How Is Class Experienced Differently Because of Race?

This list was compiled from responses given to the How Do You Experience Class Differently Because of Your Race? survey taken by White Privilege Conference 14 participants.
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I am perceived as being in a higher class because I am Asian — higher than other POC but not as high as white people.

As a Chinese-American man, I am stereotyped to be the breadwinner.


As a person of color, it was assumed that we were members of the working class…. we weren’t encouraged or able to have high goals or attend college, etc.

I feel that I am seen as hood or ghetto. I can’t own this home so I must work here.


As a black woman I don’t have generations of wealth as scaffolding.

As a first generation Egyptian American young woman born raised before, during, and after 9/11, I experienced class discrimination based on my ethnicity and faith.

My parents often put me in environments with white people. I was usually one of a handful of people of color. I would hide the ways my parents were not as wealthy as the people we were around.

Barriers to financial resources, loans, rates, predatory practices.

Our family didn’t fit the norm of a Filipino family which worked together and took care of each other. White people treat us (Pacific Islanders) as “immigrants” and all races stereotype us to be passive and submissive. I’m labeled as a troublemaker in my community because I speak out!


I’m often seen as white trash mama on welfare.


Don’t have to think about it much in my identity as a white person. Mostly feel comfortable knowing that I will be remembered when social decisions are being considered.

I am white and have gotten many things despite lack of training and education because of skin color.

I’m comfortable and ‘class-blind’ generally.

I don’t appear unusual in high-end places.

Can live where I want if I can afford cost.

Never have to explain my class.


Because of my education and race, people assume I’m from a higher class level.

People don’t expect me to be poor.

Mixed-race, white-presenting – I am generally assumed middle class and given middle-class privilege – I also have experienced homelessness and bankruptcy and am now professional in education but lower-middle class as a contract worker w/ no benefits.

I can hide my class background more easily because of my whiteness.

My class is hidden so I feel sometimes that I’m stereotyped as part of the white elite.

Because I am white I think people make assumptions about me that may overstate my wealth.

Because I am White, no matter how low class I am, I am never perceived as being at the bottom.  There are always people lower than me.  Those people are people of color.

Expectations of higher class – shame if lower.

I’m white, so just kind of the default social assumptions, I guess. I married into working class, though, which gets interesting reactions due to both classism and sexism. (Female, apparently I married “down” which goes against everything “everyone” knows about women?)

As an educated white woman, people make an assumption about my class. While my childhood experience was professional middle class, my parents lost everything when my mother was diagnosed with cancer. We went bankrupt, were on food stamps and were homeless for a while.

I am most often presumed to be from  & in the professional middle class whether that was my actual experience or not.

I benefit from white privilege, which gives me access, but I don’t know how to navigate middle class culture. And I resent middle and upper class whites who neither name or own their class privilege. This keeps me from joining whites in racial justice or marriage equality. Plus now that I have a college degree people assume I’m middle class, but my while my bank account is bigger, I still go home to a working class partner and family. I don’t say this to distance myself from the real benefits of whiteness, but to tell a more complete story.

I am a white male so usually it is assumed I am middle class and up. If my regional identity of Appalachian comes up it is more likely assumed I am poorer.


Being a white male I move easily between the classes right above and below me, this is a significant privilege.

So many privileges which were givens. More access to opportunities like private school, college, emergency funds when needed, stable housing, reliable transport, parents who had the resources to keep me healthy and educated.

Can “pass” in both higher and lower classes.

Easier to move between classes when economic status changes – more free to define myself.

Buffered by white privilege – knowledge – knowledge that whiteness may help me recover some economic stability sooner than a mother of color in my circumstances – mid-divorce, falling from upper-middle-class into poverty.

I have more access to social, political, economic institutions than a person of color in the same class.