If there is anything the right-wing is known for it’s their denial of racism and refusal of basic facts. Case in point — this is a meme that is currently popular among the uneducated masses of conservatism:
Obviously, the a-hole who created it has no clue of the very real issue of white privilege in the United States and how it impacts people of color. It’s a privilege that has been afforded to millions of white people since the arrival of the first settlers and the act of viewing other human beings as property.
It’s something that shouldn’t be difficult to recognize at all.
This whole concept of white privilege seems to really get under the skins of poor white folks, though. And, to a point, I get it. They’re poor. They’re uneducated. Rural America is seeing their communities crumble to opiate addiction. It’s pretty bad. So while living with that reality, I’m sure being told that you are somehow privileged is a hard pill to swallow.
However, none of that negates the fact that white privilege is a very real thing.
Here is some proof that white privilege absolutely exists in the United States of America:
Even though people of color only account for 30 percent of the population, they make up 60 percent of the U.S. prison population. According to the Center for American Progress, white privilege is indicated by the discrepancy in numbers for nonviolent drug offenses. It just so happens that people of color are jailed at a much higher rate than white men.
1 in every 15 African-American men and 1 in every 36 are incarcerated in comparison to 1 in every 106 white men.” Yet, according to Human Rights Watch, “blacks and whites engage in drug offenses-possession and sales-at roughly comparable rates.
So, if you’re white, and have or sell drugs, you’re less likely to be caught doing it than a black man doing the exact same thing. The “War on Drugs” has only perpetuated white privilege in our communities.
Those are facts – facts that shouldn’t be denied, but are among those who pass around memes like this.
Of course, it doesn’t just end with the criminal justice system, although that’s a huge part of it considering if you have a record (or if you’re sitting in jail) it’s far more difficult to better your life.
There are numerous other examples of white privilege. White people are more likely to get accepted to college. White people (with “white sounding names”) have an easier time getting jobs. White people have access to better housing. None of these things are because white people are just better than black people, although that’s exactly what the right-wing seems to land on with their shortsighted, narrow-minded worldview.
And then, there is the “racial wealth gap” as reported on by Forbes (last time I checked, Forbes was far from being considered a left-leaning publication):
The typical black household now has just 6% of the wealth of the typical white household; the typical Latino household has just 8%, according to a recent study called The Racial Wealth Gap: Why Policy Matters, by Demos, a public policy organization promoting democracy and equality, and the Institute on Assets and Social Policy.
In absolute terms, the median white household had $111,146 in wealth holdings in 2011, compared to $7,113 for the median black household and $8,348 for the median Latino household.
Those figures are staggering. And yes, that is white privilege created from systematic oppression and racism that has existed in the United States since the beginning of the European settlement.
The United States has not righted the ship. Rather, the course of action has been to just nickel and dime people with their rights while expecting them to stand even though there is a boot to their neck.
Yeah, all of that is probably way too much to put on a shitty meme, but it’s the rebuttal that should be given to any douchebag who shares it.