When I think about white privilege, I see it as something I must understand to truly feel a relation to my own privileges with race. “As a white person, I realized I had been taught about racism as something which puts others at a disadvantage, but had been taught not to see one of its corollary aspects, white privilege, which puts me at an advantage.” (McIntosh 1988) When comparing other privileges McIntosh sees that her life is more influenced by her skin color than class, religion, ethnic status, or geographical location. Tim Wise explains “even though there is more than one type of privilege, they can never fully eradicate white privilege.” “Understanding the persistence of privilege requires recognizing the sleight of mind that occurs on the subject of individuals as members of groups” (Wildman 2005). Early work done by African American sociologist W.E.B. DuBois (1868-1963) showed that studies with white workers over time came to see themselves as white unlike the developing working class with recently freed black slaves. DuBois was one of the first people to initiate the concept of white privilege.
Growing up in an one bedroom single parent home with eight kids I was an angry child faced with countless obstacles growing up. The things that I have seen and the situations I have been in through growing up I know that I shouldn’t be here today.There are guys that I grew up with who are now either dead, in jail, or still in the streets. By overcoming these things it has molded me into the young man I am today; a person who is determined to be great and determined to leave an impact on people's lives in everything that I do. As I continue to grow, others are seeing the transition that I am making into a black man who while he may be from the projects he is taking actions to become better and
Across the nation, millions of Americans of all races turn on the television or open a newspaper and are bombarded with images of well dressed, articulate, attractive black people advertising different products and representing respected companies. The population of black professionals in all arenas of work has risen to the point where seeing a black physician, attorney, or a college professor are becoming more a common sight. More and more black people are holding positions of respect and authority throughout America today, such as Barack Obama, Colin Powell, Condelezza Rice and many other prominent black executives. As a result of their apparent success, these black people are seen as role models for many Americans, despite their race.
If one were to take a look at the American business world today, much as if one were to look at it a hundred or more years ago, one fact would be easily noticeable. The majority of positions of power and authority in most American businesses are white males. In fact, white males outnumber all other races n these positions far more than they outnumber the actual populations of these other people in our country. Specifically, black men are sorely represented in executive positions in corporations and businesses across the board. So why is that? Is there some fundamental character of black people that keeps them from success? Is society still oppressive to blacks nearly forty years after the Civil Rights
At its core, white privilege is described to be an “invisible package of unearned assets” (McIntosh, 2002, p. 33) for white people. There are many layers explaining the manifestation of white privilege and even more explanations pertaining to its dominant presence in today’s world.
Biologically speaking, all people are made up with approximately 99% of the same genes (Robbins et al. 2013:80). It does not matter if a person looks different or has a different skin colour; we are all humans and thus should be treated equally. Unfortunately, this is not the case in most of the world, especially in America. In America¬ (and other parts of the world), several communities and companies believe in white privilege. One of the first reports of white privilege in America was in the 1600s, when white people enslaved black people (Nkomo & Ariss 2013). Back then, having slaves raised a white person’s power and identity, while also making it beneficial from a business standpoint (Nkomo &
I am a white woman living in America in the 21st century. Growing up white has made my life fairly easy when it comes to the opportunities I have had to become more successful. For example, I probably have an easier time getting a job, getting into college, or even buying a new car than someone of a different race. Our country doesn’t want to accept it, but it happens all around us. I have also had it easy in that I did not grow up in poverty, in the ghetto, on the streets, etc, as many people of different races have. I grew up in a nice house with my two married parents and four siblings. We were just an average family living the American Dream. I remember going to elementary school and seeing all the kids of races other than white walking to school from the “bad” part of my neighborhood. Most of the white kids never stepped foot in that part of our neighborhood because of a fear. When I think back now,
Many 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. 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 in importance only when are different importance given to certain differences, so it creates privileges. People who are privileged in one society are often not aware of their privilege. It is very easy to be oblivious to the privilege. The problem of discrimination
Peggy McIntosh, a well known anti-racism, defined white privilege, which all caucasians can use, as “an invisible package of unearned assets which I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I am meant to remain oblivious” (McIntosh, 1988, p.1). White privilege serves several functions. First, it provides white people with “perks” that they do not earn and that people of color (POC) do not enjoy. Second, it creates real advantages for whites. White people are immune to a lot of challenges. Finally, white privilege shapes the world in which we live — the way that we navigate and interact with one another and with the world.
Before you read this I would like for you to know the reason for me writing this letter to you. And why I especifically choose for you, my future child, to be the one to read this letter. I write to you because I don’t want you to grow up with hatred towards specific individuals or thinking your race is better than another or worst, feeling like you have the right to categorize people just because of the color of their skin. I write to you because of the messed up education system we now have and the upsetting society we live in. You came from me, I made you and raised you therefore I will also educate you with the things I know they won’t teach you.
As I sit here and write to you and I look across the street of this tiny little home I live in I see the neighbors and in their front yard is a cross that someone has lit on fire. Why, because today he walked a white girl to school. Rumors started and now everyone knows that this little girl likes him. Yet he is being punished for it. It shouldn’t matter. If there is one thing that you need to know and one thing that I can teach you through this letter it is to be you. Know yourself. Never let anyone tell you that you can not do something. Most importantly, remember that loves has no boundaries. It sees no color. It does not understand hate. It does not segregate nor does it discriminate. I hope that you never have to endure the hardships that we have to endure during these trying times. Always remember to live with no regrets and never look back!
In the story of The Great Gatsby, Tom is afraid that his race is going to be drowned out by African American people succeeding. Tom tries to tell the group that “it is up to the dominant race to watch out or the other races may take control of things” (Fitzgerald 17). Tom showcases the idea that a few of these rich, white men have a fear that if they truly let people different than them be equal and peaceful, they will become more successful than the white men. This belief has been going on forever, for example , the Plessy V. Ferguson case (Bagwell, Plessy V. Ferguson). White men have always tried to use their privileges to rise to the top while also keeping minority groups down through systematic racism as well as institutionalized racism.
To begin, I would like to examine the privilege that I inherited when I was born to a white mother and father. It is important, as a white person, to end the silence that so many white people engage in daily, regarding their privilege. It is not common to hear people speaking about the privilege they experience. This may be due to guilt. It may also be because most people wouldn’t want to willingly admit that all they were able to achieve, the stability they feel in their lives, and the pride they feel for the success that they created for themselves, in large part is due to how people in society perceive them as members of a privileged group. This isn’t to say that those who have achieved success have not earned it, but it must be said that skin color has made certain things easier for white people, and that it may have played a large role in their ability to achieve their potential. Of course I worked hard to be where I am today, but I
I don’t have the courage to face you, this is the reason I am writing a Goodbye letter to you by pouring out my feelings, emotions and thoughts about why I am leaving this relationship.