10 Specific Examples of White Privilege

we began our discussion on privilege. Sometimes it can be hard to get our arms around this complex concept.

To help with our understanding, we’ve listed some specific examples of white privilege below. These are taken from Peggy McIntosh’s essay we mentioned yesterday. (Really, you need to go read her essay.)

TEN Specific Examples of White Privilege

  1. I can, if I wish, arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time.
  2. I can go shopping alone, fairly well assured that I will not be followed or harassed by store security.
  3. When I am told about our national heritage or about “civilization,” I am shown that people of my color made it what it is.
  4. I can go into a hairdresser’s shop and find someone who can deal with my hair.
  5. I did not have to educate my children to be aware of systemic racism for their own daily physical protection.
  6. I can do well in a challenging situation without being called a credit to my race.
  7. I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group.
  8. I can remain oblivious to the language and customs of persons of color without feeling any penalty for such oblivion.
  9. I can easily buy picture books, greeting cards, dolls, toys, and children’s magazines featuring people of my race.
  10. I can take a job with an affirmative action employer without having my co-workers suspect I got it because of my race.

For a few more examples, we also encourage you to check out this 3-minute MTV News video called “13 Things White People Take For Granted”:

(Click here to watch the video if it doesn’t show up in your browser.)

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