Do white and black privilege actually exist? To fully understand these abstract concepts, we must first analyze the meaning of the word “privilege.” The Merriam-Webster dictionary’s definition states that privilege “is known as a right or immunity granted as a particular benefit, advantage, or favor. It’s more thought of as a right or immunity attached specifically to a position or an office”.
Let’s dissect the definition given. The first part of the definition states, “a right or immunity granted”. This segment reminds us that a privilege is given to a person; it is a power that is given to someone by another person with the same privilege or right. Who is the person that has given the white community this privilege to do whatever they are doing in life? Who has given the white community the power to abuse their authority: no one. Therefore, white privilege does not exist according to the first part of this definition. There is not a spokesperson who takes full responsibility and is known for giving the white community a power over blacks or anyone else.
The second part of the definition says, “as a peculiar benefit, advantage, or favor”. This indicates that an individual is favored over the masses and is given the opportunity to move ahead. Though white people seem to have the upper hand in most situations, there is no true benefit to what they call “white privilege.” People react in certain ways and behaviors because of several external factors: such as their parents, environment, and their history. Considering that there are so many possibilities of why a person might react the way that they do, white or black privilege cannot exist.
Therefore, the idea of racial advantage is only a myth. A person can be of any color and believe that they have a right to do certain things according to their purpose. People should challenge the authenticity of certain situations we consider hardships because it could be that we’re addressing the wrong problems instead of the right ones.
Black people don’t have black privilege. Neither does the white community. We all have the same opportunity to do right and wrong. No one is handing anyone a silver spoon or enacting specific rights based on favoritism, unless we are given a promotion at work or winning awards at schools and organizations. White privilege is a term based on the assumption that white people are more likely to have things go their way. This is true, considering that they are dominant in number and their history. Yet, blacks also have the chance to make things go their way too. For blacks, it involves more time, dedication, confidence, and information to induce change, which most of us do not do. Instead of focusing on privilege not formally given, the black community should focus on the power they already have.
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