White Privilege

Powerful Essays
My Experience with White Privilege
October 14, 2008

How America came about is fascinating, and learning about immigration, rights, laws, and racism makes learning more beneficial. It helps you to understand why we, as a nation, are they way we are today, and why we will continue to be stuck in our ways. According to James Barrett and David Roediger, “The Story of Americanization is vital and compelling, but it took place in a nation also obsessed by race…the process of “becoming white” and “becoming American” were connected at every turn (36).” One of the most controversial topics is white privilege and discrimination. Segregation within school systems has been a dominant problem in the past and will always continue to be. Being privileged is a something that individuals should be conscious of due to their past and understand that it is a privilege to be white rather than to be discriminated against. Becoming conscious of one’s own white privilege is the first step to understand the deeper meaning of racism and discrimination.
My intentions of writing this paper were to describe a situation in which I was conscious of my own white privilege. White privilege was always on my side until high school where I felt as though I was discriminated against as being a petite, white girl, from upper-class Allendale leaving me to been seen as an easy target. While at my locker one day during lunch, I was approached by two of the black students (one male and one female) and a Latino girl, and they tried to convince me something hurtful was written about me in the bathroom. Being that I am not the type to care, get involved, or respond, I turned to walk away. The Latino girl proceeded to grab my hair causing me to turn and face her and she punched me square in the face. After several minutes of back and forth wrestling and punches, the fight was broken up my teachers. It turns out that there was nothing written about me, they were just trying to get me into



Cited: Barrett, James E., and David Roediger. 2005. How White People Became White. Pg. 35-40 in White Privilege: Essential Reading on the Other Side of Racism, 2nd Ed., Paula S. Rothenberg, Ed. New York: Worth Publishers. Glenn, Evelyn, Nakano. "Citizenship: Universalism and Exclusion." Pg. 18-55 in Unequal Freedom: How Race and Gender Shaped American Citizenship and Labor. Cambridge: Harvard. Massey, Douglas S. "How Space Gets Raced." Rethinking the Color Line. By Charles A. Gallagher. 3rd Ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2007. 225. McIntosh, Peggy. 1997 "White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences through Work in Women 's Studies." Pg. 290-99 in Critical White Studies: Looking Behind the Mirror. Richard Delgado & Jean Stefancic, Eds. Philadephia: Temple University Press. Takaki, Ronald T. A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America. New York, NY: Back Bay, 1994. 108.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Powerful Essays

    Greenblatt, Alan. "Race in America." CQ Researcher 13, no. 25 (July 11, 2003): 593-624. http://library.cqpress.com/cqresearcher/cqresrre2003071100.…

    • 2170 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Reverse Discrimination

    • 641 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Lynch, Frederick R. Invisible Victims: White Males and the Crisis of Affirmative Action. New York: Greenwood, 1989. Print.…

    • 641 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    For many centuries, race has been a huge topic that people discuss about, whether talking about education, occupation, politics, or human rights. America was settled with Native-Americans, but after Columbus discovered American land, there were many Europeans travelling there. However, it did not end there, many years later upper-class settlers started bringing in slaves from African-American descent. That is when interracial relationships started to happen. Brodkin, Buck, Omi and Winant in their essays illustrate racial formations, interracial relationships, and how white people can be privileged in recent days.…

    • 563 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    The Movie Crash

    • 1050 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Jensen, Robert. The Heart of Whiteness: Confronting Race, Racism And White Privilege. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 2005. Print.…

    • 1050 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Racism in the United States has been a major issue and concern for hundreds of years. Historically this country has been pre-dominantly Caucasian after the first settlers started immigrating. I used the word Caucasian as this country is a land of various immigrants, so using the term “white” would not be entirely correct. Judging just by a person’s outer appearance does not give the whole story, which is part of what this essay is meant to explain.…

    • 1814 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    The Matter of Whiteness 1

    • 2225 Words
    • 9 Pages

    Rothenberg P. S., Hooks, B. (2008). Representations of Whiteness in the Black Imagination. White Privilege, 01-03, 19-24, Worth Publishers, New York, New York…

    • 2225 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Better Essays

    Parrillo, V. (2011). Strangers to These Shores: Race and Ethnic Relations in the United States (Tenth Edition.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education.…

