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The Vitruvian Post

Dear White People

Photo provided by  a sad reality. White Privilege going on for many years now. Have things really changed?

Photo provided by a sad reality. White Privilege going on for many years now. Have things really changed?

Chloe Truhlar, Multimedia Editor

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I’m white and privileged… what does this mean?

White privilege is a term coined to explain a system in which white people possess certain societal privileges that provide them benefits that other groups are denied typically based on race. Some may argue that other factors play into this such as social class but there is still the undeniable fact that people with white skin have set advantages that others do not.

The social and economic system in the U.S is systematically structured against minorities and while studying this as a white person, I wonder what can be done to help combat systematic racism? Well first, learn where you stand and where your voice is most valuable.  

Speaking in safe spaces and other areas of outreach is not your platform, so let others share their experiences. However, in situations where minorities have no voice, that would be the right place to plant your input. Learn that in those situations, you are someone whose voice is regularly heard so speak on behalf of the groups that do not have the ability to.

I’m not saying that white people are only allowed to project their voice and support in settings where minorities rarely have a say, but more so allowing those others who are directly affected to express their struggles.

These marginalized groups do not owe you anything either, so don’t expect an award for speaking in their favor, and do it more so out of the morality and compassion for others.

Marginalized groups don’t owe you or anyone an explanation of what they have been through so please be respectful; it’s not your story or life. The importance of not getting offended is to put others’ issues in before yours. Often, people look at things head on and take them to heart. By not getting offended or taking things personally, you are able to assess the situation for what it really is.

Do not get offended when a person of color is talking about their experiences or about white people. When minorities share their own experiences about encounters with white people, it is not directed towards you personally. However, it’s directed to the history and culture that has been inflicted on them. If you choose to not be a part of a community that participates in being oblivious to their privilege, then that isn’t you and keep it that way.

I believe everyone deserves a voice and to be shown genuine compassion. It’s so important that white people understand their privilege just so they can be truly aware of how their life plays into another’s. Strengthen the compassion we should naturally have for each other. Stray away from the idea of “me, myself and I” and look into how your presence is part of a bigger connection with other groups of people.

Don’t be blind to your privilege and use it as a voice to create awareness instead.

 

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15 Comments

15 Responses to “Dear White People”

  1. Alison Howard on February 9th, 2018 9:58 am

    I love how you speak your mind in this article. It’s also beautifully written!

    [Reply]

  2. Isabel Umekubo on February 9th, 2018 9:59 am

    i absolutely love this article! it is so unique in many different ways.

    [Reply]

  3. Noah Ryan on February 9th, 2018 10:00 am

    I don’t believe in white privilege I think saying that white people have more privilege is the main reason that in today’s society we are so divided. Yes, white people have done some awful things but non-white people have done awful things too.

    [Reply]

    Destiny Feyijimi Reply:

    No. Saying that white people are privileged is stating facts. Period. When you go into a clothing store do you get followed around to make sure you don’t steal anything? When you see breaking news on the T.V. of a suspect who has committed a crime, do you hope and pray that that suspect is not of your race? Do you have to walk into a room and make sure that you sound articulate and well spoken so people won’t label you as “ghetto” and “uneducated”? Or what about when you are in a car driving by yourself or with others, get stopped by a police officer for a broken tail light (or another small misdemeanor), and hope that the police officer you encounter isn’t a racist prick and your name won’t be another hashtag in less than 24 hours?… Oh OKAY. If you haven’t experienced any of these scenarios, then you my friend have experienced what is known as WHITE PRIVILEGE.

    [Reply]

    Jeremiah Reply:

    I love the way you used your voice.

    [Reply]

  4. Casey Hartley on February 9th, 2018 10:02 am

    I agree with many of the points above. I am white, and while I do not see myself as privileged, I see your reasoning. Many white people, including myself, are blind to the advantages we have in social society. This means that we have to really prove ourselves to earn those advantages. We should not be favored because of our race.

    [Reply]

  5. Kaiya on February 9th, 2018 10:03 am

    I think that this is a creative topic and great article.

    [Reply]

  6. Ronan on February 9th, 2018 10:05 am

    Great article. I think this speaks a lot of truth and I appreciate how you offered a solution.

    [Reply]

  7. Arryana Sandoval on February 9th, 2018 10:16 am

    I like that you took into account that white people have a privilege and its something real. I appreciate that it coming from someone who wants to make a change and speak up for those without privilege.

    [Reply]

  8. nun ya on February 9th, 2018 10:22 am

    How can you say that the world only hears white people when a black man can get 100 points lower on their entrance exam to a college or facility of some sort but the black man is chosen for the role and the white man isn’t because they don’t wanna be called racist. So they make programs that prefer minorities getting jobs to support them and possibly rejecting someone who is better at the job, that is white. How is that “white privilege?” And I’m not saying that people of color shouldn’t be supported and get opportunities to help them with there future, but putting a title on white people and saying “white privilege” this and that isn’t helping anyone at all. It’s just something to blame.

    [Reply]

    Destiny Feyijimi Reply:

    You’re right, that’s not “white privilege”… that’s called affirmative action:

    af·firm·a·tive ac·tion
    əˈfərmədiv ˈakSHən/

    an action or policy favoring those who tend to suffer from discrimination, especially in relation to employment or education; positive discrimination.

    Read about it.

    [Reply]

    Educated Black Person Reply:

    Oh, your rhetoric and choice of words prove the point of this article. Yes, Black citizens are preferred to jobs because we live in a world where the person who is prematurely “better” at the job is a “white” man. I think you didn’t fully understand the point of the article, just because these ingenuine companies gives us a boost, that doesn’t mean you lose your gargantuan pile of advantages. They only give more chances to “enhance their diversity.” Check out a PWI’s (Predominately White Institution, just in case you weren’t informed) pamphlet, you see that there is a mixture of multicultural bodies, that’s because the demographics display low numbers of racial diversity. Trust, anything that they give us is to save face for their monetary future, not our well-being.

    Oh and your comment about companies that ” possibly reject someone who is better at the job, that is white” take another look at it, sounds a little elitist to me.

    One last thing, it’s “their” not “there”

    [Reply]

  9. Diego on February 9th, 2018 10:28 am

    I do believe everyone deserves a voice but if you´re going to be discriminating others its best not to say anything about anyone. Also I like the way you would tell us about the TRUTH rather than basic information someone might know.

    [Reply]

  10. Julie on February 9th, 2018 10:28 am

    Great article it speaks a lot of the truth

    [Reply]

  11. Kenny Garcia on March 2nd, 2018 12:54 pm

    This does make sense but privilege does also come from class as well.

    [Reply]

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