White Privilege Essay
White privilege is a way conceptualizing racial inequalities that white people accrue from society. It can be defined as a privilege advantage over non- white people, and give special freedom or immunity which non-white groups are not exempt from. An underexposed part of racism in America is the White people have a privilege that other American like the black race doesn’t. “Defining “White Privilege”” Autoredirect to Main Site. Web. 13 Apr. 2012. .White Privileged involve low crime suburban neighborhood, not facing poverty, and not facing injustice. The three majors articles that gives us a clear understanding as to White Privilege are Cradle to Prison Pipeline, Multicultural Community Practice strategies and intergroup empowerment, and Community Organization the elderly poor in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District The articles will be discussed the different discrimination as to what is considered to be White Privileges in short to be white and privilege in our society.
In our society the poor generally get blamed for all of the world’s problem, as the government official generally put the spotlight on the poor who are always in need where more than half our budget poured out to them year after year with no relief in sight. The poor are generally seen as causing their own problems and are poor because they want to be poor. Author Mr. Gutierrez quotes “In July 1998, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani pledged to end welfare and make New York City the “work capital of the country. Individuals participating in New York City’s Family Assistance program had 15 year time limit on benefits and were required to participate in mandatory work activities, primarily Workfare. In addition, childless adults receiving assistance through the city’s Safety Net program also were required to participate in work activities. New York City’s Work Experience Program, which went into effect in 1995, was heralded as the centerpieces of Giuliani’s efforts to move people off welfare rolls and into jobs. Members of Community Voice Heard an organization of made up low income people who were receiving public assistance-mostly women of color with children- indicated that they had not seen any positive change. “Work force is a phony and it doesn’t lead to jobs” Gutierrez, Lorranie.
“Chapter 18.” Multicultural Community Practice Strategies and Intergroup Empowerment. Thousand Oaks,CA, 2005. 342-48. Print.. “The local perception of the lack of real jobs matched the Department of Labor’ data, particular poor areas. For example in January 1998, New York City’s unemployment rate was at 9.1% among the highest in the country. In the boroughs of Brooklyn and the Bronx, unemployment rates were at 10.6% and 11.0% respectively. Moreover, even with the national economy booming at that time, most newly created jobs that paid close to a living wage required job skills at a higher level than most Workfare participants had. Most jobs created were in the service industry, which pays very low wages. It was clear that Workfare was not assisting people in moving out poverty and finding that paid a living wage”.
Gutierrez, Lorranie. “Chapter 18.” Multicultural Community Practice Strategies and Intergroup Empowerment. Thousand Oaks,CA, 2005. 342-48. Print. On the other hand as more poor whites are received welfare and receive public aid. The concept is that there are more blacks receiving welfare, and they are lazy milking the system. Welfare critics still state that Blacks should not set 33 percent of public aid as they only make up 12 percent of the general population. About 46.2 percent of white receive public benefits of being white privilege. The critics and society shift the burden to blacks as White are seen as not even being a part of the system. White privilege is seen even in this dynamics, as our society overlook a certain segment of our society because of their race. In author Meredith Minkler article Community Organizing in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District he stated that “A culturally diverse, mixed -use, residential area, the forty- five- block district known as the Tenderloin is home to large numbers of elders on small fixed income, younger people with physical and mental disabilities, immigrants, and homeless people.
Often just a step remove from homelessness, many of these residents confront daily the interrelated problems of health, social isolation, and powerlessness as a result of poverty and social marginalization. Three hundred times more densely populated than the city as a whole, this neighborhood for years has had the highest crime rate San Francisco. The city’s failure to enforce housing codes or building ordinances, the absence of any major grocery store chain, and the highest density of alcohol outlets in the city contribute to the prevalence of inadequate and unsafe housing, under nutrition and alcoholism”.
