Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

I keep posting this everywhere: White Priviledge: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009) Donate to DU
 
Political Heretic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 02:37 AM
Original message
I keep posting this everywhere: White Priviledge: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
"I was taught to see racism only in individual acts of meanness, not in invisible systems conferring dominance on my group"

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
Peggy McIntosh

Through work to bring materials from women's studies into the rest of the curriculum, I have often noticed men's unwillingness to grant that they are overprivileged, even though they may grant that women are disadvantaged. They may say they will work to women's statues, in the society, the university, or the curriculum, but they can't or won't support the idea of lessening men's. Denials that amount to taboos surround the subject of advantages that men gain from women's disadvantages. These denials protect male privilege from being fully acknowledged, lessened, or ended. Thinking through unacknowledged male privilege as a phenomenon, I realized that, since hierarchies in our society are interlocking, there was most likely a phenomenon of while privilege that was similarly denied and protected. As a white person, I realized I had been taught about racism as something that 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.

...

My schooling gave me no training in seeing myself as an oppressor, as an unfairly advantaged person, or as a participant in a damaged culture. I was taught to see myself as an individual whose moral state depended on her individual moral will. My schooling followed the pattern my colleague Elizabeth Minnich has pointed out: 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 that will allow "them" to be more like "us."

...

(She lists 50 Daily Effects of White Privilege that I can't paste per copyright rules)

For this reason, the word "privilege" now seems to me misleading. We usually think of privilege as being a favored state, whether earned or conferred by birth or luck. Yet some of the conditions I have described here work systematically to over empower certain groups. Such privilege simply confers dominance because of one's race or sex.

Read the full thing here:
http://seamonkey.ed.asu.edu/~mcisaac/emc598ge/Unpacking... - note that there are a couple glitches from whoever tried to scan this from the journal, but you'll be able to read past them.

Comments:
People who talk about "reverse racism" need to be extremely cautious when throwing that term around. Not serving someone because they are white, hurling racial slurs against whites in hatred - those things are bad. Criticizing white people's privilege or the culture of white dominance does not require the qualification "some white people" because all white people participate whether they choose to or not by back of being born in America. When you were born white in America, you inherited over-privilege, and over-privilege comes at the expense of someone else's privilege. You were born into a society of white dominance.

It isn't "racist" to accurately describe the cultural and societal reality of white privilege.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Window Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 04:43 AM
Response to Original message
1. I've had that for years and would post it and send it to everyone.
In fact, I thought about posting it here yesterday, but knew it would fall on deaf ears.

Like I said a million times before, walk a mile in my moccasins and then let's talk.


:kick:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Political Heretic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 04:48 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Yeah, I think her essay should be required reading for every American.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Window Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 04:55 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Absolutely agree.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Skidmore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 04:54 AM
Response to Original message
3. There is a body of work done by an Asian counselor with the surname of Sue
in which he deals with the culture of being white. He comes to similar conclusions and discusses the perception in our society of whiteness as being a neutral state--a canvas, if you will, on which the rest of the world appears in relief. As such, whites, in particular, tend not to view whiteness as not a culture but a natural state of being.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Political Heretic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 05:12 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Yes, I think this type of analysis is critically important and under represented
in discussions of race.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
xmas74 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 10:16 AM
Response to Original message
6. I'll call it.

When you were born white in America, you inherited over-privilege, and over-privilege comes at the expense of someone else's privilege.


My mother was a teenager when she had me. They struggled to even make ends meet.

I wore hand-me-downs in school and was made fun of it, because they were obviously 20 years out of style. I still won't eat a hot dog because I remember them handing out turkey franks with commodities (and remember it being the only meat we had. We had them nonstop.) I ate commodity cheese on a regular basis. I remember eating bean soup with only beans and water to flavor it. And one of my closest friends remembers eating ketchup soup regularly in her childhood, along with oleo sandwiches.

Where was my supposed priviledge? There was none.

Let's face it-racism is not the problem. The real problem is classism. The haves do their damnedest to find ways to keep the have-nots down and the easiest way seems to be to start fights between the races. It's not for the sake of racism that we keep these fights going; it's to guarantee that the haves will never have to worry about the have nots getting together and taking over.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
zabet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 09:19 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. I heartily agree.
The issue this day and time is
classism. Poverty knows all races
as does wealth.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
xmas74 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 09:43 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Exactly.
But no one wants to address a class war here, now do they.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Jamastiene Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 08:02 AM
Response to Reply #6
13. Well said.
The haves constantly keep us bickering back and forth with other issues and keep us apart when if we teamed up, they would have to answer to us. There are plenty of us out here who would love nothing more than to team up and be supportive of each other to end the poverty that the haves keep us in day in and day out. They would definitely have to answer to us if we stuck together more instead of falling prey to the individual "isms" that seek to destroy us. Why don't we team up more instead of bashing EACH OTHER, when we'd make a great team.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
xmas74 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 08:08 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. Thank you.
Yet most seem to ignore this message, choosing to opt for similar behavior that they dismiss in others.

The true war worldwide is, and always has been, a war of the classes. Address that war and you'll address every other problem.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Jamastiene Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 08:02 AM
Response to Reply #6
14. Well said.
Edited on Sun Mar-16-08 08:02 AM by Jamastiene
The haves constantly keep us bickering back and forth with other issues and keep us apart when if we teamed up, they would have to answer to us. There are plenty of us out here who would love nothing more than to team up and be supportive of each other to end the poverty that the haves keep us in day in and day out. They would definitely have to answer to us if we stuck together more instead of falling prey to the individual "isms" that seek to destroy us.

Why don't we team up more instead of bashing EACH OTHER, when we'd make a great team to fight the powers that have it all and want us to fight EACH OTHER so they can continue to live high on the hog?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Scurrilous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 10:39 AM
Response to Original message
7. K & R
:thumbsup:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
RichardRay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 10:52 AM
Response to Original message
8. Allocation under scarcity
It's the biggest blind spot for 'liberals' and tends to distinguish (at least in my mind) the liberal perspective from the radical one. There is not enough to go around equitably if those who are comforatable now aren't willing to be somewhat uncomfortable after the redistibution. Sorry, as much as I wish New Age thinking about 'adundance' actually worked I see no evidence of that. Scarcity is the underlying principal of realistic decision making - get used to it.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
wheresthemind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 11:22 AM
Response to Original message
9. K&R
This is so fucking important. I read this essay last year in college. I am a white male, but people need to wake the fuck up and be mindful of this stuff.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
JoFerret Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 10:03 PM
Response to Original message
12. GREAT article
I heard her speak some years ago. Been using the article ever since.
You can adapt the list of unearned white privileges for unearned male or abled or heterosexual privileges.


Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
fight4my3sons Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 08:13 AM
Response to Original message
16. One of my professors gave this out in grad school.
It was for my Multicultural Education class. Should be required reading for everyone. Thanks for posting it here.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
InAbLuEsTaTe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 08:28 AM
Response to Original message
17. Excellent points.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
JoFerret Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 08:33 AM
Response to Original message
18. Send to "pastor" Wright
It could be helpful to him.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Thu Apr 17th 2014, 07:35 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC