of your

racial identity and realized that your 'race' would play a

pivotal role in the challenges you faced on a daily basis.

1) 1-5     2) 6-10     3) 11-present  4) never

Discuss:  How old were you?  What happened? What kind of Impact did it have on you? How did it change your hopes, dreams and goals?

B)   How often are you reminded about being the race with

which you identify?

1) several times a day   2) once a day  3) several times a week

4) once a month  5) never

Discuss: Tell a story about a recent situation where you were reminded of your race.  What caused you to think about it?

C)  As a child how often were you given safety instructions

on how to walk through a department store or public

establishment in a way that did not foster suspicion or

attract attention?

1) frequently 2) sometimes 3) rarely  4) never

Discuss: Tell a story about feeling watched, followed or suspected of wrong doing and how it affected your sense of safety.

D)  How often have you been (or are you now) coached by

parents or guardians or family members on how to behave

or what to say in order to avoid being perceived

as dangerous or menacing when confronted by law

enforcement, teachers or authority figures?

1) frequently  2) sometimes  3) rarely  4) never

Discuss: Describe the last time you were detained by authority figures and felt unsafe. Describe the time before that. And the time before that.

E)   How often do you talk with close friends and family

members (or just wonder to yourself) whether or not your

racial identity is negatively impacting your daily interactions

with others.

1) everyday  2) once a week   3) once a month  4) once a year

5) never

Discuss: What was the last situation? Did you feel comfortable confronting or discussing with the other people involved?

F) How often have you wondered if your race negatively

impacted a job interview, a grade, a confrontation with a

co-worker or a friend?

1)  too many to count   2)  periodically  3) seldom  4) never

Discuss: What were the circumstances? How have you learned to cope with the uncertainty?

G) How often are you the only person (or very few) of

your identified race in daily activities? Including Church,

school, bars, nightclubs etc?

1) always 2) frequently 3) seldom  4) never

Discuss: What are the circumstances and does your behavior change when you are no longer in those environments?

H) Have you ever been tempted to deny your racial identity

in order to feel more comfortable in a particular setting or

to have an advantage?

1) always 2) frequently 3) seldom  4) never

Discuss: Describe the situation.

I) Have you ever found yourself feeling frustrated, invisible or ashamed in a history class because you felt ‘your people’ weren’t represented (or represented accurately) in “His-story”.

1) yes, always 2) yes, often  3) yes, sometimes,  4) never

Discuss: Describe the circumstances. Were you able to express your concerns with teachers and classmates?  Were you penalized for speaking up? How was it received?

J)  While watching television or movies do you often feel that people who look like you or are racially/culturally connected to you are not represented (or misrepresented) in the media?

1) yes, always 2) yes, often  3) yes, sometimes,  4) never

Discuss: What was the last movie or program you viewed that left you feeling this way? Why?

K) How often have you been challenged and/or corrected by someone about how ‘you identify’ racially?

1) more than 5 times 2) several times 3) once 4) never


L) How often have you adjusted your behavior out of concern that people might assume or suspect you to be lazy, inarticulate, untrustworthy, criminal, or unintelligent because of your race.

1) more than 5 times 2) several times 3) once 4) never

Discuss: Explain your answer

M) How often do you notice that the majority of authority figures in your school career or work environment--who sign your checks or supervise your daily activities--are identified with another race and/or culture?

1) always 2) often  3) sometimes,  4) never

Discuss: How (if at all) does this affect your performance and/or comfort level?

N) How often do you feel in need of reassurance (or to reassure other family members) you/they are ‘just as good as’ (not better) than someone of another racial group because of a negative experience?

1) Always 2) Frequently 3) Seldom  4) Never

O) How often have you wondered if something you said or did in a public setting might reflect negatively on your identified race?

1) frequently 2) sometimes 3) seldom  4) never


Congratulations! You just took the first step.

While this condensed version of the quiz is not meant to be conclusive, the sampling of questions may help begin a dialog with others--but most importantly with yourself. If you answered numbers 3, 4 or 5 for more than 3 questions then you are someone who experiences white privilege.  If you answered number 3, 4 or 5 for more than 7 questions, then you are definitely a 'card carrying member' of white privilege. And if you answered 3, 4 or 5 for more than 10 questions, let's just say, 'it's a done deal'.

Remember, the first sign of privilege is that you don't have to think about it. And after acknowledging privilege some even say "So why should I care about whether or not I experience white privilege?

