Coming to understand white privilege

Over the past year, I have asked people of different races and walks of life what the phrase "white privilege" means to them.

The most common response from white people has been to interpret the term literally, i.e., "white people have special privileges," and most of them objected to that idea. Typically, and with a somewhat indignant tone, many would say, "Well, excuse me if I don't feel particularly privileged." That comment was usually followed by a lengthy description of their low-income upbringing and the hard scrabble existence they endured for many years while they put themselves through school or worked multiple jobs to get by. The suggestion...