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Power and Privilege Observations of McIntosh and Flagg - Essay Example

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Discussion Point One. Peggy McIntosh is a credit to those of her primary demographic group; obsessive guilt mongers. While the underlying philosophy of her position-that individuals have prejudices and inherent, even unrecognized, biases-is certainly true, the extent to which she takes her angst is excessive…
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Power and Privilege Observations of McIntosh and Flagg
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Download file to see previous pages There are two major problems with Ms. McIntosh's ideas. First, she projects her own world on that of everyone else. While her 46 conditions are insightful, they are not representative of whites; because whites, like every other race and culture, cannot be summed up into a generalized expression. If someone were to make such sweeping observations about Hispanics, they would be racists; yet apparently McIntosh believes that it is okay to racist as long as your prejudice is directed at yourself. Take some of the language of the list, e.g., arguments with colleagues absent advancement limitations based on race, and apply that to whites living in Appalachia; there is no comparison at all. Under her analysis, McIntosh is failing to add the privileges relative to a highly-educated and moneyed academic. Secondly, McIntosh's own list evidences the contradictory nature of self-projection. For example, number 35 refers to employment. In reality, there are many places where the hiring of a white female academic would be complete tokenism; say, at Howard University in Washington, D.C. The point is that making racial generalizations, even on oneself, is an illogical and inaccurate approach to power or privilege. That which is observable is not necessarily causative.
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