Experiencing White Privilege

To the Editor:

I very much appreciated Curtis Springer’s August 22nd [Portsmouth] Herald letter explaining how he would describe white privilege. A small example from my life is that I was at a yard gathering in Rye a number of weeks ago. I had evidently parked in a place on the road that wasn’t designated as safe for oncoming traffic. Midway into the gathering, I saw the lights of a police car. I knew immediately what the problem was. I moved my car. Incident done.

Neither the policeman nor I was threatened by the other. I am a white, graying, middle class woman, and he was a youngish, white man. That’s the ease and lack of racial stress brought to any situation when neither party is threatened by the other. I thought of this as being a perfect example of white privilege.

White privilege is not only having the choice to ignore violent, overt actions such as we saw with lynchings in the South in the past or the clashes with police in northern streets now. Rather, it also is an attitude that all we white people grow up with. As Curtis Springer said, “If you are white, you can go about your life with not much concern about the color of your skin and the prejudices of others.”

Judy Ullman

Portsmouth, N.H.


Operating, as we do, a newspaper that, for the first thirty years of its existence, was printed by the forced labor of an enslaved African man, we’re inclined to agree that yes, white privilege is real.

Primus, we remember.

The Editor

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