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Old 05-23-2010, 08:09 AM
 
1,045 posts, read 708,131 times
Reputation: 293
Default Does White Privilege really exist??? Or is it a Myth?

White Privilege is a word that has been thrown around city-data forums on a regular basis, so I will attempt a rather educational exercise to explain why or if the “White Community” has advanced slightly more than other minority communities. I want to tackle this idea from a mathematically approach based only on numbers gathered from the census data. Is the myth of White Privilege over blown by minorities and other groups, because of favorable economic, educational, and social stereotypes placed upon the “white community?” Or are these stereotypes valid based on the factual information gathered through data on the “white community?” How might past favorable protectionist laws like Jim Crow helped to extend a slight advantage to whites over non-whites and how exactly have civil rights extended more freedom to non-whites, which and has this help erode protectionist measures in the past?


There are many myths that surround the “White Community,” these myth’s have been mostly positive and sometimes negative, but they have always heavily influenced how many Americans both white and non-white view the largest racial segment of the United States. The negatives myths surrounding the “White Community” have largely focused on racism towards non white groups, sexism toward white and non-white females, and discrimination on the basis of being categorized outside of this particular group. However, this is not an exercise to focus on the negatives, but rather to put the positive myths under a microscope and examine their validity in terms of “white privilege.” I will list a number of myths below, which will be broken down into category of myth, and then I will attempt to tackle the myth through data offered by the most recent census. Myth and images heavily influence public opinion. They can result in an unrealistic favorable opinions or unrealistic negative opinions for the underlying group. I’m not choosing sides, but I will simply state whether Most Whites are in agreement with the Myth or whether most Whites are not in agreement with the Myth. The large point in my opinion is that neither groups is really getting ahead, so the fact that one group is “slightly” ahead of the other should not cause individuals to fight amongst themselves, but to actually ask why they as an entire group of Americans are not getting ahead. Anyway, I digress….

Economic/Financial Myths
1. Most Whites Are Wealthy?
2. Most Whites Are Employed?
3. Most Whites Are Middle to Upper Middle Class?
4. Most Whites Are College Educated?
5. Most Whites Make over 100k a year?
Government Handout/Subsidies Myths
1. Most Whites Do not use the Government for any social program?
A. Subsidies for Wheat/Dairy/ Farming etc
B. Medicare/Medicaid
C. Social Security
D. Welfare/TANF/Food Stamps
Crime/Violence/Drugs Myths
1. Most Whites do not commit crime or Whites commit the least number of crimes?
2. Whites make up the least number of individuals in Prison?
3. Whites do not sell/use drugs?
4. Most Gangs are non-white?

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Old 05-23-2010, 08:22 AM
 
Location: Columbus
4,879 posts, read 1,998,105 times
Reputation: 1421
I would say there are some advantages to being white. Probably not as much as some people say but some. White males don't get paid anymore for the same job. That is the biggest myth out there.

Medicare and Social Security are not handouts. People pay into them. Whites get no extra benefits from these programs than any other group.

And whites don't use welfare as much as some other groups when you are talking percentages.

Nor are they in trouble with the law as much when talking percentages.
And most whites aren't wheat and dairy farmers. A non-white wheat farmer would get the same subsidy as a white one.

Whites tend to stay in school longer and they don't have out of wedlock children. Same with Asians. That would be the biggest reason whites and Asians do better economically than blacks and hispanics. And more wealth often leads to more privilege. People get mad when I say that but I never heard another valid explanation.

I wish it weren't so and everyone stayed in school and waited till marriage to have kids but it isn't so. And there is nothing whites or any other group can do to change that. It's up to each individual to make their own decisions and reap the rewards or suffer the consequences.

Last edited by OhioIstheBest; 05-23-2010 at 08:35 AM..
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Old 05-23-2010, 08:30 AM
 
4,184 posts, read 3,674,818 times
Reputation: 1680
Quote:
Originally Posted by dorock99 View Post
White Privilege is a word that has been thrown around city-data forums on a regular basis, so I will attempt a rather educational exercise to explain why or if the “White Community” has advanced slightly more than other minority communities. I want to tackle this idea from a mathematically approach based only on numbers gathered from the census data. Is the myth of White Privilege over blown by minorities and other groups, because of favorable economic, educational, and social stereotypes placed upon the “white community?” Or are these stereotypes valid based on the factual information gathered through data on the “white community?” How might past favorable protectionist laws like Jim Crow helped to extend a slight advantage to whites over non-whites and how exactly have civil rights extended more freedom to non-whites, which and has this help erode protectionist measures in the past?


