White privilege is a concept that many people are unfamiliar with, but not because they do not benefit from it. In the paper “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” by Peggy McIntosh argues that white people have an advantage over those of other races, though most are completely unaware of it or simply take it for granted. Her recognition of white privilege came from the concept of male privilege. She says that she looked at that concept and realized there was certainly something similar to it in regards to race (McIntosh, 1988, 11). This paper has great importance to the function of society. Because many white people do not recognize their unfair and disproportionate advantage in society, racial tensions can rise even more because there is a major wall blocking people from fixing the current issues.
McIntosh used her own whiteness as a basis for forming this idea, which was an extremely effective way to take her standpoint. White privilege is a delicate topic, as many deny its existence and get defensive when it is brought up. As a white person, McIntosh has the ability to approach the subject without making fragile white people feel as though they are being attacked. She especially makes the paper feel like less of an attack by pointing out that privilege is not something that a person asks for. It is bestowed upon them and determined by how they look when they are born (McIntosh, 1988, 15).
In the article, McIntosh brings up a list of things that she is awarded daily because of her own white privilege. One example she gives is “I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented.”(McIntosh, 1988, 12). Another is “I can be late to a meeting without hav...
... middle of paper ...
...h is an important tool to use in the discussion of racism. Because of white fragility, it is often hard to broach the discussion of white privilege with white people. Having an article that makes the conversation feel like less of an attack is certainly helpful and would allow for a more open dialogue. This paper has left me with one big question- how can I, as a white person, ensure that I am not reinforcing a white privileged culture in my everyday life? Some of it is out of my control for now, but where can I start? This paper may have been written nearly three decades ago now, but it is still extremely applicable today. Very little has been done to improve how different races experience life as opposed to how white people experience life. The idea of white privilege remains controversial in the eyes of some, but eradicating it will bring equality to the races.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Most Caucasians look at white privilege and institutional racism as the past, and they are painfully unaware of how it still exists today. Peggy McIntosh took a deeper look into this in her article “White Privilege: The Invisible Knapsack.” In this article she lists many basic privileges that white people experience, many being basic rights that many would never think of. White privilege and institutional racism has managed to sneak its way into this time period, practically going unnoticed by white people.... [tags: Racism, White people, African American, Race]
717 words (2 pages)
- When the word “race” arises in a conversation, most people in general automatically think skin color, then ethnicity, culture and traditions, but sadly never one before the other. Society is to blame for the reason being, due to lack of educating unity between individuals and developing the non-discriminatory environment and state of mind. In the Oxford dictionaries, the definition of privilege is a “special right, advantage, or immunity granted”, whilst Peggy McIntosh, an associate director of the Wellesley College center for research on women, argues in her essay titled “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” is “an invisible package of unearned assets which I can count on cash... [tags: Racism, Race, White people, White American]
1068 words (3.1 pages)
- White privilege is a concept that many people are unfamiliar with, but not because they do not benefit from it. In the paper “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” by Peggy McIntosh argues that white people have an advantage over those of other races, though most are completely unaware of it or simply take it for granted. Her recognition of white privilege came from the concept of male privilege. She says that she looked at that concept and realized there was certainly something similar to it in regards to race (McIntosh, 1988, 11).... [tags: Race, Racism, Race, White American]
941 words (2.7 pages)
- “I was taught to see racism only in individual acts of meanness, not in invisible systems conferring dominance on my group,” Peggy McIntosh wrote in her article White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack. Too often this country lets ignorance be a substitute for racism. Many believe that if it is not blatant racism, then what they are doing is okay. Both the video and the article show that by reversing the terms, there is proof that racism is still very existent in this world. By looking into A Class Divided and White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack along with their ability to broaden the cultural competence, once can see how race is still very prominent in our culture.... [tags: Racism, White people, Race, Race]
852 words (2.4 pages)
- In her article "Representing Whiteness in the Black Imagination" bell hooks argues that the distance between the white and black races created a tense relationship between the two. This tension caused a multitude of problems that are still present today including systems of domination, stereotypes of one another, white naivety of their privilege and fear of white individuals. Similarly, Ruth Frankenberg 's article "White Women, Race Matters" discuss these issues but from the perspective of a white feminist.... [tags: White people, Race, Racism, Race]
1706 words (4.9 pages)
- Start Here Findings and Feelings Before beginning the readings, I browsed the titles and groaned; all four articles discussed the concept of white privilege. This is not something I believe in, much like I once believed that learning is simply a matter of choice to do so, I want to believe that the effort you put in earned you what you got if for no other reason than the simple comfort of believing there is a payoff for hard work. At the same time, I do not wish to portray myself as ignorant or naïve enough not to believe that racism is still an issue that requires both attention and resolving.... [tags: Racism, Race, Whiteness studies, White people]
1611 words (4.6 pages)
- Contemporary television differs from television of the 50s and 60s for numerous reasons, the most noteworthy of which being that television today is not presented in monochrome black and white. The introduction of the color TV in 1965 allowed audiences to experience the wide spectrum of color they only found in reality on the screen. Television today also features more color in another sense of the word besides monochromality; the representation of people of color in modern television exceeds that of fifty years ago.... [tags: Black people, White people, African American]
1440 words (4.1 pages)
- 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.... [tags: Black people, Racism, White people, Race]
775 words (2.2 pages)
- The concepts of race, racism, and privilege are not necessarily new; however, in response to constant changes in the political and social environment, the concepts are consistently relevant and applicable. Black Health Matters, a recent 2016 article written by Jenna Wortham, describes the physical and emotional manifestations that racial tensions and current events can cause. White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, written in 1988 by Peggy McIntosh, explores the concepts of white privilege, unearned advantage, and conferred dominance, from the perspective of a self-identified white author.... [tags: Racism, Race, Race, Whiteness studies]
910 words (2.6 pages)
- As a white female in society, I am granted certain privileges that other individuals from different races do not receive. I was raised with these advantages and therefore I do not notice them as they occur in my daily life. They have become apart of me, and apart of something I expect. For example, I can expect to wake up in the morning look out of my window and see neighbours that are mostly of the same race as I am. The idea of these unconscious actions that add up to the white privilege came from the article, “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” by Peggy McIntosh.... [tags: Family, Mother, Cousin, Sibling]
1034 words (3 pages)