Privilege As A Special Right, Advantage, Or Privilege? Essay

1013 Words Oct 27th, 2016 5 Pages
Privilege is defined as a special right, advantage, or immunity granted to a particular person or group exclusively. White privilege, on the other hand is defined as societal privileges that benefit people identified as white in western countries. This is a concept many people have struggled to understand- the notion that the color of a person’s skin grants them rights others are unable to possess. Throughout history, this concept has changed and manifested itself in many ways, therefore it is always a challenge to assess. To explore this topic fairly and from all angles, one will have to view it from both sides. White privilege is a tough topic to address, but it exists, is often denied, and hurts those who it affects. Many people are quick to dismiss white privilege as something people of color made up to blame others for their struggles or failures. Others dismiss it completely as something that doesn’t exist and never has. This blatant dismissal of the subject makes it even more of a problem. To understand it, we must define it. Our modern understanding of white privilege comes from an article written in 1987 by Peggy McIntosh, who was a professor of Women’s Studies at Wellesley College. She describes white privilege as “an invisible package of unearned assets which 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,…

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