A few bloggers and writers have written about the racist double standards when it comes to crime and terrorism, particularly when it comes to the feeling of shame. When something senseless, ridiculous or horrible happens that most likely results in injured or murdered victims, there’s a rush of anxiety that minorities feel before the identity of those responsible are revealed. We start hoping and praying that the perpetrators are not members of our group. If they aren’t, we breathe a sigh of relief. If they are, we feel guilt, embarrassed and even depressed. But most of all, we also feel nervous, because if society has taught us one thing is that one or a few bad apples will probably result in that tree getting cut down.
In other words, the bad behavior of a few blacks, browns and Muslims will likely result in numerous of other blacks, browns and Muslims to be held accountable and face real repercussions or consequences.
But that is not the case when it comes to white people no matter how many or how often they screw up others, themselves and the world.
Shaun King, a writer for the NY Daily News expounds on this in a recent article:
Perhaps the greatest form of white privilege in America is being white, but not being judged or somehow held responsible for the crappiest white people among us.
Because if we are being honest, some of the worst people in America — past and present — are white.
Serial killers who eat men for fun, pedophile priests who molest boys and girls, mass shooters who shoot up bible studies or elementary school classrooms, business scammers who steal retirement funds to live high on the hog — by in large — are all white.
Most drug dealers are white.
Most murderers in America are white.
Most mass murderers in America are white. That one’s not even close.
A recent study determined that the greatest terrorist threat to our national security is white men.
Somehow, though, the stereotype from drug dealers, murderers, or terrorists all seem to have brown or black skin. Why is that?
A few crappy men thousands of miles away in Brussels carried out a terrorist attack and Sen. Ted Cruz started calling for American law enforcement to secure and patrol Muslim neighborhoods.
In other words, a few bad men who claimed to be Muslim did wrong in one country and a leading presidential candidate became suspicious of millions of Muslims in our country.
The world has well over a billion Muslims. A tiny percentage of them are going to do evil. In America, though, to be white is to hold entire races or ethnic groups responsible for the evil of a few people from those ethnic groups while never holding white people to that same standard.
Nobody, ever, not one time in the known history of this country, has started calling for the widespread surveillance of white people or white Christians when a white Christian man did wrong in this country. Never mind the fact that since 9/11, far more white Christian fundamentalists have carried out terrorist attacks than Muslims. Facts matter in America, unless it comes to race.
Ask any random black man if he has seen a white woman clutch her purse or lock her doors in his presence. Ask any black woman if she has been followed around by staff in a department store.
Twice the number of white people than black people in America (like 75,000 more) were arrested last year for rape or burglary.
In spite of the obvious reality that white-on-white crime is clearly a problem in America, such a phrase doesn’t even really exist in our country.
To be white and do wrong in America is to do so without any real consequences or repercussions to the race. To be black or brown or Muslim or an immigrant in America, and do wrong, may cause problems for millions.
That’s white privilege.