When I was growing up, a privilege was something that was earned. It was also something that could be revoked if it was misused.
I am not quite sure what ‘white privilege’ is supposed to mean now days but I do not agree with it. I do not believe that it should be a ‘privilege’ to have access to education, healthcare, employment, justice, respect or kindness simply because of the color of one’s skin – or their age, sex, sexual orientation, weight, physical or mental abilities or any other superficial reason by which they are judged. These things should be human rights.
I have known many people who have felt ‘entitled’ to special treatment for any number of reasons (being white, being male, being wealthy….). As more people realize how wrong prejudice and discrimination are, the more dangerous and delusional these people are becoming. They are angry and afraid that they are losing their position of entitlement. They feel threatened and people who feel threatened become defensive to the point of being aggressive.
Different movements have been created and have grown to protect and support those who do not have the same rights that all humans should have. Personally, I believe their success will always be limited. I believe this because those who are the focus of these movements are not the problem.
As a white (privileged?) person, I believe for real changes to happen in our society, we must focus on ourselves. We are the problem or we are at the heart of the problem. We must look at ourselves. We must look at our children, our siblings, our parents, our cousins, our friends and our neighbours. We must question and change our own dangerous entitled beliefs and challenge the dangerous entitled attitudes of those around us. We must hold ourselves and those around us accountable for mistreating or misrepresenting those who want nothing more than the human rights that we already have.
There is nothing to be lost and everything to be gained by accepting and encouraging those who are being deprived of the rights and benefits that many of us take for granted. It is not them against us, nor should it be us against them. As they thrive, we all thrive. We are one humanity.