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Recently, this article, Why I’ll Never Apologize for My White Male Privilege, has been making rounds on the internet. Personally I'm skeptical of the existence of "White privilege", but I'm not knowledgeable about this subject and this is such a highly polarized field that truly disinterested studies are likely hard to find.

Disclaimer: I'm not American (or Caucasian), so I might not be familiar with the cultural nuances surrounding this sensitive topic. I apologize in advance if this question is offensive in any way.

EDIT: It would appear that this is too broad. I think it may be a better fit if I ask "According to proponents of White privilege, non-caucasians are discriminated against when it comes to receiving job opportunities and career progression. Is this claim true?"

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    What about "is the US job market non-discriminatory in terms of wages/employment rate?" – Sklivvz May 6 '14 at 16:32
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The original question "Does 'white privilege' exist?" suffers from fundamental definition problems. How do you define it and how do you measure it? By some definitions, it seems fairly obvious. By other definitions, it seems intractable to measure.

The modified question "According to proponents of White privilege, non-caucasians are discriminated against when it comes to receiving job opportunities and career progression. Is this claim true?" still suffers a couple of problems.

"According to proponents of White privilege" would be better replaced with an actual claim (or claims) by actual people, so we aren't tilting against strawmen.

Then we have the problem of how you determine whether discrimination is purely based on skin colour, or on other factors correlated to skin colour, and whether it is reasonable to discriminate on those factors. Challenges like: Are unpaid internships part of the issue? Is hiring based on someone's accent part of the issue? Is hiring through networks of friends and contacts part of the issue? Is responding to resumes at a different rate based on the apparent ethnicity of the person's name part of the issue?

None of those are actually using skin colour as a factor, and yet may be seen as part of the overall "white privilege" concept. Do they count or not?

  • Thank you, you raise some very important points. It seems that this claim is practically un-provable – Twilight Sparkle May 7 '14 at 2:49
  • How about a question on the topic but worded such as "Is there any definitive proof or statistics that prove or disprove the white privilege does exist without considering any factors other than race"? Would that still be too broad or opinion based if there really are some facts that may validate in either direction? Perhaps some references to current events that went to court, etc. as well. – The Milk Man Jul 21 '17 at 0:05
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    @McDonald's: First I would simplify the question to "Does white privilege does exist without considering any factors other than race?" because the rest is implied. But then I am stuck because I don't really understand how that is different to "Does white privilege exist?" and even if it isn't, it still suffers from the fundamental definition problems above. My suggestion is very similar to those who want to ask "Does Chi exist?" or "Do crystals emit energy?" Assume for a second it exists. What prediction does it make? What effect would it have on the real world? (cont'd) – Oddthinking Jul 21 '17 at 2:48
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    Then find someone who is making that claim: Chi makes you impervious to pain. Crystals cure breast cancer. White people are treated x% more favourably compared to others in this specific way in this specific community. Then ask if THAT is true. – Oddthinking Jul 21 '17 at 2:50
  • (Do I need a disclaimer that I think the truth value of "whites have privilege" and the truth value of "crystals have magic energy" are likely to very different?) – Oddthinking Jul 21 '17 at 2:52

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