There are many myths that surround the “White Community,” these myth’s have been mostly positive and sometimes negative, but they have always heavily influenced how many Americans both white and non-white view the largest racial segment of the United States. The negatives myths surrounding the “White Community” have largely focused on racism towards non white groups, sexism toward white and non-white females, and discrimination on the basis of being categorized outside of this particular group. However, this is not an exercise to focus on the negatives, but rather to put the positive myths under a microscope and examine their validity in terms of “white privilege.” I will list a number of myths below, which will be broken down into category of myth, and then I will attempt to tackle the myth through data offered by the most recent census. Myth and images heavily influence public opinion. They can result in an unrealistic favorable opinions or unrealistic negative opinions for the underlying group. I’m not choosing sides, but I will simply state whether Most Whites are in agreement with the Myth or whether most Whites are not in agreement with the Myth. The large point in my opinion is that neither groups is really getting ahead, so the fact that one group is “slightly” ahead of the other should not cause individuals to fight amongst themselves, but to actually ask why they as an entire group of Americans are not getting ahead. Anyway, I digress….

Economic/Financial Myths
1. Most Whites Are Wealthy?
2. Most Whites Are Employed?
3. Most Whites Are Middle to Upper Middle Class?
4. Most Whites Are College Educated?
5. Most Whites Make over 100k a year?
Government Handout/Subsidies Myths
1. Most Whites Do not use the Government for any social program?
A. Subsidies for Wheat/Dairy/ Farming etc
B. Medicare/Medicaid
C. Social Security
D. Welfare/TANF/Food Stamps
Crime/Violence/Drugs Myths
1. Most Whites do not commit crime or Whites commit the least number of crimes?
2. Whites make up the least number of individuals in Prison?
3. Whites do not sell/use drugs?
4. Most Gangs are non-white?
A lot of the data you seek can be found in the Census Bureau website. Also here FRB: 2007 SCF the Fed's survey of consumer finances.
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Old 05-23-2010, 08:46 AM
 
1,045 posts, read 708,131 times
Reputation: 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioIstheBest View Post
I would say there are some advantages to being white. Probably not as much as some people say but some. White males don't get paid anymore for the same job. That is the biggest myth out there.

Medicare and Social Security are not handouts. People pay into them. Whites get no extra benefits from these programs than any other group.

And whites don't use welfare as much as some other groups when you are talking percentages.

Nor are they in trouble with the law as much when talking percentages.
And most whites aren't wheat and dairy farmers. A non-white wheat farmer would get the same subsidy as a white one.

Whites tend to stay in school longer and they don't have out of wedlock children. Same with Asians. That would be the biggest reason whites and Asians do better economically than blacks and hispanics. And more wealth often leads to more privilege. People get mad when I say that but I never heard another valid explanation.

I wish it weren't so and everyone stayed in school and waited till marriage to have kids but it isn't so. And there is nothing whites or any other group can do to change that. It's up to each individual to make their own decisions and reap the rewards or suffer the consequences.
Thanks for the response Ohioisbest, i think those are contributing factors, but here is the information i found in answering some of the economic myths

(1) Most Whites are wealthy is false
There are more than 112 million households in the United States and for all intensive purposes MOST households are not remotely close to being wealthy or upper class and the “White Community” is no different. However, what leads many to believe such a myth has more to do with probability and the law of large numbers, than anything in reality. The “White Community” makes up more than 78% (88 Million) of all United States households, but more than 88% of all households that earn over 200,000 dollars are white (assuming we consider those individuals upper class to rich).
However, the percentages are a bit mis-leading to anyone that is not mathematically inclined, because total numbers matter in these sorts of comparisons, so with that said, there is only an estimated 4.7 million American households, that make over $200,000 and the “white community” boost 4.1 million of those households, which might lead many to believe, that all whites are wealthy, because often times we forget about the other 83 million or so households in the “white community” where this is not true. In conclusion the myth that all whites are wealthy has been proved false. The FACT is MOST whites are not wealthy. In an academic exercise like this there is really no need for comparison, because the facts will not change in relation to the overall statement of MOST. For example if we compare whites to blacks, it doesn’t change the overall statement, that MOST whites are not wealthy, even if compared to blacks they are “slightly” wealthier.
Detailed Tables - American FactFinder

(2 )Most Whites are employed is true


Yes, this myth is true. Most individuals in the white community above the age of 16 are gainfully employed. There are more than 143 million individuals employed in the United States and the White Community represents more than 78% or 111 million of these employed individuals. More than 51% of whites are employed in management professions and service occupations.

