IS there White Privilege in America?: My Answer
Of course there is and History proves it.
Yes, and let me explain it to you like this. Most Americans know that there was slavery when this country first began, but most don't know that there have been three other kinds of servitude that involve black/poor people in America.
After the Emancipation proclamation, the South particularly, started a type of bondage call Peonage. It's where we get our word peon from. Peonage in the South was bad because black men would be arrested for a minor crime like loitering or vagrancy. A white land owner would bail them out and they would have to go to work for him for menial wages. The goal was to get the worker so indebted to the white person that they, in effect, became his slave. That was outlawed in 1921 when two men were arrested for killing peons. Coincidentally, John S. Smith was the first white man in America who was convicted of killing a black person. During this time, there was a concentrated effort to destroy black wealth. Race riots, at this time, was whites running through black neighborhoods and burning everything and lynching every man they could find. Look up the red summer.
Then the South particularly, and the North too, began what we know as Jim Crow. Southerners were more open about it, but blacks in California and New York knew the individual dividing lines of each place. Jim Crow forced blacks into substandard housing, schools and the lowest jobs on the totem pole. At this time, also, black business, churches, and homes were burned with impunity.
The final servitude for black men began with the drug war in the 1970s and continued up and until a few months ago when sentencing guidelines were changed. Most people don't know that there were gangs in Los Angeles long before we began the Gang/Drug War.. They killed each other every night. What changed that was the introduction of crack cocaine. When crack entered the picture, the guidelines were change so that if you had an ounce of crack, you got 3x the sentence that you did if you had an ounce of powder cocaine. Where the crack came from is another story. We began three strikes laws. So, who did the drug dealers get to sell the drugs and to protect their interest? Gang bangers! WE warehoused non-violent drug offenders in private prisons all over this country. When/If they get out of prison, they are disenfranchised because they can't work, vote, or participate in public discourse.
What does this say about white privilege? Black men have been, since the beginning, the poorest, the highest in infant mortality, and at the bottom of every economic indicator since we created economic indicators. So, it didn't matter if you emigrated from Ireland, Italy, India, or Asia, when you come here, you have more opportunity offered to you and quicker advancement than any African American ever had. If you are European, you assimilate into American culture seamlessly and are offered opportunities and advancement simply because you are not black. That is white privilege in America.
However, if you want to see white privilege in action, just click on this link or scroll down!
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