brotherpeacemaker

It's about our community and our spirituality!

White Privilege Under Attack

A white internet surfer was lamenting the fact that white people are being treated like second class citizens. This person felt this way despite the fact that white people control the vast majority of wealth in the United States. He or she felt this way despite the fact that white people obtain the majority of educational opportunities at the majority of institutions for higher learning. This person felt this way even though white people occupy the vast majority of upper, middle, and lower echelons of government positions. And the number of white people who are in executive, middle, and lower management positions in corporate America overwhelms any other racial minority.

This person felt this way despite the vast majority of white actors and actresses in movies and television programs that dwarf their black counterparts. For every black actress there must be a hundred white ones. For every Halley Berry, who claims not to be fully black because her mother was white, there are dozens of Kate Hudsons, Angelina Jolies, Kate Blanchettes, Gwen Stefanis, Reese Witherspoons, and Hillary Swanks. For every Will Smith there are dozens of Joaquin Phoenixes, Jack Blacks, Russell Crowes, Viggo Mortensens, Dennis Quaids, Ben Afflecks, Matt Damons, and Jake Gyllenhaals. But white people who want to go into acting can’t catch a break these days because of all the movies and television programs that don’t feature white people.

Across America there are thousands and thousands of companies with office staffs that are predominantly white. Many of these companies don’t even have a black employee in the office. And many of these companies don’t even have a black person on the payroll. Let one of these companies take proactive steps to racially diversify their workforce and the next white person who doesn’t get a job will be suing with claims of reverse discrimination. White people who apply for jobs at predominantly white companies can’t find a job these days.

From the perspective of a lot of people, white people are treated like second class citizens for having to share social resources with nonwhites. The moment some white people realize that they don’t have an exclusive choke hold on opportunities, these people begin to feel that white existence is under attack. Some people have yet to learn that white privilege is not a god given right but an artificial construct of a culture so dominating that it thinks nothing of locking nonwhites in chains for the crime of being not white.

One of the most evil institutions that ran contrary to the great establishment of white privilege was affirmative action. Wikipedia describes affirmative action as a set of policies and/or programs intended to promote access to education and/or employment opportunities aimed at historically socially or politically oppressed groups, typically minority men and/or women of all races. The motivation for affirmative action policies is to help rectify the effects of wrongful discrimination in the past and to encourage public institutions to be more representative of a racially diverse population.

But the protectors of white privilege countered affirmative action with claims of reverse discrimination. Suddenly, institutions that tried to correct their history of focusing on providing opportunities exclusively to the white community are being too unfair to white people. Companies with beaucoup white people on the payroll are suddenly unfair to white people and are being successfully sued for not hiring even more white people. But white people never sue an institution because an inferior white person is hired. However, it is a near given when black people are involved.

It’s not fair to do anything to correct the hundreds of years white privilege has enjoyed at the expense of the other races. It’s much better to keep the status quo and let white privilege continue rather than give affirmative action any legitimacy. In fact, everyday more and more black people are convinced that affirmative action is more hurtful to the black community than helpful. The fact that many black people calling for its demise actually benefited from these affirmative action programs is just an awful coincidence best overlooked. People who are benefiting from white privilege will support anyone who will promote the end of affirmative action and other concepts that can threaten white privilege. Black people who call for an end to affirmative action are one of this world’s greatest ironies.

White privilege is in no danger of disappearing. It is strong and it is flourishing to greater limits each and every day. No matter what measure a person applies to success white people are overwhelmingly represented.

It must be admitted that white privilege is much more satisfying and/or more gratifying for white people when other races do without. Black people getting jobs mean fewer jobs for white people. It doesn’t matter if white people who make up seventy percent of the population and are already getting ninety five percent of the jobs and the educational opportunities. White privilege needs it all. White privilege needs every last opportunity in order to make sure other people better understand their place in the social, economic, political ladder. White privilege does not thrive when it has to indulge the black community or the Latino community or any other non white community. In order to be secure in itself white privilege needs to make sure it has it all. Anything less is an attack on white privilege.

Thursday, May 29, 2008 - Posted by | African Americans, Black Community, Black People, Life, Racism, Thoughts, White Privilege

6 Comments »

  1. Well said BrotherP! It is interesting that blacks will support the demise of a program that helped them. And it is even more interesting that white people can’t see the FACT that they have the majority of everything. At least everything good.

