The Invisible Knapsack

Topics: Black people, Race and Ethnicity, White people Pages: 3 (1013 words) Published: October 8, 2010
Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
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It is easy for me to walk into a stationery store and find a greeting card appropriate for my family or most of my friends. But recently, my husband and I wanted to send a card to dear friends who just had a baby girl. But we had a challenging experience finding the right card. The problem was not in the lack of congratulatory messages, but in the lack of cards which properly identify with our friends. Our friends are African American. It is also heartbreaking to notice that their birth announcement portrays a sketch of a white baby; they, too, had a hard time finding an appropriate greeting.  There were a lot of truths to McIntosh's statements. "White privilege" seems to be such a concern when people start to think about fair treatment to everyone else, but no one should forget that it doesn't just involve "whites.” It's a simple fact that people tend to treat other people that share similar backgrounds better than others who don't. The race isn't always the case, but the majority clashes with minority are the easiest to recognize. The 24th statement, for example, is still at large. Not only is the typical "person in charge" pictured as someone "white," but a "white" male at that. Another example, number ten states that “I can be pretty sure of having my voice heard in a group in which I am the only member of my race.” I think that when a minority gets up to speak in certain situations, either a lot of attention is focused on them because people are curious as to what the “Black” or “Asian” person will say, not necessarily because they are genuinely interested, but more because they are kind of gawking at this person. I think this also ties in with number 27, where she says “I can go home from most meetings...feeling somewhat tied in, rather than isolated, outnumbered, unheard...” I also believe that number 41 is sad but true. “I can be sure that if I need legal or medical help,...
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