This is absolutely true. One of the main problems that all people of color have — and in particular African-Americans — is that most white people simply cannot admit this privilege, so they continue to accept things on the basis of ‘merit’ when in reality, the rewards are unearned and granted due to privilege.
We would go a long way in society if white people developed the moral courage to admit that their rewards — including the cultural appreciation that whites get just for being in a package of white — at some level, come on an extrinsic basis. This not only means they are rewarded without earning it, but that an actual performing person of color is not getting the reward he/she did earn. White privilege damages people of color by taking from us what we’ve earned.
Where is Adele’s courage in the rest of the white population? Where is the ability to admit that, when you are privileged, somebody else is a loser? Adele had the courage to admit she won at least in part because a bunch of white people decided, and whites virtually always pick whites, because of whiteness, for both conscious and subconscious reasons. She broke her award in half and gave half to Beyonce. Hopefully, in the future Beyonce will simply get the award she actually earned and none of this will be necessary. She shouldn’t have to feel that Adele did her a favor — she should have won.
The world has been deprived of actual value, of actual merit because mediocres have accepted promotions, prizes, etc when a stronger person of color deserved it. Think about the affect to the whole human race of allowing mediocrity or subpar performance to trump real value: as a human race, we have lost, worldwide, because of this constant privileging of mediocrity at the expense of actual value.