Making Systems of Privilege Visible

Pages: 2 (424 words) Published: November 27, 2012
“All these words, describing racial subcategories, seem neutral on their face like equivalent titles. But however the subcategories are listed, however neutrally the words are expressed, these words mask a system of power, and that system privileges whiteness” The categories of the words race and gender are not the only way to describe how it defines what subcategories of words the white privileged uses to pacify minorities to make them feel as though they are equal to them, which in turn obscures the power of the privileged whites. This is relevant because the subcategories of words does not create equality between the “white privileged” and the “not privileged”. It begets an illusion and does not create a juxtaposition of what may seem to be tantamount in the eyes of those subcategorizing the use of the words (but knowing that it holds no type of value to the equality by sub-categorization). It veils their true intentions and attempts to show that they (the white privileged) are concerned about the way society stigmatizes and continues with the inequality and unfairness of others (non-white). By doing so it takes the attention away from the systemic power and right to be white and privileged.

On page 648 it is stated that “This normalization of privilege means that members of society are judged, and succeed or fail, measured against the characteristics that are held by those privileged.” Power and control are given to the privileged that in turn are able to set, measure and try to justify the standards of others based on their definition of normal. This is relevant because their definition of success and fail although opposite in meaning, means the same. It does not take into account what they consider to be “normal” in their privileged world can be contested by those who they consider to be aberrant. If those who step outside of the “normalization of the privileged” and is successful, their success may be only success in their eyes, not to be...
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