White Privilege, Color, and Crime: A Personal Account

An article on the impact of unearned privilege on a person's life. 

Discussion Questions

  1. Talking in a group of four or five others in your class, name and describe some effects of one unearned disadvantage you have had in life.  Plan for equal time for each speaker, and time the speakers.  Anyone who takes more time than is allotted may be privileging himself or herself.
  2. Next, talking in a group of four or five others in your class, name an unearned circumstance of advantage you have had in your life that has not been mentioned.  Again, plan for an allotment of equal time for each speaker and keep track of the time.  To repeat: anyone who takes more time may be privileging himself or herself through dominance in the taking of “air time.”
  3. In a group of four or five (still using equal time), discuss a way in which you have seen white privilege at work in the context of law school, justice studies, or the courts. (This discussion will require more time altogether.)
  4. Name one way in which you can use your power to share power in your context or use privilege to weaken systems of unearned privilege.  (Take equal time, and keep track).
  5. In the small group, have each person discuss some frustrations, difficulties, and/or payoffs in structuring the uses of time in this way during the discussion of privilege, color, and crime.  I am hoping that time-use habits will be seen as one more aspect of privilege, and that being democratic can also entail stringent controls, at times, on the sharing of power.  (Take equal time).