(3 )Most Whites are middle to upper middle class economically is false

While, this image is often paraded around in the media, it presents a rather false image of the “white community” at large. MOST households in the white community are largely lower middle class to working poor. According to the most recent census more than 33% or 38.3 million households in this country earn less than$30,000 a year and 31% or 27.7 million of all households in the “white community” earn less than $30,000 a year. In other words of those earning less than $30,000 a year whites make up more than 72% of the total. Overall more than 53% or 47.2 million of all white households earn less than $50,000 a year. What leads many to conclude the opposite, well, it is rather quite simple, how often do you see individuals in the 53% of the “white community” portrayed on TV, news, as less than middle class? Do you think this would garner a politician any votes? Based on a weighted average for most statistics minorities have very little sway over the overall numbers especially when you attempt to break them down individually.

http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet...t=&-CONTEXT=dt

(4) Most Whites are college educated is false

The census takes education attainment numbers from the individuals over the age of 25. There are an estimated 197 million individuals above the age of 25 in the United States, however, only 54 million or 27.4% have a bachelor’s or graduates degree. In other words most people in America do not graduate from college. The white community account for 44 million or 81% of those individuals that have a bachelors or graduate degree. However, in terms of college graduates above the age of 25 only 44 Million or 28% of whites out of 154.8 million have a college degree. This simply means MOST in the white community do not have a college degree. A further comparison between the various races could indicate significant difference, but the overall statement would remain true.

http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet...t=&-CONTEXT=dt

http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet...t=&-CONTEXT=dt

(5) Most Whites earn over 100k a year false

Refer to questions above for answers lol.

http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet...t=&-CONTEXT=dt

Last edited by dorock99; 05-23-2010 at 08:59 AM..
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Old 05-23-2010, 09:14 AM
 
4,184 posts, read 3,674,818 times
Reputation: 1680
Quote:
Originally Posted by dorock99 View Post
Thanks for the response Ohioisbest, i think those are contributing factors, but here is the information i found in answering some of the economic myths

(1) Most Whites are wealthy is false
There are more than 112 million households in the United States and for all intensive purposes MOST households are not remotely close to being wealthy or upper class and the “White Community” is no different. However, what leads many to believe such a myth has more to do with probability and the law of large numbers, than anything in reality. The “White Community” makes up more than 78% (88 Million) of all United States households, but more than 88% of all households that earn over 200,000 dollars are white (assuming we consider those individuals upper class to rich).
However, the percentages are a bit mis-leading to anyone that is not mathematically inclined, because total numbers matter in these sorts of comparisons, so with that said, there is only an estimated 4.7 million American households, that make over $200,000 and the “white community” boost 4.1 million of those households, which might lead many to believe, that all whites are wealthy, because often times we forget about the other 83 million or so households in the “white community” where this is not true. In conclusion the myth that all whites are wealthy has been proved false. The FACT is MOST whites are not wealthy. In an academic exercise like this there is really no need for comparison, because the facts will not change in relation to the overall statement of MOST. For example if we compare whites to blacks, it doesn’t change the overall statement, that MOST whites are not wealthy, even if compared to blacks they are “slightly” wealthier.
Detailed Tables - American FactFinder

(2 )Most Whites are employed is true


Yes, this myth is true. Most individuals in the white community above the age of 16 are gainfully employed. There are more than 143 million individuals employed in the United States and the White Community represents more than 78% or 111 million of these employed individuals. More than 51% of whites are employed in management professions and service occupations.

(3 )Most Whites are middle to upper middle class economically is false

While, this image is often paraded around in the media, it presents a rather false image of the “white community” at large. MOST households in the white community are largely lower middle class to working poor. According to the most recent census more than 33% or 38.3 million households in this country earn less than$30,000 a year and 31% or 27.7 million of all households in the “white community” earn less than $30,000 a year. In other words of those earning less than $30,000 a year whites make up more than 72% of the total. Overall more than 53% or 47.2 million of all white households earn less than $50,000 a year. What leads many to conclude the opposite, well, it is rather quite simple, how often do you see individuals in the 53% of the “white community” portrayed on TV, news, as less than middle class? Do you think this would garner a politician any votes? Based on a weighted average for most statistics minorities have very little sway over the overall numbers especially when you attempt to break them down individually.

