White privilege is a concept that is often misunderstood by many people with most individuals arguing that it just a made concept while others reveal that it is entrenched in social injustice. Psychologists have opined that white privilege is the level of societal advantage that comes with being seen as the norm in America, automatically conferred irrespective of wealth, gender or other factors (Cassidy and Mikulich 14).
To the American people it makes life smoother and easier and can only be realized when such a life is suddenly taken away. Notably, white privilege is the situation that exists when one segment of the population have something of value which others are denied because of group orientation. This means that access to privilege is founded on the assertion that whatever talent, ability, and aspirations a person with privilege has will result in something positive for them in the society.
It is a modern concept that had percolated articles among the youth and political orientations, this is because it has been established that black children who form major composition of school are given more suspensions than the whites. Moreover, job applicants with white sounding names are likely to secure employment or have high chances of being called for an interview than blacks. Consequently, black defendants are more likely to spend time in prison than white defendants despite committing the same crime.
Impacts of White Privilege
White privilege has shaped the American society and culture considering how the whites are given special treatment than the blacks. The concept manifests itself throughout the American community and has been felt in many departments such as police, education, and employment among others. Recent shootings involving blacks is as a result of white privilege where the blacks feel that they are not treated the same way as white despite being legal citizens of the country. Therefore, minority groups are becoming more vocal about how treatment and experiences differ with those of white counterparts.
Discrimination has been witnessed in American society and culture courtesy of white privilege. Discrimination is witnessed through racism which is a doctrine that finds racial differences in things like character and intelligence. Moreover, scientists have affirmed that racial discrimination makes other people superior than others in the society and seeks to maintain dominance based on beliefs and policies (Harvey 66). The concept portrays the white to be smarter than the whites and thus makes them better teachers and employees. It has been avowed that racial discrimination also manifest itself through individual behaviors such as hate crimes and more through institutional behavior such as employment discrimination (Lund and Scipio 45).
White privilege impacts on housing and is supported by the recent headlines that featured Donald Sterling who was accused of discriminating people based on color. He was accused of housing discrimination and had to contend with paying settlement for refusing to rent apartments to people of color. White privilege has impacted negatively on blacks because they are discriminated against their white counterparts when they seek housing especially apartment owned by white investors. It has been attested that such kind of discrimination against color has real consequences (Lund and Scipio 59). Discrimination in the housing sector cripples blacks and impedes their economic empowerment; this is supported by the assertion that inability of blacks to buy houses has created a wealth gap between members of American society.
White privilege also impacts on employment and workplace discrimination. Americans believe that the country is characterized by employers who ensure equal opportunity in employment. Actually, this is not the case as supported by socialists who continue to criticize the assertion and affirm that employment discrimination is a battle that most blacks tend to fight daily. Black families tend to find it difficult to secure employment or even get the chance to be called for an interview. Studies have established that in cases that they secure employment, they are the first ones to have their working hours cut, to be laid off or be passed over during promotion (Rothenberg 24). This happens because of white privilege and the mistrust that exists between the whites and blacks; in fact, whites do not trust people of color. Employment opportunities are distributed through existing white networks of family and friends that has driven unemployment to 6.8 % for whites and 13.8% for black workers while 9.65 of Hispanic workers are still unable to secure employment opportunities. White privilege has necessitated engagement of Americans in activities that foster inequality that discriminate against blacks and other non-white while making it more likely for white to get employed.
White privilege ensures that white people access certain privileges such as enhanced human nights and increases their chances of getting employed. On the other hand, it discriminates against blacks and other non-white tribes through making it difficult to invest in the housing markets and instigate employment discrimination. A lot needs to be done through enacting policies and regulations that prohibits unequal treatment; this will potentially make white privilege a problem of the past.
Cassidy, Laurie M, and Alexander Mikulich. Interrupting White Privilege: Catholic Theologians
Break the Silence. Maryknoll, N.Y: Orbis Books, 2007. Print.
Harvey, Jennifer. Disrupting White Supremacy from Within: White People on What We Need to
Do. Cleveland: Pilgrim Press, 2004. Print.
Lund, Carole L, and Scipio A. J. Colin. White Privilege and Racism: Perceptions and Actions.
San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2010. Print.
Rothenberg, Paula S. White Privilege: Essential Readings on the Other Side of Racism. New
York: Worth Publishers, 2008. Print.