David said whites were treated better by his teachers and by the police.
"Teachers would assume I knew the answers even if I didn't," he said. "I could be out past curfew at 1 a.m. on a Saturday night at age 12 and cops wouldn't roust me.
"But if I were with any of my black friends, we would immediately get stopped," he said. " 'Where are you going? Where do you live? Why are you out past curfew?' It was a night-and-day -- no pun intended -- difference.
"I had about one black friend, and we actually undertook some illegal activities when we were in high school. And because of the way I looked, I would be the guy who would carry the gun or I would be the guy who carried the drugs. And true to form, we would get stopped sometimes," he continued. "And cops would ask him where he was going, 'What are you doing?' And I, me -- the guy with the gun in his pocket, off to the side -- never a question."
Matthews tells his story in his upcoming book, "Ace of Spades."
It is clear that whites enjoy some privileges that blacks don't. But some blacks now say we put too much blame on this white privilege.
Scholar Shelby Steele's latest book is called "White Guilt." Steele argues that Obama's success is more evidence that today's America has moved far from the days when white privilege could shut out blacks.
"I grew up in segregation, so I really know what racism is," he says. "I went to segregated school. I bow to no one in my knowledge of racism, which is one of the reasons why I say white privilege is not a problem."
Steele said black irresponsibility is the bigger problem -- that high illegitimacy and high school drop-out rates are limiting black progress.
"Racism is about 18th on a list of problems that black America faces," he said. "There's black irresponsibility today, there's a lot of that. It's a bigger problem than racism."
Steele said today there's "minority privilege."
"If I'm a black high school student today, there are white American institutions, universities, hovering over me to offer me opportunities: Almost every institution has a diversity committee," he said. "Every country club now has a diversity committee. I've been asked to join so many clubs, I can't tell you. There is a hunger in this society to do right racially, to not be racist. And I feel rather privileged by it. I don't have to even look for opportunities in many cases. They come right to me."
Steele says what whites owe blacks is fairness.
"You owe us a fair society," he said. "There's not much you can do beyond that. There isn't anything you can do [to] lift my life up. I have to do that."