The deaths of Eric Garner, John Crawford III, Michael Brown, and Tamir Rice at the hands of police brought renewed protests and attention to racial injustices in the US in 2014. In Arizona, the killing of unarmed Rumain Brisbon sparked local marches and protests. At the heart of the protests, communities of color demand freedom from fear, intimidation, profiling, and violence at the hands law enforcement. The response of the larger community has been mixed with many individuals allying themselves to the movement for racial justice and many others uniting behind the belief that racism no longer exists, that the fears of communities of color are overblown, and that everyone is treated equally in the US if they just follow the rules.
Throughout the movement, white privilege has garnered public attention. White privilege is a system of unearned advantages that white communities inherit because of historic oppression. These unearned advantages translate into power, access, and control for white communities while communities of color are largely left without power, access, and control.
White privilege rests at the heart of racism. Racism divides us, destroys our communities, and perpetuates our social problems. If we are serious about ending poverty, ending violence in our communities, and creating equal access and chances for all then we must confront white privilege.