images1 28065893
Picture1
QHHT@4X
NGHlogo
lgbtq icon
Psychology Today Verified

White Privilege

White Privilege

GettyImages 1391009625

A very prevalent and sensitive issue in light of current affairs. It is also an unfortunate truth in our society. The history of the concept of “white privilege” started decades before the Civil War and was part of a long, insidious practice of what historians call “scientific racism” — the spread of bogus theories of supposed racial inferiority in an attempt to rationalize injustices like slavery. This has resulted in centuries of social and economic domination and plunder. Political leaders with power create entities focused on controlling those “less than.” They have historically distorted and warped the scientific facts to support their agendas.

Another factor that has been used to reinforce the idea that certain races are superior to others is Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, that man evolved from lower animals. This idea was unpalatable, especially to white men in power, so the idea was twisted around to create a social hierarchy – whites promoted as being more evolved than more ape-colored peoples. Herbert Spencer was another British scientist and philosopher (1820-1903) {Britannica}. It was he who took this idea further and came up with the idea of “Social Darwinism” applying Darwin’s theory to human societies. He also coined the phrase; “survival of the fittest”, which is a scarcity-based idea that resources are limited, therefore just like animals competing for food and territory, man must do the same. But in man’s case, “survival of the fittest” somehow morphed into “survival of the richest” (and European and white) to the detriment of all societies whose skin happened to be darker and who did not have the same economic system. I believe the Church also used this belief as one of their ploys used to regain Christian credibility. It was used to justify monstrously unethical behavior by “God’s chosen ones.”

Unfortunately, the debates and repercussions are still going on today. I found a quote by history specialist, Paul Sargent that sums it up nicely: “The difference between Darwinism and Social Darwinism is that one is a scientific theory that is still accepted today and one is a discredited racist ideology that has caused death and suffering globally.” It certainly has had a huge impact on human history, and continues today. 

More recently, white privilege justifies a criminal system that is predominately full of non-white people. Another separating tactic has been the supposed war on drugs. The true focus is not the drugs themselves, but the people who use and distribute the drugs. The arbitrary classification of “most dangerous drugs” clearly indicates selective disparity. 

The situation currently playing out in our country is bringing to light this ongoing discrepancy and racial bias. Perhaps we are being given this opportunity to finally choose to evolve as human beings. All human beings. Equal. No exceptions. “Human rights are not granted by any earthly power, but are inherent in the nature of man himself by consequence of his creation.”(David R. Hawkins, Power versus Force)

If or when I encounter this dynamic in group, I will use it as an opportunity to pull back the curtain and bring more awareness to the part we  all play in keeping white privilege active. We will never evolve as a species until we recognize the spiritual truth that we are all equal.

 

Share this post:

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
WhatsApp
Email
Print