Peggy McIntosh concludes white privilege is, “an invisible package of unearned assets which I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was meant to remain oblivious.” The writer came to this conclusion when observing male privilege initially in America. McIntosh discusses the lack of acknowledgement of men when it came to addressing their own advantages over women even if they could admit the position of disadvantage of women. This shed light on how white privilege is curtailed; In the United States, foundations of our society are interlaced with institutionalized privilege creates unethical levels of dominance; dominance of males over females, whites over people of color,
W.E.B. Du Bois, a prominent African American scholar in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, wrote many significant essays that challenged the dangerous societal view that black Americans weren’t capable of progress. In one of those essays, Strivings of the Negro People, he develops new terminology to discuss the many forces that act upon black Americans in a white dominated society, the most important of which is double-consciousness. The phrase, “double-consciousness”, refers to the division of the African American self into conflicting two facets: one being the American and the other the Negro, ever being forced to look at themselves through the eyes of a racist society.
The Scramble for Africa can easily be defined as the forced invasion and division of African countries among European superpowers. Those powers included Great Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, and Belgium. Each superpower wanted control over a certain area on the continent and would do anything to ensure that their area remained in their best interest. To bring the conflicts to the forefront, the countries participated in the Berlin Africa Conference in 1884-1885. In this conference, the issues of Anglo-German relations and everybody’s control in Africa were discussed. As a result of the conference, European control began to overtake the African continent and imperialism became a giant part of the European mark. In his book, “Worlds of Color” W.E.B DuBois discusses the idea of whole colonial enterprise stating that the problem the world faces is the color line. This can easily be interpreted as Dr. DuBois giving the idea that if World, more specifically European superpowers stop viewing the color line and Africa’s color line as something less than them a lot of the world’s issues could be detected and fixed. But more importantly, Dr. DuBois is stating that without the Worlds of Color, European industrialization would not exist.
Peggy McIntosh’s “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Backpack” addresses the issue of acknowledging whites’ unaware privileges, thus weakening the systems of advantage to reconstruct power systems in the society from 1989 to the present. For instance, men are unconscious about their privileges in a patriarchal society while women are oppressed in the society. White people are unaware of the privileges which they take for granted while non-white communities are discriminated against repeatedly. McIntosh identities her privileges from daily life, which she also relates the patterns of white privilege and assumptions that passed down.
Peggy McIntosh's "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Backpack" addresses the issue of acknowledging whites' unaware privileges, thus weakening the systems of advantage to reconstruct power systems in the society from 1989 to the present. For instance, men are unconscious about their privileges in a patriarchal society while women are oppressed in the society. White people are unaware of the privileges which they take for granted while non-white communities are discriminated against repeatedly. McIntosh identities her privileges from daily life, which she also relates the patterns of white privilege and assumptions that passed down.
In Peggy McIntosh’s, “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” she introduces the topic of privilege from the point of view of a women in a world designed to favor men. She sees that men acknowledge the fact that women are disadvantaged but are unable to admit that they themselves have higher power. This denial of power is what creates the gap between men and women and is a clear stepping stone to her primary point of white privilege. The problem does not lie in the existence of white privilege but more so in the validation that is given to it. To be oblivious to this privilege is what gives it power to aid the white population, while simultaneously crippling other minority groups. She goes on to state that realizing there is hierarchy is the first step to systematically taking it down. This however has to start by finding where the problem originates.
According to Peggy McIntosh, an American feminist and anti-racism activist, whites are convinced that they carry an “invisible knapsack”, which allow them several privileges that African American or other ethnicities don’t have. In her article “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack,” McIntosh describe a long list of white privileges such as, ”When I go shopping, store detectives don’t follow me” and “…people of my race are positively presented on television or papers”. They believe that the fact of being whites automatically makes them less suspicious of wrongdoing (McIntosh, 152). The American philosopher John Berteaux, a specialist in social ethics and philosophy of race agree with McIntosh about the wrong believe that whites have about some privileges embedded in the race, “Most white people don’t question their race or it’s privileges; they simple take them for granted” (Rosenstand, 373). In other words, whites believe that the skin color is what makes a race better that the other, giving some people more rights that to the others.
