Dennis Manning studied at Mineral Area College (2010)
The belief that whites have it easier than minorities based on the color of their skin, and that whites have set up a system to be set above others. The best indicator of privilege is who seems to have a better quality of life in America. Who thrives better? And the answer is…..Asians.
Asians have a higher median income, low single motherhood rates, low dropout rates from high school, and have better jobs. Not because they are better than others, but because their culture places high priorities on these things.
So what does this mean? Does white privilege exist? Yes, in that it was designed that way before the Civil Rights Act. The CRA leveled the playing field. Are there flaws? Does racism exist? Are there inequities? Of course.
But for those who use white privilege to explain why they aren’t thriving need to ask themselves if they are doing these things:
* Do you have a high school diploma?
* Do you have a job that doesn’t involve negative interaction with police?
* Did you wait until after marriage to have kids?
Being a dropout, being unemployed, being a single parent, and not making responsible life choices hinder a person’s ability to gain privilege. Do these three things and no matter what your sex, orientation, religion or race is, you will have an 80% chance of thriving in America, the highest rate of anywhere in the world. Gays, women, and blacks have it better in the USA than anywhere else in the world.
Everyone has some type of privilege. It is more productive to quit worrying if someone has better privileges than you, know what privileges you have, and use them wisely.
We aren’t in the sixties anymore. We’re in the 21st century now. With the CRA and affirmative action, using white privilege as an reason why you aren’t making it in the USA means you are not willing to make the future better. America should be about equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome. You can be given the chance, what you do with it is entirely up to you.
Andrew Steiner Proud American at The United States of America (2004-present)
Yes, white privilege exists. And yes, it’s a big deal. Today, a lot of Americans, particularly white ones, misunderstand what white privilege really is. It’s two things: what you DON’T have to do and what you are able to do because you are white.
What do you not have to do?
White privilege is not having to deal with racism. It is a sign of white privilege to shrug off racism and act as though it does not exist and does not impact society. A white person can do this without any real consequence.
As a person of color, I can tell you that if someone like me or Eden, one of my African American friends, tried to act as though racism doesn’t affect our lives, reality would punch us in the face. We don’t have the privilege of ignoring racism without consequence.
White privilege is not having to worry about the police being called on you because you’re a black man with a nice car or who lives in that nice neighborhood. It’s not having to worry that someone’s going to threaten you or beat you up because you’re Asian and they think you started the coronavirus. It’s not having to worry that you’re going to be interrogated by ICE for hours because you’re Latino or Hispanic and they think you’re an undocumented immigrant solely because of the color of your skin.
White privilege is not having to remember that as a black man everyone thinks you’re a rapist and criminal, as an Asian man everyone thinks you’re unmanly and weak, and as an Arabian man everyone thinks you’re a terrorist.
White privilege is not having to worry that a white police officer is going to shoot and kill you like they did to Philando Castile because apparently only white guys with guns are safe.
But it’s not just what you don’t have to do. It’s what you are able to do.
White privilege is being able to call for the lynching of this nation’s first black president and still be applauded by conservative evangelicals.
It’s being able to put up the Confederate flag in your room, on your car, or in your lawn and say that it doesn’t represent hatred and slavery.
White privilege is being able to have three wives and four mistresses and still be elected as President of the United States. Because if you were a black man, everyone would rightfully think you were a moral deviant and a creep.
White privilege means being able to say MAGA without realizing that what you’re saying is that you wish the country was in a time when people like me, Habib Fanny, or any other colored person were considered second-class.
It means being able to whitewash history to ignore lynching and slavery and all the murders of innocent black men and women.
It means thinking of the ideal person as s white man, and that a black man could never be perfect. It means thinking that Christ is white, and that therefore white people are superior.
It means reading my sign off and cringing at the word diversity because in your mind, a perfect world would be lily-white.
Because white privilege is both what you don’t have to do and what you are able to do. More condensed: it’s not having to deal with racism and still able to enable racism.
白人特权意味着可以说“让美国再次伟大”，而没有会意识到你所说的是你希望这个国家处在一个像我、 Habib Fanny 或其他任何有色人种被视为二等公民的时代。
White privilege exists. And anyone who says it doesn’t is just showing their own inherent privilege.
