White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh is an article which gives insight into racial inequality and the “invisible knapsack” which is filled with “white privilege”. The article looks at advantages and privileges given to white individuals without even realizing.

I was taught to see racism only in individual’s acts of meanness, not in invisible systems conferring dominance on my group”, the article highlights unrecognized racism and white privileges of everyday life and as simple as putting on a band aid. Peggy McIntosh puts forth 26 situations in which white privilege is experienced.

Some of the situations she puts forth are:

  • “I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented.”
  • “I can swear, or dress in second hand clothes, or not answer letters, without having people attribute these choices to the bad morals, the poverty or the illiteracy of my race.”
  • “I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group.”
  • “If my day, week or year is going badly, I need not ask of each negative episode or situation whether it had racial overtones.”

To access the article click on; http://www.deanza.edu/faculty/lewisjulie/White%20Priviledge%20Unpacking%20the%20Invisible%20Knapsack.pdf.

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