White Privilege Doesn’t Exist


In post civil rights America, where merit has overtaken race as a primary factor in school enrollment and employment, institutionalized racism dies down in favor of recognition earned through one’s hard work. Money is colorblind, therefor capitalism would only work with the disregard of race and focused attention on individual achievement.

Businesses and other institutions are not dim to this visible concept that continues to progress our society as a whole, leading to the affirmation of Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream that “[we] will one day live in a nation where [we] will not be judged by the color of [our] skin, but by the content of [our] character.”

Concerning this country and the institutions of education and employment, in a general sense, white privilege doesn’t exist. Admitting an individual based on their white skin tone instead of accomplishments would only undermine the institutions which practice this outdated form of discrimination. Not only do we have laws protecting against this, such as Affirmative Action, but discrimination to this extent would do nothing but hinder the establishment to the point of declining success.

Even if the decision makers would be racists themselves, to deny a person of color who warrant the skills needed to further the company, over a white person, would do nothing except sabotage the success of the company, something a good businessman is well aware of today, making compromise necessary, in favor of the ethnic student and company. Take Lewis Howard Latimer for instance, an African American inventor and draftsman.

Latimer, born in 1848, was first employed as an office clerk at a patent law firm. When recognized for his talents in sketching patent drawings, he was promoted to head draftsman. He was later hired by Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison. Latimer was inducted to the National Inventors Hall of Fame for his work with Edison on electric filament manufacturing techniques. This is a prime example of smart businessmen favoring talent over race, as it benefited both parties, leading to progressive results.

Affirmative action is an example of institutions favoring minorities over whites. According to Walter Feinberg, a Philosophy of Education professor at the UIUC, affirmative action in the USA depicts a set of laws, policies, guidelines, and government-mandated and government-sanctioned administrative practices, including those of private institutions, intended to end and correct the effects of a specific form of discrimination. Still implemented in most states, affirmative action gives priority to ethnic students, whether they have merited the effort or not. Consciousness of this advantage can have a negative effect on the moral of students, causing them to either slack off, knowing they will still be considered for acceptance, or give up, knowing they will be denied entry due to their skin color being white.

White privilege is a concept that cannot continue in our society due the financial and societal cost of overlooking a talented individual, such as Lewis Howard Latimer, or any other ethnic individual that brings more benefit than can be turned away simply because of their skin.

Once racial equality is fully recognized in school and employment, racial equality in all places will follow suit, as those previously perceived as inferior, will become the superior. Not to say that minorities will dominate the majority, but instead live in perfect harmony. In terms of race, all humans are equally capable in achieving success, and this is something that cannot be forever ignored, even by the most racist of people.


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