White Privilege and How It Upsets People

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Introduction

White privilege refers to the societal advantages that a White person enjoys in certain countries. The advantage exceeds what is commonly enjoyed by non-White population in similar economic, political, and social circumstances. Academically, the idea of ‘White privilege’ use concepts such as Whiteness studies and the critical race theory to evaluate the impact of racialized societies and racism impact on the White-skinned population. What annoys me most is that I cannot reside in a predominantly White neighborhood without experiencing some levels of harassment. However, North American Whites reside in a ‘protective cushion’ that seeks to defend them from racial stress. Most people in this area live in an environment that protects and provides them with White expectations. This creates a racially comfortable situation at the same time reducing the ability to absorb racial stress, which leads to issues of White Fragility. McIntosh views that the advantages that prevail in the western society provide Whites with a privilege that non-Whites never experiences (31). The privilege does not come because they have earned it but rather as an invisible package of assets that are not justifiably earned. Issues of value to me are education, employment, and housing as critical in White privilege, the situations translate into social issues.

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My Irritations and Sufferings

It is sad that most White people do not recognize that they have the privilege because it comprises obvious and non-obvious passive merits. The nature of the privilege separates it from the evident prejudice and bias. Most Whites are affirmed as having a greater worth because of the cultural affirmations, and the freedom they have when they speak, work, play, or even buy. The effects remain visible in personal contexts, education, and professional contexts. The notion of White Privilege also thrives in the view that their experiences are universal and standard. Consequently, most Whites tend to consider others as different because they consider themselves the only normal party (Di Angelo 13).

Barnett suggests that critics have coded the notion of ‘White privilege’ as a term used to associate ‘Whiteness’ with social advantages and class (32). Consequently, the critics term it as a distraction used to move away from the deeper issues of inequality. There are views that Whiteness is not an excuse because most social privileges are linked to it. The idea creates the need for careful and complex analysis on how Whiteness is directly linked to privilege

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It is said that the society, especially the proponents of White privilege identify the term as a substitute word for social standing. They ignore the issues that prevail among people of color to support the ‘White privilege.’ Other individuals and subpopulations are not included in the equation when one talks about White privilege. They identify that including the diversity prevalent among people of color and from different ethnicity creates a problem. Most conservative critics write direct concepts and critique that clearly disregard the prejudice and stunted living that the minority experience in their daily interactions. Equally, another critic notes that the idea of ‘White privilege’ is only used as a notion that blocks the idea of attaining an equal society (Swartz 347).

Most Whites remain hostile to the notion that they experience White privilege. In her article on Huffington post, Gina Corcoran states her personal interaction with the term ‘White privilege.’ Corcoran is the author of the article titled, “Explaining White privilege to a broke White person.”  In her article, she argued that White people still experience poverty. However, when directed to read McIntosh’s article “Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack,” Cosley Corcoran believed that people can be privileged in some ways and not others (31). Equally, there are some writers who argue that there are a lot of misunderstandings and defensiveness when it comes to White privilege. Most White people are unable to understand the concept of White privilege because it grew through the social media campaigns termed Black Lives Matter (Bonds and Inwood 720).

Larger Issues of White Privilege Creates an Unbalanced World

There are various ways that ‘White privilege’ prevails, especially in employment, education, and housing. Firstly, racialized employment networks potentially benefit Whites at the expense of the non-White minorities. For instance, Asian Americans rarely rise to higher positions in the workplace. In Fortune 500 companies, only eight of the companies had an Asian American CEO. The statistics translate to approximately 1.6% CEO positions but the Asian American population is recorded at 4.8%. In 2003, Deidre A. Royster, a sociologist compared 25 White men and 25 Black men, who had the same skills during graduation in the same school (Royster 15). The Black men had difficulties in getting blue-collar jobs as compared to the White men.

