Columns, Opinion

Our True Face: The power of the three Ws — white, wealthy and witty

As a minority, I have experienced the disadvantages that come with being a person of color. However, that has only made me work harder. It seems self explanatory — we all have to work harder in order to achieve our goals. But I realized that is not really true. 

A white person will never experience working hard in the same way a minority does. The Atlantic sums it up in a simple way in 2015,  “Black workers Really Do Need to Be Twice as Good.” I’ve determined that in order to be truly considered “successful,” you need to have the three W’s. This is given that we define success in terms of capitalism: monetary wealth. 

The three Ws are white, wealthy and witty.  In other words, in order to be at the top of the food chain, you have to be white, rich and smart, arranged in order of importance. Being a male is also a part of that list. However, a wealthy white woman will still experience more privilege than any person of color regardless of gender.

We should make efforts to understand and be aware of modern colonialism to stop white privilege. 

Let’s suppose there was a black man that was born with the same level of education and wealth as a white man. By the time they reach adulthood, the white man is more likely to remain that way, according to the New York Times. 

Now, consider the opposite scenario where a black and white man are smart, but lack wealth. According to a report by The Equality of Opportunity Project, black children with low-income parents e have a 2.5 percent chance of rising to the top quintile of household income. The number was 10.6 percent for white people in the same range. 

I believe that behind every successful person of color, there is a white person that allowed it.

A lot of the decisions that have been made in my life have been made by a white person. I was able to immigrate from Mexico to the U.S. In my case, it was done legally with a lot of lawyer fees. For that to happen, an immigration agent had to say yes to me, and he was white. In fact, 54 percent of Department of Homeland Security officers are white. 

However, I attribute much of my success to having 2 of the W’s: wealthy and witty. On top of that, I have a lighter skin complexion than other Mexicans, which would also be a contributing factor. 

But as I enter the workforce, it will only get harder for me to find a job due to my ethnicity. At the end of the day, my resume has Maria Fernanda Jimenez Moya written on top. Just by reading that name, there is no way of denying that I am Latinx.  A study conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research concluded that people with “white-sounding” names were 50 percent more likely to get interviews than minority names. 

So if you want to be seen as successful, you better be white, wealthy and witty.

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