I'd like to leave a more detailed reply, but it's nearly 3 a.m. here and I really should be getting some sleep. So, in short:
If anyone is interested (and willing to spend the money at some point), I recommend these two books: Race in the 21st Century: Ethnographic Approaches
by John Hartigan, Jr.; and Racial Paranoia: The Unintended Consequences of Political Correctness
by John L. Jackson, Jr. Both approach the topic of race in America as a cultural paradigm that is "performed" in everyday life. The latter focuses more on the different kinds of racism experienced in the present-day (and in my opinion, is a better read...or at least, is more accessible).
(Forgive me for the terrible summaries; it's been awhile since I've read either. ><)
For something free to read and more heavy-handed, I rather enjoyed this blog post: dear white people, i love you
Edit: Be warned, mature language everywhere in the above.
On white privilege and pointing out the concept of white privilege to (privileged or not) white people: I always feel as though there's some defense mechanism that flies up whenever I try to discuss this, even with friends. As a "minority," I'm not personally angry or offended by the notion of white privilege; I was the "token Asian friend" in my high school group and was blatantly amused by it until the academics told me I really shouldn't be. Anyway.
Several conversations have boiled down to pointing out all the ways in which my whitey friend isn't "privileged," and I think a lot of this has to do with the ideas associated with the language of the term itself. I tried to discuss it differently once, by describing whiteness as the base standard, as the expected normative, for socio-cultural exchanges in America. It is in that
sense that I try to approach "white privilege", and I honestly don't have some conspiratorial agenda to make white people feel guilty. I just think that it's a concept worth including in the discourse surrounding "racial equality."
To close, I apologize for the excessive use of scare quotes in this post.