Citizens should become aware of white privilege

Andrew Fulmer

During the 2016 Presidential election, I found myself in a state of disbelief.

How could the American public allow a xenophobic, misogynistic and highly unqualified man to be elected to this great nation’s highest position?

The answer is simple: by influencing straight white people to believe they are the victims.

Sure, President-elect Donald Trump won the white vote by approximately the same margin as Mitt Romney in the 2012 Presidential election, according to data compiled by the Pew Research Center, but that’s beside the point.

I want to focus on how Trump and his team were able to pluck at the heartstrings of white voters in crucial swing states and traditional left-wing states to win the election, despite losing the popular vote.

The Trump team did an exemplary job of targeting people who felt some of President Barack Obama’s policies and legislation, like the Affordable Healthcare Act and his pushes for gun control, impeded on their way of life.

They targeted people who may have felt recent LGBTQ legislation like the landmark decision to legalize same-sex marriage imposed upon their religious beliefs. They targeted people who thought current environmental laws such as the Obama administration’s push to move away from fossil fuels, made it harder for them to make an honest day’s pay. To put it bluntly, they targeted people who are afraid of folks who are different from them, thanks to ignorance and taught hatred.

Trump took these people and made them feel like they were the minority, like they were the ones that have suffered and are the victims. But, when one views this from an objective viewpoint, this remains false.

People who share my skin tone have an unfair advantage in life solely based on race. We have more access to anything from education, to healthcare, to employment. The easy way out is to dismiss such notions as problems of the past or proclaim minority issues died during the 1960s. A brief glance at the statistics shows this is not the case.

African-Americans make up 13 percent of the nation’s population and account for 14 percent of recreational drug users, yet African-Americans comprise 37 percent of arrests for drug related offenses.

Even in sports, fair skinned people have a massively unfair advantage. Out of 32 teams in the NFL, only four teams have black head coaches despite approximately 67 percent of the leagues players being African-American.

The NFL passed a rule in 2003 commonly known as the “Rooney Rule” which states that when an NFL team hires a new head coach or senior staff member, the team must interview minority candidates. Despite this rule, only 12.5 percent of head coaches are black.

The truly sad takeaway from this is that a rule had to be made to require minority interviews when this should be a no-brainer in the 21st century.

The point is fair-skinned people are hardly the victims in this country, and we should realize how privileged we have been.

We need to realize that the world is a large place and that we are a global nation. Many people from different ethnicities and countries make up this great nation and always have. We must make a conscious effort to realize minorities are still oppressed in this country, and we must change for the betterment of our society for all.