Today, in colleges and high schools around the country, teachers are being encouraged to share the concept of “white privilege” with their students. White privilege is all of the unseen and unnoticed benefits that come along with having white skin, you see. If you’re white, you just naturally have an easy life. You aren’t bullied, you get good grades, you don’t have to worry about being arrested, and you can cruise through life without ever once being the victim of a “micro-aggression.”
This is all well and good, but what are we getting out of the adoption of this philosophy? It seems that what we’re really saying is that it doesn’t matter what you do with your life, you don’t stand a chance if you aren’t white. So if you’re black, don’t worry about working hard or making the right choices. Don’t worry about trying to improve yourself. You’re stuck. The white man is never going to let you succeed. You may as well give up now. There, there, you can always turn to the helping hand of government. Remember to vote Democrat!
Hard work has turned many a life around. But no one wants to talk about it anymore. We just want to rage about the unfairness of the system. Well, guess what? There are all kinds of “privilege.” We may all be equal in the eyes of God, but none of us are born with the exact same set of advantages. Some are born rich. Some are born to a loving, two-parent household. Some are born to parents who have built up a business they are going to pass down when their children get old enough.
But even if you were born with the wrong color skin in the wrong city to the wrong parents, you can realize your dreams. History is written by men and women who have created something from nothing. Sometimes the underdog really does win. But it takes work. Dedicated, focused discipline. And it can change your life.
What kind of privilege did Oprah Winfrey have? She isn’t white. She wasn’t born rich. She wasn’t particularly attractive. But yet she became one of the richest people in the world. How? By whining about all the advantages she lacked? No. By tapping into her innate talents and maximizing them with hard work.
We need to be very careful about teaching this concept of privilege. Maybe it exists and maybe it doesn’t. But if it does, there’s nothing anyone can do about it. And we aren’t doing black children any favors by telling them the system is stacked against them. No one wants to play when the game is rigged.
But if we teach the message that hard work, study, and focused discipline can overcome even the greatest obstacles, we’ll see this “privilege” for what it really is: the smallest possible ingredient for a life of rich, fulfilling success.