The truth about white privilege

It seems lately that the term ‘white privilege’ is being thrown around more extensively. Debates, arguments, and discussions from every corner of the country are using this term. But is the thinking behind this term legitimate?

Until recently, I didn’t understand what people meant when they called me “privileged” (I’m Caucasian). I took offense to it, as most do because the meaning is ambiguous. The impression made by the term is insulting. Are they saying I didn’t put in any work for the things I have, or that my parents didn’t work for what they have because of our skin color? That kind of thinking in 21st century America is undeniably racist. We all enjoy the same freedom under the law.

But it turns out, this is not the intended meaning for most people using the term. Instead, what they mean is this: white people enjoy easier access to success and exemption to stereotypes because of their skin color.

In some respects, this is true. There are stereotypes hindering certain ethnicities and minorities from achieving the same things. Black people are drug dealers, Hispanics are illegal immigrants, white people are racist. But we all know these statements can’t be true when used to cover an entire group of people; in fact, when used as a generalization, no stereotype would remain true.

The term ‘white privilege’, far more often than not, is used as a discriminatory term aimed at demeaning people with white skin color, delegitimizing their beliefs and accomplishments, and propping up another skin color in order to compensate for the gap in opportunity. In other words, it is revenge attempting to level the playing field of inequality — which does absolutely nothing. Instead, let’s find the root cause of this inequality.

It’s easy to differentiate opportunity gaps using only skin color, but they extend much further than one physical attribute. In fact, I think the socioeconomic disposition in America is caused by many associated factors.

Here are a few of them that contribute to an opportunity gap.

Education

Straight from the National Center for Education Statistics, here are the high school graduation rates by ethnicity (2014-15 ACGR):

White: 88%

Asian: 90%

Black: 75%

Hispanic: 78%

We see here that Asian Americans are graduating at the highest rate, while African Americans are graduating at a rate of only 3 people for every 4.

Employment

Following are the calculated unemployment rates in America, by ethnicity, straight from an October 6, 2017, news release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Asian: 3.7%

Black: 7.0%

White: 3.7%

Hispanic: 5.1%

Average income (2016)

White: $61,349

Black: $38,555

Asian: $80,720

Hispanic: $46,882

By looking at these numbers, it’s clear that education directly correlates with employment and the trend continues with average income. It’s no coincidence that Black and Hispanic Americans have the lowest average income when they also have the lowest high school graduation rate. On the other hand, Asian Americans make almost 20K more per year than the second highest demographic. Why is nobody is calling for awareness to be raised on Asian privilege?

To a large extent, the above factors can be controlled by the individual. For example, a student is responsible for paying attention in school and keeping their grades up, right? They do so in order to eventually get a good job.

But who teaches kids responsibility? Traditionally, these values are taught in the home by the parents.

Percentage of children in one parent households according to the US Kids Count Data Center:

Asians: 14%

Blacks: 55%

Whites: 20%

Data not available for Hispanics

Clearly, broken homes or homes without both parents have an effect on responsibility in school, and thus subsequent graduation rates. I think it’s also important to note how Asian American families, who financially are doing much better than any other ethnicity, are also keeping their families intact 86% of the time.

I could dig even deeper into this issue but in the end, it will always come back to one thing, responsibility of the individual — whether that be the parent, student, or otherwise.

After looking at this data, the verity of this ‘privilege’ idea becomes clear. “White privilege” is nothing more than an excuse used by those(not just minorities or certain ethnic groups) who feel they do not have a competitive advantage in society and want to place the responsibility for that disadvantage on someone else. It’s true that minorities tend to have a more difficult time finding their way through this society, but it’s not impossible. If it were then we wouldn’t have successful people of every race and religion living here, and Asian Americans — as a whole — certainly wouldn’t be doing so well. I’d say if the above statistics began to level out over the top, there would be very little talk of privilege in our society because it all boils down to personal responsibility.

We live in a very competitive society, but the freedom we enjoy comes hand and note with a healthy competition which, in the past, did well to effectively incentivize Americans.  Every person has the opportunity to make their life better than their parents lives — the American Dream!

Perhaps we’ve reached a point in our society where everything is too easy. Maybe everything has become so simple that responsibility is barely required? In this kind of society, claiming one race has privilege over another when the laws explicitly state otherwise is a conceivable response to inequality — but it’s not the correct response and it’s certainly not the American response.

I’d say if the above statistics began to level out over the top, there would be very little talk of privilege in our society. Let’s just go back to emphasizing personal responsibility instead of faultless victimhood. I bet we’d all be much happier.

What are your thoughts on this?

7 creative ways to make money on the side

There comes a time, usually at the end of the month, where we could all use a bit more money in our bank account. Earn a few extra bucks each day and by the end of the week, you’ll have enough for a night out with your friends! Alternatively, putting one of these 7 things into practice could be the difference between barely paying the bills and having some money left over.

