Are White Americans Waking Up To Racism?

Although they are not at fault for the policies that existed before they were born, white people continue to benefit from them at the grave expense of Black Americans. The extremely tragic shooting of George Floyd in 2020 by a white police officer and the Black Lives Matter movement that followed this event has caused many white people to reflect on their role in the deep-rooted systemic racial injustice in America

Are the whiteys finally realizing that the minor discrimination they witnessed done to the people of color wasn’t at all minor? Personally, I have found that when phrases like “white privilege” and “white supremacy” are used, they are met with an instantaneous defensive response, which most Anti-racism activists term as “white fragility”. Most privileged blue-collar families may find it difficult to emotionally relate to the idea that they are privileged, while other middle-class families fear speaking up in case their success as a family gets threatened.

Some privileged morons claim that these ideas are just a way to “shame white people.” In the same way, that privilege is misinterpreted as something personal rather than a system in which white people are valued, systemic racism is reduced to individual bad actors. If you’ve ever felt tight around your collar around this subject, maybe it’s time for some self-reflection.

What Is Meant by White Privilege?

The unspoken social benefits that white people have in comparison to others who suffer racism are known as white privilege. White privilege, in Francis Kendall’s words, is a collection of systemic privilege, whether in education, employment, health, etc., bestowed on those of us who, by color, resemble the people who hold the majority of the influential positions in our society. In its most minor form, people who are targets of racism are subjected to automatic suspicion and prejudice. It’s critical to consider how this society functions structurally and systemically to increase awareness of privilege. Some examples of how white privilege appears:

  • “I don’t spend time with people whom I was trained to mistrust.”
  • “For their protection, I do not educate my children about systemic racism.”
  • “When I need legal or medical help, I know my race won’t be a hindrance.”

A Deep-Rooted Existence of Systemic Racism in The USA

It’s clear by now that white people struggle to discuss race, ethnicity, and privilege. Whether it’s because they don’t want their privilege taken away or they don’t have anything in their defence, the silence that has been surrounding this topic for a while now is disgusting. White people as a group are privileged, centralized, and elevated by this system of structural dominance, which is why most of them refuse to talk about it. A 2016-2017 study done in racial discrimination and white privilege provides examples of this supremacy:

  • Top ten wealthiest Americans: 100% white
  • Unemployment rates: 12.9% for Black people and 6.3% for the whites
  • Prosecution and sentencing rates: 3% higher for Black people
  • American Congress:  90% white
  • People who determine news coverage: 85% white
  • Teachers and professors: 82% White

History Traces It Far Back…

It’s no surprise that something so heinous as this traces far back into great American history. For a short example, let’s take redlining. This state-sponsored method was used to maintain segregation between the white and Black populations. City planners used real red lines across the city to create white suburban suburbs, which were frequently divided from Black and immigrant districts by motorways.

Black Americans were denied mortgages or were granted mortgages with high-interest rates, and they were frequently relegated to urban areas that were more congested and polluted. The 1968 Fair Housing Act and the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act declared these activities illegal, yet many of them now persist in different forms. Before the 2008 recession, risky loans for low-income borrowers increased, which resulted in many Black Americans losing their homes afterwards, and minority neighborhoods’ property values dropped, which now exists in the stereotype of the “ghetto suburbs”.

If we take today’s time and age, this practice exists in the hesitation of real estate owners when selling or renting properties to people of color. If this privilege and dominance have existed for so long and so far back, is it possible for white Americans to wake up and smell the coffee?

Is There A Way Forward?

I think the majority of white people would find the guts to even acknowledge racism if they know how much of it exists in our society. In my experience as a white woman living in the America of today, it’s by developing the ability to listen to that uneasy voice, demolishing barriers that have prevented me from certain aspects of myself, and increasing my willingness to seek out the truths, no matter how painful they may be, have allowed me to acknowledge, talk, and fight racism and white privilege in my own way.

In my opinion, whites can only wake up to their privilege by learning more about racism and stepping out of the fake warmth accumulated by the misery and misfortune of others. If you want to learn more about the topic, head on to Amazon to give my book All White People Are Racist (Well 75-80% Of Them Are): An Anti-Racism Book, a try. In this autobiography, I have highlighted my experience of observing racism growing up in a family with KKK ancestry and police ties. It’s my scathing but humorous account of how miserable white people can make the lives of non-whites.

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