education

‘White Privilege’? Nice try. We all know who is really to blame


What baloney! (Picture: Getty Images)

An Education Committee report has found that terms such as ‘white privilege’ may have contributed to the neglect of disadvantaged white pupils.

What baloney! 

Especially for an educational committee, this is a deliberate and dangerous misrepresentation of the term white privilege, which exists regardless of class. 

We cannot blame this term for the neglect of working class children. Let me explain why.  

This report is an interesting read, with some important findings. And it is certainly a fact that white working class kids have been failed by the system.

However, it is the same system that has failed black kids, too. 

By making the false equivalence that the term white privilege is to blame, it pits one group against another instead of addressing the actual root of the problem.

Instead of courting clickbait and culture war, real action will come about by tackling wealth inequality and the chronic underfunding of services – both of which disadvantage white and black working class children. 

Think about it for a minute, if the term white privilege was outlawed tomorrow, would education for white working class kids improve?  

White privilege does not mean that if you are white, your life is a bed of roses, or you will not be unemployed or struggling. 

What it means is, if you are white, there are certain barriers that are not put in your way. You will not be discriminated against because of the colour of your skin and there will be certain judgments that are never made about you. 

Put simply, white privilege doesn’t mean white people won’t experience hardship or injustice, it means they won’t suffer it because of their skin colour.  

The Conservative Government has long been trying to stoke divisions, and now they are seeking to pit white working class people against black people

To use another example – I am able to hear. That means that I have a hearing privilege, because society is set up for and caters to hearing people, not deaf or hard of hearing people. 

My life can still be hard but it won’t be because of my ability to hear.

Which is why this deliberate misrepresentation by the Education Committee must be cleared up – not only for accuracy’s sake, but because it undermines all the other important work they’ve done. 

This just makes me think they are just doing the bidding of the Government and playing right into the ongoing culture wars. 

The Conservative Government has long been trying to stoke divisions, and now they are seeking to pit white working class people against black people. They are copying the Trump playbook to split the country because they are desperate to stay in power. 

I think the chair and MPs involved in the report know this too. 

The whole thing is an utter disgrace. 

However, I know the good people of our country will not allow this to happen. We won’t allow it because we are better and smarter than that. 

I think people know where the problem truly lies. 

While the prime minister may often claim we are a united kingdom, his government seems to be doing everything they can to force us into believing that the enemy is each other. 

It’s time to wake up to the injustices in society and focus on dismantling them for all

The majority of people know what our education system needs. And we know what our Conservative Government has done. 

Whether it’s the scrapping of Educational Maintenance Allowance and trebling of tuition fees when in coalition with the Liberal Democrats, or the massive closures of Sure Start Centres, the decreases in per pupil funding, or the huge rise in food banks, the Conservative Government has been letting down all students – especially the disadvantaged ones – every step of the way. 

Well, it’s time for us to wake up. It’s time for us to challenge the people who have let us down – not each other. 

It’s time to wake up to the injustices in society and focus on dismantling them for all. Because if we fix the system for white working class kids, we fix the system for black working class kids too. And vice versa. 

The Tories are the ones in Government, and they could make a start on this themselves if they so wished. They could make sure all children are fed and pay all teachers and staff properly (aka the London living wage). 

But their record is littered with stripping away investment in schools and local services – I hope this latest report is the one that finally exposes this hypocrisy. 

When I talk about race issues, I speak about it to improve things, to make society better and more equitable. I do not try and divide – that’s the role of this Government, which is as cruel as it is wicked. 

This Government is blaming words for the injustices they have inflicted while they make millionaires of their mates. They keep our children hungry while they indulge. 

Together we must fight back against this authoritarian and divisive Government. Unity is strength.

Do you have a story you’d like to share? Get in touch by emailing jess.austin@metro.co.uk

Share your views in the comments below.


MORE : I’m working class – MPs are wrong to blame ‘white privilege’ instead of government for school failings


MORE : Terms like white privilege ‘may have contributed to neglect of poorer white pupils’


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