"White Privilege is not about material things, working hard, or socioeconomic status. It is about the opportunities and abilities that are extended to one simply because melanin is lacking in one's skin.
It's about the little things: it's being able to walk into a store and not be followed because you might steal; it's people assuming you are married if they see you with a child; it's being able to walk through most neighborhoods in America without the police being called on you; it's being able to riot and loot and destroy a city after a major sports win and not be referred to as an "animal" or "thug;" it's being able to sit in Starbucks and wait for a friend and not be asked to leave; it's being able to shoot up a school and then be labeled as mentally ill instead of a terrorist; it's terms like 'flesh tone and nude' matching your skin color, but having to use things titled 'sun kissed, tan, beige, medium, dark,' to describe non-white skin colors because apparently brown skin cannot be considered nude.
White privilege is the benefit of never having to consider whether the place you work in, move to, attend school at will have people that look like you or have similar cultural norms.
It's knowing that most salons will know how to cut your hair, most establishments will welcome your business.
It's having a drug addiction and being offered compassion and treatment rather than labeled a crack head and offered jail time. It's having DCFS called on you a zillion times but you get to keep your kids only to kill them.
It's living in a world built on the backs of others that was designed for white people, by white people to solely benefit white people.
It allows for poor, hurtful, and downright illegal behavior by white people to be excused, but the same behavior by non-white people to be demonized.
It is not fair. Privilege is a double standard.
If when the simple and obvious facts are laid out and you still don't see it....well then you are making a conscious choice to be blind while reaping the benefits of a world that actively works to diminish and degrade the existence and beauty of all others."
Enjoli Daley works in Evanston.