The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Breaking the silence on white privilege

The SUNY Plattsburgh’s college paper ran on their front page an illustration cartoon of a black male with an exaggerated white smile, walking down a street in a desolate neighborhood with a red cap and gown clutching a diploma.

At first glance this image made me question three things: first was how did this even get published, second was does this generation of white people feel entitled and lastly, why does racism seem to only be discussed among people of color?

The school has publicly apologized for the illustration due to a “procedural failure,” but no comments from the editors including the cartoonist.

The SUNY Plattsburgh is a predominantly white college; so most students who are white only surround themselves of the same race and are closed in the culture loop.

I believe that white privilege exists because history has shown us that social class dominance dictates the direction of infrastructure that controls resources.

Acknowledging the certain perks and advantages Anglo-Americans has of being born with white skin. From being able to turn on any television or watching any movie to see whites are nationally represented. Racial profiling is non-existent.

It is not reverse discrimination because the government system was not created for people of color when laws were made in the 1800’s to barred blacks from employment in order to preserve jobs for whites.

This isn’t a history lesson; although the school system has played a major factor in desensitizing the current state of mind white people have about racism. University fraternities are where most of the reoccurring cases of ignorance are surfaced.

UCLA students held a “Kanye West” themed Fraternity party where some students wore blackface, gold chains and oversized clothing. This is a tradition that dates back since the 1800 are that is beating a dead horse.

Cases like these are what give the Black Lives Matter movement an incentive to continue to call-out the social injustices in the system. Not including the countless lives taken by the police force and abuse that the people of color had to endure.

I have had my run-ins with the police who generalized my features as, brown skin, facial hair and attire. One example was when I was walking down a neighborhood in Manhattan Beach to visiting a friend; which is a predominantly white neighborhood.

The police stopped me asking if I lived around the neighborhood insinuating that I had no business to be there. I know if I were white this would never happen to me.

Recognizing the privilege means to be able to talk to other cultures and having an understanding instead of falling into the plague of assumption.

Tim Wise, author, of “White Like Me” said it best that his philosophy is something not all white people could understand but if he could start a conversation to move forward in acknowledging white privilege to correct social injustices, that is the first sign of privilege.

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