Learning in Relation: White Privilege

“Why are we still talking about this? I wasn’t there, I didn’t do or say those things”. Before taking this class I have had those thoughts before, we all have. Not really knowing what we were saying while those words came flying out of out of our mouths and the damage it was causing. I never thought of “white privilege” as having such a major impact on my life as I never really understood the definition behind it.  Being white I never thought of myself getting different opportunities, making it such an important topic to understand. “If you don’t think white privilege exists, congratulations, you are enjoying the benefits of it”. White privilege is often found in the work place and doesn’t hold back white people as it can hold a person of colour. In Peggy Mcintosh’s article “Unpacking the invisible Knapsack”, she points out white privilege in the workforce by stating that “I can if I wish arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time”. The bad apple theory shows the bad side of white people as it shows how we only focus on what negative news that happen to people of colour and never focus on the positive impacts they have made in the world. White people often don’t recognize white privilege. We think that because we also have hard times in our lives, white privilege can’t be affecting us. We don’t accept that others come across challenges in their lives, specifically because of their race.

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6 thoughts on “Learning in Relation: White Privilege

  1. Great article, I feel the same way in a lot of ways. Class has really open up my eyes about white privilege.
    After reading this I was curious about what you actually thought White privilege meant before going in ECS 110. Did you have any understanding of it? What did white privilege mean when you were going to high school?

    “Why are we still talking about this? I wasn’t there, I didn’t do or say those things” – Before you were educated on white privilege how did it personally make you feel? Can you go into deep detail. Did it make you nervous, extremely uncomfortable, curious ?

    Could you go into more detail on what “damage” we are leaving on people when we open up our mouths. Continue to explain what the meaning is behind this.

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    1. Before this class I really didn’t think there was such thing as “White Privilege” but now my eyes are really opened on the problems that it brings. In high school when we talked about these kind of topics i found myself turning out and not wanting to fully engage in the conversation as i did feel a sense of discomfort talking about the past mistake we have made.

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  2. I am a like you. I honestly never thought about white privelege until this class. I have lots of friends who are of different races and never thought about how the world can view them differently. This class has opened my eyes to a lot of issues that I often tuned out or didn’t feel applied to me. I am having to think differently and I am wondering if you are having to make the same changes? You mention this is a ‘past’ mistake? Do you feel we are still making mistakes?

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    1. I have found myself noticing moments of white privilege in times where before I wouldn’t have never thought about it in the past. I find we are slowly getting better but still have a far ways to go to eliminate white privilege.

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  3. I like the way you say if you don’t notice white privilege then you are probably benefitting from it. I think that is very true because people never look at how good they have things until we are forced to look at the other side of things. It was good to bring up the reading of Peggy Macintosh, but I think a really good way to improve on this writing the self is to come up with a particular story. You have all the basis of what white privilege means, but maybe to connect with the reader it would be good to show how you personally benefit from being a white male. If you personally do not have a good story, I am sure if you ask any white male if they feel at least somewhat advantaged they will agree.It is also good to show the reader ow you learn a lot about white privilege. You are definitely not alone in thinking that not everyone benefits from being white, but we do in some way.

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  4. I liked the starting of your ‘white privilege story’, “Why are we still talking about this? I wasn’t there, I didn’t do or say those things”(Blakescherie). According to me as non-white, ‘white privilege’ is something that is instinct that is passed generation to generation. This makes sense when you mentioned, “not really knowing what we were saying while those words came flying out of our mouths and damage it was causing”. I am happy at least now you came to know that thinking or sharing thoughts about white privilege causes damage or hurts other color skin. You should also understand that without your knowledge you have learned as it slips from your tongue, because you have learned from your ancestors. The most important lesson I learned in this class is a white teacher teaching about the white privilege. She was honest and had to pass the message about white privilege to class. I am waiting for the day for eradication of racism and to think that all the generation is followed from Adam and Eves. Whether White or Blake generation has been spread by Adam and Eves. So where does the privilege come from? It should not exist anymore.

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