Checked Privilege 3

The third 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.

If I should need to move, I can be pretty sure of renting or purchasing housing in an area which I can afford and in which I would want to live.

— Peggy McIntosh
White Privilege and Male Privilege (1988)

There’s no real basis for Ms. McIntosh’s claim of privilege. Both Whites and non-Whites can, if they should need to move, be equally sure or – unsure – of renting or purchasing housing in an area which they can afford and in which they would want to live. The only barriers to such relocation are economic and perceptual in nature. A White is a likely to not be able to afford to live where they want to as a non-White is. The desires of members of any race tend to far exceed their ability to achieve them.

As a caveat to the above, a generation or two before Ms. McIntosh’s writings her claim was very true. Non-White were barred from living in many areas. This wrong had, however, been corrected, both in law and public consciousness, well before 1988.

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