Thursday, July 1, 2010

White Privilege

I feel like being white definitely gives me certain privileges in life, politically, socially and economically. Being young, tall, blonde and female give me even more privilege. The amount of disciplinary action I have encountered at school and with the police are lesser than those of my colored counterparts, especially males. Women, especially white women are able to flirt their way out of speeding tickets, gain sympathy and privilege from men and use their sexuality to gain access to what they want. When it comes to employment and opportunities in the labor market, I have never been turned down at a job interview and I have always gotten hired on the spot. Even when I attended high school, no matter how poorly I did on tests or quizzes, I always passed my classes. I would classify all of these examples as white privilege.
I’m sure that if you are of color, you are prone to encounter much more social inequality throughout the course of your life. Hailing a cab, for instance, seems like a miniscule effort to a white person, but can be an arduous task to a colored person because of socially constructed fear that a cab driver may perceive when passing by a colored person. Similarly, with age, drivers purposely don’t stop for elderly people, maybe because they fear if they have places to go that the elderly person could be immobile and take too long to cross the street. Getting hired on the spot at any job is tricky for anyone. I have been blessed throughout my life to not only be hired everywhere I’ve applied, but I’ve been hired on the spot. Unfortunately, I’m sure that many people that were equally suitable for the position were turned down because of their perceived race or ethnicity. For all of the above reasons, I feel that being white has privileged me as a young woman throughout my short life.

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