My Personal Experience and Perspective on White Privilege
I was shielded from a lot of the stuff that guys who look just like me have faced. I had people who I ran with who were deep in the streets. They would hear nothing of it. I was not allowed to even go with them (a few times when they were later revealed to be planning crimes with guns, drugs and robberies, for which a lot of these cats got knocked, killed and what not), and they refused to allow me to deviate to that path — not that I wanted to, but if I even tried to tag along when they were up to no good, they left me behind.
I have never been left behind in the academic setting. I know guys who were just restless boys who were put into learning disability classes and marginalized throughout grade school. I was always in the highest of academic classes since Kindergarten. I had a ton of privilege as a result of it, and never really faced any OVERT discrimination or marginalization (until recently with the job situation), but despite that, I have always been acutely aware of how other Black and Latino cats were not so fortunate, whether it was solely due to the color of their skin, socioeconomic background, or just the fact that teachers did not want to do their fucking jobs and TEACH them because they had different learning styles, coupled with obstacles at home that precluded a smooth learning experience. My home life was about as perfect as it could be, almost the entire time. I come from a stable, loving, two-parent, extremely supportive (I still receive tangible, verbal and even monetary support from my parents, even today having spoken extensively with BOTH OF THEM today regarding my situation) home where learning was fostered while I was still in the womb; never mind all the years of grade school and 10 years of post-secondary education now.
Emotional intelligence has been a strong point of mine for most of my life, so despite not having to overcome a lot of the BS that some of the cats I came up with both here and in NY faced in their academic and professional endeavors, I didn’t dismiss them as “not hard enough workers” or “being too lazy and unwilling.”
I always understood why some cats resorted to pitching packs and other illicit activity despite having education and giving the corporate career thing a solid shot, without success. I understand the mindset. I don’t PUSH anyone to it, nor condemn it, because I understand. That is not always the case, because some of these cats are just after a quick buck and operate their lives with a victim mentality. I do not aid and abet in that. However, if I am able to still be acutely aware of the obstacles that others had to face that I DIDN’T, then I would expect the same type of emotional intelligence from someone who is White and acknowledge the benefit of the doubt (at the very least, to achieving great success in academia, the professional world, or even getting paid millions to do something, despite never once demonstrating worthiness to be paid such — see: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Matt Flynn, Kevin Kolb etc. vs. how guys whose talent — but support from coaching and developing was lacking — runs laps around theirs, and everything is scrutinized about them before they are even CONSIDERED for such payment, even after demonstrating ability for long periods of time.
You have guys who played well in ONE GAME as a backup against a team that was making vacation plans for the offseason, making $20 Million, $30 Million $59.5 Million, but a guy who has proven that he can actually play, but happens to be Black, and he’s “too short”, “maybe lacking the acumen to run our system” and all the other overscrutinization that occurs, and even then get offered much less despite a body of work?
Let a crime occur and see who gets rounded up in a street sweep.
Don’t even mention how a Black, Latino and White couple can have the same credit, same collateral and same income and apply for loans, and the Black couple has to do more to prove their creditworthiness in terms of getting a home loan, versus how White couples get it unconditionally.
I have seen it happen first hand many times in my 14 years in real estate. WAY TOO OFTEN.
And then to have a White male, who benefits from this phenomenon more than ANYONE suggest that you aren’t working hard enough, not networking properly, are lazy, are unwilling to do whatever is necessary, when a lot of his “success” has been unencumbered by obstacles is just a double spit in the face. It is insulting to have someone who is inferior to you in every regard to suggest such a thing, when he’s mostly able to move freely without hindrance almost SOLELY because he is White. Not that he is guilty of anything himself, but he has to acknowledge it when you expound in the way I just did here, as opposed to becoming defensive or lashing out as if someone is saying HE is the one who is responsible for the systemic racism that produces the phenomenon in the first place.
And I have seen this many times on Facebook ALONE.