You are poor or just scraping by. Your are uneducated. You may have never had a snowball’s chance in hell of making it because life got you down from the start. But you are white, so yes – you are still privileged. I know it can be hard to think about and even harder to accept, for myself as well. But it is true.
White privilege and racial oppression are very difficult topics with white people of the poor/working class because despite their whiteness they still suffer. When non-whites bring up racial discrimination/oppression/white privilege it seems like they are making an excuse for their circumstances. They are trying to find an easy way out. To take advantage of their non-whiteness to gain an upper hand.
White people may think “I am white and I deal with the same shit.” Such is the way of the poor and working class – we are trained to be obedient, to fight among ourselves, to unquestioningly seek out the same fame and fortune that is the cause of our oppression as a class. As white poor and working class we deny that our race gives us any advantage because it justifies our poorness. It prevents us from thinking other people have to work even harder and deal with even more crap just to live the same struggle as us.
I urge anyone who identifies as white and from the poor or working class to consider what “white privilege” means to you. Think about it then check out this article from the Occupy Wallstreet movement.
I would also take a peek at Peggy McIntosh’s “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack,” mentioned in the article. Or perhaps engage another non-white person of the same economic status in conversation. You might learn a lot – I know I have.