When Erika Thereian changed her Second Life skin from white to black, other things changed. Friends became distant, men made assumptions about her sexuality that they hadn’t previously made, and there were blatant racist attacks:
“Well, I teleport into a region,” she says, recounting a latter case. “Where a couple people [are] standing around.
“One said, ‘Look at the n***** b****.'”
“Another said ‘Great, they are gonna invade SL now.'”
I was gobsmacked by this. If you’d asked me to predict what would happen, I’d have said nothing much — I’d have assumed that a virtual world would be much more open minded, less prone to prejudice, than the Big Blue Room. I suppose, in retrospect, it’s not so astonishing that there are assholes everywhere — but I bet no black person would have been surprised. None of Erika’s black friends were.
Tell me again how there’s no such thing as white privilege?