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Ethan Allen


English IV Honors

October 17, 2017

Media Bias in Modern America

It is hard to imagine an America where those of a different race are still being treated

differently. However, for most minorities of America, the social climate has not changed all that

much since the 1960s. The economic gap between certain races is still high and African

Americans are still being treated unfairly by a corrupted judicial system. Unfortunately, the same

cannot be said for white Americans. Everyday white Americans live in a protected world free of

biased opinions and harsh judgement, the majority of these Americans have no idea this is

happening however. This absence of knowledge among these Americans is known as white

privilege, a concept that began to arise around the start of the Black Lives Matter movement in

2012. In essence, white privilege is people benefitting from unearned privileges based on the

color of their skin or gender resulting in western society being construed in such a way that it

puts these people at an unfair advantage.

First of all, the economy is an essential part of any society. Therefore, it must be a fairly

well developed one to support a fair and equal society. However, for African Americans the

economy has not changed that all that since about four decades ago. In fact, black households in

the 20th and 40th percentiles of household income earned about 55 percent of a white

households income (Campos). The shocking part about this statistic, however, is that these are

the exact same numbers from 1967. Furthermore, it is hard to believe that a society that

supposedly worked so hard to fight the inequality between white and African Americans has not
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changed all that much from the strongest point of institutionalized racism after slavery. Another

economic problem with minorities is job applications in modern society. For instance, equally

qualified black and white applicants do not receive the same amount of call back interviews or

job offers. As a matter of fact, black applicants receive call back interviews or job offers at half

the rate as white applicants (Campos). Also, black or latino applicants with no criminal record

have less of a chance than white applicants just released from prison. Lastly, there is a significant

difference between the overall wealth in white and black households. To elaborate, white

households have about 13 times the wealth of black households, which is transferred between

further generations, resulting in even more of a gap between the two races (Campos). Overall,

the economic problems faced by African Americans with applying to jobs and the wealth gap

give most white Americans a significant advantage in life, further building an unfair and unjust

society for African Americans as well as providing the exact definition of white privilege.

Secondly, it is important to understand some of the bias African Americans face and what

white Americans avoid in their everyday lives. Specifically, with law enforcements treatment of

African-American males as opposed to white Americans. While cases of unjust killings have

sprouted into media more often in recent times with the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement

in 2012 following the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, murders similar to these have

occurred well before then. For instance, in 1999 Amadou Diallo was killed by four officers after

reaching into his pocket for an object. The four officers believed Diallo was reaching for a gun

and fired a total of 41 shots (Coyle). However, Diallo was revealed to actually been reaching for

his wallet with identification. Recently, Jonathan A. Ferrell was shot after an automobile

accident. During which, Ferrell stumbled half a mile to a nearby house where he desperately

knocked on the front door. Once the owner saw Ferrell, the police were called and Officer
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Randall Kerrick arrived on scene. Ferrell walked up to Kerrick shouting for help and was shot

ten times in the chest because Kerrick viewed Ferrells actions as threatening (Coyle).

However, these murders do not end with Ferrell,with 20 deaths in 2014 and 2015 alone, and have

the connecting variable of not happening to white people. Because so, it can be assumed that this

is another example of white privilege, with white Americans not having to worry if they will

ever be shot just for being black.

Finally, to understand white privilege one would have to understand the various ways

their existent or non-existent privilege has affected their lives and what they can do to end it. For

instance, if one were to look at the news and see that yet another racial incident has occurred,

would they worry about it happening to them? Could they travel to wherever they want and not

worry about attracting attention based on the color of their skin (Wenger)? Because if not, maybe

it is because that they understand that the world they live in is predominantly white and they

believe the world is theirs because so. Not because they are greedy or evil, but because these

people have been raised and taught from a white mans point of view. For instance, they are

taught about great white pioneers such as Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell and their

contributions to the building of America. However, they are not taught about Ralph Bunche, the

first African American to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, and George Washington Carvers

contributions to American agriculture (Wente). But these injustices do not only remain in

history, every day the media and certain public officials bombard Americans with negative

images of people who are not white (Wenger). As a result, white Americans stereotype, whether

they do it consciously or subconsciously. However, the problem is that few are confronting this

problem, leading to persistent racist behavior that will continue to plague America.
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In conclusion, white privilege is American people benefiting from unearned and

unknown privileges in their life based on the color of their skin or gender. Because so, American

society is construed in such a way that it puts these people at an unfair advantage. For example,

these people may have a greater income for no reason other than theyre white. Also, these

people may have greater job opportunities than African Americans, even if they have committed

a crime. Besides economic advantages, these people also benefit from the fact that they will not

be viewed in a biased and unjust way, especially by police officers. Lastly, there does remain a

solution to the problem of white privilege. That is, for these people to accept that white privilege

is in their lives. Therefore, this will be the start of a solution to the overall bias against African


Works Cited Commented [1]: you need to have a total of six


Campos, Paul F. "White Economic Privilege Is Alive and Well." New York Times, 30

July 2017, p. 3(L). Opposing Viewpoints in Context,

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28 Sept. 2017.

Coyle, Jack. Understanding White Privilege. (Cover Story). Teen Ink, vol. 26, no. 4,

Dec. 2014, p. 12. Points of View Reference Center, EBSCOhost,

ogin.aspx?direct=true&db=pwh&AN=103453709&site=pov-live. Accessed 28 Sept.


Horan, Daniel P. It's Been a Privilege. America, vol. 214, no. 9, 14 Mar. 2016, p.

31.Points of View Reference Center, EBSCOhost,

ogin.aspx?direct=true&db=pwh&AN=113536539&site=pov-live. Accessed 28 Sept.


Roberts, Tom. Confronting White Privilege. National Catholic Reporter, vol. 44,

National Catholic Reporter Publishing Company, 21 Mar. 2008, p. 24. Points of View

Reference Center,

ogin.aspx?direct=true&db=pwh&AN=31404993&site=pov-live. Accessed 28 Sept. 2017.

Wente, Margaret. "The original sin of white privilege." Globe & Mail [Toronto, Canada],

27 May 2017, p. F7. Opposing Viewpoints in Context,

Accessed 19 Sept. 2017.

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