Let’s Talk About Supremacy, Power, and Privilege


When many people hear the word “supremacy,” they instantly think of white hoods and the KKK. This is certainly one aspect of supremacy, but it’s not the whole story.  To truly understand supremacy, we also need to understand its connection to power and privilege.

Let’s take racial supremacy, for example: White supremacy is the ideology that White people are better than people of color and Indigenous peoples. Power and privilege is how this ideology shows up.

Having power means that systemic and structural experiences afford White people greater capital than others—which includes better access to systems like healthcare, justice, politics, and more. Having privilege means that there are unearned advantages experienced by White people—for example, being able to drive without worrying about being pulled over, travelling without worrying about what your experience at the airport will be like, and more.

There is increasing talk in public forums and the media about power and privilege and how they show up in our world. But we can’t talk about power and privilege effectively without understanding that these concepts are a manifestation of White supremacy—and that White supremacy is the root issue that needs our attention.

Watch this week’s video to learn more about how supremacy, power, and privilege are connected.