Sunday, July 11, 2010

White Privilege

Google, for a moment, the word "white privilege" and see what you come up with. If you look at Wikipedia (yes maybe the least trustworthy site, I know, I know) and you will come up with something like this: white privilege is a way of conceptualizing race inequalities that focuses as much on the advantages that white people accrue from society as on the disadvantages that people of color experience. In other words, white privilege deals with the advantages white people have over those of color in society, whether it is in the workplace, crime, school, you name it. This of course made me sit back and think for a moment of the things I was taught as a child growing up in a country that Eminem put it best in a song: White America (although not as controversial as the song is, of course). I am a white male, and over the past 21 years of my life, it would be very disappointing to me to believe that I have been given the advantages because of the color of my skin, or because of the color of my parent's skin, all because they may be white. Of course, the topic of "White Privilege" is not directed to every white person living in America, but a theory that is more drawn up from the minorities' viewpoint because of the disadvantages that have come about for them while growing up in America. My parents have always taught me to never take for granted anything in life, and that I am to always work my socks off to be successful, because nothing is ever given to you; you must take it yourself, and the only way to do that is to always try your best. Thus I have been doing that ever since I learned how to talk, to walk, to write, to think critically, to play sports; everything I did in life, I did with hard work, determination, and the drive to succeed. However, after reading some information on the idea of "White Privilege" I know think about the non-white person who may have gone through all the steps that I did in life, only to come away empty-handed to some white person who didn't do anything to get the job, but only received it because of the color of their skin. I find it disheartening, and obviously something must be done. But now the year is 2010, and while there have been many advances in the hiring of colored people in the work place, "White Privilege" may seem to be decreasing. But we cannot take things for granted, because while I may be typing this post, someone may be going through the harsh realities of "White Privilege"; such the cold realities of this country, of this world, and of this concept.

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