Upper class elderly Whites people living in San Francisco’s live have had more opportunity to get the wealth as they were not open to blacks. Many others of these elders attribute their wealth as inheritance, as they contribute their wealth as nothing they have done. The elders’ whites have had a better starting point in life than blacks, as they live in the best neighborhoods within San Francisco and generally do not have to deal with not having health care and or becoming homeless. White Privilege gives them the all the power within our society to obtain all that life offers. Minkler, Meredith. “Organizing with the Elderly Poor.” Community Organizing with the Elderly Poor in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District. New Jersey, 2005. 273-75. Print.
Lastly in the article “An Overview of Key Factors Contributing to America’s Cradle to Prison Pipeline Crisis” focus on key points which are poor children of color are the canaries in America’s deep mines of racial and economic injustice, Homicide is the leading cause of death among Black males 15-34. Black males ages 15-19 are almost four times as likely as their White peers to die from firearms injury and are six times as likely to be homicide victims, and about 580,000 Black males are serving sentences in state or federal prison, while fewer than 40,000 Black males earn a bachelor’s degree each year. One in 3 Black men, 20-29 years old, is under correctional supervision or control. “Chapter 1.” An Overview of Key Factors Contributing to America’s Cradle to Prison Pipeline Crisis. 15-17. Web. Apr.-May 2012. .
In a study published by Deidre Royster stated radicalized employment networks can benefit whites at the expense of black people. Deirde Royster research found out that black and whites who graduated from the same school with the same skill found that whites graduate more often, get employ, get high paid position, experienced less unemployment, and received my promotions. Deirde Roster concluded that the main cause of these racial differences was due to social networking. Since Whites control all the prestigious high paid jobs, they are more likely to offer assistance in their social network which is white people. Assistance can be anything from referrals, job vacancy information, formal and informal training, directed Job recruitment and leniency in supervision.
White people are given the high paying jobs but blacks at are disadvantage in the employment sector that they are force to take minimum wage jobs. Other reacher by Deidre Royster shows there is a correlation between a person’s name is more likely to receive a called back for a job interview. a good example is a names like John Smith or Mary Johnson the people with white sounding names are 60 percent likely to get a called back than people with black sounding name like Shiek Ail or Renee Burgess. This is despite equal resume quality between the two racial groups. “White Privilege.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 04 Dec. 2012. Web. 13 Apr. 2012. .
An area in the Bronx, NY name Hunt Point where predominately Black and Hispanic live in has many social problem in the community. Hunts Point is considered a “Red Light District” area that has suffered from poverty and crime for a litany of years and is the poorest district in the Bronx County. The 41st police department in Hunts Point records shows Hunt Point has the highest crime violent in the whole New York City at 13.3 percent. There is a drug trade going on in the area where the drug dealers are selling drugs to people in the community which instinctively become junkies. Hunts Point has also been known for its notorious prostitution. The prostitutes with their provocative outfits would be on the street to morning to nighttime trying to provide sexual services to get paid. The prostitution industry was so enormous that writers from HBO channel did four documentaries about the prostitution going on in Hunts Point and how it affect the community and the people living in there. “Hunts Point, Bronx.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 04 Sept. 2012. Web. 14 Apr. 2012. .
In another area right outside the Bronx there is City Island a peaceful suburban place where the population is predominately white. The City Island area just from observing you will see the reflection of a peaceful suburban community as white children play safely in the street where their parents don’t have to worry about the trappings of an urban community. The parents don’t have the worry about drug dealers selling drugs to their children or the danger that would potentially come to their children, due to drugs being sold within their community. Families are seen sitting on the porch enjoying themselves with no fear of getting caught up in a firearm crossfire.
The police are seen patrolling the communities and are on call 24 hours seven days a week. Generally if one calls the police for help they would come out to the aid the person, calls are not ignored or worst yet viewed as not urgent it can wait as is regularly done in urban communities. The families living in City Island for the most part have great paying jobs paying above 50,000 dollars a year, as they are for the most part relief of worrying about falling into poverty like the people in urban communities such as Hunts Point who generally have low paying jobs or no jobs at all. In the summer time in City Island you can see most of the families on their boats or on their yachts having parties. As these people live totally differently lives then those of Black and Hispanic people living in urban communities in the Bronx.
