When the US starts treating white Americans like they are ‘whiteness’ again, how will it be treated?
That’s the question facing academics and civil rights advocates, who have been demanding that colleges and universities stop promoting white privilege.
White people are a privileged group in America, but it’s a minority that is the real beneficiaries of its policies, they argue.
“It is a privilege to have access to healthcare, housing, education and healthcare in the US,” said Linda Trimble-Jones, who is Black and has been a social worker for nearly a decade in the city of Flint, Michigan.
“And it is a privileged minority to be able to go to school, to be in the workforce and to be employed.
If you can’t afford to go or to live, you don’t get that healthcare, you have to take the risk of being incarcerated, you can be arrested, you’re not going to have that.
You can’t go to college, and if you can go, you probably can’t pay for that education and you probably cannot afford to pay for healthcare.”
But despite the high cost of healthcare, education, housing and healthcare, “White privilege” is not a real social problem, the academics and activists argue.
It’s a convenient shorthand for a system of racial oppression that excludes and marginalises people of colour, they say.
“We see a lot of folks who are in the ‘White privilege’ camp, and I think we can all agree that that’s a very problematic thing,” said Trimble.
A ‘privilege’ that has been stripped awayWhite privilege is a social and political system in which white people are seen as “white” and “equal” in all aspects of life, regardless of race, class or sexual orientation, according to Trimble, including in the criminal justice system, education system, health care, housing market and politics.
It’s the legacy of the US system of slavery and Jim Crow laws that have led to the system of white supremacy, the academics argue.
“There is a deep-seated history of racism that has shaped white supremacy.
There are white people in this country who were enslaved,” said Elizabeth L. Watson, professor of social work at the University of Nevada, Reno, who has studied racism and white supremacy since the 1970s.
“We can’t stop that system from existing.
We can’t change it overnight.
We need to acknowledge that, and try to change the system.”
White supremacy is a system in the United States that holds people of color in a “state of perpetual subordination”, Watson said.
White privilege “is a system that denies and devalues the lives of Black people, women, people of poor colour and the working class.
It denies Black people their full and equal participation in society, and it devalues and ignores the lives and lives of people of different colour.”
The students’ concerns, which they have been calling #WeAreWhitePillars, are not only about healthcare and education, but also about the racial and class inequality that continues to persist.
Black people are disproportionately likely to have to pay higher healthcare bills than white people, according the federal government.
In addition, Black students are three times more likely to face disciplinary and criminal consequences for the same behaviour, according to a report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).
The Black students’ campaign, which began as a petition on the university’s website in April, has grown in capacity since then.
The petition is now in its third month, with almost 11,000 signatures, and it has finally received academic recognition from the University of Virginia in April.
As the petition gained momentum, President Mark Wittman declared a national boycott of the school, citing the incident in Flint and the national movement’s call for reparations.
Tramble-Jones has said that if the campaign continues, she will not be able to continue her studies at the university.
At White Privilege Week, students, faculty and staff have been discussing the issue of white privilege at University of Virginia.
On Friday, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe announced a reform to the system of racism in Virginia that would make it a permitted state to enact reforms for student affirmative action and diversity training. McAuliffe also said that he would work with states to ensure that white people are allowed to apply for access to