The Privilege of It All
The last few months I've found myself fervently trying to explain how and why white privilege exists.
It’s difficult and exhausting. People either think that white privilege is a fallacy or they don’t know how to differentiate between race and socioeconomic status. There’s a common thread and misunderstanding that if you are white and born poor, you don’t benefit from any form of privilege.
Let me be clear when I say this: I know very well that white people can experience hardship; I know plenty of white people who had a difficult time growing up. They didn’t come from money, didn’t get a great education and still to this day they might be struggling. The difference is that by and large race wasn’t a significant contributing factor to the issues they faced.
Imagine struggling financially, living in a low income neighborhood, attending a school that the state couldn’t care less about, then on top of it, you are judged because of the color of your skin.
This is a reality for many black Americans today. And to not have to add race into the mix of an already troubled life, is a privilege.
Have you ever had a moment in your life when you realized people hated you because of your skin color?
Have you ever had a classmate growing up get mad that you won an award or got an accolade because they felt they deserved it over you because of your race?
Have you ever had someone tell you to work hard to get what you want and then when you do, they say you only got it because you were filling a diversity quota?
Have you ever turned on the TV and wondered whether you'd see someone who looks like you?
Have you ever gone into a bookstore and had to ask if they had a specific section for authors of your race?
Has your race's entire history and list of accomplishments been separated from the rest of America’s history and crammed into a single month of learning?
Would any of these questions ever cross your mind if you weren’t reading them right now?
Now imagine if you had to live them.