White privilege is a theory like gravity is a theory.
To ignore the fact in all of US history there have been NINE black senators.
To ignore that the voting pool for the Oscars is 94% white.
To ignore the fact that less than 8% of current Yale admissions are black students.
To ignore that, according to Forbes, there are 1,645 billionaires in America and only 10 are black or mixed race.
To ignore that less than 5% of characters on prime-time network television in 2013 were black.
To ignore than less than 6% of employees in STEM jobs, according to the US Census, are black.
And yes, male privilege is also real. And class/financial privilege. And sexual privilege. And geographic and religious and physical ability and many more intersectioning identities. But slavery.
But the 3/5ths compromise.
But Jim Crow laws.
But Emmett Till.
If you were alive then, would you be aiding in the underground railroad? Would you be driving the black citizens of Montgomery to their jobs so that the bus boycott didn’t starve their family? Would you have let your children go to school with Ruby Bridges? I hope the answer is an astounding yes.
Ferguson will get out of the news and we will focus on something else, and then there will be another, worse Ferguson and then we will focus on something else. And that’s very frustrating as one person who is far away and ill-equipped financially to do as much as I wish I could. But what we CAN do, what all of us no matter our gender, income, physical ability, CAN do is accept the reality and the responsibility of white privilege in this country so that we can better advocate, better empathize, better change the balance in our communities and workplaces.