(4) Most Whites are college educated is false

The census takes education attainment numbers from the individuals over the age of 25. There are an estimated 197 million individuals above the age of 25 in the United States, however, only 54 million or 27.4% have a bachelor’s or graduates degree. In other words most people in America do not graduate from college. The white community account for 44 million or 81% of those individuals that have a bachelors or graduate degree. However, in terms of college graduates above the age of 25 only 44 Million or 28% of whites out of 154.8 million have a college degree. This simply means MOST in the white community do not have a college degree. A further comparison between the various races could indicate significant difference, but the overall statement would remain true.

(5) Most Whites earn over 100k a year false

Refer to questions above for answers lol.
Couple of comments:

1. You need to define "wealthy". Income or asset wealthy? It makes a difference in the discussion. My mom who is 70 years old and retired, lives in an LA suburb, makes $60K a year from investment income/dividends. $60K is a median income in Los Angeles, not much to brag about. But that's being generated from $2 million worth of stocks and bonds, at 3% return, with my mom doing no active work to generate it. Is she wealthy?

2. Most Americans are not wealthy (i.e. not at the top 1 percentile) , whether by income or by asset. By definition, most Americans cluster around the median (the 50th percentile).

3. Whites are 75% of the population. They are more likely to represent the overall US population just be sheer number, so their wealth status will crowd at the median.

4. The myth you are trying to dispel i.e. "that all or most whites are wealthy" is a myth that no one has asserted. I think the myth (or truism) you are trying to dispel is "whites are wealthier/less poor than other racial groups".

5. Compared to blacks, whites as a group are wealthier. Or shall we say, less poor. Going by net worth, whites have a median net worth of $100K, while blacks have $7K. This is net worth, not income. Check the link I gave you for the actual numbers. (Survey of Consumer Finances).
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Old 05-23-2010, 09:15 AM
 
1,045 posts, read 708,131 times
Reputation: 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by ndfmnlf View Post
A lot of the data you seek can be found in the Census Bureau website. Also here FRB: 2007 SCF the Fed's survey of consumer finances.
thanks for the post ndfmnlf

Since many of the myths we tackled have been proven false, the next question would need answer how advantageous certain laws and various protectionist measurements afforded to the “white community” at the expense of various other communities have helped them. This is a quantifiable question with so many complexities, it would be hard to answer. In my opinion, I’m not sure why individuals in both the "white community" and the “black community” or various other minority communities harp on Slavery, because if anything, that would have been more of an advantage to newly freed slaves then a disadvantage based on the fact, they had desirable skills, that many white indentured servants would not have had.
The biggest and most destructive threat to other minorities groups from whites was simply Jim Crow Laws, which largely protected white labor from competing fairly for jobs and helped reduce the overall threat of competition. Most Americans at the time of slavery were uneducated and unskilled, so in my opinion if you never had labor laws, that disadvantaged individuals based on their skin color, nation of origin, or gender, you would probably have a much different America in terms of the economic color scale. I’m a strong believer that in a “planned economy” even through laws that discriminate and give an advantage to one group above another it is still very hard to significantly prop one group above the other in the long run. It is just not sustainable economically and anyone planning the direction of the economy clearly can see it is not a good idea in the long run.
Ok, so, with that said, I’m actually not even going to attempt to go into detail on this idea, because it is safe to say, it has afforded at the very least a slight advantage in terms of housing, wealth accumulation, job placement, and educational prospects, but it certainly has not afforded the extreme large amount of privilege, that many individuals claim it does.
In conclusion Whites have ultimately benefited from complementary stereotypes that are seen within the media, but this benefit has also been a curse in terms of how they are seen by many other minority groups and how they view themselves. These false myths of superiority, financially, educationally, and economically, have done more harm to the white community in assessing and realistically examining their own issues, which has lead to an outright denial of anything, which deviates from this factious mean created by complementary myths.
Whites have certainly enjoyed slightly greater privilege than most other groups in America, however, the fact remains, this privilege, while slight, has not significantly advantaged whites as much as many individuals think. As the demographics change in the United States and more non-white individuals are given accesses to quality education, equality under law, access to quality job opportunities, and continued economic advancement. “White privilege,” will continuously erode to the point, it is almost not recognizable and all individuals both white and non-white will be allowed to fairly compete with one another.
Just my thoughts since this topic has been discussed on here over the last few weeks.
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Old 05-23-2010, 09:17 AM
 
Location: Over There
5,129 posts, read 2,794,341 times
Reputation: 1201
Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioIstheBest View Post
I would say there are some advantages to being white. Probably not as much as some people say but some. White males don't get paid anymore for the same job. That is the biggest myth out there.

