Updated: Jun 20
White privilege- 'societal privilege that benefits white people over non-white people under the same social, political or economic circumstances.'
Examples of white privilege:
Minneapolis Police killed Gerge Floyd during an arrest based on allegations he had used counterfeit money. Dylan Roof, the 21-year-old white supremacist who murdered nine members of a Black church group in a targeted hate crime, was not only arrested peacefully but later taken to Burger King because he said he was 'tired and hungry'.
The US opioid crisis, which affects mostly White communities is seen as a health crisis, while the crack epidemic within the Black community was seen as a crime issue.
White terrorists are portrayed in the media as lone wolves or victims of mental illness compared to a BAME individuals involved in violent crimes who are portrayed as representative of their whole race or community.
The privilege to be taught your history in school rather than research it yourself, your history is centred and often presented in a false positive light that glosses over much of the brutal reality of colonialism,imperialism and slavery.
Entering a shop and not being followed or harassed by workers for being 'suspicious'.
Having access to plasters, leotards, make up or 'nude' underwear (etc.) that are suited to your skin. Here is a petition to provide skin colour inclusive point shoes.
Entering a festival or concert with less likelihood to be searched.
Having White privilege means you can be articulate or well spoken without people being 'surprised'.
Whiteness being equated with the norm and easily finding people who are the same race as you wherever you go.
White privilege allows you to speak on any subject without being the sole representative for your entire race and not be labelled as a credit to your race for successfully presenting or defending an idea.
Not having to worry about reaching for your driving documents in the door of your car after being pulled over by the police
You can live unaware of your skin colour
White privilege means you are over twice as likely to get a response to a job application compared to someone with exactly the same CV with a 'ethnic minority name'. (NatCen Social Research )
On 23rd March 2015, a newspaper ran two stories on separate burglaries. The images used for the three white men from one burglary were from their yearbooks whereas the other story used mug shots of Black suspects
As a white person you may not personally be wealthy but the white population benefits from a historic, systemic wealth gap. The UK only stopped paying for former slave owners compensation for the loss of slavery with taxpayer money in 2015.
The number of hate crimes reported to the UK police had more than doubled since 2013, the vast majority of these have been racial- this massive increase is unlikely to have affected you
You can apply to rent a property without being rejected because of concerns you are an illegal immigrant
Easily finding a hairdresser who has been trained and knows how to work with your hair anywhere in the UK
You can look at adverts, art, TV, models, films, postcards, music, news (etc.) and be sure to find your race well represented (in a positive light)
You can be sure that your children will be given curricular materials that testify to the existence and power of their own race
You can be sure you will not be discriminated against or effected by negative racial stereotypes during a trail
Since September 2011, white supremacists have participated in more acts of terrorism in the United States and yet no one from white communities were required to publicly denounce them or apologise on their behalf unlike minority communities do
White people are also not victims of terrorist assumptions
In the UK statistics show Black people are less likely to use drugs compared to their white peers and are still 6x more likely to be stopped and searched by police for drugs. (In London on average Black people are charged at five times the rate of white people for cannabis possession)
How to use White privilege to stop racism:
Educate yourself- on Black struggles, important racial concepts and issues, who you vote for and their wider efforts to change racial inequality. There is so much you can learn and resources are so easy to access online, don't be tempted to be remain arrogant in the knowledge you already have .
Change the way you think- uninstall the false narrative you've been fed about Black people and 'what they're like' through the media, comments, the news(etc). Challenge your thought pattern and why you have certain assumptions about Black people, you can do this by engaging with positive Black representations or people you know.
Call out problematic racist remarks- using your white privilege in amongst people you know or strangers to create small changes that contribute towards a reformed society (eg. correcting friends who use racial slurs, endorse racial stereotypes or sing the N -word in songs)
Amplify Black voices- for too long the work and voices of black people have been stolen or made palatable for White people. Instead, listen to Black voices, share their message and credit them!
Speak up about the lack of representation- particularly in areas you have influence like your workplace,brands you buy from, party you vote for.
Educate your white peers- do this so it is not the responsibility of Black people! Share what you learn with each other, have uncomfortable conversations and push boundaries you are able to break because of your privilege.
Diversify your circle- look at the people you interact with daily, if their are no BAME people why not? How can you understand how the other side feel when they are nowhere to be seen in your own life?
Become aware of systemic racism and white supremacy that is still prevalent in society and make unconscious effort to fight this.