White privilege is a term for societal privileges that benefit people identified as white in Western countries, beyond what is commonly experienced by non-white people under the same social, political, or economic circumstances.
The Western world or the West is a term usually referring to different nations, depending on the context, most often including at least part of Europe.
White people is a racial classification specifier, used for people of Europid ancestry, with the exact implications dependent on context.
Privilege is a special right or advantage available only to a particular person or group of people.
Ben Shapiro Destroys the Concept of White Privilege by Jason Allan
Academic perspectives such as critical race theory and whiteness studies use the concept of "white privilege" to analyze how racism and racialized societies affect the lives of white or white-skinned people.
Whiteness studies is an interdisciplinary arena of inquiry that has developed beginning in the United States, particularly since the late 20th century, and is focused on what proponents describe as the cultural, historical and sociological aspects of people identified as white, and the social construction of whiteness as an ideology tied to social status.
A racialized society is a society where socioeconomic inequality, residential segregation and low intermarriage rates are the norm, where humans’ definitions of personal identity and choices of intimate relationships reveal racial distinctiveness, and where “people are seldom unaware of the race of a person with whom they interact.”
Critical race theory is a theoretical framework in the social sciences focused upon the application of critical theory, a critical examination of society and culture, to the intersection of race, law, and power.
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According to Peggy McIntosh, whites in Western societies enjoy advantages that non-whites do not experience, as "an invisible package of unearned assets".
Peggy McIntosh is an American feminist and anti-racism activist, the associate director of the Wellesley Centers for Women, and a speaker and the founder and co-director of the National S.E.E.D. Project on Inclusive Curriculum.
White privilege denotes both obvious and less obvious passive advantages that white people may not recognize they have, which distinguishes it from overt bias or prejudice.
These include cultural affirmations of one's own worth; presumed greater social status; and freedom to move, buy, work, play, and speak freely.
Freedom of movement, mobility rights, or the right to travel is a human rights concept encompassing the right of individuals to travel from place to place within the territory of a country, and to leave the country and return to it.
Freedom of speech is the right to articulate one's opinions and ideas without fear of government retaliation or censorship, or societal sanction.
The effects can be seen in professional, educational, and personal contexts.
The concept of white privilege also implies the right to assume the universality of one's own experiences, marking others as different or exceptional while perceiving oneself as normal.
Normality is the state of being "normal", as opposed to being deviant, eccentric or unusual.
The concept has attracted attention and some opposition.
Some critics say that the term uses the concept of "whiteness" as a proxy for class or other social privilege or as a distraction from deeper underlying problems of inequality.
Social class, as in class society, is a set of concepts in the social sciences and political theory centered on models of social stratification in which people are grouped into a set of hierarchical social categories, the most common being the upper, middle, and lower classes.
Others state that it is not that whiteness is a proxy but that many other social privileges are interconnected with it, requiring complex and careful analysis to identify how whiteness contributes to privilege.
Critics of white privilege also propose alternative definitions of whiteness and exceptions to or limits of white identity, arguing that the concept of "white privilege" ignores important differences between white subpopulations and individuals and suggesting that the notion of whiteness cannot be inclusive of all white people.
In statistics, a population is a set of similar items or events which is of interest for some question or experiment.
They note a problem with the interpretation of people of color, in that it fails to acknowledge the diversity of people of color and ethnicity within these groups.
Multiculturalism describes the existence, acceptance, and/or promotion of multiple cultural traditions within a single jurisdiction, usually considered in terms of the culture associated with an aboriginal ethnic group and foreigner ethnic groups.
Conservative critics have offered more direct critiques of the concept; one writes that "today...
American Conservatism is a broad system of political beliefs in the United States that is characterized by respect for American traditions, support for Judeo-Christian values, economic liberalism, anti-communism, advocacy of American exceptionalism and a defense of Western culture from perceived threats posed by creeping socialism, moral relativism, multiculturalism, and liberal internationalism.
Conservatism as a political and social philosophy promotes retaining traditional social institutions in the context of culture and civilization.
the lives of minorities are no longer stunted by prejudice and 'white privilege'", while another says that the concept is a danger to the project of achieving an equal society.
Gina Crosley-Corcoran in her Huffington Post article, "Explaining White Privilege to a Broke White Person", says that she was initially hostile to the idea that she had white privilege, initially believing "my white skin didn't do sh*t to prevent me from experiencing poverty", until she was directed to read Peggy McIntosh's "Unpacking the invisible knapsack".
The Huffington Post is an American online news aggregator and blog that has both localized and international editions founded by Arianna Huffington, Kenneth Lerer, Andrew Breitbart, and Jonah Peretti, featuring columnists.
According to Crosley-Corcoran, "the concept of intersectionality recognizes that people can be privileged in some ways and definitely not privileged in others."
Intersectionality is a term first coined in 1989 by American civil rights advocate and leading scholar of critical race theory, Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw.
Other writers have noted that the "academic-sounding concept of white privilege" sometimes elicits defensiveness and misunderstanding among white people, in part due to the rapidity in which the concept of white privilege was rapidly brought into the mainstream spotlight through social media campaigns such as Black Lives Matter.
Social media are computer-mediated technologies that allow individuals, companies, NGOs, governments, and other organizations to view, create and share information, ideas, and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks.
Black Lives Matter is an international activist movement, originating in the African-American community, that campaigns against violence and systemic racism toward black people.
Cory Weinburg, writing for Inside Higher Ed, has stated that the concept of white privilege is frequently misinterpreted by non-academics because it is an academic concept that has been recently been brought into the mainstream.
Inside Higher Ed is a daily online publication focused on college and university topics, based in Washington, D.C., United States.
Academics interviewed by Weinburg, who have been otherwise studying white privilege undisturbed for decades, have been taken aback with the seemingly-sudden hostility from right-wing critics since 2014.
Right-wing politics hold that certain social orders and hierarchies are inevitable, natural, normal, or desirable, typically defending this position on the basis of natural law, economics or tradition.