There is a movement among liberals to promote the concept of white privilege. The movement is most prominent in schools and many of the media outlets. The underlying premise is that those of us who were born with white skin pigment are more privileged than those with darker skin. I’m assuming that this more specifically refers to individuals of African-American descent. I seldom hear claims of discrimination or unfair treatment from many individuals of Eastern Indian descent or even from many Latinos. For years blacks did face racial discrimination and Jim Crow laws, primarily in the South. Our society has made great strides over the years but we have yet to reach utopia with respect to race relations. I despise those who wish to make white people feel guilty for the sins of their ancestors. I’m even more upset by teachers indoctrinating very young children to feel guilty over the circumstances of their birth. I don’t think the color of my skin made it any easier for me to obtain success in my life. My childhood was certainly not privileged; I had adequate shelter, nourishing food and good parenting. I did not enjoy all of the same material things that my friends possessed and our house lacked many conveniences enjoyed by others. I left home at an early age and worked all the while attending college and graduate school. Following my education and military career I continued to work 2-3 jobs at a time in order to achieve the “American Dream” of home ownership and a secure retirement. My “privilege” was called hard work and commitment. I was given nothing other than the same opportunities available to all.
Each of us views things differently. Non-whites may see white privilege as a large issue in our society. Affirmative action programs have attempted to correct some of the inequities of the past and often provide opportunities to individuals from disadvantaged environments. Parents and teachers should be encouraging everyone to reach their full potential regardless of skin color. This is definitely a more positive approach than promoting racial bias and guilt. The role of teachers (and the media) is to present factual material and keep opinions out of the picture. We are not born with hate and prejudices. these are learned behaviors from the people and institutions around us. Self-esteem is learned as well and we should not be burdening young children with feelings of guilt over genetics. Politicians and the media must stop dividing us and bring unity among themselves and the nation as a whole. United we stand, divided we fall.