Let me set the record straight by stating that ‘white privilege’ is not a Black concept, it’s a reality. White folks didn’t ask for it, they didn’t earn it, but it was given to them by virtue of their being white. When the races were set apart hierarchally, to justify the system of black slavery in colonial America, ‘white privilege’, an offshoot of white supremacy, was inadvertently established and continues to perpetuate itself. By simply being born white, one is automatically placed on the high end of the social stratum. It’s as true today as it was yesterday, and will continue to be so until even the very idea of race is no longer an issue.
I say this to every white person on the planet..regardless of your socio-economic position, regardless of your level of education, regardless of how fair you think you are to people of other persuasions, the fact of the matter is that being white gives you an upper hand when it comes to dealing with social issues. You can go just about anywhere in the world without having to prove your right to be there, and/or explaining the purpose and intent of your presence. As for others, unless you’re invited, you’re prone to being scrutinized in stores, restaurants, schools, white neighborhoods, or anywhere where white people have staked a claim. But for black folk, being on the bottom of the invisible hierarchal scale, we are looked upon as being ‘racist’ for even bringing up the notion of inequity
My contention is that white privilege makes white people feel that they’re ‘right’ in regard to their perception of people of color, even if they don’t realize that this mode of thought is a result of an innate advantage that they may not even realize they have. What emanates from being in this state of existence is a sense of entitlement, and as long as others (black folk in particular) stay within the boundaries of where the one who is ‘privileged’ expects them to be, then everything is all right. However, in most cases, as soon as the non-privileged one speaks contrary to what is believed by the privileged one to be ‘right’, there’s a problem. That’s when the non privileged ‘other’ becomes the perpetrator, and the privileged one becomes the victim. The ‘other’ person is then looked upon as an ungrateful child who is expected to behave better and show more appreciation for the alleged ‘victim’s’ efforts to make them feel accepted and loved.
Well let me inform you of how I, one of the ‘others’, actually feel about my present state of being. I feel restricted to sharing my true feelings only with people who have also experienced them. I’ve done my best to share them with you, white people, because you’re the ones who are in a position to both understand and do something about them. Up to this point you’ve been listening but, despite your belief to the contrary, you’re not really hearing what’s being said.
Almost inevitably, when I’m in the company of a white person, and I even suggest a feeling of racial disparity, what results is a response that exemplifies the statement, “I’m not like that. Don’t put me in the same category as racially biased people.” Well guess what white people, you’re already in that category, and we all are by virtue of us being whatever color we are, and subjected to the values that this racist society imposes upon us. In order for us to reach an equitable understanding, we’ll have to accept our societally imposed position, and stop expecting others to adhere to whatever opinion we’ve formulated of them no matter how true these opinions may seem to be.
White privilege is real, and if you’re white, you’ll never be black. You’ll never fully understand what it’s like to be a person of color, so if you’re as concerned about my well-being as you say you are, then you’ll listen to and respect my right to have an opinion about you, and at least be willing to try and understand that opinion before taking it as a personal affront.
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There’s also a link that features a multicultural group of men addressing each other on the ramifications of white privilege. To check it out copy and paste the following link to your internet address box.