The hard question is this: why do people with privilege, regardless of their race, refuse to see it?
The problem is that white people happen to be the ones with the privilege. And they are acting it. To erase the reality of race, which is what most white pp and plenty of self-hating brown pp do in order to erase the profound privilege--completely free and permanent--that they have is to erase our disadvantage. We know our disadvantage exists, so it’s nonadmission simply operates to keep the status quo and to refuse accountability.
The problem is that one group, Europeans, has spent the last 500 years stealing resources: lying, cheating, stealing, and murdering worldwide. That is factual information re: history. As a result, white pp collectively have resources of others. This is still true, because we are still in a white supremacist world, one determined by European conquest and brutality, and which favors white women — and only white women — while it does this. This isn’t over: we are still a white supremacist society where white pp exert the most effort calling their privilege ‘merit’ so that they don’t have to face reality. This is white women too; it’s white pp who believe that we can ignore the profound dimension of race that elevates them at our expense even as I write this.
How will we distribute those resources back to the pp to whom they belong if white pp aren't willing to admit that those resources have been unfairly distributed? This starts as a psychological mechanism: the willingness to see one's heavy foot on others' necks EVEN IF, subjectively, one feels 'equal.' How will the mediocre white writer admit the publication belongs to to somebody else if she can’t admit her privilege — that she never earned it, that somebody else did, and that she has something that belongs to someone else? She won’t see this if she’s focusing, ad nauseum, on her victimization.
Can you see that, if we do not make skin color an issue, that we will deny the reality that white pp still use it to leverage power AGAINST ALL PEOPLE OF COLOR?!
What would be your approach to reality? The reality that white pp still have heavy feet on everybody else's neck? How will you address the pragmatic facts--that collectively white pp have more resources than anybody else, and that history indicates those resources belong to others--when the collective white group is unwilling to centralize the ACTUAL central issue, which is race?
If we cannot agree that the last 500 years are about white--and only white--supremacy, then of course we will have problems. Because that means reality is not being negotiated by the very group which most needs to negotiate it.