White Privilege is a thesis about positive racial discrimination. In exploring this thesis and in the effort of joining this decades old conversation, I think it worthwhile to fully engage Peggy McIntosh's thesis. White Privilege contains a comprehensive list of privileges that I will now check my privilege by.
In the essay “How It Feels to Be Colored Me”, author Zora Neale Hurston writes to an American audience about having maturity and self-conscious identity while being an African American during the early 1900’s through the 1920’s Harlem Renaissance. Hurston expresses and informs her audience about how she does not see herself as a color, and instead sees herself as all she is made up of on the inside. Her primary claim is that she is not “tragically colored” and she should not have a single care about how the world reminds her of how she should act about her race. Her essay chronicles her personal experiences in being an unapologetically colored woman and creates the argument that she should not ever feel self-pity for being black. She utilizes her personal anecdotes and weaves them with metaphors, analogies, and rhetorical questions in order to create an immersive experience for the reader. Furthermore, Hurston engages the reader with her slightly sarcastic, strong, and blissfully positive tone effectively creates a way with words that communicate her claims in an entertaining way.
In the essay, “Of Our Spiritual Strivings,” he theorizes the concept of the “veil” and “double consciousness” to express the very distinct differences experienced by Whites and Blacks (Du Bois 1995). The veil is an imaginary barrier, the color-line, which separates Whites and Blacks. Through the veil, Blacks can
The concept of white privilege helps to highlight the hypocritical nature of the American ideologies of democracy and meritocracy. Ask yourself: Do we live truly in a democratic system if the voices of our nation’s disenfranchised people are not heard? Or are we truly a nation that functions on a meritocratic system if every person-- regardless of socioeconomic background or race-- is not given the same opportunities for development? The concepts of white privilege and male privilege, as used by McIntosh, are meant to unveil the hidden schemes of American ideology.
Peddy McIntosh highlighted various unearned white privileges in her autobiographical article “White Privilege, Color and Crime: A Personal Account.” She illustrated the white privilege as an invisible package of unearned assets that one white person could count on cashing in each day. White people have these privileges given to them by the society in which they live in. The same society taught them to be ignorant and unawareness of these privileges. This system of unearned privileges established by white individuals made people of color feel oppressed. In this system being white is a norm and dominant power. Caucasians, who benefit most from the white privilege system in the United States, are more likely to
The August 1897 issue of the Atlantic Monthly introduced Du Bois to a national audience when it published his article "The Striving of the Negro People”. He begins this article with what he calls “the unasked question” he continually encountered: “How does it feel to be a problem?” Meaning: how does it feel to be black in America after the end of the
How does it feel to be a problem? My immediate thought process to the question lead me to think of the strife happening the world as of now. I would add something though: How does it feel to be a problem when you have no idea as to what you have done? This question has yet to be asked because no one knows how to ask it or how to word it where it would be less harsh. Du Bois says his answer is seldom a word. I gathered from this answer that it is something that he doesn’t like to talk about. But who would want to answer such a delicate question? How would you even formulate such an answer? Du Bois realizes that within society he holds a low position in society. Chapter one discusses the struggles blacks endured during this time. The struggle to gain the right to vote, to obtain a good education, and to receive equal treatment and justice. I concluded that Du Bois puts the Negro race
Double Consciousness refers to a concept first explored by WEB Du Bois. This describes the African American man and his identity having to be split or divided. In other words it “describes the individual sensation of feeling as though your identity is divided into several parts, making it difficult or impossible to have one unified identity” (WEB Du Bois). Moreover, Du Bois also expresses that Black Americans have lived in a society that has made them feel inferior, it can become extremely difficult for them to bind their black identify with their American identity. This can in turn, cause blacks to look at their