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White privilege, through the eyes of a 14-year-old white male

I’m a 14-year-old white male. As a white person, I have white privilege.

When leaving my home, I don’t have to fear being the victim of a hate crime because of my skin color. As a young child, whenever I turned on the TV, I was likely to see characters that are representative of myself.

I’ve never been called a slur because of my race. If ever I were to have an interaction with the police, I wouldn’t have to fear for my life because of my race. These are examples of my white privilege, built off of racial injustice. I can truthfully say these things, but that isn’t the case for many people of color.

Here’s the dictionary definition: “white privilege (noun): inherent advantages possessed by a white person on the basis of their race in a society characterized by racial inequality and injustice.”

One out of 1,000 Black men and boys are killed by police. When you look at white men and boys, that number drops to 0.039 out of 1,000. That means that white men are 156.41% less likely than Black men to be killed by police. Black people even receive longer sentences than white people for nearly identical crimes. According to a report by the United States Sentencing Commission, “Black male offenders still received sentences on average 20.4 percent longer than similarly situated white male offenders.”This proves that our justice system is biased against Black people. This must change.

In my opinion, we cannot and must not try to deny white privilege. Instead, we must use our white privilege to help fight for racial justice and equality. The first thing that we must all do is educate ourselves. Educate yourself on racial sentencing disparities. Educate yourself on the funding disparities between majorly white and majorly Black school districts throughout this country. In addition, I would encourage the adult readers of this column to vote. Vote for candidates who understand racial inequality, and who will fight for equality. In Oregon’s 2nd Congressional District, I would encourage you to vote for Alex Spenser.

Racial justice and equality are important, and they cannot be achieved without acknowledging our white privilege. ——— Hunter Houck is a 14-year-old student at Heppner High School, known for his climate change activism.

HOUCK HUNTER

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