White privilege article

Keiter, Jacob A.



SUBJECT: White Privilege Article DATE: 06/21/2021 01:27:21 PM Being born a straight, white male to a middle class family in America could often be referenced as winning the birth lottery, at least from a more traditional, and conservative perspective. Any and every opportunity I desired was readily available to me, just waiting for me to make the initial move. As I made my own poor decisions, these opportunities slowly faded from my grasp, not to mention the ever changing social justice movement we're living through today. It's no secret to anybody that liberal groups such as BLM have aimed to diminish and attack the character and reputation of the white population, making the ultimate claim of "white privilege". Personally, I absolutely despise the term, but the reality of the situation is it does exist today. I don't believe it's quite as extreme as these activist groups protest and preach about, but definitely more than I'd like to admit. But in the prison setting, there is absolutely no presence of white privilege, in fact it's quite the opposite around here. The prison population is segregated no matter where you end up doing time. Within each of these segregation, is an additional segregation into almost sub-groups. The “white car" is divided into I'd claim four major sub-groups: The Mafia/New York fellas, the old biker crews and prejudice white gangs, the degenerate drug addicts, and well the other guys. I categorize myself within the other guys label, but am often treated as one of those still suffering addicts since I don't associate myself with the other two major groups. This has cause not only headache and stress on my end, but additional unnecessary harassment. Since I've began my incarceration I have not used nor have I even considered it. Not that drugs and substances aren't available here, but it simply just isn't worth it, and it's the number one thing I plan to leave behind in my “past life". Those who continue to use in prison seem to have no worry or care for their own future, or about making it home safely to their family. Whenever you get caught with drugs or being high you can potentially lose good credit time, setting your release date back further. Personally, I don't have one day to spare, I need to get home as soon as possible. Most claim they only use here and plan to stop when they go home. Let's be honest though, if you can't stop in jail, it's going to be nearly impossible to quit once you're homebound. Unfortunately most who take this gamble are white, reflecting a negative image upon myself ultimately resulting in mistreatment from both inmates and staff. I assume the duty of a correctional officer includes being able to observe and identify a potential problem and prevent it before it erupts and occurs, which I can fully respect. The last thing anybody wants is chaos happening that could have been prevented. What I don't respect is how often I've been thrown into the equation for no real reason at all, other than I'm white. I probably have gotten more frequent visits than most other inmates when the compound was operating under normal operations. This is due to the fact that I live so close to the prison, and the astounding love my wife shares for me. A few years ago there was a chain of white people getting in trouble for drug related incidents. Somehow within the investigation I became some sort of prime suspect for a serious crime of introduction to the prison. Might I remind you, I do not use nor do I try to associate myself with those whom choose to. Simply me being the only white guy who gets regular visits set off a red flag. During this course of events, I would be escorted to an x-ray machine to verify my innocence and prove I was in fact not the one introducing. This went on for several weeks, and it was only happening to me. In recent weeks, even with the prison operating on a modified schedule, a form of harassment is still relevant. Almost anytime am going to get dinner, I am always either patted down or stopped for a breathalyzer test. This is not because I am stumbling or out of pocket in any way, but I believe it's due to the fact that I seem most approachable and won't cause a scene otherwise. But the staff here are not the only ones guilty of this mistreatment, but other inmates follow suit as well. Inmates often blame "the white man" for just about everything, simply meaning an authority figure. Often this anger is taken out on the white inmate accompanied with the false claims of white privilege. This completely baffles me every time because we are literally sitting in the same spot, often times myself sentenced to much more time for in my opinion a lesser offense. In addition they often take advantage of those inmates still struggling with addiction, convincing and bribing them to commit humiliating acts just to satisfy their cravings. By no means necessary am I ashamed of my heritage or wish anything different. I am comfortable in my own skin and wouldn't have it any other way. Us humans only have control over our very own perception and behavior, what we choose to with that is solely and completely on us alone.

Author: Keiter, Jacob A.

Author Location: Pennsylvania

Date: June 21, 2021

Genre: Essay

Extent: 1 pages

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