Essay on white privilege

Document Type:Research Paper

Subject Area:English

Document 1

White privilege gives a false impression of greater freedom for white people to do their daily activities more freely than the rest of the other minor communities. Sadly though, this false impression of greater freedom has been greatly fostered by those in the governing system that it almost feels normal in our everyday lives. However, the manner in which the concept of white privilege is always broached can be accusatory and very negative making most white people to feel like they spend their everyday lives capitalizing on racism. White privilege and racism have been easily intertwined as one easily feeds or benefits from the other. There is a very thin line separating the two and hence most people, especially white people feel uncomfortable discussing the topic of white privilege as they conceive the idea that they are being accused of practicing racism. White people should understand that being told they have white privilege does not necessarily translate to being racist. It is also important to note that white privilege is a product of culture and supremacist ideology and is seen as generally unconscious by its proponents. However, it is imperative to understand how it works and affects people of all races as it can be exploited or manipulated to benefit some people’s selfish needs. Moreover, it is important to distinguish that white privilege and class privilege are not one and the same thing. Being white privileged does not necessarily mean you are class privileged. One is color related whilst the other is wealth related.

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Peggy MacIntosh goes into detail to describe white privilege and give a detailed list of the privileges that white people enjoy over black people. Going through her list, it is disturbing to see that some of the things are basic rights that should be freely enjoyed by every citizen but the system reserves it for the white mine; deserving or undeserving. The paper is going to focus on the ways in which white privilege is propagated, how it affects the concerned communities and how the issue could be addressed. Unjust Enrichment This is described as the advantages and benefits reaped off by the whites due to injustices done to the black people (Blum, 2008). This effect is greatly felt in the United States of America where most white people feel deserving of the privileges they enjoy against the black man and by extension most if not all minority groups.

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For example, when urban schools mostly attended by people of color do a lackluster job in educating the kids, the white man’s kid gains and edge over the black kid. This gives the and advantage, albeit unjustly, in the competition to get into better higher education institutions and consequently better jobs. Trust and Crimes Different studies have shown that it is easier for people to trust white than black people and Indians. Asians were also favored more than the blacks and Indians. Law enforcement In the United States, it is easier for a person of color to be pulled over by police as compared to a while person. An example is the New York’s ‘stop and frisk policy’ that has since been stopped. Its bias in targeting Hispanic and black residents at alarming rates was deemed unconstitutional.

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The rate at which police officers feel the need to draw a weapon and in other cases actually shoot a suspect are very high for people of color or the minority groups as compared to white people. There are more and more cases of police officers shooting and kill. However, in this scenario they tend to benefit from the social injustices that befall the blacks. Incarceration in the United States Over the years, the number of minority groups including the black, Hispanics and broadly non-white American citizens and non-citizens that have been arrested and sentenced to prison has increased and very high as compared to that of the male population. Despite the fact that black people comprise a very small percentage of the United states population as compared to the whites, the number of black people in prison and their rate of incarceration is relatively higher as compared to that of white people.

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In 2013 black males accounted for 37 percent of the total male prison population, white males 32 percent and Hispanic males 22 percent. The imprisonment rate of white females was two times lower than of black females (BJS, 2014). This is despite the fact that the blacks are not the majority population in the United states. There is also no data to prove that white people commit lesser crimes than black people. It can even be argued that going by population numbers, it is more likely for white people to be breaking the law than black people. However, the justice system tends to favor the white person for the same weight of crime committed by both races. White people tend to generally get a slap on the wrist as compared to black people for the same magnitude of crime.

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Most schools favored white students for admittance as compared to black or other minority students. Some schools even had an outright no black student policy. However much this has changed over the years, some neighborhoods and mostly affluent school in the United states practice some mild form of racial segregation while admitting students into their schools, with white students being greatly favored. This is despite the fact that integrated schools have proven to be beneficial to both black, Hispanic, Indian, white and all other minority students alike. It is also easier or more likely for less privileged black students in terms of wealth to attend schools that offer poor education systems as compared to fellow white students with the same kind of disadvantage. Over the years, throughout history, whites were responsible for the murders, genocides and slavery of many people of color and minorities.

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This however does not affect any white person currently walking around freely as the crimes committed by their fellows against other races cannot be used against them. By virtue of the color of their skin, they consider themselves a superior race and hence cannot be confronted for any wrong doing whatsoever. White supremacists have been responsible for the deaths and injuries of many black people either through gun violence of violent bombings. A report in CNN, uncovered a white supremacist fueled plot in Virginia, where three many were attempting to bomb synagogues and black churches in what was termed as hate war against races (Martinez & Brown, 2015). That is far from the case. White people have mastered the art of subtle racism whilst cleverly hiding behind their skin color to commit violent crimes against people of color.

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The relationship between black civilians and police is tenser than ever. More black people are being gunned down every other day. There is a rice in police violence against the black man. It does not matter whether there are many or only one white person in a group. Whatever they say has to be considered and they do not have to worry about being ridiculed for their opinion. The same however cannot be said for the minor groups like blacks and Hispanics. White people sometimes chose to be casual with the opinions voiced by people of other minor races if they are not well represented in the group and not suffer backlash for doing so. They deem the other races as less deserving an underprivileged. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Prisoners in 2013.

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Case, K. A. Raising white privilege awareness and reducing racial prejudice: Assessing diversity course effectiveness. Huffington Post. Retrieved 30 November 2018, from https://www. huffingtonpost. com/2015/06/24/domestic-terrorism-charleston_n_7654720. html Ehrenfreund. The Huffington Post. Retrieved 30 November 2018, from https://www. huffingpost. com/jamaal-bell/mass-incarceration-a-dest_b_578854. html Martinez. D. Where Are the People of Color in Children’s Books? The New York Times. Retrieved 30 November 2018, from https://www. nytimes. com/2014/03/16/opinion/sunday/where-are-the-people-of-color-in-childrens-books. com. Retrieved 2014-02-14. WPB. World female imprisonment list. World Prison Brief.

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