1. Let your car be an advertisement

How often do you drive every day? If you’re on the road for a substantial amount of time each day, there are companies that will pay you to put advertising on your car. Companies like Carvertise and Pay me for Driving will wrap your car and pay you monthly based on the amount of people they estimate saw your car. I really like this option because it’s completely passive income. I mean you get paid just to drive your car. Nothing about your normal schedule changes, but you earn around $300 more per month!

2. Work for Sykes

Sykes is a chief provider of customer contact management solutions. Basically, they provide customer and technical support for Fortune 500 companies who want to outsource this work. You can take calls and answer questions from the comfort of your couch while getting paid close to $10 an hour!

Their training prepares you adequately for the job and the schedule is flexible. Perfect for earning some money on the side or even for full-time work if you’re willing.

3. Get a notary license

If you aren’t sure what a notary is, here’s a simple clarification. A notary is a person who certifies writings such as deeds, wills, affidavits, and depositions. Essentially, they attest to the authenticity of documents to make them legally legitimate.

This sounds boring. And it sort of is.

Signing documents isn’t the most enjoyable work, so why should you do it?

Well, because a notary public typically charges $10 – $20 per signature. If you want to make some real money with this, you can become a mobile notary. As suggested in the name, a mobile notary is someone who has to make a trip somewhere to sign the papers. Most often this consists of traveling to somebody’s house. Mobile notaries can charge around $40 per signature with $10 extra per additional signature, but I’ve seen some of them charge upwards of $90. You can choose your rate depending on how far you have to drive.

If you want to make some real money with this, you can become a mobile notary. As suggested in the name, a mobile notary is someone who has to make a trip somewhere to sign the papers. Most often this consists of traveling to somebody’s home or place of residence. Mobile notaries can charge around $40 per signature with $10 extra per additional signature, but I’ve seen some of them charge upwards of $90. You can choose your rate depending on how far you have to drive.

 

Each state has different requirements for notaries, so you’ll have to do some quick research on your state.

On the low price end, if you only did 3 or 4 notaries a week, you’re still looking at upwards of $150 for just a few hours of your week.

Building a client list won’t be too difficult either because everyone needs a notary public at some point for something. Market your services to your friends first, and eventually word of mouth will get around enough to bring you a steady stream of work.

4. Sell your services on Fivver

If you’ve never heard of Fivver, you need to go there right now. It’s a freelance website where people can charge for just about anything. Do you have graphic design experience? Are you a programmer? Musician?

Sell your services for $5 a pop on Fivver.

Seriously, you can do just about anything on here and get paid for it. Are you a good listener? I’ve seen psychology students put up listings for a 10-minute conversation about your problems. All they do is listen and give some advice.

Some of the listings get a bit crazy, but with a little creativity, even someone with zero talents can make money with it.

5. Tutor people online

This concept is equally simple as it is contemporary. If you have an academic skill set(science, math, etc) that you think other people will benefit from in a tutoring relationship, go to one of the many tutoring sites on the internet and sign up(see below for good sites). People who need tutoring — in a variety of different subjects — can sign up and find an expert in the corresponding area.

Benefits of tutoring:

  • Working from home
  • choosing your hours
  • choosing your rate(depending on the company you tutor for)
  • helping people!

Do a little research on each of these sites to find out which one is best for the subject you want to tutor!

  1. Tutor.com
  2. Homework Tutoring
  3. Aim-for-A Tutoring
  4. My Tutor 24
  5. Revolution Prep
  6. Tutorvista

6. Answer questions for 1Q

I like this one because you can log onto the mobile app and do it from anywhere. The 1Q app was created in 2015 and put on both the Apple and Google play stores. Businesses use this app for fast market research by submitting questions for you to answer. Every question answered will earn you either 25 or 50 cents — depending on which you choose. I recommend opting for the 25 cent questions as you will get a higher volume of questions and thus more money. Depending on your demographic, you can get enough questions to make 60-100 dollars a month… for only a few minutes every day. It can’t get much easier than that.

Download for Apple

Download for Android

7. work on Amazon Mechanical Turk

I’ve actually used this quite often over the past few years to make some extra spending money. I’ve made upwards of $300 over the past few months. Please note that earnings from Mturk won’t be enough to substitute for normal income, but if you just want some extra spending money for the weekend, this one’s for you.

Mechanical Turk — Mturk for short — is an Amazon company that uses ordinary internet users to test out different programs, interfaces, and websites. It’s similar to 1Q except it includes tasks too! What attracts me to Mturk is the utter simplicity of it. This work consists mostly of easy, seemingly trivial tasks online or answering easy questions on surveys. You need absolutely no training — as long as you can surf the web and use a computer. After signing up, you go to the Hits page and select which tasks you want to do.

Not everyone will be able to succeed with Mturk. It took me some time to figure out how to actually make good money without sacrificing too much time. I plan on creating a separate post to detail exactly how I do it and how you can do the same thing regularly.

Final thought

Think about your average day. How full is your schedule?

It’s likely that an hour or two a day doing nothing. If you’d like some extra spending money, put one of these 7 things into practice instead of putting that time to waste.

Don’t forget to subscribe if you’re not already!