SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – NBC 6 continues tackling tough topics in our “Voices of Courage” series. One of those is the concept of white privilege. Two moderators in YWCA of Northwest Louisiana’s “Dialogue on Race” program explain the meaning. Sonja Lester and Susan Caldwell hey say the phrase can evoke guilt and frustration in individuals. However, they say the phrase is not personal but should be is based on historical advantage of one race over others in America.
“It has historical background and once people know it’s an unsolicited advantage. It’s not something you went out looking for or you asked for. It’s just something that happens because of the race,” said Lester.
Lester and Caldwell say you don’t have to look back as far as slavery. Caldwell says you can see more recent evidence with disparities in the G.I. bill, which was signed in 1944 to help servicemen and women build a life when they returned from war. It provided help with education, employment and housing.
“The GI Bill was unequally applied and the GI Bill helped a lot of white families move into the middle class and generations after them move into the upper middle class and it was not applied equally across racial lines,” said Caldwell.
You can examine more issues and help increase understanding by joining the conversation on the NBC 6 Facebook by joining the group “Voices of Courage.”