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Check Your Privilege

Whenever I hear the term “white privilege,” I can feel my blood pressure rising. White privilege is the idea that every white person has an easier life than anyone of any other race just because they’re white. And when whites point out that they have never received any special privileges because of their race, proponents of the white privilege idea conveniently assert that whites are all so privileged that they can’t even see how privileged they really are.

Anyone looking at this concept objectively can see that there is no way this can be universally true. Not every white person is affluent, well-educated, or receives enough inherited wealth to set them up for a care-free existence. Nor is every minority poor, uneducated, or discriminated against on a daily basis. It is simply ridiculous to believe this is the case and yet, there are people who actually think this is true.

I realize that our nation is not perfect, and that there is a legitimate history of official racial discrimination. I also realize that situations may be harder for minorities in different places around the country than they are here in Oregon. However, public policies of racial discrimination are a thing of the past, and the remaining prejudices of a minority of whites are no excuse to demonize the entire Caucasian race as the hereditary oppressors of the world.

The concept of white privilege, by its very prejudicial nature, cannot do anything to soothe the remaining racial tensions in our country. It is not a concept of reconciliation. It is a concept of assigning guilt to all whites for every injustice of the past. It is a concept of telling minorities that they simply can’t succeed and that it’s the fault of the white majority.  Quite simply, a philosophy whose only focus is telling people how much they are held down can never succeed in raising them up.

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Posted by on February 27, 2014 in Equality


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