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



Categories: Thoughts and Perspectives

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3 replies

  1. This is what I mean by nuance. So many people focus on one aspect and write about that. However, there are many people out there who cannot handle more than one aspect at a time, even if each aspect you write about is in a separate paragraph or outlined in the first paragraph as a list of topics that will be discussed. Call it simplification by internet. For many people who have only known discussion as found in the internet in most cases, their brains have been simplified, even if they had developed the skill of thinking about nuance before. Nuance doesn’t sell well. One idea at a clickable moment is all the internet can handle. People have come to recognize the two-for-one as a con game to make them think they are getting more for their money than they are. So three-, or four-, or five, or more-for-one will just suffer the loneliness of never being clicked.

    Liked by 1 person

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