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White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
emily_berry_b
In Peggy McIntosh's article, she describes "White Privilege," as the denials white Americans hold regarding the opportunities/advantages present in their daily lives. Comparable to men's privilege that still exists today, men will not admit that they are over-privileged, but can admit that women are at a lesser privilege then them. Racism appears to put others in that same sort of disadvantage, which is taught to be un-recognizable by the white population. Whites have been conditioned to remain ignorant of the privileges presented because it is just viewed as "the norm." Whites continue to take these daily advantages for granted living in a constant state of oblivion, when the rest of society should be able to share the same advantages without having to think twice, but that is clearly not the case. It is not until whites can recognize this privilege that we can be more aware of other ethnic groups and change our mind-set of this false dominance whites believe they possess.


In order to overcome this issue, whites must began to recognize and feel affected by racism which the majority of white Americana's have proven they do not feel affected because, "they do not see whiteness as a racial identity." Whites must re-train their focus of racism from "individual acts of meanness" to "invisible systems conferring dominance" from birth. Once you understand this, then you can change the way you view racism and see that everyone deserves an equal opportunity and privilege should only be earned by hard work and perseverance regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other factor. As McIntosh states, "the feeling that one belongs within the human circle," should be present upon all American society.

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