The following is a transcript/notes of Henrique Cezar’s talk from 2018 Vermont Libertarian Party Convention:
The focus of my speech will be on legal immigrants, not on illegal immigration.
Lately I have listened to many non white Americans saying that they have a harder time because they do not have white privilege. However, they forget that they have something more valuable than what they call American privilege, which by the way, may not exist at all, but for my talk, I will assume it exists.
Non-white American citizens forget that they have American privilege, which is the more valuable privilege of the two. So I will start by defining the terms and then make my remarks.
So what is white privilege according to those who claim that it exists?
Since I was not born here, I was unaware of what white privilege was, so I asked my students to give me a definition for the term, and not surprisingly, I got more than one.. Actually, way more than one… Combining the different definitions that I received, I found that white and privilege denotes a type of treatment that gives white people an invisible advantage over other racial groups. In other words, white people are more likely to succeed than members of other racial groups. So I will refer that white privilege is the privilege of having a higher probability to succeed than other racial groups.
American privilege however, is easier to define, since it is the right to live, work , and participate in the future of the US of America.. In other words, any American citizen enjoys American privilege.. This means that they can live in freedom, with vast working opportunities, in a true democracy.
American privilege therefore has a tremendous value, while white privilege has no value at all, because anyone can succeed in America by following a set of steps, as I will explain below.
It is actually easier to get white privilege, than American privilege, by the way.
To obtain American privilege you:
Must be born in America: 4% chances
Or must become an American citizen through naturalization: 2% chances
Total chance: 6%
To obtain white privilege you: must believe in yourself, work hard, invest in your education, make wise decisions.. I am not in possession the actual data, but If I use the percentage of non white immigrants who succeed in America as a proxy , the number is about 68%.
So there is a 68% chance of a non-white immigrant to succeed, and therefore have white privilege, but there is only a 4% chance to have American privilege.
Which brings me to my final point
How is it that someone who was born with American privilege claims that he/she has not succeeded because of the existence of white privilege, while 68% of legal immigrants who are non white, have succeeded in America?
First, foreigners who want to live the American dream do not think it is unfair that they do not have white privilege, why should they? They are not aware of what it means, as they were not born here. So their mind set is to strive for the American privilege, the only one that matters.
I cannot tell exactly how many white American’s are worse off than a non white immigrant, but I can safely assume it’s a large number. So how 68% of non white immigrants succeed in America?
( add personal experience, although i look white with my mouth shut, when i open my mouth i become hispanic ) , and I have been in situations where i hear , you should go back to where you are from, or you don’t belong here…..but this doesn’t mean i have been victims of white privilege, I have been victim of discrimination. However I can’t tell you a time where I lost an opportunity to succeed just because I am Latin American.
To succeed in America , immigrants invest in their education, work hard, and do not complain saying that we don’t have white privilege, therefore, we will not succeed.
Non-white natural born American citizens blaming their failures on white privilege, do not realize that they already had American privilege at birth, and some how they waste the opportunity. An opportunity that Some people die to have.
Vermont Libertarian Party Assistant Treasurer
Henrique Cezar, associate professor of Business & Economics at Johnson State College. Born and raised in Brazil, Henrique moved to the United States in 1995 to complete his studies. During the Internet Boom of the 1990s, Henrique worked as a stock trader. He was a certified trader from NYSE and NASDAQ. Henrique has also worked as a financial consultant for Price Waterhouse Coopers, where he assisted new business ventures.
Henrique speaks four languages, and he has lived and worked in three different countries and visited more than 30 countries on four continents. In his spare time, he enjoys playing soccer, hiking, cooking and traveling.
More info: http://www.jsc.edu/directory/henrique-cezar