Checked Privilege 8

Posted in Society on June 13th, 2014

The eighth of 46 point-by-point analyses of the “founder” of the concept of White Privilege, Peggy McIntosh’s claims of Whites having specific and special advantages solely because they’re White.

I can be sure that my children will be given curricular materials that testify to the existence of their race.

– Peggy McIntosh
White Privilege and Male Privilege (1988)

There’s no real basis for Ms. McIntosh’s claim of privilege, even if one were to ascribe to the idea that being able to be sure that one’s children will be given curricular materials that testify to the existence of their race is a privilege or even pertinent.

Children of all races are, and have been, given curricular materials that testify to the existence of their race whenever race was at all germane to the course of study at hand and there were members of their race involved in that course of study.

Now it is true that until very recently schools didn’t attempt to interject race into curricula where it was tangential at best to the course, so such testimonies to the existence of any particular race couldn’t be found in all curricula. It’s also true that the content of such testimonies might not be positive or uplifting in all cases either. Still, any parent can be assured that their children will be given curricular materials that testify to the existence of their race regularly in the course of their schooling.

Related Reading:

Sociology, 13th Edition
What's So Great about Christianity
Racism
Schoolgirls: Young Women, Self Esteem, and the Confidence Gap
Racial Politics And Urban Planning: Gary, Indiana, 1980-1989

Checked Privilege 7

Posted in Society on June 13th, 2014

The seventh of 46 point-by-point analyses of the “founder” of the concept of White Privilege, Peggy McIntosh’s claims of Whites having specific and special advantages solely because they’re White.

When I am told about our national heritage or about “civilization,” I am shown that people of my color made it what it is.

– Peggy McIntosh
White Privilege and Male Privilege (1988)

Simply put, the truth is not a privilege, where is why Ms. McIntosh’s observation is meaningless. Whites, by and large, made America what it is. It is not privilege to be exposed to the simple facts of the creation and growth of the nation.

From the birth of our colony, through the forming of our nation, and on to its evolution into a unique culture it has always been Whites who were the movers, shakers, and architects that shaped the form America would take, Non-Whites, most especially Blacks, were the tools and beasts of burden used to perform some of the work of doing this.

Can one lament this fact? Certainly. Can one say that it was something that we now consider heinous? Absolutely. Can one deny its truth? No.

That being said, Ms. McIntosh seems to have had a very sheltered and segregated life, one with little or no access to non-Whites. Negro History Week started in 1926 and expanded into Black History Month in 1976, so there’s been an established policy of showcasing non-White contributions to American history for nearly a century.

Related Reading:

A Practical Guide to Racism
Pride and Prejudice
Race, Class, and Gender in the United States: An Integrated Study, Eighth edition
Reproducing Racism: How Everyday Choices Lock In White Advantage
The New Jim Crow:  Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

Checked Privilege 6

Posted in Society on June 13th, 2014

The sixth of 46 point-by-point analyses of the “founder” of the concept of White Privilege, Peggy McIntosh’s claims of Whites having specific and special advantages solely because they’re White.

I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely and positively represented.

– Peggy McIntosh
White Privilege and Male Privilege (1988)

Given that neither television nor print news and media makes a habit of running, especially as the lead story or on the front page, positive coverage, there’s a great deal of doubt about the postulate that underpins Ms. McIntosh’s claim.

That being said, if there is a racial disparity in the tenor of news coverage, one has to strongly consider that the “privilege” of seeing people of their own race positively represented that Whites enjoy and non-Whites, especially Blacks, do not is an earned one. Crime, especially violent and sensational crime, is far more prevalent in non-Whites than Whites and, at the same time, Whites are far more likely to make noticeable and newsworthy positive contributions to societal discourse.

Related Reading:

Beauty Slays the Beast: Pride & Prejudice Inspired, as Influenced by the Classic Fairy Tale, 'Beauty and the Beast'
Race and Reconciliation in America
Lone Star America: How Texas Can Save Our Country
Schoolgirls: Young Women, Self Esteem, and the Confidence Gap
America: Imagine a World without Her