White Privilege As a child I grew up in a small town, everyone knew each other and if something changed, everybody knew about it. I remember as a teenager when I started driving, I noticed a lot of the cars that were pulled over by the police, were out of towners, and the drivers were black. At the time I thought they must have been speeding, but as I look back after all these years, and learning about racism in school, I can say without a doubt, it was racial profiling by the police, and possibly my first actual view of white privilege. In “White Privilege Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” author Peggy McIntosh suggests that white privilege is unconsciously learned throughout childhood, and that racism is hatred against a specific group of people, and by their deprivations it puts them in an unfavorable position never to see that whites enjoy many different benefits over other races. McIntosh asserts that in school, she was given no education on her role in the oppressions of others and her own ignorance of white privilege. She further claims that whites are taught to believe …show more content…
Furthermore clarifying, McIntosh suggests that, “I have come to see white privilege as an invisible package of unearned assets which I can count on cashing in on each day, but I was “meant” to remain oblivious.”(pg78) She further supports her belief by listing privileges she considers to be taken for granted by white people, such as that she can be around people of her own race most of the time, turn on the news outlets and read newspapers and be quite sure that reporters are mostly white, and her children’s school materials will be mostly about
The two articles that had a profound impact to my understanding of race, class and gender in the United States was White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh and Imagine a Country by Holly Sklar. McIntosh explains the keys aspects of unearned advantage (a privilege that one group hold over another) as well as conferred dominance (the act of voluntarily giving another group power) and the relationship that these factors hold when determine power of a social group. Additionally, the purpose of McIntosh’s article was to demonstrate the privilege that certain individuals carry and how that translates to the social structures of our society. Furthermore, conferred dominance also contributes to the power of the dominant group
Growing up as an African-American you are always taught to be twice as good. Twice as good as the white people to receive the same treatment as them. I grew up hearing this same phrase constantly but never really understood exactly what it meant until I got old enough to actually see the kind of world we are living in. The author of the article, “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” Peggy Mclntosh, took as step into shoes of black America and found that white privilege not only exist, but many whites are blind to it. She gives a clear argument about how white privilege is harmful to our society and how we can work together to fix this.
Everyone has privilege in one way or another. People feel that privilege is give to one race more, instead of every race. The race that it’s getting more privilege is the White race and with that comes White privilege. White means the people who have a light skin color also known as Caucasian or European and privilege means an advantage over others. An example of privilege is getting away with something that someone may not get away with. So White privilege is defined as “an invisible package of unearned assets that [someone that is White] can count on cashing in each day, but about which [they were] ‘meant’ to remain oblivious” (McIntosh 1990: 1). McIntosh is saying in that quote is that Whites do not recognize that they have this privilege
I completely agree with her people have different “advantages” based on their skin color. However, if white people had less advantage than I would assume that oppression would also decline, leading to possible equality. McIntosh provides a list that illustrates how white privilege has impacted her life. “I did not have to educate our children to be aware of systemic racism for their own daily protection (Shaw, Lee, 88).” As an Arab American, my parents would constantly tell my siblings and I that we had to be careful saying “wrong” things about the government. In Dearborn, we do not really face many obstacles considering there are a lot of Arab Americans, however, as soon as we are out of Dearborn, we face constant glares, and derogatory comments, and sometimes even physical violence. In educational system it is usually given in account of white people. For instance, “as a white person, I realized I had been taught about racism as something that puts others at a disadvantage, but had been taught not to see one of its corollary aspects, white privilege, which puts me at an advantage (Shaw, Lee,
Money is something that ties in with white privilege because they have access to better schooling which means better jobs and more money. A poor African American or a minority person who lives in an urban setting has to take what they get because they do not have the money or the resources to pick and choose which school they would like to attend, so they are already one step behind the privileged kids. In addition, Peggy McIntosh article “White Privilege: The Invisible Knapsack,” she states “As a white person, I realized I had taught about racism as something that puts others at a disadvantage, but had been taught not to see one of its corollary aspect, white privilege, which puts me at an advantage” (537) McIntosh is saying that throughout her youth she realizes with resources or not, the privilege is given unto her whether she earn it or not because of her race. What she means is that society’s look on race and not their background and think that white people gain more privilege than black people which is
Gina Crosley-Corcoran, author of Explaining White Privilege to a Broke White Person, informs her readers about her misinterpretation of white privilege. After being called out for her unknowing use of white privilege, Gina begins to plead her case. Beginning with her childhood, Gina explains how she grew up “on the go”. Travelling from place to place, Gina lived in a rundown trailer and her family obtained little to no money, had no access to hot water, survived on cheap, malnourished foods, and dealt with a bad home life. After evaluating her history when placed at the end of life’s spectrum, Gina finds it hard to pick out white privilege in her life and therefore argues she has none. Later, Gina is introduced to a woman named Peggy McIntosh
The main point that McIntosh is pushing forward is that both whites and males have certain advantages. McIntosh says that “white privilege as an invisible package of unearned assets” (605). White privilege are these advantages that white people receive just for being white. They didn’t earn any of the privilege other than being born with the right skin tone. She also recognizes them as being “invisible”. They don’t realize that they have this advantage over everyone else.
