The idea of “white privilege” doesn’t make any sense to me.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand how the term is used and what it is supposed to mean.
I think of a privilege is an unearned “leg-up” on something that an individual or a small group of people hold over a majority. Maybe Amy got into Harvard easily because her father is a wealthy donor to the university. Amy was at the head of the admissions line, in front of thousands of others. Amy is privileged, and let’s face it, when others say that word in relation to her, it is not complementary.
White people are treated by society how people should be treated. They are not given advantages. Society treats white people as “normal.” The problem is that society does not treat non-whites as “normal.” The non-whites are victims of racism.
When I go interview for a job, I have no advantage over the 5 other white candidates. We are judged on our merits and compared against each other. The problem is that the one black candidate is disadvantaged compared to his white counterparts. The black candidate is a victim of RACISM (maybe individual racism or societal racism).
In the wonderful society (hopefully in the future) where we are all treated the same, will we all be privileged? Of course not, that makes no sense. We will be free from racism.
I guess the part about “white privilege” that I do not like is the way that it is thrown about as an accusation. Like it is something that individuals should be ashamed of. Just like people who knew Amy probably thought less of her because of her privilege. And we all kind of hope she feels a little bit guilty because of it.
No. I will not feel guilty for being white. I feel sadness. I feel sadness that my non-white brothers and sisters are even today victims of individual, societal, and even violent racism.
Was the word “racism” not enough? It describes the horrors that millions of people have experienced throughout US history and even today. Was it found weak or lacking that a newer term has to be coined in order to move the needle of compassion in the hearts of mankind?
I really am confused by the necessity of this new term, one that doesn’t really accurately describe the situation. Help me understand.