Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Study: White People React to Evidence of White Privilege by Claiming Greater Personal Hardships

From AlterNet:

Researchers at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business have found that white people respond to evidence that they are privileged by their race by insisting that they face greater hardships in life.

In a study published in the November issue of Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, L. Taylor Phillips and Brian S. Lowery point out that progress on racial equality is limited by the fact that many whites deny the existence of inequities.

“Despite this reality, policy makers and power brokers continue to debate whether racial privilege even exists and whether to address such inequity,” the researchers noted. “One reason for this inaction might be an unwillingness among Whites to acknowledge racial privilege — acknowledgment that may be difficult given that Whites are motivated to believe that meritocratic systems and personal virtues determine life outcomes.”

More here.

This happens like clockwork in my discussion threads about racial injustice. It frustrates the devil out of me, but it does seem to be a fairly common psychological affliction among white people. That means I've got to deal with it. But I'm still at something of a loss about how to do so.