White Privilege

Length: 5 Pages 1291 Words

McIntosh describes 'white privilege' as “an invisible package of unearned assets that I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was "meant" to remain oblivious. White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools , and blank checks” (qtd. “White Privilege”). It is a certain advantage, given solely due to skin color, that gives privileges to the dominant group members, Whites, while creating disadvantages for the minority members that they must reckon with as functional members of society. As male are carefully taught not to recognize male privilege, so McIntosh insists that she too was taught not to recognize white privilege. Yet, careful introspection results in the recognition of many key points that highlight the power of white privilege, a power that is not earned, but simply a birthright given due to race, much as male privilege is given simply because a child is born male (“White Privilege”). These key points illustrate basic concepts that those born of this privilege often take for granted. Those who are White can arrange to be in the company of other Whites, whenever they desire and they can avoid spending time wit Continue...

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Those who enjoy the benefits of white privilege do not have to fear their race will negatively affect them if they are subjected to the scrutiny of authority. She deems it to be the harsh reality that contradicts the American myth of meritocracy that theorizes that everything one has is something that they have earned, in some manner. This belief in colorblindness helps Whites justify today's contemporary racial inequality. White privilege gives its members the ability to be heard in a group, and the ability to choose not to listen to a member of a minority group, if they are one of the few in the group speaking. When moving, Whites can typically live where they wish, as long as they can afford it and have neighbors who are pleasant or neutral towards them ("White Privilege"). However, white privilege is more than just what White people get, but also what they don't get - especially, as noted earlier, the unjustified increased scrutiny, due to their race. The ratio of the average black workers' earnings to the average white workers' earnings increased slightly in the 1940s, increased slightly if at all in the 1950s, increased significantly between 1960 and the mid 1970s, and declined somewhat since the late 1970s. Wage inequality is the most blatant of examples of white privilege, but it comes in other forms as well. An Affirmative Action report in the mid-1990s demonstrates some of the disparities in wages between Whites and minorities, that illustrate white privilege. ) and through racial stories" (Schlumpf). And, some insist that the real challenge in today's society is class and not race. Those within the minority groups often do not enjoy such liberties. In contrast, minorities see themselves in the media simply as the perpetrator of some social evil. And, like Applebaum, notes that this fact is often taken for granted by Whites.


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black/white race relations
Once race has been so constructed, whites cannot easily dismantle this awful creation" (Max, 1998, p. 271). Racial domination translates into white privilege. (1589 6 )

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Before the training, the teacher education students were reluctant to learn about racism, their white privilege, and their participation in the ideology of (2885 12 )

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