The Camouflage Effect

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The Camouflage Effect Treat the blue eyed kids better than the brown, the tall better than the short, the men better than the women, and allow whites to sit in the front of the bus while blacks sit in the back. I ask, does not the bus company still get the same fare from both blacks and whites? These are just some of the benefits of unearned privilege -- the unearned, unjustified advantages that some in this country cannot automatically obtain and that some generally take for granted each day. The observable fact of unearned privilege is based on giving someone a privilege that comes at someone else’s disadvantage. “It is the reality that contrasts with the sincere fiction of the American myth of meritocracy, which says that everything we have must have been earned!” (HEIDI SCHLUMPF, May 26, 2006, National Catholic Reporter, the Independent Newsweekly, NCRonline.org) Barbara Ehrenreich and bell hooks both speak through out their essays about their personal experiences and knowledge regarding a world of “unearned privileges” as well as the “Practice of Freedom.” These two writers clearly affirm that there is an inequality upon our race, gender, sexual preference and class. Both Barbara and bell attempt to persuade and challenge society to transform this unsettling mentality of pseudo equality. As Peggy McIntosh in “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” describes it best by stating: I think whites are carefully taught not to recognize white privilege, as males are taught not to recognize male privilege. …white privilege as an invisible package of unearned assets that I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was "meant" to remain oblivious. White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools … (McIntosh, 2???, p?) In Barbara’s essay, “Maid to Order: The
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