Today I made a post on Instagram about white privilege. Reading, listening to podcasts, and learning more has been really helpful for me in understanding some of the racial issues in America, and I wanted to share my post with you, along with some resources.
The definition of privilege is “a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group.” Identities that can afford an individual privilege include race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic status, country of origin, language, and ability. Peggy McIntosh wrote an article in 1988 explaining the daily effects of white privilege, and it’s been eye opening for me to read. Her point is that racism and inequality aren’t just found in individual acts of meanness. It’s an invisible knapsack of special provisions, maps, and tools that we have access to. She created a list of 50 conditions that she can count on as a white person that other people cannot. I pulled a few that I think resonate most with me, and maybe they will with you too.
—> I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed.
—> 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 be pretty sure of having my voice heard in a group in which I am the only member of my race.
—> I do not have to educate my children to be aware of systemic racism for their own daily physical protection.
—> I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group.
—> I can be pretty sure that if I ask to talk to the “person in charge” I will be facing a person of my race.
—> I can be pretty sure that an argument with a colleague will not jeopardize my chances for advancement.
—> I can choose to ignore developments in minority writing and activist programs.
—> I can think over many options, social, political, imaginative or professional, without asking whether a person of my race would be accepted or allowed to do what I want to do.
—> I can be sure that if I need legal or medical help, my race will not work against me.
—> I can choose bandages in flesh color and have them match my skin tone.
—> I will feel welcome and normal in the usual walks of public life, institutional and social.
My challenge to you is to spend some time thinking about these and any other privileges you might be afforded because of your race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic status, country of origin, language, or ability, and have a conversation with a friend or colleague about it.
Stay in the Know Playlist on Spotify
A History of the Police in America
Higher Learning Podcast
Netflix Black Lives Matter List
TV Shows and Movies