For years it has been discussed in the minority communities how white people benefit from unearned privileges. These so called privileges can include but are not limited to access to resources, wealth, knowing key people in government, unearned trust with authority figures, and even advancement in jobs faster than others of minority status. Of course none of these privileges are written in stone or blatantly obvious to the public but some may argue that they are everywhere and should be illegal. Three interviews that I conducted with people I know who are also white like I am revealed the opinions of some on the issue of “white privilege.
For the sake of revealing any identities of those interviewed I will just refer to them as subject 1, subject 2, and subject 3. Subject 1 was the first interviewed. After briefly reading an article on white privilege, she stated that she believes that it does exist and is not blatantly obvious in most of society. She explained how she thinks color is an institutionalized concept that is formed in American culture and that in other countries is not even something that is recognized. Just like the issue of racism she believes it is something that can never be dismantled but only worked on to reduce its negative effect on minorities.
Subject 2 had a very similar response on the issue. He stated that there are many different social privileges that may come with being white including a stereotype that you are well behaved and educated because you are white. He stated, “People think more highly of you because of your skin color and you usually don’t have to prove that you are educated or smart because it is naturally assumed in society which is not the case for most minorities.” He also thinks that more people are most suspicious of activities conducted by minorities because some of them are sometimes seen as mischievous.
Subject 3 was the last person interviewed and she had the most to say on the matter. Unlike the other two people interviewed she did not believe white privilege to be real. Instead she believed it to be a concept made up to create excuses and sympathy for those who do not try hard in life. She believes that most children have equal opportunities these days and that it is up to them to create their future. Not only did she contest the concept of white privilege but she promoted the idea that minorities actually have more privileges than white children to better their future. To back up her argument she used college scholarships like the Negro College Fund and government funded programs like food stamps and section 8 which many minorities who have low incomes may take advantage of. She believes that success in people is not measured by their privileges in society but their motivation to do everything in their power to be successful. She used her son as an example. He is a teenager of Hispanic descent who because of his ethnicity received more government grants and scholarships to attend college. “Is it not true that the government tries to provide more aid to minorities than white children?” she stated. One hundred years ago it was definitely an issue but now she thinks that children are less racist than their parents or grandparents. They afford the same leisure to their peers no matter color or ethnicity.
I agree with the points made by all three of the people I interviewed and even possibly may have come to the conclusion that the concept of white privilege may be a made up concept or a concept developed deep in the subconscious of its offenders. Either way it seems to be something that is not consciously practiced and may just be a direct form of racism that people of this day and age are already attempting to filter out of their own heads.