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Here Are 5 Things White People Say That Shows Their Privilege

This article was originally published at StateOfUnion.org. Publications approved for syndication have permission to republish this article, such as Microsoft News, Yahoo News, Newsbreak, UltimateNewswire and others. To learn more about syndication opportunities, visit About Us.

Here Are 5 Things White People Say That Shows Their Privilege.

Prominent feminist scholar

via KENS 5: Your San Antonio News Source

Peggy McIntosh, a prominent feminist scholar and anti-racism advocate, coined the term “white privilege” to illustrate the unseen advantages that come with being white.

Inherent benefits

via NBC New York

Essentially, white individuals often navigate life without realizing the inherent benefits, opportunities, and access that their skin color provides them.

The concept

via NBC New York

It’s only when these privileges are highlighted that some white people acknowledge them, while others may choose to ignore or reject the concept altogether.

Systemic racism

via NBC New York

Number 1: “It’s not my job to fix racism because I’m not racist.” In essence, if you believe that systemic racism doesn’t affect you directly, recognizing your privilege, it may seem like you can remain uninvolved in combating it.

Marginalized communities

Eyewitness News ABC7NY

However, it is crucial for white individuals to take a stand, support marginalized communities, and actively utilize their privilege to promote positive change.

‘It’s a privilege’

via PBS NewsHour

“It takes the actions of every single person to call out racist behavior and be a part of the solution,” Michelle Saahene, co-founder of From Privilege to Progress, said. “It’s a privilege to be able to only talk about race and never experience it. It’s a privilege to choose not to talk about it or acknowledge it.”

Racial distinctions

via Eyewitness News ABC7NY

Number 2: “I don’t see color.” While this statement may aim to show that you are not biased, psychologist Erlanger Turner points out that we all notice racial distinctions unless we are visually impaired. By choosing not to recognize someone’s skin color, you are also disregarding the challenges and discrimination they have experienced due to their race.

The beginning

via PBS NewsHour

Recognizing your white privilege is just the beginning; it’s a crucial first step towards actively using that privilege to challenge and break down the oppressive structures that harm the Black community and other marginalized groups.

White individuals

via LEX18

We engaged with educators, activists, therapists, and scholars to explore the common statements made by white individuals that inadvertently showcase their privilege, often without their awareness.

Their freedom

via LEX18

“People of color would also like to live in a world where their skin color didn’t impact the way they were treated and just never talk about race,” Saahene said. “But systemic racism is real, people of color must talk about race, to navigate a system that was never meant for their freedom — and continues with the support of white silence.”

Benefits in society

via Lexington Herald Leader

“For most white people, they have the privilege to receive many benefits in society based on ‘whiteness’ that people of color don’t receive,” said Turner, an assistant professor of psychology at Pepperdine University.

White men

via Lexington Herald Leader

“For example, think about the recent protests [in Michigan] when white men went into a state government building with guns and they didn’t experience any harm. Yet, Black people engage in peaceful protests and police are shooting them with rubber bullets. That’s white privilege.”

Experiences and interactions

via Lexington Herald Leader

Number 3: “There’s no need to worry about the police if you’re not doing anything illegal.” The experiences and interactions that white individuals have with law enforcement starkly contrast those of Black and Latino individuals.

Ordinary activities

via Eyewitness News ABC7NY

Black individuals have tragically lost their lives at the hands of police while engaging in ordinary activities: for instance, Botham Jean was simply eating ice cream in his own home, Breonna Taylor was asleep in her bed, and Atatiana Jefferson was playing video games with her nephew.

Targeting, stopping, and arresting

via Eyewitness News ABC7NY

Moreover, there is a long-standing pattern of police disproportionately targeting, stopping, and arresting Black individuals for minor offenses or without clear justification.

Minor incidents

via LEX18

The case of George Floyd further exemplifies this, as he lost his life in police custody over an alleged incident involving a counterfeit $20 bill, highlighting how even minor incidents can escalate into deadly confrontations.

Nothing to worry about

via PBS NewsHour

“White people often claim that Black people, specifically, should have nothing to worry about if they, Black people, aren’t doing anything illegal,” said anti-racism educator Myisha T. Hill, author of “Check Your Privilege: Live Into the Work.”

Safety and security

via NBC New York

“This is because white people tend to feel an innate sense of safety and security from the policing policies that racially profile and target Black people, in many cases leading to the use of excessive or even lethal force. This is a prime example of white privilege.”

Social media

Eyewitness News ABC7NY

Number 4: “I don’t want to post about racism on social media because I’m scared of the backlash.” Prioritizing personal comfort over speaking out against injustice, such as fear of losing followers or facing backlash, is criticized as placing one’s convenience above essential values, according to Saahene.

Alienating yourself

via PBS NewsHour

“It is a privilege to not have to take a risk of alienating yourself from others,” Saahene said. “It’s saying that the drama or backlash you don’t want to face from potential racists is more important than speaking out against innocent people being oppressed.”

Deny the concept

via NBC New York

Number 5: “I don’t have white privilege.” Some white individuals deny the concept of white privilege by claiming they are not affluent, have worked hard for their achievements, or have faced struggles in life, leading to defensiveness due to a lack of understanding of the term.

Personal or professional hurdles

Eyewitness News ABC7NY

“It simply means that the color of your skin is not one of the reasons you may experience personal or professional hurdles,” said Abigail Makepeace, a marriage and family therapist.

Systemic privilege

via NBC New York

“The mere assumption that someone does not benefit from systemic privilege reveals how inherently unaware they may be of systemic racism,” Makepeace said. “Ignorance of complicity indicates that someone has been protected from and sheltered by the system — a luxury that POC have never had.”

‘I’m not sure’

via NBC New York

Number 6: “I’m not sure when I should start talking to my kids about racism.”

Realities of racism

via Eyewitness News ABC7NY

“This urge to shelter their white children from the realities of racism is directly born of their own white privileges. Black, brown, indigenous, Asian, Pacific Islander, people of color, do not have the luxury of putting blinders up to shield our children from racism,” Hill said.

Never guaranteed

via PBS NewsHour

“Our livelihoods depend on us constantly having these heart-wrenching conversations with our children, from very early ages, about why they have to behave differently from white children and what to do if we are pulled over by the police. Because our safety is never guaranteed.”

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