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White Privilege

Multi-racial millennials
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Kerby Andersonnever miss viewpoints

The phrase “white privilege” has been used in the universities for years, but now the phrase is everywhere in our society. But what does it mean exactly? I suspect that more than 95 percent of the people who use the phrase don’t even know where it originated nor what it was trying to convey.

Professor Peggy McIntosh (Wellesley College) wrote a paper in 1988 about male privilege and white privilege. As a feminist author, she argued that men don’t recognize male privilege and then expanded it to argue that whites don’t recognize white privilege.

In one PragerU video, Brandon Tatum (who is African American) hasn’t faced the discrimination that is often cited by liberal activists. But he does acknowledge that we do have certain privileges. “There’s two-parent family privilege. There’s born in America privilege. There’s good gene privilege.” So, yes, some people do enjoy certain privileges because of their family background or merely that they were born in the US.

But another way to look at this is to go back to the list created by Professor McIntosh of 46 different examples of privilege she created a third of a century ago. Has some of that improved? Number 6 was “I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented.” Today I can turn on lots of TV programs and news programs and see a great deal of racial diversity.

Brandon Tatum in the video mentions Number 46 which says, “I can choose blemish cover or bandages in flesh color and have them more or less match my skin.” Go to a drug store and see if that is still a problem today.

I encourage you to look at the list. Some of these privileges still exist, and that is part of the reality of the world. But I suspect you will also notice that more than three decades later much has improved.

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