|Image courtesy of EliasSchewel via Creative Commons.|
Here's an excerpt from "Complicating White Privilege: Poverty, Class, and the Nature of the Knapsack":
"Here, then, is the rub: We, in the white privilege brigade, often, and somewhat generically, in my opinion, like to say that racism is about power. That word, power, might be the most often-spoken word in conversations about white privilege and schools. Rarely, though, do we speak to the nature of power beyond the types of privilege so eloquently expounded upon by Peggy [McIntosh]. This is where critical race theory, with its frameworks for deconstructing racism, has flown past the white privilege discourse. Critical race theorists centralize the fundamental questions too often left unasked in conversations about white privilege: What, exactly, does power mean in a capitalistic society? Why, in a capitalistic society, do people and institutions exert power and privilege? What are they after?So yes, yes, undoubtedly yes. Grandma has white privilege. But it’s a relative white privilege. It’s not the same white privilege that I have or that Peggy or Tim Wise or Paula Rothenberg or Robert Jensen has or, for that matter, that any white person has who has managed to sustain a financially solvent career out of writing or talking about whiteness. I feel the tug—believe me, I do—of that race-only white privilege rule. Still, no matter how I slice it, I come back to this: Class matters, even when it comes to white privilege. In other words, I have come to believe that the white privilege brigade, with me among its chief enforcers, has been wrong to police the complexities of class (and, for that matter, other forms of oppression) out of conversations about white privilege and schooling."
Read the complete essay.
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