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Teen Gets National Attention After Winning Essay Contest; White Privilege Was His Topic

By Victor Trammell

A black male student at Staples High School, an institution located in the affluent Connecticut town of Westport has made national headlines after winning an essay contest.

According to the New York Daily News, Chet Ellis (pictured) received a $1,000 award for winning first-place in his town’s essay contest. However, Ellis, 15, wrote about a subject that is the source of ongoing national debate: White privilege. This issue is very ubiquitous in Westport, which has a population that is 93% white.

The contest that Ellis won was organized by TEAM Westport, a municipal diversity council.

“I can come at the issue from a young black teen perspective rather than all the old white men of Westport,” Ellis told the Daily News on Tuesday (April 4th), which was the day following his first-place victory.

However, Ellis’ accomplishment and the whole essay contest itself was not well-received by some Westport residents who contend that their town is not the racist cesspool it is being made out to be.

“There are no barricades here. Nobody says if you’re black or whatever, you can’t move here,” Bari Reiner, 72, told the Daily News in an interview this past January when news of the essay contest first broke.

Ellis, a sophomore at Staples High told the uncut truth about the societal ill of white privilege in his compulsory essay.

“The N-word is a word that takes African Americans back to 1619 on the tobacco fields of Jamestown and the very beginnings of the American tragedy of human enslavement,” Ellis wrote in his essay.

“It reminds us of Jim Crow, of the senseless beating of Rodney King, and of the killings of 258 black people by the police in 2016. Nevertheless, several of my white friends want to use the N-word in recounting their favorite lyrics,” he continued.

You can read The Colors of Privilege By Chet Ellis by visiting the website link to the source of this article listed below.

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