This past year, the term “check your white privilege” has gone viral. As a writer and reporter for a Christian conservative organization, I am very open about my beliefs and opinions. I have often gotten into disagreements and defended myself to which the person on the other end has told me to “educate myself” and to “check my white privilege.” I am tired of being told to check my privilege by people who barely know me. Here is why I don’t believe in the concept.
First, I did some research
I know someone will point out how I did not do my research and to “educate myself” so let me assure you, I did. I found an article on liberal news site, The Huffington Post. According to author Kristen Howerton, she states that “White privilege is a systemic cultural reality that I can either choose to ignore, or choose to acknowledge and attempt to change.” Later, she says “Some hardships, for some people, are related to race, and those who haven’t experienced those particular race-related hardships hold white privilege.
That doesn’t negate the hardships others have faced because racial privilege refers only to issues of systemic racism. It doesn’t mean that people haven’t experienced difficulty. Nor do the hardships not related to race negate the very real discrimination some people have faced.” Okay, I consider myself schooled on the subject. Therefore, I can make an argument against it.
Read also: Why I Love My Liberal Friends
Before you condemn me, let me first say that I do believe in what I like to call “starting privilege”. This is the privilege that you start out with. Some people start out with more than others. So, for example, I was born into a family and now have four siblings and two parents, one mother and a father who financially support us. I was privileged to receive an education from my mother, and a degree with a credible college. Now, here is where my privilege stops. I have two choices. I can either find a job and continue to better myself, or give up and live at home ultimately failing at life. What happens next is completely up to me. There will be obstacles in my way and the journey won’t be easy but nothing good in life is.
Why I do not believe in ‘white privilege’
Slavery has been outlawed for centuries. No one alive has been a slave. Also, Jim Crow laws have been outlawed since the 1960’s. Companies are not allowed to discriminate against any race as stated by the equal employment opportunity act. Let’s switch things for a second. What if I said that every African American was born below the poverty line and that they would never be successful due to their skin color. I would probably be called a racist, elitist, or white supremacist. So why is it okay for you to say that all whites will have an easier time in life? You’re putting yourself down. While there are probably about 1% who still believe in slavery and are truly racist, the majority of Americans are not. Again, I am not denying your hardships but they are not due to your race.
Now, let me tell you a story about Joe Louis Dudley Sr…
Joe Louis Dudley Sr. was an African American born on May 9th, 1937. At this point, there were still Jim Crow laws. He was born in Aurora, in eastern North Carolina, the 5th of 11 children. In 1st grade, he was labeled mentally retarded due to a speech impediment. With the help of his mother, he overcame these obstacles. In 1957 when he was just 20-years-old, he invested $10.00 in a sales kit and started selling Fuller Products door-to-door.
Keep in mind, he was still a student at this point. Joe continued selling Fuller Products and when the company experienced problems, Joe and his family started making their own products to fill the demand. During this time, Joe learned how to manage a business and create products. By 1975, he had started his own company, Dudley Products with the help of over 400 workers. He also owned a beauty school and a chain of beauty supply stores throughout the southeastern region of the United States. Since then, Joe has had massive success. His company has been featured in the top 50 in Black Enterprise Magazine’s Top 100 Black-Owned Businesses. Products are available in Canada, Brazil, Zimbabwe, South Africa, The Bahamas and the Caribbean. Despite a few setbacks over the years, the company is still around today. Check out their products on Google.
And the moral of the story is…
Joe proved that ‘white privilege’ does not exist by doing the impossible. He was successful when racial laws were still present. Did he ever give up? Did he ever say that he couldn’t go far because of ‘white privilege?’ If anyone had a right to cry racial privilege it was him. There comes a point in your life when you must either choose to give up or choose to keep going. It’s true that some of us, are born with more than others but that has nothing to do with skin color. However, we all have the potential to succeed. We cannot blame others for our failure.
Do you think white privilege is a real problem? Let us know in the comments below!