    I hear white people complaining about the fact that some company or government set aside 100 jobs out of 10,000 for minority applicants or contractors. And won’t say squat about the 9,900 jobs or contracts that will undoubtedly go to white people. They didn’t get access to ALL 100% so it isn’t fair.

    Well it isn’t fair that the minorities and that means a plethora of races are competing for 100 out of 10,000 opportunities. I have not seen very many companies etc. who have gone above and beyond their quota of minorities. Not to mention that when looking at minorities white women are included in that. So a company can still be 100% white and have no one complain since they filled the ranks with white women.

    Yet the complaining persists. Yet the minute minorities are complaining about the lack of opportunities we are told to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps. Maybe when white people are supposedly passed over by minority applicants whether more qualified or not, they should shut up and pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Maybe they should do what I hear them say constantly and apply at other places until they can MAKE some other company hire them.

    They should stop with the race card of reverse discrimination and do themselves what they constantly tell us to do in order to make it in a white dominated country.

    Great post, thanks.

    Comment by theblacksentinel | Thursday, May 29, 2008 | Reply

  2. I’m one of the white people that supports affirmative action. Then again, I’m old enough to have been discriminated against because I was female, being offered a lesser entry-level job than a white male who had the same skills and experience and also interviewed. (Neither of us accepted the offers.)

    In the mid-70s, they just weren’t willing to give a woman a programming job.

    From there, I can extrapolate.

    Comment by Deirdre Saoirse Moen | Thursday, May 29, 2008 | Reply

  3. Thanks for the feedback Deirdre Saoirse Moen,

    Unfortunately I think that the majority of people who have suffered discrimination are the ones willing to reinforce that type of behavior and pass that discrimination along. How many times have I heard a black person who could make a difference choose the path of least resistance saying, that’s just the way it is. My gratitude to you for your ability to be one of the few that can actually think outside of the group mentality.

    Peace

    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Thursday, May 29, 2008 | Reply

  4. I’m very glad I encountered this page. It’s so important for people to bring attention to this issue. For there even to be a reason to discuss this is unfortunate, but it’s reality. There is clear institutional discrimination between whites and minorities. It’s evident in the workplace when a less qualified white person is given the job over a person of color. It’s evident in housing when a black or hispanic inquires about a residence and is told it’s not available but when a white person shows interest it magically becomes vacant. It’s extremely evident in the ratio of minorities being pulled over and searched by the police to whites when whites are actually statistically more likely to be in possession of drugs or weapons than other groups.
    There was actually a study done of the likelihood of being hired based on one’s name. They had one resume that they sent in to different companies and just changed the applicant’s name each time they sent it. They had a list of stereotypically ‘white’ names like Michael, David, Sarah, etc. and then a list of stereotypically ‘black’ names like Dante, Dijon, Monique, etc. They ranked each name by the amount of call backs each name received with the identical resume and the results showed a clear prejudice. The stereotypically white male names received far more call backs than any other group. White females and black males received significantly fewer and black females received the least.
    This is just one example of how white privilege exists without someone actually being able to compare skin tones. Companies were giving more opportunities to persons applying for a job whose names just sounded white over persons whose names didn’t though their qualifications and resumes were identical. For those who don’t think white privilege exists, this just proves it.

    Comment by CourtC | Friday, June 6, 2008 | Reply

  5. Thanks for the feedback CourtC,

    There are a variety of ways the white privilege phenomenon can be measured. But white people will still insist that black people have some kind of advantage. I have heard so many ridiculous claims that black people are given priority for most opportunities that it’s not even funny. And yet, by every measurable statistic on record, white people still enjoy the best this society has to give.

    Peace

    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Friday, June 6, 2008 | Reply

  6. Excellent. Two quibbles. One, the phrase “white privilege” is inaccurate and not fair to poor whites who, while benefitting as a white person in our society, are not “privileged”. I prefer “white advantage” in education, etc.

    In addition, so many people who talk about affirmative action mention that it is to “rectify a history of racial injustice” but fail to mention that it’s not just historical injustice that needs to be rectified, it’s CURRENT injustice as well.

    Thanks!

    Peace,
    Tex Shelters

    Comment by texshelters | Tuesday, April 22, 2014 | Reply


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