The Problem with White Privilege.

The problem with White Privilege. Those are five words I wouldn’t have predicted writing a few years ago. But there is a serious problem with typical discussions of White Privilege, including Peggy McIntosh’s classic article on the subject, that has been on my mind for several weeks. 

Ignoring intersectionality is the problem.

For example, situations never involve only White Privilege (or the absence of it).

Depending on the circumstances, situations also involve a type of religious privilege (even for non religious people). A White person with a burka, for example, would clearly have less privilege.

Additionally, White Privilege also acts in tandem with the ideals of able-bodiedness, tallness, thinness, well-spokenness, maleness, and countless other variables.

So in the personal examples I previously discussed here, I failed to specifically recognize the many other types of privilege (and assumptions) that were operating at the same time as White Privilege. And all of these privilege dynamics cannot possibly be separated or understood in isolation.

Identity, privilege and oppression, and how people unconsciously act on these is a fascinating subject.

Dr. Andrew Joseph Pegoda