Civility. Honesty. Diversity.
安德鲁 · 斯坦纳
Feifei Wang Producer at Epic Games (2016-present)
White privilege is a thing, and it does exist. It exists not as a physical thing, like water or sun. It exists as a social structural thing, like social class or poverty does.
But before I get into white privilege, I want to talk about privilege and the concept of Intersectionality.
Privilege became a bad word for a lot of people because it was interpreted poorly. Privilege doesn't mean you are rich, you have an easy life, you have everything handed to you and you never need to struggle or work hard. No. That's not what privilege means. Privilege simply means there are a lot of things in life (usually difficulties and hardship) you'll never face or even think about just because of who you are.
For example, I was born into a well to do family, which gave me financial and social class privilege. I have never experienced true poverty (knock on wood). I've never gone to bed hungry (except on a diet), I never needed to worry about not going to a school trip because I don't have the money to pay for tickets, I never wore hand-me-downs that didn't fit, I never needed to worry about quitting school and help out with the family. These are something I never ever needed to face or even think about, just because I was born into a well off family. I didn't work to earn any of this. I enjoyed this privilege because I won the birth lottery, not because what I did to deserve it.
That is privilege.
And intersectionality says everyone has some kind of privilege and disadvantage, and privilege by race or gender or sexual orientation can not be observed and discussed in a vacuum.
Again, using myself as an example: as previously described, I have financial and social privilege (back in China). But in US, I'm a woman and a minority. Which means people see my last name, and they would often have a negative impression of me without even having met me. They might think my English is poor. They might think I’m ignorant about American society and politics. They might even have some idea about my personality, that I would be docile and obedient. And they might think because I might be from a notoriously totalitarian country, I might be brainwashed and can't think for myself; or they might think I’m super nationalistic and support China without hesitation.
People have all of these impressions about me without knowing me.
Similarly, if you see a name like Jamal or DeShawn, you might instantly have the mental image of a black kid in the “hood", wearing hoodies and listening to rap music at a street corner.
In fact, Harvard business school had conducted an experiment a few years back about employers reaction to “black" or “white" names.
In one study, the researchers created resumes for black and Asian applicants and sent them out for 1,600 entry-level jobs posted on job search websites in 16 metropolitan sections of the United States. Some of the resumes included information that clearly pointed out the applicants’ minority status, while others were whitened, or scrubbed of racial clues. The researchers then created email accounts and phone numbers for the applicants and observed how many were invited for interviews.
Employer callbacks for resumes that were whitened fared much better in the application pile than those that included ethnic information, even though the qualifications listed were identical. Twenty-five percent of black candidates received callbacks from their whitened resumes, while only 10 percent got calls when they left ethnic details intact. Among Asians, 21 percent got calls if they used whitened resumes, whereas only 11.5 percent heard back if they sent resumes with racial references.
In other words, when the resumes are identical, and the only difference is race, people are much more likely to call back the white candidate than the minority candidate.
That is white privilege. That is the advantage white people have over minorities, not because of what they did, but because of who they are.
Similarly, a gender study was done by Stanford University. The study had created identical resumes for a lab manager position with one difference: one applicant is named Jennifer, while the other named John. The study had send out resumes at random to various universities and institutions.
The results were surprising—they show that the decision makers did not evaluate the resume purely on its merits. Despite having the exact same qualifications and experience as John, Jennifer was perceived as significantly less competent.
That is male privilege. When two identical resumes are presented, the male resume is more likely to be selected over the female resume.
see: Why does John get the STEM job rather than Jennifer?
But But But!!!
This is when “poor white" would come out and protest, almost inevitably when discussing privilege. “But I had it hard, I was poor, my father was a drunk my mother did drugs. I grew up in a trailer park with 15 other siblings. I had to work 2 jobs while going to school full time! I had it hard! How dare you telling me I'm more privileged than those black kids going to Harvard?!”
