Privilege is a topic untouched by many, primarily because it is one of the only prevalent issues in society that repeatedly gets overlooked, ignored and even denied. We constantly hear the term white privilege being tossed around, but what we fail to notice is the many dimensions the term privilege carries. There can exist white privilege, male privilege, heterosexual privilege and more. What the term boils down to is an advantage or right given freely to one group, but often difficult and even unattainable to receive for another.
One of the most known types of privilege, white privilege, is the result of advantages, rights and immunities granted only to members of the Caucasian race. For example, it is known that black adults are approximately half as likely to use drugs as their white counterparts, however are six times more likely to be stopped and searched for drugs. The issue of white privilege not only applies to members of the African American race, but is universally known among other races as well. American Indian youth are three times more likely than white youth to be held in a juvenile detention. With this kind of stunning disparity, blaming entire races for simply being more violent is a completely erroneous statement. There is no doubt of the bias and privilege occurring on either side.
The reason white privilege is more pressing than say, male privilege, is due to the simple fact that the lack of privilege for the other races could result in a life or death situation. As we have seen in the past year, having a darker complexion puts you at a much higher risk for being falsely accused of a crime, murdered by law enforcement, subjected to unusually longer prison sentences, and more. When the morality of an entire group of people begins to be questioned, not only at a societal level, but at an institutionalized level, action must be taken in order to calibrate, and eliminate any evidence of bias towards one group over the other.
In order for white privilege to mean the same as black privilege, we must first recognize its existence. For far too long this issue has been ignored, and swept under the rug at the expense of too many. No more. We must recognize the issue first, in order to properly address it. In order to reach a true equality, we must live in a society where the character and integrity of an individual ceases to rely on the stereotypes of their race. This will begin once the price of privilege is acknowledged rather than defended.