Race Matters: Peggy Mcintosh

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Race Matters 2/25/14 Peggy McIntosh and Dr. Tatum’s Look at White Privilege Peggy McIntosh, an American feminist and anti-racist activist, most famous work was her essay “White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences through Work in Women’s Studies”. Peggy McIntosh suggests that white people are born with certain advantages and privileges that are merely a function of the race they were born into. Whites are born with this set of advantages that simply make life easier and more comfortable. While the vast majority of Caucasians are either unaware or reluctant to acknowledge this phenomenon it is one of the most powerful manifestations of racism in modern society. Peggy McIntosh gives an account of the unearned privileges of the whites and the males in the United States. They have these privileges accorded to them by the society in which they live and wherein they are taught by the same society to be unconscious and unmindful of these privileges. However, this very unawareness or oblivion to the existence of unearned privileges is the very act that makes other people of different color feel oppressed. Peggy McIntosh enumerates with force consideration the effects of having 46 unearned white privileges in her life. In so doing, she points out how the very whiteness of a person serves as an invisible protection to each and every moment of his/her life. Peggy McIntosh talks about white privilege with dealing with meritocracy. Meritocracy is a system of advancements based upon achievement of merit, in other word you earn what you deserve. Society teaches us that if we work hard, we will get what we want, but white privilege puts certain people at an advantage while putting others at a disadvantage. As McIntosh writes, "...obliviousness about white advantage, like obliviousness about male advantage, is kept strongly
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