Checked Privilege 2

The second 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 avoid spending time with people whom I was trained to mistrust and who have learned to mistrust my kind or me.

— Peggy McIntosh
White Privilege and Male Privilege (1988)

If one is going to take this point in its broadest racial sense, then this is hardly a “privilege” that is limited to Whites. Many of the members of each and all the races within America’s can, and often do, avoid spending time with people whom they was trained to mistrust and who have learned to mistrust their kind or them.

This, however, carries with it the implication that race is the primary reason for distrust and ignores both the fact that trained or ingrained distrust is focused on a variety of factor, most of which are intraracial in nature. Whites distrust many other Whites and non-Whites, especially Blacks, distrust many other non-Whites.

On a positive note, however, Ms. McIntosh’s statement does imply an understanding that race-based distrust is not a Whites only phenomenon. Somewhat mitigating that positive, sadly, is her use of “trained” and “learned,” which strongly implies that Whites are conditioned to distrust non-Whites but non-White develop distrust of Whites through an experiential learning process.

On another positive note, Ms. McIntosh’s statement also implies that an understanding that a feeling of security in one’s surroundings is a privilege as opposed to a right.

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