When talking about white privilege, those that aren’t familiar with the term may think that it seeks to undermine any struggles in their lives. However, the idea of ‘white privilege’ is a tool and idea which should be used to identify instances where the colour of your skin has benefited you, often to the disadvantage of a person of colour.
Here are 5 different examples of white privilege to start the discussions with your family:
- On 23 March 2015, a newspaper in Iowa features two stories about two separate burglaries. The images used for one burglary committed by three white men used yearbook photos, whereas the other story which features the arrest of four Black men used mugshots. Although this may seem small and insignificant, it feeds the narrative then Black individuals are inherently criminal, and this is amplified when images with these connotations are used.
- Brock Turner, a white college student who raped an unconscious girl was given just a six-month sentence due to his “previous good character” and only ended up serving three months. In comparison, The Central Park Five, a group of innocent Black boys who were scapegoated for the rape of a white woman, served between 6 – 13 years all for crimes that none of them had committed.
- Often, when a white person commits an act of terrorism they are portrayed as a “lone wolf” or someone who is a victim of mental illness, and it not seen as a reflection of a community as a whole. When a person of colour commits a similar act of violence, it is seen as a representation of that persons race or community as a whole and they are not afforded the same understanding as their white counterparts.
- The number of hate crimes reported to the police in the UK has more than doubled since 2013, the vast majority of these being racial. If you are white, then it is likely that this has not affected you in any real way, both psychologically or tangibly.
- Minneapolis police killed George Floyd during an arrest based on false allegations that he has used counterfeit money. Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old white supremacist who murdered nine members of a Black church group in a targeted hate crime. He was arrested, unharmed and alive. He was even taken to a Burger Kind because he said that he was hungry.