White Privilege


      When the word white privilege comes to mind, most people define the word as white individuals that live a better life with better opportunities. Truth is, the term white privilege can mean a variety of different things to each person and when each of us walk outside of our homes, we are living two completely different experiences.

      White privilege in my opinion is privilege of not having to experience the situations that I’ve had to endure as a black person in America. For instance, the ability for a cop to stop you and not automatically assume you are dangerous because of the color of your skin. Growing up, when I was finally able to drive on my own, I overheard careful instructions given to my younger brothers who had just turned 14 and 15 at the time, about what to do when being confronted by the police. To always use "yes sir" or "yes mam", and never, ever pretend like your reaching for something, that causes you to look skeptical. Whenever I am around police, I must be extra careful of what I do or say because it could cost my life. The fact that I will also have to relay that message to my kids when they are older shows the need for change. Even to walk around in a grocery store and not analyzed because of the assumption that you will steal something. The generalization of one group is harmless but when it starts to cost the life of that group or individual that is a part of the group is when we have a real issue on our hands.

       Some of us live in a bubble where we can say that racism doesn’t exist any longer because we don’t encounter it in our daily lives. To agree that racism doesn’t exist, I would be lying to myself. I haven’t encountered any serious life-threatening situations as of yet, but I have been in three situations where I was called a “Nigger”. Of course, they were all anonymous, so their identity was shielded.  No one has the audacity to say in your face any longer but that still doesn’t change the effects of the term on an individual whether it’s anonymous or not. It has always been and will always be a degrading term used to bring down a black individual.

      White privilege is not a term used to degrade or single out white individuals, it used to point out the issues that they have a privilege of not having to face. Privilege is the benefit of not having to experience an issue that another person is facing. For example, Muslims are facing a huge generalization issue in society today and I have the privilege of not having to experience what they are experiencing. The term privilege can be interpreted in so many ways.

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