No, that's not what I said, John from trailer park. Everyone has some privilege and some disadvantages. Compared to people like myself, minority but born into good families, you are definitely underprivileged financially. But compare to Jamal from trailer park, who had the similar upbringing as you, you have white privilege. Hell, if both of us end up sending similar resumes to the same company for the same job, you as “John Smith" would have a better chance getting a call back than me as a “Feifei Wang" or even “Jennifer Smith". You still enjoy white and Male privilege.
这时候，“穷白人”会站出来抗议，几乎不可避免地要讨论特权问题。“但我过得很艰难，我很穷，我父亲是个酒鬼，我母亲吸毒。我和其他15个兄弟姐妹在拖车公园里长大。我不得不在上学的同时打两份工！我过得很艰难！你怎么敢说我比那些上哈佛的黑人孩子更有特权? ! ”
不，我不是这个意思，住在拖车场的约翰。每个人都有自己的特权和缺点。和像我这样出生在好家庭的少数族裔相比，你在经济上肯定处于弱势地位。但是和来自拖车公园的贾马尔相比，他和你有着相似的成长经历，你有白人的特权。但，如果我们两个人都向同一家公司发送同样的简历，那么你作为“约翰 · 史密斯”比我作为“王菲菲”甚至“詹妮弗 · 史密斯”更有可能得到回电。你仍然享有白人和男性的特权。
And this last thing you must understand dear John “I have it hard", while not everyone perpetuates white privilege and male privilege, EVERYONE from the privilege group benefits from their privilege. Just because you can't see it, just because you didn't build it, doesn't mean you weren't already standing on higher ground than others.
Having privilege doesn't make you a bad person or a lazy person, John the “self-made man". But denying privilege, thinking if you can make it, everyone else can, and if they didn't, it's their own damn fault… that would make you a bigot, an ignorant person, a person who not only enjoys their privilege, but also perpetuates injustice.
And that would make you a bad person, John.
Yes. Mostly, it comes from things you don’t have to worry about:
* Not having to worry about being shot at if you knock on a neighbor’s door to ask for directions.
* Not having to worry about whether an employer will call you back because they don’t like the sound of your name.
* Not having to worry about whether the store associate really is trying to help you or is telling you that they’re watching you.
* Not having to worry about whether a cop will get jumpy and shoot you if they stop you. And not having to worry about being portrayed as some dangerous, violent criminal, should it come to that.
* Not having to worry about your neighbors in your rich neighborhood calling the cops on you. And, not having to worry about the cops laughing at you if you tell them you’re a physician.
I grew up in a place where almost everyone was Black. I was part of the dominant group. Because I was part of the dominant group, I never had to worry about racism. Because I never had to worry about racism, I assumed that it was mostly dead, and that whatever remained of it must be either vestigial or, at the very most, the dying embers of a Jim Crow system on its way to its final extinction.
When I heard Black Americans complain about racism, it seemed to me that they were whining. Racism was an absurdity. Surely, there couldn’t be very many racists around in the 21st century. Maybe people who complained about it should just shut up and stop making excuses already.
If anyone complained of racism, my first reflex was to immediately be skeptical. I wouldn’t confront them, but I would go find 1001 reasons why what had happened wasn’t about racism. Then, I would pat myself on the back for being aloof and rational. Conservative Whites loved me. Why can’t the other Blacks be more like you, Habib? You’re so reasonable!
Like those conservatives, I very much wanted to believe that I lived in a world where racism was dead. Unlike them, however, I was Black. And, sooner or later, I was going to be on the receiving end of racism. And when that happened, I was going to be forced to see what I had been desperately trying not to see.
If I tell someone that I am deciding to boycott a business because I find a certain event racist, I am not asking for permission or validation. And I’m certainly not seeking to debate. You are free to continue giving your money to businesses I boycott. And you are free to continue not seeing racism where I see it. But what you are not free to do is to tell me that my perspective is unfounded.
For a while I had a hard time grokking this concept because I grew up in a working-class white family and it was a struggle to pay for college and figure out my place in the world when I went to an Ivy league university for graduate school. I'm still prone to resentment when someone implies that my success can be chalked up to "being a white man." However, while I think we should pay attention to "unearned power" wherever it appears (due to race, class, wealth, gender, etc.), I believe that white privilege is particularly insidious.