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White Privilege and Colorism

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White Privilege and Colorism SOC 262

White Privilege and Colorism
White privilege is a term that is used to refer to white people in America’s advantage over groups of people of color. It is said that whites have a bigger advantage, and many more perks over someone that is a non-white. White privilege makes a critical preference for white people and denies opportunities for people of color.

Colorism is a form of discrimination that is based on the complexion of darker skinned Individuals, despite being of the same race (Banks, T. L., 1999). Colorism is giving privileges to lighter-skinned people of color in many different areas, such as income, education and marriage (Hunter, M., 2007). During the time of slavery, slave drivers would allow the slaves with a lighter complexion to work inside the home and live a more comfortable life. Those with darker skin complexion would work on the farms. Even today darker skinned individuals feel they are scrutinized because their skin is a darker complexion.

My personal experiences of white privilege have been far and few. I sometimes find it easier to bond with individuals that are not of my own skin color. This may be a result of the environment I grew up in., which was a very diverse neighborhood. However, there have been a few situations where I have noticed I may be getting “white privilege.” For example, I have never been harassed or followed by any type of law enforcement based on the color of my skin. I have seen many situations with friends where they were pulled over for absolutely no good reason, and even asked to step outside their car during a traffic stop. All of these peers were non-white individuals. I do believe that if I wasn’t white, I would have been stereotyped many times by law enforcement.

Colorism has a big impact in the U.S. Some African-American men and woman will bleach their skin to be a lighter complexion. Darker-skinned men and woman are often discriminated against with law enforcement. A considerable amount of black men prefers to date lighter skinned women, and sometimes to have lighter skinned children.
Also consider a Chinese or Vietnamese American, (typically woman) will tend to change the shape of their eyes to look more like a white American woman.

Other forms of privilege include male privilege. Often times males are considered before females for hiring physically demanding jobs. Some examples are firefighters, police officers, construction workers and even some military positions. Although you do see woman in these fields, males are far more dominant.
Beauty is also another form of privilege, some woman are hired on due to their looks, rather than their qualifications. I have seen many times in my own company where a new hire, with good looks, long legs and a nice figure will get promoted over someone with sonority and who happens to be more qualified than the new hire. This is unfortunate, we should be honored and promoted based on our hard work and dedication to the company. Not by our looks and color of our skin.

NAACP, National Association of the Advancement for Colored People, fights against discrimination against colored people. If a white individual becomes in charge of this organization it will change the entire dynamic of the NAACP, because typically this type of power is supposed to be an African American. In conclusion, White privilege occurs between white and non-white individuals in society. It is also a form of discrimination. Colorism is a form of discrimination between people of the same race. Both types of discrimination happen to be very common in the U.S.A,

References
Banks, T. L. (1999). Colorism: A darker shade of pale.
Hunter, M. (2007). The persistent problem of colorism: Skin tone, status, and inequality. McIntosh, P. (2003). White privilege and male privilege.

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