What is White Privilege


White Privilege has been defined by Kehinde Andrews, a Professor of Black Studies at Birmingham City University, as “the benefits that you get from being white. If you are an ethnic minority there are certain disadvantages you have.

The term was first introduced by former Civil Rights Activist, William Du Bois, in 1935. He first coined the term when discussing the differences of a poor white man and poor black man and how white people received more assistance. However, the term came into full effect after the groundbreaking essay by Peggy McIntosh, an American Activist. Her Essay,
tilted” White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack Peggy McIntosh” detailed daily forms of White Privilege.

Examples of White Privilege in the UK

 ) Black people were more than nine times as likely to be stopped and searched by
police as white people. (2018 -2019)
 2) Black, Pakistani and Bangladeshi Britons are more than twice as likely to be
unemployed than white people. (2017)
 3) White people are more likely to own their own home, compared with BME
people. Just 21 percent of black African and 24 percent of Arab Britons are home-
owners, compared with 68 percent of white Britons. (2017)
 4) Pupils of Roma background are more than three times as likely to be excluded
from school, compared with white British children. Black Caribbean pupils are almost
twice as likely to be excluded. (2017)
 5) Fewer than 60 percent of black students achieve A* to C grades in English and
Maths by the time they finish their GCSEs aged 16. White Gypsy and Roma students
have the lowest level of attainment in this category, with just 10 percent attaining
A* to C grades. (2017)

( Link to the source: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/10/ways-white-people-

This highlights that White people do not face discrimination in terms of Education as a direct result of the colour of their skin. The same is true for Housing, Healthcare, and Employment, in the UK. Meanwhile, other ethnicities are more likely to be the victims of a racist institutional system that will be entrenched for generations – unless we take action! In
order for us to this, we need to understand the misconceptions surrounding white Privilege.

 ) Using the term ‘white privilege’ is not racist.
 2) Having white privilege does not mean that you need to feel guilty about anything
 3) Having white privilege does not mean that you’ve never struggled – or that you
haven’t worked/studied hard

 4) Having white privilege does not mean you’re a bad person, it’s just about
understanding that people of certain races are more likely to be discriminated

Acknowledging White Privilege means that we can work towards a solution: have these discussions about how an unjust society built by systemic racism still affects ethnic minorities today. Furthermore, It helps us understand that no-one truly benefits from an unequal society, where race is a determining factor. Finally it is the key to be building relationships across races.

To conclude, educate yourself and others on the barriers facing ethnic minorities. In addition to this, you need to promise to Listen and amplify the voices of all ethnic minorities and understand it is not enough to be “not racist” but rather proactively anti-racist. Lastly, confront Racial Injustices even when it is uncomfortable.

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