From the moment a white person is born they are afforded certain privileges. While the extent and nature of those privileges vary, one thing’s consistent: If you’re white, society says, “You’re out here winning.”
Peggy McIntosh, a white scholar who started studying white privilege in the 198os is credited with introducing this concept (pdf) to the mainstream. She said, “I’ve come to see white privilege as an invisible package of unearned assets that I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was ‘meant’ to remain oblivious.”
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Everything we’ve ever learned in schools, every face on our cash money, damn near every page in textbooks centers white people and has been written from the white perspective. While there have been ongoing conversations as to whether or not white privilege actually exists and whether or not it’s measurable, we—black folks living in America—all know what’s up. In fact, in a 2017 article, The Root’s very own Michael Harriot identified the many ways in which white privilege affects the world around us. Thanks, Michael.
In “Antwon Rose Jr. and When White Privilege Kills Black People,” Very Smart Brothas’ Damon Young broke down how white privilege ultimately had a hand in the death of Antwon—an unarmed teenager.
Young says: “What white privilege means, for white people, is that their whiteness hasn’t been a social, political, professional, financial or legal hindrance. They have the privilege of the benefit of the doubt, which manifests as the privilege to just be.”
See the entire video above.