How do you explain your white privilege to a broke white person? The first step is to remember that white privilege isn’t a one-way street. While it is true that white people enjoy more benefits and privileges than their minority counterparts, this does not mean that you should take advantage of that. White people have a great deal of power in the world, and they are often the first to experience racism.
Many whites don’t realize how privileged they are. They might think that compassion makes sense, and that everyone should be given the chance to prove themselves before they are judged. This is a noble and supposedly American ideal, but unfortunately the concept isn’t applicable to people of color. Many whites would rather see people of color suffer than feel guilty for their own privileged lifestyles. Despite the apparent contradiction between compassion and privilege, whites don’t deserve equal treatment.
In an essay published in 1988, Peggy McIntosh made white privilege a tangible and personal experience. She described the way white people enjoyed privilege and how it was reflected in their everyday lives. Previously, white privilege was an invisible force. It was based on the ability to purchase a race-based product, watch diverse television, and not face racial discrimination. It is also a result of historic inequities.
Ultimately, the term white privilege reflects a history of discrimination and cruelty, a result of colonialism. As such, it has fallen victim to its own connotations. The two-word term is a loaded one: the word white creates an uncomfortable state of mind for people of color, while the word privilege sounds alien to poor white people. In addition to the stigma, white people are less likely to understand the concept.
This privilege has a negative effect on people of color. In addition to ignoring the mistreatment of people of color, white people are more likely to receive positive portrayals of other people. This gives white people more chances to be treated humanely and survive a misstep. In contrast, people of color are often subjected to racial profiling, a lack of compassion, and other harmful practices.
In addition to ignoring the racism associated with poverty and race, white people are less likely to be granted a high-poverty mortgage than black students. In fact, black students make up 80 percent of poor children in high-poverty schools, with higher suspension rates and fewer resources. Despite this economic forgiveness, however, racial divides still exist. One recent study found that only 17 percent of white job applicants were called back for interviews, compared to five percent of Black people.