Speaker explains the concept of privilege

Joseph Chavez
Staff Writer

Jeanette Royston, president of the NAACP of Pomona Valley, held a virtual event to discuss racial identity, issues of modern-day minority life, privilege and more Feb. 24 via Zoom. 

Roughly 30 people, mostly college students, attended the Black History Month event.

Royston said that Black people and every minority group in America have had to fight for some kind of justice at some point.

“Other ethnic communities (too),” Royston said. “We have Asian Americans fighting for justice today. We have Latinos that are fighting for justice. We have Filipinos that are fighting for justice.”

Black people today are still experiencing what Royston called a new type of slavery through America’s prison system.

“It is no longer Jim Crow, it is now what we are considering mass incarceration,” Royston said. “The prisons are overflowing with African Americans and other ethnicities. That is unacceptable.”

Royston said that many white people in America are blind to racism and the issues that these ethnic groups are facing.

“It just isn’t okay for a mother to be separated from her child at the border,” Royston said. “These are injustices that deal with racism. You don’t see that happening to white people,” Royston said.

Royston also talked about privilege. 

“Privilege simply means you have something that I don’t have,” Royston said. “So we have to admit that,” Royston said. 

Royston elaborated.

 “I do not consider any white person more privileged than myself,” Royston said. “Some people may say things such as ‘being white is right,’ but it depends on who they are dealing with.”

Christian Ibarra, a sophomore biology major at the University of La Verne, who attended the event said that the idea of privilege was a confusing topic to him.

“Privilege was always something thrown out on social media,” Ibarra said, adding that Royston’s talk gave him a better understanding of the concept. 

Royston also talked about institutional racism. 

“When we go to these different institutions we want to make sure they’re fair, that the action they rule on applies to everyone,” Royston said.

Sergio Monores, sophomore business administration major, shared his thoughts on the talk. 

“I felt her message was that of respect and how our generation is responsible for the social progress, we need to eradicate these issues,” Morones said.

Javier Martin, freshman business administration major explained how discussions like this are important in today’s current climate.

“People are often just ignoring issues nowadays and I think it’s important (that there) are people like her speaking up loudly about these issues that affect real people,” Martin said.

For more information visit naacp-pv.org.

Joseph Chavez can be reached at joseph.chavez2@laverne.edu

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