This is a word that gets thrown around way too much lately and is even leveled as an accusation at those that don’t seem to care much about the issues unless they’re being directly affected. In that case you might hear “check your privilege” or even “your white privilege is showing”. That alone is enough to make a person want to turn around and ask the speaker if they heard right.
So yes, white privilege does exist, but unlike so many people seem to love to believe, it’s not as inclusive as people might think. It’s very true that racism is a big problem in our nation at the moment, as is discrimination of those of different color, ethnicity, and gender. But attributing such words to an entire race is a dangerous ploy as history should have taught people. Claiming that every white person benefits from ‘white privilege’ makes absolutely no sense.
It’s hard to feel privileged sometimes.
Those that live below the poverty line don’t feel especially privileged. Those that are abused and never believed by anyone, including authorities, don’t feel too privileged. Too often the words ‘white privilege’ seem to indicate that our skin color is what determines how we get treated and much better our lives can be simply because we’re white. When I hear that my eyes roll immediately, not because of white privilege, but because like many white people I believe it’s hard to feel privileged when getting anyone to give you a chance in life is harder than passing the SAT’s on the first go-around. It’s very difficult to feel privileged when you have to scratch out a living and hope that it’s enough to feed your family and yourself.
Other folks of color have been discriminated against for many years and have suffered accordingly because of this. But attributing those two words to all white people is rather insulting as many among our numbers do what we can to insure that the injustices suffered by others are brought into the public eye in order to make people aware of the problem. In essence those of us that might be seen as privileged get blamed for the actions and words of those that carry the actual privilege and wield it like a blunt hammer whenever they feel like it. Our skin color makes us guilty by association to our race, which is no more right than assuming that other races are bound to follow the stereotypes that have been laid out for them throughout the years.
Taking note of how white privilege works makes it easier to open your eyes to the problem.
White privilege at work is a rather disturbing thing. It essentially closes the eyes of those that gladly use it and numbs them to the pain of others. Being accused of it seems like grounds to rail against those that over-generalize and would blame others for their problems based on their skin color. But unfortunately white privilege closes the eyes of those using it and narrows the vision of those that rail against it. The latter seem to fail to see that there are those that do not care for white privilege despite being white and will fight for those that are constantly discriminated against.
When working for a living and taking the time to care about the feelings of other people when they’re discriminated against however it takes more time and effort than some people can give at that moment. It is not white privilege to tend to your own home and family and virtually ignore the problems of the world. No matter what is said, that is not white privilege, that is working for a living and earning what comes. What’s that? Other people from other races aren’t given that chance?
Is that right?
It’s too easy to divide and conquer when it comes to race, to color, and to ethnicity, so why do we keep doing it? Why are we allowing this talk to continue? Why are we allowing this treatment of others to continue? Among all the races there are those that are more qualified for jobs and those that are more capable at life among all the races. Why in the world are we bothering to discriminate at all?
There are reasons for it that exist only in the minds of those doing it. So perhaps those individuals are the problem, rather than the entire race that’s currently being blamed for showing their privilege.