LTTE: another perspective on white privilege

Guest Author

Another perspective on white privilege

By Juliet Letteney, psychology and communications student
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In response to “On the topic of ‘white privilege’ by Megan Burnett published by the Rocky Mountain Collegian on Oct. 8, 2015, I would like to share a different perspective on the topic of white privilege. I am a biracial person who passes for white. Essentially, if I were to tell someone I am white, I generally wouldn’t be questioned on that identity. Therefore, I have white privilege.

Privilege is about systemic power and oppression in a society that favors one identity over another. It doesn’t matter how I feel about my privilege or if I want it or reject it; it exists regardless. If someone is asking me to consider my white privilege, they are not telling me I am inherently a bad person, which seems to be what many tend to get hung up on. Any reasonable person asking me to consider my white privilege, or any privilege I hold, is really asking me to think outside myself.

I did not choose my skin color, I did not choose my privilege but that does not mean it does not exist. I do, however, choose to acknowledge my privilege and understand that my perspective of the world is uniquely constructed based on my experiences and privileges. It can be hard to hear that I am treated more preferentially in our society because of something I did not choose. Nevertheless, it is important that I hear it. I cannot erase my privilege by claiming that society perceiving me as white has nothing to do with my success. Frankly, it would make me a jerk for utilizing that very privilege to deny any responsibility in the conversation of race in our society.