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Racism & Racial Equality

Resources on racism and racial equality

What is White Privilege?

White privilege refers to the unearned advantages afforded to people who are assumed, based largely on complexion and related physical features, to be of European ancestry.Antiracist educators link racism and white privilege, maintaining that they are inherently interwoven concepts—where any form of racism exists, some form of white privilege operates. Therefore, these two concepts cannot be separated when examining the systemic, structural, institutional, individual, and cultural nature of discrimination. Institutional power in the United States is still highly concentrated in the hands of only white men, who, according to the 2010 Census, comprise less than 35 percent of the general population. White privilege is considered a controversial concept, especially in the United States, because to concede its existence is to expose the gap between the theory of equality espoused in the country's founding documents and the yet-unrealized practice of it, both in U.S. society and foreign policy. Despite policy and law designed to promote racial fairness, white people continue to be afforded advantages in life that people of color do not receive. (1)

All whites experience a degree of white privilege regardless of whether they hold conscious racial hostilities or believe in white supremacy. In other words, they benefit from American racism whether they subscribe to it or not. (2)

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