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argument1 - Professor Hamilton ENG109H-012 12 October 2005...

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Professor Hamilton ENG109H-012 12 October 2005 Unpacking White Privilege Although studies of racial inequality are not uncommon in America throughout history and today, they tend to focus mostly on the side of the underprivileged. In her essay White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack , Peggy McIntosh presents to her reader an issue that she feels not enough people are aware of - even though many people acknowledge that non- whites in America are faced with social and political disadvantages, few realize that whites have a distinct advantage and empowerment as well. Further, she recognizes that the issue of white privilege is paralleled in some gender concerns as well, such as male privilege and dominance. McIntosh employs in her essay a series of persuasive devices that call upon the reader to draw connections and make conclusions of their own free thinking and experience in order to expose the phenomenon of white privilege. Ultimately, she aims to educate the general American population so that it can bring about social changes that will reduce the level of inequality created by misinformation and ignorance regarding issues of race, sex, age, class, religious affiliation, and other social concerns. McIntosh uses first-person language in her essay to create a more open and amiable atmosphere to which her readers can more easily relate. Rather than stating that she is absolutely right about everything or manipulating statistics to make her argument appear strong where it may actually not be, she presents her conclusions as exactly what they are - her personal thoughts, feelings, and beliefs, signaled by language like “I think”, “I realized”, and “I understood”. By extension, when a reader feels that an author is being open, personal, and
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conversational in their assertions, they feel more inclined to engage in dialogue back with the writing through their own thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. It is also true that this frankness can
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