In 2003 the Department of Justice did a survey, and found that Black and Hispanic drivers are three times more likely to be searched than White drivers. White offenders are likely to receive lighter punishment than other minority groups. Black people who are arrested for drug possession for the first time are incarcerated forty times greater than white people. The incarceration rates are much higher for blacks and Latino people than whites. The Department of Justice found out that incarcerated rate is 4,619 per 1000,000 black males, and 1,747 per 100,000 for Hispanic males compared to 773 per 100,000 white males. “White Privilege.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 04 Dec. 2012. Web. 13 Apr. 2012. . Our society seemingly can’t get pass racism as a result white people are treated differently within the judicial system as they are for the most part never arrested and if they are arrested they generally are given more leniency than those who are black or Hispanic.
Ohio University professor, writer and civil right advocate Michelle Alexander researched found out that more African American men are in jail, prison, paroled or on probation than were enslaved in 1850 before the civil war began. Ms. Alexander argues in her new book “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in Age of Colorblindness” that prisons have become the latest form of economic and social disfranchisement for young black males. Ms. Alexander asked a question in her book “If crime rates have fluctuated over the years and are now at historical low, then why have rates of incarcerated men of color skyrocketed over the past 30 years?” “Michelle Alexander: More Black Men in Prison Than Were Enslaved in 1850 – COLORLINES.” COLORLINES. Web. 15 Apr. 2012. . Ms. Alexander answered the question as she indicates that it due to the increase of the war on drugs. A war on drugs that you will only find in the poor communities where black and Latino live. Ms. Alexander got some information from the L.A. progressive studies, which show that white’s males are selling and using illegal drugs at much higher rates than blacks and Latino. Five out ten young Black males in inner city communities can expect to be incarcerated then that of White male in their lifetime.
Ms. Alexander also states in here book that “Once a black man is label a felon they will experiences all kinds’ discrimination that once applied in the Jim Crow era. Once a black man is labeled a felon, as he will be denied the right to vote, excluded from juries duty, and legally discriminated in employment. This is what African Americans forefather when thought when growing up in the Jim Crow era. Ms. Alexander uses a great example in the 2008 presidential election many African American was disenfranchised from voting. A rate of 5.3 African Americans have currently or permanently lost their right of vote from being incarnated but For African American males the rate is seven times the nation average. “Michelle Alexander: More Black Men in Prison Than Were Enslaved in 1850 – COLORLINES.” COLORLINES. Web. 15 Apr. 2012. .
At New York State Assembly were I am interning for the past two semesters for Assemblymen Peter Rivera’s office; the Assemblyman has advocate for racial discrimination in state government employment against Blacks and Hispanic. Assemblyman Rivera has been working with President of Black in Government Mr. ton Simpson has been investigating how Civil Service have been under representing minorities in government employment. According to Assemblyman Peter Rivera “After finding brief analysis data from the Department of Civil Service the data show a problematic trend in hiring African Americans and Hispanics that need to be stop and resolve”. Assemblyman River also added, “It is unsettling to see that white minority communities are experiencing an explosion growth their access to civil service employment is declining. This is absolutely unacceptable”. “Assemblyman Peter Rivera – Press Release – Saturday, April 16, 2005.” New York State Assembly. Web. 15 Apr. 2012. . President of Blacks in Government Mr. Merton Simpson Whom sue New York State for not given him the right to review and challenge opportunity on a promotion test he believe and rightfully passed.
