White Privilege as it Pertains to White and Minority College Students

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White Privilege as it Pertains to White and Minority College Students "My (black) Caribbean students, as a whole, tend to perform much better than my African-American students. Well, consider it -- over the years, and particularly during slavery, the best and brightest blacks in this country were weeded out. I don't believe that blacks are naturally inferior to whites, however, American blacks are the unfortunate end product of an enforced breeding process that has left them at a mental disadvantage." -- Unnamed Professor Racism is often conceived as the summation of prejudice plus power. This does not have to do so much with the number of people in any group, but their access to ideological and material resources (including arms). In an American university environment, these 'arms' may be found in the shape of grades, scholarships and fellowships, the ability of professors to give or withhold positive reinforcement, and the self-images and convictions the students themselves, both white and minority, bring into this setting. The effects of 'white privilege', a little-acknowledged theory that whites enjoy "an invisible package of unearned assets," resonate silently throughout the university system, deployed as subtle psychological hand grenades. White privilege is harmful not only to the minorities it relegates to the sidelines, but damaging to the whites who are either active or passive participants in this ideology. Here is my classroom. It is a 100 level sociology course. I am one of two white students in a class of mostly African-American and Caribbean-American students. The other white student and I, and an older African-American woman, are the only students to speak at least once every session. Our pr... ... middle of paper ... ... Banks, James F. et.al. Black Self-Concept. New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc., 1972. Baughman, E. Earl. Black Americans: A Psychological Analysis. New York: Academic Press 1971. Benett, Leron Jr. et. al. The White Problem in America. Chicago: Johnson Publishing Company, 1966. Campbell, Angus. White Attitudes Toward Black People. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, 1971. Frankenberg, Ruth. The Social Construction of Whiteness: White Women Race Matters. Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press, 1993 McIntosh, Peggy. 'White Privilege: Unpacking The Invisible Knapsack.' Independent School. 49: 31. Morton, Patricia. Disfigured Images. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1991. Spelman, E. (1982) 'Theories of Race and Gender: The Erasure of Black Women', Quest: A Feminist Quarterly. 5: 36﷓62.
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