America is obviously plagued by a race issue, I won’t deny that, but what we are so quick to forget is that white people are a race too. We have our own struggles and our own issues that people blow off like nothing. We are consistently told to feel ashamed of ourselves, that we are the bad guy. I’m done feeling that way. We are a nation built upon a melting pot of cultures and lifestyles, which all deserve the opportunity to be celebrated and treated respectfully. Every time we turn on a news station we are bombarded by images and stories of the injustice of inequality, how many of these stories portray the white person as the victim? When did we become afraid of offending everyone? A lot of the blame can splash back onto us as American citizens. Our social and Liberal media run our generation, telling us how they want us to hear it, sometimes not giving all the facts.
When you fill out almost any document these days, whether it be a job application, public survey, or college admission questionnaire, it never fails that at some point you are asked to fill in your race. Obviously, I check the little box that reads “White/Caucasian” and go on my way without giving it a second thought. To me, that box was just another housekeeping question before I got to the tough stuff, but the more I thought about it, the more I began to ask myself why that box was even there.
We live in a generation that begs for equality. People burn down businesses and houses for equality. People petition against history for equality. Why do I need to fill in the race box? If we truly wanted to be equal we would have started there. If we truly wanted to be equal, we wouldn’t have black only scholarships or black only clubs. If I started a whites’ only club my name would be dragged through the mud by the liberal media. I would have death threats tossed at me like nothing at all, but because I’m white that’s not really big news to anyone.
What does “white privilege” mean to me? It means no financial aid because they don’t have college funds specifically set aside for middle-class white kids. It means that I’m a bad person. It means I should be ashamed of where I come from. It means that my parents pay for my things. It means that I have to suffer silently, because if I speak up people will roll their eyes at me. It means that my culture doesn’t matter as much as yours does. It means ignorance and hate, that’s what “white privilege” means to me. It means that you can pull your race card on me, but God forbid I attempt to open your mind to both sides of the story. People use their race when it’s convenient for them. Do I realize that not everyone is like this? Yes, but it’s sad that there is a large group of people that do.
I wasn’t truly aware of the amount of hate in this country until it found me. I was sitting at a red light on my way to school, I was 18 or 19 at the time, listening to a Hank Williams, Jr. song when the man pulled up beside me. He was an older African-American man, I didn’t really think anything of him until he rolled his window down and began to shout at me. He called me a bitch, a whore, racist slut, and told me I was going to hell for the sins I had committed against his race. He told me to shut off my racist music and that I should be ashamed of myself. I remember feeling stunned as the light mercifully turned green and we parted ways. I wasn’t doing anything to him, and he just attacked me like that.
The second time it happened I was sitting in a college class when someone called me an “uppity white girl” and told me that it must be nice to have my parents pay for everything. I wasn’t so afraid to stand up for myself this time. I stood up and explained to them that yes, while I am a “white girl” I am by no means uppity and my parents do not pay for any of my things. I worked and pushed to get where I am now. Two jobs to put myself through community college, taking on a mountain of debt to attend the University of my Dreams, and sacrificing plenty of things to achieve what I want. He stopped after I stood up. I don’t think he expected me to respond the way I did. It’s always funny to me that the people who are so quick to judge and throw the daggers are the ones who plead for fair treatment and cry when they bleed.
Equality isn’t getting back at someone or dragging them down so they are below you. Equality is mutual respect, something many people are lacking these days. It’s ironic that this issue isn’t so “black and white,” there’s such a diverse gray area when it comes to this. How much of a splash do you think that I would make if I started a #Whitelivesmatter movement? It’s okay for people to go around screaming for white people to die? The most frustrating part is that most of the murder and crime committed against black people is by other black people! It’s almost laughable how frustrating this social movement is. People get so angry when someone says #alllivesmatter but why? Don’t they? In my mind, I feel that if you work hard and try your best then your life matters, maybe one day we will all feel that way. I hope that one day soon we start to wake up and realize what’s going on around us, but until more people stand up and say something nothing is going to change.
Written by: Regan Witkowski