White Male Privilege

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White Male Privilege Data

Yes, middle-aged white men are privileged in terms of having unearned and invisible access to social resources and capital that lends to better educational, social, occupational, health, and educational outcomes. White males enjoy a great deal more wealth, social capital, political power, and better quality of life in general that is the result of historical systems and social functions that they may not be personally responsible for but do benefit from.

DEFINING WHITE PRIVILEGE

  • White male privilege is an intersection of invisible benefits that are allotted by nature of being white and male.
  • White privilege benefits have degrees depending on gender, sexual orientation, age and even weight, but they are essentially benefits that are unearned and invisible to those that receive them, yet obvious to others.
  • Amidst the more recent wave of gender and racial equality movements, it is important to remember that concepts such as white privilege and male privilege have been debated for decades and there is a long string of existing, seminal research in regard to this topic.
  • White privilege was famously delineated by Peggy McIntosh in her essay, "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack", in 1988.
  • White male privilege has accumulated generationally through all social institutions including neighborhood/communities, education, and employment among others, and has also resulted in disparities in political power, residential outcomes, health, education, employment and even incarceration.
  • White privilege refers to inherent advantages that are allotted by way of being white, such as being less likely to be pulled over by police or even being granted access to elite social institutions with ease such as legacy university students. White privilege does not mean one is living a life of privilege as whites can face the same struggles as minorities, however, it means that there are certain privileges granted to one because of their race.

EDUCATION

  • Studies by the Department of Education have found that white children were much more likely than nonwhite to attend affluent schools, although nonwhites were 6 times as likely as white children to attend a high poverty school.

RESIDENTIAL

  • Hispanic Americans are 78% more likely to be given a high-cost mortgage and black Americans are 105% more likely, even after controlling for "general risk considerations, such as credit score, loan-to-value ratio, subordinate liens, and debt-to-income ratios".
  • Historically and even today, practices such as redlining entail deliberately excluding black Americans from white residential neighborhoods. This occurrs even through discriminatory use of the G.I. Bill and its generational effects have accumulated, resulting in increasing the intergenerational wealth gap.
  • White male motorists do not report a heightened senses of fear of being pulled over and/or detained by police versus their black and Latino counterparts, even in they areas where they may not appear to belong.

HEALTH

  • Disparities in the quality of health care received by whites versus nonwhites also attests to the assets of privilege that exist within the healthcare system and "discrimination that occurs at personal, institutional and societal levels" that is not felt or recognized by whites.
  • In comparison, whites receive much more preventive care and receive better quality of care than nonwhites resulting in much better health outcomes that accumulate over the life course. Structural racism has a lot to do with this issue, an issue that is not existent for whites, and even after a 15-year initiative to decrease these trends in Chicago, disparities still exist and in some cases have worsened.
  • Even after accounting for income, neighborhood, illness, and types of health insurance, health disparities among black were still worse than whites.

INTERGENERATIONAL WEALTH

  • Contemporary wealth gaps arise from both historical advantage of white children and continued institutionalized racism that create barriers for nonwhites.
  • The disparities in wealth are racial and historic with benefits allotted on account of race that cannot be combated by attending college, family stability (two-parent households), or spending less. Despite working full time, a white household has 7.6 times more wealth than a black household and 5.4 times more wealth than a Latino worker.
  • Intergenerational wealth contributes to whether a family can contribute to a child's education, down payments for a home, and even provide an inheritance. White families are 5 times more likely than black or Latino families to received gifts and inheritances and the amounts are far greater.
  • Lending to the invisibility of white privilege are studies that reflect the impact on race on the ability to get ahead, where 52% of blacks, 24% of Hispanics, and 24% Asians, report their race hurts them, compared to 5% of whites that report it hurts them, and the 45% of whites that acknowledge their race helped them get ahead.
  • Even with less education than minority counterparts, advantages such as greater access to gifts and inheritances offer whites greater and more opportunities to gain and build wealth because of historical discriminatory practices that barred wealth accumulation, such as housing policies (redlining), banking, education, and other areas that benefited whites and harmed minorities.

POLITICS

  • Heterosexual white males hold the majority of the political power in the U.S. and have since its creation.
  • Today's Congress is the most racially and ethically diverse than it has ever been. In 1945, nonwhites represented 1% of the House and Senate whereas today this group represents 22% of Congress. Women now make up 24% of the voting members of both chambers, 100 years after the first woman was elected to Congress.
  • Currently, Congress has the highest membership of black members but still only represent 9.6% of Congress, 49 in the House and 3 serve in the Senate. 8.5% of Congress is Hispanic or Latino. Therefore, almost 58% of Congress is made up of a majority of middle-aged white males, however, stats are not available regarding sexuality.

STRATEGY

Research focused on white male privilege in general, as there is not much specific information regarding homosexuality or straight and privilege. This is likely due to the fact that members of the LGBTQ community are considered minorities. In addition, a gay white male would still be afforded some level of privilege especially if his sexuality is not known or it is accepted. Therefore, we extensively focused on white males. After extensive research we identified ways that middle-aged white men have benefited from white privilege in areas of education, residential, health, wealth, occupational, and political outcomes, as well as research showing how these privileges arose.
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Quotes
  • "High-cost lenders are much more aggressive in minority markets, the researchers say, which increases such borrowers’ exposure to these pricier loans."
Quotes
  • "The U.S. wealth structure is extremely unequal and marked by very large racial gaps, with the average black household holding less than one tenth the net worth—defined as the total sum of assets minus debts—of the average white household"
Quotes
  • "So the problem with the phrase white privilege isn’t that it is wrong. The problem is that it sounds an awful lot like the statement “all whites are privileged.”"
Quotes
  • "But blacks and Hispanics, in particular, also worry about being stopped if they are driving a nice car in a modest or upscale community, a raggedy car in a mostly white one, or any kind of car in a high-crime area. It affects everyone, from ministers and professional athletes to lawyers and the super-rich."
Quotes
  • "Research probing the causes of the racial wealth gap has traced its origins to historic injustices, from slavery to segregation to redlining."
Quotes
  • "I think whites are carefully taught not to recognize white privilege, as males are taught not to recognize male privilege."
  • "White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools, and blank checks. "