Reflection on White Privilege
Reflective Analysis #2 Peddy McIntosh highlighted various unearned white privileges in her autobiographical article “White Privilege, Color and Crime: A Personal Account. ” She illustrated the white privilege as an invisible package of unearned assets that one white person could count on cashing in each day. White people have these privileges given to them by the society in which they live in.
The same society taught them to be ignorant and unawareness of these privileges.
This system of unearned privileges established by white individuals made people of color feel oppressed. In this system being white is a norm and dominant power. Caucasians, who benefit most from the white privilege system in the United States, are more likely to be blinded to the existence of privilege system and take these privileges for granted it. In this reflection analysis, I will elaborate on most common white privileges mentioned by Peddy McIntosh through my personal experiences.
As Peddy McIntosh distinguishes white race has unearned advantages over the color race that white people don’t even realize. Caucasians have a special provision, passports, and visas that color people among the world don’t have. For example, individuals from third world don’t get tourist visas to travel around the world and discover new places as the white do. From my personal experience, individuals in India who wants to travel around or settle in a different country don’t have these privileges. Nevertheless, they are unable to achieve their ambition.
These individuals don’t have these provisions and privileges because the entire system is established based on white individuals. They’ve granted greater advantage among the same skin color individuals while limiting and lesser advantage towards the color people. Peddy McIntosh made an identical point that United States’ claim to be a democracy in which value is only rewarded to white people. She mentioned white individuals are unaware of these privileges and they are in process of benefitting from the advantages of racism.
Another privilege McIntosh classifies is being surrounded by white individuals company. It is easier for a white person to fit in any community because majority of the communities are dominated by their race. For example, if a white person moves in a new house, they are pretty sure greater parts of their neighbors are same race as them. When I moved in the United States many years back, I felt left out and it was difficult for me to fit in because I was a minority. I was mocked by mostly white students about the way I dressed and teased about being different from them.
White students don’t encounter these problems when they transfer from one school to another because they figured majority of the students they’ll be surrounded by will be same skin color as them. Another difficulty I had was shopping at a supermarket was finding my cultural food. It won’t be difficult for a white person to fit in a community and find similar food to their culture. A person doesn’t realize these privileges until they image themselves in color individuals’ shoes.
In conclusion, Peggy McIntosh pointed in her article, white privileges don’t come from an individual person or flaw of a person. White privileges arise from the flaw of the system placed in a society. Therefore, if we want to change the society and equalize the privilege amongst whites and colors, then change must happen within the system. It is the system that influences individuals to act upon in the society. A great way, we can demise these privileges among white individuals, is through educating the whites and making them aware of these unearned benefits and privileges.