There is no doubt there are inherent disadvantages to being black — or any minority — in America. Being married to a non-white person and living in a big multi-culture city, I see it. Being a white man, I’m immune to those disadvantages.
That being said, the culture of “more” and “privilege” when it comes to white people has a lot to do with socioeconomics. Having grown up in a white collar family whose roots were blue collar a generation before, I also saw first hand that being white didn’t automatically mean you knew how to ask for more let alone demand it.
As a middle class white person, you are given the benefit of the doubt in most situations in America. As a poor white person, you don’t automatically get many of those advantages. As a working class white person, the culture of “more-ness” is not a birth right and not taught in most working class homes.
Like the author’s upbringing, poor and working class white people in small towns feel relegated to what they get and rarely ask for more. You’re lucky to have a job. You’re lucky to have a roof over your head and food on the table. Don’t think you’re better than everybody else.
The advantage white people do have is that if they make to the middle class, their place and their asks are rarely questioned. And that is is most definitely because the history of being white in America has made it so.