The Cougar Chronicle

Become aware of white privilege

Kayla Bailey, Opinion Writer

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White privilege is a societal privilege that white people benefit from, and it is more prevalent than it may seem.

 

There are many people in the U.S. who believe that white privilege is no longer a problem since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 abolished any laws involving any kind of discrimination and segregation. To many, this was the end of all forms of racism, but it is still an issue that we face today.

 

White privilege isn’t a myth, it’s ingrained into our daily lives, even if we may not realize it. White privilege is something that’s usually unnoticed by those who receive it.

 

If you can go day to day without experiencing any racial stereotyping, then that’s white privilege. If you know you won’t be identified as “suspicious” by law enforcement or other positions of authority, then that’s white privilege.

 

If you can walk on the street without fearing for your safety because of the color of your skin, you are experiencing white privilege.

 

To be clear, having white privilege does not make you racist. White privilege has been cultivated from racial biases throughout history. This is not to say that people who are white haven’t gone through struggles like people of other races have. It is also not discrediting white people’s achievements as things that were easily handed to them without earning or working for them.

 

White privilege is a term that essentially means you have an advantage in society simply because of the color of your skin, it is unrelated to the amount of money you make and/or how much work you put into achieving something.

 

With this in mind, the term “white privilege” often makes people feel uncomfortable and/or defensive. However, there is no reason to be defensive, no one is mad that you’re white.

 

There isn’t anything wrong with being white, just as there’s nothing wrong with being black, Asian or any other race. However, the best thing a white person can do is acknowledge the privilege they have.

 

This privilege gives you a head start in life. There are doors open for white people meanwhile minorities will receive a slam in the face. Someone who is not white would have to work twice as hard than someone who is. This can apply to jobs, promotions, etc.

 

This concept is a underlying issue, which is why many people may not notice it. There is a misconception that everyone and anyone has equal opportunities for success and that everyone comes from the same level playing field.

 

White people are more likely to go through life expecting their needs to be met, but people of color may recognize that they are marginalized while not expecting life to be easy.

 

It’s reasonable for white people to not entirely realize their advantage because it’s logical to assume a person should have an equal chance to prove themselves before being judged. However, this isn’t a guarantee for people of color.

 

The most important takeaway from this is to bring awareness of these advantages and recognize them. If you have white privilege, you must accept this fact while understanding the difficulties people of color face because of their skin color.

 

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