According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the definition of privilege is:
A special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group.
‘education is a right, not a privilege’
The reason white America gets to enjoy these rights is not that they receive a “Get out of hate” card at birth; it is that the Constitution of the United States guarantees these rights to every American citizen. Walking freely through a store or driving safely down the street isn’t supposed to be an entitlement born out of an unseen advantage, like having rich parents or being part of royalty. A privilege is the opposite of a right. The only reason people of color don’t get to experience these things is racism, not white privilege.
The “protesters” in Portland were marching in support of Jeremy Christian, who allegedly stabbed two people and injured another aboard a commuter train. As The Oregonian reports, Christian’s social media content is thick with references to white nationalist organizations, Nazi insignias and violent rhetoric. Isn’t the following Facebook post the definition of a terrorist threat or incitement to gang violence?
Why is this important? It’s important because if Christian were black and openly flaunting his allegiance to criminal organizations and speaking of committing illegal acts, he would likely have been flagged by the Portland Police Bureau’s gang database. According to The Oregonian, how you conduct yourself, your appearance and who you associate with are all determining factors that can land you in the gang database. Christian has a criminal history, publicly supports white supremacy and looks exactlylike what you’d expect to see if you snatched the hood off of a Klansman. So why wasn’t Christian listed?
Well, even though Portland is the whitest metropolis in America, with a black population of less than 3 percent, the PPB’s gang database is 64 percent black and only 8 percent white. Christian had the freedom to assemble with whomever he wanted to because of the First Amendment. Christian was free to say whatever pleased his heart because it is his right. But the reason the government didn’t monitor Christian’s hateful speech, associations and actions that eventually exploded into a double murder is that Christian is white.