The non-profit activism organization "#BlackLivesMatter" has gained quite a bit of traction in the past year. Their strong social media presence and unapologetic in-your-face protests remind Americans that racial inequality has yet to be achieved, but their methods don 't resonate so well with some people.
Shouldn 't we be saying all lives matter?
What about White lives?
Black people aren 't the only ones who have it rough.
These statements don 't merely fail to recognize the prevalence of racism in America. They propagate the increasingly prevalent lie that White privilege is a thing of the past. Although great strides have been made in combatting racism during the last century, in some ways America hasn 't changed all that much. Black youth are still oppressed by White authorities, Black people still have lower average salaries than White people, and many White people would rather tweet #AllLivesMatter instead of #BlackLivesMatter (Fry and Kochhar; Mgeni). White Americans are becoming alarmingly unaware of their privilege, while Black Americans bear the brunt of the former 's ignorance.
What is White Privilege?
Take this scenario: two babies are born. Baby 1 is born into an upper middle class suburban household with two parents present. Baby 2 is born to a nineteen-year-old single mother who struggles to hold a job. Baby 1 has a college fund set up by its grandparents and will have access to books, toys, games, and technology. Baby 2, on the other hand, will have to apply for scholarships in order to attend college, and has less access to educational materials than Baby 1. In this situation, it 's pretty fair to say that, from birth, Baby 1 has an ad...
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The overarching theme promoted in the film, suggests the Na 'vi - Africans, Native Americans, South Americans etc... - posses not the spiritual, physical or intellectual capacity to compete with their European counterparts and thus have not the ability to adequately govern themselves, much less in times of adversity ergo the need for a White savior. (Meade)
This normalization of White supremacy and racism only perpetuates the problem. Many children saw Avatar, and although they were likely not aware of the exact racial implications of the film, the film made them more accustomed to seeing a White man dominate another culture. The very fact that most American viewers can watch this movie without noticing its underlying racist and White supremacist undertones is, in itself, evidence of the increasing unawareness of White privilege in our culture (Meade; Pon).
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