At the time Mr. Simpson work for the civil services department and believe the test was racial bias and don’t want Blacks and Hispanic people seeking management or supervisory positions. Mr. Simpson written Civil Services and Equal Opportunity Employment, but both failed to rectify the problem. Mr. Simpson and several other minority employees whom felt that Civil Services Department was being unfair filed a law suit in the Northern District Court against New York State for being racial bias on a test. Mr. Simpson eventually lost his job and the state excuse him of fomenting trouble. Mr. Simpson and the other minority employees won the case and said that “We are only looking for fairness in testing and hope this will improve the civil services system”. “New York State Offers $45M to End Civil Service Test Bias Lawsuit.” Times Union. Web. 16 Apr. 2012. . The experience I had at my internship was sorrow but positive at the same time. It show the state must be impartial not only to whites employees but to Black and Hispanics employees as well.
In our society today it has become somewhat difficult to avoid discrimination for certain segment of our population in particularly black and Hispanic as they refuse to hire them and if they hire them they are discriminated against in the forms of such as never getting promotions, receiving lower pay and been look down upon as not being capable to perform their duties effectively. Laws are put in place to prevent certain types of discrimination; however there are always loopholes in getting around these laws. Employers cannot discriminate against one because of the skin color or but it is being done in the most not easily seen ways that it can become difficult to see. I believe that there has to be some clear distinctive individual goals put in place for each employer, so that they may understand the benefits of hiring black and Hispanics which just not benefits the workplace as it lends to tolerance for each other, and for those employers who have hired blacks and Hispanics there has to be goals put implemented for tolerance for diversity within the workplace. Inclusiveness of all races in the workplace presents for a better society.
Presenting these ideas to employer would be most difficult and I would like to set my ideas and plans in direct ways to help in this area someday. The first set goals that I would like to draft and then present to employers it in the form of workshops designed in the form of role playing, teaching materials and homework to see if the steps are being learned and fostered. Secondly I would come up with a bud system or a mentors system where blacks and Hispanics would be teamed up a someone other than their own ethnicity within the workplace, as the mentoring is presented just not in the workplace but outside the workplace as well.
I believed that this can be done within the workplace through implementing and distribute direct discrimination policy that clearly states disciplinary action warranted if not carried out. The plans will allow for teaching acceptances to providing learning about another cultural distinctions such as religion or ethnic traditions and holidays, Create worker caucus or councils groups to discuss workplace experiences and to suggest solutions, encourage workers to tell managers or employers about discrimination against others or themselves, to take action when discrimination presents its ugly head, and finally conduct discrimination policy training classes at every level.
I will then present these goals to the executive office so they can get behind me and support these goals. I believe the executive office that accept and foster these goals will be on the road of diminishing discrimination within the workplace. Finally, white privilege is the privilege advantage over non-white people, as they are given special freedom or immunity that non-white groups are not exempt from. The article Contributing to America‘s Cradle to Prison Pipeline Crisis, Community Organization the Elderly Poor in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District and Multicultural Community Practice Strategies and Intergroup Empowerment. The articles present examples as to how society has given special freedom and immunity to whites but blacks are not given the same exemptions. Blacks are perceived to be the cause of society ills as they are lazy and are on welfare, taking and selling drugs, contribute to the high crime rates, uneducated, uncivilized and violet.
The fact are that there are more whites on welfare than blacks on the welfare rolls as whites make up 46.2 percent on welfare while blacks make up 33 percent. More whites are using and selling drugs, and there are just as much uneducated whites as to blacks; however society makes excuses for whites and allow acceptance more so than for blacks. Blacks are more likely to be criminalized as they are given little to no immunity within the judicial system. Once a black person receives a felon record they are even more discriminated against as they lose the right to vote, to obtain public housing and it becomes more difficult to obtain employment. Society has to understand that we are all one people there is no one group more superior than another group. We are all human beings living in the world, as we live the only one life that was given to us tolerance for diversity has to be implemented and foster in our society. Life is truly short and if you blink to long it is gone, if people could understand this concept I believe that it would be a better world for all people.
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