White “Suffering”

The Dangerous Belief that White People are Under Attack (2017), by Dr. Clara Wilkins, reminds me of a conversation that I had with my extended family a few years ago. My aunt, (and old, white, wealthy, surprisingly liberal woman) was talking about how her alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania was using affirmative action when looking at applications. My aunt was expressing her frustration about how white students are now being “discriminated against” because students of color now have a one up over white students. I honestly didn’t think anything of it at the time, but I now have my own feelings about the topic. Affirmative action is necessary, but tricky. People of color have suffered because of white people since this country was created, so we should probably take that into consideration when dealing with college and job applications. However, just because we take into consideration the race of a person, white people shouldn’t pity people of color for being “lesser” than white people. White people should make sure they are aware of the ways they are using affirmative action. They shouldn’t do it because people of color are “suffering” and need the help of white people. The first sentence of the article by Wilkins honestly caught me off guard.

In August, the Justice Department decided to investigate instances of bias against whites in university admissions. Since then, campuses have been flyered with “It’s okay to be white,” and in November, violence erupted at the University of Connecticut during a speech about discrimination against whites. Are white people actually under attack?


I couldn’t believe when reading this that the department of justice would ever investigate “discrimination against whites.” Discrimination against white people is not a thing. White people have ALWAYS had a one- up over people of color, no matter the situation. Just because people of color are finally getting acceptance they deserve from universities, it doesn’t mean that white people are being discriminated against. Although affirmative action is necessary for universities and companies to take into consideration, how do we know when affirmative action is turning into white savior complex?