Is there a problem with ‘white privilege’ in America? I don’t really think so. As Americans, I’d like to believe that we all have ‘American Privilege.’
It seems to me that ‘white privilege’ is a code phrase for racism. And even the definition of racism has gone a little screwy. It used to be that a racist held a feeling of superiority based on his race. But that’s not what people are proclaiming now. Now we’re being told that racism is inherent to the race that holds the majority of the higher jobs, politics, or who are the owners of businesses.
Now this isn’t fair. It’s not like I don’t believe that a minority isn’t able to become a CEO, or a business owner, or a politician. In fact, by believing in things like ‘white privilege,’ or–in some cases–that the police are out to get you, it’s my belief that we are teaching our children that, unless you’re white then you’ll never make anything of yourself. One problem. Well, more than one really. One: our president is black. So if those who have the power are racist, what does this tell you? Two: nobody is stopping you from making something out of your life, except you.
Let me ask you a question. Allow me to set the scene for you. Let’s say that you find that you have a brain tumor. You are told that the two best neurosurgeons are in the hospital and can fit you in for surgery tomorrow. One of the doctors is conservative in dress, enunciates his words clearly, and acts like he knows what he is doing. The other one dresses like a ‘gansta,’ uses ebonics, and acts like he is higher than a kite. Who do you want to perform the surgery?
You see, in my example here, both of these doctors held the same degrees. They were both the top of their respective classes. But one portrayed his knowledge and expertise in a more professional way. If it makes you feel better, bot of the doctors were the same color.
Yes, there are more white politicians, but this is also a choice. Take a look at the cities of Detroit, Baltimore, or other cities that are predominately black. If the citizens wish to tell me that they don’t have enough people of color in positions of power, then I have a question for them. Are you all talk? We may get some bad politicians, but they at least had the guts to try. If you don’t like the way they are doing their jobs, go for it yourself.
So if you want to say that someone has ‘white privilege,’ perhaps you should consider what it is that you are saying. You’re saying that if you’re white then:
You are expected to work hard.
If you fail, then there’s no one to blame.
You can’t claim racial profiling if you get pulled over by the police, no matter what the circumstances.
You cannot get away with disrespecting authority.
Overall, you are expected to take responsibility for your actions (and everyone else’s).
We are Americans. Shouldn’t we be teaching all of the children of America most, if not all, of these things? We all have the opportunity to be what we want. Should we really waste such a golden opportunity because we don’t have the right pigmentation? Are we so shallow that Dr. King’s admonition to focus on the content of character and not the color of the skin lost on our generation? Is that something you really want to pass on to your children?
I’d like to leave you with the words of wisdom that was laid out by Pres. Thomas Jefferson. “Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitude brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues.” The emphasis is mine. If you can, read the whole prayer. May God keep our Great Nation.