Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Basics: Defining White Privilege

Sometimes racism can manifest in ways that seem almost invisible. Like fish born in dirty water, it is difficult to see our privilege. We may take it for granted and feel that the way we are received and perceived in the world is just "normal" or "how it is".

One way to challenge the invisibility of white privilege is to ask yourself, in any given moment, how the situation might be different if you were not white. Of course, we cannot fully understand what it is like being non-white, we can assume that some things would be different.

What may seem invisible is actually quite obvious and has been qualified and documented in study after study. Whether it is searching for a house, dealing with police, looking for a job, going to school, shopping in a store or many other everyday actions, white people have a different, usually easier, experience. The disparity between these two experiences can be defined as white privilege.

I invite anyone else out there to email me their definitions of white privilege. I will post all sincere attempts at defining what White Privilege really means.