White privilege may seem wonderful for those who benefit from it and, on some levels, white privilege can be a lifesaver. But what white privilege gives with one hand, it takes away with the other. White privilege and white supremacy impact BIPOC, but it also negatively impacts white people because you focus on your privilege putting you ahead of BIPOC to the detriment of your own survival.
What Are You Looking At?
White people usually claim that BIPOC keep racism alive because we “won’t stop talking about it” and harangue us with “race baiter”, “reverse racist” or that we’re “trying to start a race war”. This war has been in full swing for centuries, ever since Europeans came over and slaughtered the Indigenous tribes. And over time, although white people have acquired finesse when targeting people of color, they continue to target non-white people.
If you look at laws over these periods it seems clear that, although white people have an aversion to speaking candidly about race or claim they’re “colorblind”, they have no qualms in enacting laws that target races. It’s tragic because your focus is always on the “otherness” around you. You’re quick to blame any non-white group for your hardships even though, as a group, they are far more disenfranchised than you.
When it comes to race (and gender), our positions in work or education are questioned due to our “otherness”. It’s rarely asked if the white person sitting beside you in class or at work “earned their spot”. When seeing a Indigenous woman or a Black man or anything other combination that isn’t white male people question if they, “got their position because of affirmative action” or “diversity”.
You blame us if we don’t work. You blame us and affirmative action when we do. You blame us when we don’t go to college and then blame us when we get into one of the best. You’re so distracted by our non-white status that you fail to see and have no desire to address issues outside of this.
What You Should Be Looking At
Quite simply the focus should be on the rising wealth inequality among other issues that give preference to the elite.
The wealthiest people in the US are increasing in wealth thanks to tax breaks laid given by previous and current presidents. This allows them to pay less taxes on their money while the rest of us struggle to survive as costs rise.
The most recent numbers from 2016 show that the top 1% in America’s average household income was about $26,000,000. The top 10% get about 60% of the wealth.
The average household income for the bottom 40% is $35,000 and they get about 1% of the wealth.
The bottom 90% also have about 70% of the debt.
These inequalities — that are still rising — impact all of us. It has nothing to do with working hard as many of us — including you — work long hours and sometimes have multiple jobs or projects we’re working on in order to move up the financial rung. However, we are usually barely surviving, living paycheck to paycheck.
What it has to do with is the wealthiest hoarding their money and giving themselves bonuses and raises while we are told the money “just isn’t there” to pay us more.
It’s about the elite’s wealth and connections giving them more political pull than the average constituent. It’s about nepotism. It’s about legacy kids.
Those parents arrested for cheating and paying their kids way into school is no different from the families that donate millions to Ivy Leagues so their mediocre, uninterested child into school. The only difference is those parents brought up on charges didn’t pay enough. If they’d donated a building it wouldn’t have been an issue.
These are the people “taking our spots”.
Change Your Focus
History has shown that when the poor work together to challenge the wealthy, great things can happen. The only reason it doesn’t last is because once they dangle crumbs in front of you that puts you ahead of a non-white, you jump at it. They give you that knowing you will focus on us and not them.
If you stop thinking in terms of race you’ll see clearer. This isn’t to discount race. BIPOC struggle because many of us are poor, but especially because we are not white. If they are telling you there’s not that much money for funding for your school, start thinking in depth as to why that is. Why do school that are almost all white get more funding. Who decides the cost of real estate? What do they use to determine the costs?
There are previous presidents, campaign strategists and who have stated that as long as they can get white people to focus on race, you won’t care what they do to you. There are wealthy elite who have had everything handed to them. While we are on a hamster wheel, racing to achieve success for us and our family, but all we are doing is going in circles.
The elite aren’t in this race. They made the wheel.