White privilege (or White skin privilege) is a term for supposed unfair societal privileges that benefit Whites.
White privilege is supposed to include not only socioeconomic benefits, but also examples such as:
- “17. I can talk with my mouth full and not have people put this down to my color.”
- “39. I can be late to a meeting without having the lateness reflect on my race.”
Supposed White privilege is one cause of White guilt and advocacy for White guilt may have similar motivations (see the article on White guilt).
The concept of White privilege is somewhat similar to the older concept of "institutional racism" or to "structural racism". However, the term "White privilege" is likely today more popular. This may be because "institutional racism isn’t satisfying. You can’t feel genuinely bad about being white if the problem is institutions. That’s too abstract. [...] What makes “white privilege” so attractive is that it’s personal. All white people have it. At the same time, it’s not like admitting you’re a racist—that would be just too awful. White privilege happens to you passively, whether you know it or not, so it’s not even really your fault. But admitting that you have it and, of course, feeling bad about it, means you are a very sensitive, very good white person. [...] It really does seem like the whole point is to feel really, really good about feeling really, really bad about being white."
White privilege has become an important part of a "diversity industry" that sells, for example, tickets to expensive White privilege conferences, lectures about White privilege, White privilege books, and White privilege consultancy for organizations.
"White fragility", a politically correct concept, is certain claimed "defensive" behaviors by Whites in response to accusations of White guilt, White privilege, White racism, and so on. These behaviors typically involve Whites stating that such problems exist in society, but that they themselves are not racists, are leftists, are not privileged, are poor, and so on.
Some Whites may also be claimed to be race denialists regarding not just the existence of genetic races, but also regarding the existence of races as social constructs and various problems claimed to be due to these social constructs.
These "defensive" behaviors are seen as false and problematic by proponents of White guilt and privilege, who want Whites to accept and internalize their supposed White guilt.
Supposed White privilege has been criticized for Whites in fact being disprivileged: "lists no fewer than 50 specific, unearned advantages of being white. I read them all, and they fall into four categories: Ridiculous, wrong, inevitable because whites are the majority, and inevitable because people of different races behave differently. [...] Like all white people, you better be on your toes all the time to make sure you don’t say the wrong thing when you’re around non-whites. [...] There’s probably not a single white neighborhood anywhere in the country where a non-white would be in danger just walking down the street. I won’t even begin to list the places a white person would fear for his life. [...] If a non-whites says “racism,” white people panic. If a white person complains about anti-white discrimination, he can be ignored; he’s just a cry baby. [...] There are countless double standards that work against whites, not for them. Whites are not allowed to have legitimate interests, they may have no groups of their own, they must take no pride in their race, they must never say they prefer being around whites. And white privilege sure won’t help you if you talk about race and IQ. You can be fired from your job for that. [...] And, of course, it teaches non-whites to hate us."
Contrary to popular mythology, spending per pupil is actually higher for Black students than it is for White students.
Most White Americans think that Black and White students, when equally qualified, will have an equal change of being admitted into college. Most Blacks think that White students will have an advantage over equally qualified Blacks. Studies instead show that Whites and Asians are greatly discriminated against compared to their grades and standardized test scores. Whites are also discriminated against in the process of grant giving. This has caused effects such as Black high-school students now being more likely than White high-school students to make it into college, despite having lower grades and scoring worse on standardized tests. A negative effect for Blacks is that many are stated to drop-out after taking a large amount of student debt. Another argued effect is the one stated below regarding callbacks after job applications.
See also the Affirmative action article on this topic.
See also the article on Jewish influence on topics such as "non-Jewish Whites" today being greatly under-represented at elite universities in the United States while Jews are greatly over-represented. More generally, in policies affected by affirmative action, such as admission policies, Jews may be counted as Whites. This means that if this combined group is given an admission quota in proportion to the share of the population of this combined group, but Jews for some reason(s) are over-represented in the admission, then the non-Jewish Whites will be under-represented.
A supposed form of support for White privilege is that Blacks get fewer callbacks than Whites for given credentials when seeking employment. This has been criticized for ignoring factors such as the educational discrimination mentioned above which means that Blacks may get formal credentials despite being less qualified than Whites, lower average IQ of Blacks, and higher crime rates of Blacks.
Another supposed form of White privilege is higher likelihood of getting home loans despite similar income. This has been criticized for reasons such as data showing Blacks being riskier to loan to despite similar income or credit scores. That White racism is the cause has been argued to be unlikely due to a study finding that Black owned banks rejecting loans to Blacks much more frequently than White owned banks.
A trend is various groups and individuals preferring to label themselves as non-Whites since this gives various privileges. One example is the "Hispanic" category. "Ironically, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), which was founded in 1929, had as one of its primary aims the categorization of Mexicans in the United States as “whites.” However, as it became more profitable to identify as non-white, priorities shifted. The “Hispanic” category that first appeared on the 1980 Census was therefore, in part, a result of ethnic lobbying. Groups such as the National Council of La Raza encouraged Spanish-speakers to identify as Hispanic because it would allow more effective appeals to both corporations and the government." Another example is “Americans of Middle Eastern and North Africa descent (MENA)”, who are now demanding a new category on the 2020 census, so they will no longer be called "White". Individuals of mixed-race ancestry may prefer to label themselves as non-White rather than as White, due to the privilege this gives. Whites may prefer to label themselves as "Hispanic" if possible, due to the privilege this gives.
It has also been argued that various other recently more popular self-categorizations that involve being part of claimed non-privileged minorities, such as regarding sexual orientation and mental illness, have become more popular in part due to this giving higher status and to avoid being labelled a privileged White.
- Black privilege
- Jewish privilege
- Affirmative action
- Deaths of despair
- Double standard
- Oppression Olympics
- White Privilege
- Beyond the Pale
- Say Yes to White Privilege
- Blacks and Whites with Equal Educational Attainment Differ in Cognitive Ability
- White Privilege: The Callback Myth
- Charlotte Allen. Beyond the Pale. May 27, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 35. The Weekly Standard. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/weekly-standard/beyond-the-pale-724717
- Jared Taylor. White Privilege. American Renaissance. http://www.amren.com/archives/videos/white-privilege/
- The BBC and the Myth of White Privilege http://thealternativehypothesis.org/index.php/2016/06/20/the-bbc-and-the-myth-of-white-privilege/
- Racism in University Admissions http://thealternativehypothesis.org/index.php/2016/04/16/racism-in-university-admissions/
- White Privilege: The Callback Myth http://thealternativehypothesis.org/index.php/2016/04/15/white-privilege-the-callback-myth/
- New York Times income research shatters “white privilege” hoax http://conservative-headlines.com/2014/10/new-york-times-income-research-shatteres-white-privilege-hoax/
- The Privilege No One Wants https://www.amren.com/commentary/2017/12/the-privilege-no-one-wants-white-privilege-racial-identity/
- Let Me Be Anything but White https://www.amren.com/features/2021/04/let-me-be-anything-but-white/