Medicare and Social Security are not handouts. People pay into them. Whites get no extra benefits from these programs than any other group.

And whites don't use welfare as much as some other groups when you are talking percentages.

Nor are they in trouble with the law as much when talking percentages.
And most whites aren't wheat and dairy farmers. A non-white wheat farmer would get the same subsidy as a white one.

Whites tend to stay in school longer and they don't have out of wedlock children. Same with Asians. That would be the biggest reason whites and Asians do better economically than blacks and hispanics. And more wealth often leads to more privilege. People get mad when I say that but I never heard another valid explanation.

I wish it weren't so and everyone stayed in school and waited till marriage to have kids but it isn't so. And there is nothing whites or any other group can do to change that. It's up to each individual to make their own decisions and reap the rewards or suffer the consequences.

Good post.
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Old 05-23-2010, 09:23 AM
 
1,045 posts, read 708,131 times
Reputation: 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by ndfmnlf View Post
Couple of comments:

1. You need to define "wealthy". Income or asset wealthy? It makes a difference in the discussion. My mom who is 70 years old and retired, lives in an LA suburb, makes $60K a year from investment income/dividends. $60K is a median income in Los Angeles, not much to brag about. But that's being generated from $2 million worth of stocks and bonds, at 3% return, with my mom doing no active work to generate it. Is she wealthy?

2. Most Americans are not wealthy (i.e. not at the top 1 percentile) , whether by income or by asset. By definition, most Americans cluster around the median (the 50th percentile).

3. Whites are 75% of the population. They are more likely to represent the overall US population just be sheer number, so their wealth status will crowd at the median.

4. The myth you are trying to dispel i.e. "that all or most whites are wealthy" is a myth that no one has asserted. I think the myth (or truism) you are trying to dispel is "whites are wealthier/less poor than other racial groups".

5. Compared to blacks, whites as a group are wealthier. Or shall we say, less poor. Going by net worth, whites have a median net worth of $100K, while blacks have $7K. This is net worth, not income. Check the link I gave you for the actual numbers. (Survey of Consumer Finances).

ndfmnlf again great post, but to clarify, I'm not trying to dispel this myth as much as I'm trying to point out the silliness with which this is debated. Fact is even if you include assets only a small portion of Whites are or would be considered wealthy and in fact, once actual assets are included the overall percentage at the top drops down significantly.

Answer this in terms of a game of logic and argument;

If two people get the following failing scores on a test out of 100 points

40%
30%

Does it make any sense for the individual who got a 40% to brag about having a failing score that is 10% higher than another failing score?

No it doesn't at all!!

This is the way i see race politics in this country. White's brag to blacks about very slight insignificant issues, while Blacks blow insignificant differences in white advancement out of proportion (sorry to gross generalize.)



My larger point is to prove that Whites have gained from favorable laws in the past, but this advantage while still slightly better, is slowly eroding and 50-100 years from now will probably not be very noticeable.

The last point is that simply stated most Americans are lower/middle class at best, so these bs idea of a significant middle class is complete media propaganda, and not factually true for any race and it is much easier to illustrate, that most people are not getting ahead by using the White race as an example.
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Old 05-23-2010, 09:39 AM
 
217 posts, read 18,050 times
Reputation: 43
Economic/Financial Myths
1. Most Whites Are Wealthy? Uh no.I am far from wealthy
2. Most Whites Are Employed?Nope.
3. Most Whites Are Middle to Upper Middle Class?Eh my parents maybe me no.
4. Most Whites Are College Educated?My parents are yes.I am not
5. Most Whites Make over 100k a year?HA! Not even close
Government Handout/Subsidies Myths
1. Most Whites Do not use the Government for any social program?I do and have to so I can survive
A. Subsidies for Wheat/Dairy/ Farming etc
B. Medicare/Medicaid-Yes
C. Social Security-
D. Welfare/TANF/Food Stamps-yes
Crime/Violence/Drugs Myths
1. Most Whites do not commit crime or Whites commit the least number of crimes?True
2. Whites make up the least number of individuals in Prison?True
3. Whites do not sell/use drugs?They do but depends on what drugs you are talking about.
4. Most Gangs are non-white?yes
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Old 05-23-2010, 09:48 AM
 
177 posts, read 131,674 times
Reputation: 90
Of course, white people are going to deny that they are privileged.
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