White Privilege And Discrimination

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This article discusses white privilege and the impact it has on whites as well as people of color. White privilege is defined as the differences in power between white people and people of color, including the advantages white people automatically take for granted and the apparent disadvantages for minorities. Ways in which white privilege is able to persist, as well as educational methods that help people acknowledge and better understand white privilege, are addressed.

Keywords: Color-blindness; Discrimination; Ignorance; In-group; Multicultural Education; Oppression; Out-group; Privilege; Racism; White Complicity; White Privilege; Whitewashing

Overview

Defining White Privilege

The general concept of privilege, as defined by McIntosh …show more content…

For members of the out-group, it is a constant reminder of their second-class citizen status (McIntosh, 2001). This is where white privilege comes in. Though white privilege has been defined in various ways, a common definition describes white privilege as the differences in power between white people and people of color, including the advantages white people automatically take for granted ("Defining Whiteness and White Privilege," n.d.). Additionally, McIntosh (1990) says that the "knapsack" associated with white privilege consists of special provisions such as maps, codebooks, clothes, blank checks, etc., which white people are taught not to recognize or …show more content…

Color-blindness is one example. Color-blindness is a refusal to see race or acknowledge white privilege. It is a self-imposed blindness that white people are taught, that instructs them to ignore race. In other words, those who buy into the idea believe that "race does not exist as a meaningful category and posits that the benefits accrued to White people are earned by (gifted) individuals rather than systemically conferred" (Gordon, 2005, p. 281).

Similarly, a state of "not-knowing" is a factor that causes white privilege to persist. May (2006) describes this phenomenon as the things members of dominant groups are taught not to know. There are many things they are encouraged not to see and are rewarded for doing so. Therefore, Applebaum (2008) adds, not-knowing for the dominant group muddles the consequences of an unjust system such that they do not have to consider their role in continuing to perpetuate the injustices placed on those in the out-group and, at the same time, see themselves as "good" (McIntosh,

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