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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Peggy McIntosh’s white privilege checklist is right for everyone to see

By Alicia Perez

 Special to CSMS MagazineI think there are inherent privileges that are not spoken about that the white race has in our society.  Peggy McIntosh in her article White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack states that “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.”   I think people are discriminated against on a daily basis for various reasons.  Some reasons are more obvious like skin color.             People with low-income households are discriminated against or deemed unworthy in our society as well.  Unfortunately, our society discriminates against anything that does not conform to their concept of normal.             In my own experiences I have felt discriminated against, but by my own race.  I am a Cuban green-eyed blonde that looks Caucasian.  Since I do not look typically Cuban, I was not welcomed with open arms in the schools I attended, which were predominantly made up of Hispanics.  I was definitely treated as an outsider.  This is still true today in the Hispanic communities I visited. When people find out that I am Cuban, they are very surprised no matter what race they happen to be.  I had to fight the stereotype of being a Gringa.              Hispanics do not trust Whites.  I think this mistrust comes from whites imposing their culture onto society, whether intentionally or not.  I guess I did have an advantage that I could blend into one or the other, White or Hispanic.  The only thing is that I do not feel like I belong amongst Whites.  Their culture is so different from what I am used to.  I also had to prove myself to be Hispanic to fit into my own culture.  I have been caught in the middle.             For example, I get upset at my grandparents for not learning English.  They have been in this country for forty years, and really they have no excuse.  I also get upset when people say that this country only has one language, and that is English.  In fact, I had someone tell me just two weeks ago that it should be made mandatory for people to speak English in this country.  I found that offensive.  I should be able to speak whatever language I want.             If white people can speak their language of origin, why can’t anyone else?  I definitely think Whites have an unearned advantage. I think we all have to be culturally sensitive of our peers.  We also have to educate ourselves on different cultures.  This facilitates intercultural communication, which is much needed in our society. NoteAlicia Perez is a NSU student. She wrote this piece, exclusively for CSMS Magazine.   Also seeDominant culture and White privilege

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