white people privileges controversy analysis

White people Privilege: Unpacking The Invisible Knapsack

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the privileges, which white people are accorded. This is the reason why McIntosh Peggy, an author, has come up with this extremely interesting article. Often, women are regarded as being underprivileged in every society that exists. People are coming up and claiming that they will find a solution to women’s problems, but so far, there is nothing visible. Men are chauvinistic in nature, and will in no way be made to be like lesser beings (Kristof & WuDunn, 2010). The male species is the one, which has most advantages, accorded to them. Most young children, who are white, grow up knowing that they are extremely advantaged as compared to black people. White people are aware at the back of their minds that they are privileged, and this is also the same sentiment for males. It seems that the privilege, which is accorded to white people, is often not noticed by them. White people are not conscious about the fact that they are more privileged than blacks (McIntosh, 1988).

The author seeks to know about what can be done to make sure that white privilege comes to an end, or does not escalate further. Men have a nature, which is unconscious when they are being oppressive to females. This same behavior is manifested in women, who are white. There have been many incidences in the life of the author whereby, she was accorded respect due to the color of her skin. According to her, white people should not be harshly judged, as they are not aware of most of their actions (McIntosh, 1988).

McIntosh believes that white people are often judged in an unfair manner. People think that they are advantaged, while this is not the case. The American culture has many problems that have eroded the minds of people, thus making them prejudice. School played an extremely vital role in shaping her life while growing up. In school, she leant how to be an individual as well as being morally upright. At school, many things are taught to white people, such as being intelligent, and normative. White people are meant to assimilate black people, and also assist them in ways they find possible (McIntosh, 1988).

The author acknowledges that there are certain locations and events, which make white people to be accorded with privileges. The latter is more advantageous, as compared to other factors, such as ethnic status or class. Witnesses of other races who worked with her have acknowledged the fact that indeed; privileges are often accorded to white people. In this case, the white person is the author of the article being referred to. An example of such as scenario is when she knows that people will not stalk her, while she is out shopping. Later on, she realizes that indeed, without even asking, white people are better off than the other race. She acknowledges the fact that her color is beneficial to her in many ways. Dominance is the word used by her to describe the meaning of privilege that she has encountered. In conclusion, meritocracy is the reason why white privilege thrives in the United States. There is a need to ensure that systems in society function for the benefit of everyone. In turn, discrimination based on the skin color of a person will no longer exist (McIntosh, 1988).



McIntosh, Peggy. (1988). White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack. Working Paper 189, Wellesley College Center for Research on Women, Wellesley, MA 0218.

Kristof, Nicholas. & WuDunn, Sheryl. (2010). Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for women worldwide. New York: Vintage.






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