The phrase “White privilege” has almost become fighting words for a lot of White people.

I read piece after piece of People of Color (POC) trying to explain what it means to have privilege as a White American (sometimes in direct response to a slightly antagonistic request from a White friend) and it is usually followed by a deluge of comments from White people telling you how hard their life has been.

As I read the latest one I came across (linked above) and saw the exhaustive response this woman gave to a man who was practically egging her on, I took a deep breath as I dove into the comments.

In my profession, the number of CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERS™ who are also People of Color is staggeringly low.

When the president of the CFP® board came to speak at a conference, he revealed numbers that haven’t been published anywhere — 4% of CFP® certificants were POC, with 2% being Asian, 1% being Black, and 1% Latinx (these were preliminary numbers because they never thought to take into account these demographics in the past).

When someone in a professional FB group I belonged to suggested that we consider setting up diversity scholarships or diversity programs geared towards getting more POC and women in the profession, I started to follow the thread.

A White male financial planner jumped in and said he didn’t think a program like that would be fair because it would exclude him.

He said:

I disagree with [making opportunities realistic to underrepresented classes (women, people of color, etc.) ], you would discriminate against me as a middle aged, white, male. Just welcome all to the profession… So you’re saying you are going to discriminate again[st] me as a white middle aged male so that you can create an opportunity for an underrepresented person?

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