White privilege is defined as societal privileges and benefits afforded to Whites that exceed those experienced by minorities in the same circumstances. White privilege is a birthright, just like the children of royalty or the wealthy receive – and Whites recognizing this privilege is the first step toward equal treatment for all races. Acknowledging the benefits of being born White does not make you a bad person or a “reverse racist” just like acknowledging that there are some police officers that abuse their power does not make you a police-hater or (GASP!) a liberal Democrat – It makes you a human being with empathy and an understanding of the reality of our society.
Although slavery and segregation no longer exist, the longstanding furtherance of White privilege has pervaded our society in every way possible, and it continues to dominate our criminal justice system today. Although I live in a middle-class area, I frequently drive through inner-city neighborhoods and am shocked at the differences in child supervision, appearance of homes, educational and professional opportunities, and the demeanor of those residing in each area. I believe that all people possess the potential to be successful no matter their race, however circumstance can predetermine one’s life course. It is difficult for educators and parents that lack proper financial resources to develop and nurture their children, which lessens their opportunities for higher education and legitimate financial success. If parents must work multiple low-income jobs to support their families, children are often left unsupervised, which can lead to deviant behaviors. It is so unfortunate for the children being raised under oppressive circumstances – how can one get ahead in life when they begin so far behind? My hope is that the future of our legal system focuses less on smaller offenses that plague the minority population so there is less familial interruption within urban neighborhoods, and minorities are afforded more legitimate opportunities for financial success.