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Does white privilege exist? Show more Show less
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White privilege, the notion that white people are afforded societal benefits that members of other races are not, has seeped into our lexicon to explain racial disparity in wealth, race and health. But are racial privileges responsible? Does white privilege exist? Can it adequately explain individual experiences? Or are other factors at play in creating racial inequality?

Yes, white privilege exists Show more Show less

Inequalities in our justice system, financial system, and health system expose the privileges white communities are afforded.
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White privilege is present in the justice system

The U.S. Justice System favors white people over people of color. This bias means that white people are less likely to be unfairly arrested and imprisoned.

Context

People of color have worse outcomes within the justice system than white people. This inequality is indicative of white privilege in the justice system.

The Argument

The US justice system has a historical legacy of institutional racism which benefits white people and discriminates against people of color. White privilege in the justice system begins with the way they are treated by the police compared to other races. Black people in Minneapolis are 8.7 times more likely than white people to be arrested for low-level offenses.[1] White people are also less likely to be wrongly convicted than other races. For example, white people are about 7 times less likely to be wrongly convicted of murder than black people, white prisoners serving time for sexual assault are 3.5 times less likely to be innocent than a black sexual assault convict, and white people are about 12 times less likely to be wrongfully convicted of drug crimes than black people (despite evidence that white people and black people use illegal drugs at about the same rate).[2] According to the Death Penalty Information Center,[3] murders with white victims are much more likely to result in execution than murders with black victims. These statistics show that the US justice system prioritizes white people as victims and give white people better justice than other races.

Counter arguments

White privilege in the Justice System varies between countries. It is Americancentrism to assume that all white people have privilege over people of color. Some white people believe that political and cultural developments in recent years are giving rise to anti-White bias.[4] This anti-White bias extends to the justice system.

Proponents

Premises

[P1] People of color are discriminated against by all levels of the justice system

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.aclu.org/issues/racial-justice/race-and-criminal-justice/picking-pieces?redirect=feature/picking-pieces
  2. https://www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration/Documents/Race_and_Wrongful_Convictions.pdf
  3. https://deathpenaltyinfo.org/executions/executions-overview/executions-by-race-and-race-of-victim
  4. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1745691611406922?journalCode=ppsa&
This page was last edited on Wednesday, 9 Sep 2020 at 00:50 UTC

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