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What Is White Privilege?

Luke Visconti’s Ask the White Guy column is a top draw on DiversityInc.com. Visconti, the founder and CEO of DiversityInc, is a nationally recognized leader in diversity management. In his popular column, readers who ask Visconti tough questions about race/culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability and age can expect smart, direct and disarmingly frank answers.

Ask the White Guy Luke ViscontiQuestion:
So in order for someone to be racist, they must be a minority in the entire country? What about places where blacks predominate like Detroit and D.C. where they hold the political power? Can they be racist there? You avoided the question. Are you telling me racism is related to national power and percentages of the overall population rather than the actions of individuals at a local level?

By the way, if you want to solve the “problem” of white privilege, then how about removing all the non-white people from the USA? Then everyone would be white and there would be no assumed benefit of being white.

This of course would happen instantaneously and without anyone ever even noticing the loss of this privilege particularly since it never existed in the first place.

Answer:
White people comprise the dominant culture in our country. Dominance is what racism is based on. The fact that some local areas are predominantly black, or have black political leaders, is meaningless.

There’s no “problem” with white privilege. It exists. The beauty of white privilege is that white people can apply it to help non-white people and their white privilege is not diminished as a result.

It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

I have a question for you: Why are you torturing yourself by reading this website?

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3 Comments

  • Gayle Edmond

    LOVED LOVED LOVED that last line! You are a hoot! When you retire, please go into the comedy field! :-)

  • Actually the fact that there is Anglo (non Latino white) privilege is a problem.

    It is not privilege based on the individual’s actions, knowledge, intelligence, education, skills, but only on the accident of birth. It’s equivalent to the “nobility” in monarchical societies.

  • Alfred Utton

    CEM, Thank you very much for comparing white privilege to nobility. It’s a very clear analogy that I will use in the future.

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