D H
Feb 22 · Last update 12 days ago.

How did American history generate white privilege?

White privilege is a academic concept that has recently entered popular consciousness and describes the racial privilege that people with white skin enjoy. White Privilege is a set of unearned societal advantages, including greater social status and greater freedoms to buy, work, play, and speak freely. Such racial privilege may take the form of overt or extremely subtle advantages that white people in the society are largely unaware of, including the universality of their own experience. The term was coined in the early 20th century as scholars became increasingly analytical and critical of the effects of colonialism on society. White privilege saw increased use throughout the civil rights movement of the 1960s, and again over the last decade as the term entered popular culture from academia via social media, during social movements against racialised violence such as Black Lives Matter. As America tries again to deal with its deep history of racism in the 21st century, for the first time since the civil rights movement, terms like white privilege are helping to frame the systemic racial disparities that have arisen as a result of racism's place in American history and society. How has the history of the United States solidified a guarantee of white privilege in American society?
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Sharecropping
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Manifest Destiny
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A country built on slavery and colonialism
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Sharecropping

In the shadow of the Civil War and the abolition of slavery, sharecropping became a common way for impoverished farmers to scrape out a living from someone else’s land, usually sharing half of the crops grown with the landowner in a system that left the poor trapped in poverty. While both poverty-stricken black and white farmers were trapped into never-ending debt agreements with landlords, lingering vagrancy laws, that allowed police in states such as North Carolina to arrest unemployed black people and send them to prison farms to work for free, simultaneously reinforced the vestiges of slavery. In this way sharecropping functioned as an aggressive post-slavery form of slavery, and similarly the modern US prison system arguably still functions in a very similar way today. Prison labour is still a massive industry in the country, effectively keeping the dynamics of slavery alive today and maintaining a different experience in modern America based largely on a person's skin colour.

modernamericanpoetry.org/criticism/matthew-lessig-sharecroppers bullcity150.org/landless_people/sharecropping truthout.org/articles/modern-day-slavery-from-incarceration-to-forced-adoption

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D H
Feb 24
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Manifest Destiny

This widely held concept helped to justify the genocide against Native Americans, with many settlers thinking the Westward expansion of white settlers across North America was their destiny throughout the 19th century. Although historians point to this as a minority belief of the political class of the period, it did however inspire the movement of settlers of European decent westward across the entire North American continent, socially homogenising the region as they went. Much of the deaths in this era were the result of taking away land from native populations and diseases such as small pox, but violence played a significant role, and such ideas of racial dominance even inspired Adolf Hitler’s imperial expansion across Eastern Europe in the following century. Such ideas of a privileged white settler who is obliged to dominate and civilise the indigenous savages informed American imperialism both at home and abroad also, solidifying a racism deep in the heart of American domestic and foreign political policy.

outfrontmagazine.com/trending/culture/dismantling-white-privilege-manifest-destiny portlandobserver.com/news/2018/jun/06/manifest-destiny-modern-america meloukhia.net/2016/03/manifest_destiny_white_supremacy_and_how_the_west_was_won

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D H
Feb 24
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A country built on slavery and colonialism

The United States was born as a European colonial project and relied more heavily on slavery that any other colony, racism helped to establish these systems the fact that the country was founded on slavery and colonialism has undoubtedly helped to solidify racism deeply within American society. During the American Civil War much of the country was willing to go to war to preserve this system of industrialised slavery that had made the United States so prosperous, but this long dark history of racism was only further crystallised even as slavery was being abolished in America. Those set to abolish slavery were satisfied with protecting a privileged place for white people in American society, by allowing the enactment of laws such as Jim Crow that literally made non-whites second class citizens in many states. More than anything else it is this very foundational history of the United States that set the stage for white privilege in modern American society, and the modern backlash against concepts such as white privilege, what some have labelled white fragility, is evidence that in many Americans minds attitudes toward race have not developed much since the civil war.

gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-development-of-white-privilege-and-racism-during-the-slavery-times-in-colonial-america asianamericanchristiancollaborative.com/article/lets-talk-about-white-privilege-and-slavery

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D H
Feb 22
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