So, I am proposing a White Privilege Public Safety Tax: a tax imposed on all white citizens and residents of the United States of America. This tax would create a fund to compensate those people of color who are mistakenly profiled by state agents and vigilantes. For example, a young black man who was stopped and frisked only to find school books and a smartphone would receive a sum of money to compensate for the disturbance of his peace, the wasting of his time and his humiliation. How much money? Enough to insure that city officials would put significant pressure on the training of police to minimize unnecessary stopping and frisking. At least a couple hundred dollars. And for a death in a situation created by profiling: how much is young life worth? Millions.
There are a lot of details to work out. Who decides when a police intervention in the lives of a citizen is the result of racial profiling? It would seem that a panel of people of color would have to have that power. A panel of whites would have a conflict of interest. To those who would object, saying that the justice system should be race neutral -- I would reply that train has already left the station. We have already accepted a racialized system of justice in this country; now we are just trying to make it a more level playing field.
Would the TSA be included? Of course, people of color are profiled frequently in airports. White people should have to pay for the ease with which we so frequently move through the security lines.
What about Neighborhood Watch vigilantes, like George Zimmerman? I would predict that police forces would start to take more control of such groups, if they were on the financial hook for deaths that these untrained, yet encouraged, vigilantes' actions.
One other benefit of such a "white privilege public safety tax" would be that many white people would begin searching their family trees to discover the people of color in their ancestry, beginning a process of reversing the construction of "whiteness" as a racial category. The Irish and Italians might want to go back to when they were considered "not white", and connect again with their experiences of being the shunned outsider.
A tax on white privilege might hasten the creation of a self-consciously multi-racial America.