Although the disparity in racial, religious and gender related treatment of people in the United States has drastically improved, the privilege certain groups have, or lack thereof, continues to affect everyday lives.
The privileged have convinced themselves and the world that injustices faced by people of different color, faith and belief is the normal way of life. The economic inequality among the population is prevalent and impossible to deny.
In the United States, the stigma surrounding colored people is widely neglected. Considering the mass prosecution of various peoples in the past, this response is to be expected. People fail to acknowledge the research showing commonplace discrimination.
According to a study conducted by Harvard Professor Devah Pager, “being Black in America today is just about the same as having a felony conviction in terms of one’s chances of finding a job.”
More than twice of the time, White applicants with felonies were chosen by employers, over qualified Black applicants without any prior felonies.
While many choose to deny it, in specific instances, certain groups irrefutably receive racial privilege. It is simply a blessing to be born white in this time because employment is higher and white is the majority.
Countless research also supports the imbalance in pay by gender. The White House says that annually “full-time working women earn 77 percent of what their male counterparts earn,” meaning females have to work approximately three months into the new year to match a male’s income.
Women are not only given lower wages than men, but the jobs offered to them are far less. 5 percent of Fortune 500 companies are run by women despite the 56 percent female composition of undergraduate colleges in fall 2013. Women are as qualified as men but are denied jobs and appropriate wage solely because of their gender. The sexist mindset conceived in the 1880s and 1900s is identical to the prejudice against all different racial groups. Fairness and equality should spread across all groups.
Simply being born into a wealthy household is a privilege. Not only is a safe and comfortable life guaranteed, one is automatically considered a more trustworthy person to the public. The lower income communities are often assumed of committing crime and community enforcers, badged or otherwise, are able to judge and prosecute with rare consequences.
Innocents, like Trayvon Martin, were judged based on their neighborhoods and the color of their skin. The rich and famous, no matter the crime, are painted in a glorious way while the average person’s reputation tarnished.
The American dream is advertised worldwide as the chance to live side by side with people from different backgrounds and receive equal opportunity, and despite our relatively minor privilege, many immigrants are delighted. Compared to the situations of other countries, the issue of privilege in the U.S. is diminutive.
In some cases privileges have been abolished. For instance, according to the law all people regardless of any grouping are given the right to vote and run for office. The U.S. even has a black president. Also, in education minority groups have risen past the average college enrollment rate. Privileges among groups continue to decline but not a pace fast enough to avoid the next generation.
Denying the existence of privilege in our day is ignoring the facts. In relation to a majority of the world the U.S. may seem successful, but that is not the appropriate stance to take. No one in this society should be satisfied with mediocre, especially in their treatment as citizens. The freedom of expression means all aspects of every person should be equally valued and protected.