McIntosh describes 'white privilege' as âan 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 checksâ (qtd. âWhite Privilegeâ). 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 (âWhite Privilegeâ). 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 with others who they've grown up believing to mistrust and who also distrust them. 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 (âWhite Privilegeâ). In contrast, those of other races, moving into an area occupied by those with white privilege often are met with a negative attitude, even before their new neighbors get to know them.
Those with white privilege can enjoy shopping without being harassed or followed. Whereas those of minority often find themselves being monitored by store employees who are certain they are going to pilfer something. This stereotyping continues in the news media and those who...