What is white privilege?

Originally published in Culture Club on Medium.

Black privilege is being asked dozens of times throughout your life, “What are you?”

Black privilege is being asked, “Are you sure your name isn’t Muhammad? Are you here to blow the place up?”

Black privilege is having a conversation with your spouse about whether to check “White” or “Black” on your mixed-race child’s medical forms, because there’s no “Other,” “Mixed,” or “Choose to not identify,” in 2014.

Black privilege is worrying that someday, someone might ask whether or not your kid belongs to you because your skin is a bit darker than his.

Black privilege is having your friends tell you, “You act so white,” because you like the same music they do.

Black privilege is being passed over for that job you’re well qualified for because of the way you look.

Black privilege is making up as little as 1 or 2% of the workforce at many of today’s hottest companiesAppleGoogleFacebookTwitter, Square, and from what I can see, Medium—despite making up more than 13% of the U.S. population.

Black privilege is applying for jobs at those companies and being perceived as “not a culture fit.”

Black privilege is being told, “I’m surprised they didn’t pick you for the random security screening,” at the airport.

Black privilege is being asked if you belong here.

Black privilege is being told, “Go back to Africa,” even though you’ve never even visited Africa.

Black privilege is watching women and men clutch their bags or pull their children away from you because the color of your skin is an intimidating brown.

Black privilege is having the police called on you because you’re walking outside in freezing temperatures with your hands in your pockets.

Black privilege is having a cop scream in your face, because he directed you to go, then changed his mind and told you to stop. Later, you’re thankful that the cop saw you simply as a nuisance and not as a threat. Because we know what can happen when they see you as a threat.

Black privilege is being 3.5 times more likely to be suspended or expelledthan white kids in school.

Black privilege is worrying if your son will come home safely, or if he may be shot dead because of the shade of his skin.

Black privilege is being 21 times more likely to be shot by a police officer as a teen.

White privilege is living your life without ever worrying about any of that.

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