However, Lee suggests that when looking at the school-work transitional success and work experience, she realized that White students were more privileged (278). Most Whites secured jobs in skilled trades with a higher pay and status positions. They easily access more promotions at a higher rate than most minorities and looked for jobs for a shorter period. Their rates of unemployment were also low compared to other minorities. Despite their similar characteristics in skills, education, and employment, the race was the only difference between them. Hence, the sociologists held that social networking was the only difference that registered more ‘White people’ in employment as opposed to their minority counterparts. The notion of the ‘people you know’ remains critical among the graduates in similar levels as ‘what you know.’

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I noticed that the distinctiveness theory established by professor Ajay Mehra et al. is actively involved in ‘White privilege.’ The theory holds that people identify with others that share similar features, which remains rare in their environment. For instance, Whites prefer their fellow Whites; women also embrace their fellow women. Therefore, Mehra views that whites remain committed to their fellow Whites. The social networking among Whites prevails because of their numbers. The disproportionate assistance at the disposal of Whites is the advantage that tends to make Black men disadvantaged in the employment sector. Royster views that the ideology results in a contemporary deathblow to the chances of jobs among the working-class black men. Consequently, Black males fail in developing a grip in traditional trades. I find the idea compares to Mark Granovetter’s theory, which evaluates the value prevalent in interpersonal ties and social networking. The theory is prevalent in his article on his economic sociology work. (Weak Barnett 32).

I remember applying for a similar job position with a fellow Black friend of mine. The understanding that the fellow had a White-sounding name qualified his candidature in a faster way than mine.  The idea is seconded by Sendhil Mullainathan and Marianne Bertrand research, which was conducted in Chicago and Boston. The experiment confirms that Black-sounding names were rarely called back to an interview as opposed to their White counterparts, who had White-sounding names. The chance of a call back was approximated at 50% more chance regardless of their resume status. Equally, when applying for loans, White Americans receives higher priorities than their Black American counterparts. These differences were visible on similar credit records; the only difference among the applying parties was the race of the people (Swartz 348).

Further, I get disgusted with the housing policies that were made official in 1934. The laws were enacted under the Federal Housing Act, FHA, which allowed the government to give credit to private lending for home buyers. The Act was devised in a way that allowed favors to thrive among White home buyers as opposed to their minority counterparts. The money was also targeted towards the White home buyers with the intention of moving them into segregated suburbs. The practices increased inequality and segregation attitudes. The owner-occupied homes remain the most distinguished wealth source for white Americans (Bonds and Inwood 721).

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Consequently, White privilege studies and historical studies taught me that most White Americans generated wealth through disparity practices that favor Whites at the expense of Blacks. The discrimination thrives in mortgage industry where Whites are more preferred candidates. The situation increases the inequality as Black homeowners pay higher mortgage rates than their White counterparts. I remember my White friend, who requested a mortgage with my dad and ended up paying much lower rates than ours. The high mortgage rates and White privilege contributes to the homelessness of most Black people. The tax deductions and equity appreciations remain prevalent in home ownership.

Equally, it remains sad to notice that the United States still maintain education policies that uphold White privilege. Despite the notion that America schools are integrated, segregations still occur in relation to abilities. Consequently, an initial educational advantage among the White student is escalated, a situation that increases the unequal classroom experience among minorities. Wildman argues that most minorities and African American students achieve compromised education based on the initial advantage prevalent among the Whites. Providing students with instructions using the Standard English alienate the capacity of the Black child. However, the use of familiar labels in a language increases the child’s performance with no training or coaching required (Solomon et al. 152).

Impact of Personal Politics on the World

It is undeniable that the norms of a child’s community speech should be used when evaluating the language development capacity of an individual. However, White privilege uses English to evaluate the latter. The move is quite unfortunate as it seeks to promote the skill of the White child as opposed to the Black child because of the community background speech language. Cadze seconds the concept as he notices that the normal speech community used during language development should be used in the evaluation. Additionally, studies confirm that third and fifth graders repeat Standard English sentences in White subjects carefully as opposed to Black subjects. However, Black subjects use nonstandard English sentences accurately than White subjects. The practice in education systems is aimed at promoting the knowledge and understanding of White students through systems and curriculum that favors their development as opposed to the situation among Black students (Di Angelo 13).

