In 1989, Peggy McIntosh, Associate Director of the Wellesley College for Research on Women, penned the essay, White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack (Andersen & Collins, 2013, pp. 49-53). She stated that her work in women’s studies led her to realize that although men work from a base of unacknowledged privilege, and that much of their oppressiveness was unconscious. This is when she considered how women of color stated that white women are oppressive, too. This helped her to understand why white-skinned folks “are justly seen as oppressive, even when they don’t see themselves that way”. She began to list the ways in which she enjoyed unearned white-skin privilege and had been “conditioned into oblivion about its existence”.
The following are the examples that Dr. McIntosh provided of the ways in which white-skinned folks like me have privilege simply because we have been born with white-skin.
1. I can…
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