Tag Archives: Prejudice

White Privilege: It’s Real and It’s a Problem

I want to start this article by saying that this is my opinion and my personal understanding on the topic of white privilege. I am a white man, so I have a pretty limited view and understanding of the nature of white privilege and how it works (that’s one of the benefits of it by the way – being blissfully unaware of it). This is not a report or professional article that breaks the issue down with facts and statistics, but my understanding of what is a very real problem.

White privilege means receiving preferred or special treatment and certain allowances simply for being white (Caucasian). Typically speaking, no one is going to look at me, as a white man, and think that I’m a thug, or that I am going to steal from a store or hurt someone. I am given the benefit of the doubt, regardless of the situation. I also get to be blissfully ignorant of the many troubling issues that are still occurring today in America and around the world, like racism. I can be unaware of the systematic racism that happens every day because it does not happen to me. Which is the most harmful part of white privilege, in my opinion.

It’s easy to believe that racism does not happen as often as it really does or that it isn’t as bad as it actually is because I’m not experiencing it. My white privilege means I don’t have to worry about the cop down the street or in the car behind me arresting or killing me. I can safely believe that they will protect me. African Americans don’t have that belief; they have to worry about potentially being killed just for being black.

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“White privilege means receiving preferred or special treatment and certain allowances simply for being white (Caucasian).” Photo from: https://az616578.vo.msecnd.net

White privilege is when a white person does something illegal and faces no consequences or less severe consequences, while a black person is faced with very harsh consequences (like, you know, death) for committing a similar crime. White privilege is when a white man goes out and does something like rape and kill a woman and gets called things like “mentally ill”, “a child”, or even “a victim” or any other qualifier meant to make a person have sympathy for him. When a black person steals something, they get called “thug”, or a “criminal.” And when the accused is an actual child they get treated like or called a man, heaving more responsibility and judgment upon them.

If you don’t believe this, go online and look up crime reports and stories. Look at their specific diction and the difference between white offenders and black offenders. Replace the white offender with someone who is African American or Middle Eastern and see if your perceptions and feelings change. Look up the cases Allen Peters and Jaquavias Sturgis, of Brock Turner and Cory Batey, of Chase Legleitner and Lamar Lloyd, to name a few. White privilege is the fact that I, as a white man, don’t have a literal terrorist group like the KKK bent on the extermination and/or enslavement of my race.

The simple fact of the matter is that as a white person, I, and every other white person, have it better than people of color, at least from a social standpoint, if not many others. We are given the benefit of the doubt in almost every situation. We have not had to deal with years of systematic oppression and enslavement. We don’t have slurs thrown at us, and there are no people who are happy to hurt or kill us. And all white people don’t have to spend one moment acknowledging that all of this happens, and they don’t have to worry about it happening to them. That’s white privilege.

Richard Spencer

Perhaps you’ve heard about this white supremacist Richard Spencer getting punched twice on Inauguration Day. As far as I know, we have not had to deal with open displays of racism on campus. Of course, I may be wrong.

I’m not going to advocate any student punching a Nazi. I don’t want you getting kicked out of school.

That said . . . on the morning after this recent election, I looked into the eyes of a young woman and saw fear and uncertainty. My heart broke, and I promised her that I would protect her.

I want all of you to know that if I do see someone berating you, trying to intimidate you, or laying hands upon you against your will because you are not the same as them, I will come to your aid.

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“Perhaps you’ve heard about this white supremacist Richard Spencer getting punched twice on Inauguration Day.” Photo from: img.wennermedia.com

I will protect you. I will defend you. I will avenge you.

It does not matter to me what sex or gender you identify as, who you do or do not pray to, who you choose to love, or what color your skin is. What matters to me is that you are a human being and you deserve the same rights, liberties, and dignities as anyone else.

Saying this does not make me a hero like Captain America.

If the day ever comes when you need me, you will know who I am. If I am not there, I hope that you will know others like me in those moments.

Thus far, those in the Radford community have been, in my experience, exemplary human beings. I can only pray that I am not proven wrong.

 

Anyone trumps Trump

The 2016 race for President is heating up. We’ve had a number of individuals campaigning in the primaries but a select few have been pulling great numbers in polls taken across the country. Though no poll is truly reliable in terms of who will win the primary, they’re an excellent estimate of what’s to come, and what we’re seeing in CNN’s 2016 Presidential election article is that even though the election itself is still over a year away, we’re quickly coming to a head in terms of which candidate will be representing which party. According to this article by CNN, published in mid-August, despite the many candidates that could very well produce a split-vote specifically in the Republican party, there are a few in particular that have been gaining distinct favor, one of them being the infamous billionaire businessman, Donald Trump.

There is no doubt that Trump is popular — though, popularity doesn’t necessarily equate to well-liked — as his poll results show amazing numbers for someone in such a circumstance as going up against fifteen other candidates in the major polls alone. You have to hand it to him; the man has charisma. But does his enthusiasm really do any good when coming from such a prejudiced being?

Immigration is a hot-button issue that many love to give their opinion on, but that few people truly understand. It’s difficult to see all sides of the situation, especially when you can only experience life as an immigrant by actually trying to immigrate.

Each occurrence is one’s own, and there’s no way to really replicate what so many go through every day in an attempt to find safety and solace here in the “Land of the Free”. Whether it’s right or wrong, that’s totally up for debate. What’s not up for debate, however, is the blatant racism that clouds the reasons of some of those who are radically opposed to open borders.

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“You have to hand it to him; the man has charisma. But does his enthusiasm really do any good when coming from such a prejudiced being?”

During Trump’s presidential announcement back in early June, it became clear to many just how prejudiced this man is. During his 45 minute speech, he was slow to think and quick to spew nonsense. Rather than giving reasons as to why it would impact the U.S. economically or culturally, he decided to hit the nail on the head and explain, by painting with a broad stroke to say the least, just how terrible Mexican people as a whole were.

“The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems. [Applause] Thank you. It’s true, and these are the best and the finest. When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

Some not being enough, apparently. Despite the obvious positive effects of an influx of diversity, and despite the obvious problems of drug abuse, crime, and rape right here on the home-front, Trump seems to make his beliefs quite clear.

Whether you agree with immigration or not, and whether you support Trump or not, there are issues that will come hand in hand with his presidency if he is elected into office, issues that will impact us all, no matter where we come from.

Islam and Christianity: From Al Qaeda to Westboro

Many ignorant and uneducated Americans believe that all Muslims are terrorists, and that every single Muslim participates in and/or supports terrorist groups. After 9/11, many Americans created and subscribed to this very negative stereotype. I’m not blaming anyone other than the attackers and plane-jackers for this. Yet we, as Americans, have to move on and educate ourselves. Continue reading Islam and Christianity: From Al Qaeda to Westboro