Peggy McIntosh’s “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack,” discusses racism and how it still exists. Light-skinned people still dominate dark-skinned people and as a white American, it is quite an easy belief that anyone can pursue their dream career, and that if they don’t, it’s considered their own fault because they didn’t try hard enough. As a white individual, it is important to realize the advantages and privileges I have just because of my fair skin. Everyone must adjust his or her thinking in order to understand the secreted racism in society. I found it interesting how McIntosh created a harmless language that allowed whites to observe their role in society and how dominant their race is without them feeling uncomfortable or guilty.
The issue of the white privilege and its effects, like any other advantage system, is a major problem that exists in society. Peggy McIntosh’s article, White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Backpack, touches on three aspects that I found to be interesting. They include the concept of “unacknowledged” white perspective; the notion that white privilege is an unearned “invisible backpack” and the debate over how to dissolve white privilege.
In this article, McIntosh explains how she was “taught about racism as something that puts others at a disadvantage” but was not taught that her white privilege put her at an advantage, but she never noticed because whites are taught to not recognize their white privilege. She goes on to explain that even though she does not consider herself racist and has never directly been racist towards someone, she unconsciously enjoys her white privileges. In addition, McIntosh made a list of some of the white privileges that she has taken advantage of, such as her race not working against her when needing medical assistance, being able to criticize the government without being seen as a cultural outsider and being able to protect her children most of the time from people who may not like them. These are just some, out of a list of 26, white privileges that McIntosh was able to take advantage from. She never noticed them until she made it a point to recognize them, regardless, it still adds to the oppression
...less knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools, and blank checks” (page 79). McIntosh’s ranges of examples are no doubt impressive, ranging privileges from education, political affairs, hygiene, the job industry, and mainly public life. Her list of examples makes it easy for her readers to relate no matter how diverse the audience. While, many would disagree with this essay McIntosh anticipates this by making the contrast among earned and acquired power vs. conferred privilege. Contrary, to anyone’s beliefs everyone has an unbiased and equal shot at earned power. However, conferred privilege is available to certain groups: particularly the white race. America is founded on a system of earned power, where we fight for what we believe in, particularly freedom and equality. However, this is simply a mirage we want to believe in.
To completely understand white privilege you first need to understand what white privilege is. White privilege is defined as a set of advantages and/or immunities that white people benefit from on a daily basis beyond those common to all others. White privilege can exist without white people 's conscious knowledge of its presence and it helps to maintain the racial hierarchy in this country.(mtholyoke.edu) There are many examples of white privilege. They range from people’s thoughts to people 's court cases, to actions. Basically to sum that up you have more privileges and fewer assumptions get made because you 're white. These privileges are not a conscious bias and do not make the person a racist.
He simply looks at them as wrong. It 's okay to disagree with something, but there should be an argument to back it up. "Furthermore, I condemn them for casting the equal protection clause, indeed the very idea of a meritocracy, as a myth, and for declaring that we are all governed by invisible forces (some would call them “stigmas” or “societal norms”), that our nation runs on racist and sexist conspiracies." He disagrees with people who think that white privilege influences who controls the power, but doesn 't say why, almost like he 's expecting everyone to agree with his perspective as common sense. Conversely, McIntosh 's uses an argument to legitimize her perspective to her readers. She lists 46 advantages that she can perceive, that were given to her by white privilege. Reasons like number 41, "I can be sure that if I need legal or medical help, my race will not work against me.", number 44, "I can easily find academic courses and institutions that give attention only to people of my race." are advantages that lead her to the conclusion that "The pressure to avoid it (white privilege) is great, for in facing it I must give up the myth of meritocracy. If these things are true, this is not such a free country; one 's life is not what one makes it; many doors open for certain people through no virtues of their own.". The conclusion that meritocracy, the idea that those who put in hard work rise to power, is a myth, because of the discrepancy between opportunities offered to people based off of their race, sex, etc. is a logical
An article written by Peggy McIntosh entitled “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” is not meant to bring out feelings of guilt. It is not our fault we were born with white skin, and have experienced these privileges in some shape or form. Nevertheless, whether we realize it or not, we do benefit from it, and it is our fault if we don 't maintain awareness of that fact. Throughout the piece, McIntosh goes on to elaborate on the impossibility of denying that being born to one race affords certain unearned freedoms that are not readily available for another. Just a few examples she provides include: “‘I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented;’ ‘When I am told about our national heritage or about ‘civilization’, I am shown that people of my color made it what it is;’ ‘If a traffic cop pulls me over or if the IRS audits my tax return, I can be sure I haven’t been singled out because of my race;’ ‘I can if I wish arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time (McIntosh).’” When reading, it is undeniably apparent that people of white skin are experiencing the world in a different way. Equally important, are there fundamental factors that may have contributed to this unequal system of living? For myself, I cannot attest to the other side of this privilege. However, completing service learning through Elmwood Gardens has opened my eyes to the negative effects of not receiving the same opportunities. Unfortunately, due to lack of funds, many of these children will never receive the level of education I personally had been granted. Additionally, the kids will face an uphill battle financially, educationally, and life in general. Specifically, a piece of reference that I will vividly remember for years was a point made by Kristof. He composed a five-part column, titled “When Whites