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Privilege whether it derives from gender, class or race, is an alien concept to those whom the nature granted it with. However, the ones who feel oppression based on their difference may experience it in nearly every area of their social lives. Those who are born white enjoy the so-called white privilege that is based solely on skin color (Kendall 62). The matter of white privilege is especially acute for the people of other races who experience it in every sphere of life from unskilled work to art and the most complex scientific research. This complicated psychosocial phenomenon may become a matter of interest not only to those who have ever experienced it but also to people who believe in social justice and equality of all people without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, faith, ethnicity or socioeconomic background.
Throughout the course of history, the issues of social interactions between the people of different races and social fairness have never been matters of concern, as the whites were considered to be a ruling class. It was even more aggravated by the historical background of the African Americans who were enslaved. Even though the slavery was abolished, people of color are subconsciously underestimated, so discrimination based on skin color is instinctively excused, as white people never think of themselves as of racists (McIntosh par. 3).
Believe it or not, white privilege still affects social interactions between people of races. It can be seen on the level of life of people of color and white people. That said, white people originating from the middle or lower classes are more likely to have access to education, public wealth, healthcare, social protection and justice, and employment in comparison to the African Americans who have the same background (Yancy and Zach par. 8).
This complex phenomenon was crucial in granting equal rights to people of different races that was a great breakthrough in the development of society. Even though in theory we are all equal, in practice, people of color are oppressed, however not as openly as they used to be, so understanding white privilege is of significant importance, as overcoming it is the only way to reaching genuine social justice and equality.
Kendall, Frances E. Understanding White Privilege: Creating Pathways to Authentic Relationships Across Race. London, England: Routledge, 2012. Print.
Frances E. Kendall offers an in-depth study of a complex psychosocial phenomenon referred to as the white privilege. The book introduces the evolution of understanding this concept, how it changed with the march of history, and how people all over the world came to a realization that it is a social problem. The source is reliable for my purposes because the author draws attention to the role it plays in our everyday lives starting from gaining school and higher education to being guaranteed social protection and distribution of power and talent in the society based on her rich experience of work in different colleges, universities, and corporations and witnessing relations based on white privilege. Together with that, the book is useful because the author stresses that this phenomenon has become a basis for building relationships across races, derives from and is aggravated by our ignorance thus it helps understand the nature of white privilege and how it affects interactions in the society.
McIntosh, Peggy. White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack. n.d. Web.
The article of Peggy McIntosh is the fundamental work that talks about the phenomenon of white privilege and its psychological complicatedness. The author claims that it originates from the subconscious underestimation of the black people by the whites, as they remember the historical background of both races. Because the African Americans were enslaved in the past, discrimination and cruelty towards them based on race is instinctively justified.
The source is reliable for the purpose of my research because the author helps understand the origins of white privilege. What is more, it can be useful since Peggy McIntosh provides a number of examples that help make the matter of this phenomenon clearer. What is even more significant is that the author focuses on the subconscious side of the problem and stresses that if we eradicate psychological origins of discrimination from our minds, then we can deal with white privilege, and that will lead to social equality and justice.
Yancy, George and N. Zack. What ‘White Privilege’ Really Means. 2014. Web.
This source provides an interview with Naomi Zach, who is a professor of philosophy at the University of Oregon. What is more, she is the author of the book regarding race as the foundation for social equality and justification of discrimination. Reading the interview helps discover the point of view of the modern philosopher in the sphere of race. The source is reliable for the purposes of conducting the research on white privilege as it helps understand the definition of this phenomenon and its nature.
What is more, the philosopher provides situations from real life that prove that white privilege exists in a nowadays society. Together with that, the interview is useful because the examples given by Nancy Zach are from different areas of life from gaining education to healthcare, social protection, and employment. The philosopher as well draws the difference between privilege and right that may be useful for conducting even deeper study of this phenomenon and its impact on our everyday life.