As we all learned this week with Trayvon Martin, unchecked whiteness (and all the assumptions that it fosters) is a matter of life and death for those who encounter it.


The White Privilege Pop Quiz: The Test You Can't Fail (Copyright Molly Secours 2012)

To pre-order book send email to:

To book Molly for a speaking engagement click on on speaking tab on main website page.


+4 #22 Lou 2012-07-19 05:41
P) How did you react to any of the many racist comments on this post?
1) Victimized 2) Pissed off 3) Embarrassed 4) No reaction
+13 #21 Eric 2012-06-05 18:13
Change "race" to "sexual identity" and you will open a whole different box of demons.
+5 #20 Pamela B. 2012-05-30 14:57
I wish more white people would take this, just to be more aware of ourselves, but also more empathic about others' experience. I know some whites could read this and feel "guilty" but that really isn't the point of this. Instead of feeling guilty, you might feel outraged and be a better ally. This is so much bigger than us as individuals, so take change on as a personal but also cultural challenge.
+2 #19 Molly 2012-05-16 12:55
Thanks for your comment and the incentive to finish the book Steve.
-71 #18 Steve 2012-05-16 12:16
"White priviledge" doesn't exist. Whites generally have higher status because they commit less crimes. End of story.
-67 #17 Zolly Simon 2012-04-21 01:06
Are you kidding, why on earth would you want white people to feel more guilt over these violent promiscuous, low IQ savages?

It isn’t enough that over 100 white women are savagely raped each & every day of the year, by black men in the USA.

Since poor Mr. Zimmerman was forced to shoot the savage attacker, over a dozen innocent white people have been attacked, kidnapped, violently raped, sodomized, pissed on, set on fire, murdered and dismembered at the hands of your poor blacks.

Not one has ever been charged with a hate crime in spite of the direct targeting of whites. No doubt you live far far away from your precious blacks.

The love for your precious blacks is directly proportionate to your distance from them. Try living closer to them if not with them. Try shopping close to where they shop. Try walking on the same streets where blacks live & if you are not savagely attacked within 2 weeks I would be very surprised.

You should stop your disingenuous white liberal bullshit before you get someone else killed.

I’m not feeling the slightest guilty. In fact, I am happy Mr. Zimmerman saved tax payers the cost for a lifetime of incarceration of Treyvon Martin.

He was expelled from school the day he died for a violent outburst at school. It was his 3rd ejection from school. He was also caught with break and entry tools along with stolen jewelry as well as drugs in his school.

This never hits main stream media because they too are as phony & guilt mongers as you are. Get a life miss card holder.

I’m paying the price to carry my card & damn hard too.
0 #16 Anna 2012-04-17 19:03
There is no answer number 5. It only goes up to 4.
+9 #15 Deborah Krous 2012-04-17 01:09
As a history teacher who has written and taught a curriculum on Black American History in an inner city high school, I am pleased to see this "quiz." White privelige is an unacknowledged fact that needs to be brought forth, discussed and recognized for what it is and the value that it affords the white race.

On the other hand, The Wage of Whitness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class, by David Roediger, analizes the difficulties that members of different members of the white race have had to endure, too. The Irish "need not apply," for jobs when they arrived on these shores in the mid 19th century.

Furthermore, if I were to change the questions to ask about gender instead of race, I would answer these questions much differently. I have also written a curriculum for the high school level on American Womens History. I have been unable to teach this course, however, in my 25 year career thus far. I guess no administrator has yet seen the "value" of such a course? Women continue to remain invisible in His-story at the high school level.

Still, I am happy to see the conversations begin. Let us hope that they lead to a fruitful discussions that heal some of our long-standing national wounds.

Deborah Krous
0 #14 vibrant 2012-04-12 00:40
Hahaha, this is an interesting and funny yet thought-provoking quiz. I'm multiracial west indian descent and the Trayvon case hits close to home because it could have been my nephew in that predicament. I've witnessed discrimination around me and have experienced it indirectly via my name which may sound "black". Its misleading to be judged on a name or skin tone, but this is the world we live in. I do my part to create change and would hope others just won't talk about it, but do their part to be about it!
+11 #13 JB 2012-04-10 21:09
i can imagine many scenarios where the test-take can honestly answer 3 or 4 to all the questions, and "white privilege" would NOT be even remotely possible - the test might more correctly be titled "the historic privilege of the majority race", as this concept would be more likely to apply globally in any culture

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