White privilege is not a new phenomenon. In fact, it’s been a hotly-debated topic amongst many deep and intellectual minds regarding race. Yet, Millennials, with the use of social media, may have done more in one night to address this issue than any scholar, politician or person every before.
There is no denying that we are born into certain privileges based on our genes, genetics and gender.
Born as a male, you could say genetically, I’m privileged to be physically stronger than most of my female peers. It’s nothing I feel ashamed of, and I don’t try to deny its existence. Why would I?
The whole world around me has accepted this fact, even making adjustments to athletics, due to the fact that males and females compete at different levels.
I don’t yell at the tall person in front of me at my favorite concert for his or her extremely long legs, as to do so would be completely asinine.
In so many instances, we go through our day-to-day lives, aware and willing to acknowledge the many privileges each of us enjoys. So, why the friction when it comes to race and the privileges it bestows?
With our country’s treatment (mistreatment, if we’re being honest) of people based on the color of their skin, why is it so hard to believe that our system favors those who built it?
Perhaps it’s because it’s an extremely uncomfortable conversation to have, which is why social media presented the perfect platform to begin this conversation.
Like in any comment section, people feel more inclined to let loose and express their true thoughts and feelings under the anonymity of the Internet.
Go to Twitter and check out #CrimingWhileWhite. Twitter is flooded with people confessing matters and standing on soapboxes they may have otherwise been too timid to express more publically.
This means they are able to contribute to an important conversation without the uncomfortable face-to-face mess it can create, and thus, create a bigger conversion in regards to race inequality in this country.
For the first time, the majorities on both sides are finally having a civilized conversation.
And, to those going out of their way to suppress and make fun of this movement, I ask, why? To date, this is the largest conversation this country has EVER had about white privilege.
As Millennials, we all should celebrate the fact that our generation is, once again, leading our nation in conversations and actions that have to take place.
People are willing to openly discuss the fact that based on the color of their skin, there are inherently certain advantages.
Take one look at our history — hell, take one look at certain practices still in place today — and quite frankly, I find it difficult to argue the contrary.
In the past few decades, we have made so much progress in abolishing the blatant practices of stereotyping, prejudice and racism that it feels like all that’s left is the covert forms they carry. The only way to end these practices is to have open dialogue amongst all races.
Up until this point, the conversation has been one-sided. Blacks talked about how they felt, and too often, this was cast as race baiting or playing the victim card.
So, I ask again, for those making a mockery of this movement, why go out of your way to impede progress? What purpose does that serve this great nation?
My last question is on a topic that gives me great pleasure to discuss: Does it surprise you that, once again, our generation has led the way in these uncomfortable talks? GLBT and marriage equality. Climate change. Immigration. Social mobility.
Where would our nation stand if not for our persistence? Would we see the current progress our nation can enjoy without our ability and willingness to use our voices to inform the masses and generate the changes we wish to see in the world?
There are many amazing and kind-hearted people in this country who have benefitted from the systems in place today, solely because they are white (or male, or heterosexual).
And, because of this, I’m sure it made talking about advantages bestowed upon them because of the color of their skin difficult.
I’m here to say, white privilege is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, we need more white people addressing white privilege in order to change the systems in place and to help ensure this country continues to move in the right direction.
As we have done before, and as we shall do again, Millennials must lead in the fight against inequality. Is #CrimingWhileWhite the last conversation this country needs to have about white privilege?
No, but it’s definitely the start this country needed.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of Elite Daily.
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