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Let’s talk about what white privilege really means

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Staff Editorial

When you say the word “white privilege” at this majority-white school, you get that look. The look that says “I don’t want to talk about it,” and “I couldn’t care less.” But white privilege is prevalent in this community. And you should care. Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

Let’s start with a real explanation of white privilege. It’s important to know what it is before you have an opinion on it. It isn’t meant to bash white people. It means that white people have certain benefits over non-white people just because of their skin color. This can play into different areas of life.

If you’re white, you shouldn’t get mad when you read the phrase white privilege — it’s not an attack. It doesn’t mean you’ve done something wrong, you just need to see the truth for what it is. You inherently benefit from being white, and these benefits — no matter how big or small — can help you advance in places like work.

If you’re white, you shouldn’t get mad when you read the phrase white privilege — it’s not an attack. It doesn’t mean you’ve done something wrong, you just need to see the truth for what it is.”

Most white people don’t have to be afraid of applying to a job and having the employer reject their application from looking at their name. White people don’t usually have to worry about if their race is going to be represented in the next upcoming film or show or left out entirely at the Oscars. White people typically don’t have to be afraid of cops if they go outside wearing a hoodie and baggy jeans.

And if you think that white privilege isn’t active much around here, you’re wrong. When a black person is pulled over, even in our community, they’re taught by their family to keep their hands on the wheel, use manners and comply with everything the officer says. If you’re white, this isn’t a worry because you are taught that cops are there to protect you, and they are your friends.

While people of color are sometimes told that, they’re also warned when they leave the house to be careful. It’s obvious in the classroom when there is one black student who is called on to comment when anything comes up about people of color. People talk about their one black friend as if having them around is what keeps them from being racist.

Now, you may be saying to yourself, yeah, but there are lots of disadvantaged white people. That is true, but most of the time it’s not because of skin color. Economic status has no race.

White disadvantaged people still turn on the T.V. or open the front page of a newspaper and see their race well represented. Some people don’t like the idea of white privilege because they feel it creates more stigmas and white guilt. Like saying that people need to feel guilty and apologize for being white. But that is not the case.

You don’t have to be sorry because you have this privilege, you just need to understand it plays a factor in your life and others’.

If you’re white, it’s not your fault if you have this privilege, but it is your responsibility to be aware that you benefit from it. You can maintain this awareness by sparking conversation with people from different races and cultures, and then you can learn from them.


 

Suggestions for opening dialogue on racial issues:

  • Cultural diversity training is implemented already for teachers, it’s time for students to learn it too. This could be done during Marauder Time.
  • Invite speakers without political motivation who know how to talk to students about cultural diversity. Speakers who have direct experience with the topic they’re discussing will impact students.
  • Form a multi-cultural club that raises awareness about racism, and works together to make a difference in the school.
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1 Comment

One Response to “Let’s talk about what white privilege really means”

  1. Deshawn Lamar on September 26th, 2017 11:29 pm

    This price is very disrespectful I myself a black man cannot stand prices like this. A piece about white privilege though it claims to be in innocence is just another attempt to divide our country and culture it’s not a problem of white or black rich or poor it’s a problem of who wants the world to prosper or who wants the world divided. By insisting that I get denied at jobs because my skin color is absurd just like the claim that all blacks are taught to keep their hands on the wheel when being pulled over because of our color it’s just frankly a rule that everyone should abide by no matter the race. To summarize articles and writers that let things like this slip should frankly learn the difference between talking about a issue and creating one.

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Let’s talk about what white privilege really means