This story was in response to an article entitled “Stop Calling it White Privilege,” and I needed to explain the differences.
Let’s put a few things in perspective. The one thing I’ve noticed about life, if Racism never happened to you, then it doesn’t exist!
Of course, Black people would not have won their “Equal Rights” if it weren’t for White people supporting our ideals. That didn’t stop our Government and Media from perpetuating the racial divide among us. If anything, ‘the-powers-that-be’ had to keep the races separate to continue the guise of racism as their superpower over us. That, if we were once slaves, we will always be the inferior race.
Books like, “The Bell Curve” written in 1994, suggests that we have an inherent lack of intelligence when compared to whites, when it’s actually the quality of education we don’t receive. Tell that to all those “Hidden Figures” that should have been part of my High School education during the 1970s, or my Black History college courses in the 1980s. It also explains why my father enrolled me in Catholic school in the first place.
To suggest that every person has a racist heart in some way is simply untrue. Racism is taught! I was raised with two parents, attended an all-white catholic school during the turbulent uprising of the 60s and early 1970s, so all of my educators were White. Even my God-mother was White! The first time I ever noticed a “difference” in skin color was when my Godmother removed her bra, and her Areola’s were pink instead of brown like my mom.
I even asked my mother why her nipples were a different color, and she simply stated because, she’s white and I’m black. I still didn’t care because of how I was raised, and it didn’t change the fact that she was still my godmother who loved me. This experience afforded me the unique opportunity to be raised in a totally unbiased environment. Yet, it still didn’t remove the fact that I experienced racism as I grew older.
Even now I question why, after 55 years since the Equal Rights Amendment became Law, why are we still the poorest race in America (minus people fleeing poverty from other countries). We’ve lost more wealth during the last 20 years than during the last 40, and that’s not a coincidence, it’s a fact. Even if it meant a few White people had to suffer in the process, it was a small price to pay to put us, “back in our place.” It is this economic manipulation and White suffering that has caused Racism to thrive.
Again, if you’ve never been discriminated against, then racism doesn’t exist for You. If you’ve never been denied a job, or a loan, or a promotional opportunity to move ahead, then you are not a victim of discrimination, and therefore, cannot relate to it.
From Oprah Winfrey to Bill Crosby, the generation right before me that reaped the best benefit Equal Opportunity had to offer, and ridiculed the next generations after them for being self-proclaimed victims; mainly because they’ve experienced better opportunities, with very little failure. I get it. Yes, everybody loses a job, everybody gets fired, and everyone is told “No” sometime during their lifetime.
The difference here is why the term “White Privilege” exists. Years ago, Essence Magazine wrote an article entitled, “the invisible backpack of privilege.” In it, the story referred to how differently White people perceive their world versus the rest of us, that, they live with the expectation that they are automatically entitled to what they ask for. For example, when White people ask society for approval, be it the Job/Loan/Promotion, 99.9% of the time they get it. Even when White people are told “No,” it all works out, eventually — Well, realistically 9-out-10 times.
But for Black people, that experience is totally different. When a Black person asks for the same approval, we must first prove why we’re worthy.
Even then, we rarely get what we need from society because that help is considered a “dependency” that is no longer required since we’re “all equal” now.
But we’re Not really equal now, are we? If we were, then we would be told “yes” at least 7-out-of-10 times, when it’s barely 3-out-of-10! Those numbers are reflected in our overall net worth.
White privilege is the differences in the way in which you are treated by the majority of society. Trying to get your foot in the door for a job with a Black-sounding name, makes you 50% less likely to get hired, regardless of credentials. Even showing up Black with a White-sounding name and credentials, still makes you suspect. And showing up as a dark-skinned Black, is automatically grounds for rejection. Case in point: Mahoney Employment Agency in the 1980s actually had a black-board which read, ‘if you are as Black as this Blackboard, you need Not Apply!’
White people with criminal records are given opportunities that are almost never afforded to Blacks. Even if they graduate from college, if they have to disclose a prior arrest conviction, they will ultimately lose whatever opportunity they may have had, when compared to Whites.
Despite your assertion that we need to “Get over it” doesn’t change the fact that we continue to suffer from it — We are still suffering from a racist society that uses murder to justify police killing, and any blemish on their personality deemed them a “Bad Person” unworthy of justice to begin with!
Many still believe there is a “Natural Order” to things that must be maintained. Those who believe (in) their White Privilege believe they are somehow first! They believe they are “entitled” directly because of their Whiteness and should never have to suffer because of the (others). A judge called it “Reverse Discrimination.” That if a white person is denied an opportunity because a Black person (or other person) is given an opportunity that they believe belonged to them, they should not have to suffer needlessly. That validates White Privilege!
If you don’t get it, read the picture below:
There are so many examples that White Privilege exists, that it’s everywhere. It like “implicit bias” Not knowing you’re practicing racism unless someone points it out to you. Real equality begins with White people acknowledging that White Privilege is real and that they continue to benefit from it. Besides, why did White people originally support Equal Rights if they honestly thought it was so wrong for the Country?
Instead of it being “Us” against “Them” it should really be, Rich vs. Poor!
Conservatism is the myth that Government spending is out of control and so wasteful, when they always have plenty of money for our Military, Space Race, and Corporate Welfare subsidies for which they receive millions in campaign contributions in return — that’s the real corruption WE should be fighting together.
When Ronald Reagan asked, “Are you better-off today, than you were four years ago,” who was he appealing to? White Consciousness! The same way Trump appeals to the Racist Consciousness of those Whites who’ve also been marginalized by the economy!
At the end of the day, we are all the same, and we all want the same thing. Unfortunately, many white people have been manipulated into believing Racial Equality has ruined their lives by the very people who use fear and intimidation to trick you into believing that.
Until we confront the difficult conversations as to “Why” in the 21st century, we have allowed our Government, The President, AND The Media to continue practicing Racism it will NEVER just go away!