Listen to Candance Allen, an African American in London, speak about Obama’s nomination on BBC radio.
A white internet surfer was lamenting the fact that white people are being treated like second class citizens. This person felt this way despite the fact that white people control the vast majority of wealth in the United States. He or she felt this way despite the fact that white people obtain the majority of educational opportunities at the majority of institutions for higher learning. This person felt this way even though white people occupy the vast majority of upper, middle, and lower echelons of government positions. And the number of white people who are in executive, middle, and lower management positions in corporate America overwhelms any other racial minority.
This person felt this way despite the vast majority of white actors and actresses in movies and television programs that dwarf their black counterparts. For every black actress there must be a hundred white ones. For every Halley Berry, who claims not to be fully black because her mother was white, there are dozens of Kate Hudsons, Angelina Jolies, Kate Blanchettes, Gwen Stefanis, Reese Witherspoons, and Hillary Swanks. For every Will Smith there are dozens of Joaquin Phoenixes, Jack Blacks, Russell Crowes, Viggo Mortensens, Dennis Quaids, Ben Afflecks, Matt Damons, and Jake Gyllenhaals. But white people who want to go into acting can’t catch a break these days because of all the movies and television programs that don’t feature white people.
Across America there are thousands and thousands of companies with office staffs that are predominantly white. Many of these companies don’t even have a black employee in the office. And many of these companies don’t even have a black person on the payroll. Let one of these companies take proactive steps to racially diversify their workforce and the next white person who doesn’t get a job will be suing with claims of reverse discrimination. White people who apply for jobs at predominantly white companies can’t find a job these days.
From the perspective of a lot of people, white people are treated like second class citizens for having to share social resources with nonwhites. The moment some white people realize that they don’t have an exclusive choke hold on opportunities, these people begin to feel that white existence is under attack. Some people have yet to learn that white privilege is not a god given right but an artificial construct of a culture so dominating that it thinks nothing of locking nonwhites in chains for the crime of being not white.
One of the most evil institutions that ran contrary to the great establishment of white privilege was affirmative action. Wikipedia describes affirmative action as a set of policies and/or programs intended to promote access to education and/or employment opportunities aimed at historically socially or politically oppressed groups, typically minority men and/or women of all races. The motivation for affirmative action policies is to help rectify the effects of wrongful discrimination in the past and to encourage public institutions to be more representative of a racially diverse population.
But the protectors of white privilege countered affirmative action with claims of reverse discrimination. Suddenly, institutions that tried to correct their history of focusing on providing opportunities exclusively to the white community are being too unfair to white people. Companies with beaucoup white people on the payroll are suddenly unfair to white people and are being successfully sued for not hiring even more white people. But white people never sue an institution because an inferior white person is hired. However, it is a near given when black people are involved.
It’s not fair to do anything to correct the hundreds of years white privilege has enjoyed at the expense of the other races. It’s much better to keep the status quo and let white privilege continue rather than give affirmative action any legitimacy. In fact, everyday more and more black people are convinced that affirmative action is more hurtful to the black community than helpful. The fact that many black people calling for its demise actually benefited from these affirmative action programs is just an awful coincidence best overlooked. People who are benefiting from white privilege will support anyone who will promote the end of affirmative action and other concepts that can threaten white privilege. Black people who call for an end to affirmative action are one of this world’s greatest ironies.
White privilege is in no danger of disappearing. It is strong and it is flourishing to greater limits each and every day. No matter what measure a person applies to success white people are overwhelmingly represented.
It must be admitted that white privilege is much more satisfying and/or more gratifying for white people when other races do without. Black people getting jobs mean fewer jobs for white people. It doesn’t matter if white people who make up seventy percent of the population and are already getting ninety five percent of the jobs and the educational opportunities. White privilege needs it all. White privilege needs every last opportunity in order to make sure other people better understand their place in the social, economic, political ladder. White privilege does not thrive when it has to indulge the black community or the Latino community or any other non white community. In order to be secure in itself white privilege needs to make sure it has it all. Anything less is an attack on white privilege.