Summary Of White Privilege Unpacking The Invisible Knapsack

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The severity of racial profiling is very concerning. As proven by numerous texts studied for this Expository Writing class, it is evident that the Black respondents of Otis Johnson’s poll, analyzing citizens’ relationships with the police, are not the only Black people that: “expressed far less confidence than whites in local police to treat both races equally” (Johnson). In White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, Peggy McIntosh describes various privileges which sound ordinary, though surprisingly only White people have. Among them, is one that affects all people on a daily basis: “If a traffic cop pulls me over or if the IRS audits my tax return, I can be sure I haven’t been singled out because of my race” (McIntosh). Governmental …show more content…

In the book Between the World and Me, author Ta-Nehisi Coates shares the experience of a traffic stop through the eyes of a Black man. Recounting a memory to his son, Coates explains, “They took my identification and returned to the squad car. I sat there in terror… At that point in American history, no police department fired its guns more than that of Prince George’s County” (Coates 75-76). Given the increasing number of stories arising of unjustifiable police brutality, when pulled over by the police, understandably, Coates was genuinely concerned that they may take his life away. As a result, Coates and other Black parents need to raise their children with a more cautious mindset than White parents. Looking back on how his parents raised him, Johnson explains, “My parents also warned that my day-to-day experiences on the streets would teach me what most black people learned: there were "good cops" and "bad cops," and you would never know the difference until you saw them in action” (Johnson). Unfortunately, coming across “bad cops” as opposed to “good cops” (Johnson) are fears that Black people encounter on a daily basis throughout the …show more content…

In fact, White people are given preferential treatment by the police. In Charles Epp’s Pulled Over: How Police Stops Define Race and Citizenship, Jeff, a White man who was pulled over by a police officer for speeding, explains, “I was just a little over 20 going down the street. And I got pulled over… Just told me that the speed limit is 20 and that’s the way it goes” (Epp 115). Despite breaking the law by driving over the speed limit, the White driver was simply let off with just a warning from the officer. On the other hand, police officers constantly seek for small offenses like this, to be used as legitimate excuses to pull over Black drivers. Researchers and Black people are not the only ones who recognize that racial profiling is a problem — even some government organizations do. A page on the National Institute of Justice’s website admits, “people of color are more often stopped than whites” (National Institute of Justice). Clearly, racial profiling by police officers is an existing issue and something must be done to put an end to this horrible practice. Fortunately, there are several methods for how police departments can reduce racial profiling against Black

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