What is White Privilege?
The WPC looks at White Privilege intersectionally, in the Context of Various Systems of Privilege
“Privilege exists when one group has something of value that is denied to others simply because of the groups they belong to, rather than because of anything they’ve done or failed to do. Access to privilege doesn’t determine one’s outcomes, but it is definitely an asset that makes it more likely that whatever talent, ability, and aspirations a person with privilege has will result in something positive for them.” ~Peggy McIntosh
“White Privilege is the other side of racism. Unless we name it, we are in danger of wallowing in guilt or moral outrage with no idea of how to move beyond them. It is often easier to deplore racism and its effects than to take responsibility for the privileges some of us receive as a result of it… once we understand how white privilege operates, we can begin addressing it on an individual and institutional basis.” ~Paula Rothenberg
"I can completely understand why broke white folks get pissed when the word 'privilege' is thrown around...I was constantly discriminated against because of my poverty and those wounds still run very deep...[But] The concept of intersectionality recognizes that people can be privileged in some ways and definitely not in others." ~Gina Crosley-Corcoran
Examples of Privilege
Being able to…
- assume that most of the people you or your children study in history classes and textbooks will be of the same race, gender, or sexual orientation as you are
- assume that your failures will not be attributed to your race, or your gender
- not have to think about your race, or your gender, or your sexual orientation, or disabilities, on a daily basis...
WPC is About Creating Change!
“Whites need to acknowledge and work through the negative historical implications of ‘Whiteness’ and create for ourselves a transformed identity as White people committed to equity and social change...To teach my White students and my own children...that there are different ways of being White, and that they have a choice as White people to become champions of justice and social healing.” ~Gary Howard
“The most powerful message that continues to reverberate through my head and heart is that of looking at the future and eliminating systems of oppression through the lens of possibility and hope.” ~Educator commenting on WPC 7
To learn more about privilege, we recommend:
- Privilege, Power and Difference, by Allan Johnson
- Privilege: A Reader, edited by Michael S. Kimmel and Abby L. Ferber
- White Privilege: Essential Readings on the Other Side of Racism, by Paul Rothenberg
- Explaining White Privilege to a Broke White Person, by Gina Crosley-Corcoran