(Letter to the Editor by Jerry Whitus of Corbin)
What is white privilege? Can it be measured? Is there a standard definition that is generally accepted? If you have it, is it a guarantee of success? If you do not have it, is that a guarantee of failure? Are there any other privileges that have yet to be discovered or discussed?
How about athletic privilege? Shoot the three very well, rebound like a demon, throw a 95 mph fastball or run at the speed of sound? If you are in high school and do any of these things, then there is a college scholarship or pro career awaiting you.
How about entertainment privilege? If you have vocal pipes that allow you to sing like a Whitney Houston, then the sky is the limit. If you play the guitar like Jimi Hendrix, then you can punch your own ticket to stardom. If you can dance like Gregory Hines, then there just may be a few movie roles for you.
How about scholarship/academic privilege? If you get the highest GPA in your high school class, then chances are no college debt, or low debt, for you. If you graduate with honors from college, getting a job is not a huge challenge. Just going to college confers a privilege in the job market.
How about geographic privileges? Try starting a major manufacturing center in Appalachia. Good luck. But set up your business near an interstate highway, or a major city with an airport, and you are halfway home to a healthy business.
I hope these are enough examples of different privileges.
White privilege is a term used to polarize our country. It is stereotyping at its worst. It is used to help sensitive liberals assuage their perceived guilt, or it is used by activists who continue to demand social programs. Just by using the term you have invoked victimhood for those who think they have it, and for those who think they do not. Whatever happened to conversations and suggestions that united us as a country?
I have never felt guilty about being white. I refute the idea of guilt by association. Judge me for my actions, not by my uncle or aunt, mother or father, or my race. The best that I can do is try to foster goodwill toward all people, and live according to my core values. And one of my core values is that All Live Matter.
One last thing: The people named above have one important thing in common. It is not that they are black, wealthy, or successful, but rather it is that, through hard work and perseverance, they have earned their privileges, and not been given them. Nothing is handed to you or guaranteed to you just for being white. You must, as those listed above, work hard and persevere to achieve the same type of outcome.