The words 'white privilege' are more important than ever to acknowledge right now. Following the killing of Black American George Floyd by a white police officer in Minnesota (police officer Derek Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter, but the case hasn't yet gone to trial), Black Lives Matter protests against racism have taken place across the US and the rest of the world - including the United Kingdom.
As one popular social media post doing the rounds puts it, "it's not black vs white, it's everyone vs racism". The point is, this conversation should include everyone. It should include the people who are subjected to lesser opportunities, those who suffer physical and verbal abuse over the colour of their skin, and those who will never know what any of that is like because they just so happen to be white.
White privilege - defined as "the inherent advantages possessed by a white person on the basis of their race in a society characterised by racial inequality and injustice" - must be broadly accepted and acknowledged. And for anyone who has any trouble understanding the concept of white privilege, a recent Tik Tok video recorded by a young Black American man sums it up perfectly.
Tik Tok user @skoodupcam's post, in which he lists the "unwritten rules" his mum makes him follow as a young Black man, has gone viral. It's been watched more than 7 million times, and it contains a vitally important message.
"Don't put your hands in your pockets"
"Don't put your hoody on"
"Don't be out too late"
"Don't touch anything you're not buying"
"Never leave the store without a receipt or a bag, even if it's just a pack of gum"
"Never leave the house without your ID"
"Don't ride with the music too loud"
"Don't stare at a caucasian woman"
These are all things that are regular considerations for young black men, who have to keep front of mind at all times the fact that they might inadvertently invite potential confrontation in society just by doing ordinary things.
And these are ordinary things for white people. They can play music in their car however loud they want. They don't have to think twice about getting a receipt in a shop. They can put their hands wherever they want.
This is the way that white privilege manifests, and it needs to be accepted by everyone in order to address the ingrained racism in society.
Find out what you can do to demand justice for black lives here:
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