White Privilege In American Society

529 Words3 Pages
“To be white in America means not having to think about it,” declares James Baldwin. What Baldwin means by this is that white people do not have to think about how their race affects their lives on a daily basis. To take this to a further level, in American society to have privilege in any identity group is to not have to think about how being part of that group shapes your life daily and to think of what it would be like to be part of a different identity group. In fact, for most people thinking of how being part of a privileged group makes their lives easier makes people uncomfortable or annoyed for having to think about their privilege, all of this which A.G. Johnson calls “the luxury of obliviousness” (Johnson, A.G. (2006). Privilege, Oppression, and Difference. p. 12-40). Johnson paraphrases Peggy…show more content…
To further this, part of white privilege is simply being treated better than people of color for being white. White privilege manifests itself in several ways. One way is that people do not assume the worst qualities of white people, that they are violent, criminals, thieves, etc., because of their race, or that they tend in that direction, or if they prove that they are not, they are an exception. Another manifestation of white privilege is that white people face far lower rates of incarceration and punishment for the same crimes as people of color and less severe punishments. One other manifestation of white privilege is white people do not have to worry about not getting a job, or some other marker of success, because of their race. People of color have to deal with employers hiring just as qualified, or even less qualified, white people over them. As Johnston says, “…my access to privilege doesn’t determine my outcomes, but it is definitely an asset that makes it more likely that whatever talent, ability, and aspirations I have will result in something good for me” (p.
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