On May 14, a man driving under the influence sideswiped a bus transporting migrant workers killing 8 and injuring at least 40. Thirty-three of those injured remain in the hospital with some in serious condition. The driver, Brian McLean-Howard faces eight counts of DUI manslaughter with additional charges likely to come due to the serious nature of the injuries for those who remain hospitalized.

McLean-Howard has an extensive history of driving under the influence, drug possession, and leaving the scene of an accident several times. During his arrest, he admitted to officers that he had left the scene of an accident just three days before colliding with the bus. His arrests date back to 2005 according to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office in Central Florida.

McLean-Howard’s case reminds me of someone I went to high school with who in their twenties was charged several times with DUI and drug possession but somehow avoided jail time–something not likely to happen had they been Black or brown. I was aware of this with my former friend decades ago and all too aware of it in McLean-Howard’s case as he sits in jail held without bond.

None of this is new.

But as more and more (mostly racist) white people deny that white privilege exists, this provides a glaring example of precisely what it looks like. Similarly, a Canadian man in Florida who has been in the U.S. for 60 years and even voted in many elections recently found out he wasn’t a U.S. citizen. Had that man been a Latino or brown immigrant, he would never have gotten away with living in the United States for decades, let alone voting.

Jimmy Klass, the 66-year-old Canadian man wasn’t just allowed to vote, he received a Social Security Card and a driver’s license, was accepted into the Marine Corps, and was offered a position as a police officer which he turned down. All privileges no one in this country would even dream of giving nonwhite immigrants.

These cases highlight how white people are essentially invisible when it comes to enforcing laws in the United States in that they can simply move around in various spaces and their crimes go undetected simply because of the color of their skin. This privilege is not afforded to Black and brown people anywhere in this country. It’s an issue that has permeated U.S. society since the very first days and continues today.

With the advent of the internet, these incidents are more prominent than ever and because of social media, they are increasingly more difficult to deny. When three racist white men killed Ahmaud Arbery, we saw the prosecutor try to protect them and deny they did anything wrong. Had the racist’s attorneys not released the video to defend their innocence, we might not have ever seen them prosecuted. Their cases are an example of how deluded racists can be in thinking they have the privilege to go around killing Black people because they don’t want them in the vicinity.

So, as more white people deny that their privilege exists, especially with law enforcement, we must remind them that incidents like those mentioned here happen every day in the U.S. and there is no denying it.

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Arturo Dominguez

Arturo is an anti-racist political nerd. He is an upcoming author, journalist, advocate for social justice, and a married father of three. He is a top writer on Medium and a regular contributor to several news media outlets. He writes educational and informative material about systemic racism, white supremacy, and racial injustice.

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