white privilege

plural white privileges

Definition of white privilege

: the set of social and economic advantages that white people have by virtue of their race (see race entry 1 sense 1a) in a culture characterized by racial inequality … by discussing the reality of white privilege, we're not negating or invalidating other hardships that may come with each individual's circumstances. Rather, we intend to shed light on the reality that white people are granted rights (whether they're subtle or obvious), immunities, and opportunities by their skin color, regardless of whether they asked for that privilege or not.— Mehak Anwar And here, in white racism, was a shame of truly epic proportions—the shame of white supremacy that for centuries so squeezed the world with violence and oppression that white privilege was made a natural law.— Shelby Steele also : a single such advantage White privileges are the relative advantages racism affords to people identified as white, whether white people recognize them or deny them. To be white is to be afforded one's individuality. Afforded the presumption of innocence. Afforded the assumption of intelligence. Afforded empathy when crying or raging. Afforded disproportionate amounts of policy-making power. Afforded opportunity from a white network. Afforded wealth-building homes and resource-rich schools. Afforded the ability to vote quickly and easily. — Ibram X. Kendi

First Known Use of white privilege

1818, in the meaning defined above

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white privilege

white puccoon

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Cite this Entry

“White privilege.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/white%20privilege. Accessed 31 Jul. 2021.

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