It’s Time to Wake Up

Reide Combs Dismantles White Privilege

(Image courtesy of The Odyssey Online).

(Image courtesy of The Odyssey Online).

Reide Combs, Staff Writer

White privilege (or white skin privilege) is a term for societal privileges that benefit white people in western countries beyond what is commonly experienced by the non-white people under the same social, political, or economic circumstances (Mount Holyoke College).

White privilege does indeed exist, as it is embedded in America’s structure. It was seen with Tamir Rice, who was 12 years old and black, and was playing in a park in Cleveland with a toy gun. He was shot by a white police officer with no hesitation after someone called, fearing it was a real gun. At the same time, Jesse Deflorio, a 22-year-old, shot and fired at Concord Police with a BB gun in New Hampshire. Police apprehended and arrested Deflorio, without killing him. He is white. These are just two out of many cases. Nearly 70% of the American population think white privilege doesn’t exist ( However, it is clear that it does.

In society, white people are viewed as peaceful and kind, while black people are viewed as second-class citizens. However, Adam Lanza, James Holmes and Dylann Storm Roof prove that is not always true. These white men committed mass shootings on innocents from Sandy Hook, to a prayer service at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. On multiple occasions, when a crime is committed, whites are above the law. Just because an offender is affluent and white, as Turner was, they can get get off with “three months for rape.” After all, why punish someone when “his life will never be the one that he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve. That is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life,” said Dan Turner, Brock’s father, in a letter published by The Washington Post. James Bain was also accused of rape, and spent 35 years in jail. According to The Innocence Project, he “spent more time in prison for a crime he did not commit than any other American exonerated through DNA evidence. In 1974, at the age of 19, Bain was convicted of rape and kidnapping. He was released in 2009 at the age of 54.” Bain is black.

Some may argue “more white people are killed by cops than black people.” However, the answer to this is yes, and no, according to The New York Times. Yes, because the ratio of white to black people is different. There are approximately 77% more white people in America; since there are more of them, that automatically means more are going to be shot. But there’s a no in the answer, because black people are 2.5 times more likely to be targeted (The Washington Post).

White privilege does exist. Look up “Beauty” on Google Images. The majority of the pictures are of white women. Look up “Three white kids” and the results will be totally different images, than when you look up “Three black kids,” and get images of “gang members,” or “thugs.” White privilege is real, wake up America.