If you checked out Jose Antonio Vargas’s documentary about White people, aptly titled White People, you’ll know that many White people struggle discussing race (not that some of you needed a documentary to confirm this fact).
Throw “White Privilege” into the discussion, and the awkwardness – and defensiveness – can multiply astronomically.
What is White Privilege? The reality that a White person’s whiteness has come – and continues to come – with a vast array of benefits and advantages not shared by many people of Color (POC).
It doesn’t mean that I, as a White person, don’t work hard (I do) or that I haven’t suffered (well, I have known struggle), but simply that I receive help, often unacknowledged assistance, because I am White.
Or, as Ta-Nehisi Coates writes, I “believe [I am] White.” I’ve yet to get a DNA test, which led to a surprising result for a White supremacist who thought himself 100% White.
Perhaps most indicative of the power and prevalence of White Privilege is that, though people of Color have been fighting racism since its invention, those who are most associated with White Privilege education tend to be White people: Tim Wise, Robin DiAngelo, Paul Gorski, and, of course, Peggy McIntosh, author of the 1989 article, “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.”