White Privilege

Amsterdam News: Whites Understand the Advantages of Being White

While many White Americans recognize that they enjoy certain privileges over other races, nearly half of them believe governmental institutions are color-blind and don’t contribute to those privileges, according to a new “Whiteness” survey released by researchers at the University of Minnesota. “The assumption has been that Whites didn’t see or understand the privileges they might have that go along with race,” said Doug Hartmann, an associate professor of sociology at the university and the study’s co-author. “And there we have pretty high numbers.

Sixty percent or upwards of Whites see the way that prejudice and discrimination and family upbringing and access to schools creates advantages for them. That’s surprising to a lot of left-leaning type scholars who assume that Whites didn’t get that,” he said.Although more Whites are starting to understand the advantages of being White in America as a group, they are less aware of it than other racial groups, the study said. The study reported that 46 percent of Whites “agreed that laws and institutions play an important role in explaining why Whites are better off than other racial groups.” Hartmann said, “Whites recognize White privileges in a lot of individualistic domains but they still think that American laws and institutions are fair and treat everyone equally.” The researchers did a telephone survey of more than 2,000 homes nationwide. Of the participants, 1,000 were White, while the remaining participants were a combination of Blacks, Hispanics and other racial groups.

...this study is the beginning of a good dialogue among the races, and “part” of him is excited that White people “are beginning to show an indication that their awareness and knowledge around these issues are improving.” But he is also disheartened that many “don’t see the connection to the systemic, institutional design.”Moore, an African-American, said it is not enough for White people to just recognize their advantages, but to take it another step further and take action to equal the playing field for all Americans. “I want to give you some praise for getting to that point,” he said. “But for me that is not enough.”

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