White Privilege : Unpacking The Invisible Knapsack

967 Words Dec 2nd, 2015 4 Pages
Wise’s examination of the inconspicuous character of racism 2.0 dovetails fittingly with our course’s recurring theme of institutionalized racism. In class lectures we have defined institutionalized racism as the discriminatory practices that have become regularized and routinized by state agencies, organizations, industries, or anywhere else in society. Although such practices might not be intentionally racist, they end up being racist nevertheless as consequence of the systematized and unspoken biases that have become increasingly convoluted and entrenched within society over time. It also doesn’t help white people to recognize these discriminatory practices considering they have been unconsciously tailored to be consistent with white perspective and mentality. In her article, White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, Peggy McIntosh examines not only how white folks often consider themselves to be a normative figure within society, but also how they are carefully taught not to recognize the advantages they gain from the disadvantages that impair people of color. In the article, McIntosh acknowledges the reality of her own white privilege and expresses, “In my class and place, I did not see myself as a racist because I was taught to recognize racism only in individual acts of meanness by members of my group, never in invisible systems conferring unsought racial dominance on my group from birth” (McIntosh 4). In fact, even if white folks do not believe themselves to…
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