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Running Head: OPPRESSION AND DIVERSITY Oppression and Diversity By Joshwill Tampai SWK110 – Introduction to Social Work Kim Buxton February 23, 2020 1
OPPRESSION AND DIVERSITY In the article White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack , author Peggy McIntosh defines “white privilege” as “an invisible package of unearned assets that I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was meant to remain oblivious” (McIntosh, 1989, p. 10). This definition came to mind when she was exploring and researching the account of male privilege. Through this research, she had found that men are unwilling to say that they are unprivileged, even though they also claim that women are disadvantaged. Peggy explains that these denials protects male privilege and prevents it from being “fully acknowledged, lessened, or ended” (McIntosh, 1989, p. 10). Much of the oppression that men have over women are unconscious. Through these findings, the author also draws conclusions that it is similar to having white privilege. For Peggy, she stands between sex and race. Though she may feel oppressed because of her gender, she has advantage over other ethnicities because of her race. Peggy McIntosh explains she had learned that racism is “something that puts others at a disadvantage” (McIntosh, 1089, pp. 10-11). However, she realises that racism, specifically white privilege must be understood as the translated position of advantaged. In her findings, Peggy concludes that whites are taught to think that their lives as “morally neutral, normative, and average ideal” (McIntosh, 1989, p. 11). Hence, standards and expectations are set for people from other ethnic and cultural backgrounds. This conclusion is seen as making non-whites more like whites, and though this process is often silent, there is definitely a strong sense of dominance and advantage over other non-white backgrounds. Moreover, Peggy lists several daily effects of white privilege in her own life. Through reading each effect, I learned that some of these rely on the context of the culture. For example, buying posters, toys, and/or greeting cards featuring people of a particular race is easier to find based on the location of purchase (i.e. birthday cards that feature a white girl is easier to find in 2
OPPRESSION AND DIVERSITY North America, whereas birthday cards that feature a Korean boy is easier to find in Korea). The basis of racism and privilege is also true for other countries and cultures. This past summer I visited Bermuda with my girlfriend - she is a white Canadian and I am a brown Indonesian. In many instances, I have found that Bermudian people (composed of predominantly blacks) tend to treat their demographic better than white tourists. Some examples include the restrictions of real

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