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Transcript of Privilege
“…an invisible package of unearned assets which I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was ‘meant’ to remain oblivious” (McIntosh, 1988, p. 1).
Only having to be aware of my own culture to succeed, rather than having to be aware of mine and the dominant culture's norms (what W.E.B. DuBois calls "double consciousness") (from Landsman, 2006)
That which “allow[s] my family to take for granted things that others must spend time, energy and resources trying to earn” (Olson, 2002, p. 81).
Who is privileged
in U.S. society?
Symmetrical body structure
All functioning appendages
Exactly how are White people
privileged in our society?
If I need to move, I can be pretty sure that I will be able to rent or purchase housing in an area in which:
* I can afford
* I would like to live
* I and my family will be welcomed
I can go shopping fairly well assured that I will not be followed.
I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented.
I can be sure that my children will learn from books, visual aids, and directly from teachers that teach them that people of their race made our country great.
I can swear, dress in second-hand clothes, or not answer emails without having people attribute these choices to the bad morals, the poverty, or the illiteracy of my race.
I can do well in a challenging situation without being called a credit to my race.
I can take a job with an affirmative-action employer without having my new co-workers suspect that I got it because of my race.
My children will always sees faces like their own represented in textbooks, posters, films, and other materials throughout their schools.
The policy decisions that affect my children’s school experience are made by state and local bodies dominated by people who understand our racial history and culture.
And if I choose to, I can disagree with any of the preceding statements on an intellectual level without having my everyday experience tell me that it's true.
If your everyday experience makes you question whether those statements are true, you probably enjoy some level of racial privilege in our society.
Note: Having privilege does NOT mean that you don't have to work hard or that you're given anything for free.
What it DOES mean is that you have, based on a characteristic that you didn't choose, a greater range of options open to you if you DO work hard than those who were not born with that same characteristic might have.
Not too old to be an authority
Not too young to be an authority
Teenagers (in some ways)
Post-high school degree
No high school degree