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How We Might Direct To Create A Humanely End of White Supremacy

An evaluation of academic assessment and traditional psychology conducted by Janet Helms confirms my view. The psychological study holds that the prevalent skills aim at favoring the western, middle-class culture, who are mainly Whites. In his interview with Frank Bruni, the New York Times columnist, Professor McWhorter, expands his view on college campuses education. Professor McWhorter of Columbia University conducted frank public conversations with Professor Glenn Loury of Brown University on real-time issues facing the United States. The conversation yielded issues of identity and campus activism providing their personal experiences as Black intellectuals and their respective pasts as Black students in college (Friedersdorf,  n.p).

The professors consider White privilege as an interesting paradigm. Students should learn White privilege so as to understand that people normally start out at a difficult place. The idea is for the minority students to wonder at the disadvantaged city without understanding their struggles and beginnings. However, the concept of White privilege is being used to create a less constructive idea. A White person learns White privilege to feel guilty about the act and understand that they will never stand out as a legitimate person. The idea continues to serve a certain person to a point that it has become a Christian teaching perspective. The White person should acknowledge the existence of racism through White privilege subject studies. On the other hand, a Black and Latino person, among other minorities, should be able to lessen the feelings of diminished self-image based on the hundreds of years the racial minority continues to experience torture (Lee 278).

Conclusion

In conclusion, I think housing, education, and employment remain the basis of any society. White privilege continues to use the institutions to create a special form of social networking that favors their own as stated by various theorists throughout the text. Despite the argument that White supremacy should just be about enlightenment, critics view that the policies and practices in education, housing and employment continue to marginalize minorities. Schools in wealthier neighborhood receive higher funds because of higher property tax. 2001 No child left behind Act should be affected to correct the disparities in school performance. The act holds that federal school aid should be increased to handle issues of property tax differences. Equally, parents should be allowed to switch schools when the schools in their neighborhood fail to attain the standards required in national performance. White supremacy in schools serves as a form of security blanket that does not help students move on. It does not profit the Black student anything to explain their special nature and purpose in making loud noises that make the students guilty.

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  1. Barnett, Pamela E. “Unpacking Teachers’ Invisible Knapsacks Social Identity and Privilege in Higher Education.” Liberal Education, vol. 99, no. 3, Summer 2013, pp. 30-37. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=93539309&site=ehost-live.
  2. Bonds, Anne and Joshua Inwood. “Beyond White Privilege.” Progress in Human Geography, vol. 40, no. 6, Dec. 2016, pp. 715-733. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1177/0309132515613166.
  3. Di Angelo, Robin. White Fragility. International Journal of Critical Pedagogy. (2011).
  4. Friedersdorf, Conor. “A Columbia professor’s critique of Campus Politics.” The Atlantic. (Interview). (2017). https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/06/a-columbia-professors-critique-of-campus-politics/532335/
  5. Lee, Virginia A. “Five Best Resources for Developing Multicultural Competence.” Religious Education, vol. 107, no. 3, May/Jun2012, pp. 276-280. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/00344087.2012.678153.
  6. McIntosh, Peggy. “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.” Independent School, vol. 49, no. 2, Winter 1990, p. 31. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=9604164115&site=ehost-live.
  7. Royster, Deirdre. Race and the invisible hand: How white networks exclude Black men from blue-collar jobs. Univ of California Press, 2003.
  8. Solomon, R. Patrick, et al. “The Discourse of Denial: How White Teacher Candidates Construct Race, Racism and ‘White Privilege’.” Race, Ethnicity & Education, vol. 8, no. 2, July 2005, pp. 147-169. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/13613320500110519.
  9. Swartz, Sharlene, et al. “Unpacking (White) Privilege in a South African University Classroom: A Neglected Element in Multicultural Educational Contexts.” Journal of Moral Education, vol. 43, no. 3, Sept. 2014, pp. 345-361. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/03057240.2014.922942.
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