It never ceases to frustrate me whenever I witness white people doing things that would not produce the same consequences if they were black. No, everything isn’t about race but, in America, many things are. Coupled with your economical and social status, race affects the way you’re perceived and treated by others. It’s heartbreaking that we live in a society where we have to facilitate conversations with our young black men about how they can avoid being misunderstood by authority; about why they must work 10 times harder than their white counterparts; and conversations about how to avoid being killed by the very entity that is supposed to “protect and serve” them.
White privilege is real, not imagined. It’s not about being a spoiled rich kid (this works even more in their favor), it’s about how white people can be, do, and say certain things that black people can only dare to think about doing. And when we do venture to be brave, we are met with biased resistance. There are countless instances of white people getting away with shit that would end differently if they were black. Here are just a few:
As of today, the group of white men who are being called “militia protesters” in Oregon, have illegally occupied federal land for over 4 days. The FBI and other government agencies have taken no forceful action to remove them. There are a litany of issues involved, most of which are not favorable to the group. Yet, they remain posted with no repercussions from law enforcement. They’re pretty much telling the government to kiss their asses. No National Guard, no SWAT team, no local police—nothing. Who knows when will it end, if this were a group of armed black men it would’ve been over by now; they would’ve already been arrested or dead (more likely).
Back in 2013, 16 year-old, Ethan Couch was sentenced to a lock down rehab facility after he killed 4 people while drunk driving. The judge determined that he would not serve jail time because the misguided youth suffered from “Affluenza”—in his case, wealthy white privilege. He was reportedly raised by wealthy parents who did not consequent him while he was growing up, therefore, he was ignorant to the severity of his actions. Really? Now, while affluenza is not a new concept, it should not have been allowed to excuse Couch from his horrendous crime. Even the psychologist who coined the term felt that Couch’s affluenza defense was some BS. Along with his stint in rehab, Couch was sentenced to 10 years probation, which he has recently violated.
Sandra Bland Tamir Rice Eric Garner Michael Brown Trayvon Martin Sean Bell , and numerous others were all unjustly killed by whites. Despite the glaring inconsistencies in each of these cases, no one has been held responsible for these black lives. Cases like Jordan Davis‘ show a glimmer of justice but, there are too many that have received none.
Blacks experience blatant and subtle discrimination and mistreatment in their communities, in education, in the media, in politics (President Obama is continually disrespected), at their jobs, etc. The examples of white being alright are an ugly truth that can’t and won’t be ignored.