WHITE PRIVILEGE IS NOT REAL:
The concept of white privilege sparks debates and discussions surrounding racial inequalities in the United States. This essay aims to explore the multifaceted nature of the issue, acknowledging historical contexts and ongoing disparities faced by marginalized communities. While the phrase “white privilege is widely used in anti-racism work, it is inaccurate and problematic. The phrase simultaneously discredits and attacks white achievements while distracting focus from the systemic disadvantages experienced by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities.
The founding of America saw the establishment of frameworks that primarily benefited white men, who disregarded the inclusive ideals expressed in the Declaration of Independence. People of Color and women of all races were excluded from the full rights and liberties that the new nation promised. Over time, significant steps have been taken to rectify these injustices, such as the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. These measures aimed to provide equal protection under the law and eliminate legal segregation and legal discrimination.
While legal progress has been made, the effects of historical racism and discrimination persist. The absence of comprehensive healing measures has allowed lingering inequalities to permeate education, economics, healthcare, and other aspects of society. BIPOC communities continue to bear the burden of these disadvantages, hindering their ability to thrive despite legal equality on paper. It is crucial to acknowledge that the starting point for all Americans, as mandated by the Fourteenth Amendment, is intended to be equal.
White privilege, as a term, is inaccurate and, therefore, wrong. There is no inherent advantage granted to white individuals. The historical legacy of legalized racism and the lack of effective healing measures have left lasting scars that contribute to the disparities experienced by marginalized groups. It is crucial to create a more accurate term that represents the additional hurdles faced by BIPOC communities due to systemic racism, “BIPOC Disadvantages.” It’s comparable to standing in a field on level ground, representing zero, everyone’s starting point. You’re given a shovel and told to dig a hole six feet wide and one foot deep. Each day, you dig one foot deeper for 365 days. Eventually, when you’re at the bottom of the hole and look up, you’ll see how zero, which was once the starting point, now seems like a privilege.
Addressing the disadvantages marginalized communities face requires a collective effort from society. It is essential to recognize the importance of implementing healing measures, promoting equity, and dismantling systemic barriers. By acknowledging the realities of BIPOC disadvantages, we can work towards a fairer society where everyone has equal opportunities to succeed and flourish.
“White Privilege” is not real. However, it is vital to recognize the systemic disadvantages faced by BIPOC communities due to historical racism, which has led to ongoing inequalities. Understanding the complexities of equality involves: Acknowledging the historical context, recognizing the need for healing measures, and actively working towards a more equitable society. By addressing these issues, we can strive for a future where all individuals have equal opportunities to thrive and where the misconception of zero being a privilege can no longer divide us.
As an anti-racism organization founded by a Black person, the phrase “Black Lives Matter” or the “Black Lives Matter Movement” often becomes a point of discussion. It is easily understandable how or why the confusion can arise; however, it is important for us to draw a clear and visible distinction from the aforementioned movement/phrase and #racismstinks.
With social movements like “Black Lives Matter,” “All Lives Matter,” and “Blue Lives Matter,” discussions about race and racism have moved to the forefront when dissecting the problems America faces on its own soil. If any one of these movements have caused self-reflection or even pain, it’s time to start having difficult conversations about race in our society.