Understanding White Privilege Essay

Understanding White Privilege Essay

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Privilege, a right or benefit that is given to some people and not to others, is a term most people learn at a very young age. Privilege is thought of as something that one earns, not something that is just a given in everyday life. White privilege is an advantage that white people have in society that is unearned and mostly unacknowledged, yet practiced regularly. Daily life consists of multiple “privileges” that are unrecognized because they are such the norm of society that we no longer even realize that these “privileges” exist. The unconscious daily routine, for the white race, consists of a multitude of advantages that are seen as “the way it is”, unconsciously oppressing the minorities in ways consisting of housing, education, jobs and the ability to achieve “the American dream”. Whites are taught to ignore the fact that they enjoy social privileges that minorities do not because we live in a society of white dominance. For many white people the idea that we have racial identities is difficult to come to terms with. We usually see ourselves as simply people. Whiteness by virtue of its status as the dominant social position is unmarked. It is relatively easy for a white person to go through life never thinking about their own racial identity(Kaufman pg 1). The family, the education system, the political system and many other influences in daily life, do not teach that the white race is privileged, but that the white race is the norm, not advantaged, just normal.
McIntosh says that white privilege, in a nut shell, is unearned power that whites unknowingly possess, giving them an advantage in society. White privilege is ignored by whites in society because we live in a nation of white dominance. Whites most ofte...


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...derstanding of the inequities in a white society. Whites need to look at the ways that they can challenge racism effectively holding the reality of white privilege in ones conscious mind. The best thing that whites can do is take every opportunity to use white privilege to dismantle the system and make the privileges of being respected valued members of society available to all(Kaufman pg.8)



Works Cited

Fletcher, Karen J. "A Discussion on White Privilege: Part II." A Discussion on White Privilege: Part II. California Health Advocates, June 2005. Web. 10 Mar. 2014.

Kaufman, Cynthia. "A User's Guide To White Privilege." Cwsworkshop.org. Challenging White Supremacy Workshop, 2001. Web. 05 Mar. 2014.

Recupero, Jenna R. "Reformed Church in America." Multiracial: Speech Review: Unpacking White Privilege. Reformed Church Press, 2014. Web. 05 Mar. 2014.

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