White Privilege: Fact or Fiction? Part 1

     Is white privilege real? In order to answer that question we must first figure out what people mean when they talk about white privilege. 

     White privilege (or white skin privilege) is a term for societal privileges that benefit people identified as white in Western countries, beyond what is commonly experienced by non-white people under the same social, political, or economic circumstances. [1]

 

     I am so sorry for using Wikipedia as a source, I promise to never do that again (probably). So let's dive in. Both sides have very strong opinions on this and it's going to be tough writing an article that doesn't offend anyone so if you are already feeling triggered click here.  

     White privilege refers to the benefits I and many other people get just for the color of our (white) skin. From getting off easy with the police, to getting into schools easier it seems that many people think white people have it easy.

Let's tackle each of these issues one by one.

 

1.) GEtting Off Easier WIth the police

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     The claim that police officers are letting white people off the hook while unarmed black people are being massacred in the streets is pure fiction. Since 2015 the number of unarmed black people that have been shot is up to 57. [2] Keep in mind there are 30 million black Americans. I don't think I need to do the math for you but 57/30,000,000....well, I'll let you figure that one out. This number includes people that are known to have reached for the police officers firearm. That's a pretty low number when you consider that the black community has a significantly higher crime rate than any other racial subgroup. According to Heather MacDonald, the author of  The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe “The per capita rate of officers being feloniously killed is 45 times higher than the rate at which unarmed black males are killed by cops. And an officer’s chance of getting killed by a black assailant is 18.5 times higher than the chance of an unarmed black getting killed by a cop.”[3] If anything, the number of unarmed black people being killed by police is nowhere near the rate at which officers are being killed. 

 

2.) Getting Into Schools Easier

     The idea that it's easier for whites to get into school easier than it is for minorities is absurd. The issue here is not inequality of opportunity. A great example of inequality of opportunity would be two people with the same ACT score apply for the same college but only one get's in because they had a rough childhood, but the other one is denied because he is middle-upper class. That's not the issue; the issue is inequality of outcome. Affirmative action targets people of minority, so if I have the same ACT score as someone that's in the same middle class as myself, we both apply for the same university, but the other person gets in because of their race, that's not helping anything, that's just racism. The idea that if the only thing I had to change about myself to get into Yale was me not being white that's racist.

 

   This is part one of a three part series about white privilege. This series will tackle claims by each side of the fence while providing examples of each. Let me know what you guys think about this piece in the comment section as well as provide any examples of white privilege you know about.

     

Sources:

[1] White Privilege Definition

[2] Unarmed Black People Killed by Police Numbers Since '15

[3]  DONALD, HEATHER MAC. WAR ON COPS: how the new attack on law and order makes everyone less safe. S.l.: ENCOUNTER , 2017. Print.