Saturday, April 16, 2011

White Privilege vs. Black Disadvantage

We talked about white privilege vs. black disadvantage in class. And I was on the fence about whether or not it would be more beneficial to talk about white privilege or black disadvantage. I think white privilege needs to be talked about because as we discussed in class there are so many white people who are not aware of their white privilege and it needs to be brought up to the forefront. On the other hand, I think that black disadvantage is easier to recognize and I believe that it needs to be addressed as well because there are certain disadvantages that many face that is not recognized. While reading the Invisible Knapsack article, I must admit, as a black woman, I was annoyed at her attempt to write down these fifty things. She wrote down fifty advantages to being white, things that I have never thought of because I am not white and I asked the question of whether or not writing down these advantages serve a purpose, other than knowing what you have an advantage to do. I want to pose her question again, will whites be willing to end it or lessen it? I don't think it serves a purpose, I can, as a black woman, sit and write 100 disadvantages of being black and say this will open my eyes and others to see how am being discriminated against, but what is the purpose? Will I do something after that to stop it and will others stop changing these disadvantages just because I brought them to the forefront. As we discussed in class, there needs to be a constant reminder and correction about privileges and disadvantages and it not these unearned privileges and disadvantages will continue.


  1. NeNe,

    I think I understand what you are saying when you state that writing down privileges or disadvantages doesn't, in itself, result in the abolishment of either. Still, it seems that if either of them are going to be addressed, we need to be honest about what they entail and we need as many people as possible to be aware of them. This awareness is even more necessary in the case of white privilege because white privilege goes far more unrecognized than black disadvantage. Such awareness can only be cultivated if we write, talk, paint, sing, ect. about white privilege and black disadvantage.


  2. I said this in class, but I think discussing white privilege is, while harder to bring up, a broader topic because white privilege is about a relationship between whites and all non-whites, not just blacks, whereas black disadvantage is about blacks and whites. While we have the tendency to talk about the black/white dichotomy in America, I believe that more groups than just blacks are subject to the short end of the stick.

  3. I agree with Kip when he said that when bringing up white advantage you have to include the disadvantages of all no-whites, but most advantage is gained from the disadvantage of blacks hence the history of this country, but I do think that an effective way to get people to understand the dynamics and the unfairness of the situation is by first addressing the advantages of whites and then expressing the disadvantages of non-whites so that you not only get people to see the problem, but also the benefits of the problem and the unfairness of it all.


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