What is “white privilege”? and How does it impact race relations?

White privilege is a phenomenon where caucasian people have opportunities or advantages in life that people of color do not have simply because of the color of their skin. Granted, this is not to say that some white people do not struggle in life; however, white people still have access to far more resources to improve their way of living. Those who have white privilege do not necessarily notice that it exists, which only perpetuates the inequalities that are prevalent in today’s society. White people experience advantages politically, socially, and economically at the expense of non-white people.

Recently, examples of white privilege have impacted race relations between black and white people negatively in America. For example, just recently, a white female police officer shot an unarmed black man, who happened to work alongside her as an officer, in his apartment, which she mistook as hers. A jury found her guilty of murder, but only sentenced her to ten years in prison. After the sentencing, there has been outrage from the African American community about how the officer will receive a short sentence. Many see the sentence as a blow for racial equality and justice in the legal system, and I can agree. It is hard to tell precisely if the perpetrator would have received a longer or worse sentence if he or she was of color; however, what we know from history is that the entire justice system has been ridiculed with institutionalized racism and injustice, and it still is to this day, so if the perpetrator were black, he or she would have been worse off.

Another example of white privilege in action was when many of the parents involved in the recent college admission scandal to send their children to prestigious universities in the nation received either a short of amount of time to spend behind bars or had to pay a small amount of money, which ultimately had no effect on their total income. These parents received a slap on the wrist for their wrongdoings because they have power and money, which are some of the characteristics of white privilege. Something that was brought up to show that white privilege existed in this situation was a case where a black woman was sent to prison for attempting to send her son to the wrong school district; however, the mother only wanted a better education for her child. There are apparent disparities that black people face, such as the lack of proper education. The education system favored the wealthier parents who used their opulence to cheat the education system, all of which are characteristics of having white privilege.

White privilege manifested from racial biases and racist acts from the past, which eventually gave white people the ultimate power, authority, and unconscious benefits that others in society do not have. It is whether people with white privilege genuinely begin to recognize that it is real that we, as a human race, will be able to make progress in our environment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *