African American History
March 4, 2012
White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
The list comprised in this article is unfortunately true and eye opening. Many white people are unaware of the natural advantages that are written here. They take it for granted thinking everyone else is also entitled to these rights. Since I am not white, I can clearly see that these are privileges given to whites only. I can even say that I have never experience some of the things written in McIntosh’s list. I disagree with many of these terms.
The item on her list that I feel most strongly about is: 10. Whether I use checks, credit cards or cash, I can count on my skin color not to work against the appearance of my financial reliability. People should not relate other’s financial situation based on their skin color. That is very wrong. It has been engraved into people’s minds that all black people are on welfare or food stamps because they don’t work. But that is not true. Just because someone is black does not mean that they are poor and unable to support themselves. If you are judged for walking into a high end store just because of your skin color, that is very unfair. Race and ethnicity does not have anything to do with someone’s financial reliability.
Another that I think is unfair is: 12. I can swear, or dress in second hand clothes, or not answer letters, without having people attribute these choices to the bad morals, the poverty, or the illiteracy of my race. For the same reason as the previous one, race should not be a factor in the judgment of others. McIntosh sees these are privileges for white only when in fact; it should not be a privilege. Anything written on this list should be given to everyone, regardless of the race. I definitely agree with McIntosh that: whites are taught to think of their lives as morally neutral, normative, and average, and also ideal, so that when we work to benefit others, this is seen as work which...
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