    • 1637 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    Diverse Racial Experience

    • 1259 Words
    • 6 Pages

    The chapter by Ruth Frankenberg entitled, "Introduction: Points of Origin, Points of Departure", argues that the way one is perceived in society drastically changes their experience and advantage over others. Therefore, white women are often distinguished by their whiteness which gives them a more diverse racial experience (Frankenberg, 1993, pp. 1). With being white comes various additional components that set it apart from the other raced women of the world. Moreover, being a white woman automatically links them to a more favourable position of superiority in the way that they are often identified. This means that they get certain benefits by being white, as colonialism positioned them to have a large portion of control and authority over others. This provides them with the advantage to define the public and its individual beings the way they believe or want it to be. Moreover, they see their whiteness as a normative position in society that is invisible. Frankenberg`s goal is to make whiteness visible so that a white person can identify that they have an advantage over a person of colour by virtue of their skin. She also takes into consideration the intersectionality of class, culture, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality in a white racialized body (Frankenberg, 1993, pp. 1).…

    • 1259 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    As a white male from a middle-class family with all the advantages that station in life affords, I have not often stood in the face of discrimination. On those grounds this essay was difficult for me to write. Growing up, I had an almost exclusively private school career, as some of you may have read in the Vidette last week. Before putting fingers to keyboard I sat down and thought a long while about a time when I was discriminated against. With both relief and some regret, I couldn't think of a single occasions. So after much thought, I decided to write about a time I had witnessed discrimination.…

    • 1046 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Khfhf

    • 1866 Words
    • 8 Pages

    Bibliography: Marable, Manning. The Great Wells of Democracy: The Meaning of Race in American Life. New York: Basic Books, 2002.…

    • 1866 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Writing Assignment #3

    • 870 Words
    • 4 Pages

    The article, “Whites Swim in Racial Preference” was extremely interesting and full of valuable information. The article clearly displayed numerous key terms from our text, in regards to racial inequality. These terms include, but are not limited to, social control mechanisms, discrimination, social stratification, and white privilege.…

    • 870 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    White Privilege In America

    • 3351 Words
    • 14 Pages

    White privilege is a way conceptualizing racial inequalities that white people accrue from society. It can be defined as a privilege advantage over non- white people, and give special freedom or immunity which non-white groups are not exempt from. An underexposed part of racism in America is the White people have a privilege that other American like the black race doesn’t. "Defining "White Privilege"" Autoredirect to Main Site. Web. 13 Apr. 2012. .White Privileged involve low crime suburban neighborhood, not facing poverty, and not facing injustice. The three majors articles that gives us a clear understanding as to White Privilege are Cradle to Prison Pipeline, Multicultural Community Practice strategies and intergroup empowerment, and…

    • 3351 Words
    • 14 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    In this Tim Wise discusses how the so called white privilege came about in the United States and how it was a big joke. He talks about how especially back during the Civil War that the world was off balance. White people were clearly more privileged and they may not have realized it until slavery came about. He mentions that the middle class people were fooled by those of the Elite class. The Elite class made them feel as though they were more important than there servants, which were normally African Americans, even though, the Elite did not care what everyone thought, they just wanted to stay on top. They felt that to stay on top they must create a class system. Elite was better than the Middle and Lower class, the Middle class was better than the Lower class, and if you were in the lower class you were nothing. Whites tended to be in both the Elite class and the Middle class while the African Americans fell in the Lower class, thus creating privilege.…

    • 889 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Many people could say that white Americans are living with the fear that they didn’t really deserve their success, and that maybe luck and privilege had more to do with it, than brains and hard work, but there is always two sides to every story. That other side conflicts with that and say white Americans worked hard to get to where they are in life and it had nothing to do with privilege. There are numerous reasons for the widespread discrimination at all levels, but the main reason for the existence of discrimination is a privilege to certain groups of people, and widespread social prejudice towards certain groups of people. Differences between people have always existed, but they gain importance only when different importance are given to…

    • 2156 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    White Privilege

    • 1111 Words
    • 3 Pages

    In Peggy McIntosh’s article “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible backpack” we see detailed examples of how white people are extremely privileged in ways that people of other races may never understand. Even though sometimes we do not realize this is happening it has been seen to be true in many things throughout history and in the world today.…

    • 1111 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays