It’s not an ‘only’ successful because they’re white. But it is a massive advantage which should lead to questions about the privileged group.
Being a white woman in a white supremacist society means having an unearned advantage. There is no way to quantify this advantage, but by dint of being members of a human race in which white supremacy has characterized power, ‘success,’ and the acquisition of other people’s things for 500 or so years, there is certainly an advantage. This is an advantage that nobody else — no person of color — enjoys. Due to the advantage that white people have, there are fewer opportunities for POC, at least in highly competitive environments. It is in these environments that racism becomes obvious.
Because there is no way to quantify white supremacist advantage, there is always a question mark as to what white people have earned. Each individual white person, I”ve noticed, believes that he/she ‘earned’ what he/she has, and all the ones I’ve known point a finger at some blob of white supremacy and ‘bad’ white behavior which is invariably outside of themselves. The appropriate response to reality would be: since I’m white, I have an advantage that gives me things with lesser effort than POC’s are required to earn it. In fact, am I earning it at all? Or did I get it because I’m white?
This is a question others (POC’s) do not need to ask, since as a result of white supremacy we are working harder to earn the same rewards. Sometimes, our performance is better and we still watch, in shock, as a white person accepts the promotion, award, admission, etc etc without acknowledging that somebody else actually earned it. Questioning one’s own privilege should be the natural, moral response to taking power and money from others: you cannot possibly know how much you’ve earned if the automated advantage you enjoy is so significant that it characterizes the entire world for the last half-era.
‘Whiteness’ was invented to allow 10% of the human race to dominate the other 90%: for conquest. It still exists, favoring and benefiting white people at baseline. So, as a corollary, the question will always need to be asked: if you garner a massive advantage for free, just for being born, and it is a permanent one (unlike economics or even gender, in some cases), how can you possibly know what you’ve earned?? Where will you draw the line???