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White Privilege: Apparent in Society and Conveyed Through Film Slide Show by Drew Adams White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack • Peggy McIntosh White Privilege Outline • Peggy McIntosh: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack---Key Concepts (10 min) • White Privilege in Film (8 min) • White Privilege as apparent in America (5 min) • Review and Questions (2 min) McIntosh: White Privilege • “I have come to see white privilege as an invisible package of unearned assets which I can count on cashing in on one day, but about which I was meant to remain oblivious.” -McIntosh (71) McIntosh: White Privilege • Privilege is sometimes inherent and almost always unrealized • In most cases oppressiveness is unconscious and unacknowledged • Many silences and denials surrounding white privilege are key political tools • Great pressure to avoid but in order to face privilege one must give up the myth of meritocracy Advantages Associated With White Privilege • One can easily be in the • Pride that your race created company of members of the “national heritage” same race • Children will be taught of the • When moving into a new house existence of their race at every one can be somewhat sure neighbors will be pleasant grade level • Most likely not get hassled by • Easier to perform simple store security business aspects from “white to • See people of same race white” positively represented • Can find culturally traditional foods Advantages Associated With White Privilege (2) • Skin color does not work • Can speak in public without against financially reliable having race play an issue in appearance audience’s minds • Can protect children most of the • Can do well in a situation time from people who may not without being considered a like them credit to my race • Able to see police as allies • Never asked to speak on behalf • Able to swear or wear second of entire race hand clothes without it being • Can remain oblivious to other attributed to bad morals or cultures without being looked poverty upon harshly Advantages Associated With White Privilege (3) • Can criticize government and • Generally do not feel isolated in society without being seen as a organizations cultural outsider • Can feel free to take a job • “Person in charge” is generally without it being suspect that it was only acquired do to of the same race affirmative action • Generally do not get singled out • Easily seek public because of race (traffic tickets accommodation without fear or tax audits) • Race will not work against legal • Can easily buy objects featuring or medical help own race (posters, greeting • Do not have to worry about cards, dolls, etc.) situations containing racial overtones McIntosh: White Privilege • “ I did not recognize • “Keeping most people myself as a racist because unaware that freedom of I was taught to see racism confident action is there only in individual acts of for just a small number of meanness by members of people props up those in my group, never in power and serves to keep invisible systems power in the hands of the conferring unsought racial same groups that have dominance on my group most of it already.” from birth.” McIntosh: White Privilege American Freedom • Some of the power which whites come upon in society is thought of as being a freedom possessed by all Americans— however it is still laced with unearned advantage and conferred dominance McIntosh: White Privilege • “Whiteness” is not seen as a racial identity • Our daily lives are affected more by unearned power than any other silent condition. • More must be done in order to identify where lives are effected the most so that changes may slowly begin McIntosh: White Privilege “Disapproving of the systems won’t be enough to change them. I was taught to think that racism could end if white individuals changed their attitudes. [But] a “white” skin in the United States opens many doors for whites whether or not we approve of the way dominance has been conferred on us.” --Peggy McIntosh (73) McIntosh: White Privilege Whites are taught to think of their lives as morally neutral, normative, and average, and also ideal, so that when we work to benefit others this is seen as work which will allow “them” to be more like “us.” White Privilege in America “White privilege, like any social phenomenon, is complex. In a white supremacist culture, all white people have privilege, whether or not they are overtly racist themselves. There are general patterns, but such privilege plays out differently depending on context and other aspects of ones identity.” White Privilege in America “When whites seek admission to a university, apply for a job, or hunt for an apartment, they don't look threatening. Almost all of the people evaluating people for those things are white. They see a reflection of themselves, and in a racist world that is an advantage. Even when whites voice critical opinions, they are given slack.” --Robert Jensen “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” Racial Stereotypes and White Privilege Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner Racial Issues and Stereotype • In the film, it appears generally more acceptable for a white family to live in a large home • In the 1960’s it is uncommon and a basis for stereotypes when a black man becomes a prestigious doctor • Generally judged on skin color not character Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner Racial Issues and Stereotype (2) • Inter-racial marriages looked down upon by both races • Whites generally say one thing about privilege and stereotypes, yet often act another way • Wide spread belief that inter-racial children would grow up without a race and live a rough life • All blacks are grouped together, something one does effects the way another one is viewed How Hollywood Portrays White Privilege • Movies can and do portray many varied views dealing with white privilege and stereotypes • Movies can reflect any and all stereotypes– not necessarily that of society • Hollywood directors are predominantly white, therefore white privilege has a large effect on our views • Movies are one of the most commonplace sources for instilling unrecognized white privilege into society White Privilege in Film (2) • The way race in the movies is dealt with has changed drastically throughout the years • The numbers of minorities involved in the film industry has been on the rise for years • Filmmakers are now dealing with and embracing white privilege and stereotypes in a forward way For example, in The Battle at Elderbusch Gulch Indians are portrayed as • Hostile outsiders • Barbaric savages • Always shot from a distance • Portrayed so that audience feels no sympathy or compassion towards them More Recent Films that take a forward approach to stereotyping and privilege White Privilege is often viewed as a/an _______ oppressiveness unconscious /straightforward/ conscious The comparison of white privilege to unpacking a knapsack simply means whites are equipped with ________ hate/ assets/ fear/ disadvantage White Privilege Is Greater Depending on Other Factors Such As Sex and Social Status: True or False? White Privilege in Society is _______ a. Earned through years of struggle b. Inherited at birth and dependent upon parents c. Granted by society for social status Whites purposefully use their status to discriminate upon minorities and place them lower in society. T/F? Will All Members of Society Ever Truly Be on an Equal Playing Field and If So Is It a Question of Time?
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