Before I dive into my opinion, I want to state that I am biracial, meaning my mother is white and my father is black. I grew up without my father after the age of 7, and I have been raised in a white household in a small town that was predominantly white. Since this is how I grew up, I was blinded to white privilege in my younger years, but I felt the effects of it when I was in my teenage years. This being said, I feel I can explain as to what white privilege is and why I believe it is real and prevalent all over the country, if not the world.
White privilege is the societal privilege that benefits white people over non-white people, particularly if they are otherwise under the same social, political, or economic circumstances. To put it in simple terms, it is a privilege that white people (or white skinned) people have over other races due to the fact that they are white, regardless if colored people have better circumstances or standings than them. A low-class, white person would have more privileges and opportunities for “success” than a low- or middle-class, black, Latino, Asian, and any other non-white person would.
Growing up in a predominantly white town and family, I didn’t really think much of what white privilege was. I knew my skin and hair was different from the little girls I played with, but none of them had ever pointed it out. I just assumed we were all the same, regardless of how we looked different. Some of them had blonde hair while others had brown hair and it was never pointed out either, so why would we think different skin colors be pointed out? Even in my family, my brother and I are the only two are are biracial, so we don’t look exactly like my mom or her side of the family. But none of them pointed it out, so why would we notice anything was different about us?
It wasn’t until I started middle school that I began to notice that I was “different” from the other girls. Getting ready for school dances, they could easily curl their hair, share makeup, and go on their merry way. I on the other hand, always had the same hairstyle: my hair thrown up in a bun because I didn’t know how to properly care for it. I couldn’t share the makeup they used because the foundation and powders they used were always way to light compared to my skin. I also started getting called the n-word when guys were mad at me.
So if you try and tell me that white privilege isn’t a thing, I will most likely laugh in your face. Unless you have been on the opposing side or can understand the opposing side, you can’t truly have an opinion on the subject. The fact that you think you can is a prime example of white privilege.