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The Power of Privilege Abstract


ThePower of Privilege


Writingsof McIntosh, Wise, Shams, DiAngelo, Graham and Dyson have givenvaluableinsights on the meaning a privilege. These essays have also explainedforms of real life exampleswhich include racial privileges, gender rights,ability and also class and religion opportunities. From thesewritings, one can tell different advantages and disadvantages thegroups mentioned above have within themselves. The works also explainthe roles of education, laws, and self-awareness in addressing issuesrelated to privileges and inequality among the groups stated above.Despite some of these writers coming from different privilegedbackgrounds, their works have reveal awareness they had over racialand social opportunitiesand how they coped up with them.

ThePower of Privilege

Aprivilege is any unearned advantage an individual or a group has overthe other. From the six essays, the groups are the racial sets thatconsistof either the whites or blacks, gender groups that includemale, female or the bisexuals. Other groups include religion whichinvolves of Christians, Muslims, Atheist, and Buddhists. The socialclass group consists of the smallclass, the middle class and the high-class. The ability categoryincludes those mentally and physically challenged and the healthy.

Practicesthat create white privileges according to the essays includediscrimination during job recruitments. Blacks are deniedopportunities due to academic inferiority, claims the whites NILblack in schools. Another component is when White specialists contendthat they cannot conflict with themselves. Likewise, Europeans havethe chance to be educated about their race in schools and numbness ofprejudice, dissimilar to the blacks. Different practices that makewhite benefit include the association of blacks with wrongdoing andother unlawful activities this prevents the blacks flexibility fromsecuring development particular past time.

Claimsthat whiteness is a privilege goes beyond skin colorbut also considered anopportunityin a social category due to claims that whites’ culture is superiorover others. They have strong dominance in thoughts and education,technological and military superiority and stable economies. In asmuch as the whites are pleased with their superior nature, theyregularly confront challenge among themselves in regards tolegislative issues, classes, and capacities and these does notsupport them. Additionally, the achievement of the blacks like Obamabeing the president of the United States of America is one sign ofthe claim that whiteness is a not a privilege in the contemporaryUnited States of America

Invisibleprivilege is the ability to productively face and persuade someperson outside your race, sexual orientation, class or capacity overa standard issue. Qualities of intangiblebenefit are tolerating the estimations of someone else`s way of life,tolerating that there are contrasts in life furthermore notseparating uniqueclasses like the physicallydisabled.

Withthe cutting-edge education that aims at togetherness, internationalpeace, environmental conservation and technological innovation, eachperson irrespective of races, class, and gender has equal probabilityin the society. Unlike the past when the femalehad to face gender inequalities with men in employment, politics, andeducation, modernity has bridged these gaps,and this is an act of privileged invisibility.

Privilegevisibility mainly affected the women, the blacks, and the physicallyand mentally challenged. With the emergence of privilegeinvisibility, these groups have been empowered by laws, education andself-awareness.

Overthe past, the US isknownfor racism but not the differences in classes. The US,for this reason, has been referred to as the land of equalopportunity. The citizens believe that with hard work, regardless ofthe race one can be wealthy. The relationship between race andclasses has existed, however, because of the past where the whitesweregivenopportunities than the blacks and the whites used these opportunitiesto gather wealth which waspassedto generations that followed.

Capitalistsargue that racism and sexism are aspects of human nature and thesociety cannot beblamedof their existence. The economic system gives a belief that successisachievedat another’s expense given that opportunities are limited. Sincethis system aims at keeping the working class in their employmentposition due to limited available job opportunities, it brings aboutracism aspect. The blacks started out as slaves in America andslavery is characterized by poverty and lack of possibilities.Americans should not take advantage of these privileges becausecurrently, everyone has equal opportunity in the society to prosper.

Theopportunitiesthat whites had over the blacks include decenteducation, wealth, and rich culture. In my raising, availability ofmoneyhas enabled me to pay school fees, buy learning materials and acquiregood health services. Good education also guarantees me a good job infuture, and I will have a wealthy generation just like my parents.The fact that I have bright blacks in my course who are equally fromsuccessful backgrounds dispels this privilege of whiteness


Reay,D., Hollingworth, S, Williams, K., Crozier, G., Jamieson, F., James,D.,&ampBeedell, P. (2007). A darker shade of pale?`Whiteness, themiddle classes and multi-ethnic inner city schooling. Sociology, 41(6), 1041-1060.