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Dr. Francis E. Kendall's article Understanding White Privilege, defines white privilege as “ an institutional (rather than personal) set of benefits granted to those of us who, by race, resemble the people who dominate the powerful positions in our institutions”' (page 1). This simply means that , white people in the United States have more resources purely because the U.S.formed its history on a past of colonialism and slavery. Therefore, those who benefit from the system are those who once had the most power-white people. This is White privilege and how you choose to accept it through generations-- whether you consciously use it or not matters.

It’s not going to be easy, but it is important to become conscious of privilege. Whether that be a privilege of gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, age, physical activity,size and weight. Even if you don’t have some of these privileges, and your skin color is white you still need to realize that your skin color opens doors that others can’t open. A great way to start acknowledging your privilege is by getting informed and reflecting on your actions. Ask yourself “[how do you] participate in not seeing the experiences of people of color that are so very different [ from yours]”?

Begin by reflecting on your access to resources, think about what opportunities you might have had that a BIPOC (Black Indigenous Person of Color) might not have had.Understand that people of color DO NOT have the same resources and opportunities as white people, not because of their inability to obtain those resources but rather because the system was not made for BIPOC to thrive. Needless to say , “white working class people do not have the same socioeconomic privileges as white upper-middle class people. But, while class privileges are being withheld from them, they are given the same skin color privileges (Kendall,8).” Therefore, it remains a fact that all white people are STILL two to ten times more likely to get a housing loan than someone of color. Not only that , but among BIPOC , Black people are the ones who get denied the most followed by Latinos, Asians, and Indigenous people.

Simply put , white privilege means being able to make decisions for yourself and for others- even without considering how it may affect someone else. It is CHOOSING who you can listen to by intentionally or unintentionally silencing whomever you please. Something like shifting the conversation about you! (All lives matter, anyone?)

Acknowledging white privilege does not mean automatically putting a bad label on white people. White privilege IS NOT RELATED TO WHETHER OR NOT SOMEONE IS A GOOD PERSON, it is about access to resources ,opportunity, and generational barriers that are still very much ingrained in our so called “post-racism” world.

In a post racist world there should be no intentional confirmation of the holding BIPOC back, in ANY form. Prisons should not be an easy access to slave people of color into hard labour and police brutality should not be used as a form to reinforce these barriers. Don’t just send love and good intentions , get informed and be a part of the conversation. Actively listen to the experiences of BIPOC. Be more conscious in your day to day actions and dare to have those uncomfortable conversations. Don’t just remove yourself from the privileged group (ahem latinos and all other minority groups have privilege too! ) Removing yourself from the privileged group only distances you from others' reality. Listen to others' experiences and try your best to get informed , I highly encourage you to read Dr. Kendall’s article thoroughly, it’s a great place to start!

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